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Flambards (ITV 1979, Christine McKenna, Alan Parnaby)

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Period drama series Flambards took us to 1909 when 16 year old orphan Christina Parson is sent to live at Flambards, the sprawling estate of her crotchety Uncle Mr Russell.

Christina finds some joy in joining the activities of the local hunt and makes friends with housekeeper Mary and groom Dick whilst she has a hate-hate relationship with her cousin Mark. She does find a sympathetic friend in Mark’s brother William though and over time the pair become closer before marrying and leaving Flambards to start a new life together in London. William as a flying instructor, Christina at the Chase Hotel.

As time goes on The Great War changes the world forever and eventually Christina returns home to Flambards – this time as it’s mistress.

Well remembered, Flambards was based on a trilogy of novels by Kathleen Peyton.

The dates below refer to Yorkshire and ATV, not all ITV regions chose to begin the series on the 26 January, some like Southern and Granada began the series one week later on 2 February with a double bill of episodes 1 and 2.

Flambards

production details
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 13×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 26 January – 20 April 1979

Books: Kathleen Peyton / Music: David Fanshawe / Producer: Leonard Lewis / Executive Producer: David Cunliffe

cast
Christine McKenna as Christina
Alan Parnaby as William
Sebastian Abineri as Dick
David Huscroft as Joe
Frank Mills as Fowler
Steven Grives as Mark
Gillian Davey as Violet
Edward Judd as Mr Russell
Carol Leader as Dorothy
Rosalie Williams as Mary
Olive Pendleton as Aunt Grace

THE EPISODES 

ONE SEASON 26 January – 20 April 1979

1. CHRISTINA
Orphaned heiress Christina Parsons comes to Flambards to live with her disagreeable Uncle Russell and her cousins Mark and William. Her arrival coincides with William breaking his leg during a fox hunt.

guest cast
Gillian Davey, Michael Macowan, Beronice Barron, Douglas Emery, Gwyn Gray

 

2. THE BLOODING
Christina is “blooded” in her first fox hunt, and learns about class distinctions as she find herself attracted to Dick Wright, a stable boy. The rebellious William continues his mysterious visits to Mr. Dermot as his broken leg mends.

guest cast
Gillian Davey, Anton Diffring, Colin Higgins

 

3. ENTRY TO A NEW WORLD
Christina persuades William and Dick to help her save her horse Sweetbriar from slaughter but it’s Dick who gets fired when Mr. Russell finds out. Violet is also fired by Mr. Russell when she reveals she’s pregnant by Mark. William introduces Christina to Mr. Dermot and Emma, the biplane they’re building.

guest cast
Gillian Davey, Anton Diffring, George Mikell, Geoffrey Tomlinson, David Scase, Andrew Jarvis

 

4. LADY BOUNTIFUL
A guilt-stricken Christina finds her efforts to help Dick and Violet refused while William causes further worry as he helps Mr. Dermot test out Emma.

guest cast
Anton Diffring, Sally Sanders

 

5. POINT TO POINT
William disrupts the annual point-to-point meeting with Emma, and is obliged to leave Flambards. He promises to return, however, and take Christina to the annual Hunt Ball.

guest cast
Anton Diffring, John Abineri, Geoffrey Tomlinson, Carl Rae, Ted Carroll

 

6. THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY
William and Christina adjust to the freedoms and frustrations of the real world, making friends with Sandy, a talented pilot who gets William a job at the Elm Park airfield, and with Dorothy, an exuberant girl who gets Christina a job at a hotel.

guest cast
Anton Diffring, John Ringham, Anthony Woodruff, Michael Sipes, Mike Perry, Barclay Johnson, Cyril Varley, Alick Hayes

 

7. EDGE OF THE CLOUD
William makes a step towards his and Christina’s future by having his knee, still stiff from the hunting accident, repaired so he can pilot the more sophisticated airplanes at Elm Park while Christina grows as she experiences new responsibilities at the hotel. Together, they fly the Bleriot airplane back to France, where Christina finally gets a formal proposal from him.

guest cast
Anthony Woodruff, John Ringham, John Jardine

 

8. FLYING HIGH
As William and Christina celebrate their engagement, Mark arrives with news from Flambards. Later, their joy at William’s new job designing aircraft is marred by a tragic and unexpected death.

guest cast
John Ringham, Marjorie Sudell

 

9. SING NO SAD SONGS
Christina and William marry, but World War I cuts short their time together. Later, Christina returns alone to Flambards.

guest cast
Aubrey Richards, Brian James, Arthur Fortune, Michael Macowan

 

10. NEW BLOOD
Revitalized by her unexpected pregnancy, Christina rushes to spruce up Flambards and upsets Fowler and Mary with her impetuosity. She also decides to find Violet and her child by Mark, and bring him home to Flambards.

guest cast
Gillian Davey, Jonathan Darvill, Jim Hooper, Michael Macowan, Sandra Voe, Joe Holmes, Max Smith

 

11. PRISONERS OF WAR
Christina deals with the manpower shortage at Flambards by accepting a POW laborer and by asking Dick Wright to return and manage the farm operation for her.

guest cast
Alan Downer, Jonathan Darvill, Jim Hooper, Michael Macowan, Neville Wright, Ron Pember, Max Smith, Geoffrey Hooper, David Scase, Joan Peters, Geoffrey Tomlinson, Joan Ward

 

12. WHAT ARE SERVANTS FOR?
The harvest celebration is interrupted by the unexpected return of Mark, who doesn’t like the changes Christina has made and whose superior attitude threatens to drive Dick away again.

guest cast
Alan Downer, Jonathan Darvill, Jim Hooper, Annette Lynton

 

13. INHERITANCE
Mark tells Christina he intends to keep Flambards and that she can only stay there as his wife, but a fire in the stables puts things into proper perspective for everyone.

guest cast
Alan Downer, Jonathan Darvill, Jim Hooper, Peter Copley

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