The Sweeney

Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 09, 1975 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
11 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A robbery is foiled in a well planned swoop by the Flying Squad. The villains are arrested and most of the cash recovered, except for one bag containing £35,000. No one seems to be talking, so Regan must resort to old fashioned detective work to find the missing loot.moreless

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  • Brutal and charmingly old-fashioned at the same time.

    Having watched Life on Mars recently, it's fun to see an original seventies police drama, especially as the show was considered rather brutal at the time.

    There are things about this episode that must have been shocking at the time. The violence of the opening scene of the robbery tells the viewer that he's in for something quite different than an American cop show (Kojak, Mannix, ...) After the incident, the episode becomes a character study, a war of tension between the suspects and the police, between the inspectors and their bosses, and eventually between the inspectors themselves.

    Quite amusing is the story line of the incident being filmed (on super eight film). The inspectors watching the screening of the film in an effort to solve the problem of the missing bag badly dates the film. Think of the many films since then that have used this set-up (the analysis of a piece of film to solve a mystery), and you realise how primitive this one is. But great fun.

    By the way, I still can't get over the idea that the main characters (Carter and Regan) predicted the next two American presidential winners. Two years after this show a man called Carter became president. He was succeeded four years later by a man called Reagan.moreless
  • A cash van robbery has been foiled by The Sweeney, and the robbers arrested – but one money bag, containing £35,000, has disappeared. Jack's neck is on the line if the money isn't tracked down – and soon! A decent character-based episode...moreless

    'Jackpot' is a fairly untypical episode of 'The Sweeney', in that it is very light on action (though this was also the case in a few other episodes), but deals more with the aftermath of a foiled robbery rather than trying to stop the raid itself. As such, the episode lends itself over to more straightforward detective work, as Jack tries to track down the missing bag of money that has seemingly vanished.

    As such, this episode plays as more of a character piece than some of the more higher paced, action orientated episodes. But as the second episode of the series, maybe this is no bad thing, to allow us, the (then) first time audience, to get to know the leads more.

    Also of note with this episode is the quickly rising comedy element. Not out-and-out comedy of course, but the wonderful one-liners, evident here as the Flying Squad assemble to watch the footage of the foiled robbery to try and deduct just what did happen to the missing bag of money. There are some great lines – and many of them seem to be improvised.

    As I say, very little real action in this one, other in the aftermath of the chaotic robbery swoop at the beginning (excellently shot) and the playing back of it on film. Although he doesn't get an awful lot to do in this one, George is actually key in working out just what did happen in the hectic swoop, a nice, early example in that he is capable of standing on his own two feet and not just following Regan's orders.

    I wasn't sure about the character of Matthews, finding him rather abrasive, though I did wonder at several points if this was to suggest that he was somehow involved in the missing money. The character turns up in two further stories, including the next broadcast one, 'Thin Ice'.

    Garfield Morgan isn't in this one; I never liked it so much when he'd abruptly be away and we'd suddenly get a "guest superior" in his place.

    It's a bit stretched in the middle, but for the most part, 'Jackpot' is a pretty good episode. Probably not one of my all-time favourites of the series, but it does well enough on its own merit. I give it 8.5/10.moreless
Ed Devereaux

Ed Devereaux


Guest Star

Morris Perry

Morris Perry

Chief Superintendent Maynon

Guest Star

John Flanagan (II)

John Flanagan (II)


Guest Star

Martin Read

Martin Read


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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