Over There TV Series Overview (2005)


Introduction

Over There is an American action war drama television series co-created by Steven Bochco and Chris Gerolmo and produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

It premiered in the US on 27 July 2005 on FX and in Canada on 06 September 2005, on the History Television channel.

Outline

The series followed a unit of the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division on its first tour of duty in Iraq, and chronicled the war’s effects on the soldiers’ families in the United States. The Iraq sequences were filmed in the California desert, while the homefront scenes are shot in and around the Greater Los Angeles area.

The pilot was developed by Steven Bochco (who also created such acclaimed series as NYPD Blue, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues). Originally, the show was to be produced by UPN, who subsequently decided that the prospects for international sales were not good and withdrew from the project. However, the series was seen around the world on pay cable channels in about 100 territories, according to Reuters.

Cast

  • Main
    • PFC Bo “Texas” Rider, Jr. (Josh Henderson): a 20-year–old star quarterback who was awarded a partial scholarship to Texas A&M, but could not make up the financial shortfall and joined the Army so he could take advantage of the G.I. Bill once his enlistment is up. He was fixated on the nicknames all of his squad mates have and the stories behind them as he did not have his own nickname. He had a wife and young son whom he loved very much. At the end of the first episode, a truck containing Bo and PV2 Dumphy drove over a landmine. Bo received terrible injuries to his leg and it was amputated shortly afterwards. He later became determined to return to his unit to stop feeling helpless.
    • PV2 Frank “Dim” Dumphy (Luke Macfarlane): in spite of (or, more likely, in reaction against) his well-to-do upbringing and Ivy League education, this 22-year-old Cornell graduate deliberately chose a blue-collar, lower-class lifestyle. He was tormented by intellectual conflicts over the actions he is ordered to carry out, and maddened with worry over his pregnant, alcoholic wife and emotionally disturbed 7-year-old stepson. He has never pursued a commission because he does not want to adopt a leadership role. His perspective serves as a contrast to emphasize the truly underprivileged roots of his squad mates. Probably the most sensitive character in the series, he was deeply disturbed when he learned that a particular insurgent sacrificed several men and a little girl in order to get past a check point. He lacked a degree of street smarts which “Smoke” possessed as he has shown on some occasions, and does not operate prudently under pressure. It is unclear as to why he is a Private when his B.S. gives him an automatic promotion to Specialist. He carries an M4 carbine like his squad-mates, although his is fitted with an M203 grenade launcher.
    • SSG Chris “Scream” Silas (Erik Palladino): the battle-hardened veteran from Long Island, New York who was given charge of a group of new recruits who has no problem speaking his mind to his superiors. He was not happy about having been handed 90 days additional duty on the eve of returning home, but begins to like his squad more as his 90 days winds down. His nickname, “Scream”, stems from the loud manner in which he gives orders.
    • PV2 Avery “Angel” King (Keith Robinson): a gifted singer hailing from a small town in Arkansas, enlisted in a fit of anger at not making a competitive choir, a decision the 20-year–old devout Christian comes to regret. “Angel’s” exceptional marksmanship skills made him the unit’s Designated Marksman and his M4 having an ACOG mounted on it.
    • PV2 Maurice “Smoke” Williams (Kirk “Sticky” Jones): a native of Compton, California was high during most of his twenty years. Although he was arguably the best in his squad, as evidenced by his street smarts, he had a strictly “us-or-them” attitude towards his white squad mates, but this attitude was lessened each time a white squad mate saves his life. He is irreligious as a rebellion against his mother, and much of his contempt directed toward “Angel”. He serves as the squad’s SAW gunner, carrying a compact “paratrooper” version of the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
    • PFC Tariq Nassiri (Omid Abtahi): is an Arab-American from Detroit who was assigned as a replacement for Bo. His extensive knowledge of Arabic and Middle Eastern customs saved the squad multiple times, acting as a middleman between the American soldiers and the local people. Tariq is college educated and sensitive to all involved. Like Dim, Tariq has a bachelor’s degree, yet only held the rank of PFC.
    • PFC Esmeralda “Doublewide” Del Rio (Lizette Carrión): a happily–married new mother, was also a resourceful, no-nonsense soldier. The 20-year–old displayed her whenever the subject of her “ample figure” comes up. She and “Mrs. B” are part of a logistics unit that supports the squad on their missions, be it providing resupply or transport via their M939 5-ton trucks, and also carries an M16A2 rifle instead of an M4 carbine like most of her comrades.
    • PV2 Brenda “Mrs. B” Mitchell (Nicki Lynn Aycox): was a “pig-headed” and obstinate 18-year-old, who was more of a liability than an asset to the squad, and to her partner, “Doublewide.” She took great umbrage at the fact that her nickname is short for “Mrs. Bitch.” As a teen, she was raped[citation needed] and later gave birth to an autistic child who was put into the custody of his grandparents. Hardships in life made her significantly more willing to risk her life under fire since she seemed to have nothing to lose. She is one of the few characters to carry an M16A2 rifle instead of an M4 carbine, due to her job as part of a support unit instead of a front-line combat unit like her comrades.
    • Terry Rider (Sprague Grayden): Bo’s wife who wanted her husband to stay at home after he lost his leg.
    • Vanessa Dumphy (Brigid Brannagh): Frank’s wife who ends up cheating on him in the first episode. Throughout the series she displays more and more dysfunction as a result of the lack of stability in their marital status. However, in the final few episodes of the series she attempts to get the marriage back on its feet.
    • Sergio Del Rio (Lombardo Boyar): Esmeralda’s husband who throughout the series comes close to cheating on his wife who is overseas while he is also taking care of their son.
    • Eddy Dumphy (Jimmy “Jax” Pinchak): Frank’s stepson who simply tried to survive life with his dysfunctional family.
  • Recurring:
    • Ana Ortiz: Anna.
    • Adam Storke: Captain John “Duke” Baron, the team’s company commander.
    • J. Lamont Pope: Lieutenant “Mad Cow” Taylor (episodes 1–6), the team’s first platoon leader.
    • Josh Stamberg: Lieutenant Alexander “Underpants” Hunter (episodes 7–13), the team’s second platoon leader.
    • Lilly McDowell: Krista.
    • Kirk B.R. Woller: Dr. Muecke.
    • Rami Malek: Hassan, an Iraqi insurgent.
    • Mark-Paul Gosselaar: John Moffet, an American reporter.
    • Wade Williams: Bo Rider Sr., Bo’s estranged father.
    • David Sullivan: Dr. McGlaglen.
    • Earl Poitier: Reggie.
  • Guest appearances:
    • Michael Cudlitz: Colonel Ryan, an unconventional Army Special Forces officer.
    • Currie Graham: Corporal Shaver, a burned-out medic with a death wish.
    • Matt Barr: Cracker.
    • Michael Patrick McGill: Father Feeney.
    • McKinley Freeman: MDPD Uniform.

