Monarch Of The Glen (BBC Drama, Alastair MacKenzie)

Drama series Monarch of the Glen saw Archie MacDonald (Alastair MacKenzie), carving out a life for himself as a restaurateur in London only to find himself called back to his home in the Scottish Highlands to assume his role as The Laird of Glenbogle and get the 40,000 acre estate back on its feet.

Initially Archie was somewhat hamstrung by the fact that his dad Hector (Richard Briers) was still calling the shots but tried to get the estate back up and running, and his mum Molly (Susan Hampshire) had her own ideas of how things should be run.

Season two saw Glenbogle turned into a fully functioning tourist attraction but the applecart was upset by the arrival of rich businessman, Joe MacDonald (from Atlanta, USA) arrives for the annual clan gathering with a legitimate genealogical claim to the house, lands, everything!

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With no funds to fight the claim in court, a desperate Archie must invoke the chieftains’ challenge – an ancient ritual for settling clan disputes – and do battle with Joe, in a series of gruelling challenges to decide who is the rightful Monarch of the Glen.

By the end of season three in early 2002 the decision had been taken to kill off his ailing father Hector truly making Archie the Laird.

Season Four started 1 September 2002 and by the end of it Archie and girlfriend Lexie (Dawn Steele) had got married. During the 5th series, Archie left Glenbogle, leaving the estate in the hands of his wife Lexie and his half-brother Paul (Lloyd Owen). In the final episode Hector (Richard Briers) made a return appearance as a ghost whom only Molly could see.

The series was based on the novels by Compton ‘Whisky Galore’ Mackenzie but it very quickly developed it’s own world.

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Cast: Alastair MacKenzie as Archie MacDonald (-SEASON 5); Richard Briers as Hector MacDonald; Susan Hampshire as Molly MacDonald; Lorraine Pilkington as Katrina; Dawn Steele as Lexie (to season 6); Hamish Clark as Duncan (to season 6); Alexander Morton as Golly; Anna Wilson-Jones as Justine; ; Alexandra Gilbreath as Stella Moon (Season Three); Rebecca Lacey as Irene (Season Four); Lloyd Owen as Paul (From Season 5); Rae Hendrie as Jessica (From Season 5); ; Tom Baker as Donald Mcdonald (Seasons 6-7); Simone Lahbib as Isobel Anderson (Season 6) Martin Compston as Ewan (Seasons 5-7); Kirsty Mitchell as Iona (2005); Kellyanne Farquhar as Amy (2005)

Creator: Michael Chaplin / Novels: Compton Mackenzie / Script Editor: James Saynor / Music: Simon Brint / Producers: Nick Pitt, Paddy Higson, Stephen Garwood

UK / BBC1 / 64×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 February 2000 – 23 October 2005

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.