Top positive review
164 people found this helpful
on 26 January 2007
My earliest memory, and maybe my happiest one, is of watching The Thorn Birds with my mother. I must have been only 3 or 4 years old at the time, but for years I carried this vague landmark of childhood with me. I couldn't remember the story clearly at all, I only remembered loving the theme music and loving the colourful settings and loving Richard Chamberlain. Twenty years later and I saw the series advertised here on Amazon, but I didn't buy it. I was just really reluctant to alter that sacred memory in any way. I finally caved in, though, and I watched the series this week.
I know this probably sounds a bit over the top, but it was just such a wonderful experience, seeing it again, seeing it properly for the first time really, but getting sudden little flashes of memory from the happiest time in my life while I watched it. It gave me a great feeling of warmth, poignant but very comforting. I can see now why the series made such a lasting impression on me as a very young child, even if the particulars of the story had been forgotten. The atmosphere and vivid richness of the settings, the excellence of the acting, the wonderfully lush colours, the haunting music, the sense of timeless high romance... they all stayed with me. I've grown into a confirmed romantic, and I'm pretty sure that The Thorn Birds must have been the formative keystone in that aspect.
The hauntingly lovely Rachel Ward gives an excellent performance as Meggie, and there is a sterling line-up of extremely high calibre actors in supporting roles (special mention has to go to Sydney Penny who plays Meggie as a child), but this series really belongs to Richard Chamberlain. I think he comes as close as anyone ever has to capturing the male romantic ideal. It's almost impossible to believe that he was nearly 50 years old when he starred here, he's so youthful. And Rachel Ward is simply his ideal screen counterpart - they make such a perfectly matched couple. Just from an aesthetic point of the view, the series is a joy to watch due to the brilliant casting of Meggie and Ralph.
I could gush for hours here, but let me just say that if you're contemplating buying this series, please don't hesitate. It's a magical way to spend a few hours. There are no extras on this release, though, which is a terrible shame, but there are subtitles, and the picture and sound quality are first rate. The series comes on 2 double-sided discs, which do require a little fevered wrestling to dislodge from their cases, but even the artwork and designs of the cover and the dvd menus are beautiful.
This really is televisual chocolate for anyone with even the tiniest streak of romance in their blood. You'll laugh, cry, grin like a moonstruck idiot, and thoroughly melt. Enjoy! :)