Orphan and Heiress-in-waiting, Christina Parsons has lived with various aunts until she is sent, at age 17, to live with grumpy Uncle Russell and his two sons - Mark and William - in the crumbling family pile that is Flambards. Hopes that she will marry cousin Mark and use her inheritance to restore the family home are dashed as Christina finds him boorish and cruel, but in younger cousin William she finds a real friend. William likes all things mechanical and while Christina is happy to learn to ride, William spends his time dreaming of owning his own plane at a time when aviation is in its early stages.
The old system of Master and Servant is explored as Christina fights to stop stable lad Dick from being dismissed without a reference by her uncle for helping her rehome a horse, but when conditions in the home become intolerable she leaves, with William, to begin a new life together, working and living at an airfield. With new pals Sandy and Dorothy they are finaly free of the constrictions of life at Flambards and can be 'bright young things' - until the shadow of war closes in on their lives.
With fantastic costumes and detail to the period, Flambards on DVD is a delight from start to finish. Christina McKenna is an accomplished horsewoman as she proves when her character and namesake learns to ride, and bounder Mark (Steven Grives) begins to show a softer side when he escapes from his bully of a father. Sensitive William, (portrayed by Alan Parnaby), as a dreamer whose love of the new-fangled flying machines leads to challenge after challenge as he tries to earn a living.
13 episodes on 4 disks - sadly no subtitles - this is a worthy addition to the DVD collection of any fan of costume dramas. The haunting music, nicely paced story and splendid planes and motorcars of the early 1900's are a joy from start to finish and the temptation to view more than 1 episode at a time is hard to resist.
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