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The Sweeney: Ringer (ITV 2 Jan 1975, with Brian Blessed)

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In Ringer Regan has prominent villain Frank Kemble under surveillance, he is convinced he has a job in progress but at this stage he doesn’t know where or what. When the car (belonging to his girlfriend) Regan is using is stolen, the op threatens to derail. Jack had surveillance pics of Kemble and his two chief men Brooker and Merrick in the car at the time.

Kemble despite knowing The Sweeney are on his tail still intends to go ahead with the job, which just happens to be a prison breakout.

Right from the opening moments all the ingredients of this classic series are in place. The cold open with the villains, the fact that Regan sleeps around, his “strained” relationship with his boss Haskins and the easy going dynamic between Regan and Carter. Add to that dialogue that positively crackles, copious action and talk of “shooters and motors” and the scene is set.

There is a fabulous guest cast for this opening episode too led by Ian Hendry, Brian Blessed and Alan Lake. Other well known faces June Brown, Colin Douglas and Jill Townsend as Jack’s “bird”.

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3 classic guest stars, Jill Townsend, Ian Hendry and Alan Lake.

classic quotes
“You don’t talk to Jack Regan. You just listen.”

“We’re the Sweeney son, and we haven’t had any dinner.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 2 January 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: Trevor Preston / Director: Terry Green

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Series: The Sweeney Season 1 Episode 1

cast
John Thaw as Jack Regan
Dennis Waterman as George Carter
Garfield Morgan as Det Chief Supt Haskins
Ian Hendry as Brooker
Brian Blessed as Frank Kemble
Jill Townsend as Jenny
Colin Douglas as Commander
Alan Lake as Merrick
June Brown as Mrs Martin
Toni Palmer as Edi
Ray Mort as Driscoll
Angus Mackay as Prosser
Leslie Sarony as Soldier
Steve Gardner as Billy Martin
Colin Prockter as “Stupid Hawes”
Mack McKenzie as Len


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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