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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Equalizer
Season 2


Starring: Edward Woodward
Fabulous Films
RRP: £39.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 March 2012

Robert McCall is a man of conscious, having done some questionable things, in the past; he attempts to make amends by helping out. If danger threatens, then your eye may catch a certain advert “Gotta problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer”...

The Equalizer: Season Two (1986 - 1320 min) is a television thriller show, created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. In its four season run it became a multi-award winning format, mostly thanks to its main actor, Edward Woodward.

Woodward was already a well-established stage actor, in Britain he was known as both a film star (Breaker Morant, The Wicker Man) and as the star of Callan, a dour but realistic look at the life of a spy. One of the defining features of the show was that McCall would mainly help disempowered victims, usually ordinary members of the public.

This also meant that the show was able to use a long list of relatively unknown actors, though they also often employed the guest star of the week. Season two saw the inclusion of Michelle Dotrice (Woodward’s own wife), Christian Slater, Stewart Copeland (who also provided the show's music) and Steve Buscemi, amongst others.

The format of the show was pretty standard with McCall being contacted by a member of the public. To add another level to the show, McCall isn’t quite as removed from his previous life as he would like and the reoccurring role of Control would often pull the character back into his old life of espionage.

Woodward's skill as an actor raises most of the stories above the average scripts and television directing. He appeals as a man of undoubted power, influence and unspoken violence, who never-the-less is both flawed and often vulnerable. The show has dated well, except for the eighties hair styles. The overall look of the show was more classic than contemporary.

The second season of the show containing all twenty-two episodes, is presented on a six disc DVD set. The picture has retained its original aspect ratio; extras are restricted to a stills gallery and an episode guide booklet. One odd exclusion is the lack of subtitles for the hard of hearing. The picture is fine, if a little soft, being a conversion to PAL. The picture has not been restored and in places small amounts of print damage is evident.

A fondly remembered show with a strong central character means that The Equalizer still holds up well against its more contemporary competition.


Charles Packer

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