Customer Review

138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant TV crime drama, neatly packaged, 24 Nov. 2007
This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
The Sweeney is by far the best TV series about British policing ever screened. It's gritty, hard-hitting (literally); packed with strong characters and tight plots; blessed with one of our great TV actors, and it set a very high bar for subsequent series to try to reach.
The Sweeney has very little of the gloss of American cops-n-robbers series. Instead it's set in the very grubby, very cheap offices of London's Flying Squad with rogue copper Jack Regan (John Thaw) and his regular crew. They break the rules, they beat up the bad guys, they take a pounding themselves. And they drive truly cool cars form the 1970s in some of the most unlikely chase scenes -- nearly always on the edge of losing control... much like Regan himself.

The early episodes of the first couple of series are the ones to treasure. If you're in any way offended by violent, bad-tempered behaviour, naked girlies and angry shouting, then don't watch. If you're gripped by the desperate situations that Regan gets himself in to, and compelled to see whether the Sweeney will come out on top this time (they don't always get their man, in fact they often fail when Regan cuts corners), then buy this set and sit back and enjoy. It's remarkable how much the writers could cram into 50 minutes, and how well it reflects the criminal underbelly of London at the time.
A whole genre of TV and film owes its birth to the Sweeney. Without this series there never would have been 'Lock, Stock...' or Layer Cake, never mind Life on Mars. The Sweeney set the tone and it has not been bettered.
The film-making of the 1970s has been massively surpassed in recent years, but the characters and plots of the Sweeney will reveal that even the best of current TV drama is pretty limp by comparison. OK, the series loses the plot somewhat in the last series, with flippant episodes which Thaw and Waterman almost play for laughs -- but when it's good, the Sweeney is unbeatable. And this set just about covers the ground (although you should try to catch the movies, too).
After all, it gave us grown men calling each other 'guv'nor' and 'skipper', driving old Jags and yelling 'SHUT IT'. That's a brilliant night in, innit?
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Mar 2010 04:20:04 GMT
Sharmila says:
Excellent review.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 13:32:55 BDT
I agree. Plus I love the use of the word innit at the end:)
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