The first television series about the Vietnam War, Tour of Duty focuses on a single platoon of young U.S. soldiers through their one-year tour of combat duty in Vietnam in the late 1960’s. While their own country is rocked by a massive anti-war movement, these young men find themselves thrown into combat in Southeast Asia, where they face enemy troops and their own fears, as they struggle in a hostile environment just to keep themselves and their fellow soldiers alive.
Terence Knox, Kevin Conroy, Stephen Caffrey, Joshua Maurer, Steve Akahoshi, Tony Becker, Eric Bruskotter, Stan Foster, Ramon Franco and Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. star as the infantrymen who represent diverse racial, cultural and philosophical backgrounds but must ultimately depend on one another to get through the war alive.
Tour of Duty takes place in 1967, when the war in Vietnam has escalated to terrifying heights. Four hundred seventy-five thousand U.S. troops are stationed in South Vietnam. Like most fighting units “in country,” Company B is a diverse mixture of young men, mostly teenagers, from across the United States. Its base is a remote firecamp, composed of sandbagged bunkers and surrounded by mine fields and the scorched remains of once-lush forests. The enemy they encounter is the well-trained and well-supplied regulars of the North Vietnamese Army.
Company B’s driving force is Sgt. Zeke Anderson (Knox), an amiable and popular sergeant, already on his third tour of duty in Vietnam and determined to keep himself and his men alive. He shares a mutual respect with Capt. Rusty Wallace (Conroy), the company commander and a patient leader, tolerant of the young soldiers for whom he is responsible. Lt. Myron Goldman (Caffrey) is a newly arrived officer, anxious to assert leadership despite his inexperience. Others are Pri. Roger Horn (Maurer), “Doc” Randy Matsuda (Akahoshi), Cpl. Danny Percell (Becker), Pri. Alberto Ruiz (Franco) and Pri. Marcus Taylor (Nunez).
Tour of Duty goes beyond the massive political turmoil caused by the Vietnam War and attempts to portray the human side of the conflict. Nearly three million American servicemen were sent overseas, and more than 57,000 of them never came back. It is only recently that Americans look anew at the war and remember the men of all races and backgrounds who served there at such tremendous personal sacrifice.
USA / CBS / x50 minutes / Broadcast 24 September 1987 – 25 August 1990
Theme Tune: Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
Terence Knox as Sgt. Zeke Anderson
Ramon Franco as Pvt. Alberto Ruiz
Tony Becker as Cpl. Danny Percell
Stan Foster as Pvt. Marvin Johnson
Stephen Caffrey as Lt. Myron Goldman
Joshua Mauer as Pvt. Roger Horn
Kevin Conroy as Capt. Rusty Wallace
Eric Bruskotter as Pvt. Scott Baker
Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. as Pvt. Marcus Taylor
Bob Fimiani as Major Braun
Terry Cook as Sgt. Mad Dog
Brian Kenton as Lt. Crippen
Stloe Akakoski as “Doc” Matsuda
Carl Weathers as Col. Carl Brewster
Dan Gauthier as Lt. Johnny McKay
Penny Peyser as Carol Anderson
Kim Delaney as Alex Devlin
Robert Fuller as Jack Percell