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Encyclopedia > The Sweeney
The Sweeney
Format Police / Crime
Created by Ian Kennedy Martin
Starring John Thaw
Dennis Waterman
Theme music composer Harry South
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 53
Production
Producer(s) Thames Television
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Original run 1975 – 1978

The Sweeney was a British television police drama focusing on two crime-fighting members of the Flying Squad, an elite branch of the British police force specialising in armed robbery and violent crime. The programme title came from Cockney rhyming slang: Sweeney Todd = 'Flying Squad'. The programme, made by Thames Television's Euston Films Limited subsidiary, was originally aired on ITV between 1975 and 1978, starring John Thaw as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Dennis Waterman as Detective Sergeant George Carter. Such was its popularity in the UK that it even spawned two theatrically-released feature film spin-offs, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2. Sweeney is an ancient clan name with Irish/Scottish links, and is closely related to the clans MacSween and MacQueen, the sept names all sharing the Gaelic origins of MacSuibhne meaning son of Sweyn. The Sweeney clan claim kinship, mentioned in the Fenian cycle with the Irish high kings, of... Ian Kennedy Martin (born May 23, 1936) is a British television scriptwriter. ... John Thaw (left) as Inspector Morse John Edward Thaw CBE (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002) was an English actor who achieved his first starring role in the military police television drama Redcap (1964 – 1966), and subsequently appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles. ... Dennis in The Sweeney For the character in Little Britain, see Dennis Waterman (Little Britain). ... Harry South (1929 – 1990) was an English jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, who later moved into film and television soundtrack work. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Independent Television (generally known as ITV, but also as ITV Network) is a public service network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC. ITV is the oldest commercial television network in the UK. Since 1990 and the Broadcasting... The police procedural is a sub-genre of the mystery story which tries to demonstrate accurately the activities of a police force as they investigate crimes. ... (Other meanings: a union flying squad is a subset of a labor union) The Flying Squad is a branch of Londons Metropolitan Police force. ... Cockney rhyming slang is a form of English slang which originated in the East End of London. ... For other uses, see Sweeney Todd (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Euston Films was a British film and television production company. ... Independent Television (generally known as ITV, but also as ITV Network) is a public service network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC. ITV is the oldest commercial television network in the UK. Since 1990 and the Broadcasting... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... John Thaw (left) as Inspector Morse John Edward Thaw CBE (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002) was an English actor who achieved his first starring role in the military police television drama Redcap (1964 – 1966), and subsequently appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles. ... Dennis in The Sweeney For the character in Little Britain, see Dennis Waterman (Little Britain). ... A reel of film, which predates digital cinematography. ...


The Sweeney was the first really modern British TV police-based series. Previously, most dramas featuring the police had shied away from showing 'coppers' as fallible human beings. The police in The Sweeney were a world away from Dixon of Dock Green or Z Cars. They were brutal and violent in dealing with London's hardened criminals, prone to cutting corners and bending laws. The series showed a side of the police which often had a disregard for authority, rules and the 'system', as long it got the job done. Until the Sweeney this had been a subject largely whitewashed by British television. Dixon of Dock Green was a popular BBC television series, which ran from 1955 to 1976, and later a radio series. ... Z-Cars (sometimes written as Z Cars, and always pronounced zed, never zee) was a British television drama series centred around the work of regular beat police officers in the fictional town of Newtown, based on Kirkby near Liverpool, in the north-west of England. ...


A big-screen adaptation is currently planned for 2008. Ray Winstone's name has been linked several times with the role of Regan, although not officially. The film is scheduled to be directed by Nick Love and written by him and Ian Kennedy Martin. It is not yet known if the film will be set in the 1970s or in present day. Raymond Andrew Winstone (born February 19, 1957) is an Emmy Award winning English film and television actor. ... Nick Love (born December 24, 1969) is a British film director and writer. ...


Currently the programme is being broadcast on ITV4 times vary . ITV4 is a UK television station which launched on November 1, 2005. ...

