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The Sweeney (1975–1978)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,007 users  
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British police TV series which revolutionized the genre on UK television in the mid-1970s starring John Thaw as a hard-edged detective in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police.

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4   3   2   1  
1978   1976   1975  
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Det. Insp. Jack Regan (53 episodes, 1975-1978)
 Det. Sgt. George Carter (53 episodes, 1975-1978)
Garfield Morgan ...
 Det. Chief Insp. Frank Haskins (45 episodes, 1975-1978)


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 D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Comedy | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

2 January 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deckname Sweeney  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(53 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In occasional episodes, during the series reference would be made to corruption within the Met Police and Scotland Yard. Indeed, in the final episode, Jack Or Knave, Regan is accused (falsely) of corruption and leaves the force in disgust at his treatment. However, in 1977, at the height of the shows popularity, Commander Ken Drury ,the former head of the real Flying Squad and several other very high ranking Scotland Yard detectives were convicted of bribery and corruption over many years and given lengthy jail sentences. See more »


Referenced in 28 Up (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The anachronisms fall away and leave...
11 June 2007 | by (Mexborough, England) – See all my reviews

On promotional material for 70s US cop series Starsky and Hutch when it was remade, Paul Michael Glaser commented that that series worked because it was first about men, second about cops. The same applies for The Sweeney. Regan and Carter are not perfect, they are not saints, they are not superheroes. They do not solve every crime perfectly. That is why we can relate to them. We watch them and see men like ourselves.

The setting is firmly in the Seventies, with all its period detail. But as with Starsky and Hutch, we see the relationship between men engaged in battle. The dated backdrops fall away and we see the same spirit behind it - an appeal to heroism in an age when this is lacking.

The series is over 30 years old but talks to men today. Therein lies its continued appeal - and success.

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