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.
As China Beach prepares for a Battle of the Bands, Holly discovers that Hang, the Vietnamese woman who works in K.C.’s salon, is a gifted musician and asks her to perform. McMurphy is exasperated to be extended in the civilian ward treating locals instead of working in triage. She is partnered with Dr. Bernard, brought on as a consultant. Holly discovers Hang being accosted by a man Hang says is her cousin, and K.C. warns the man to leave her alone. Frankie is nearly killed when a saboteur plants a grenade on her Jeep, leaving her distrustful of the Vietnamese locals working around the base. MPs shoot the saboteur and discover grenades in his possession, but Hang lies to Holly and says it was not her cousin, upsetting Holly. When some of the firebases Holly had shown Hang on her map are overrun, Holly begins to believe that Hang may be feeding information to the Viet Cong. On the way to get medical supplies, Bernard and McMurphy share a moment in the back of his truck. A jealous Vinnie searches the truck when they return to China Beach. Hang agrees to play with Holly but asks her for the used guitar strings; during practice the next day, Holly and Boonie find a grenade on the Jet Set stage rigged with a guitar string, convincing Holly that Hang is a saboteur. At the show, Hang tells her the strings were taken from her by the VC. Holly encourages her to tell the truth, but Hang fears her family being killed if she does. The two sing a duet of “Blowin’ in the Wind” before Army investigators and Vietnamese military police take Hang away to an uncertain future.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 15 November 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.