China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War.
The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, nicknamed “China Beach” in English by American and Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. The ABC TV drama aired for four seasons, from 1988 to 1991.
McMurphy clashes with a visiting Army psychiatrist measuring stress levels in non-combatants at China Beach when she learns he’s been diagnosing injured soldiers suffering from psychosis with combat exhaustion and prescribing them Thorazine to send them back into battle. Unable to sleep for days, McMurphy is troubled by memories of her final words with Natch. With less than a month to go in his tour of duty, Beckett is approached by a recruiter offering incentives to re-up with the Army for three years. Hoping to continue his relationship with Mai after his service, he awkwardly offers to marry her and bring her and her son to the US, but she declines. Frankie falls for a handsome African-American soldier (guest star Mykelti Williamson) who turns out to be a womaniser. Wayloo Marie learns that Boonie was the heroic soldier in Dodger’s lost patrol and urges him to tell his story. After Dr. Richard expresses concern for McMurphy, she impulsively joins a helicopter pilot in need of a medic, only to be dropped in a remote clearing because he cannot bring her into a combat zone. Wandering the jungle in wait, she tries to come to terms with Natch’s disappearance; upon her return, Dr. Richard bans her from the hospital until she sleeps. Following a night spent atop China Beach’s water tower, she confides in K.C. her nightmares of Natch’s shootdown, and K.C. relates with the emotions and heroin withdrawal she endured while attending Cherry’s funeral in Iowa.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 01 March 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.