'Queen's Pawn' is a very strong first season episode of 'The Sweeney'.
During the first few minutes, I half expected this to be a standard Regan-trying-to-nab villain story, but it soon developed into a more complex battle of wits, that plays out really well.
Tony Selby puts in a good performance as the flamboyant Johnny Lyon. The character is very "1970s", but still great fun to watch. The rest of the guest cast do very well too, including Christopher "Burnside from 'The Bill'" Ellison, and Judy Monahan as his pretty, bullied wife, on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
The plot is decent, and develops the characters well. Unlike a few episodes (of both 'Sweeney' and other shows of the ilk), where I can take to the solving-a-crime plot but don't fully buy into the characters involved, with this episode I really engaged with the guest characters.
This episode is very notable as to just how far Regan will bend or even completely break the rules in order to try and secure a conviction – here he arranges a kidnapping of one of Lyon's main accomplises, to force Lyon's hand. There are a great number of instances in the series of Regan twisting the rules, but this is one of the most extreme.
I'm only in the early stages of going through the complete DVD collection at the moment, and haven't seen some of the episodes in some years now (especially in their uncut form), so I'm can't decide at time of writing if 'Queen's Pawn' would make my Top 10.
But even so I really like this episode, enough to give it a very strong 9.5 rating.moreless