Of course it's been 20 years since The Equalizer was a successful series on CBS. It's just that it's a little difficult for me to believe that 20 years have passed by so quickly.
For those who don't remember, or never saw the show. Edward Woodward (at the time 59 years old) played Robert McCall a retired secret agent who took up as a private detective. I don't know if we ever really discovered who it was he worked for in his past life, but I would assume it was an organization similar to the CIA or MI6.
The cool thing about McCall was that he was a private eye not in that he investigated crimes, which he did as well, but that he took jobs as a protector, or even better yet... an Equalizer! As I remember he didn't charge for his services, he just considered it his duty to protect those who had no protection and found themselves at the mercy of criminals. The idea was something like this; Someone done you wrong or worse yet, someone is threatening to do you wrong. You hire the Equalizer and he makes it all ok.
What I loved about the show (besides it's very cool score by Stewart Copeland of The Police fame) was that it pitted this retired, older gentleman against hoodlums, the mob ... whoever. It was great to see people smirk at this old man who was "going to make things right" and then watch as he did just that.
The character carried a gun, and he wasn't afraid to use it. The show was kind of violent as I remember, but at the time I'm sure I just thought of it as being a more "realistic" crime drama type show.
His character also had friends everywhere and since he was schooled in tactics that spies are schooled in, there was rarely an incident that he couldn't solve, or a criminal he couldn't intimidate either by himself or with the help of his circle of friends.
At one point I think Woodward either suffered a heart attack or had some illness that kept him away for a number of episodes. I want to say that Robert Mitchum subbed for him, but I remember thinking that while Mitchum certainly had a great look, great .. well everything, I just missed the nuanced acting of Woodward.
As all good things must, the series came to an end. I don't remember what was airing against it in those last couple of years, but it always remained a favorite of mine. And Edward Woodward was an actor who played the part so well.
Woodward's career was, of course, a pretty distinguished one and he was nominated for a variety of awards (with some wins) over the course of his career.
I am sad to see him go. And, as I've often said, it's troubling to think that some of our best, some of our oldest actors are heading to that big set in the sky. They just don't make them like they used to. And for that, I am truly sad.
Goodbye Mr. Woodward. You will certainly be missed.