British police series which revolutionised the genre on UK television in the mid 1970s. Jack Regan (see also 'Regan' (1974)) played by John Thaw is a hard edged detective in the Flying ... See full summary »
British police series which revolutionised the genre on UK television in the mid 1970s. Jack Regan (see also 'Regan' (1974)) played by John Thaw is a hard edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan police (called 'the Sweeney' from the Cockney rhyming slang 'Sweeney Todd' = 'Flying Squad"). He pursues villains by methods which are underhand, often illegal themselves, frequently violent and more often than not successful. The series was made on film a preserves a gritty realism inherited from such films as 'Get Carter' (1971) Written by
The interiors - squad office, interview rooms, prison cells - were filmed at Colet Court in Hammersmith which was the offices of Euston Films, the company which made The Sweeney, Minder and The Professionals. Most of the location filming was done within a radius of a mile of Colet Court. See more »
When it first hit the screens in the mid 70s, "The Sweeney" was the first in a line of gritty, violent British cop shows which also included such series as "The Professionals" and "Dempsey and Makepeace". "The Sweeney" was a radical departure from the comparative coziness and tranquility of long-established shows like "Z Cars" and "Dixon of Dock Green" and portrayed a London full of violent villains brandishing sawn-off shotguns, pick axe handles, sideburns and flared trousers being pursued and often violently brought to justice by John Thaw's no-nonsense Detective Inspector Jack Regan and his sidekick Detective Sergeant George Carter, played by Dennis Waterman. Punch-ups, gunfights and car wrecks abounded, Thaw and Waterman frequently getting blood and grime on their enormous, tasteless ties and winged shirt collars as they strove to uphold law and order on the funky streets of Seventies London. Sometimes they'd introduce themselves to their quarry with lines like "we're The Sweeney, son - and we haven't had our dinner yet" before piling in, fists flying, to make the arrest. Violent, politically incorrect and still great entertainment, even after all these years.
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