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China Beach (1988–1991)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, War
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,785 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

Dateline: November 1967, within klicks of Danang, Vietnam, sits a U.S. Army base, bar and hospital on China Beach. This is the 'Nam, filled with wounded soldiers and one very lovely but ... See full summary »

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4   3   2   1  
1991   1990   1989   1988  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 24 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Colleen McMurphy (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
 Pvt. Samuel Beckett (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
 Dr. Dick Richard (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
 Maj. Lila Garreau (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
 K.C. Kolowski (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
Brian Wimmer ...
 Cpl. Boonie Lanier (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
 Sgt. Evan 'Dodger' Winslow (58 episodes, 1988-1991)
Nancy Giles ...
 Pvt. Frankie Bunsen / ... (54 episodes, 1988-1991)
 Sgt. Pepper / ... (28 episodes, 1989-1991)


Dateline: November 1967, within klicks of Danang, Vietnam, sits a U.S. Army base, bar and hospital on China Beach. This is the 'Nam, filled with wounded soldiers and one very lovely but damaged Army Nurse Colleen Mc Murphy. Many heroes, dead and alive, in the forms of nurses, warriors, Donut Dollies, lifeguards, politicians, USO entertainers, Chopper Chicks, doctors, officers and enlisted men, brothers and sisters, Kool-Aid Kids, orderlies, medics, morticians, Army brass and one hostile prostitute named K.C. try to make sense of life and death in between bourbon, bullets and battles. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War





Release Date:

26 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kineska plaža  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(60 episodes) | (pilot) | (series finale)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Troy Evans was actually a Vietnan veteran. During a reunion on Good Morning America he stated the show gave him a sense of closure. See more »


McMurphy's pilot boyfriend is a Captain (wearing two silver bars on each shoulder) and has Command Pilot wings on his flight suit name tag (pilot's wings with a star surrounded by a wreath). To earn Command Pilot wings you have to be a rated pilot for 15 years and have 3,000 hours of flight time. No pilot in the USAF would be a rated pilot for 15 years and amass 3,000 flying hours and still be a Captain. Besides, assuming he graduated college at age 22 and flight training at 23, and then flew for 15 years he would be 38 years old. Clearly he isn't that old. [See Wikipedia article on "U.S. Air Force aeronautical rating" for rating criteria] See more »


Dr. Dick Richard: You wanna keep it down? I can't hear the war.
See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Famous Names Week 5 (2009) See more »


Written by Brian Holland / Lamont Dozier / Eddie Holland
Recorded by Diana Ross & The Supremes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the all time great series!
2 March 2004 | by (Southwest Kansas) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen the series since it first was on ABC. I tried to watch every week and was angry when they canceled it, because it was a great series.I recently purchased a copy of the pilot episode on VHS tape (China Beach)and once again was reminded how well the series was put together. Like many others I want to own all of the series on DVD and hope that chance will come. Dana Delany was outstanding in this role and touches the heart. Through her you see what it is like to see young men dying or dealing with terrible, life altering injuries and how hopeless she feels when she can not save them. Yet she knows the important part she plays to those dying boys as the voice and touch that represents the mothers, wives, lovers, and sisters of those who are dying far from home. They are not dying alone when she is there. Others in the cast are outstanding as well. The Gal that played Cherry the donut girl, and the back up singer turned lead, when the pretty one can't stay well enough to sing. She came to meet the boys-a-rama ,but soon was doing much more to touch the hearts of those at war. This is not a drama about the fighting in the field, but about the nurses and doctors in the field and the soldiers that go through their hospital. This is not Mash in Vietnam! This is a serious drama that will have you crying for all those dead and wounded soldiers wasted on battlefields around the other side of the world fighting an unpopular war. Each deals with the stress in their own way, but you can not watch this series without it touching you deeply and emotionally. If you lived during the Vietnam years then this will bring back the emotions of those times. If for no other reason this series should be put on DVD to honor the nurses, Doctors, entertainers, and donut girls that tried to bring a touch of home to the troops in Vietnam. To those who were wounded and survived and the many who did not this series should be available and remembered. Tour of Duty also should be on DVD and is excellent companion piece to show what the fighting grunts on the ground went through. Tour of duty is scheduled to be released on DVD this summer. Now Give us China Beach!

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