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FINAL SEASON KICKOFF 'THE SWEENEY: MESSENGER OF THE GODS'

John Thaw and Michael Tarn in The Sweeney: Messenger of the Gods Year: 1978 Rates: ****

Although THE SWEENEY final season's kickoff episode MESSENGER OF THE GODS is basically an outlet for former British Marilyn Monroe blonde-bombshell Diana Dors to guest star in her middle-age overweight boisterous persona, and the central guest star looks like a brat teenager who'd hang out with Leif Garrett in a disco, it's probably the best episode from the final run that had pretty much run its course...

Following two feature films after season/series three, by four THE SWEENEY got noticeably cheaper, taking place mostly indoors compared to the authentic exterior action of the earlier seasons... but despite some overboard comedic aspects, MESSENGER still belonged to the gritty streets, and of John Thaw's Inspector Regan and his young protege Sergeant Carter played by Dennis Waterman, the latter takes the most risks...

Dennis Waterman and John Thaw in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods

The best sequence involves Carter chasing a villain through rusted London back alleys and a dilapidated building while Regan does what he does best: threatening other culprits (including silent Droogie from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE Michael "Pete" Tarn) for enough evidence to sustain the ever-thickening plot-line...

Which involves that flaky kid about to marry the daughter of Diana Dors, his loud, tough and formidable mother-in-law while being implicated for a theft that occurred the same time he was cheating on his future wife, providing a pickle for both this token villain and THE SWEENEY itself, all running around in a ferociously addictive frenzy in another (and perhaps the last) theatrically-suited episode.

Dennis Waterman in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Michael Tarn with a cougar in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman and John Thaw in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Michael Tarn in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Michael Tarn and John Thaw in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Diana Dors in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman and John Thaw in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Diana Dors and John Thaw in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman and Malcolm McFee in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods
Dennis Waterman in THE SWEENEY: Messenger of the Gods

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