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Posted May 25, 2012
Engrossing period piece
This originally aired on PBS in 1979 as a mini series. This WWI area drama has all the elements of today's Downton Abbey and you will be hooked after the first episode. Back in 1979 both myself and my 11 year old son loved it. Twenty-five years later my son's wife and kids enjoyed it also.
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I edited the British version of "Flambards" for PBS, w
I edited the British version of "Flambards" for PBS, which, as is typical, came to us from the Brits in the form of separate shows, each of a length determined by the story. As the FCC mandates (or at least did mandate) on-the-hour station identifications in the US, the free-form British shows have to be wrestled into a form that conformed to US broadcast standards. Ms. Molly Youngling, at WQED, Pittsburgh, did a brilliant job of performing this transformation on paper, which was made particularly difficult because of the disparity between the 58:38 length demanded at that time by PBS for each episode and the widely varying lengths of the Brit version. In doing so, Ms. Youngling was forced to take some liberties with the story line, which, though complete, is presented from the point of view of the protagonist as an older woman looking back (through a discreet set of narrations) at her own adventures she had as a young beauty, in a Topsy-turvey world that ranges from aristocratic fox hunting with its proscribed rituals to bug-eyed pilots careening about in antique biplanes of the years just before WWI. This gave use the liberty to present the story in US-size chunks without having to perform major surgery which would have perforce changed the character of the show.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The result is both slightly zany and charming, with a talented and convincing cast, and beautiful and spunky protagonist whom you will find yourself rooting for, all set to a highly distinctive music track that was even released as an album at the time of the show's airing in the US. Although his show has an utterly different and perhaps more frivolous character than either "Upstairs, Downstairs" or "Brideshead Revisted", "Falmbards" is every bit as entertaining for those enamored of the style and originality of British television shows.