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The Sweeney (1975–1978)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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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 several episodes, an ambulance featured in the plot. It was always the same vehicle, carrying the fictitious registration number SJA 374R, SJA 374S (The Sweeney: Loving Arms (1976)) or SJA 374T (The Sweeney: Bait (1978)), with the suffix letter changing according to the year of filming because it denotes the year of registration. SJA stands for St John Ambulance, who owned the vehicle, and 374 is 374 Division, based at Kingston Upon Thames. See more »


Referenced in Angelos Epithemiou and Friends (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Kipper ties and expendable Cortinas
30 October 1999 | by (UK & Germany) – See all my reviews

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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