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4.7 out of 5 stars47
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 December 2003
Both Amazon and the DVD cover list the running time as 90 minutes on this title. The correct time is actually just under 77 minutes, but according to the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) no cuts were made. This then is presumably how it originally aired back on the 4th June 1974 as part of 'Armchair Cinema' from Euston Films.
The only extra on the DVD is a short picture gallery of stills. Although the print is reasonably clean, the overall picture quality is not particularly impressive. Especially when compared to the digitally restored 'The Sweeney - The Complete First Series', which is stunning.
That said this is riviting stuff. All the major characters are included here. Garfield Morgan as Haskins, Morris Perry as Det. Chief Supt. Maynon and even Janet Key as Regan's ex-wife Kate. The story is a good one, with violence, excitement, pathos, and humour all rolled into one. The scene where Regan meets his ex-wife's boyfriend is absolutely brilliant. But in truth it is all brilliant, the acting, writing, direction, camerawork. Truly, a masterpiece of British television from the seventies.
'Regan' itself is well worth 5 stars, but the poor presentation from Digital Entertainment Ltd., loses a star from my rating.
If you are a fan of John Thaw, Dennis Waterman or 'The Sweeney' you will no doubt overlook the negatives and enjoy a superb pilot. I did.
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on 15 September 2012
Regan was the 1974 Armchair Cinema production for ITV by Euston films and is effectively the pilot episode and blueprint if you like for 'The Sweeney' series that followed, which ran up to 1978.

Indeed, the lead charachters in 'Regan' transferred to 'The Sweeney,' and the Regan pilot features some actors later to guest in the Sweeney such as Lee Montague (as Colin Kibber), Maureen Lipman (as a housewife), Morris Perry who was Supt. Manyon for example.

Indeed, Regan does feature a number of very recognisable 70's acting 'faces' such as Stephen Yardley as Insp Laker, and extras in the pub scene who crop up in diverse other contemporary 70's dramas such as 'Out,' probably Central Casting faces?

Regan was written by Ian Kennedy Martin and is a a very well written, taught and fast moving program, longer than the following Sweeney episodes, the film stands the extra length well. Use is well made of the now vanished East End docks area much of which was then derelict and now redeveloped.

The use of mounted cameras on the vehicles (where a lot of the lead actor's time is spent) lends an almost documentary feel to the film. The Euston films people got the best people available for Regan and the Sweeney behind the cameras and this really shows in the way these programs feel fresh and exciting to watch even today.

Certainly Regan is a world away from Dixon of Dock Green's homely style of law enforcement, the Flying Squad dealt with nasty people and when these programs aired, suddenly the public got a new and raw insight into Policing and indeed reality Policing. And they liked it. They liked seeing no neck villains getting duffed up by the police.

Perhaps to compare Regan to the Sweeney might seem unfair, but the simple fact is that the great actors who made Regan and later the Sweeney were superb. Making the Regan pilot, you may just presume it was just another acting job, making just another police drama program. But if you really watch it closely, they did this job justice.

What they did with that proposition was extremely good. Top quality would be a fair description of what they achieved. John Thaw and Denis Waterman are just two of the greats in British film making and television, you have to try and look past the action in Regan and the Sweeney and analyse how they made this believable television but also replicated this blueprint into 4 series which won awards.It looks hard, gritty and earnest, they made it look real, like a documentary and that is the difference, making it beleiveable is the skill.

The writing is excellent and the story twists and turns are very well done as Regan delves into the mysterious death of one of his men and starts looking for answers, he kicks in doors and says 'Get your trahserrs on, you're nicked!' as a matter of course. Regan of course is a maverick and a very driven man, who has to get the answers to his questions and quickly.

Some of his methods may not be acceptable in this risk averse world we live in now, but back then they often worked.

Not only does the acting and writing stand up after almost 40 years, but the quality of the people behind the camera involved in the film adds up to make this a very watchable entree to those who enjoy the Sweeney too.

Regan and the Sweeney for ITV really made their rivals at BBC have to sit up and take notice that Dixon of Dock Green and Z cars type material had suddenly become rather dated, and to their credit the BBC did come up with some good series such as Law and Order, Hazell, Shoestring and Bergerac later on in response.

Regan and the Sweeney used many outside locations in their productions which set the tone for the BBC rival shows to follow, another groundbreaking measure that these programs enjoyed.

I highly recommend this DVD.
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on 13 November 2012
"Regan" is now at my "Best Movies Ever" list. brilliantly written by Ian Kennedy Martin, it is intelligent, realistic, and have a good amount of action. And this DVD release is great.

The menus are one of the most beautiful I ever saw. The remasterization is outstanding, with a amazing picture quality, 5.1 sound, and "Music-Only" tracks it's a very good detail for the fans. And, as I said before, the film by itself is great. John Thaw and Dennis Waterman made excellent performances in this film.

I higly recommend you to buy this film and the Complete Series 1 of "The Sweeney". Lovers of Cop Movies and TV series will love it.
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on 18 September 2012
The Sweeney is, without doubt, the finest police drama ever made and it is about time to have a separate DVD release for this pilot.

If you are a massive fan of the brilliant show and are hoping this to be a forgotten gem of an episode then be warned: Regan hits new heights but also hits new lows.

High points are simple - you get to see Regan forging the relationship with Carter, which is a nice tough. You also see Regan operating totally outside of all parameters in the way that he never quite does on the TV show; the word Maverick does not ever come close...

Lows - well sadly John Thaw takes time to slip into the role and the first few minutes he is almost a little stilted. There are numerous clumsy continuity blunders (I'm not a geek so won't list them - well not on THIS website anyway) and moments where Thaw and Waterman clearly fluff their lines. The supporting acting is a little bleah too.

But all in all this has proven to be a worthwhile purchase for me and it has made me want to spend the next few weeks watching The Sweeney all over again. So job done. Now stop reading and buy this DVD!
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This is a fantastic video-its one of the best Sweeney storylines i have seen and every minute of the video is great! A definite must for ALL SWEENEY FANS!!!! Great actors great music and even better cars! Brilliant!
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on 4 February 2013
I was always a fan of 'The Sweeney' series and this being the pilot of the iconic show, thought i would give it a look.I was really impressed with John Thaw(regan) and Dennis waterman(Carter)roles as D.I and D.S respectively!This is certainly a 'shock' to the system as 'Regan' goes to any length to catch the criminals!Maybe the car chases or fight scenes could have been more professional,the scenes do seem more realistic!Both Regan and Carter work well together although Carter is'nt always impressed with his guv's methods,this makes the programme have a edgy feel to it.Both Regan and Carter play great roles and ,as you see in The sweeney, are two tough'coppers'who can also have a laugh!
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on 21 November 2014
Wanted to see the pilot for the series as had bought the Sweeney box set.
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on 9 October 2013
I had recently bought the sweeney series 1 & 2 and was looking for this when I got an email asking if I was interested. My husband was extremely pleased with his gifts, Thank you very very much. I would definitely recommend Amazon.
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on 28 March 2016
The first ever 'Sweeney' and a great introduction to what has become a cult series! Regan is a tough but loveable detective who bends the rules to get the job done, but is never corrupt and hates any form of corruption in the Met!
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on 27 June 2014
i watched this was a good dvd and worth watching. i would not watch it more than once myself as not into this type of programme. the person it was for is enjoying it as a fan of john thaw. he was a great actor
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