The BEST Episodes of Tour of Duty

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Network: CBS

As the first television drama series about the Vietnam War, Tour of Duty focuses on a single platoon of young U.S. soldiers through their one-year tour of combat duty in Vietnam during the late 1960's. While their own country is rocked by a massive anti-war movement, these young men find themselves thrown into combat in Southeast Asia, where they face enemy troops they can not see and sometimes can not kill. They also face their own fears, as they struggle in a hostile environment just to keep themselves and their fellow soldiers alive. Terence Knox, Kevin Conroy, Stephen Caffrey, Joshua Maurer, Steve Akahoshi, Tony Becker, Eric Bruskotter, Stan Foster, Ramon Franco and Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. star as the infantrymen who represent diverse racial, cultural and philosophical backgrounds but must ultimately depend on one another to get through the war alive.

The Short Timer

#1 - The Short Timer

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 19, 1988

Bravo company is on another S&D mission. A new man is on point, and he stops the patrol when he sees some blood, which he follows to a Vietnam booby trap. He's killed. Taylor takes over point, even though he is a short timer. Later, he manages to survive an encounter with an NVA machine gun nest after he destroys it. Taylor must address his mixed emotions about his near return to home. His fear and distaste for Vietnam is equaled only by the darkness of the life waiting for him at home. Taylor, after a "Dear John" phone call from home, signs up for another tour.

star 8.70
74 votes
Directors: Bill Duke
Writers: Bruce Reisman
Thanks for the Memories

#2 - Thanks for the Memories

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 18, 1989

The men of Team Viking are receiving medals in a ceremony in recognition of their heroism. In the midst of the ceremony, General Higgins arrives and reads out Brewster. Higgins thinks Brewster should have kept his mouth closed about Phu An. Higgins leaves with the threat that he will destroy Brewster if the colonel keeps ""forcing the issue"". Anderson talks with Percell who is off drugs, finally, and is now spending time at the Psych Ward. Doc calls home and finds out that his girl friend is sleeping with someone else. Brewster takes the story of Phu An to the press and is relieved of duty.

star 8.20
124 votes
Gray-Brown Odyssey

#3 - Gray-Brown Odyssey

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 25, 1988

Goldman, Horn, Calhoun, and Pointer are returning to the base after spending two days int he rear. Their jeep hits a mine, wounding Calhoun and Pointer. Goldman is blinded when a fire extinguisher blows up in his face. A squad of VC arrive and open fire. Calhoun and Pointer are killed by the attack, Goldman is blinded. In the end Horn chases after the sole surviving VC only to find that she's a woman. He captures her and takes her back to the hut where's he's left the blinded Goldman. Horn then, after much argument, goes after help for Goldman. The woman manages to signal to other villagers for help and so Goldman, blinded, must rig his rifle to her head, marching her off into his "blind landscape" so that they can escape the VC that she has called on to help her. As they escape they run into a great deal of trouble, starving families, groups of VC and even a group of Americans who fire on them. In the end, by the time Horn finds them, the woman has died in Goldman's arms, leaving Myro

star 8.03
104 votes
Directors: Randy Roberts
Writers: Bruce Reisman
Three Cheers for the Orange, White & Blue

#4 - Three Cheers for the Orange, White & Blue

Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 14, 1990

Anderson & Pop are having a good time at a local bar when a young trooper turns up and gets insulting to Pop -- it turns out to be Robby (Pop's son). The Phu An Board of Inquiry starts. As the situation develops and Beller realizes what his men did -- he had blocked it out -- he kills himself. Zeke and Team Viking go out with Robby on another SOG mission. They end up getting sprayed with Agent Blue. Before the end of the day, Robby ends up killed, leaving Pop to bring his son home in a body bag.

star 7.82
121 votes
Doc Hock

#5 - Doc Hock

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 1989

Goldman reveals to Zeke that it may be time for him to move to a desk job. Alex is glad to see Myron back but tells him that she is going to take the Paris job. Elsewhere, Taylor, Percell and Ruiz tease a new recruit who is a pacificist. Taylor knocks the new medic, Hockenberry on his butt. Zeke is just as horrified as the rest when he is told by Doc Hock that he won't carry a weapon. Afterwards, Anderson meets Goldman's replace, a no-nonsense but wet-behind-the-ears new LT who thinks he already knows everything there is to know. Zeke also learns that he has received a promotion. Alex arranges a final going-away party for her and Myron. Alex ends up missing her plane to Paris but not because of the party but because she has a chance to do an exclusive and dangerous interview with a VC officer. After getting out of the interview, Alex meets Myron in Saigon, for there last dinner, before going to Paris. As Alex waits for Myron in front of the restaurant, a bomb explodes, killing her with

star 7.79
158 votes
World in Changes

#6 - World in Changes

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 9, 1989

McKay decides he is personally going to get the sniper who has been taking out helicopters... but with Anderson and Goldman on the ground and him in the air, HE ends up the next target, crashing and killing his co-pilot. Johnson, with only 72 hours left, gets a bad case of ""short timer's nerves"". Meanwhile a crazy CIA operative -- Duke Fontaine -- takes several VC suspects up in a helicopter and starts throwing them out until one of them will talk. Anderson and the team are going to go out after a VC-recruiter and get permission for Johnson not to go but because Johnson has decided that he ""must stick to the routine"" he ends up going. Taylor and Johnson are captured by the VC and tortured by a sadistic Vietnamese man.

