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The Sweeney

By Steve Napleton

If you were watching TV in the mid-1970s chances are The Sweeney was one of the weekly highlights and these re-mastered collections will have you pining for a time when the only choice was brown or beige, and a monkey would buy you a lot more than a nice whistle. If, however, these episodes are your first taste of Detective Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw) and Detective Sergeant George Carter (Dennis Waterman) of the Flying Squad, be warned that you will soon be telling friends to "Shut it!" and scouring the pages of Exchange and Mart for a mint-condition Ford Granada in Tawny Metallic (ironically the choice ride for slags in the show was the Jaguar MK2, later to become so closely associated with Thaw's more cerebral take on policework, Inspector Morse).

First aired as 1974's pilot Regan, the show was produced by Thames Television subsidiary Euston Films and ran over four series and 53 episodes. Despite being given strict guidelines on speaking parts, locations and structure, writers were expected to produce scripts very quickly and individual episodes were filmed within 10 working days. Based on this frenetic schedule, the result was a choice parade of slags, blags and assorted lowlife, played out across fantastic London locations with a gritty humour that set the agenda for many of the small-screen cop shows to follow. Regan and Carter manage to fit up a few collars between pints, and even occasionally shed their nylon shirts and flares for a distinctly unromantic interlude between the sheets--brown of course.



Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our The Sweeney forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other The Sweeney viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

The Sweeney has to be one of the best, if not THE best police show of all time! Every storyline was fantastic, packed with action, car chases, and of course, plenty of blags n slags! The London locations are great and if like me you are into classic cars, its fantastic to see them all, especially the mk1 3.0 Consul GT. There really wasn't a bad episode!

Wish someone would bring out the whole series on dvd! The best car chase episode was from series one called "Stoppo Driver". This features an electryfying chase ending in the mk2 Jag getting totalled! My favourite eppisode thgough was from series two, called "Thou Shall Not Kill". This featured all the classic ingriedients, a bit of a car chase, a gripping storyline about a bank raid, and a bit of a shootout! Amazing! Thaw and Watterman really wewre the perfect team together and with help from such stars as Garfield Morgan, its no wonder The Sweeney was such a hit! So go on next time its on the telly put it on and relive all those classic moments, even if its only to hear that supreme line "Shut It"!


Note: This is just a random sample of the The Sweeney messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!



Aired: 1974-1977

Cast: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman

Network: Thames

Genre: Police Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of Thames Television

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