Stephen Caffrey is seen weekly as Lt.Goldman on BRTN and VERONICA TV stations in Tour of Duty by the BRTN and later changed to "One year in Vietnam".
Next to Sarge Zeke Anderson ( Terence Knox) he is the most important character of this American series which is no longer being made but still has very high rates here in Holland.In America the show never got that success, why not? Stephen has a clear opinion on that...
SC: When Tour of Duty first was broadcast the tv staion put us up against "The Golden Girls" on another channel. Since that show was number one in the ratings at that time you know you can forget it. But also even if we were placed against a less popular comedy we still would have lost. America loves comedy and doesn't want to be reminded of "The black page" from the history that the Vietnam war obviously was. Europe doesn't have that feeling at all and they appreciate the show.
Q :But what about the movies "Full Metal Jacket" from Stanley Kubrick and "Platoon" from Oliver Stone that were a big successes in the movie theaters just before TOD began?
SC: The movie theater audience is different from the tv audience. A movie like that is only impressive for the the time being. The next day you've already lost that feeling.B ut we came into people's homes every week and when someone dies (in the show) after one or two years you get the personal feeling that someone was ripped out of your life, much more so than with a movie. I think a movie like " The Deerhunter" is much better than the two examples you gave. In that first hour and a half you see how the guys live at home, in the second half of the movie you see how they change in the hell of the Vietnam war. Very impressive.
Q: Still TOD aired a couple of seasons in America, how do you explain that success?
SC: We may not have had a big following but a very fanatic and loyal one. That following was most of all old Vietnam veterans. They thought it was very near to the truth and that is of course the biggest compliment you can get.
Q: Here you are very popular with younger people, what do you think of that?
SC: I think that is fantastic. It is a generation that never experienced the Vietnam war and I think it is very important that everybody especially the young ones know : what happend there and that it will never happen again. Let's hope.........
Q: What was the most important thing of working on TOD according to you?
SC: The general image that the Americans have of the veterans is that they are pathetic,society losers, who don't think very clearly anymore. I had that opinion also. But by working on TOD I learned that the veterans deserved all the respect because they are victims of one of the biggest nightmares of human history. The series helped make it possible for them to walk down the streets again with their head up high.
at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 2000-2001 Page Creations, the Webmasters of this site & Stephen Caffrey. All rights reserved. Use of any material contained herein is subject only.to stated terms or written permission
Legal notice about this site