Three Victorian sisters experience life as 21st-century teenagers. Hazel discovers that a tree she planted with her mother as a young girl is to be torn down.
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# Some things have changed
# Some things have stayed the same
# Life and death are not so far apart
# Walking through the walls
# And I wouldn't have it any other way
# Life and death are not so far apart
# From where we are
# Some things have changed
# Some things have stayed the same
# Life and death are not so far apart. #
Hazel, what are we doing?
Making sure we're not late for assembly.
-But it's 5.30 in the morning.
And you're always late for assembly.
The old Hazel was always late for assembly,
whereas the new Hazel is always on time
and is neither stubborn nor argumentative.
The new Hazel is rather dull.
Right. So what happened?
Miss Sinclair told me I had 37 demerit points
and she can expel me if I get 40.
So I have to be quiet and well behaved from now on.
Which is possible.
I can do it. It makes me feel neither angry or irritated
or stubborn at all.
I did not just do that.
It is the way he uses such unpretentious language
and also pulls you so completely into the story.
Seeing as you got on so well with Hemingway,
how about we try Farewell To Arms next?
Yes, please! Anything else by such a modern writer would be amazing!
A modern writer?
You can be pretty strange, Sophie.
But your enthusiasm's great.
KNOCK AT DOOR
-Is this the book club?
It's not exactly oversubscribed, is it?
I'm afraid, Headmaster,
that Sophie's the only pupil interested in joining.
But I love it, it is wonderful!
We discuss books!
Well, Mrs Miller, I have some new recruits for you.
These pupils are all behind on their literacy,
so I told them they have to join.
A little more reading and a little less Music-Video TV is the answer.
Is Music-Video TV the channel where girls perform strange dance moves,
which include hip gyrating?
That's the one, but not for these pupils any more. Mrs Miller,
I'll leave them in your capable hands. Toodle-oo!
You will love this club, I'm sure of it.
We will have so much fun discussing literature!
This after-school project will be an exciting and rewarding activity.
You'll be involved in establishing our very own hydraulic water pump.
Water is not exciting. Chocolate milkshakes are exciting!
May we do a project on chocolate milkshakes instead?
This pump will need to be large enough
to generate water for the whole of the school's ten-acre site.
-Not exactly fascinating!
-Hazel, think carefully.
Three demerits away from expulsion, remember?
Sorry, I meant to say, "Goodness, water! How incredibly fascinating."
I'm glad you feel that way,
because we will be starting as soon as possible.
First, we knock down this peppercorn tree to make room for the pump.
What did you say?!
-I said we're going to knock down this peppercorn tree.
I think you'll find we can.
And we will.
Besides, you're hardly in a position to argue, are you?
Yes, Miss Sinclair.
Hazel! What is wrong?
I cannot... The stupid, stupid water.
I do not understand.
Miss Sinclair is chopping down the peppercorn tree
and she can't argue in case she is expelled.
And then she said, "Stupid, stupid water."
Your peppercorn tree? The one you planted with Mother?
The day before we...
The day before we died.
I still do not understand the part about the stupid water.
She wants to build a hypnotic water pump,
so she's knocking down my tree for her hypno water and...
Do not worry.
We will think of something.
Planting the tree was the last thing Mother and I did together.
So, Sophie and I have been discussing Hemingway.
Has anyone else here read The Old Man And The Sea?
-I thought not.
So instead of reading the books,
couldn't we just, like, watch the DVDs?
That's hardly the same, Christine.
-But most films are based on books, aren't they?
Can you be a bit quieter? I'm trying to read a magazine.
-What do you reckon?
I "reckon" that the point is to read.
But I have so many DVDs and hardly any books.
I'm sure we can provide you with books, Christine.
So I'll just pick one that's based on a film.
-But Mrs Miller, could you...?
-Make them focus?
This isn't a lesson, Sophie.
It's a book club.
It's for fun.
It's not fun any more.
Sorry, didn't mean to frighten you.
-Are you OK?
-I'm just upset about this tree.
OK, but how come?
Um... The reason is...
that I love all trees and though I may have never mentioned it,
trees are my...favourite things.
So are you an environmentalist?
I mean, indeed, yes, I am.
Will that help?
Do envi-mental people usually get their way?
They're pretty big on saving trees.
Then I'm an envi-mental and I have to save this tree!
Yet somehow I have to do this without getting expelled.
You could start a campaign.
I don't think teachers can give demerits for campaigns.
Not if it's for a good cause.
-Do you really think so?
Then I shall do that, then. I shall start a campaign.
You're beyond compare, Matty
and I'm an envi-mental!
It's actually environmentalist.
Jonathan, is there anything you can tell me about envi-mentals?
I would if I knew what an envi-mental was.
People who save trees with campaigns.
They normally wear sandals.
Wear sandals. Oh!
Erm, sometimes they have dreadlocks too.
Oh. I crashed...again.
Hazel, you can't just make it go off every time you lose!
So, what are dreadlocks?
