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.
China Beach sends off Wayloo Marie, returning to the US for a job at the ABC news network in New York City. She gets an unexpected traveling companion in McMurphy, headed home to Lawrence, Kansas for the first time in 16 months after her estranged, alcoholic father (guest star Donald Moffat) suffers a heart attack. The two leave Vietnam with declarations of love from Dr. Richard and return to a changed US, greeted with eggs thrown by anti-war protesters. The women share a final Vietnamese beer, smuggled in Wayloo Marie’s luggage, before going their separate ways. McMurphy returns to Lawrence and immediately clashes with her mother, who criticises her hair and throws away her clothes from China Beach. She reconnects with brother Brendan, who is similarly estranged from their father but lacked the courage to leave Lawrence like his sister. McMurphy saves her father when he suffers a second heart attack, whispering he cannot die before she has a chance to tell him off for a difficult upbringing. The next night, when he sneaks away from the hospital, she and Brendan find him a train station; there, he mistakes McMurphy for a daughter, Molly, who died in infancy, again despairs over McMurphy’s tour in Vietnam, and shares a final dance with her.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 26 April 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.