List of China Beach episodes

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China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War. The title refers to a beach in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam that was nicknamed China Beach by unknown foreigners. The ABC TV drama aired for four seasons over three years, from 1988 to 1991.

The show's two-part pilot episode, "China Beach," aired on April 26, 1988. The final season was put on hiatus in fall 1990 and did not air its finale until summer 1991. The series ran for 62 episodes, concluding with a two-part series finale on July 22, 1991.

China Beach was released on DVD in early 2013; its release was delayed due to expensive music rights.[1]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16April 26, 1988 (1988-04-26)June 8, 1988 (1988-06-08)
217November 30, 1988 (1988-11-30)May 3, 1989 (1989-05-03)
322September 20, 1989 (1989-09-20)April 30, 1990 (1990-04-30)
417September 29, 1990 (1990-09-29)July 22, 1991 (1991-07-22)

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1988)[edit]

# # Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
00"China Beach, Part 1"Rod HolcombJohn Sacret YoungApril 26, 1988 (1988-04-26)TBA
McMurphy faces the last week of her tour of duty with Natch making sexual advances toward her. Georgia and Laurette arrive. Cherry also arrives, looking for her brother. First of a two-part episode and pilot.
00"China Beach, Part 2"Rod HolcombJohn Sacret YoungApril 26, 1988 (1988-04-26)TBA
McMurphy decides to stay at China Beach. Georgia cannot cope with the war so Laurette takes her place. Second of a two-part episode and pilot.
11"Home"Rod HolcombWilliam Broyles, Jr.April 27, 1988 (1988-04-27)186371
McMurphy struggles to overcome her feelings, when a pregnant Viet Cong nurse who threw a grenade into a crowded local bar and killed her friend is brought to the hospital for treatment. Laurette auditions local entertainers to fill in the act.
22"Hot Spell"Beth HillshaferSusan RhinehartMay 4, 1988 (1988-05-04)186372
KC agrees to help Cherry look for her brother, while KC attempts to buy a priceless vase on the black market. Laurette prepares for a performance before visiting brass. A mortar attack brings some of the women closer.
33"Somewhere over the Radio"Rod HolcombAnn DonahueMay 11, 1988 (1988-05-11)186373
Lila, Cherry, and Laurette survive a helicopter crash in the jungle and encounter a jungle-crazed Special Forces unit, while KC and Boonie mount a rescue attempt. Dr. Dick Richard, on the eve of his R&R leave, performs a touch-and-go surgical battle to remove a live mortar lodged inside a wounded soldier.
44"Waiting for Beckett"Kevin HooksTerry McDonellMay 18, 1988 (1988-05-18)186375
A stressed Beckett tries to get some sleep. A deserter pursued by a determined CID officer tells Cherry he knows her brother and traps her into aiding his escape.
55"Brothers"John Sacret YoungSusan Rhinehart & Carol FlintJune 1, 1988 (1988-06-01)186376
Dodger locates Cherry's brother. Laurette gets laryngitis on the eve of a big audition. and Dr. Richard returns from R&R convinced his wife has changed. Beckett finds himself party to a smuggling scam.
66"Chao Ong"Christopher LeitchWilliam Broyles, Jr. (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & William Broyles, Jr. (story)
June 8, 1988 (1988-06-08)186374
McMurphy and Natch get together. Laurette gets a chance for a bigger USO tour. McMurphy gets blamed for a body that disappears on her shift. Nancy Sinatra guest stars as herself.