-Dreadlocks are like big, matted bits of hair.
Is there anything else you can tell me?
Erm, they usually play a lot of acoustic guitar.
Mainly issue-based folk songs.
Jonathan, you are beyond compare and I'm an envi-mental!
I think you mean an environmentalist.
What on earth are you doing?
I'm making her look like an environmentalist.
This is how they wear it.
It looks awful.
One of you needs to bathe.
That is me. I cannot bathe any more. It would be a betrayal to my cause.
Now I'm truly confused.
I read that environmentalists do not believe in wasting water.
So there'll be no more bathing for me.
Also, I'm learning the guitar
in order to perform some issue-based folk songs.
So where have YOU been?
-What are those? They look terrible!
-I do not care what they look like.
I am doing this because I care about something.
What do you care about, Rebecca?
And the importance of a good manicure.
So, I care about literature, Hazel is trying to save her tree and you...
You care about the importance of a good manicure?
I care about other things also.
There must be something else.
Due to be cut down Friday 15th?
I must start my campaign right away!
# Save my trees
# But especially the peppercorn tree... #
How come you look like a Woodstock throwback?
Well, I am an environmentalist now.
-Will you sign my petition to save the peppercorn tree?
-Why would we care?!
Headmaster, there must be some other way to improve their literacy.
Surely the best way to improve literacy is for them to read more.
But they're not reading.
I had found a place where... A place where I could simply...
Be yourself? That's the answer.
Be yourself. Explain to them why literature means so much to you.
-How did it go?
-Hopefully you'll have better luck than me.
# Save the trees
# Save the planet But don't warm the globe
# Save the tree
# And all other issues et cetera
# But especially save the tree Yeah yeah yeah! #
Here are my petitions in support of my campaign.
There's only one signature on it. Yours, 100 times.
Indeed. That simply shows how strongly I feel about it.
So now you care about this tree because you're an environmentalist?
That is right.
Oh, please also note my hair
and, a-hem, sandals.
You know, there's always one of you Ainsworth girls
in here asking for something. The thing is, Hazel,
that hydraulic water pump is good for the environment.
In what way is hypnotic water good for anything?
It's hydraulic. Never mind.
Water restrictions are increasing,
therefore it is very important that we produce our own water
and the school becomes self-reliant.
Is anyone looking?
If they are, then just use your appalling level of hygiene.
Ah! That is better!
I have found myself a cause to truly care about.
Animal rights. I love animals. Especially kittens.
Kittens are adorable!
I'm an animal righter.
If it is cruel to animals, then I am against it!
But Rebecca, you're eating a cheeseburger.
-You are eating meat.
-But I love cheeseburgers.
All the same.
I shall eat no more cheeseburgers.
Never again will I devour the cruel but very tasty, utterly delicious...
I'll find another cause to care about.
Cheeseburgers are simply too good!
Matty, could you offer me some advice?
There's a problem with my campaign.
Sure, I'll help if I can.
I found out yesterday that... hypno-water object
is also good for the environment.
Yeah, that's true.
There is so little time and I truly love that tree.
Hazel, what makes this tree so important?
It's just that it reminds me of a tree that my mother once planted.
Oh, that's so sweet!
Maybe if you could get some more pupils involved.
If you get enough people on your side,
you could even form a human barricade around the tree!
Show the headmaster the school cares more about the tree.
Except they do not. They do not seem to care at all.
Sophie has been asked by Headmaster Griffiths to talk to you today
about why she loves to read.
Whoop de doo!
I have written down a few things
that may make you feel more like reading.
For example, reading a passage from a well-respected novel
can be a very good way to impress a potential suitor.
I know some boys may be shocked if you do something inappropriate,
so stay away from the controversial yet marvellous Lord Byron.
Choose something gentle, like a William Wordsworth poem.
Are you honestly suggesting
we get a guy's attention by reading him poetry?
Of course. And reading aloud can be a wonderful party trick.
Say, for example, you are not musical,
yet you have been asked to perform at a social gathering.
Well, a literary recital is just perfect.
Can we watch the film now?
Just one more thing.
A book can take you anywhere.
If you are stuck somewhere for a terribly long time,
then reading can make you feel
as though you have travelled the entire world.
Or if you're a normal person you can just take a plane.
-Rebecca, what exactly are you doing?
Well, I'm giving to the needy.
I'm going to give all the clothes that I no longer need
to the poor people in... Um...
Well, I don't know.
Wherever it is they need them, because I care about the poor.
Yet the only thing you have in here is one shoe.
Well, yes. As it turns out,
there are very few clothes that I no longer need.
Rebecca, you have a whole wardrobe of clothes you no longer need.
They're all 150 years out of date!
This is so difficult. I cannot find a cause I genuinely care about.
Do not worry, you will find something.
Perhaps, you just need a little help to truly care.
Sophie! That is it! They just need a little help to truly care.
A little nudge! That is it! Come, quickly!
I know what to do. I think we can save our tree.
