After the platoon are hit in a nighttime raid, Sgt. Anderson recruits some fresh troops before going on a mission to find the enemy units that hit them.


(as Bill L. Norton)

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Caffrey ...
Joshua D. Maurer ...
Pvt. Roger Horn (as Joshua Maurer)
Steve Akahoshi ...
Stan Foster ...
SP4 Marvin Johnson
Pvt. Marcus Taylor
Keith Amos ...
Pvt. Clyde Lawrence
Bob Fimiani ...
Terry Cook ...
Sgt. Mad Dog
Brian Kenton ...
Lt. Crippen
Bryan O'Dell ...
Wounded Soldier


It is 1968 and Sargeant Zeke Anderson, a soldier on his third tour of Vietnam, strives to do what he does best - keep his platoon alive. Following a particularly fierce nocturnal attack on Firebase Ladybird by the NVA, Anderson couriers intelligence to Battalion headquarters and does a little recruiting from a group of newbies in order to replenish the platoon's depleted numbers. The last to be recruited is Roger Horn, a harmonica playing anti war protester. Anderson also meets his new Lieutenant, Myron Goldman, a gung-ho officer candidate school graduate taking up his first field position. The two butt heads on their first mission, Goldman resentful when the more experienced Anderson steps in to stop him from making decisions that would put the platoon in jeopardy. Stumbling across the covert headquarters of a band of NVA, the platoon engage in a fire fight resulting in Goldman embarking on a steep learning curve while gaining respect for Anderson's field savvy and bravery. In the ... Written by HGunning

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | War





Release Date:

24 September 1987 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the first episode aired on Swedish television, in late 1980's, Channel 1's switch board got so many calls from people protesting about the show's violent content, that they shut down the airing after approximately 30 minutes. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A fine start to the brilliant "Tour of Duty" series
26 June 2011 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

1967, Firebase Ladybird, Vietnam. The base comes under attack in a nighttime raid by the North Vietnamese Army. The attack lasts all through the night, and in the morning, when the fighting stops, it is revealed that the enemy wasn't the usual Viet Cong, but instead the real-deal NVA army. This is big news, as the North Vietnamese Army has never been reported to be this far south before. Sgt. Anderson is sent by Captain Wallace to division headquarters to report the incident. Anderson tells Wallace that he'll recruit new men while he is there so that they can head out the next day and find the NVA. At division headquarters, it does indeed turn out to be big news, but the brass now wants Anderson and the men to capture one of them alive so that they can interrogate him. Anderson comes across some FNG's outside and tells them he wants survivors. He recruits Danny Percell, Scott Baker, Alberto Ruiz, Clyde Lawrence and Roger Horn, who refuses to fight saying that it's an 'unjust' war. But his attitude will soon change. Anderson also has a new Lieutenant to deal with - Lt. Myron Goldman, who is anxious to fill his father's boots who won the Medal of Honor in WW2. The pair come into conflict while in the field. Since this is Anderson's third tour in the bush, he has the experience, but Goldman takes his advice the wrong way and tells him that he is the one who gives the orders. When they are out looking for the NVA, the platoon gets into trouble way over their heads when they locate the NVA's division headquarters right in the middle of the countryside...

This Pilot episode was a superb start to the brilliant "Tour of Duty" series. We get to know the majority of the main characters, especially the ones that would be in it right until the very end of the third series when the show was ended prematurely when ratings dropped. The action, as it would be in every episode of the first series, is plentiful. This episode I think really shows us how corrupt the chain of command in the Vietnam War was, as look at what we have here - a young baby-faced Lieutenant straight out of officer training who has had no experience in Vietname whatsoever, at times refusing to take advice and leadership help from his sergeant who has spent the last two and a half years of his life fighting in the war. Lt. Goldman's attitude will change however, and you can't help but get the feeling that him and Anderson are to become the best of friends.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
An Extra's Experience on Tour of Duty markemsu
Region 4 (Australia/Pacfic) DVD boxset collection release announced tvcrazeddave
What's the Funniest Thing in ToD? mdsmith101
the music neilmcd7
What happened to Paint it Black maduerson
I came to really like the starting Song - Not Paint it Black. Any1 else? movie_saint
Discuss Pilot (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: