Friday, February 15, 2008
"It's about damn time THIS made it to DVD" -- Volume 1
Reason to rejoice--one of the most overlooked action dramas of the 1980's finally makes it to DVD this week, as THE EQUALIZER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON was released on Tuesday the 12th.
Distinguished British stage and screen actor Edward Woodward played Robert McCall, a.k.a. "The Equalizer", in this CBS crime drama from 1985 to 1989. McCall was formerly a government operative who resigned in disgust for reasons (in the first season, anyway) unclear and began dedicating his considerable resources into helping those in need. "Got a Problem? Odds against you? Call The Equalizer" read his ad, which was as close to "Have Gun, Will Travel" as it got in the 1980's. McCall may have become as frustrated with red tape as Paul Kersey and Harry Callahan, but he was much more elegant in dealing with his villains (while still every bit as commanding).
The first season was by far the best, and yes, you can expect it reviewed here as soon as I get the necessary (22) hours away from job, other hobbies and just plain laziness to watch season one in its entireity.
Tony Shalhoub, later to become famous as Monk, got his TV start here in the first season's best episode (IMO), Breakpoint, in which McCall is among those taken hostage at a wedding reception. It is here that McCall's vast experience really comes into play, as he knows they will only have one chance to escape the situation, and he must wait for it---even if it means waiting through the torture of other hostages.
Other first season standouts include China Rain, guest starring a young Lauren Tom (BAD SANTA), in which McCall helps a housekeeper after her son is kidnapped by mistake; The Defector, in which McCall shows a more sensitive side in helping a young man deal with bullies (he's also helping a double agent at the same time, a typical Cold War era TV plot) and Bump and Run, in which McCall must deal with a vigilante killer who is pinning the Equalizer's ad on his victims.
Oh Hell, there's a lot of episodes to recommend. I guess I'll just shut up now and save the rest for the review.