What to Know About “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”‘s Basil Shaw
In June’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” the titular Indiana (Harrison Ford) once again faces down a Nazi threat. The film‘s first scenes are set in 1944 when the Nazis are trying to make their escape as the Allies liberate Europe. Indiana and his friend Basil Shaw (played by Toby Jones) try to steal back the Lance of Longinus from the Nazis. But it turns out the Nazis have something much more interesting: Archimedes’s Dial, aka the Antikythera. Indiana and Bas make off with it.
Later in the movie, Bas’s daughter – and Indiana’s goddaughter – Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) contacts Indiana for more info on the dial. The quest for the dial, she says, at least partially drove her dad mad, and viewers learn that Bas has died. The dial ends up sending Indiana and Helena on a globe-trotting adventure with tons of twists and turns.
But if your knowledge of the other Indiana Jones films isn’t quite fresh, you might wonder if Basil has appeared in other movies before or if he’s a brand-new character for the “Dial of Destiny.” Basil, it turns out, is a new character for “Dial of Destiny.” And that makes sense given the timeline of the original films. “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Temple of Doom,” and “The Last Crusade” all take place during World War II, but the action ends in 1938. “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” meets Indiana again in 1957. That’s 19 years of life we don’t know about, and it seems the “Dial of Destiny” crew decided to write in a new friend and colleague for Indiana during that time. His daughter Helena is also a new character for the film.
Some of the franchise’s other beloved supporting characters do make appearances in the “Dial of Destiny,” like John Rhys-Davies’s Sallah and Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood (though her and Indiana’s son Mutt Williams does not). Plus, Bas has a similar academic energy to the original trilogy’s Marcus Brody, played by Denholm Elliott. Elliott died in 1992, and his death was written into 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.”
Jones told British GQ on June 30 that when he got the call for the film, “I said yes, of course, it’s a film from my childhood.” The actor explained, “I thought I’d be someone stuck behind a desk or some sort of museum character. But no, I was required to take part in quite an extensive action sequence, which was something I hadn’t done much before.” There was a no stuntman, so Jones stepped into an action hero mode that was brand new for him. “Really, I enjoyed more than I ever thought I would, working in these tiny action beats when you’re shooting,” he said.