Between 1974 and 1978, The Sweeney was the most popular police drama on British TV, getting over 15 million viewers at a time. As a result, EMI Films offered them the chance to make a film version, which they thought would make them famous overseas. They couldn't refuse, while that didn't work, it was still a very successful film in the UK. It still holds it's own to this day as a gritty and powerful police drama. DI Jack Regan (John Thaw) and DS George Carter (Dennis Waterman) are part of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, they have a tough stance on crime, acting like the criminals they're sent out to nab. Here, they get involved in something very high up, involving government minister Charles Baker (Ian Bannen), who is in the middle of a deal regarding Britain's position in the world oil market, Baker's American Press Secretary Elliot McQueen (Barry Foster), is a shady character whose clients are dubious people. When a prostitute turns up dead, Regan begins to think that Baker and McQueen are involved, and the deeper Regan and Carter get, the body count goes up. While the TV series was quite tame, here they had they opportunity to add sex, violence and bad language, it's well made and it's a who's who of British film and TV of that time, it's success enabled them to make a sequel a year later, which was more of the same.