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The story based on a novel by Colleen McCullough focuses on three generations of the Cleary family living on a sheep station in the Australian outback.
The Thorn Birds is a 2011 South Korean television series where one woman forsakes her love and family for her ambition while another woman embraces with love all that the former had left behind. Fates of a bit part actress Seo Jung-eun and a film producer Han Yoo-kyung who chose success are intertwined and resolved gradually as their mutual stories progress. The "thorn birds" of the title refers to Jung-eun's character, who only brings out her best at the cost of great pain. A thornbird is a mythical bird who searches for a thorn tree from the day it is born. When it finds it, the bird impales itself upon the sharpest thorn, and rises above the agony to sing the most beautiful song ever heard.
The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years is a CBS miniseries that aired in 1996. It is a "midquel" to the original miniseries, The Thorn Birds, that aired on ABC in 1983. The Missing Years tells the story of the 19 years that are unaccounted for between the birth of Dane and Ralph's return to Australia in the original ABC miniseries. The Missing Years was generally panned by critics and fans of the original miniseries for being unfaithful to the book. Adding to the dismay was the fact only one actor, Richard Chamberlain, returned to reprise his role as Ralph de Bricassart from the original miniseries.