Season 2 (1988–1989)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
91"Lost and Found: Part 1"John Sacret YoungJohn Sacret Young & William Broyles, Jr.November 30, 1988 (1988-11-30)186501
Lila takes over China Beach and throws K.C. off the base. Bad news about Natch makes McMurphy admit her feelings. Documentarian Wayloo Marie Holmes, former Saigon weather girl, arrives at China Beach to handle her first journalism assignment, extolling the recreational facilities at the base.
102"Lost and Found: Part 2"John Sacret YoungJohn Sacret Young & William Broyles, Jr.December 7, 1988 (1988-12-07)186502
McMurphy struggles to hide her grief when Natch is reported MIA. Dodger is badly wounded. Journalist Wayloo Marie becomes a minor casualty as she pursues an assignment. Frankie Bunsen arrives on temporary duty. K.C. decides to stay at the base despite Lila's effort to get rid of her.
113"Limbo"Dan LernerCarol FlintDecember 14, 1988 (1988-12-14)186503
McMurphy struggles to save Dodger's life. K.C. and Boonie strike a deal: he helps her build a beauty salon if she gets him black market penicillin.
124"X-Mas Chn. Bch. VN, '67"Mimi LederJohn WellsDecember 21, 1988 (1988-12-21)186504
As Christmas preparations are underway, McMurphy and Dr. Richard spend 24 hours in triage and Boonie surprises everyone with snow.
135"Women in White"Sharron MillerPatricia GreenJanuary 4, 1989 (1989-01-04)186506
A confident American doctor rattles McMurphy by taking over both Dr. Richard and Dodger's cases. Frankie becomes a DJ, and Wayloo Marie does a report of the war from a woman's point of view.
146"All About E.E.V."Peter MedakLydia WoodwardJanuary 11, 1989 (1989-01-11)186505
A dashing lieutenant colonel named Edward E. Vincent (guest star Dennis Farina) parachutes into China Beach for some R&R and disrupts the lives of Lila, KC and Wayloo Marie. Dr. Richard and McMurphy play a game of sexual brinksmanship. Frankie falls for a soldier who thinks he's Chuck Berry.
157"Tet '68"Steven DubinTeleplay by: Susan Rhinehart & John Wells
Story by: Susan Rhinehart
January 25, 1989 (1989-01-25)186507

Dr. Richard and Dodger defend the hospital during the Tet Offensive while Cherry comforts a fellow "doughnut dolly" at a firebase. McMurphy finds out that K.C. has been skin-popping heroin and tries to help her through withdrawal. Beckett visits Mai and is attacked by her Viet Cong brother. Wayloo Marie tries to capture the Tet offensive on film.

Note- In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode number 87 on its '100 Greatest Episodes of All Time' list.[2]
168"Cherry"Mimi LederSusan RhinehartFebruary 1, 1989 (1989-02-01)186508
Cherry's death sobers Wayloo Marie and forces K.C. to fight her heroin addiction long enough to locate the volunteer's brother and accompany her body back to the States. McMurphy fights red tape to keep Dodger from seeking further medical treatment.
179"Crossing the Great Water"Mimi LederCarol FlintFebruary 8, 1989 (1989-02-08)186509
McMurphy tries to come to terms with Dodger's uncertain future after his trip to Japan. Dr. Richard deals with his limitations when he throws himself into work for a Vietnamese orphanage, when he's served with divorce papers.
1810"Psywars"Fred GerberGlen MerzerMarch 1, 1989 (1989-03-01)186510
An Army psychiatrist, who is measuring stress levels in noncombatants, clashes with McMurphy. Dr. Richard is concerned about McMurphy, who has been unable to sleep for days. Frankie falls for a handsome African-American soldier. Wayloo Marie learns about Boonie's past in Vietnam.
1911"Where the Boys Are"Michael RhodesAlan BrennertMarch 8, 1989 (1989-03-08)186512
McMurphy enjoys R&R with a 19-year-old soldier, combat medic Jeff Hyers. Boonie hosts prom night for all the soldiers who missed their proms. K.C. warns Boonie that Wayloo Marie has learned something of his past.
2012"Vets"John Sacret YoungJohn Wells & John Sacret YoungMarch 15, 1989 (1989-03-15)186511
Actual Vietnam War veterans give accounts of their experiences, intercut with scenes from previous episodes to show the realism of the show.
2113"Twilight"Michael FrescoLydia WoodwardMarch 22, 1989 (1989-03-22)186513
Wayloo Marie's interest in Boonie's background results in a medal and an investigation into his lost patrol. Wayloo's congressman father (guest star Kevin McCarthy) arrives at the base for the medal ceremony, and the two clash. Dodger prepares to go back into action, and Frankie befriends a failed deserter.
2214"Afterburner"Christopher LeitchCarol FlintApril 5, 1989 (1989-04-05)186514
McMurphy is stunned when Natch reappears with another POW, having survived and escaped a jungle prison camp. Boonie is assigned a new boss who brings danger to K.C. by involving himself with her former employer, a ruthless black marketeer. Lila cares for a soldier's pet leopard cub.
2315"Promised Land"Michael RhodesPatricia GreenApril 12, 1989 (1989-04-12)186515
When Martin Luther King, Jr. is murdered, racial tension breaks out between black soldiers and some white racist soldiers. Dr. Richard agrees to a date with Wayloo Marie to get rid of reminders of his wife. Beckett is set to be shipped home after his tour of duty ends but decides to re-enlist to be with Mai.
2416"The World: Part 1"John Sacret YoungJohn WellsApril 26, 1989 (1989-04-26)186516
Wayloo Marie prepares to return home to a job at the ABC news network in New York City, and gets an unexpected traveling companion when McMurphy goes home to Lawrence, Kansas to visit her large family after her estranged father suffers a heart attack.
2517"The World: Part 2"John Sacret YoungJohn WellsMay 3, 1989 (1989-05-03)186517
McMurphy's father dies. After the funeral, she can't bring herself to get on the plane back to Vietnam. Instead, she risks going AWOL and visits a girlfriend (guest star Kathy Bates) who was stationed with her and who is now a nurse in a VA hospital in San Francisco.

