In 1920s Australia, Father Richard Chamberlain (the king of mini-series) is lusted over byBarbara Stanwyck. He isn’t interested, but not because he is above temptation. Instead, he isfalling for Stanwyck’s niece, who grows up to be Rachel Ward. Love, lust, vengeance andVatican power politics mesh together into a pretty heady brew.
Granted, there’s nothing very subtle about any of this. Right from the get-go, every line delivered is in the servide of graphically mappi…g out where the characters are headed. And Stanwyck, in her FIRST scene, sucks Chamberlain’s finger during Communion. But subtlety is completely beside the point here. This is a soap opera on the grand scale — all the lurid joys of daytime given lavish treatment and location photography. A grand old entertainment from the brief glory days of mini-series television.
The sound is mono, which is to be expected of a 1983 TV series. The sound is clear andclean, and the music is a good, warm sound to it. The “s” sounds tend to be rather harsh. Still,this kind of mono is preferable to a bad stereo remix.
The picture is showing some age, and there is some grain as well as dirt to deal with. Thecolours and contrasts are decent, as are the flesh tones. The image could be a bit sharper (thoughit isn’t bad), and there are some green outlines. Not a perfect picture, but still acceptable.
The only extra is a 25-minute retrospective called “The Thorn Birds: Old Friends… NewStories.” Though informative, it is also very golden-hued and “everyone was so perfect” in itstone. The main screen of the menu is scored.
A rather sparse DVD for a mini-series that was such a big to-do when it first appeared. Still,here it is at last.
Special Features List
- “The Thorn Birds: Old Friends… New Stories” Retrospective