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 wins a drinking contest that ends with she and her competitor eating exotic foods from a pig’s head. She and Frankie are forced to find new housing with the other women of China Beach when their living quarters are bombed in a mortar attack. Across the base, Holly farms out letters from a school in Colorado, asking them to respond to the students. McMurphy contracts acute parasitic dysentery from the exotic food, leaving her bedridden in the hospital ward. To her embarrassment, she is examined by a French doctor, Gerard Bernard (guest star Derek de Lint), who she previously met while treating villagers (shown in “The Unquiet Earth”). Dodger returns to China Beach after a extended stay at a firebase and is approached by a Vietnamese orphan with an Amerasian baby she claims is his. Dodger refuses to acknowledge the baby might be his, going AWOL in Da Nang for a night with a prostitute, but is troubled by the appearance of her son. His absence forces Boonie and Hyers to take the baby to the orphanage by themselves. There, they discover the girl brought him to China Beach in the hopes he’d escape death at the orphanage, which lost several babies in an outbreak of yellow fever. McMurphy finally musters the strength to leave her hospital bed to use the latrine and is given a golden toilet seat as a milestone get-well gift. Boonie tracks down Dodger in Da Nang, where he is still unable to cope with his recent experiences in the bush and news of his son. Dodger visits the orphanage, but Dr. Bernard’s questioning about parental responsibility drives him away. He heads back to the bush but has a change of heart upon returning to China Beach, running to the orphanage to hold his son for the first time.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 04 October 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.