Season 3 (1989–1990)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
261"The Unquiet Earth"Michael RhodesAlan BrennertSeptember 20, 1989 (1989-09-20)186803
McMurphy and K.C. take off in a jeep for a party at Da Nang AFB. Captured by Viet Cong guerrillas en route, they're taken to an eerie underground village where McMurphy is forced to operate on the VC's wounded leader.
272"Skin Deep"Mimi LederCarol FlintSeptember 27, 1989 (1989-09-27)186801
McMurphy and K.C. try to prevent a soldier, disfigured by his wounds, from killing himself. When a visit by Miss America falls through, new Red Cross volunteer Holly challenges the nurses to compete in their own beauty pageant.
283"Dear China Beach"Michael RhodesJohn WellsOctober 4, 1989 (1989-10-04)186802
Holly pesters the base to answer a batch of letters sent by American children. McMurphy contracts acute parasitic dysentery after eating on some of the local delicacies, and Dodger tries to cope with an abandoned Amerasian baby who might be his son.
294"Who's Happy Now?"Fred GerberLydia WoodwardOctober 11, 1989 (1989-10-11)186804
Dr. Richard worries about a craniotomy patient, Lila faces a vital inspection, and K.C. is put in a difficult position when a visiting colonel (guest star R. Lee Ermey) dies in her bed, prompting her to ask Boonie and Hyers to help her find a way to dispose of the corpse.
305"Independence Day"Mimi LederSusan RhinehartOctober 25, 1989 (1989-10-25)186806
Boonie and Holly try to cheer up the base on a wet 4th of July. McMurphy struggles with her feelings for Dr. Bernard and an infatuated soldier.
316"Ghosts"Michael FrescoToni GraphiaNovember 8, 1989 (1989-11-08)186807
The men and women of China Beach are burdened with their own private ghosts: Dr. Richard's broken marriage, McMurphy's love affairs, Dodger's orphaned child, K.C.'s shattered childhood, and Beckett's loss of his Vietnamese love.
327"With a Little Help From My Friends"Michael UnoJoseph Anderson & Carol FlintNovember 15, 1989 (1989-11-15)186808
Holly is upset when she thinks Hang's been using their friendship to get information for the Viet Cong. McMurphy and Bernard work at a civilian clinic.
338"China Men"David Burton MorrisJosef AndersonNovember 22, 1989 (1989-11-22)186805
McMurphy is uncomfortable with Dr. Bernard's sophisticated friends, while a sexy Asian singer springs a surprise on Boonie. A battlefield incident puts Dodger and Hyers at each others' throats.
349"How to Stay Alive in Vietnam: Part 1"Fred GerberGeorgia JeffriesNovember 29, 1989 (1989-11-29)186809
Beckett and a brash female civilian photographer, named Cat Von Seeger, accompany Dodger's patrol.
3510"How to Stay Alive in Vietnam, Part 2"Steven DubinGeorgia JeffriesDecember 6, 1989 (1989-12-06)186811
Hyers dies from his injuries. McMurphy befriends a wounded prisoner of war, but when her new friend is taken away for interrogation, the photographer Cat Von Seeger chases the story of his defection. Meanwhile, Lila and K.C. are uneasy when a new commander, named Major Otis, takes control of the base.