Contents

Origins

The series was created by writer Ian Kennedy Martin, brother of the better-known Troy Kennedy Martin who contributed several episodes and wrote the second film. The programme was born out of a one-off drama, called Regan, which Ian Kennedy Martin had written for Thames Television's Armchair Cinema series of one-offs in 1974. From the very beginning, the show was seen as having series potential. After it scored highly in the ratings, work began on the development of the series proper. Ian Kennedy Martin's ideas for the series were for it to be partially studio-based, with more dialogue and less action; producer Ted Childs disagreed with this and Ian Kennedy Martin reluctantly parted company with the project. Ian Kennedy Martin (born May 23, 1936) is a British television scriptwriter. ... Troy Kennedy Martin (born 1932; sometimes credited as Troy Kennedy-Martin) is a British film and television scripwriter. ... For the album of the same name, see Armchair Theatre (Jeff Lynne album) Armchair Theatre was a British television drama anthology series, which ran on the ITV network from 1956 until 1968 in its original form, and was intermittently resurrected at various points during the 1970s. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Ted Childs is a British television producer, screenwriter and director, whose notable works include Kavanagh QC, Soldier Soldier, Making Waves, Inspector Morse and its spin-off Lewis. ...


Writers were brought in and given quite strict guidelines to follow: "Each show will have an overall screen time (minus titles) of 48mins 40secs. Each film will open with a teaser of up to 3 minutes, which will be followed by the opening titles. The story will be played across three acts, each being no more than 19 minutes and no less than 8 minutes in length. Regan will appear in every episode, Carter in approximately 10 out of 13 episodes. In addition to these main characters, scripts should be based around three major speaking parts, with up to ten minor speaking parts".


Characters

The main two characters were Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Sergeant George Carter, their superior officer being DCI Frank Haskins.


Jack Regan

John Thaw as DI Jack Regan in episode one, series one of The Sweeney.
John Thaw as DI Jack Regan in episode one, series one of The Sweeney.

Detective Inspector John 'Jack' Regan (played by John Thaw) is the Flying Squad's chief thief-taker. He's a tough no-nonsense copper, who is often frustrated by Scotland Yard red tape. Originally from Manchester (like John Thaw himself), he has been in London for several years so his accent has modified somewhat but traces are still evident. He also refers to his northern roots every now and again (his poor upbringing, his father's work on the Manchester Ship Canal) which brings mild ridicule from George Carter. Heavy drinking and smoking (comically, Jack is more often than not stealing other people's cigarettes), Regan also has some success with the ladies, although not as much as George Carter. He has an ex-wife, Kate, and a daughter, Susie. In the last episode of the first series, Abduction, Susie is kidnapped. Regan is a hardman but he is human: he helps out an ex-informer whose son is kidnapped in Feet of Clay (Series 4), and his sympathetic pushing enables his boss Haskins to ask for help when his wife goes missing after a breakdown in Victims (Series 4) - it is Regan who finds her. Regan repeatedly bends the rules in order to achieve the desired result, e.g. fabricating evidence and arranging for a criminal to be kidnapped in "Queen's Pawn" or illegally entering private properties and threatening to lie about being attacked by a prisoner in order to get information in "Regan". Despite this, he is unwilling to cheat for purely personal gain and delivers a sharp put down to a corrupt copper in "Bad Apple" and refuses to take advantage of the bung (bribe) in "Golden Fleece". Regan, during early morning raids upon "slags", would often kick in the bedroom door, tell the "slag" that "you're nicked, son" then proceed to tell his semi-naked wife to "put them away luv". Image File history File linksMetadata John_Thaw_as_Jack_Regan. ... Image File history File linksMetadata John_Thaw_as_Jack_Regan. ... John Thaw (left) as Inspector Morse John Edward Thaw CBE (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002) was an English actor who achieved his first starring role in the military police television drama Redcap (1964 – 1966), and subsequently appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles. ... This article is about the City of Manchester in England. ...


Regan would invariably refer to Carter by his first name whilst Carter would refer to Regan as 'Guv'.


George Carter

We learn from numerous episodes that Detective Sergeant George Carter (played by Dennis Waterman) comes from South London, e.g. Regan seeks him out in the pilot episode because of his knowledge of the South London area. His age is given in the "Hit and Run" episode as 26. In the series' timeline we learn that George had previously been in the squad but had quit for family reasons (cf. Regan and Jigsaw). George was married to Alison Carter a school teacher but is widowed as of the episode "Hit And Run" when Alison is murdered by accident by a gang of diamond smugglers. He is a former amateur boxer as we see from the pilot "Regan" and is described as having professional boxing potential in the episode "Chalk and Cheese". Like his superior he is fond of drinking, football and (after the death of his wife) womanising. Dennis in The Sweeney For the character in Little Britain, see Dennis Waterman (Little Britain). ... South London area South London (known colloquially as South of the River) is the area of London south of the River Thames. ... For other senses of these words, see boxing (disambiguation) or boxer (disambiguation). ... A player (wearing the red kit) has penetrated the defence (in the white kit) and is taking a shot at goal. ...


