Friday, July 12, 2013

If you love all things Scottish...

The original cast of "Monarch of the Glen"

Anyone who knows me knows that I've always (and by always I mean since I was a very little girl) wanted to go to Scotland.  And Ireland. And England.

Lately I get my vicarious UK thrills from watching BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) shows on Netflix.  My latest addiction?

A show called "Monarch of the Glen."

The show actually hasn't aired since 2005, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

The premise (from Wikipedia):

While trying to carve a living out of the London restaurant he runs with his girlfriend Justine, Archie MacDonald is called back to his Highland home, to the bed of his dying father, Hector. When he arrives, however, he finds that the news of his dying father was just a ploy by his dotty mother, Molly, to get him to Scotland and tell him face-to-face that he has inherited his father's large estate and castle, Glenbogle. Archie faces a tough decision: whether to help the debt-ridden Glenbogle, or to return to Justine in London.... To please all, Archie faces the challenge to save Glenbogle.
Right now I'm at the beginning of Series 4 (the BBC calls them "series" instead of "seasons.")

Things I love about this show:

--The scenery

Monarch of the Glen was filmed on location in the Scottish Highlands, and often just the backdrop when two characters are talking is breathtaking.

The show was filmed in and around Ardverikie House.  If you're a Downton Abbey fan, as I am, you'll love this house as much as you love Downton.

I mean, just look:

And look:


Alastair Mackenzie is just adorable as Archie, who is desperately trying to keep Glenbogle alive despite everything going against him.

Alastair Mackenzie
Sadly, Mackenzie didn't stay with the show for its entire duration...but I'm enjoying him while he's still around.

Other things?

The gentle wit of the show...the Scottish accents (although Archie himself doesn't have one)...the laidback pace of life in the Highlands.

I just feel like I'm taking a little visit to Scotland every time I watch it.

Oh, and as for its connection to Downtown Abbey?  Well, Julian Fellowes, the creator of DA, is also involved with "Monarch of the Glen" and is actually a recurring character, the humorous Kilwillie.

Someday, I hope I really will make it to Scotland.  Until then, there's always pleasures like "Monarch of the Glen."


Anonymous said...

My wife and I enjoyed watching Monarch of the Glen when it was screened here in Australia many years ago. A wonderful show with great characters.

I'd love to visit Scotland one day. My mother was born there and relocated to Australia when she was about 6.

Liz Curtis Higgs said...

LOVED that show, especially the first season. And I've seen (from a distance) the house they used for Glenbogle. To say the location is remote is an understatement! Wish you were coming with me on my Highlands and Islands, Castles and Gardens tour next May, dear Cindy. Let me know if there is something I can bring back for you!

Cynthia Hogan said...

Just found out about this show and watched series (season) 1 - 3 with my daughter last week while I was on vacation visiting her. We visited Scotland in 2002 and it was the most incredible experience. Beautiful country amazing scenery and great people.

Lilbit Nittany said...

I noticed that you were watching Monarch on Netflix. May I suggest starting with Series 4 you watch it on You Tube or a UK region DVD. Netflix cut out about 10 minutes worth of meaningful pieces of the show. You will get further story development and character development. I was watching on Netflix with a friend then I watched my UK Dvd and it was like a whole new show. I love Monarch of the Glenn. I love introducing friends to it. it is like watching it for the first time all over again with them.

Lea Culp said...

Well, this looks like another show that I would probably thoroughly enjoy. Will have to check it out.

Happy weekend!

Anonymous said...

I watched MOTG on Netflix beginning to end in a mere few weeks a few months ago and fell in love with Scotland (my ancestors are from there) and Lexie (Dawn Steele). So much so, that I am going to Scotland and Ireland next May and while in Scotland will stay on the Ardverikie Estate, Glenbogle in the show.

Note that the entire series (notably Series 7 - the last) is not (or was not when I viewed it) available on Netflix but can be seen on YouTube. Likewise there is a wonderful Hogmanay (New Year) special that is missing from the Netflix inventory. It fits at the end of Season 5 and also can be found on YouTube if you don't mind viewing it in short 10 minute segments. Also found there is a behind the scenes special called "the Last Monarch" though it is the American version. The DVD collection contains the British version of the special that is much different and much better!

If truly taken by the show, there is a wonderful fan form called Bogliedom that is worth looking into.

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