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Dr. Finlay is a fictional character, the hero of a series of stories by Scottish author A. J. Cronin.

Dr. Finlay
First appearanceCountry Doctor
Created byA.J. Cronin
Portrayed byBill Simpson
David Rintoul
John Gordon Sinclair
OccupationMedical Practitioner

Short storiesEdit

First appearing in Cronin's novella entitled Country Doctor and in several subsequent short stories published in Hearst's International Combined with Cosmopolitan magazine from 1935 through 1939, Dr Finlay Hylsop is a general physician beginning his practice in the fictional Scottish town of Levenford. One of the later short stories would take him to the lochside village of Tannochbrae. In these stories, he was charming and became well-acquainted with his patients over many years. It was thus his trademark to know them from birth to death and so provide a continuous relationship.[1] The works would later be collected and republished under several titles, including Adventures of a Black Bag, Dr. Finlay of Tannochbrae, Further Adventures of a Country Doctor and Dr. Finlay's Casebook.


The stories were used as the basis of the long-running BBC television programme Dr Finlay's Casebook, screened from 1962 to 1971, and radio series of the same name (1970–78). For these productions, the main character was rechristened Dr Alec Finley, played by Bill Simpson, and made a newly-joined junior partner in the Tannochbrae practice of craggy senior partner Dr Cameron, played by Andrew Cruickshank, with Janet, their unflappable housekeeper and receptionist at Arden House, played by Barbara Mullen. Dr Finlay returned to television with the ITV series, Doctor Finlay, continuing the stories into the late 1940s, which featured David Rintoul as Dr Finlay, Ian Bannen as Dr Cameron, and Annette Crosbie as Janet. It was later broadcast in the U.S. on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre. The characters made their return to radio in 2001, when BBC Radio 4 broadcast the six-episode series, Dr Finley: Adventures of a Black Bag, set in Levenford, with John Gordon Sinclair voicing Dr Finlay, Brian Pettifer as Dr Cameron, Katy Murphy as Janet, and a recurring role of nurse Peggy Angus played by Sharon Small. This was followed by two series of Dr Finley: Further Adventures of a Black Bag in 2002 and 2003, with Sinclair and Pettifer joined by Celia Imrie as Janet, and Stella Gonet as Nurse Angus.


  1. ^ Valorie A. Crooks, Gavin J. Andrews (2009), Primary Health Care: People, Practice, Place, ISBN 9780754672470

External linksEdit