Is the series ever actually referenced? Is the character portrayed in the same way?By 12 years. Considering they wanted the original actor back, I'm fairly certain they're supposed to be the same.
As I just said, they wanted the original actor back but he refused due to the... interesting choices made regarding his character. I can't find any source on this beyond that, but the intent was for him to be the same. Whether that was changed because of the recast or not we can't be sure, but it's not been stated either way as far as I know.