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Armchair Cinema: Regan

I have been watching some episodes of Armchair Theatre. I am finding it terribly worthy, rather stodgy, and frankly rather prefer the superficial soufflĂ© TV shows I normally watch  and don't want to have to feel like I should be in evening dress to watch TV. It appears I am not the only one and this page (which I really do recommend for good background to this show and also Special Branch) indicates that Euston Films were recruited to shake it up. Regan was the second episode of the revised show.
To be frank my first impression of this was not at all favourable, for a single reason. At this length of time, when the population and language of London have changed beyond recognition, it would be difficult or impossible to find someone who would think it natural to refer to the Flying Squad as the Sweeney Todd, but you could have done in the early seventies. But I myself went in pubs in the seventies and I find it difficult to believe that a pub would have been full of people singing 'My Old Man Said Follow the Band' to a piano accompaniment. It feels anachronistic in the forward-looking seventies, with everyone wearing synthetic fibre and going back to homes which should really have led to a prosecution for crimes against taste. Did you spot the orange wallpaper in the scene in which Regan first says the famous line, 'Get your trousers, you're nicked'?
Fortunately there are no further anachronisms and the episode goes on to lay the groundwork for the Sweeney, and do it in style. It is like being transported back to the seventies, and having all the more dodgy aspects of that decade laid out at once. The music is gorgeous. And the cars... What can I say about the cars? Apart from the fact that they are probably all now scrapped and was there ever a time when Fords were any good?
The post I reference above rightly places Regan in the contexts of police corruption and soaring crime of the time. In the face of these two things Regan presents a more philosophical answer, because it answers the problems with Regan, who is a total maverick. I feel no modern organisation could contain him, but it is his approach which enables him to deal with the situation.
A valid criticism is the patchy pacing, and of course a lot of people just wouldn't like this. Additionally there are a lot of familiar faces.
So if you don't like it... Shut it.

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