‘Monarch of the Glen’, Series 3, Episode 1 (TV)

monarchseries3part1dvd monarch of the glen


Please feel free to comment on my review.

So here we are on the third series of ‘Monarch of the Glen’. This is where it starts to go downhill a bit. Don’t get me wrong. Series 3 is pretty good and I do have happy memories of watching it back in 2003.

But having watched the series overall, the direction changes in what ‘Monarch’ wants to be. In the first two seasons, it focused on the romance between Archie and Katrina. That all changes in Series 3.

For you see, this episode features the last appearance of Lorraine Pilkington as Katrina. I was sad this was the last TV appearance of Katrina and I’d hoped more would be explored between her and Archie.

At the end of Series 2, Archie and Katrina became a couple. By the end of this episode though, their relationship quietly dies. I assumed Series 3 was to be a great opportunity for Archie and Katrina as a couple.

I don’t know why Lorraine Pilkington didn’t agree to stay on throughout Series 3. Maybe it was unavailability; personal reasons or that she believed the character had lived its course, I’m not certain.

Either way, she didn’t stay on to play Katrina in Series 3 and the relationship between her and Archie is short-lived. It’s rather sad and it would’ve been nice to see more potential in their relationship together.

With that said, let’s talk about what actually did happen in Series 3 itself. Series 3 contains 11 episodes in total and it stars Richard Briers as Hector, Susan Hampshire as Molly and Alistair Mackenzie as Archie.

There’s also Dawn Steele as Lexie, Alexander Morton as Golly and Hamish Clark as Duncan. Lexie’s character would be developed prominently in Series 3 as she soon becomes Archie’s new love interest.

Series 3 also introduces a brand-new character who would become a new team member in the first episode. That character is of course…Alexandra Gilbreath as Stella Moon, who is from Lasselle’s Bank.

Stella is an interesting character as she comes to help with the estate’s finances. She’s not a particularly nice character. She likes to have her own way, especially with running Glenbogle’s estate.

I imagine the original intention for Series 3 was to have Fleming back since he worked for Lasselle’s in Series 1 and 2. But the production team created the new character of Stella, who works very well here.

But yeah, Stella as a banker tells Archie to take a back-seat position as she sorts the numerous problems concerning the estate. Archie first assumed she’d bring the cheque for the damaged bridge.

Oh yeah, the damaged bridge was something that happened at the end of Series 2, caused by Hector. Archie applied for a really large loan from the bank to repair the bridge. He didn’t expect Stella to stay.

Archie attempts to get rid of Stella as he believes her running the estate won’t help things. But Stella is determined to stay and she turns out to be a pretty cunning opponent than Archie had first anticipated.

By the way, you might be wondering what the reason was for Katrina to leave the series. Well, she gets offered the job of her dreams to work in parliament. She had to choose whether to accept this job.

Thankfully, Katrina doesn’t leave Archie abandoned since she helped to sort out Stella and persuade her to work with Archie in the time she is in Glenbogle. Katrina is pretty good in the political side of things.

Julian Fellowes guest stars as Kilwillie in the episode, as he competes with Hector for presidency of the local golf club. That competition between Hector and Kilwillie was pretty enjoyable to watch here.

Molly helps Kilwillie in his campaign to win the presidency, since she wants Hector to spend more time with her than at the golf club. It was quite amusing when Hector got astonished by Kilwillie’s winning efforts.

I liked the scene where most of Archie’s family including Hector, Molly, Lexie, Golly and Duncan rallied round to support him against Stella when she was taking over. They do come across as loyal to Archie.

It was amusing to see the infatuation that Duncan had for Stella in the first episode. Stella plays to Duncan’s infatuation since she uses it to her own advantage in getting what she wants, such as crossing the loch.

The first episode of Series 3 is a pretty good season opener. It’s a shame Katrina left the series at the start of Series 3, but it’s good this episode introduces Stella and what occurs for the rest of the season later on.

‘Series 3, Episode 1’ rating – 8/10

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