The Flame Trees of Thika

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The Flame Trees of Thika is a British television mini-series, directed by Roy Ward Baker, that was first aired in 1981. It has seven episodes of 60 minutes each. The series was later released on VHS and DVD.

The TV series was adapted by John Hawkesworth from the 1959 autobiographical novel of the same name, The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley. It is set in and around the town of Thika (pronounced "tee-kah") in Kenya's Central Province.


Spoiler warning

It is the year 1913. Elspeth (Holly Aird) and her unconventional parents decide to settle down in Kenya, which then was a British colony, to start a coffee plantation.

This is a time of discovery for Elspeth, as she encounters the incredible beauty and cruelty of nature, and new friendships with both Africans and British expatriates. A side plot involves the beautiful and bored British Lettice Palmer (Sharon Maughan) who enters into an affair with a handsome safari guide. Eventually, however, the excitement of Elspeth's life is disrupted by the onset of World War I, and the changes it brings.

The spanking scene[edit]

Elspeth's family went on a hunting trip with her father's business partner. When his business partner shot a pregnant animal, the Elspeth got very upset and expressed her disgust.

In the evening, when her father puts her to bed, he discusses the issue with her. He demands that Elspeth writes an apology. She replies "I won't". Her father counters "Oh yes, you will. Bend over!" Elspeth obeys and lies on her stomach.

Her father gives her four spanks with a hairbrush going "You're turning into a <spank> spoilt, <spank> impertinent, <spank> boring little <spank> girl".


Hayley Mills, who played the character of Tilly in The Flame Trees of Thika, already starred in the 1961 film The Parent Trap.

See also[edit]


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