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.