star 7.72
124 votes
Road to Long Binh

#7 - Road to Long Binh

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 10, 1990

All of the enlisted men of Team Viking end up with food poisioning. Goldman is forced, because of that, to take on an assignment himself that he had intended to assign to someone else, drafting Anderson to come along. They pick up a deserter who Anderson has known as the ""ideal"" soldier for years. As the two men spend time together they talk about their early meetings, etc. Zeke gets a letter from Johnson. The next day Digby (the deserter) escapes before Anderson and Goldman get there but is recaptured. They start off to Long Binh prison. Digby has been a soldier for 14 years but gave it up when some soldiers started to give him and his Vietnamese wife a hard time. Digby ends up saving their lives, a number of times, and he ends up ""accidentally"" escaping

star 7.69
91 votes
The Raid

#8 - The Raid

Season 3 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 28, 1990

The monsoon seasons starts. Pop goes back to the States for his son's funeral, only to be blamed for the death of his son (by his wife). Goldman is upset over Beller's suicide -- feeling that the ex-friend was only another type of victim of the war. Brewster enlists Goldman for a volunteer mission to rescue MIA/POWs. AN ex-POW (very fragile) comes back to Vietnam to help plan the mission. Doc is still on base but no one will speak to him. Doc goes to talk to Goldman, begging to be part of the rescue mission but gets refused. The mission turns out to be a nightmare. The POWs were moved before the Team got there, Griner is blinded, Pop and McKay are hurt and get shipped to a hospital in Japan, Brewster is hospitalized at China Beach.

star 7.64
153 votes
Directors: Jim Johnston
Writers:
Green Christmas

#9 - Green Christmas

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 23, 1989

Christmas finds Team Viking the bush trying to capture prisoners in Cambodia. Doc tries to show compassion to one of the captured men... who turns out to be able to speak English. Anderson and Goldman exchange Christmas gifts, back at camp. Ruiz takes flowers to Susanna. Taylor finds that he misses Johnson. Team Viking prepares for a Christmas party at the orphanage. Meanwhile, Sgt. Marvin Johnson returns home and finds out that bigotry is alive and well there.

star 7.57
96 votes
Sins of the Fathers

#10 - Sins of the Fathers

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Apr 25, 1989

Alex risks her life by investigating a prostitute's murder in which Taylor is implicated.

star 7.56
63 votes
Promised Land

#11 - Promised Land

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Apr 4, 1989

Word of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination lowers black soldiers' morale,

star 7.53
95 votes
Notes from the Underground

#12 - Notes from the Underground

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 1, 1987

Taylor is captured and held in the secret underground tunnels of the North Vietnam Army. Anderson and Goldman, trying to earn the men's respect, go into the tunnel after the NVA. In the end Anderson and Goldman escape the tunnel after a cave-in, as does Taylor when his Doctor is unable to follow orders and shoot him.

star 7.51
174 votes
Directors: Bill L. Norton
Writers: Bill L. Norton
Terms of Enlistment

#13 - Terms of Enlistment

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Mar 21, 1989

A new man -- Woods -- walking point accidentally steps on a pressure-activated mine. While they are trying to get him off it, they are told a squad of VC are heading straight at them. McKay finally arrives to lift them out of the hot LZ. Zeke plans an R&R in Tokyo with Jennifer but the plans go awry when Major Darling offers Seymour a teaching post and position back in the States -- and she only has 48 hours to make her decision. Meanwhile a homosexual GI tries to commit suicide when he is being blackmailed. Jennifer tries to help him -- at the cost of her own career. Meanwhile Woods ends up in a fight, and Taylor realizes the man has career-potential abilities.

star 7.51
93 votes
The Luck

#14 - The Luck

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 23, 1989

News that Goldman and Anderson are missing and believed dead devastates the platoon and Alex.

star 7.51
130 votes
Writers:
A Necessary End

#15 - A Necessary End

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 4, 1989

McKay has a date with a ""killer"" blonde but on the way to take her shopping he ends up hitting a child with his jeep and comes in contact, for the first time, with a makeshift orphanage where he decides to get involved with the orphans. Doc finds Purcell high on grass and drugs. Purcell leave in a huff, seeking more drugs, and ends up arrested and assigned to a ""shit burner"" detail. Goldman goes to Brewster to report the massacre. Later, Goldman and Anderson are briefed on a mission into Cambodia to kidnap a defecting NVA officer. Percell tries to desert.

star 7.50
156 votes
Writers:
Nightmare

#16 - Nightmare

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 28, 1989

Goldman searches for McKay after the Army gives up; Percell faces charges for killing a social worker's attacker.

