THE SWEENEY – LONDON'S HIT AND RUN COPS
An Australian TV Week article from 1977.
Unorthodox, unconventional, little respect for the rule book and often violent – that’s THE SWEENEY.
London’s Flying Squad does the jobs other police squads cannot or will not do. It is a squad of plainclothes policemen who infiltrate the underworld in the hope of preventing crime before it is committed. The squad gets its name from Cockney rhyming slang, Sweeney Todd – Flying Squad.
The television series The Sweeney, seen on the Seven Network, realistically and authentically portrays the day to day work of the squad. John Thaw is the squad’s Chief Detective Inspector Jack Regan, a man with a network of underworld contacts and an intuitive feel of the criminal mind, built up over along and successful career.
John Thaw was TV Actor of the Year in Britain last year for his portrayal of Regan. He is a classically trained actor, who has appeared in London’s top theatres, films and BBC plays. Regan’s assistant is Detective Sergeant George Carter, a tough, sharp Cockney whose working – class background could have easily put him on the other side of the law. Carter admires Regan’s style, but often argues with him about his method. Both, however, enjoy scrapping with violent criminals and landing the toughest of them behind bars. Denis Waterman, who stars as Carter, came from a similar theatrical background to Thaw.