A special branch officer is led a merry dance by gangsters from a London pub and, although he survives a brutal beating 'get rid off this filth,' he subsequently dies. Enter John Thaw's vengeful and unconventional copper 'Regan'.






Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Montague ...
Arthur Dale
Janet Key ...
Kate Regan
Morris Perry ...
Stephen Yardley ...
Det. Insp. Laker
Miquel Brown ...
Carl Rigg ...
Michael Da Costa ...
Ron Pember ...
Landlord (as Ronald Pember)


This one-off TV play became the pilot episode of the British police series 'The Sweeney', and introduced the tough detective Jack Regan, whose hard, unconventional methods of detection bring him more trouble from his bosses than from criminals. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Release Date:

4 June 1974 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


After Cowley is run over, there is a shot of his warrant card when a witness to the collision takes it from his pocket. The card says his name is "Alan Cowley". However in the later scene when Regan goes to break the news to Cowley's grandmother, Cowley is referred to as "Tom". See more »


Annie: Will I see you tonight?
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: No.
Annie: Tomorrow night?
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: Definitely.
Annie: Oooh. One night in nine. Not bad. Who gets you the other eight?
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: I'm sorry, Annie. I've got a big job on.
Annie: Is that right? Tell me, Jack, when do you ever have a *small* job on?
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: Tomorrow night, I promise.
Annie: Knockout. I'll run home now, get into my negligee and wait by the window.
See more »


Featured in TV Heaven: TV Heaven 1974 (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Sheer professionalism
29 October 2001 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Regan, despite what the DVD cover insists, is not a film, but a 1974 television play which was so successful it led to a series being commisionned, which was none other than "The Sweeney", probably still the best crime drama British television has ever produced. And what a drama Regan is.It's hard to imagine there was ever any doubt a series would follow this, as a thoroughly professional team struck gold with this gripping and superbly directed thriller driven by John Thaw's powerhouse performance. Unlike the early episodes of the series, Regan focuses exclusively on Thaw's character, underlining his loner, maverick traits by isolating him from his Scotland Yard colleagues as he goes out on a limb to find the killers of a young policeman. The cast give outstanding performances, from Lee Montague's terrifying gangland boss dale (the scene with the ice skate is breathtaking) to Maureen Lipman in a charming supporting role as Regan's girlfriend. The two best scenes however are cunningly positioned next to each other. Regan has to visit the dead policeman's grandmother to break the news to her. "You know something, " he tells Carter as they sit in the car, the rain falling on the glass. "That old lady's got no reason to go on living. Whoever killed Cowley killed two people." It is a beautiful scene and even more affecting as is followed by Regan visitng his ex-wife. Trying to explain the reason why he is late she interrupts with "I'm not interested anymore in your silly cases and your stupid criminals." There is some super black comedy too as Regan's tension distorts into offensiveness, directed at his wife's new lover. By turns seedy, violent, funny, touching and exciting, Regan is a stunning piece of television which excels in all areas.

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