Having previously spawned an Academy Award-winning film, which starred Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, and Frank Sinatra, James Jones' best-selling military novel From Here to Eternity was adapted into a six-hour miniseries in 1979. Set in Honolulu in 1941 in the days prior to the December 7 attack, the film concerns four principal characters: Sergeant Milt Warden (William Devane), who yearns for a promotion; Karen Holmes (Natalie Wood), the restless wife of Warden's CO, who enters into a torrid affair with the sergeant; Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt (Steve Railsback), a sensitive soul who loves the army but instinctively rebels against everyone wearing stripes; and prostitute Lorene Rogers (Kim Basinger), with whom Prewitt falls in love. The TV version is able to sidestep the censorship restrictions of the original movie, which means that the Warden/Holmes affair is conducted in bed as well as on the beach, and that Jones' indictments of military iniquities isn't subject to "official" approval. Originally telecast on three consecutive weeks in February 1979, From Here to Eternity led to a brief weekly series in 1980, with Devane and Basinger carried over from the miniseries, but with Don Johnson as Prewitt (who dies in the original novel) and Barbara Hershey as Karen Holmes.
by Hal Erickson synopsis