TELEGUIA (Chilean TV Guide), Friday, June 9, 1989:
(Provided courtesy of Terry)

“Tour of Duty,” a drama broadcast by Channel 11 gives a different view about the traumatic war in Vietnam.
(original article in Spanish; translated by Mercè; additional thanks to Palomo)


Chiliean TV Guide-t“Just knowing war, you can learn to love peace.” This slogan was made famous twenty years ago by “Combat,” a successful North American war drama that reached one of the highest ratings all over the world.

This production was one of the programs inspired by the Second World War, a conflict that always has been a strong source of inspiration for the cinema and TV. But now, Americans dare to bring in another war, the Vietnam War, that until two years ago had been excluded from storylines.

The initiative to start came from the CBS network with “Tour of Duty,” a drama that has broken with the usual storylines because in spite of being located in the environment of the war in Southeast Asia it preserves the humanitarian values of the starring characters.

This is the first TV drama to talk about this war that led to mass protests in the USA by the antiwar movement and especially, of young people who saw their lives broken because of a war which they didn’t understand. This drama, directed by Bill L. Norton, shows us precisely with a realistic view the way that a heterogeneous group of young people coming from different states in North America are affected by it.

They make up a squad from Ladybird, a group of men of different races and customs, and they can only count on themselves to survive in a hostile and unknown environment.

In this way, the main stories principally refer to the human aspects, avoiding overly graphic images. “It doesn’t mean we minimize what really happened on the battlefield, but we want people to know what war does to men,“ says Zev Braun, executive producer.

Braun recognises that the success of movies like “Platoon” and “Born to Kill” [“Full Metal Jacket”] influenced CBS to renew this production that has deeply affected the hearts of a country that lost 60,000 young people in Vietnam, not counting the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who came back from war with irrecoverable psychological and physical hurts.

Chiliean TV Guide-1

Sergeant “Zeke Anderson” (Terence Knox) worries about how his young soldiers will survive in this unfair war.

Chiliean TV Guide-2

In Southeast Asia, the men in this squad discover a lot about themselves.

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