The Equalizer

CBS (ended 1989)
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  • show Description
  • GOT A PROBLEM? ODDS AGAINST YOU? CALL THE EQUALIZER! The Equalizer (Robert McCall) is a former agent of a shadowy, unnamed government agency, who is trying to make up for the unspoken sins of his past. His atonement comes in the form of an advertisement in the newspaper that features the above quote. McCall uses his finely honed skills, and occasionally, the agents and resources from his old agency, to combat the injustices perpetrated against those who can't seek protection from the law. He battles corrupt politicians, abusive husbands, greedy corporate executives, stalkers, kidnappers and gangsters to avenge those who are helpless. Sometimes, McCall's past comes back to haunt him when spies and international terrorists set foot in New York City and his former employer drags him back in to help track them down. In McCall's dark world, few people can be trusted. One man he always relies on is his former fellow agent, Mickey Kostmayer, who often assists McCall in his cases. Another is his former boss, a man known only as Control, who pulls government strings to give McCall a hand when he can. British actor Edward Woodward plays Robert McCall to perfection, bringing a dark undercurrent of anger and sorrow to the man while still allowing his compassion for the downtrodden to show through. The series ran for four years on CBS, premiering in 1985 and ending in 1989. ------------------------------------------------- Special Thanks to the late Donna Lemaster, who started this episode guide -------------------------------------------------moreless

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  • S 4 : Ep 22

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    Heart of Justice

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  • S 4 : Ep 18

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  • Cast & Crew
  • Keith Szarabajka

    Mickey Kostmayer

  • Robert Lansing


  • Edward Woodward

    Robert McCall

  • Steven Williams

    Lieutenant Jefferson Burnett

  • Robert Joy

    Jacob Stock

  • Photos (1)
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  • Catwoman87531

    User Score: 683


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (22)

    • Brahams: Will you listen to me for once in your life, Robert? Get out of New York and go somewhere no one is scared of you. McCall: Goodbye, Brahams. Brahams: I'll cry at your funeral. McCall: I'll be there.

    • Brahams: The dog eats better than I do. Mildred doesn't trust any food that isn't frozen. Her mother was engaged to a Birdseye salesman.

    • Jefferson: Crime is organized. You're not. Look, this isn't 'Nam or Africa or Central America. This is the Big Ape. And you don't know what real guerilla warfare is like until you've hit those streets.

    • Jefferson: So you're a security officer now, huh? Respectable. McCall: Well, I wouldn't go that far. Jefferson: How many employees in this security company of yours? McCall: Uh, one. Good men are so hard to find.

    • Hamilton: What can you do? This is a major corporation. It's like taking on the US government. McCall: Well, that'll make me feel right at home.

    • Music teacher: Mr. McCall, that is a violin you are sawing on, not a leg of lamb. Miss Jenkins, I know when you're faking it. Could you save that for your boyfriend, please? Nicolo, what has the oboe ever done to you?

    • McCall: "I am an old warhorse, let out to pasture." Control: "You are the most dangerous man I have ever known." McCall: "Now YOU keep THAT thought!"

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

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    Notes (23)

    • Originally, producers wanted the part of Robert McCall to go to actor James Coburn, but Edward Woodward eventually won out after the script was redrafted.

    • Steward Copeland, the music composer and theme writer, was in fact the founding member of The Police and the solo artist, Sting, however his involvement with The Police lasted from 1979, and ended in 1983, when the group broke up and went their different ways. Copeland is also actually the son of a founding agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    • Joel Boston was only the Producer for this Pilot only. Edward Adler replaced him, when the production was wrapped on the Pilot, and started on the very first normal 45-minute episode, China Rain.

    • The apartment where McCall lives is different in this episode than the one that would be used throughout the remainder of the series.

    • Michael Sloan, the co-creator of The Equalizer, wrote only this script, and was only Executive Producer for this pilot. James Duff McAdams then came on-board following the production of this pilot, became Executive Producer, and remained in that role until the series was cancelled in August, 1989, after 4 seasons of 87 episodes.

    • Sound Editing: Hastings Sound Editorial, Inc.

    • Sound Editing: Hastings Sound Editorial, Inc.

    • In the United Kingdom, this episode was the most watched episode of both 1986 and of the show's entire UK run, clocking up 13.9 million viewers when it was shown on Wednesday 12th November.

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    Trivia (8)

    • Goof: When Colleen's stalker calls, she answers the phone and there is a cloth at the base of the vase next to the phone. But as she comes out of the kitchen drying her hands on a washcloth and drops it beside the phone. The stalker calls her back, we see the phone and the cloth is gone. The scene shifts back to stalker, back to her picking up & hanging up the phone and the cloth is back.

    • The classified ad reads: "Odds against you? Call the Equalizer. 212-555-4200."

    • In the fight scenes involving McCall and Leonard Morgan, you can clearly see the stunt-doubles brought in to handle the fights, by looking at the unconvincing hair wigs. With the stunt double for Michael Levin (Morgan), it looks as though he hadn't made any effort at all to look like his counterpart, as he has black hair, whereas Michael Levin has brownish hair. However, Edward Woodward does do the close-up shots during the scene, but Michael Levin doesn't for some reason. Was he too scared to go up against a middle-aged Englishman?

    • When McCall speeds in his Jaguar to catch the running Steve, the shot of the car stopping, and Steve running past the camera, shows Edward Woodward's rather unconvincing stunt-double driving it. The quick editing of Edward Woodward actually jumping out of the car to catch Steve on-foot hides this blooper very well.

    • In the first scene, after the Opening-Titles, McCall confronts his son, Scott. At the end of the scene, after when Scott says: "I always hoped it was you driving that bus", watch Edward Woodward's eyes turn to the left, indicating that Scott has walked away, even though he hasn't yet, but he does when he says: "But I won't hold my breath at the concert".

    • When Edward Woodard (McCall) finds Eric (Jordan Marder) in the engulfed apartment, he exits the room and guest star Frank Converse (Guthrie Browne) is heard laughing. This indicates that this is an outtake, used accidentally by the editors of this episode, unless this was the only worthy take they could use.

    • In the omitted alternate shots of Stephen McHattie (Eddie Washburn) in the payphone booth, we see a red wall backing behind him, inside the booth. In the used and different-angled shots in the actual episode, we don't see any red wall backing inside the booth.

    • Before the end credits roll this memorial is noted: This episode is dedicated to the memory of Ernie Palinkas whose contribution to The Equalizer was invaluable."

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    Allusions (1)

    • The look of the tribunal seems to be an allusion to Kafka's The Trial, especially to the Orson Wells/Tony Perkins film on the same name.

  • Fan Reviews (9)
  • the Equalizer

    By whatjuwant, Jan 13, 2013

  • good days

    By NickLawrence, Nov 01, 2012

  • A very cool show.

    By sfviewer, Aug 03, 2006

  • When the odds are against you, call the equalizer.

    By bwmjwiaco, Mar 03, 2006

  • His advertisement reads, 'Got a problem? Odds against you? Need help? Call - The Equalizer'. Ex CIA Agent seeks to use his talents to aide those who have little or no chance or extricating themselves on their own and no resources willing

    By Keishamarie, May 12, 2006