TV Cream

TV: E is for...

Equalizer, The

POST-Bernie Goetz Take-The-Power-Back Have A Go Hero fol-de-rol starring Edward Woodward as titular score-settler Robert McCall, a former Special Ops type atoning for past misdemeanours by offering himself as thug-trouncing Hero For Hire. See, that’s where Sgt. Howie went wrong.

Opening titles promised grimy urban action (and, erm, people getting trapped in phone boxes) with a shadowy Woodward in hot pursuit, and the show more than delivered, with moral guardians queueing up to froth at the mouth about copycat vigilantes and schoolkids the world over rush-finishing geography homework in the hope of being allowed to ‘stay up late’ to watch. Presence of Brit headliner ensured a stready stream of sore thumb-esque ‘pals from home’ guest stars, notably Jenny Agutter, Jim Dale, Michele Dotrice, Frances Ruffelle and, most notoriously, Adam Ant as a sort of futuristic ‘super-pimp’ who called everyone ‘chief’.

Clocked up somewhere in the region of eight hundred and forty three million episodes during its short lifespan, despite early unfortunate shark-jumpage after Woodward’s health buckled under the production schedule and younger sidekicks were brought in. Plus the theme music – by Stewart Copeland of Police/Klark Kent fame – was more or less identical to that of The Magic Roundabout.



  1. JJ

    April 29, 2014 at 11:53 am

    And not forgetting the sore thumb-esque Jag.

  2. Lee James Turnock

    June 11, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    It was Death Wish – the Series, with your man Woodward standing in for the mighty man of stew Charles Bronson. As such, what’s not to like?

  3. Scott McPhee

    February 16, 2021 at 1:09 am

    The name of the lead actor, Edward Woodward sounds like a tongue twister.

  4. Andrew Barton

    May 27, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    It nearly got a fifth season, but Angela Lansbury’s 5 year contract for Murder She Wrote was up for renewal, and CBS and Universal had a spat over the cost of MSW.

    There was Over My Dead Body later for Edward, but sadly that failed to repeat the same success.

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