Tour of Duty is an American military drama television series based on events in the Vietnam War, broadcast on CBS.
The series ran for three seasons, from 24 September 1987 to 28 April 1990, for a total of 58 one-hour episodes. The show was created by Steve Duncan and L. Travis Clark and produced by Zev Braun.
The show follows an American infantry platoon on a tour of duty during the Vietnam War. It was the first television series to regularly show Americans in combat in South Vietnam and was one of several similarly themed series to be produced in the wake of the acclaimed Oliver Stone film Platoon (1986).
Tour of Duty examined the issues of politics, faith, teamwork, racism, suicide, fragging, terrorism, civilian deaths, sexuality, drug abuse, and how the lives of soldiers and civilians were permanently affected by the Vietnam War.
For the second and third seasons, the series was filmed around Los Angeles, California, to reduce the budget. The same locations, notably a small river with grass on one bank and woods on the other, were reused in a number of episodes. The old set of war comedy-drama television series M*A*S*H was also used for filming.
The change of location also led to a change in the show’s direction. Beginning in the second season, the platoon was relocated to a base near Saigon. Production staff interviewed in Vietnam Magazine said this change in premise doomed the series because it shifted from being a realistic chronicle about the life of an average combat infantryman to an action/romantic/drama show. CBS wanted female characters because ABC had premiered China Beach, a Vietnam Army Nurses drama, which was aimed directly at attracting more female viewers.
Guest stars included Lee Majors, James Hong, Mako, Kelly Hu, Angela Bassett, Ving Rhames, Melora Hardin, Everett McGill, Olivia d’Abo, David Alan Grier, Richard Brooks, and Michael Madsen.
Tour of Duty Series
You can find a full index and overview of Tour of Duty here.
- Episode 01: Saigon, Part 01.
- Episode 02: Saigon, Part 02.
- Episode 03: For What It’s Worth.
- Episode 04: True Grit.
- Episode 05: Non-Essential Personnel.
- Episode 06: Sleeping Dogs.
- Episode 07: I Wish It Would Rain.
- Episode 08: Popular Forces.
- Episode 09: Terms of Enlistment.
- Episode 10: Nightmare.
- Episode 11: Promised Land.
- Episode 12: Lonesome Cowboy Blues.
- Episode 13: Sins of the Fathers.
- Episode 14: Sealed with a Kiss.
- Episode 15: Hard Stripe.
- Episode 16: The Volunteer.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 03 January 1989 to 16 May 1989.
- Running Time: 47 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: TV-14/15.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.