Thursday, 30 May 2013

Theme Time : Stewart Copeland - The Equalizer

Half Death Wish as populist TV series/half spy thriller, The Equalizer was one of my favourite shows in the 80s, being allowed to stay up late (our local region Granada would often repeat it way past my bedtime) to watch the urbane ageing Edward Woodward kick New York hoodlums 'asses'

The unbelievably rocking and catchy theme tune and incidental music came from Stewart Copeland, the cool guy from The Police (ie not Sting) whose parents had in fact worked for the CIA and the British SIS. His theme was paired with a wonderfully creepy, evocative and explanatory title sequence

Here's a few examples of the incidental music also from Copeland. I love these, they're so wonderfully 80s and distinct in their sound (Copeland also provided the soundtrack to the film Wall Street which is equally distinctive)

I always think the music in the arrangement of this Elbow track High Ideals from their most recent album Build A Rocket Boys! sounds like Copeland's instrumental work from The Equalizer...

It's said that the original choice for the role of Robert McCall in The Equalizer was Hollywood ledge, James Coburn

But Coburn was concerned his then chronic arthritis would hinder his performance and believability in the role.

The other person who claims his hat was in the ring is none other than former star of The Professionals and moody veggie himself, Martin Shaw

But with respect, I think that's bollocks. Sure, it could be argued that show creators Richard Lindheim and Michael Sloan were considering another British TV action star, but I believe one of them has recalled that they were so impressed with Edward Woodward's performance as the weary spy/assassin Callan when they lived in the UK a decade or so earlier, that he was literally their next choice

It's worth recalling that when Woodward had to pull out of the series briefly due to a heart attack, both Richard Jordan and Robert Mitchum filled in playing hastily explained contemporaries of McCall's

Talk of a movie of The Equalizer has been ongoing for the last decade. I personally touted Ciaran Hinds as a likely candidate for McCall over IMDB and was delighted to read that the studio was seriously considering him shortly after. Also in the running were Sean Bean and Liam Neeson with a script from legendary thriller writer Frederick Forsyth. But the project faltered before coming back into the spotlight three years ago with Russell Crowe attached. Since 2011 however the man set to bring the show to the big screen seems to be Denzel Washington in a plot which sees him tangle with the Russian Mafia led by Marton Csokas after he rescues a prostitute from a beating played by crap actress and Kick Ass potty mouth Chloe Grace Moretz. Oh deep joy.

I think I'll stick to my memories of the TV show, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. he also soundtracked 'Rumblefish', which showcased his brilliantly innovative percussion skills...