3611"Magic"Mimi LederJohn WellsJanuary 3, 1990 (1990-01-03)186810
Lila struggles with the disappointment of losing command of China Beach. McMurphy is stuck in a triangle with Dr. Bernard and Vinnie, and Holly confesses her feelings to Boonie.
3712"Nightfall"Christopher LeitchLydia WoodwardJanuary 10, 1990 (1990-01-10)186812
Major Otis refuses to investigate the death of a Vietnamese prostitute, so a guilt-stricken K.C. sets out to discover the truth for herself.
3813"Souvenirs"John Sacret YoungJohn Sacret YoungJanuary 17, 1990 (1990-01-17)186813
The memories of real-life Vietnam veterans match perfectly with Dodger's dramatic efforts to conclude his tour of duty in Vietnam and return home with the Vietnamese-American baby he is determined to raise.
3914"Holly's Choice"Christopher LeitchCarol FlintJanuary 31, 1990 (1990-01-31)186814
This entire episode runs backwards in time as Holly's friends try to understand Holly's abortion and the circumstances leading up to it.
4015"A Rumor of Peace"Neema BarnetteJosef AndersonFebruary 7, 1990 (1990-02-07)186815
Beckett and Frankie repeat peace rumors on their pirate radio broadcast, setting the base to speculating.
4116"Warriors"David SoulTeleplay by: Martin M. Goldstein & Neal Baer
Story by: Dottie Dartland
February 14, 1990 (1990-02-14)186816
McMurphy saves Vinnie's buddy only to see him lapse into a terminal coma. Meanwhile, Frankie finds herself commanding a squad of battleworn grunts.
4217"The Thanks of a Grateful Nation"Mimi LederJohn WellsFebruary 28, 1990 (1990-02-28)186817
When Dodger returns home to the States with his son, he must confront his feelings about Vietnam, especially when his high school buddy who gets his draft notice decides to run.
4318"Skylark"Fred GerberLydia WoodwardMarch 14, 1990 (1990-03-14)186819
A pair of ballroom dancers helps soothe McMurphy's relationship with Dr. Richard while furthering a mysterious mission of their own.
4419"Phoenix"Mimi LederToni GraphiaMarch 21, 1990 (1990-03-21)186820
K.C.'s involvement with a military intelligence mission lands her in jail with only McMurphy as her alibi.
4520"F.N.G."John Sacret YoungCarol FlintApril 16, 1990 (1990-04-16)186821
A step back in November 1966 to take a look at Lieutenant Colleen McMurphy as a fresh-scrubbed and idealistic "F.N.G. - Fairly New Guy" at China Beach and her initiation into the hellish world of Army nursing in Vietnam.
4621"The Gift"Michael KatlemanJosef AndersonApril 23, 1990 (1990-04-23)186822
McMurphy comes under investigation when she's named beneficiary by two deceased soldiers. An old friend of Lila's comes to China Beach to make a recruitment film about Army nurses.
4722"Strange Brew"Michael FrescoGeorgia JeffriesApril 30, 1990 (1990-04-30)186818
K.C. and McMurphy have a lost weekend when everyone else is away at a USO show and enter a dreamscape with a Native American guide, who helps them heal psychic wounds.