Frank Haskins

Frank Haskins (played by Garfield Morgan), married with 3 children at boarding schools, is Jack Regan's immediate superior. Prior to the series timeline the character had done "National Service in the Royal Navy in a minor intelligence role" ("Stay Lucky Eh?" episode). He is frequently seen at odds with Regan in preferring more conventional policing methods. Garfield Morgan (born 19 April 1931 in Birmingham, England) is an English actor mostly on TV and occasional films. ... National service is a common name for compulsory or voluntary military service programs. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ...


The main "Haskins episodes" are "Golden Fleece", where he is set up to be the victim of a corruption enquiry, and "Victims", where his wife suffers a mental breakdown due to memories of a miscarriage. Although he appeared in the opening titles of every episode, he did not air in all of them.


In later series, whenever Haskins was not present, his role was often taken by other superiors like Detective Chief Inspector Anderson, played by Richard Wilson. Richard Wilson, OBE (born July 9, 1936) is a Scottish actor and theatre director, best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the popular BBC situation comedy One Foot in the Grave. ...


Other characters

The Squad

In the early episodes the team has a variety of drivers including Len (the first 2 episodes) and Fred (the episode Jigsaw). However, the episode "The Placer" in the first series introduces the character of Bill the driver (played by Tony Allen who subsequently worked as a wardrobe manager for many of John Thaw's later projects) and he remains a constant throughout the series, although he plays a peripheral, non-speaking role in most episodes.


Tom Daniels is the most prominent member of the supporting squad. Other members include Sergeant Kent, DC Thorpe and Matthews in the first series, Jerry Burtonshaw (Series 1-3) and Jellyneck (Series 4). Detective Chief Superintendent Maynon appears occasionally as a superior officer, and is seen as more willing than Haskins to bend the rules to get a result in the episode "Queen's Pawn". With Haskins absent, a semi-regular superior officer Braithwaite appears in Series 4.


Family

Other main characters included the close family of the three leads.


Regan's ex-wife Kate appears in the episode "Abduction" after previously featuring in the pilot, while his daughter Susie appears in several episodes, most notably "Abduction".


Carter's wife Alison is seen attempting to prise him away from the Squad in the episode "Jigsaw", while her hostility towards Regan is apparent in the episode "Abduction". She is murdered in a case of mistaken identity in the episode "Hit And Run". In the DVD commentary for "Abduction" it is mentioned that the reason for this was that the actress was asking for too much money to continue to appear in the series.


Doreen Haskins plays a minor role in some episodes, although the penultimate episode "Victims" deals with her deteriorating mental health and returns to the theme of the job's impact on family life. One of Haskins' three children Richard appears in this episode.


Production

The filming of each episode normally took ten working days, shooting about five minutes of edited screen time per day. Because of this the number of different filming locations had to be restricted to ten, i.e. one location per day. At the Euston Films production office in Colet Court, there was a standing set built of the Flying Squad offices which provided an alternative option should the weather restrict a day's filming. Two days would normally be spent filming on the set, equalling 10 mins of any episode being set in the offices. Shooting took place through the summer, so exterior night shooting was expensive and limited to 3 minutes of external night material in any episode.


Each episode had an eight and a half week production schedule: two weeks pre-production (for casting, finding locations etc.), two weeks shooting, four weeks picture editing (the first two weeks of which overlap with the shoot), two weeks sound editing and two and a half days dubbing. This article is about the manufacturing process. ... Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. ... In filmmaking, dubbing or looping is the process of recording or replacing voices for a motion picture. ...


Filming Locations

Most of the show was filmed in the West London area, mainly in the Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush areas. However other areas included Chertsey Marina, Surrey ("Bad Apple", "Jack or Knave?"); Staines, Surrey ("The Placer"); Wimbledon ("May", "Lady Luck"); Peckham ("Ringer"); Battersea ("Jigsaw"). Satellite image of the inner part of West London Ayad Dibis is the best in West London. ... Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in West London, England, approximately 5 miles (8km) west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames. ... Shepherds Bush is a district of West London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, situated 4. ... , The Old Town Hall Level crossing at Chertsey, as the barriers rise Chertsey is a town in Surrey, England, on the River Thames, and its tributary rivers such as the River Bourne. ... This article is about the English county. ... Staines is a Thames-side town in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey and part of the London Commuter Belt of South East England. ... , This article is about the district of London. ... , Peckham is an area of London, England, in the London Borough of Southwark, located 3. ... Battersea is a place in the London Borough of Wandsworth. ...


