Recently, I discovered a wonderful reel of bloopers and deleted scenes from the shooting of Raiders of The Lost Ark, way back in 1980. I was amazed that I'd never seen any of this stuff before; how on earth did it escape me? Call myself a fanboy?
Anyway, in case it's somehow eluded you for all these years too, HERE it is.
Watching this, and enjoying it so much, got me thinking about some of the moments when things didn't quite go as planned during the two seasons of Raiders of the Temple of Doom's Last Crusade, back in 2013 and 2014.
So here, for your edification, and in no particular order, are some...
- BLOOPER #1
On one of the first nights, while performing the Raiders truck chase, I fell off the stage, grazing the inside of my left leg quite badly.
Well, when I say "stage"... I was performing on a small platform less than a metre above the floor, but when my left foot went too far upstage, and off the edge of the platform, my leg was scraped along the edge of the platform as my foot found its way to the floor. i soldiered on, of course - I was less than a third of the way through the show, so I had to - but I do remember worrying for the remainder of the performance that the inevitable blood stain would start to seep through my trousers, and be visible to the audience. I knew it would prove disconcerting, not to mention distracting, for them....
As it happened, the bleeding wasn't that bad at all. and so there wasn't ever any danger of a large patch of crimson becoming visible through my pants. It still hurt though, and in future performances, I was always extra mindful of the stage's edge...
- BLOOPER #2
I accidentally omitted an entire Last Crusade scene one night.
Around the time of the book-burning scene. was annoyed when the lights didn't come up as I expected, but Siobhan wasn't wrong; i was. It was dark. I was supposed to be doing the book-burning scene but I'd skipped ahead to a later scene which was set in the desert. The lights were low when I was expecting them to be high. "Dad? Dad? I can't see you!" Eventually, (after only probably 5 seconds) Siobhan cottoned on to my mistake, brought up the lighting state for my (wrong) scene and I carried on with things. It was only later that I realised that I'd excised an entire scene from the show that night. audience would have been none the wiser, but i did kick myself for my sloppiness, and felt embarrassed that I was initially angry at Siobhan The fault was all mine, and she was, as always, the cheerful consummate professional.
- BLOOPER #3
Sometimes, when you're playing over 40 characters at breakneck speed, things can tend to get a bit muddled. One night, as I was performing the opening scene of Temple of Doom, I inadvertently did Indy's line "Where's the antidote?!" in Willie's voice and Willie's line "Where's the diamond?!" in Indy's voice. There's no time to stop and dwell on that, so I just said "switch that", re-did the lines in the correct voices and carried on. The audience didn't seem to mind. One of the joys of live performance.
And HERE is the clip of that moment... (apologies for the picture quality).
- BLOOPER #4
This next one showcases the power, the pedantry AND the helpfulness of die-hard Indiana Jones fans.
One night, while performing the Last Crusade section of the show, I had a brief lapse of concentration, and messed up the line when Indy's enlightening his father about Marcus Brody's navigational skills....
"You know Marcus;" I said as Indy, "he once got lost in his own library".
This prompted a voice from the audience to ring out loud and clear, instantly correcting me;
I incorporated it into the performance.
"Museum, Dad. His own museum. That's what I meant to say," after which I threw the briefest of looks out to the audience - "Thanks" - and carried on. Indy fans certainly know their stuff.
- BLOOPER #5
Driving in to the venue for one of the first shows in the Fringe Festival, feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive... I had a car crash. Well, not exactly a "crash" perhaps, but I was stopped in heavy traffic when another (admittedly slow-moving) car rear-ended me. Already in my Indy costume, I jumped out of the car, angry, hoping that I hadn't just got a case of whiplash. The driver of the other car was an old man with his adult son in the passenger seat.
The son apologised profusely; "Sorry! Sorry! He has trouble judging distances."