star 7.48
96 votes
Payback

#17 - Payback

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Apr 28, 1990

Several months later, McKay -- mostly recovered -- is told that he will never fly again. Bitter, he tries to get a civilian job flying but is told that Vietnam vets are too freaky. When he finally gets a job flying air-traffic monitoring, he loses it -- not to a ""flashback"" but to sheer irritation. Ruiz returns home to New York but can't find a job. In Montana, Percell is now a carpenter and is nearly freaked' out by finding a Vietnamese worker on the crew. That same night he runs into a peace-activist at a blind date. Bill Griner returns home to North Carolina -- having been blinded. His parents turn to faith healing and Griner retreats to the ""comfort of the fields and a faithful dog"". Back in Vietnam, Taylor meets a new black soldier who tells him that he came back because the world is nowhere for a ""black"". Doc has been sent to a field hospital but gets in trouble even there because he shows compassion for a dying man.

star 7.43
184 votes
I Am What I Am

#18 - I Am What I Am

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 2, 1989

Team Viking goes out to capture a Soviet chopper but ends up surrounded and captured. Luckily the mission was just practice. Myron discovers that his father -- Gernal Goldman -- is back on the base. His father has 2-3 months left to live because of cancer. While Myron and his father fight, Johnson attempts to decide if he should re-up or go back to the World. A Mexican/American WAC takes up with Ruiz. Johnson finally decides to go back to the States. Percell wonders if he is yet ready to return to the field. Anderson and McKay butt heads when McKay tries to take over the leadership of a mission.

star 7.37
122 votes
Writers:
Battling Baker Brothers

#19 - Battling Baker Brothers

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 10, 1987

Baker insists his fellow squad members follow him to an incoming helicopter. The incoming VIP turns out to be Baker's twin brother, who brings along a skate board that the whole squad uses for fun. Carl Baker turns out to be nothing like his brother: he is hard-drinking, womanizing, party-goer. The two brothers end up in a fight, nearly destroying the base in the process. Carl celebrates their birthdays by bringing in a truck-load full of Vietnamese hookers. They all party down and, in the end, Baker ends up doubly-mad as his brother steals his girl. Carl leaves the next morning with neither brother on speaking terms and everyone in trouble. Carl's helicopter goes down and Baker goes in after him, managing to get caught by the same VC who have his brother. They are both tortured by the VC and Anderson and Goldman must go in to rescue the two.

star 7.37
82 votes
Directors: Bill L. Norton
Writers: Bill L. Norton, J. David Wyles
The Volunteer

#20 - The Volunteer

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired May 16, 1989

A young desk clerk seeking to prove himself is assigned to Anderson's platoon.

star 7.36
96 votes
Non-Essential Personnel

#21 - Non-Essential Personnel

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 31, 1989

Alex sets out to expose a major whose questionable judgement has caused casualties.

star 7.36
66 votes
Directors: Jim Johnston
Writers: Elia Katz
Cloud Nine

#22 - Cloud Nine

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 11, 1989

Taylor, Ruiz and Johnson go in search of Purcell after he goes AWOL. They look for 3 days, finally being taken to a heroin parlor by three drug dealers. Danny refuses to leave and the 3 thugs won't let the soldiers force Danny out. Later, Anderson and Team Viking are trying to find a road that is part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. When they find the road they return to the base where everyone knows about Danny. Brewster tells Goldman to solve the problem and Goldman insists upon talking about the massacre. Brewster puts his own career in jeopardy as he tries to get the army to deal with Phu An massacre. Anderson (under pressure from Goldman) organizes a commando raid and goes into Cholon to spring Purcell -- who then is forced to go through cold-turkey withdrawal. Brewster is ordered to shut up about the Phu An massacre.

star 7.36
154 votes
Writers:
Sleeping Dogs

#23 - Sleeping Dogs

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 7, 1989

Anderson goes into the jungle to find a disturbed friend who refused a transfer home.

star 7.34
132 votes
Directors: Steve Posey
Writers: Jerry Patrick Brown
Dislocations

#24 - Dislocations

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 8, 1987

B Company is ordered to escort a group of villagers from their present village to a new location, which is to be an example of U.S. technology aiding the Vietnamese. Among the villagers is Lang, a beautiful woman to whom Goldman becomes very attached. They are attacked again on the trail and Goldman's life is saved and then spared by a VC who turns out to be Lang's husband.

star 7.32
151 votes
Directors: Aaron Lipstadt
Writers: Steven Phillip Smith
War Lover

#25 - War Lover

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 15, 1987

Anderson, Goldman, Percell and Horn go on a special mission with combat veteran and "war lover" Earl Ray Michaels. Anderson's past experience with Michaels as well as Michaels' current, wild behavior lead to numerous conflicts. They complete their mission, but Michaels' two men are killed and he feels responsible.

star 7.32
149 votes
Directors: Jim Johnston
Writers: Rick Husky