The Equalizer (1985–1989)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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A retired intelligence agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.

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Title: The Equalizer (1985–1989)

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4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986   1985  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Robert McCall (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
 Mickey Kostmayer (56 episodes, 1985-1989)


Robert McCall is "The Equalizer", a private detective with a lot of contacts who is available for hire if you have a problem that you don't know how to solve. His no-nonsense attitude, compassion, and experience with dealing with a wide variety of situations makes him a powerful and useful detective. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Release Date:

18 September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Equalizer  »

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Did You Know?


Actor Martin Shaw, who gained fame on the British series The Professionals (1977), turned down the role of Robert McCall on 'The Equalizer'. See more »


Robert McCall: You have five seconds to give me the name.
Robert McCall: Time's up, throw him out of the window!
See more »


Featured in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Robert McCall was the ultimate chess player!
13 February 2003 | by (Takoma Park, MD) – See all my reviews

"The Equalizer" was an action-adventure TV series unlike any that I had ever seen before. It effectively mixed espionage, crime drama, and the private eye genres into a wonderful film noir package. Robert McCall (played to perfection by Edward Woodward) was no Mike Hammer, nor was he meant to be. He relied more on brains than brawn and his plans worked like a game of chess. Whether he attended an embassy affair or was running down a lead on a guns dealer in the South Bronx, McCall seemed right at home.

Disenchanted with his cloak-and-dagger life in the CIA, and perhaps seeking some redemption for some of his darker exploits in the name of God and Country, he broke away from "the Company," and offered his services to people in trouble.

McCall's strength was his abilities as a strategist and tactician. Although he was quite able in shootouts and fisticuffs, he tended to leave the rough stuff to other operatives who sometimes took time off from their day jobs (usually in the CIA) to work for McCall. One of his most trusted colleagues was his comrade-in-arms Mickey Kostmeyer (played by Keith Szarabajka), a Company man who seemed willing to dive into any dangerous situation for the thrill.

Although McCall resigned from the CIA, he continued to maintain contact with his friend and former boss, a man known only as Control (played by Robert Lansing). There is a history of camraderie between Control and McCall, but Control's job tends to get in the way of that friendship. When one of Control's operations involved lying to McCall, and McCall confronted him, Control's only response was, "It's what I do for a living, Robert."

All in all, a wonderful show with high production values. I'm only sorry it lasted four seasons.

55 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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