Do you love Scotland? And BBC programs? Every since we returned from Scotland last summer we’ve been slowly making our way back through one of our favorite shows—Monarch of the Glen.
We had to go old school to get back to it—DVDs. We already owned five of the seven seasons, and I added one of the missing ones when I stumbled on it at a used book store. I’m still missing the final season, but when we get there, I’ll get it. This is one of the reasons I still buy DVDs. Sometimes your favorites aren’t on any streaming platform, although you’ll be glad to know that I recently found it on Amazon Prime Video free with ads (see the preview below for link!).
One of the interesting things about this series is that while it is based on a book (most BBC shows are, that’s why, I contend, they are so much better than American shows!), the book was published in the 1940s. From what I can tell, they took some of the situations of the book and crafted a completely different story around them and put it in a contemporary setting. I really want to read the book and see the inspiration, but haven’t gotten to it yet!
Here’s the general gist of the series:
Archie Macdonald left the family home in Scotland’s Highlands nearly ten years ago and had no desire to go back. When news of a family crisis reaches him, however, he reluctantly heads up to crumbling Glenbogle Castle.
So why do we love this series from the early 2000s? It’s got everything!
- Scottish views—lochs and wildlife, castles and highland hills wrapped in mist. In every episode we feel transported back to Scotland. And the accents–did I mention the accents???
- Drama—the heir is called back to the castle when things are crumbling financially. It’s a plot that continues to add tension throughout, the funding of an estate and brining it into the 21st century.
- Romance—oh, so many romantic threads! But suffice it to the say the main character, Archie, the son and heir, is adorable, so even when he’s being stupid about love, I still like him. 🙂
- Humor—whether it’s Archie’s eccentric parents or their equally eccentric neighbor Lord Killwillie (played by Julian Fellowes!), there is always something to make you laugh.
Like so many BBC shows, some of the main characters come and go over the seasons, but I love how they make the changes logical and the show continues on without a hiccup. (How do so many BBC shows make that transition so well and American shows do it so terribly?)
Even at over twenty years old, the stories, characters, and acting makes this an enjoyable watch again and again.
Have you seen this series? Do you have a favorite, slightly obscure BBC program?