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.
When K.C.’s living quarters in an old church aboard China Beach are bombed, she calls on a colonel to order quick repairs and wrangles McMurphy into joining her for a date with the colonel at Da Nang Air Force Base. En route to the base, their Jeep is sabotaged and the women are kidnapped by the Viet Cong and taken into underground tunnels. There, McMurphy is ordered to operate on a VC elder with a sucking chest wound with crude tools fashioned from scavenged military supplies. She agrees to perform the operation as long as K.C. is kept safe, but K.C. tries to escape during a bombing and is imprisoned. McMurphy runs into further complications when power is knocked out, causing her to operate by candlelight. Reunited with K.C., she compares the spirit of the tunnel residents holding vigil over the elder with her own experience with her father’s death, admitting that he died alone when she and her mother left the hospital one night. When the elder requires a blood transfusion, McMurphy calls on universal donor K.C. to give blood. Despite the successful surgery and transfusion, the two women are led off to be executed by Tran, their VC translator, but he has a change of heart and does not kill the women. Another bombing opens a potential escape route and the two women swim through an underwater tunnel to freedom, exiting just outside the fencing at China Beach.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 20 September 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.