TV Week (Australia). May 6. 1989:
Bloodthirsty Killer…or just an average guy?
Story by Suellen Topfer
Handsome actor Terence Knox might be a tough guy in the hit series Tour of Duty, but he staunchly defends the character when asked if the role is exceptionally violent.
“Zeke (Sergeant Zeke Anderson) is just an average guy doing his job to the best of his ability – I don’t think he’s too violent,” Terence says. “He’s no bloodthirsty killer – he’s just as terrified of death as anyone else.”
After more than a year in the Vietnam War saga, Terence still enjoys the challenge of the role.
“We’re both basically decent sorts of guys but I think I’m more of a jerk than he is,” he says with a laugh. “I still enjoy it a lot because there is still so much stuff to mess around with.
“I used to play a rapist on St. Elsewhere and I was always worried where the end of the line was going to be – you could only dodge it for so long before he was caught – but with Zeke so much more can still develop.”
However Terence is disappointed that the shooting of Tour of Duty recently moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles.
“We were shooting a jungle sequence recently in 2 in. (5cm) of snow, which wasn’t pleasant.
“I don’t like the idea of crawling around the snow when it’s meant to be shot in South Vietnam – you’ll see our breaths on the screen this year, which is a bit ridiculous when it’s meant to be scorching hot.”
Another disappointment at moving the show to L.A. is that Terence will no longer have the change to meet the Qantas hostesses who stayed in the same Honolulu hotel as the Tour of Duty cast!
“I’m sad about that also,” he says, laughing again. “I used to love hanging around the lobby to see them. They were a real bunch of lookers!”
As Tour of Duty goes into its next season, fans can expect a more personal note in the show.
“Hold on to your hats because there are a lot of changes coming up,” Terence says. “We’ll be around civilisation more and the storyline will involve the soldiers off-duty more.
“Zeke is also going to have a love interest so that’s good.”
And the new storylines will give Terence a change to show there is more to the character of Zeke than guns and violence.
“The situations we are going to see Zeke in this year will enable us to see him in a different light,” Terence says. “You’ll get a chance to see what goes on under the surface – it’s a great challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
Terence is thrilled the show is a ratings success and hopes it will enable him to work Down Under.
“I really want to come and work in Australia – do you know of any jobs going?” he says with a grin.
Terence had no burning ambition to become an actor and says he fell into the business by accident.
“I got involved in a theatre group in Oregon and I realised I really liked it,” Terence says, “so two years later I came to Los Angeles and I’ve never looked back.”