Picks and Pans Review: The Thorn Birds: the Missing Years

updated 02/05/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/05/1996 01:00AM

CBS (Sun., Feb. 11, 9 p.m. ET)

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If 1983's 10-hour Thorn Birds, with its impressive cast, wrote the book on how to do a blockbuster mini-series, then The Missing Years, which imagines a vicious, sobby custody fight back on the Drogheda ranch in Australia during World War II, is a barely legible footnote. Richard Chamberlain returns as that romantically tormented, improbably named priest Ralph de Bricassart. The only other member from the original cast in this two-parter is the late Barbara Stanwyck, represented by a sternly matriarchal oil portrait. She's the standout.

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