Episodes

A pilot episode, "Regan", was made as part of the "Armchair Cinema" series and shown in 1974. This led to the decision to make the series "The Sweeney". In all four series were made with Series One being transmitted between January and March 1975 and Series Two following between September and December of the same year. Series Three was transmitted between September and December 1976 with the final series being shown two years later. Two 90-minute feature films, "Sweeney!" and "Sweeney 2", were made in 1977 and 1978 respectively.


Series 1

The promotional episode shown to the press was "Thin Ice" which featured a relatively lightweight and somewhat humorous story, some comedy, and international locations. It is generally seen by series fans as being one of the weaker episodes from the first series.


Highlights of the first series were "Ringer" where the team were attempting to prevent a criminal being sprung from prison, "Jackpot", "Stoppo Driver" and "Abduction" in which Regan's daughter Susie was kidnapped, focussing on the strains which the job caused on family life. "Night Out" subtely illustrates the backgrounds and family lives of Regan and Carter; parallels are drawn between the unhappy situation of the main villain's family and Regan's former domestic situation.


The early episodes featured a great degree of hostility and mistrust between Regan and his superior Haskins, who in one episode attempts to have Carter separated from Regan in order to help his career development.


Meanwhile the episode "Queen's Pawn" is a classic display of how Regan is willing to bend the rules in order to get a result as he fabricates evidence, illegally opens private mail and even arranges the kidnapping of one of the criminals in order to get the desired result.


Series 1 Episodes

All episodes were transmitted via ITV, Thursdays 9.00pm[1]

  1. Ringer transmitted 02/01/1975
  2. Jackpot transmitted 09/01/1975
  3. Thin Ice transmitted 16/01/1975
  4. Queen's Pawn transmitted 23/01/1975
  5. Jigsaw transmitted 30/01/1975
  6. Night Out transmitted 06/02/1975
  7. The Placer transmitted 13/02/1975
  8. Cover Story transmitted 20/02/1975
  9. Golden Boy transmitted 27/02/1975
  10. Stoppo Driver transmitted 06/03/1975
  11. Big Spender transmitted 13/03/1975
  12. Contact Breaker transmitted 23/03/1975
  13. Abduction transmitted 27/03/1975

Series 2

The episodes "Faces" and "Thou Shalt Not Kill" were among the highlights of the second series. In the former an anarchist group (which appears to be German-based in echoes of the then contemporary Baader-Meinhof gang) is staging a number of robberies in order to raise funds for its cause. However, the group has been infiltrated by British intelligence and this leads to complicated inter-departmental politics between the police and the security services. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" features a tense hostage situation inside a bank with Haskins faced with the dilemma of whether to risk the hostages' lives by a simultaneous shooting of the criminals. RAF Logo The Red Army Faction (in German: Rote Armee Fraktion; RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, was postwar Germanys most active radical leftist paramilitary group, which is widely regarded as a terrorist organization. ...


Other episodes included a pair of slightly tongue-in-cheek episodes "Golden Fleece" and "Trojan Bus" featuring two Australian villains played by UK actors Patrick Mower and George Layton. Carter's wife Alison is murdered in the episode "Hit And Run". Patrick Mower (born 12th September 1940, Oxford, England) is an English actor well known for many television parts. ... George Layton (born March 2, 1943 at Bradford, Yorkshire, England) is an English actor, director, screenwriter and author, who studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. ...


Series 2 Episodes

All episodes were transmitted via ITV, Mondays 9.00pm

  1. Chalk And Cheese transmitted 01/09/1975
  2. Faces transmitted 08/09/1975
  3. Supersnout transmitted 15/09/1975
  4. Big Brother transmitted 22/09/1975
  5. Hit And Run transmitted 29/09/1975
  6. Trap transmitted 06/10/1975
  7. Golden Fleece transmitted 13/10/1975
  8. Poppy transmitted 20/10/1975
  9. Stay Lucky Eh? transmitted 27/10/1975
  10. Trojan Bus transmitted 03/11/1975
  11. I Want The Man transmitted 10/11/1975
  12. Country Boy transmitted 17/11/1975
  13. Thou Shalt Not Kill transmitted 24/11/1975

Series 3

"In From The Cold" and "Taste Of Fear" were two of the highlights of the third series. The latter introduced violent psychopathic criminal Tim Cook, an army deserter, whose experiences in Northern Ireland have left him embittered. Cook also appears in the later and less successful episode "On The Run". "Taste of Fear" is in many ways the definitive episode of the series, featuring some wonderful humorous dialogue, genuinely frightening violence, excellent displays of Regan's courage and a real sense of pathos in its portrayal of the victims left in the wake of criminal acts. The story's closing scene is particularly impressive.


