The Sweeney: Season 3, Episode 5

Taste of Fear (4 Oct. 1976)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime
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Robert Hargreaves, who has an apparently distinguished military background, joins Regan's team. However, at a raid on a caravan site to capture a gang of ex-soldiers who have carried out a ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Garfield Morgan ...
Norman Eshley ...
Det. Sgt. Robert Hargreaves
Arthur English ...
Tug Wilson
George Sweeney ...
Bernard Spear ...
Eileen Shaw
Ralph Arliss ...
Norma Streader ...
Helen Hargreaves
John Alkin ...
Anne-Louise Wakefield ...
Susie Farmer
Shay Gorman ...


Robert Hargreaves, who has an apparently distinguished military background, joins Regan's team. However, at a raid on a caravan site to capture a gang of ex-soldiers who have carried out a violent robbery and are armed, Hargreaves bottles it and cowers behind a tree. Running against the general tide of opinion, Regan believes he is unsuitable for the job but needs to find out more. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Comedy | Crime | Drama




Release Date:

4 October 1976 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the Flying Squad are at Tim Cook's caravan about to nick him, Regan tells Hargreaves to position himself by the tree on the right, when Regan does so, he is actually pointing to the tree on the left. See more »


Benny: Have you ever seen a pocket that deep?
Det. Insp. Jack Regan: Only on a Scotsman!
See more »

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User Reviews

One Of The Best Episoides
12 July 2015 | by (glasgow, scotland) – See all my reviews

The Sweeney is now routinely derided because the clothes are from the decade taste forgot and the attitudes of the two 'heroes'are at time something we all wish we could forget but at its best the show still stands up as being just about the best British cop show of them all and it is absolutely miles ahead now of American shows that were lauded in the same era such as Kojak which was, bizarrely it now seems, thought realistic and gritty.

This episode is ostensibly about a couple of very violent thugs the squad is trying to catch after a series of robberies but it is really about the newcomer to the squad Bob Hargreaves as played by Norman Eshley. Eshley was best known as George and Mildred's pompous neighbour from the sitcom 'George and Mildred' which ran around the same time as this episode was broadcast and he was never a particularly highly thought of performer but here as the cowardly detective who finally gets found out he gives the one memorable performance of his career.

As a viewer we share Regan's belief that there is something not quite right about the eager if arrogant new member of the team that is more than just his obvious character failing. The clever thing is we learn what his deeper failing is just before Regan and Carter do when Bob/Eshley makes a real mess of a stakeout. Regan- the incomparable John Thaw- has his suspicions but it is only at the end that the rest of the squad learn that the new man has 'no bottle'and although it is not an attractive quality we (and Regan) ultimately sympathise with him.

One of the villains-the scarily psychotic Cookie as played by the excellent George Sweeney- also turns up in the series finale 'On The Run' which is also very, very good.

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