-IN GHOSTLY VOICE:
-Save my tree, or you will be haunted.
(Save the peppercorn tree. You must save it.)
-Save the peppercorn tree!
-Clearly, you are going to have to find
a different approach to your problems.
Easy for you to say! It's not you that has to do it.
So, there I was, hanging with my ghost homies,
when all of a sudden my bleeper goes off
saying that you have been misusing your abilities.
-So now, you need to come with me.
How have I been misusing my abilities?
Because you are not supposed to use your powers
to influence other people.
-Hasn't anyone ever told you that?!
Oh, yes. That must have slipped my mind.
Whoopsie daisy. I'm sure it was on my to-do list,
but you should have known anyway, so to my office. Now.
Come on! Skedaddle.
Pretend that I don't have eternity.
I'm sorry, Agatha, but I did not know.
She makes an interesting point.
After all, what is knowledge, you know?
What does it truly mean to know anything?
She should know right from wrong.
Ah, but what is right and what is wrong?
Who is the arbiter of our moral compass?
Is that the inner self? Or society's constraints?
-Will you please shut up!
Think about it.
-Is it really OK to scare people into doing what you want?
-Of course not.
I just did not know what else to do.
Please, Agatha, will you help me?
I'm sorry, not this time.
You know how the ghost council are.
I'm waiting for them to text me.
I have to see what they decide about this whole situation.
I thought you may like some company.
Where is Rebecca?
Another make-up crisis perhaps?
Again, I do not know.
She hurried off saying she had something terribly important to do.
What will you do?
I wanted to form a barricade,
but there is just me and a barricade of one isn't very barricading.
A barricade of two may be slightly better?
Really? You would come?
And I'm sure Rebecca will come too and Matty and Jonathan.
-It may just work.
-And even if it doesn't, we have to try.
There is something I must try too.
Mrs Miller, I have been thinking and thinking
and I have decided that I'm going to start my own book club.
I realise I may well be the only member...
Oh, I understand, Sophie.
If you ever just want to have a chat with me about books,
you can always just stay after class.
Oh, yes, that's very sweet...
but you're kind of cold.
I'm too nervous to eat.
As am I.
We should simply head to the tree.
But Rebecca's not here.
Perhaps she will come later.
This actually isn't a bad barricade.
If they chop the tree down, we're done for, but...
-It'll be worth it.
-Mate, you just get started on this bit.
-Easy for you to say.
Hazel Ainsworth, you are three demerits away from expulsion!
You should untie yourself.
You can't give demerits for fighting for a cause.
She is standing up for what she believes.
Explain exactly why you think
this tree is more important than the hydraulic water pump?
We and my mother...
What about your mother?
Well, seeing as that was such an unconvincing argument,
I think we're back to where we started.
Hazel, this is your final warning.
If you do not untie yourself in the next 60 seconds,
-I will pull you away by force and expel you.
For your own safety, of course.
I think you should do what Miss Sinclair asks.
-How is it going?
-Aside from the fact I'm about to be expelled,
I would say it's going really well.
Not to worry, I can help.
Miss Sinclair, did you know
that this tree is protected by covenant on the school's leasehold?
The document the headmaster is reading explains
that if you were to cut down this tree,
the school would be obliged to leave school property immediately.
Tell me she's talking rubbish.
No, she's absolutely correct.
We would have been evicted, but Queen Victoria has saved our skins.
That was close. Good work, Rebecca.
My tree is safe! My...
Rebecca, is something the matter?
Only you have been very quiet since it all happened.
Well, I am so pleased Hazel's tree is safe.
It's just, I still cannot find a cause to care about.
Rebecca, how long did you spend
searching through old documents in the library to find that covenant?
I have been searching for the last few days.
The idea came to me when Hazel first heard the news.
I did not want to mention it and get her hopes up
in case I was unsuccessful.
The covenant in the lease,
it was written by Mother
to protect the tree the two of you planted.
Rebecca, I think it is perfectly obvious what cause you care about.
You care about us.
You are right! I do not need another cause - I care about you.
Oh! And boys. And looking pretty, of course.
So, the ghost council finally texted
and sent smoke signals.
They do get a little bit carried away sometimes.
They are not impressed
and they feel that some form of punishment is essential.
liked your issues-based folk song.
They felt that the way you blended
some Bob Dylan with some Beatles was inspired.
I disagree, but there you go.
So, for your punishment, they would like you
to write them a song.
Oh, thank you, Agatha! Thank goodness!
What are you doing here?
-Actually, I'm here for my new book club.
I thought we could start with some Plato.
I thought Kerouac.
No, let's start with Beowulf.
I am a fast reader, we may start with all of them.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Hazel is distraught to learn that a peppercorn tree that she planted with her mother as a young girl is to be torn down to make way for a new vegetable garden. Posing as an energy-saving environmentalist, Hazel starts a campaign intent on educating the school on all things green. Meanwhile, Sophie has a struggle on her hands to convert her peers into literary lovers.