SERIES 1, EPISODE 2
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The second episode of Series 1 of ‘Monarch’ is pretty good and this is where some of the comedy shines as well as the drama. I found myself laughing quite a bit whilst I watched the TV episode itself.
In the episode, Archie has decided to stay in Glenbogle for a little while just to sort out the financial mess the estate’s in. But he also hopes to take a short trip to London to talk things over with Justine.
That plan gets squandered when at Glenbogle railway station, Archie meets up with the MacDonald family’s banker, Mr. Fleming, who’s arrived. He tells Archie his father hasn’t responded to his letters.
By the way, I’ve been to that railway station that acts as Glenbogle’s railway station when my parents and I visited the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ country on holiday in 2003. We rode on a train there.
Archie, who feels obliged to sort out Glenbogle’s financial matters, returns home with Mr. Fleming to sort out this business of Hector MacDonald failing to reply to the bank’s letters. Things seem grim.
Simon Slater guest stars as Mr. Fleming, the bank executive who visits Glenbogle to deal with its financial debt. Simon Slater has also appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV story, ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’.
It has been argued that Fleming is a ruthless banker. But quite honestly, I found him rather pleasant despite being firm in his approach to sorting out the crisis that’s happening for the Glenbogle estate.
Mind you, Fleming does inform Archie that if the family can’t pay the outstanding debt they owe, then the bank will have no choice but to close Glenbogle. So therefore, Fleming is tough to win over.
Archie is anxious to save his family’s home that he decides to pull out all the stops to persuade Mr. Fleming and the bank to reconsider. Archie decides to give some impressive presentation to Fleming.
It does get tense when Fleming confronts Hector MacDonald about the fact he hasn’t responded to the bank’s correspondence. But Hector seems justified having filed the letters in a drawer unopened.
Yeah, Hector is acting rashly and irresponsibly regarding the bank compared to Archie. He treats them like an old enemy from the Battle of Culloden. Possibly due to old age and arrogance, I believe.
This episode also features the first appearance of Julian Fellowes as Kilwillie, Hector’s best friend and neighbour in Glenbogle. This is before Julian Fellowes went to create and produce ‘Downton Abbey’.
I like how Kilwillie gets introduced as a reoccurring character in the series. He could almost have been a regular in the show’s first three seasons, especially as he works opposite with Richard Briers.
This episode also highlights Lexie as a character. She comes across as witty and lively, especially when Fleming forms an attraction to her in the time he stays at Glenbogle, as she’s being hospitable.
It causes jealously to be aroused from Duncan, who clearly fancies her in the series. It’s interesting how the relationship between Duncan and Lexie gets handled when she does not return his feelings.
It was very funny when Duncan poisons Mr. Fleming’s meal during dinner and he’s coughing away and ends up being sick. It was hilarious to see Hector’s reaction and that his meal happens to be fine.
It of course jeopardises Archie’s chances of pleasing Fleming to make a payment of £100,000 in a week’s time. Archie, angry at what seems like sabotage, ends up sacking Lexie all because of Duncan.
Don’t worry! Lexie does stay on for the rest of the series. Mind you, it was amusing when Lexie knocked Duncan on the head with a saucepan off-screen, whilst Hector was still having his dinner. 😀
The episode also features the Glenbogle Hill Race which Duncan, Archie and Katrina take part in. Molly, Archie’s mum, places this large bet on Katrina to get a sum of money should she win the race.
The rivalry and the attraction between Archie and Katrina also seems to grow in this episode. It’s interesting how Archie and Katrina’s relationship is portrayed in the series. It’s a love and loathe one.
The episode ends with Duncan winning the Hill Race instead of Katrina and Anna Wilson-Jones as Justine, Archie’s girlfriend, turning up to see him. It appears Justine has some words to say to Archie.
‘Series 1, Episode 2’ rating – 10/10
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