on May 20, 2008
I remember this series very fondly from my childhood and would love to buy it.. but it's got no music from the series and therefore a huge character is missing!!!!
Its not the same.
I'll look for pirated copies of the series before i'd buy it without the stones or any other period music.
GET WITH IT!!!
on June 21, 2008
While I agree that ToD was one of television's better attempts at depicting Vietnam, it is terribly unfortunate that music egos prohibited the use of the original soundtrack that aired on with the series. Most notably absent is the opening theme "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones. While it is most certainly true that there is more to any series or film than its soundtrack, it is equally true that the soundtrack combines with the video to create the finished product. The loss of the original music then is a loss of the part of the actual art as it was originally displayed. It is sad that performers couldn't simply be happy with having their work live on as part of a greater whole. But then for many it isn't so much about art as it is about the money. I know some people think this is nit-picking but the fact is that this in not the "original" series as it was originally broadcast and is not as good as the original. Two of the primary things that characterise the 1960's in America were the music and the Vietnam War. The true original of ToD was a masterpiece of television for it's time and limitations. These new versions are not as good. The new music in most instances, though not all, is awful and actually distracts from the film.
Lastly, it is grossly unfair for a studio to release any series with a modified soundtrack, particularly one where in which the soundtrack was such an integral part of the show, without making plain to the purchaser that they are not buying a copy of the show as it was originally broadcast, but a modified version of it.
'Tour of Duty' is one of my favourite televisions series. It didn't last very long, but while it did, it presented a fairly realistic depiction of life in a squad of soldiers in Vietnam. Together with the series 'China Beach', it began to open doors to a difficult subject for the American public to deal with -- the American public, after all, got to see the Vietnam war almost live, day by day, year after year, in their homes on the television sets, the first war for that to happen. The controversial nature of the war and 'peace' aftermath made dealing with the subject tricky, but the writing, acting and direction in this series was superb.
The story follows an infantry company 'in-country', Company B, that is made up of a typical mixture of young, green recruits (often draftees) and a few experienced leaders, on their one-year tour of duty in Vietnam; the series began (and this video begins) in 1967, one of the early hot years of the conflict. The base is a typical firecamp, nicknamed Ladybird, with bunkers, sandbags, jungle surroundings, and lots of mud.
Stars of the series include many second-tier Hollywood film and television actors, who are all much better actors than their stature might indicate. Key figures included experienced and battle-hardened Sgt. Zeke Anderson (portrayed by Terence Knox, who has been star or guest star on dozens of television series) and relatively-new officer Lt. Myron Goldman (Stephen Caffrey, soap opera star also noted for some quality film work), as they work together to guide a group of men through the literal and metaphorical minefields of the Vietnam war. Other actors include Eric Bruskotter, Joshua Maurer, Kevin Conroy, Stan Foster, and Tony Becker.
In the pilot to the series, the men have a mission to destroy a hidden NVA base headquarters. It depicts the struggles and stress of jungle combat, and portrays the relationships built under fire by the men who come to depend upon each other for their lives.
The soundtrack takes a similar device from other Vietnam-era shows and films, that of using music contemporary with the conflict. 'Paint It Black' is the opening theme, an ironic and appropriate song and lyric. Beware, however, if you get it on DVD, that this soundtrack has been altered, including the very riveting opening.
This is a superb piece on a troubled time in American history. The series lasted for three years (but the seasons didn't all have full complements of 23-26 episodes each), from 1987 - 1990, for a total of 58 episodes in all.
on December 29, 2005
This is a fantastic show and box set and is highly recommended to anyone who liked the series in the 80s. Acting and production values aren't perfect but it has stood the test of time reasonably well and is slightly better than the average B grade war film/series.
However, there is one glaring problem with it which has been touched on by another reviewer, and that is all the original soundtrack music from the period has been stripped from the show, including the legendary "Paint it Black" by the Stones which played at the beginning of each show. Other than that, its a good boxed set.
on September 21, 2010
The Series when it aired on TV was excellent(as was China Beach)However the removal of the orginal music...literally killed the DVD's. It's a no buy for me, the music set the tone of the series, and with out the orginal music, the dvd's just don't go anywhere. However if you can get by without The Rolling Stones, StepenWolf, The Who and a few others, then buy it (but its like taking a huge chunk out of the 70's without the music).
on October 5, 2010
BUT, after reading the harsh review about the original music having been stripped, I will have to do without. Why not watch The Godfather with music by Lawrence Welk.!If the series is ever restored as it was aired, I'll buy it,but not until then. A wonderful series, ruined by whoever stole the music.