Tour of Duty Series 02 Overview


Introduction

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).

Outline

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.

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.

YouTube Link

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