Duelling ‘petrol station' proprietors vie for the attention of the new Polish ‘greasy-spoon cafe’ owner as she strives to adjust to life in a sleepy village and turn the cafe into a fancy Polish Eatery, although all that the locals want is a decent bacon roll!
Loch Lonely Services is a petrol station in the fictional village Locheiinhead, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. After the by-pass took away major traffic from the village 5 years ago it has shrunk to a population of just 250 and dwindling.
The show is not about Scotland, or tourism, but rather the day-to-day interplay and relationships between the residents:
Duncan MacDonald runs the petrol station after his parents retired where he hangs out with his friends, Fingal, Alasdair and Jimbo, trying to negotiate their ever decreasing world;
Bobby and Jack run the only hotel and pub, The Green Man Inn, but don’t rent out rooms as Bobby wants to protect his cannabis operation;
Kathy & Jock, Duncan’s parents, are trying to enjoy retirement but can’t stop interfering in the business and in Duncan’s life;
Archibald Campbell, Duncan’s business rival as he owns the successful petrol station on the new by-pass (the Campbell/Macdonald feud is not lost on this writer);
then there is Weronika Kowalski, who has just bought the local greasy spoon cafe and intends to create a Polish eatery to the detriment of the locals, they would prefer a bacon roll to bulka z pieczarkami or paszteciki (both are tasty Polish snacks).
The attraction and sexual chemistry between Duncan and Weronika will be a running storyline throughout the series, that should not be resolved. Archibald is also Duncan’s love rival as he is attracted to Weronika too (as he says, he can offer Weronika much more that Duncan ever could), or is this another ploy to get under Duncan’s skin?
It's the day of the funeral of Rory. He owned and operated Marvin's One Stop Shop & Cafe. It's a closed casket as the 'accident' wasn't pretty. It's at the funeral and subsequent wake that we are introduced to the cast of characters and we find out that the cafe has been bought by someone with big ideas. Rumours abound. But the new owner isn't what they all expected!
Themes & Writer's Statement
The fictional Loch Eiin is the setting. ‘Eiin’ is the Norse word for ‘alone’, so it seemed appropriate to name the show with reference to the, sometimes, loneliness of the Highlands of Scotland that can be oppressive to someone that isn’t used to that lifestyle.
LOCH LONELY is in the style of ‘Two Doors Down’ and ‘Still Game’ by way of character development and formula but harking back to the absurdity and sheer silliness of ‘The High Life’, ‘Burnistoun’, ‘City Lights’ and (dare I say it) ‘The Vital Spark’ and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, all favourites of my own consumption of television sitcoms. ‘Loch Lonely’ is unashamedly aimed at the 40 + audience, but will resonate with younger and older viewers alike, not least of which are those villagers that have been affected by a by-pass. With that in mind I feel that LOCH LONELY is ripe for BBC Scotland production and a BBC 2 transmission.
This is the culmination of three aspects of influence in my life - my dad was a car dealer and garage owner; I spent several years working as a chef in small rural hotels throughout Scotland and I have a lifetime of meeting unusual characters on which I have based the inhabitants of Locheiinhead and situations I can put them into.
My childhood, for as long as I can remember, was at the feet of car dealers and garage owners. The interaction between these people is ingrained in my memory - how they spoke to one another; how they acted in contrast to what was actually happening - if business was great for them and they had sold a dozen motors that week they told their peers that business was very slow, in contrast if business was indeed slow they would hype up their week and say that they’d sold a hundred cars. It was all show and vanity.
In every village I worked in as a relief chef I came across the same characters. Different names, obviously, but the same people: the postman who also was the local bobby and then behind the bar organising a lock-in; the local bus driver who was at the back door of the hotel’s kitchen with some poached salmon or deer for example.