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Monarch of the Glen was loosely based on Sir Compton Mackenzie's Highland Novels. The first book was also called Monarch of the Glen and featured the return of Archie MacDonald to his homeland, to face up to his family responsibilities. Although rooted in the same location, the action was shifted from the 1930s and 1940s to the present day.
Art imitating art
The title ‘Monarch of the Glen’ was derived from a painting by Landseer, don’t you know. Painted in 1851, the picture was one of the artist’s later works and depicts a group of majestic stags. Landseer had first visited the Highlands in 1824.
When fans learnt that Alastair Mackenzie was planning to leave the series they set up petition to persuade him to stay. Their pleas fell on death ears, however and he left during the fifth season. The actor has since appeared in episodes of Lewis, The Mentalist, Poirot and Skins.
From Scotland to Scandi
Mackenzie’s is the new love interest to Sidse Babett Knudsen’s glamorous PM in the third and final series of the hit Scandi drama Borgen. And you may (or may not) be pleased to hear that the actress has been quoted as saying Mackenzie is a great kisser!
The plays the thing
Before joining the cast as Archie’s successor Paul, Lloyd Owen played Professor Henry Jones in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the part made famous by Sean Connery in the films. His first love is the theatre, however and he has appeared in Closer, numerous Shakespeare plays and The Bodyguard.
Despite the numerous cast departures, one change in the line-up proved very satisfying – the introduction of former Doctor Who Tom Baker as Donald MacDonald. One of Britain’s most eccentric actors playing an eccentric – genius!
Love at the end of the Glen
The last ever episode was a bit of a fan-pleaser, with the majority of the cast pairing-up and posing for a group photo. Julian Fellowes, Susan Hampshire and Richard Briers (as the ghost of Hector) returned, but fans hoping for an appearance by Archie and Lexie were to be short-changed.
From Glenbogle to Downton
Perhaps inspired by his time on the show, Julian Fellowes went on to create Downton Abbey, another tale of a family country estate in peril.