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The Sweeney

Jack vs. Gene

Jack vs. Gene


2006 saw the launch of Life on Mars, a cop show clearly influenced by The Sweeney. At the centre of the series is time travelling/comatose detective Sam Tyler, played by John Simm, but the real star of the show is DCI Gene Hunt played by Phil Glenister.
Gene is an uncompromising, hard drinking, chain smoking, villain bashing, shouty copper. Sound like anyone we know?! So, the showdown is on.
On paper it looks simple. Regan was the first and most would say the best, but I don't think it's as simple as that. Gene is also a man of principles and moral standards, he's just a little harsher at times at delivering justice.


As far as the characters are played again, Regan looks like the deeper character. We never see any of Gene's home life or him in a domestic situation, but that doesn't mean to say he doesn't have one. A few episodes make reference to his home life including the fact he has a wife.
Regan and Carter are almost always in agreement as to how to go about handling a case. Gene and Tyler are almost constantly at odds. In the beginning, Gene was perfectly capable of accepting statement son the most dubious of evidence, but has grown beyond that. Both Regan and Gene are seen to stitch up villains by planting evidence, forcing confessions and threatening suspects. However Gene is more willing to discipline those under his authority who break the rules than Regan is. One thing I have noticed is how Gene rarely has a run-in with his superiors, whilst Regan has to put up with interference almost constantly with the fifth floor.
On the whole then, two brilliant characters, superbly played by the actors who portray them, but choosing a favourite is hard. For pure enjoyment it has to be Gene, but for drama, and exceitement Regan wins the day.