on July 18, 2004
How can there be no original sound track in this DVD??? Initially, I wanted to buy this D.V.D very much, as these series has being part of my teenage days. Without the Original Sound track, it makes me feel that something is not there in these Series...
I prefer to own a set of DVD with the Original Sound Track than having some missing feelings for it.
on July 18, 2004
I wish I could give this show 500 stars to counteract some of the reviews here that seem to think Tour of Duty is nothing more than a soundtrack.
This is an incredible show, with outstanding plots and wonderful actors. TOD manages to tell meaningful stories about world-shattering events on a personal level, without resorting to melodrama or overblown special effects. This tv show compares well with the best of the big screen, where characters and plot are often sacrificed for big explosions and fancy camera work.
I watched the entire first season in less than a week. I can't wait for Season 2, with or without the Rolling Stones.
'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.
on July 14, 2004
Although I suppose I shouldn't be, I am continually amazed that people would give 100% negative reviews based on music rights not being negotiated.
Yes, its not entirely the same show without the music. Yes some scenes loose their initial effectiveness (or even don't make sense - see the references to Marvin Gaye playing on the radio when the music has been replaced by muzak). However, I found that after the first few shows, I didn't miss the music anymore - indeed without it, I found myself concentrating more on what was going on, the nuances of the characters and their reactions to each situation, instead of tapping my foot to the music.
I'd go so far as to say ToD might be a better show without the songs, if you watch it as a commentary about the issues surrounding the Vietnam period of US history.
In the first season, the show had the support of the US Armed Forces, and it showed - equipment and for most of the season, the focus was on the war. Later episodes of the season began to focus more on the characters and the effect of being in Vietnam had on them as people. The best example of this is in Short Timer, where Taylor is faced with the realization that Vietnam is where he belongs, and "re-ups" when he could be going home at the end of his tour. The observation is made that this makes him a "lifer".
I loved this show when it was first on CBS. For the longest time, I hoped it would be released on VHS, but then DVD came along and I knew that with the growing popularity of TV on DVD, it was only a matter of time before ToD was released.
The thing is, if sales are low for season one, the other two might not be released.
Main complaints are the music a a few grainy scenes, which by the way, were like that on the original transmission, but the actual show itself is A+ quality.
So, if you are a fan and want seasons 2 and 3 released, but know someone who gave a poor review because of the music, or isn't buying, be sure to thank them if the rest of the show isn't released (see NYPD Blue for what can happen if sales are poor).
on July 5, 2004
I've read with interest all the reviews and viewpoints on this new release. It's an obvious statement on the popularity of this show to see such a reponse. I see both sides of the music argument, and if it doesn't bother you to see the original score removed, then more power to you. But I'm joining all the others who are not buying this release. I just found out it was released and was so excited that I had been jumping back and forth between Ebay and Amazon to find the best deal. Then I decided to read the reviews just to make sure, and I'm glad I did. After always being dissapointed by the sound track changes on the TNT TV versions, I had eagerly awaited a release on DVD by the studio, certain they would release it in its true, original form. I was a Huey door gunner just after Vietnam (shooting at dead tanks at Fort AP Hill makes me a lot less braver than my older brethern getting shot at over the rice patties in Vietnam), and there was nothing that made my hair stand up on the back of my neck like the opening scenes of TOD with "Paint It Black" turned way up high. That one song being taken out is enough for me not to buy the DVD. For me, and like many others who have commented, the music is an integral part of the scenes. The writing and acting was great, but the overall effect just isn't the same when the music is changed. However, I'm not certain I buy into the conspiracy theories being floated about regarding the licensing. Several years ago, while TNT was running TOD every day, one of the TOD web sites reported that the Stones refused to negotiate a licensing agreement, and that was why there was a different opening. Not sure how accurate that is and it seems strange that all the bands associated with the original soundtrack would take the same stand. Regardless, I have all 3 seasons on VHS that I recorded off the TV, and I watch them regularly. They have the commercials, they don't have Paint It Black, and the picture isn't great. But the new DVD has little more than all that, so I'm saving my money. Hopefully sales will be dissapointing to the studio and they will reconsider their strategy.
on July 5, 2004
Despite knowing that the original 1960's rock and roll soundtrack was removed by Sony for this release I went ahead and bought it anyway. I've been waiting so long for this series to come out on DVD I just couldn't wait any longer. What a mistake!!
