John Drake is a special operative for NATO, specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace. The series featured exotic locales from all ... See full summary »
The show is particularly poorly-preserved in the archives: although the first season survives intact, there are very large gaps in the known holdings. Of the 191 editions, it is thought that only 56 are still known to exist; of these some installments no longer survive in their original format (e.g. there are only monochrome film prints of two color videotaped stories). Only seven of the later episodes exist in color. See more »
I am glad that this site has been updated since I last looked in - when Effie Morrison was only credited with 4 episodes!!! Now it is up to a more realistic 38! The lack of content until recently explains why there are so few comments on this popular and long lived series.
I am too young to remember many of the episodes well - so any reminders would be most welcome! However I did grow up near to where the original writer, A J Cronin, grew up and the production team did a very good job in creating the right ambiance. It is recommended that anyone read up on A J Cronin in order to understand what his stories are based on. He first wrote "Country Doctor" in 1935 and followed by "Adventures of a Black Bag" and "Further Adventures of a Black Bag" on which the Dr Finlay is based - as well as a string of Oscar nominations from his "Citadel" and "The Stars Looked Down". Noel Coward also relied on him for the medical specialities of the doctor in "Brief Encounter".
A lot of the "human interest" of his stories would have come not just from his own experiences but also those of his paternal grandparents, who ran a pub in the district, and from his mother - who was Scotland's first female public health inspector!
Although he practised medicine in South Wales, when he qualified as a doctor from Glasgow, Dr Finlay is definitely set in his home district on the River Leven, which leaves Loch Lomond and ends up going into the River Clyde after a 6 mile run and a 25 foot drop. Unfortunately some industry was attracted to the limited power of the river - leaving few postcard opportunities in the towns for the TV crews!
The first 6 episodes were filmed on the edge of Glasgow at Milngavie's Tannoch Loch and on Tannoch Drive (A J Cronin's choice of name for the town was "Levenford" not "Tannochbrae") On such details does destiny spin! Once the BBC knew that it could pull in an audience it upped the budget and spent enough money to film in somewhere pretty. In fact the views from Callander to the surrounding hills are much of a muchness with those that A J Cronin saw from his hometown - but the towns are chalk and cheese! Viewers escapism won out! (Probably just as well!)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?