Monarch of the Glen

The Scottish drama series Monarch of the Glen was produced by BBC Scotland and originally broadcast on the network BBC One in the U.K. Covering seven seasons between 2000 and 2005 Monarch of the Glen focuses on the characters living and working at a country estate, Glenbogle in a remote region of the Scottish Highlands. Based on the satirical Highland novels of Sir Compton MacKenzie the show became controversial for not depicting the aristocratic characters in the same satirical way as the novels; the television series also updated the stories from their original setting of the 1930s and 40s. Initially a ratings and critical success Monarch of the Glen was cancelled after the majority of the original cast left the show and ratings fell.

Monarch of the Glen opens with Archie MacDonald living in London and trying to make a success of a restaurant he has opened with the financial help of his father, the Scottish Laird Hector MacDonald. Informed that his father, played by Richard Briers is dying and he should return to Glenbogle, Archie arrives to find his father well but the estate on the verge of being lost to its spiraling debt. Archie faces a decision on whether he should return to London and save his restaurant or remain in Scotland and return the family estate to former glories. At the climax of the first season Archie decides he will remain in Scotland; eventually marrying the character of Lexie, Archie is constantly seen as being unhappy in Scotland and wishes to travel the world.

After actor Alistair MacKenzie decided to leave the show at the end of the fifth season along with the departure of Richard Briers who played Hector the focus switched to a new laird, Paul Bowman-MacDonald. With the estate saved from financial crisis at the end of season five Paul focuses on updating the estate for the 21st century. The show closes with the return of Hector as a ghost who witnesses the tying up of stories at the culmination of season seven.

BBC America
1 Season, 63 Episodes
February 27, 2000
Cast: Alexander Morton, Susan Hampshire, Hamish Clark, Dawn Steele
Monarch of the Glen

Monarch of the Glen Full Episode Guide

  • Life at Glenbogle seems to be over for the MacDonald's, when Molly gets a visit from the after-life. The house is up for sale and it may be too late for Paul to save it from a hostile buyer.

  • A tree blight threatens the forests of Glenbogle but help comes in the shape of tree surgeon Malcolm McRae. To Paul's dismay he is Iona's ex. Jess takes part in the Ghillie's annual challenge, a gruelling test of skill, strength and endurance.

  • Does Glenbogle have it's own Loch Monster? Paul is sceptical until he has a mysterious vision. The scientists arrive to investigate and Ewan discovers he has real flair for business.

  • Paul's dreams to turn Glenbogle in to a luxury hotel are severely tested by the ultra demanding investor Viktor Zinchenko and his spoiled wife; will the MacDonald's make the grade?

  • The house is thrown into upheaval when Paul's god-daughter Amy arrives, and chaos follows. Paul's old enemy Tam Cooper returns to the Glen and tries to do damage to the MacDonald's - surprisingly it's Amy who comes to the rescue.

  • Paul can't pay for the repairs to his Tenants' crofts and clashes with beautiful Iona, their new Chairperson. Golly has to decide whether he is able to look after his baby boy on his own.

  • Paul's coronation as laird of Glenbogle is threatened by an unexpected challenge to his title. Clan elder Proctor Sheila MacDonald makes the startling revelation that, as the only surviving legitimate MacDonald male, Donald is the rightful laird.

  • With only weeks to go before the end of his Glenbogle confinement, Donald eagerly looks forward to driving away in the Morgan he's lovingly restored with Ewan. The only trouble is, he can't fit into it any more.

  • Rivalry rears its head as sparring partners Chester and Paul prepare for a clay pigeon shooting competition. Donald practices for the event using an old dinner service, which annoys Paul.

  • With Golly away on holiday, Jess's ghillie skills are tested after she suspects poachers are at large on the Glenbogle estate. Worried that the poachers are taking advantage of her inexperience, Jess finds her insecurities further fueled by Paul.

  • Isobel's farm is under threat. She's behind on her rent but stubbornly refuses Paul's offer of help. However, she forgets her woes when an unkempt and bearded stranger turns up at her door.

  • Having quit his job at the Ministry of Defense, Alex Faversham, Paul's former army officer, settles into a quieter pace of life at Glenbogle. However, Alex's disciplined army background soon rears its head.

  • The discovery of a German World War II fighter plane at the bottom of Glenbogle loch brings long-buried secrets to light. A day's fishing takes a dramatic turn for Donald and Ewan when, rather than landing a prize catch, Donald hooks a flying mask.

  • After a 40-year absence, Donald MacDonald returns to Glenbogle, but his homecoming receives a mixed reaction. The black sheep of the MacDonald family, former racing driver Donald has been forced home by the police.

  • It's a new era for Glenbogle, as Paul sets about making his mark by attempting to modernize the estate. However, while his intentions are honorable, his dismissive attitude toward the estate's long-held traditions causes him to clash with Golly.

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