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
Many of the famous catchphrases used by Regan and Carter (e.g., "Get your trousers on - you're nicked" and "We're The Sweeney, son, and we haven't had our dinner yet") were the result of the programme's researchers studying the way real members of the Flying Squad ("The Sweeney") talked when off-duty in pubs near New Scotland Yard. See more »
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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