"THEN HE SHOULDN'T BE DRIVING A CAR!", I snapped. We exchanged phone numbers, but the damage to my car was negligible, I left it at that, shakily and over-cautiously driving the remaining distance to the venue to do that night's show. Looking back now, perhaps it was an omen - after all, didn't Harrison Ford get his chin scar in a car accident? Didn't do him any harm. And if the roles of those two blokes had been reversed, they could have been reminiscent of Indy d=riding the motorbike with his old man in the sidecar.... Okay, now I'm clutching at straws. And I know that this was not technically a blooper from the show... but it certainly did come under the heading of "Well THAT wasn't supposed to happen".
- BLOOPER #6
At the start of Raiders, when Indy's in his classroom, he writes the word “NEOLITHIC” on the board, while saying
“'Neo-‘, meaning ‘new’... and ‘-Lithic’, meaning ‘stone’.”
For some reason, I often got the second part of that line wrong, instead saying
“'Neo-‘, meaning ‘new’... and ‘-Lithic’, meaning ‘age’”.
Perhaps it was to do with my miming of the chalkboard writing at the time. As I mimed writing the word, I would make the sound of the chalk scraping across the board, exaggerating the time it takes Indy to write three letters;
“ Sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, sh .... Neo...”
“Sh... and 'lithic”.
Perhaps the action of doing that caused my mind to wander a bit. Also, when I looked up the word neolithic later, I saw a definition of it as the “new stone age.” Perhaps I'd looked it up earlier, and substituted “stone” for “age” subconsciously as part of that.
It wasn't the end of the world though, and I'm sure it only would have been noticed by the absolute nerdiest Indiana Jones nerds.
- BLOOPER #7
I'd prepared a retort for anyone whose mobile phone intruded into any of the performances. But I never got to use it. As it turned out all the audiences for the show had impeccable mobile phone etiquette, and had all turned off their phones, or at least set them to silent before coming in. In a way, that was a pity. I had my stock response to ANY mobile phone activity locked and loaded and ready to go. Each night, I was fully prepared, if any mobile sound emanated from the audience to stop the show (in mid-sentence if necessary) and turn to the audience and bark - as whatever character I was playing at the time -
"TURN THAT OFF! It hasn't been invented yet."
I'd have loved to see how that would've been received, and was 100% prepared to do it, whether as Indy, Marion, Short Round, Henry, Marcus or even Kazim the spy. Alas, though, I never got to deploy it.
And as far 'DELETED SCENES' go...
In editing all three movies down to a 75 minute show (I tried really hard to get it down to 60 minutes, but I just couldn't crack it), many scenes from the original movies went by the wayside. These included:
- The drinking scenes with Marion and Belloq in his tent (Raiders),
- The scene in the jungle where Willie is scared of every type of animal there is (Temple of Doom) and
- The scene with Indy and Henry in the zeppelin (Last Crusade).
It was a shame to lose them all, but with such a limited amount of time, some sacrifices had to be made. In the development, workshopping and rehearsal process, too, quite a few lines - and gags - were edited out. One in particular that sticks in my mind is an idea I had about taking Marcus Brody to task over his slightly tautological line in the first movie...
"For nearly 3000 years, man has been searching for the Ark. That's not something to be taken lightly. No one knows its secrets."
The idea that I had was for Marcus to say something like
"For nearly 3000 years, man has been searching for the Ark. That's not something to be taken lightly. No one knows its secrets. Well, they wouldn't, would they? Because they're secrets. So obviously no one knows them. In fact, that's sort of implicit in the definition of the word "secrets", isn't it? No one knows them. Yes. Yes, I probably should have rephrased that just now. It was a bit tautological, now that I think about it. Sorry, Indy - where were we?"
And then a moment of Indy looking at him, nonplussed, before carrying on.
On the page, it looks very ineffectual and waffly, but then again, that's Marcus, isn't it? I'm sure I could have made it work, but it would have been a little speed bump in the show that we just didn't need, when the rest of it is - by necessity - so pacy. So I think it's probably best that that one didn't make it in.
... And that's it for today. Thanks for reading. See you next time, for another instalment in The Journey of The Making of The Stageshow of Raiders of The Temple of Doom's Last Crusade!