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The Sweeney Series One
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The Sweeney is the Flying Squad. It is a name derived from Cockney rhyming slang (Sweeney Todd = Flying Squad), used by police and underworld alike to refer to this highly mobile force of top London crime-busters. The revolutionary series that introduced a new kind of police drama, The Sweeney depicts the violent clashes between the Flying Squad and the deadly world of organized crime.
DI Jack Regan (John Thaw - Inspector Morse) is the total professional, a 24-hours-a-day cop whose commitment to his job has already led to the break-up of his marriage. Regan's partner, DS George Carter (Dennis Waterman - Minder), is a sharp, South London Cockney. Together, Regan and Carter lead a unit of skilled detectives who infiltrate and bust up London's criminal underworld.
The epitome of 1970's style and attitudes, The Sweeney is action-packed with exciting car chases, fistfights, boozing, break-ins, gunfire, brash dialogue and a multitude of talented guest actors.
Regan (Pilot) / Ringer / Jackpot / Thin Ice / Queen's Pawn / Jigsaw / Night Out / The Placer / Cover Story / Golden Boy / Stoppo Driver / Big Spender / Contact Breaker / Abduction
Top Customer Reviews
John Thaw, as Detective Inspector Jack Regan, perfectly fills what is possibly his best known role, apart from Inspector Morse. Dennis Waterman, as Regan's partner, Sergeant George Carter, is equally talented in fisticuffs, which would come in handy in Waterman's next series, Minder, where he played bodyguard for hire, Terry McCann.
Regan often twisted the rules of the law to apprehend his criminals, usually convincing the apprehensive Carter to help. Regan was often in trouble with his superiors, and was under constant scrutiny from internal affairs. The show lasted 4 seasons, and ended with Regan actually getting ... well, I won't give it away!
Apart from the double disc set of the 2 late 70's Sweeney big screen films, which has been available on Amazon for years now, the 4 seasons of this hugely popular British show have not been available in the US until now! It's about time!
The Sweeney was complusive viewing in the nineteen seventies. The Sweeney is cockney slang for the Flying Squad a group of elite dectectives who battle organised crime, armeed robbery and other crimes carried out by professional criminals.
THe success of the show is due to the partership of John Thaw as Inspecter Jack Reagan and his sidekick Sargent George Carter played by Denis Waterman. Reagan and Carter spend as much of their time drinking, smoking and chasing women as they do catching criminals, this is the seventies after all. Morse may use his brains to catch the criminal, Reagan is more likely to use his fists.
Unlike other British dectective shows the Sweeney does not involve complex murder cases set amougst the middle classes. The bad guys in the Sweeney are working class armed robbers, professional burglars and safe crackers. Reagan and Carter while being totaly honest (the real Flying Squad was famous for it's corruption) behave just like the villians they chase.
Because guns have always been less common in Britain than in the US, even amougst criminals, the Sweeney contains some great fight scenes as the police battle it out with criminals armed with pickaxe handles, chains etc. The show also has some great comic one liners making it one of the most funny drama series ever.
The Sweeney is a must for all lovers of cop shows.Read more ›
Remember when US TV comedy was mostly cringe inducing twaddle, but British TV comedy was genius stuff like Fawlty Towers and Good Neighbors? What you DIDN'T know was that serious British TV drama was often just as brilliant, but didn't translate as well ("too British") and had no hope of a US licensing deal to allow you to see it.
And thus we have THE SWEENEY, a ground-breaking show about Britain's elite coppers The Flying Squad. (Cockney rhyming slang: Flying Squad = Sweeney Todd = The Sweeney.) Previous British police shows had been relatively genteel affairs, but THE SWEENEY exposed the raw side of street policing. Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw of Inspector Morse fame) is a born cop and a stone predator in the crime jungle. He will bend the rules when necessary to achieve rough justice. His sidekick George Carter (Dennis Waterman) often calls his methods into question, but is always ready when the scrap is on.
Rather than dissect every episode and angle, let me just say that if you cherish great acting, strong casting, inventive plotting and tasty style, THE SWEENEY will afford you many hours of pleasure. The dialog will, at times, require a US viewer to listen attentively. Once you've watched a few episodes and gotten into the London and Manchester argot, it becomes easier. I could wish for an English subtitle track in future series however. It's been a lifesaver with Life on Mars: Series 1 [Region 2] where it can get a bit thick.
"Are you married?"
"No, I've always walked with a limp"
It's hard to sum up the genius of The Sweeney. When you watch 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock...' they are good movies but you watch The Sweeney and there is no overacting...it's all almost natural. The one-liners are delivered with as much ease as asking someone to pass the salt. Reagans snarly face and caustic wit, Carter's ethics but overriding loyalty and the leash pulling guv Haskins or 'askins just add constant flavor and spice to each episode.
The villians are always one-dimensional no good fiends. Everyone always gets hauled in for questioning with no regard for red-tape "nick 'im an' all"
It's wonderful stuff. No great mystery or plots but great characters. John Thaw was a genius RIP but Dennis Waterman is almost like Nicholas Lyndhurst's Rodney to Del Boy...he's crucial to Thaw's Reagan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this perhaps because first it was John Thaw and next because it did a great job of reenacting the 1970s environment in London. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Sweeney is a compilation of clichés and copied stories from other detective movies and series. Read morePublished 19 months ago by RR in Texas
This series is credited as being the first of the gritty police stories and frequently features Shakespearean actors playing the bad guys!Published 19 months ago by Steven R. Urquhart
This set takes me back. I used to watch the series religiously when it originally ran in the seventies. Read morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Michael Taylor
This is the original tv show which the movie was based on.I brought this for my husband for christmas,as i grew up in the uk i was able to watch it when i was growing up. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by denise b george
I had already viewed all of these from Inter-Library Loan in the past couple of years, so I knew what I was ordering. I am thrilled to have the entire series at my fingertips. Read morePublished on January 16, 2014 by Humble Mozart-Devotee
Great DVD set. Enjoyed seeing my old neighborhoods again! Would certainly like to own all the series. Would make nice gift for an Anglophile.Published on November 25, 2013 by Sam E
I was delighted to find the service was once more available. However season one was not what I remembered. Perhaps it is later seasons which get that hard edge I remember. Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Caro Soles