A retired Intelligence Agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.
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1989   1988   1987   1986   1985  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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)  »

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Der Equalizer  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The theme song for this show was written by Stewart Copeland, former drummer with the band The Police. See more »

Quotes

Mickey Kostmayer: What do we need a diversion for? Just kick in the door and hose the room.
Robert McCall: Mickey, there is a five year old boy in there.
Mickey Kostmayer: Oh yeah, we're gonna need a diversion.
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Connections

Referenced in Home and Away: Episode #1.123 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Great Series
10 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

For years, The Equalizer was TV's best series. Employing the great British actor Edward Woodward as a combination of the Knight Errant, Don Quixote and the Existential Hero was a stroke of genius. Woodward's Shakespearean style and personality, overlaid against the grimy, ugly business of problem-solving in urban America, made his character and dialogue stand out even further in bold relief. And having the City of New York as the Extra Player gave each episode a grittiness, pressure, suspense and excitement all its own.

There have been lots of spy series and CIA shows, but never one about a repentant agent until this. Demonstrating that repentance by helping the needs of Everyman was the heart of the show. But each segment retained the "espionage flavor" by using current "agency" personnel, protocol and paraphernalia.

That repentance presupposed moral absolutes, and the segments are replete with a high view of right and wrong. Right is heroic, and sleaze is truly scuzzy. Indeed, this tension forms the basis for Robert McCall's involvement with his clients. After mortally wounding one adversary who still won't reveal a kidnapped victim's whereabouts, McCall asks the dying man about to slide into eternity, "What if there is a God?"

But successful people (and shows) tend to stop doing the thing that made them successful. So later episodes of the series began delving further into the bizarre to try and retain viewer interest. Those experiments didn't work (and never do).

Yet Stewart Copeland's early techno compositions, rhythm work and "Police" chord progressions kept the interest level high, even when the scripts waned at times.

Thankfully, the other genius element was the casting. Kevin Spacey, Ray Sharkey, Will Patton, Patricia Clarkson and many others (like Copeland himself!) got their first crack or big break through The Equalizer. And veteran actors like Tovah Feldschuh, Dennis Christopher, Edward Binns and Robert Lansing came back to the tube via the series. The only problem was, that, next to Woodward, even our best actors sometimes paled (and the scripts were weighted to his lines, and didn't always do the other actos justice).

But the current episodes on air (it was a Universal series, so Universal/NBC has run it on Sleuth and Universal HD networks) are some of the brighter spots on the TV day. Thanks for that!


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