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.