Flambards: The Complete Series [DVD] 
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All 13 episodes of the popular Yorkshire Television drama. Orphan Christina (Christine McKenna) is sent to live with her crippled Uncle Russell in his country home of Flambards, where she meets his sons Mark and William. The atmosphere is not a happy one - while Russell and Mark cling to the old ways, the sensitive William is interested in the new flying contraptions known as aeroplanes. It is not long before Christina finds her sympathies divided between the warring factions of the household. When Christina and William leave Flambards, their future is uncertain and after a series of tragedies Christina is forced to return, alone, to the crumbling family estate, where an unexpected visitor bodes ill for her.
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In my opinion it is good but not brilliant. The music by Fanshawe is modern but at the same time timeless, totally memorable and interesting. If anything it is almost too interesting for the story that it accompanies. Rather than enhancing or expressing something about the story, it sometimes takes off and has a life of its own.
The sets and costumes are excellent. Steven Grives (Mark), Alan Parnaby (William), Sebastian Abineri (Dick and Peter Settelen (Sandy) are superb and for me came across as fully rounded characters. I felt I understood something about who they were and where they were coming from as individuals. For me, though, the actresses Christina McKenna (Christina) and Carol Leader (her friend Dorothy) really let the production down. I got really fed up of Christina's cute coyness. She was best when interacting with Steven Grives but mostly irritating when with Alan Parnaby. Carol Leader played a gay, devil-may-care young thing to the hilt, but was too toothy, too adult, and too modern for a girl of about 18 in the 1910s. She improved by the end of the serial.
Overall the serial is still good, I am happy to have seen again, but I loved it more as a child.
Often, people who love a book, are disappointed by the actors representing the characters they have imagined - not with this one. Christina is - just about right - Will and Mark are just as you would imagine - and old Uncle Russell - Dick was not quite how imagined (but then I was extremely in love with Dick so no actor could match my imagination! But the actor played Dick as I had imagined the character). The Series is a faithful representation of the books. All I want now is - a film - a more up-to-date, but faithful, version of the stories as a feature-length film - and possibly including the fourth book (which I haven't read) - the later sequel. As we watched the last episode, we wondered how their lives would pan out and started to imagine. Did Mark survive the war? Did Dick and Christina find they had differences of character they hadn't imagined (after all they didn't know each other that well despite being in love). I felt I wanted to write a sequel - and now find - there is one! I might read it.
BUT - if you were not around in the 70's you might find the quality of the DVD a bit poor- especially the first disc. It looks like it is fairly old video quality - complete with the odd flicker and line. Either it got better in later discs or I stopped noticing! The pace of the story is also a bit slower than we seem to get these-days - we found it relaxing once we got used to it.
The story is even better than I remember with subtleties in the story line that I never noticed as a kid.(makes me want to find the book and read it to see what that is like). Both my husband and 10 yr old daughter have got engrossed in it too, I suspect it is aeroplanes for him and horses for her! . We had a really wet weekend and watched about half of the series in two or three chunks (we had to come up for air/food/dog walking at some points!). Be warned tho.......I have found myself sitting up late to see what happened next - and some of those damn whistley tunes have got lodged in my head again!
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