Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Forgotten TV: The Equalizer




This scene (with Adam Ant) reminds us that TV was just as scary thirty years ago as now. Eek!


The series stars British actor Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former covert operations officer of an unnamed U.S. Government intelligence organization, which was often referred to simply as "The Agency" or "The Company" (it is implied that it is the CIA), who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer. 212 555 4200". In the pilot episode (as he "opens for business"), we discover that the nickname "Equalizer" was bestowed on him by another operative, played by comedian Jerry Stiller.

The show was on from 1985-89. Would he be considered a vigilante if he hadn't been paid for his services?
I liked it for a while but the level of violence and similar plots eventually got to me. It was easy to see too that the likelihood of a man like this drifting into indiscriminate crimes for money was awfully high. 


10 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, I hadn't thought of this show in a while. And it was so popular when it was regularly on the air. You've made me want to look for episodes...

Anonymous said...

I only watched it occasionally. I was a big fan of Woodward's from THE WICKER MAN and BREAKER MORANT.

Jeff M.

Chad Eagleton said...

I always liked this show. It's funny you should bring it up because it's now getting the Hollywood film remake treatment with Denzel Washington as McCall.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder if it will focus on one story or a series.
Yes. love Wooward. Especially in COMMON AS MUCK. In The Equalizer he is the sophisticate. There he is everyman.

George said...

Like Jeff, I'm a fan of Woodward's performances in THE WICKER MAN and BREAKER MORANT. It's amazing something as savvy as THE EQUALIZER made it to a U.S. TV network.

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember this. I liked it pretty well although I didn't watch it regularly.

Gerard said...

I liked that show. Woodward's character was helped out by Keith Szarabajka who does a lot of audiobook narrations. The son was the bad guy kid from Karate Kid.

I remember quite a few of the episodes.

Gerard said...

I went to an Adam Ant concert in Milwaukee this past winter.

Erik Donald France said...

My mother loved this show when it came out mostly b/c of Woodward's delivery.

Like Jeff M & George, agreed on The Wicker Man and Breaker Morant -- great work. And Mr. Stiller the Elder is a treat.

le0pard13 said...

Loved this show! I sincerely wish the studio would get back to releasing its seasons (or the whole series) to disc. Only season one is currently out. And I think 'Person of Interest' is riffing on this 80s classic.