A retired intelligence agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.
1,473 ( 382)

On Disc

at Amazon




4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986   1985  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Memories of Manon (TV Movie 1988)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Yvette Marcel (Melissa Anderson) asks her godfather Control and McCall for help dealing with her irrational father, who is intent on locating Manon, the mother she believed had been killed years before.

Director: Tony Wharmby
Stars: Edward Woodward, Melissa Sue Anderson, Robert Lansing
Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The adventures of a Hawaii based private investigator.

Stars: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley
Hunter (1984–1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Rick Hunter is a renegade cop who breaks the rules and takes justice into his own hands. Partnered with the equally stunning and rebellious Sgt. McCall, the tough-minded duo set out to crack down on L.A.'s slimiest criminals.

Stars: Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, Charles Hallahan
T.J. Hooker (1982–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The weekly adventures of tough-as-nails veteran police officer Sgt. T.J. Hooker, who rides the beat with his rookie partner Vince Romano.

Stars: William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed
Moonlighting (1985–1989)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The quirky cases of a former model and a smart aleck detective who manage a private detective agency.

Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley
Airwolf (1984–1986)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

As part of a deal with an intelligence agency to look for his missing brother, a renegade pilot goes on missions with an advanced battle helicopter.

Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, Alex Cord, Ernest Borgnine
Miami Vice (1984–1990)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Resplendent with authentic 1980's music, fashion and vibe, "Miami Vice" follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the mean streets of Miami.

Stars: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a crippled test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear powered limbs and implants, he serves as a unique intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.

Stars: James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos
Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz
Starsky and Hutch (1975–1979)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two streetwise cops bust criminals in their red-and-white Ford Torino, with the help of police snitch, Huggy Bear.

Stars: David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, Antonio Fargas
Action | Crime | Thriller

Plot unknown. A sequel to the the 2014 film, "The Equalizer", which is based on the TV series about a retired agent who's a hired gun for vengeance.

Stars: Denzel Washington


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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Equalizer  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


It is said that Edward Woodward's appearance in the The Wicker Man (1973) gained him this role. He had previously played in "Callan", a British TV detective show. 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 »


Referenced in Sledge Hammer!: Desperately Seeking Dori (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Dark and serious with great writing and acting.
22 July 2002 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

A very strong series during its initial run and in the occasional burst of reruns that can be found occasionally.

Edward Woodward is a superb actor, and was a sharp contrast to most other private detectives of the day (and indeed, even today). The 80's might as well have been called the "Era of the P.I." with so many series centered around them (Magnum P.I., Simon and Simon, Riptide, even Miami Vice and the other police shows). But Robert McCall was an entirely different kind of detective. He was a seemingly mild mannered Englishman, who dressed sharply and drove a cool Jaguar. He rarely engaged in any kind of physical struggles, yet was probably the most menacing of any television P.I. While the others were jumping onto the hoods of cars and duking it out with the bad guys, McCall's quiet presence and absolute lack of any fear whatsoever was thrilling. The fact that a middle aged man who looks more like a University professor than a detective could look so menacing and literally HARDCORE speaks volumes about Woodward's acting capability.

Probably the best theme music ever written, as well.

39 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who agrees? Watching this again just makes you grin ear to ear scott-1127
The Complete Series DVD Release! AaronCapenBanner
i used to worry about him!! nic7045
hello from ellen latzen 'Mindy Morrison' in lullaby of darkness ellenhamiltonlatzen
Episodes Stewart Copeland did'nt score. Wayne1138
Seasons 2,3,and 4... Maybe? Lurking-Solo
Discuss The Equalizer (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page