TV SERIES OF A LIFETIME!
Scott Lahti (firstname.lastname@example.org) | The big lake they call Gitche Gumee | 08/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever encountered a TV series which, from the first episode on, became an irreplaceable part of your identity, moving you in ways impossible to describe but felt profoundly? FLAMBARDS was that beautiful a series. Set in the years surrounding the First World War, the story depicts how Christina, a young orphan sent to live with her cousins and uncle at a decaying country estate, Flambards, comes of age amid the conflicts, passions, loyalties, and tragedies which follow from her new life. Her uncle Russell, wheelchair-bound for life due to a fox-hunting accident, compounds his misfortune through heavy drinking by the fireplace, and takes his sole pleasure in life from the vicarious adventures in the hunting field which his rugged son Mark shares with him. They are callous to their servants, and cannot understand anyone who does not share their absorption in the world of hunting, hounds, and endless leisure. Mark's brother William could not be more different. Gentle, sympathetic to the servants and the plight of their class, and passionately devoted to the design, building and flying of planes, he too is injured while engaging in the one sport he hates - fox-hunting - and must now walk with a limp. Christina, in her late teens like William, prefers his gentle company, yet thrills to the excitement of the fox-hunt. And she soon learns that her ample inheritance, due when she is twenty-one, has been earmarked for the restoration of Flambards - and that she is to marry Mark, who, among other brutalities, has provoked the firing of Violet, the kitchen maid, after making her pregnant! The rest of the series portrays the growing attraction of Christina and William, their escape from Flambards into the world of the early aviators, and the disruptions in their new life resulting from the epic slaughter of the First World War. Everything in this series is just right: the casting of Christine McKenna and Alan Parna by as Christina and William, the stirring footage of restored early airplanes in glorious flight (set to the haunting background music of David Fanshawe, itself worth the eleven-and-a-half hours you'll spend loving this series), the tenderness of the scenes where William and Christina discover their love for each other, the portrayal of a bygone age of English social life help make FLAMBARDS a series with something for everybody. But what lifts this series into the realm of the extraordinary for me is its unaffected embodiment of human goodness and innocence, of nobility and the heroic, and of how these qualities can move us still, in a time when we need them more than ever. I've seen dozens of TV shows since I first caught episode 6, "Cold Light of Day," on PBS during a collegiate summer vacation almost twenty years ago. None have found their way as close to my heart as FLAMBARDS. I hope you agree. And I wish you the very best. END"
A return to adolescence and memories of times forgotton
granvier | 12/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I, like many of the other reviewers, stopped everything, to the annoyance of my parents, to watch this mimi-series when it aired almost 20 years ago on PBS! That it is now available on Video is bringing back to me a lost part of my coming of Age. The Trails and Travails of Christina, the Heroine, who loves the Bookish brother but foollishly falls for his Cad brother Mark, tells the story of all women everywhere who are tempted by dash and bravado only to realize too late that it is the quiet adventurers of th mind that we really love. When she finally comes around to realize that her groundbreaking Aviator is the one she loves, our hearts sang with relief until he is lost.. LOST! in World War One, and then we must get on with our broken hearts as Christina does to learn harder lessons of adulthood. Oh.. I hear the music now as I write. I had a cassette of the unforgettable soundtrack that finally broke with overuse and never managed to replace it. "I'll sing me a song of Christina, christina, christina, I'll sing me a song of Christina, Christina AT FLAMBARDS! La, la la la, la la la" For those of you with daughters over age 10, buy this classic and watch it with them. Perhaps they too will become as obsessed as we were with antique Edwardian clothing, horses, Biplanes and READING. There are worse things for girls to obsess about!Also then, refer your darling daughters to the original books, also available here at Amazon and let them see what wonderful stories brought tears to their mothers' eyes when they were young and what stories made them dream."
Beautiful beyond imagination
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lucky is any viewer who encounters Flambards! It's one of Masterpiece Theatre's best series ever. Another reviewer did a great job outlining the plot. But this is a cinematic experience that literally blows you away. The scenes of horses on fox hunt, flashing along the fertile countryside with speed and excitement, are beautiful beyond imagination. There's a great, forward sweeping movement to each episode, an Edwardian country grandeur that's irresistible. It's Christina's series, and Christine McKenna never falters in creating the captivating heart of a story not without its ruthlessness. An ever present human sadness tracks the story like a stalker, but one never tires watching; redemption always comes at a price. The aeroplane scenes are as majestic and vital as the ubiquitous horses, and William is the sweet relief to the mongrol aspects of his beleagured family. As fine as it is, I'm convinced this series would be noticably less without its absolutely magnificent music, an essential component from the get go. The theme music alone will live forever! Get this beautifully done DVD version and make a date with forever."