Pre-cursor to the television series 'The Sweeney'. Tough cop Jack Regan (John Thaw) breaks all the rules to catch the man responsible for the death of a policeman. He is, however, surprised when he encounters resistance from fellow officers in the Flying Squad.
is classic TV drama that will have you saying, "they don't make 'em like that any more". This is the feature-length pilot to what became the long-running TV series The Sweeney
, starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as the hard-as-nails Flying Squad double act. The story opens in a south London pub decorated in shades of brown so manifold that it forms a patina on the screen more normally associated with a painterly artist. It's the early 1970s, and Thaw's Inspector Regan is a lone ranger fighting on several fronts including the imminent modernisation of the police force, which he describes as a vision of "hundreds of little grey men working on top of each other, pots of tea and committees". The dialogue is clever, rich and funny. When Regan tries to persuade Carter to work with him on the case he growls: "Mary darling, I'm not trying to start an affair with you." The heroes have thinning hair and bad habits: Regan drinks whiskey in the middle of the day and constantly smokes, he's lost his wife, let down his daughter, and then loses his girlfriend (Maureen Lipman). The filming is wonderfully crafted--shots taken from odd angles, action that surprises and gritty London locations. "You're a copper. You belong like me out in the cold," Regan says to Carter in the last scene as they go off to get a drink out of licensed hours. Not the end, but the start of a beautiful relationship. --Joan Byrne