Written by James Mitchell, the show featured David Callan -- a spy working for an ultra-secret arm of the British Intelligence service specializing in assassinations. Unfortunately, the former soldier and convict was cursed with a conscience that led him to hate his job, his superiors and himself.
Woodward was perfect in the role -- blending haunted humor with genuine menace to create an intelligent, tortured man who you believed could kill anyone without having to look like Rambo while he did it.
It's like 40% of pop culture dies every year.
- After the deaths of Edward Woodward and Ken Ober, why '80s TV suddenly seems so old,
- Soap news, mainly a discussion of James Franco's guest stint on General Hospital,
- Another dip into our Ask TV Squad mailbag, where we discuss the use of laugh tracks and why multi-camera shows are written differently than single-camera shows,
- Our picks for the week, and much more.
Run time is 1:02:55.
You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.
As usual, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick. Though I decided to add a small surprise at the beginning, a call-back to an interview I did a few years ago. Hope you enjoy it.
Of course, before taking that role, Woodward had a long, distinguished film career, starring in such classic films as Breaker Morant and The Wicker Man. Long before The Equalizer he did a British series where he played a spy in the series Callan, which ran from 1967 to 1972.. He appeared in several other TV shows over the years, including The Defenders, The Saint, La Femme Nikita, CI5, Over My Dead Body, Nice Work, 1990, The Edward Woodward Hour, and many others.
This year he guest starred in several episodes of the classic British show EastEnders. He was also an accomplished stage actor and singer.
Did you know they're making a big screen version of The Equalizer? It's true, and it seems like a really bad idea to me.
Not that there's anything wrong with the show (as you'll see in my review after the jump) it's just that this type of lone, ex-spy hero bit has been done to death in the past 20 years, and there's nothing really special about it anymore. And like all big screen versions of a TV show, it's not only going to miss the boat by just being BIGGER than the show (big name stars, celebrity villains, explosions, explosion, explosions), it's going to miss the point of what makes an audience love the original TV show in the first place. It's not the plot or how they did the show, it's that the show came at a certain time (in our lives and TV-wise), in a certain way, and it starred a certain person. Just look at the Charlie's Angels movies or that horrid Beverly Hillbillies movie. It's not that either of the original shows had original plots or any incredible innovation, it's that they were of a time, the way we experienced them.
So I cringe when I hear there's going to be a big screen Equalizer. Thank God we have the DVDs of the original.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
OK, so yesterday I gave my list of the Five Greatest Police Detectives, and several readers gave their lists. Today I thought I'd do the other end of the invesitgation spectrum, private eyes, amateur sleuths and other investigators. This list was even hard to do. So many great characters.
1. Spenser (Robert Urich): I picked this Boston-based private eye because he seemed to be a great mix of brain and brawn. The type of guy who could go to the ratty gym and knock around some boxer and then go off to a fancy Beacon Hill cafe and have coffee with his girlfriend and talk about politics or literature. He was smart, clever, caring, a wiseass, and ridiculously moral. What else do you want in a private eye?
Oh, I love this show. The intrigue, the New York City setting, the Stewart Copeland music, the whole 80s vibe. Sure, you can quibble that no one would be afraid of an older man like Robert McCall, but I believe in the character. And the supporting cast! Robert Lansing as Control, Keith Sjarabajka as Mickey (one of the truly great characters in TV history), Mark Margolis as Jimmy, the veteran operative, Saul Rubinek as the slimy Jason. Check out the link above for the guest cast on this show. It's a who's who of future stars. The episode I'm watching right now, "Torn," has not only Melissa Joan Hart when she was a little girl, it also has Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson in a bit role.
They're making a big-screen version next year. Oh, it's going to suck.
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