Season 4 (1990–1991)[edit]

# # Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
461"History, Part 1"John Sacret YoungJohn Wells (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
September 29, 1990 (1990-09-29)187041
A 1985 reunion between Boonie and Dr. Richard stirs up memories of their first meeting as well as questions for Boonie's 18-year-old adopted daughter, Karen. First of a two-part episode with "History, She Sells More Than Sea Shells" as the second part.
472"History, Part 2"Mimi LederCarol Flint (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
October 6, 1990 (1990-10-06)187042
In 1985, Boonie's adopted daughter, Karen, learns how her biological mother K.C. turned to Boonie when she was pregnant. Second of a two-part episode with "History, The Big Bang" as the first part.
483"You, Babe"Mimi LederSusan Rhinehart & Cathryn Michon (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
October 13, 1990 (1990-10-13)187045
Pregnant K.C. gives birth in 1967 Saigon with McMurphy's help and surrenders the baby to a foster mother.
494"Escape"Christopher LeitchParis Qualles (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
October 27, 1990 (1990-10-27)187043
At his father's funeral in 1985, Beckett reflects on his childhood and his time with the Graves Registration Unit in Vietnam back in 1967.
505"Fever"Diane KeatonLydia Woodward (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
November 3, 1990 (1990-11-03)187044
McMurphy returns to her Kansas home in 1970 but finds she can't adjust to civilian life or make peace with her difficult mother.
516"Juice"Mimi LederJohn Sacret Young (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
November 10, 1990 (1990-11-10)187046
In 1972, Dr. Richard and his fiancee take a romantic trip to Florida only to run into McMurphy, now living rough and working in a factory.
527"One Giant Leap"Michael KatlemanJosef Anderson (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
November 17, 1990 (1990-11-17)187047
China Beach watches the first moon landing in July 1969, but a jealous McMurphy is more interested in Dr. Richard's interest in a new nurse. Beckett entertains USO singers and Boonie meets with a tragic accident.
538"One Small Step"Steven DubinJohn WellsDecember 1, 1990 (1990-12-01)187048
Back home, amputee Boonie begins a long and painful re-entry into civilian life, finding comfort in a loving nurse.
549"The Call"Robert GintyParis Qualles & Cathryn MichonDecember 8, 1990 (1990-12-08)187049
McMurphy and Dodger try to convince some Montagnard tribespeople to evacuate. Back in the States, Frankie tries her hand at stand-up comedy but runs into the tragicomic 1969 trial of the Chicago Seven.
5510"I Could Have Danced All Night...But Didn't"Michael FrescoCathryn Michon (teleplay)
Carol Flint (story)
June 4, 1991 (1991-06-04)187050
At a 1983 wedding, McMurphy recalls Lila and Sarge Pepper's 1969 nuptials and the end of her relationship with Dr. Richard.
5611"100 Klicks Out"Mimi LederSusan RhinehartJune 11, 1991 (1991-06-11)187051
In April 1975, K.C. struggles to get her daughter, Karen, out of Vietnam before the fall of Saigon. Meanwhile, McMurphy fights child abuse in New Mexico involving a fellow veteran. Dodger finds himself alone at the deserted China Beach facility. Guest star Randolph Mantooth.
5712"The Always Goodbye"Gary SiniseLydia WoodwardJune 18, 1991 (1991-06-18)187052
K.C. isn't pleased when a hard-drinking McMurphy arrives in 1969 Bangkok and disrupts her new life.
5813"Quest"John Sacret YoungJohn Sacret Young & Angela Ventresca (teleplay)
John Sacret Young (story)
June 25, 1991 (1991-06-25)187054
In 1976, McMurphy helps K.C. re-enter America and helps her find her daughter, then heads to Montana for a visit with Dodger.
5914"Rewind"Mimi LederJohn Wells & Carol FlintJuly 9, 1991 (1991-07-09)187053
In 1985, Karen begins a video project interviewing China Beach vets about their Vietnam experiences and memories of her biological mother.
6015"Through and Through"Mimi LederCarol FlintJuly 16, 1991 (1991-07-16)187055
In 1985, an angry Colleen McMurphy realizes she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from her final weeks in Vietnam.
6116"Hello Goodbye, Part 1"John Sacret YoungJohn Wells (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
July 22, 1991 (1991-07-22)187056
In 1988, McMurphy attends the China Beach reunion thrown by Boonie and recalls her last day in Vietnam. The survivors travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Memorial, and Karen makes peace with the ghost of her absent mother. First of a two-part episode and series finale.
6217"Hello Goodbye, Part 2"John Sacret YoungJohn Wells (teleplay)
John Sacret Young & John Wells & Lydia Woodward & Carol Flint (story)
July 22, 1991 (1991-07-22)187056
In 1988, McMurphy attends the China Beach reunion thrown by Boonie and recalls her last day in Vietnam. The survivors travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Memorial, and Karen makes peace with the ghost of her absent mother. Second of a two-part episode and series finale.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "At long last, 'China Beach' is coming to DVD". 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 186. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9. 

External links[edit]