Premier, true story of an army unit trapped fighting in Bagdad, on November 13th, 2017 at 6pm PT, 9pm ET on DirecTV
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2017/11/13 – “It’s an enormous responsibility to take on,” says The Long Road Home star Michael Kelly. “You know, in the grand scheme of the world and especially war…this was yesterday. You know what I mean? It was thirteen years ago, but that’s yesterday. So we’re portraying people that are still alive. I play Volesky, who is now a 12 three-star general. Still fighting for us out there.”
Based on the 2007 book of the same name by Martha Raddatz, in 2004 a small party of soldiers from the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood got trapped in Sadr City, Baghdad.
“We know their families now,” says Kelly. “It’s just such a responsibility to do it the best you can. You want to represent these people the best you can and tell this story. And I know many people asked, “What do you want people to take from this?” Most importantly, I want people to take exactly what the guys — that sacrifice. We all see soldiers, and we all say, “Thank you,” and we all have a level of gratitude. But when you really see that war is not just that guy dying in his brother’s arms, is how it’s most often portrayed, it’s the families at home. It’s that woman who has to tell her child, you’re never going to see your dad again.”
“I get to be an actor and travel the world and go to all these amazing places and do what I do for a living,,” says Kelly. “But, it’s because these guys are out there putting their life on the line on a daily basis. And I think we, as a country, need a reminder of that, of what it is that these guys are actually doing, and to respect those veterans when they come home. The suicide rate is off the charts. It’s so sad to me that that happens in our country. We need to respect these men and women who are out there doing what they do so that we can do what we do. That’s what I want people to take home. That’s the most important thing to me.”
The eight part limited series goes back and forth between the soldiers, flashbacks before they left and how their families back home are currently doing. Most of the guys have just arrive and had to go on patrol.
Once trapped officers send other troops to try to extract them, but the rescuers are faced with a barrage of gunfire and fighting. The officers keep coming up with new ways to try to save their men, but are thwarted at every turn.
The visuals in the mini-series are graphic. The filming takes us right into the action. It shows how split second decisions can affect whether the whole team comes back alive. It aims to hit your emotional buttons.
The scenes of their families at home in Ft Hood are distracting to the real story. It takes away from the intense drama of what the trapped men are going though. For some it may hit to close to home if they’ve lost a loved one in the war and may be too much for you to watch.
To take the tension down a bit, it could have gotten into the heads of the officers trying to save the soldiers trapped. How do they feel about saving them? Or even show the side of the Iraqis. Why are they firing on the troops? It would give better understanding about war and the effects it has on both sides.
- Michael Kelly is Lt. Col. Gary Volesky
- Jason Ritter is Capt. Troy Denomy
- E.J. Bonilla is 1st Lt. Shane Aguero
- Kate Bosworth is Gina Denomy
- Sarah Wayne Callies isLeAnn Volesky
- Noel Fisher is Pfc. Tomas Young
- Jeremy Sisto is Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger
- Jon Beavers is Sgt. Eric Bourquin
- Darius Homayoun is Interpreter Jassim al-Lani
Executive producers Mike Medavoy, Mikko Alanne, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn.
Directors Phil Abraham and Mikael Salomon. National Geographic Partners LLC is a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. It reaches over 730 million people in 172 countries and 43 languages every month.