Release

The show’s critics complained that the show “bends over backward not to express any opinion whatsoever about the conflict.” Also, given the show’s subject matter, it is not surprising that some criticized it as one of the most graphically–violent television programs ever. Accordingly, the program was tagged with the television rating TV-MA for language and violence, and warning notices such as “VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.” FX advertised the show as being “…TV’s most controversial series.”

Trivia

  • The show (Bochco’s first for basic cable) was the first scripted television series set in a current, ongoing military action involving the US.
  • In another unusual move, the pilot episode was released on DVD on 02 August 2005, less than a week after the show’s premiere.
  • Josh Henderson’s body double for all the amputation and prosthetic shots was played by his cousin, Clint Mabry.
    • Clint lost his leg as the result of a fatal car accident in 2001.
    • Clint Mabry also served as a disability advisor and consultant for the show.
  • According to senior military advisor Sean Bunch, some scenes of violence were not included in the final cut.
  • The title of the series echoes “Over There”, George M. Cohan’s 1917 song about US soldiers serving abroad during World War I.
    • The theme song used for the series is Chris Gerolmo’s “Over There”.
  • Pvt. Frank ‘Dim’ Dumphy has a stepson named Eddie.
    • Series creator Chris Gerolmo also has a stepson named Eddie.
  • FX formally announced on 01 November 2005, that the show would not be returning due to declining ratings.
    • The thirteenth and final episode of the series, “Follow the Money”, aired in the US on 26 October 2005.

Over There Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Jesse Bochco … (2 episodes, 2005).
    • Nelson McCormick … (2 episodes, 2005).
    • D.J. Caruso … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Kim Manners … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Kramer Morgenthau … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Mikael Salomon … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Dean White … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Greg Yaitanes … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Chris Gerolmo … (unknown episodes).
  • Producer(s):
    • Steven Bochco … executive producer (13 episodes, 2005).
    • Tom Keefe … co-producer (13 episodes, 2005).
    • Nelson McCormick … co-executive producer (13 episodes, 2005).
    • Steven Brown … co-producer / coordinating producer (6 episodes, 2005).
    • Jesse Bochco … producer (1 episode, 2005).
    • Dayna Kalins … producer (1 episode, 2005).
    • Jeffrey Downer … producer (unknown episodes).
  • Writer(s):
    • Steven Bochco … (created by) (12 episodes, 2005).
    • Steven Bochco … (creator) (1 episode, 2005).
    • Chris Gerolmo … (created by) (12 episodes, 2005).
    • Chris Gerolmo … (creator) (1 episode, 2005).
    • Joel Fields … (writer) (3 episodes, 2005).
    • Peter Egan … (written by) (1 episode, 2005).
    • Scott Gensch … (additional material) (1 episode, 2005).
    • Salvatore Stabile … (written by) (1 episode, 2005).
  • Music:
    • Edward Rogers … (12 episodes, 2005).
    • Alec Puro … (1 episode, 2005).
  • Cinematography:
    • Rick Bota … (unknown episodes).
    • Kramer Morgenthau … (unknown episodes).
  • Editor(s):
    • Jonathan Chibnall … (4 episodes, 2005).
    • Jonathan P. Shaw … (4 episodes, 2005).
    • Ken Blackwell … (1 episode, 2005).
    • William Goldenberg … (1 episode, 2005).
    • Alan Cody … (unknown episodes).
  • Production:
    • 20th Century Fox Television.
    • Steven Bochco Productions.
  • Distributor(s):
    • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD).
    • FS Film (2007) (Finland) (DVD).
    • FX Network (2005) (USA) (TV).
    • Fox Television (2005) (USA) (TV).
    • Mainostelevisio (MTV3) (2006) (Finland) (TV).
    • Sky One (2006) (UK) (TV).
  • Release Date: 25 July 2005 to 26 October 2005.
  • Running time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: TV-MA.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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