I can't imagine how anyone can stand watching this show without the rock music. It was like watching "Apocalypse Now" without "Satisfaction," or "The Big Chill" without the music. It's totally unwatchable. Not only did the music take you into the 1960's era of the series, it helped tell the story, often with songs that sarcastically commented on the events unfolding on screen, such as "Train a' Coming" in episode three.
Sony saved a few bucks by not paying the license fees for the show's music, and now they're hoping you won't notice. They don't even mention the changes on the packaging!! Vote with your money. Until Soney releases this incredible show complete, fully remastered and with all its original music intact don't buy it. Otherwise they never will, and season two and three will come out edited, not remastered, and without the music as well.
on July 1, 2004
I only saw a few episodes of this show in syndication awhile ago and I liked it. I was thinking about purchasing the DVD's, but after seeing the reviews here I've decided not to. I disagree (at least in theory, since I didn't see that much of the show) that the lack of the original soundtrack wouldn't make that much of a difference - of course the songs were used in the first place exactly because the producers KNEW they would greatly enhance the realism of the show. Perhaps the licensing fees for the DVD's were deemed too expensive by Tristar, or perhaps the licensing was simply unavailable in some cases. What bothers me is that the company didn't tell prospective buyers that on the packaging of the DVD. Obviously they guessed a lot of fans wouldn't buy the set knowing that up front, so they chose to not say anything and see how many people they could sucker. That really is a ripoff, and I think Tristar SUCKS for doing that. I am a musician myself, and for the studio to treat the original musical concept and tapestry of the show so cavalierly is unacceptable - even if the added new tracks by the composer are well done, as I'm sure they are, and if the other aspects of the show are still good (it's also a bit disturbing to read that the DVD picture quality is sub-par). I won't buy the set now, unless I find that the licensing has magiacally become available and that the songs have been restored.
on June 27, 2004
First off, let me say that I think some people are blowing this whole music thing way out of proportion. I have copies of some of the original Tour of Duty shows on tape, as aired on TV. All the original Tour of Duty instrumental music (including the shows instrumental theme song) is still here, and still the same. Only the professional, licensed artist music is missing. In place of that music, is more instrumental music that very often fits in and compliments the mood and feel of this great show. Some of the added music isn't all that bad either. Sure, some may not be as great as some of the missing period bit songs. But if you look at it closely, you might find that the show now has a more concentrated feel to it and lets you think more about what's going on in front of the camera and what the actors are doing, instead of grooving with popular tunes. It actually is a step up in the realism department in some ways. This does not mean I don't care about the missing music, just that it has its good points as well. For the people who only just care about the missing music, they need to learn some of the lessons taught within the show itself...
The fact is, that Tour of Duty was an incredible show, with fantastic acting, good writing, and great crew work. A lot of sweat and pain obviously went into it and it still stands as a great testimony to being one of, if not the greatest, war series ever to be filmed. They provided not only a record of insight into the Vietnam War, but into humanity.
on June 22, 2004
This was one of the greatest groundbreaking series in television history and to not release it on DVD in it's ORIGINAL form is an injustice to the writers, producers, actors, anyone involved in the show and most of all, WE THE FANS. We have been waiting for this day since the invention of the DVD and I am truly disappointed with this release. The show deserves five stars but this DVD set only deserves two. Yes, I am outraged at the fact they did not use the original music, but, beyond that, this series deserves a digitally remastered transfer, the video quality is at best the equivelent to a good VHS and the sound is okay, but should have been mastered in 5.1. And then I read these other reviews from people claiming to be Tour fans saying that "Paint it Black" wasn't used until season 2 and that this DVD set is exactly how the originals were as far as the music. People, please re-assess your knowledge of this show and please do not call yourselves diehard fans! TOUR OF DUTY DESERVES BETTER!
on June 22, 2004
I was very excited to hear that Tour of Duty was being released on DVD. I always enjoyed the series since it showed the sacrifices made by the men and women who served in our longest of wars. I knew that the soundtrack was going to be different from the series but I still begged for it for Father's Day. Well, it is different and unfortunately, it does make a difference. The period music added to the feeling of the show, especially if you were around when that music was new. The sound quality itself is okay since it is only reproduced in Dolby 2.0. The generic music is not very good but the original score from the series is fine and still brings back memories. The video transfer is not much better than VHS and is a small disappointment too. So, it's great to see Zeke and the boys again but I would have paid twice as much for the original soundtrack, Dolby 5.1 and a digital video transfer. It was that important of a show to some of us SONY Pictures. Season 2 and 3 should be upgraded accordingly.