Other episodes explored different themes: "Tomorrow Man" focussed on the clash between traditional policing methods and new more technological ways of solving crime, which ironically in the real world, have made crimes such as villains in stocking masks carrying out wages snatches in The Sweeney seem anachronistic. "Bad Apple" dealt with police corruption and here Regan, despite being seen to bend the rules in other episodes to achieve convictions, is seen holding the deepest contempt for the corrupt officers. Police corruption is a specific form of police misconduct sometimes involving political corruption, and generally designed to gain a financial or political benefit for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest. ...


Series 3 Episodes

All episodes were transmitted via ITV, Mondays 9.00pm

  1. Selected Target transmitted 06/09/1976
  2. In From The Cold transmitted 13/09/1976
  3. Visiting Fireman transmitted 20/09/1976
  4. Tomorrow Man transmitted 27/09/1976
  5. Taste Of Fear transmitted 04/10/1976
  6. Bad Apple transmitted 11/10/1976
  7. May transmitted 25/10/1976
  8. Sweet Smell Of Succession transmitted 08/10/1976
  9. Down To You Brother transmitted 22/11/1976
  10. Payoff transmitted 29/11/1976
  11. Loving Arms transmitted 06/12/1976
  12. Lady Luck transmitted 13/12/1976
  13. On The Run transmitted 20/12/1976

Series 4

There was a two year gap between the third and fourth series and the title sequence was changed for the final series. A number of other changes took place with the Haskins character being absent from a number of episodes. The final series has been criticised by many as the weakest with episodes such as "Latin Lady", "Drag Act", "Trust Red" and "Hearts And Minds" in particular being singled out for criticism.


The opening episode "Messenger of the Gods" divides fans with some seeing it as wonderfully tongue in cheek and others viewing it as moronic comedy.


Other notable episodes included "Nightmare", which features a slightly experimental dream sequence as part of the plot. This is also the episode with the highest body count and features another contemporary (for the time) plot of two ex-IRA men committing a major crime in order to buy their way back into the organisation (stealing modern machine guns with lasers attached). "Bait" featured a strong performance by George Sewell, who had starred in The Sweeney's Euston films forerunner Special Branch series as well as the film Get Carter which was a major influence on The Sweeney, and whose main character Jack Carter may have been the inspiration for the name of the two main Sweeney characters. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (Irish: Óglaigh na hÉireann) (IRA; also referred to as the PIRA, the Provos, or by some of its supporters as the Army or the RA.[2]) is an Irish Republican, left wing[3] paramilitary organisation that, until the Belfast Agreement, sought to end Northern... George Sewell (31 August 1924 — 1 April 2007), was an English actor, the son of a florist family in Tottenham, London. ... Special Branch is a British television series made by Thames Television for ITV and shown between 1969 and 1974. ... For the 2000 remake with Sylvester Stallone see Get Carter (2000 film) Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film, directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother. ...


"Hearts And Minds", the last episode to be filmed, featured the popular comedians Morecambe and Wise and was intended as quid pro quo for the appearance of Waterman and Thaw in a Sweeney themed sketch in the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas special.


The final episode "Jack or Knave" saw a slightly ambiguous ending with the main character Jack Regan being temporarily locked up after being implicated in a corruption scandal of which he was exonerated. He then announces that he's had it with the squad and the series ends with him quitting in disgust. The final scene left the possibility of having an additional series, but there were none.


