Acorn Media / Region 1 / Released January 26, 2010
One of the most respected UKTV shows of all time Callan made a star out of Edward (The Equalizer) Woodward and brought a new sense of dour realism to spy shows on TV. This four disc set brings the series to a close with all 13 episodes from the fourth and final season.
Callan aired from 1967-72 and saw Woodward playing British Intelligence Agent David Callan, who is a far cry from the glamour packed world of James Bond, worked as a kind of hitman, rooting out those who pose a threat to the British Government.
Created by James Mitchell (who would later go to even greater success with When The Boat Comes In) Callan started out as a single feature length play for the Armchair Theatre strand but was quickly made into a series. Although Callan is very much a loner, a big part of the show is the petty crook Lonely (a brilliant performance from Russell Hunter) who quite often is on hand to provide Callan with important bits of information. The relationship between Callan and Lonely is a particular joy. Lonely is all needy and Callan brushes him off at every turn. In this fourth season Callan is more than a little jaded having just been released from a Russian prison, Callan has had enough and wants out of the game but there is little chance of that, his boss Hunter (played in this series by William Squire) is determined to make sure he cannot leave. Hunter was actually more of a code name and was played by a different actor in each series.
As culty as The Prisoner and with just as big a reputation Callan is a superb drama, one that brought a whole new sensibility to the business of spying.
This set of 13 episodes also includes audio commentaries from Edward Woodward (who sadly recently died) on episodes 5 and 11 and there is also a profile of Woodward too.