This is one of the most asked-about titles in DVD-land. Time Life is taking online orders now, to ship in mid-April. Retail sales of the box and individual seasons will come later in the year. And, given that music rights were the big hangup for the DVD release, this set has licensed more than 250 songs from the original series for the DVD; I'm told only 16 (UPDATE: it was 17) were not available and have been replaced with comparable tunes. Look, too, at the extras in both the complete series box and the even larger collector's edition. And now the massive official word:
From the moment CHINA BEACH debuted in 1988, it was hailed as groundbreaking television. Now, in time to celebrate its milestone 25th anniversary, the TV DVD archivists at Time Life, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, will release the beloved ABC-TV series on DVD for the very first time. One of the most eagerly-anticipated, unreleased television programs of all time, according to TVShowsOnDVD.com, the release marks the first time the complete series will be available on any format. CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES will be offered as a 21-disc collector's set featuring all 62 episodes and over ten hours of exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features including a recent cast reunion, extensive interviews with Dana Delany, Marg Helgenberger, producers John Sacret Young and John Wells, original featurettes, as well as "Tales from the Five & Dime", a collectible memory book containing casting notes, rare, archival photos, emotional, heartfelt letters from Vietnam veterans and more. CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES will initially be available exclusively online, available for pre-order beginning February 5 at ChinaBeachOnDVD.com for $199.95.
In an era of testosterone-driven Vietnam movies such as Platoon, China Beach, created by award-winning journalist and Vietnam vet William Broyles Jr. and John Sacret Young, delivered the war from a unique perspective: that of the women, military personnel and civilians who were present during the conflict. Set in the Vietnam locale of China Beach, at the "Five and Dime", also known as the 510th Evacuation Hospital and R&R center, the cast was made up of US Army doctors and nurses, officers, soldiers, Red Cross volunteers and civilian personnel, either on leave or at the end of their tour of duty. Many episodes and story lines were based on real-life stories of those who served, stories brought to rich life by a supremely talented ensemble cast featuring many actors beginning to make their marks on the industry, including Dana Delany (First Lieutenant/Captain Nurse Colleen McMurphy), Marg Helgenberger (K.C. Koloski), Michael Boatman (SP4 Sam Beckett), Robert Picardo (Captain Dr. Dick Richard) and Ricki Lake (Holly Pelegrino). The other side of the camera boasted such accomplished talents as multiple Emmy Award®-nominee Writer/Director/Executive Producer John Sacret Young and producer John Wells, who would go on to executive produce "ER" and "The West Wing". A critically-acclaimed fan favorite during its four year run (1988-1992), the highly touted show and its cast were the recipients of numerous industry accolades and awards including one Golden Globe® for Best Drama (1990), two Best Actress Emmy® Awards for Dana Delany (1989, 1992), a Best Supporting Actress award for Marg Helgenberger (1990), a People's Choice Award for "Favorite New Dramatic TV Program" (1989), a prestigious Peabody Award, a Humanitas prize, a Writers Guild award, and 29 Emmy® Award nominations in total.
Beginning with the unforgettable title sequence theme song, "Reflections" by Diana Ross & the Supremes, one of the hallmarks of the series was the use of music -- iconic, emotional music from the '60s and '70s featuring everyone from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, to Aretha Franklin and Stevvie Wonder and dozens of other popular performers. It's the music, in fact, that has prevented China Beach from being released at all. Time Life spent over a year painstakingly clearing the rights to hundreds of musical copyrights, so that the DVD collection would be released with nearly all of the original classic rock and soul music songs from the original broadcasts. The 268 cleared songs featured throughout the series include "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, "Baby, I Need Your Loving" by the Four Tops, "My Girl" by the Temptations, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown, , Manfred Mann's "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison,"Piece Of My Heart" by Janis Joplin, Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe," "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and many more.
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES is handsomely packaged in a deluxe collector's box, featuring metallic printing and original artwork and logo treatments from the series. The packaging also includes keepsake China Beach dog tags that can be removed from the set and worn. In addition to the 21 discs in the set, fans will find special liner notes penned by Dana Delany, Robert Picardo, series creators John Sacret Young and William Broyles, and series writers Lydia Woodward and Carol Flint, the collectible 36-page book, and ten hours of specially-created bonus features such as: footage and behind-the-scenes stories from the 2012 Cast Reunion, featuring Delany, Helgenberger, Picardo, Brian Wimmer, Michael Boatman, Troy Evans, Chloe Webb, Ricki Lake, Jeff Kober, and Concetta Tomei, plus series creators William Broyles and John Sacret Young and series producer/writer John Wells; new interviews with key members of the cast and crew; numerous featurettes such as "Life's a Beach - A Look at the Real China Beach," a documentary about the real China Beach/My Khe Evac Hospital, "Hit the Beach - How it All Began" about the origins of the program, audio commentaries on four episodes from Dana Delany, John Sacret Young, director Rob Holcomb, and writers Lydia Woodward and Carol Flint, three roundtable discussions with cast and crew, rare behind-the-scenes footage from the final China Beach episode and more.
For the many die-hard China Beach aficionados who've patiently awaited the release of the series, Time Life has also created CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES - 25TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION. Priced at $274.95, the unique set includes three original, complete scripts, with reproduced covers sporting autographs from the entire cast and key production personnel, along with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Also included will be four 8" x 10" color photographs of the original China Beach cast and the recent reunion, suitable for framing.
Following in the footsteps of critically acclaimed and best-selling Time Life DVD sets of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, CHINA BEACH - with its Emmy-winning ensemble, powerful writing and evocative, timeless music - is certain to find a long-awaited DVD home with fans both old and new. Following the exclusive online release, the set will make its retail debut during Q3 2013.
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CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Online pre-order begins: February 5, 2013
Online Exclusive Collection includes:
· 21 DVDs in deluxe collector's packaging featuring metallic artwork and removable dog tags, along with a 36-page collector's book, "Tales From the Five & Dime" and liner notes penned by Dana Delany, Robert Picardo and series creators John Sacret Young and William Broyles
· Ten hours of specially-created bonus material, including interviews, audio commentaries, featurettes and more
· Reunion footage and featurettes from the recent December 2012 China Beach Reunion held in Los Angeles. Featurettes include: "China Beach Memories - Tales from the 25th Anniversary Reunion," "Castles Made of Sand - The Lasting Impact of China Beach," "Life's A Beach -- A Look at the Real China Beach" and "Hit The Beach -- How It All Began."
· New, in-depth interviews with stars Dana Delany, Marg Helgenberger, Robert Picardo, Brian Wimmer, Jeff Kober, Nancy Giles, Troy Evans, Michael Boatman, Chloe Webb and Concetta Tomei, along with John Wells and creators John Sacret Young and William Broyles Jr.
· Three roundtable discussions with cast and crew: "The Legacy of China Beach", a roundtable discussion with series creator John Sacret Young, John Wells, Lydia Woodward, and Mimi Leder; "China Beach and the Vietnam War", a roundtable discussion with John Sacret Young, Carol Flint, and Toni Graphia, and "China Beach Origins" a roundtable discussion, with John Sacret Young, Bill Broyles, Jr., Rod Holcomb and John Levey
· Four Audio commentaries by a combination of Dana Delany, John Sacret Young , writers Lydia Woodward and Carol Flint and director Rob Holcomb on the episodes: "Pilot Episode," "Vets," "Souvenirs" and "Hello/Goodbye"
· Rare, Behind-the-Scenes footage shot by John Sacret Young and Robert Picardo from the final China Beach episode
· Season Three Gag Reel