Follow TV Tropes


Series / Monarch of the Glen

Go To
Welcome to Glenbogle!
Monarch of the Glen is a British TV series in the "eccentric country folk" vein. The eccentric country folk in this case live in the Scottish Highlands, on and around the estate of the Laird of Glenbogle.

The central character is Archie MacDonald (Alastair Mackenzie), reluctant new Laird and latest in the line of Glenbogle, who would really rather be running a restaurant in London than dealing with the crumbling and cash-strapped estate. Richard Briers and Susan Hampshire are his parents, Hector and Molly.

Based loosely on Compton Mackenzie's 1940s Highland Novels, although it makes more sense to think of Hector and Archie as descendents of Mackenzie's Laird, rather than the series being a Setting Update.


Monarch of the Glen provides examples of:

  • Big Fancy House: Glenbogle House. And it's old and falling apart. Keeping it heated is a ruinous expense, especially since Hector and Molly insist on living in separate wings.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Hector occasionally plays golf inside the house.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The Highland Hundred. No funny hats, but a funny secret greeting. And they're not actually as secret as they thought they were.
  • Card Sharp: A villain who comes to settle a debt with Molly persuades her to gamble, using cards marked on the back with ultra-violet ink, which he can see using special glasses.
  • Censor Suds: Seen during a scene with Archie in the bath, until the sassy Lexie pulls the plug out.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Archie and Katrina.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hector. Molly is usually pretty sharp, but she has her moments of this, too.
  • Crystal Clear Picture: At the beginning of the second series, a camera system is set up around the estate, and the resolution on the screens is amazing (TV broadcast quality), even for the year 1999.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters.
    (In different scenes:)
    Katrina: I'd rather be illegitimate than the daughter of a laird.
    Archie: (when an underground spring is discovered) If you go into the kitchen, you'll find these things called taps.
    Justine: (to Katrina, her love rival) Let's put this in the language of the Highland laird: keep off.
    Molly: (to Hector) You couldn't slap anyone down, even if you had a large wet haddock in each hand.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: One of Lord Kilwillie's middle names is Sharon.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Hector. Played for laughs and drama. He's not happy about getting old and no longer being the laird, or how times have changed.
    Justine: Hector, can't you just go with the flow a bit?
    Hector: Don't be absurd. For my entire life, the flow has gone with me.
  • Happily Married: Hector and Molly.
  • Ice Queen: Justine, Archie's girlfriend from London.
    • Defrosting Ice Queen: In the case of Stella Moon; she's loosened up considerably by the end of her run in the series.
  • Identical Grandson: A Hogmanay special involved Paul meeting the ghost of his Grandfather.....who looked suspiciously like Paul.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The main source of drama is the need of Glenbogle to make money. Simply heating Glenbogle House costs a fortune, but selling it is unthinkable.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Duncan and Golly are best friends despite a gap of several decades between them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hector, may be grumpy and abrasive, but deep down he has a heart of gold.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Hector, to save his dog who had accidentally fetched a lit dynamite stick.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Archie, Lexie, and a bottle of whiskey on the train home from London.
  • Love Dodecahedron: In series two, Duncan loves Lexie, Lexie loves Archie, Archie loves Katrina, Katrina loves Fergal, and to top it all off, in one episode, Lexie and Fergal flirted in the kitchen!
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: Played for laughs, of course. Hector and Kilwillie are determined to drink a cask of 1970 whiskey that Archie wants to auction off for lots of money, so they spend the entire episode trying to keep it away from/get it back from Archie. Ends in a case of No MacGuffin, No Winner, as the whiskey has gone bad and is undrinkable.
  • Man in a Kilt: All the time.
  • Mood Dissonance: During the episode with Hector's funeral, the sombre mood of the funeral is broken by the coffin brought in not on the shoulders of uniformed coffin-bearers, but on the shoulders of workmen in hard hats.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Golly, who got his nickname when the wind blew his kilt aside and a girl who witnessed it said, "Golly!". His first name is eventually revealed to be Aloysius.
  • Only Sane Man: Archie.
  • Pretty in Mink: When the heating is turned off to save money, the family are forced to wear several layers of clothes at night, including Molly wearing her fur coat.
  • Put on a Bus: Archie
  • Repetitive Name: Donald MacDonald.
  • Rich Bitch: Lady Kilwillie
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Hector in spades. He justifies it by claiming "being rude is one of the few benefits of old age."
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Archie and Katrina.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Paul Bowman-MacDonald is introduced in Season 4, and replaces Archie from Season 6.
    • Averted with Donald MacDonald, who serves a broadly similar role to Hector, but has a very different personality.
  • The Clan: Clan MacDonald, of course!
  • They Do: Archie and Lexie
  • ViolinScam Variation, Golly and Andrew's revenge on the dealer who messes with Molly's antique sideboard
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hector and Lord Kilwillie, Type 2.