Series 4 Episodes

All episodes were transmitted via ITV, Thursdays 9.00pm

  1. Messenger Of The Gods transmitted 07/09/1978
  2. Hard Men transmitted 14/09/1978
  3. Drag Act transmitted 21/09/1978
  4. Trust Red transmitted 28/09/1978
  5. Nightmare transmitted 05/10/1978
  6. Money, Money, Money transmitted 12/10/1978
  7. Bait transmitted 19/10/1978
  8. The Bigger They Are transmitted 26/10/1978
  9. Feet Of Clay transmitted 02/11/1978
  10. One Of Your Own transmitted 09/11/1978
  11. Hearts And Minds transmitted 23/11/1978
  12. Latin Lady transmitted 30/11/1978
  13. Victims transmitted 14/12/1978
  14. Jack Or Knave transmitted 28/12/1978

Guest stars

As well as making John Thaw and Dennis Waterman big names, The Sweeney also had an impressive list of guest stars, including Diana Dors, Brian Blessed, Warren Mitchell, Roy Kinnear, George Cole (whom Waterman went on to star alongside in hit follow-up vehicle Minder) and Maureen Lipman, as well as the writers Lynda La Plante and Colin Welland. Morecambe and Wise appeared late on, in return for Thaw and Waterman appearing on their show. Many up and coming actors such as Karl Howman, Ray Winstone, Andrew Paul and Hywel Bennett also appeared in the show during its run. John Thaw (left) as Inspector Morse John Edward Thaw CBE (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002) was an English actor who achieved his first starring role in the military police television drama Redcap (1964 – 1966), and subsequently appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles. ... Dennis in The Sweeney For the character in Little Britain, see Dennis Waterman (Little Britain). ... Diana Dors (October 23, 1931 – May 4, 1984) was an English actress and sex symbol. ... Brian Blessed (pronounced //, or in the tradition of English poetry, Blessèd, born near Doncaster,October 9, 1937) is an English actor, who came to fame as PC Fancy Smith in the BBC TV police drama series Z Cars. ... Warren Mitchell (born 14 January 1926) is an English actor. ... Roy Kinnear (January 8, 1934 – September 20, 1988) was a prolific English character actor. ... George Cole as Arthur Daley in Minder (book cover) George Cole (born April 22, 1925 in Tooting, London, England) is a British actor. ... Image:Arthur-Daley-book. ... Maureen Lipman CBE (born Hull, 10 May 1946), is a British film, theatre and television actress, columnist, and comedienne. ... Lynda La Plante (born Lynda Titchmarsh on 15 March 1946) is a British author, screenwriter, and erstwhile actress (her performances in Rentaghost and other programmes were under her stage name of Lynda Marchal), best known for writing the Prime Suspect television crime series. ... Colin Welland (born 4 July 1934 in Newton-le-Willows, St Helens, Lancashire) is an English actor and screenwriter, writer. ... Morecambe and Wise Morecambe and Wise were a famous British comic double act comprising Eric Morecambe OBE and Ernie Wise OBE. The act lasted four decades until Morecambes retirement, shortly before his death in 1984. ... Karl Howman (born 13 December 1952) is an English actor. ... Raymond Andrew Winstone (born February 19, 1957) is an Emmy Award winning English film and television actor. ... Andrew Paul (born Mile End, London, 17 March 1961) is a British actor best known for playing PC Dave Quinnan in the ITV drama The Bill for 13 years. ... Hywel Thomas Bennett (born 8 April 1944) is a Welsh actor, born in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, Wales. ...


Dialogue

The show was known for many memorable lines of dialogue which included:-


"Get yer trousers on, you're nicked." This line became synonymous with the show, although it was only ever used in the pilot episode, "Regan". Despite the line's Sweeney associations it was actually first used in Euston films series "Special Branch", in the episode 'Date of Birth'.


"SHUT IT!" This line is most associated with The Sweeney, and is used by Regan in numerous episodes.


"We're The Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner. You've kept us waiting, so unless you want a kicking you tell us where those photographs are." (Ringer)


"Cor, that Sheila has got some lunch on her!" (Queen's Pawn - Carter is admiring Sheila's cleavage as she dances)


"The world does not revolve around your body. This bloke Galileo proved it, it goes around the sun." (Night Out)


"I hate this bastard place, it's a bloody holiday camp for thieves and weirdoes, all the rubbish. You nail a villain and some ponced up pin stripe Hampstead barrister screws it all up like an old fag packet and pops off for a game of squash and a glass of Madeira. He's taking home 30 grand a year and we can just about afford 10 days in Eastbourne and a second hand car. Nah, it's all bloody wrong, my son." (Abduction)


"The hairs on my wooden leg tell me that something is up." (Abduction)


"You couldn't find an Irishman in a Harp Club." (Abduction)


"He's a weirdo and he's hard enough to rollerskate on." (Jackpot)


