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The Equalizer Series 1 - Great series, poor DVD treatment
on 15 March 2012
The Equalizer is a series that I have long held in affection. Banned by my parents from watching it when it was first on (it was deemed to be too violent for my 12-14 year old eyes) I fondly remember covertly taping and watching episodes. It stars the ever so suave Edward Woodward as Robert McColl, a taciturn and stoic ex secret squirrel who now hires himself out to those who need a hand fighting off the overdog, in whatever form. It was a great format that allowed for a really wide variety of adventures as he gets involved with everything from Russian spies to rapacious landlords. Woodward, who already had form for this kind of role in the superb British TV production Callan really carries the piece. He is quiet, preferring to use his brain rather than brawn, but ever so menacing. Just one steely look and you feel nervous. It's a master class in how to play a tough guy.
All the episodes from the first series are presented here, as far as I can tell uncut. There are, however, issues. This is a cheap as chips release from Universal. The transfers are quite poor in places, with washed out colours, seepage and a general feel of a badly recorded VHS copy. It's watchable, but for the price I paid I expected a lot better. These days there is just no excuse for this kind of sloppy work. Especially when compared to other releases under the Universal/Playback label, notably the first series of Kojak. The DVD's themselves seem to have been printed as cheaply as possible and slung into a box with no booklet or extras. There are 6 DVDs in 3 slimline boxes, held in a card slipcase. There is no information other than episode titles (a brief synopsis of each would have been nice?)
So, 5 stars for the show, but only three overall due to the poor quality.
I see series two is (finally!) due for release later this year. Let's hope that one fares better, and that various music licensing issues are sorted out soon to allow the release of series 3 and four.