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Tell it Like It Is

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"Nowhere to Run"


By Lee Russell

This episode was the first episode written to bring female characters into the show.

The inspiration for all the First Season "hospital" shows was a powerful book called "365 Days" by Dr. Ronald J. Glasser MD. Glasser served as a combat surgeon in Vietnam early in the "big war", '65-'66 I think. His medical details are horribly precise, his combat interludes somewhat less so. US soldiers had virtually no contact with any "round eye" women during their tour of duty, except for saying "hi" to a Red Cross "Doughnut Dollie" or a nurse if they were wounded. The Army PAO provided a woman Colonel, Vietnam veteran nurse as medical advisor to the writers. Percell's accidental killing of a Vietnamese child was a nightmare everyone dreaded. No one had raised their right arm and gone to Vietnam to kill women and children. This incident will come back later to haunt Percell in a later episode. On a costuming note, I provided a purple and white medical "pocket patch" insignia, worn by a soldier who opens a door in an early scene.

After the attack on the firebase, we get to see a sign put up by the helopad- WELCOME TO FIREBASE LADYBIRD, Home of Bravo Company 3/44th Infantry Please Wipe Your Feet.
3/44th Infantry was my invention.
The truck our guys are riding in has the name BIG ZEV painted on the door. An inside joke for Producer Zev Braun.

We also get to see a morning ritual practiced throughout Vietnam, combat engineer minesweep teams at work, checking the roads for overnight VC "presents". The engineers wear the patch of my own unit, the 18th Engineer Brigade, parent unit of Army engineers in the northern part of Vietnam during this period. Naturally their minesweep gear won't work on a metal bridge, but that part is drama. The disappearance of the ARVN militia who are supposed to be guarding the bridge was the sort of thing US troops regularly encountered.
I wince when I hear anyone called "Corporal" in this show, as the rank was little used in the Army during this period, certainly not in a medical unit. (He's the guy with my purple and white "pocket patch") on his uniform.
One of my other contributions was Nikki's room. I happened to have some photos, from another veteran, of a nurse's room. I made Xerox blowups of these photos and sent them to the set people. This use of the interior beams of the building for her personal items, for example, is right from these photos.
Goldman mentions his background as an "Army brat" in this episode. As we know from before, his father was a retired Army general and a Medal of Honor winner, both of which could have put Goldman into West Point, had he chosen. But Goldman is an ROTC officer, indicating a serious conflict with his father's belief system, and a recent reconciliation with it.

About the Music....The midi's are songs from the original episodes

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