A retired Intelligence Agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.
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Episodes

Seasons


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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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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
Spenser: For Hire (1985–1988)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mystery/suspense series based on Robert Parker's "Spenser" novels. Spenser, a private investigator living in Boston, gets involved in a new murder mystery each episode.

Stars: Robert Urich, Avery Brooks, Ron McLarty
Hunter I (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
Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992)
Crime | Drama
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Veteran district attorney "Fatman" McCabe solves cases with the help of his easygoing private investigator partner Jake Styles.

Stars: William Conrad, Joe Penny, Alan Campbell
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Robert McCall (88 episodes, 1985-1989)
...
 Mickey Kostmayer (56 episodes, 1985-1989)
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Storyline

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>

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18 September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Equalizer  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melissa Leo guest-starred in one episode of the series. In 2014, she co-starred in the theatrical film adaptation of the series, with Denzel Washington in the title role. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Edited into Memories of Manon (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A View to a Cold War Relic
25 April 2004 | by (Gary, Indiana) – See all my reviews

I have seen all the episodes at least 3 times; first on CBS, then USA, and then on A&E. Now it is on Hallmark.

Like other reviewers, I found the show refreshing and unique. I thought the choice of Edward Woodward was curious (a Brit for a Yank?)But I was willing to let it slide through.

Robert Lansing's portrayal as a District or Station Chief was well cast. Like most American TV series, it takes a season or two to become really good. The show had good writing, good actors and actresses, and good cinematography. I think that it was one of the best series produced.

The Robert McCall character had the potential of becoming a cardboard character. Woodward's acting skills prevented that, thank God. I found the premise of a disillusioned CIA Case Officer to be believable. The look-and-feel of McCall reminded me of the legendary William King Harvey of Indianapolis. It is uncanny.

I found the story line of internal CIA `political' struggles to be realistic. Remember, this was just after the infamous Senator Frank Church Commission which effectively gutted the CIA. We built the CIA to prevent any more Pearl Harbors. Then through internal political dissention (and ideology sympathy) we made it a Hollow, blind Man. Many veteran Case Officers were `forced out' at that time.

In the Army I made the acquaintance of some Mickey Kostmayer types. I liked the acting of Keith Szarabajka. His naturalness made the character believable according to the real people that I met.

After Woodward's heart attack, I thought that the inclusion of Richard Jordan was well cast. I was sorry to see his character fade out. He was just starting to come into his own.

The technical aspects were, at the time, quite startling. The `Trade Craft' was superb. I never did learn if the writers had access to old Case Officers or not. There is one scene where McCall tracks down someone using recorded voices from the telephone system. The NSA must have had fits over that one.

I have several favorite episodes, but one of two that stands out in my mind is where McCall is trying to teach street punks about what death is all about. He takes them to a morgue to see a stiff. While there, he introduces them to an old colleague who tells them about Hell. It was quite chilling, but very accurate.

The other episode is where he is trapped in a wedding reception as a hostage. The techniques and tactics that McCall used were very real. It should be required viewing for future operatives. Like other reviewers, I was sorry to see it cancelled. I felt that it had a few more seasons left.

One of the other reviewers mentions that the Equalizer replacement was Wiseguy. Interesting that, like the Equalizer, Wiseguy was modeled after a real person (Donnie Brasko) and a real situation. Yes, very interesting.


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