"If you weren't who you are, I'd kick your arse up to your shoulderblades." (May)


"Now the question is: do I write my statement and then get drunk, or get drunk then write it?" (Taste of Fear)


"Nah, course I wasn't scared. Mind you, some bugger peed in my pants." (Taste of Fear)


"You shall go to the ball" (Carter gives Regan a pair of muddy shoes dredged up from a river as evidence: a mocking reference to Cinderella)


"I am utterly and abjectly pissed-off with this little lot. I've given the best years of my life to the job. I've got eighteen bloody commendations, if you include the one I didn't get yesterday. And how does this 'wonderful' police force show its gratitude for all my years of unstinting effort? It bangs me up in a crummy little cell like some cheap little villain - all because a toerag called Hutchinson's got a few bottles twitching on the Fifth Floor. Now, because that poor little bastard had the guts to get off his arse, I'm going to have to be reinstated. And what do you bunch of bleeding double-dyed hypocrites want now? You want me to crawl back to work and be terribly grateful that I didn't get nicked for something I didn't do. Well you can stuff it!" (Jack or Knave - Regan is accused of being corrupt)


"I'm gonna come down on you so hard your going to have to reach up to tie your shoe laces."


Trivia

The Ford Granada Consul GT V6 3.0 litre, used in The Sweeney, seen here in the series one episode Stoppo Driver.
The Ford Granada Consul GT V6 3.0 litre, used in The Sweeney, seen here in the series one episode Stoppo Driver.
  • The repeat of the episode "Selected Target" in December 1978 had the highest viewing figure of the series with 19.05 million people watching.
  • Dennis Waterman was cast after his performance in the Special Branch episode 'Stand and Deliver'. In the same episode Stephanie Turner (who played his wife in The Sweeney) played his sister.
  • The Ford Granada used in series one and two was a Consul GT V6 3.0 litre. [2]
  • The Sweeney is referenced in the songs "Wow" by Kate Bush and 'Cool for Cats' by Squeeze
  • In the orange-tinted photographs that are shown in the closing credits for Series 1–3, an enlarged set of fingerprints is displayed on a board behind Superintendent Haskins. These belong to actress and model Pamela Green [3] whose partner Doug Webb took the still photographs used in the titles and credits.
  • A red Fiat 850 Coupé makes a cameo appearance [4] in a lot of the episodes: typically it is parked at the side of the road as the action takes place around it. One theory is that the car belonged to a crew member who tried to include it as an in-joke in as many episodes as possible.
  • Heavy reference is made to The Sweeney in the Black Books episode The Blackout .

Image File history File links The_Sweeney_Stoppo_Driver_Ford_Granada. ... Image File history File links The_Sweeney_Stoppo_Driver_Ford_Granada. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... The Ford Cortina was a medium sized family car sold by Ford of Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... The Ford Cortina was a medium sized family car sold by Ford of Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982. ... Special Branch is a British television series made by Thames Television for ITV and shown between 1969 and 1974. ... Stephanie Turner (born 25 May 1944 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England) is an actress. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... The Comic Strip is a group of British comedians, best known collectively for their television series The Comic Strip Presents. ... Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown is a short comedy film made by The Comic Strip for the BBC, first broadcast in the UK in 1993. ... James Broadbent (born May 24, 1949) is an Academy Award-winning English theatre, film and television actor. ... Kate Bush (born 30 July 1958) is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. ... Squeeze are an English rock music band that came to prominence in the New Wave period of the late 1970s. ... Pamela Green (born 1932-03-28) rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s as a Brtish glamour model and actress. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Blackout is an episode of Black Books. ...

Movie spin-offs

Like many successful British TV series of the time, such as Porridge and Rising Damp, film versions of The Sweeney were made featuring the same actors and characters. Like the other spins-offs the films were largely dismissed by the critics and the public. Porridge was a British BBC television sitcom (1974–1977), written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale. ... Rising Damp was a UK television sitcom produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV, first broadcast from 1974 to 1978. ...


In Sweeney!, made in 1977, Regan and Carter get involved in a plot based on the Profumo Affair. British actor Barry Foster guest-stars as an Americanised, and more deadly, version of Stephen Ward (IMDB entry). The Profumo Affair was a political scandal from 1963 in the United Kingdom that is named after the then-Secretary of State for War, John Profumo. ... (John) Barry Foster born in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England on 21 August 1927, died 11 February 2002, of a heart attack while being cared for at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. ... Dr Stephen Ward ( - 3 August 1963), the son of Canon Arthur Evelyn Ward, Canon of Rochester Cathedral, was a fashionable London osteopath and talented portrait artist. ...


