“Flambards”: A walk down memory lane

In my day, we didn’t have New Kids on the Block, ‘NSYNC or gobs of handsome young men on Nickelodeon.

Before Duran Duran, Wham or INXS entered my impressionable young consciousness, I had the boys from “Flambards”  to moon over. Hit it!

Boy, did I love this British miniseries, which is based upon a series of novels by K.M. Peyton. Teenager Christina Parsons (Christine McKenna), an orphaned heiress, is the protagonist, which takes place on a rural English estate just before the start of World War I. At the beginning of “Flambards,” she comes to live with her mean uncle William Russell (Edward Judd) and his two sons, Mark (Steven Grives) and Will (Alan Parnaby). Of course, both brothers are hot, and Christina must choose between them. The poor girl!

Christina and Mark. Hawt!

Mark’s the bad boy who prefers fox hunting and horse riding, while Will is the intelligent, thoughtful one whose head is in the clouds (literally – he dreams of becoming an aviator).

Christina and Will.

Luckily for Christina, she loves horses so she gets along with rough-around-the-edges-but-oh-so-sexy Mark. And coincidentally Christina also likes flying, so she gets along swimmingly with sweet guy Will.

While horses and aeroplanes were never my thing, I was obsessed with “Flambards.” I think that’s mainly because Christina was so likable. She was adventurous, strong-willed and plucky, kind of like another of my favorite heroines, Anne Shirley. And I certainly appreciated the <ahem> scenery. Naturally it helped that everyone spoke with a British accent, and the theme music – well, that was just amazing. Over 30 years later, I still remember that whistling theme song.

This copy of the book is sitting on a shelf somewhere...

In addition to owning the above book, I also have all of the “Flambards” episodes… on VHS. That I recorded off the TV myself. I kid you not.

I told you. Hey, those little stickers really last a loooong time!

After watching the above clip, though, I think I’m going to bite the bullet and just buy the DVD. It’s under $30 on Amazon.

I got to thinking about “Flambards” while watching “Downton Abbey” yesterday. Interestingly enough, they both take place on the eve of/during WWI. Add to the mix my longtime obsession with the Titanic (the tragedy, not the movie), and my favorite film E-V-E-R, “Somewhere in Time” (which also had the most amazing, lush music, thanks to the late, great John Barry), and, well, you might say that I have a definite affinity for the time period.

Le sigh.


  1. Trish Whitney said,

    June 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Downton Abbey also reminded me of Flambards! After all these years I still am in love with Mark. He was the ultimate bad boy. I read the books in the early eighties after watching the series and just finished re reading the series including the 4th book Flambards Divided and wished the story continued. I hope K.M. Peyton will someday write a 5th book!

  2. Scott Lahti said,

    August 5, 2012 at 3:04 am

    And via YouTube (“ITV commercial break – 1986 pt2”), don’t miss this UK soup advert (http://youtu.be/OTIEBLGF2_k?t=1m46s), in which our Christina, hopping and bopping about in her kitchen in blue denim, shows us how she kept her girlish Flambardian figure.

  3. Scott Lahti said,

    August 5, 2012 at 2:58 am

    You ain’t kiddin’ – see my review of the VHS and DVDs at Amazon.com. I, too, taped Flambards, off A&E in 1989 – seven years after I thought I’d never see it again, my jaw crashed to the floor when I spotted it in the local TV listings. In 1981, also bought the Penguin paperback you picture above; at nineteen, whoever I was becoming deepened himself in and and through Flambards, and even today, the merest hint of the music and the scenes evoking it can make me say, e,g., “Danged dust in my eye again”.

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