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Training Thoughts on the Production
Tour of Duty--The Facts Behind the Story
Following the success of our initial efforts in the Academy Award winning film Platoon, Warriors Inc. started getting calls from independent producers who thought the subject of Vietnam might make popular TV fare after twenty years of hostile neglect. I accepted an invitation to consult with a team of writer/producers who were preparing a show for network TV called Tour of Duty.
Initially, I consulted with the writing team in the hopes that they would use us as Military Advisors should the show actually get on the air. It was frustrating work despite the fact that one of the writers was actually a Vietnam Veteran. They wanted all the gritty reality we brought to Platoon, but we kept butting heads with network censors and the circa 1987 rules for what you can and can not show on TV. Mainly because I refused to compromise on some issues and became a bit outspoken about how the show should be presented, Warriors Inc. was not asked to serve as advisors to the show when it finally aired. The show suffered from scattershot efforts to find a though line and did not do overly well. It was eventually cancelled after a short run on CBS.
We had learned the lesson yet again about realistic military programs and network TV: oil and water.