The Sweeney: Poppy (ITV 20 Oct 1975, with James Booth)

In Poppy villain Vic Labbett has been out of the country for three years having pulled off a bank blag worth half a million quid, now he’s back. Regan, who worked the original investigation, is convinced that Labbett never got all the money out with him and is back to collect on the rest.

Labbett is indeed back to collect, he wants to organise a deal with the bank he stole the money from, a hundred grand in gemstones and they can have the money back. Brett, the man who helped Labbett pull off the bank job is keen for Labbett’s return so he can collect on his share of the “poppy.”

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When Regan visits bank manager Sterndale he immediately gets the impression he already knows Labbett is back. Putting him under surveillance quickly leads The Sweeney to the villain.

The always fabulous James Booth is Labbett, who after shooting a copper, realises he needs to get away quickly. Brett arranges for a private plane to get him back out of the country but when Regan tells Labbett’s wife about his mistress Kay she tells him where Labett is leaving from. Interestingly although The Sweeney get their man they fail to get their hands on the diamonds he has exchanged for the cash.

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John Rhys Davies as Brett and Veronica Lang as Labbett’s wife.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 20 October 1975 at 9.00pm

Writer: Trevor Preston / Director: Tom Clegg

Series: The Sweeney Season 2 Episode 8

John Thaw as Regan
Dennis Waterman as Carter
James Booth as Vic Labbett
John Rhys Davies as Brett
Veronica Lang as Mrs Labbett
Helen Gill as Kay Nolan
Frank Middlemass as Sterndale
John D. Collins as Vane
John Alkin as Daniels
Patsy Smart as Alice
Virginia Moore as Veronica

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.