In Sweeney 2, made in 1978, they go to Malta in order to track down a group of vicious armed robbers (IMDB entry).


A remake has recently been announced, to be produced by DNA Films and written and directed by Nick Love. See The Sweeney at the Internet Movie Database DNA Films is a British film production company founded by Duncan Kenworthy and Andrew Macdonald. ... Nick Love (born December 24, 1969) is a British film director and writer. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...


Parodies

Comics

In the early 1980s the British comic Jackpot featured a strip called "The Teeny Sweeney" which was originally drawn by J Edward Oliver. A trio of schoolboys played at being plain-clothes policemen, with two of them looking like little versions of Regan and Carter. They even had "Flying Squad" written on the side of their cartie. Their attempts at being helpful however almost always ended in disaster. Jackpot was a British comic book that ran from the issues dated 5 May 1979 to 30 January 1982, when it merged with Buster. ... Jack Edward Oliver (born 19 June 1942) is a British cartoonist. ...


TV ad

A post-modernist TV ad for the Nissan Almera car in the late 1990s had two characters similar to Carter and Regan racing through London to deal with a "bank job". A suspicious group of men have entered a bank dressed as painters. As Carter races the car through the streets, Regan keeps bellowing at him and others to "Shut it!" Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Nissan Motor Co. ... The Nissan Almera was a small family car built by Nissan from 1995 to 2006. ...


At one stage Regan shouts "Mark it!", which is slang for following a suspect, but in this case means "market" as Carter drives erratically through a market place. Carter tells Regan to stop shouting, to which Regan barks the reply "I can't!".


When they burst into the bank it turns out that the men are genuine painters and that Regan, their guv (or boss), is there to tell them that they have the wrong sort of white paint ! Carter says, "Think we'd better go back to the yard, guv, and get some more." "Shut up!" [5]


(This ad was the follow up to a hugely popular one spoofing The Professionals a year or so previously.) From Left : Martin Shaw as Ray Doyle, Gordon Jackson as George Cowley, and Lewis Collins as William Bodie. ...


DVD and CD releases

The complete series of The Sweeney is available on DVD (Region 2, UK) from Network. The pilot episode "Regan" was also released on DVD in November 2005. Both films, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2 have also been released on DVD. Series one is now available as a Region 1 (North America) DVD, apparently with extra content identical to the Network version. DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ...


A soundtrack album "Shut it! The Music of The Sweeney" is also available and features much of the incidental music used in the programme as well as many classic pieces of dialogue.


See also

For the 2000 remake with Sylvester Stallone see Get Carter (2000 film) Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film, directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother. ... The Long Good Friday (1980) is a British gangster film starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. ... From Left : Martin Shaw as Ray Doyle, Gordon Jackson as George Cowley, and Lewis Collins as William Bodie. ... Image:Arthur-Daley-book. ... NYPD Blue was an Emmy Award-winning hour long-running American television police drama set in New York City. ... This article is about the original television series. ... Life on Mars is a BAFTA and International Emmy award-winning British television drama series, which was first shown on BBC One in January and February 2006. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sweeney, The (702 words)
The Sweeney was the top-rated British police series of the 1970s, bringing a new level of toughness and action to the genre, and displaying police officers bending the rules to beat crime.
The Sweeney, focused on the exploits of Jack Regan, a maverick Detective Inspector attached to the Flying Squad, the Metropolitan police's elite armed-robbery unit, and featured John Thaw in the leading role.
The lean and efficient production operation that Euston had pioneered in The Sweeney, relying on short-term contracts and shooting wholly with 16mm film, has been generally adopted across the industry and, with the exception of soap opera, the great majority of drama projects today are manned by free-lance crews and produced on film.
John Sweeney (labor leader) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4689 words)
Sweeney is the son of John (a city bus driver) and Patricia (a domestic worker), both Irish immigrants.
Sweeney's father took him to numerous union meetings, and it is there that Sweeney began his life-long commitment to the American labor movement.
Sweeney called for a major expansion of the federation's role in organizing by: spending $20 million a year on hiring and training thousands of new organizers; mobilizing over 1,000 college students for summer organizing; creating a 'Sunbelt Organizing Fund' to sponsor organizing in the South and Southwest; and establishing a separate Organizing Department.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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