Picks and Pans Review: The Thorn Birds

updated 03/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (9-11 p.m. ET)

Colleen McCullough's epic 1977 novel about forbidden passion and power plays among three generations of Australian landowners has been turned into a four-part, 10-hour Dynasty Down Under (see page 98). You have to hang on until the end of Part III before Richard Chamberlain, as the bedeviled priest Father Ralph, finally beds Rachel Ward, the womanchild he has loved for years, but a strong cast, including Jean Simmons, Bryan Brown, Piper Laurie, Ken Howard, Christopher Plummer, Philip Anglim and particularly Barbara Stanwyck (as the scheming mistress of the manor), makes it worth the wait. And Mare Winningham, as Ward's feisty daughter, turns in a must-see performance in Part IV. Concludes Wednesday at 8 p.m.


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