During the height of the show's popularity, actor Edward Woodward was often approached on the street by people in need, with situations similar to those depicted in the show. He began carrying flyers with the phone numbers of social services organizations and legal clinics for them to contact.
Edward Woodward suffered a heart attack in the summer of 1987. Accordingly, the producers needed to find a quick replacement while Woodward recuperated. Robert Mitchum was brought on as an old friend of Robert McCall who helped McCall's son search for his missing father in the two-part episode, "Mission: McCall." Richard Jordan was also brought on as embittered former operative Harley Gage and stayed for eight more episodes.
Edward Woodward was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series five years in a row even though the show aired for four years. The final two episodes were burned off in August 1989 which made him eligible to be nominated in 1990 for the 1989-1990 season.
The scene in which McCall shoots dirty cop Officer Nick Braxton (Will Patton) in the leg with a tranquilizer gun and slams him against the wall shouting "You Are Scum!" and "I Do Not Forgive!" in Lady Cop (#1.5) is one of the most powerful moments in the series.
Guest star Will Patton (Officer Nick Braxton) would later start in the 2004 film "The Punisher" as Quentin Glass. That film is about Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) a former soldier and former undercover FBI agent whom becomes a vigilante assassin known as The Punisher, after his family is slain by a corrupt businessman (John Travolta) whom blames him for the death of his own son whom was killed in a undercover operation.
This series is about Robert McCall whom becomes The Equalizer, as he sets out to help people whom have been wronged by New York's dangerous criminal, as McCall seeks redemption for his dark deeds as a government agent.
A decade after the series premiered, there would be another series about a warrior woman whom helps people and fights evil, as she seeks redemption for her dark past. That series was "Xena: Warrior Princess".