Monday, 21 November 2016

The Sweeney

' Shut it, you slag! Get yer trousers on, yer nicked!!! '
When I was a kid, if we were extra good, we were allowed to stay up late ( past 9:00! ) and watch The Sweeney.
The adventures of two-fisted, hard-drinking, tough swearing Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan ( John Thaw ) & George Carter ( Dennis Waterman ) were compulsive viewing in our house.
Regan was so hardcore, he even got off with middle class, mumsy totty Diane Keen off The Cuckoo Waltz:

And like all great Bronze Age TV shows, The Sweeney didn't just have a great opening sequence, it had a great closing one too.
So here's the opener, with the lads chasing down that week's blagger:

And here's the closer, with Regan, Carter and their uptight boss Haskins heading for the boozer after closing another successful case. ' Drink, George? ' ' Yeah, alright, Guv. '

Like every genre TV show, The Sweeney got their own Christmas annual for a few years running.
Christmas annuals were great, special hardback books full of photos, features and comic strips. And text stories you never read, but that usually came with illustrations by a young John Bolton.
And in this, the 1977 one, you got strips by the late, great Brian Lewis. I'm still discovering how much Brian did, and how wonderful all of it was, just like here.
These strips, being for a kid's TV annual, and not wanting to offend parents, slightly neuters the concept and cuts down on the feral '70's rage the best episodes had. But hey, you can always watch Life On Mars, a remake in all but name.
Here's the lads taking on a terrorist on the loose in London. The Slag.

And here, in a Zip Nolan stylee, is your chance to solve the case before Regan does, sadly without getting to lay into anybody or crash any Ford Granada's through several piles of cardboard boxes.

Didja geddit?  No? Here's the solution.

That's right, Jack. No sane man would be caught dead wearing a clashing tie. That's why you're a Detective Inspector and we're not.


  1. I remember the TV series, but didn't know about the comic. The colour piece reminds me of Liberatore, the artist of Ranxerox, a series that would be unpleasent and very un-pc nowadays.

    As to Life on Mars, you obviously refer to the British series and not the rather daft American remake.

    And no, wouldn't make a Detective Inspector either.

  2. I would post some Ranxerox, but it was grimly unpleasant then, let alone now! In many ways, the ultimate Heavy Metal strip. Maybe I should do an Adults Only version of this blog...

  3. Yes you should.
    Ranxerox is the greatest comic series ever.