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In a BAFTA-winning performance, Edward Woodward (The Equalizer) stars as Callan, a brooding, conscience-stricken assassin for a shadowy British intelligence service so secret it doesn’t have a name.
With the Cold War grinding on, agents from the East and West engage in elaborate deceptions, both sides seeking temporary advantage in an endless struggle. No one plays this game better than Callan. His sharp eyes, steely will, and steady hand with a gun make him a valuable asset to his superior, called Hunter (William Squire, Anne of the Thousand Days). But Callan knows his usefulness could end at any moment--especially with the younger, ruthlessly ambitious agent Cross (Patrick Mower, Target) eager to advance. In this amoral world, where men and women serve only as means to another’s ends, Callan fully understands the consequences of failure, seizing each assignment as one more chance to survive.
DVD FEATURES INCLUDE Callan trivia and biography of Edward Woodward.
At first glance, Callan seems like simply a well-made, realistic spy story, in the vein of John le Carre’s intricate novels. But episode after episode subverts your expectations as Callan and his ambitious colleague Cross ruin the lives of innocent people in the name of national security. Callan is a fascinating creation; moody, bad-tempered, prone to treat his flunky/stoolpigeon Lonely (Russell Hunter) with a weird, almost homoerotic mix of possessiveness and abuse. In another actor’s hands, he might be downright unpleasant; but Woodward--who later starred in the series The Equalizer as well as movies like The Wicker Man and Breaker Morant--is a uniquely compelling actor, able to make cruelty and moral queasiness strangely magnetic. Whether he’s planting evidence to ruin a young woman’s engagement or trying to protect a racist politician from assassination, Callan comes across as simultaneously appalling and admirable. Oddly enough, starting with the third season enhances the program, adding to the hidden motives and secret histories. The supporting cast is uniformly superb, particularly Hunter as the squirrelly and aptly-named Lonely, who both loathes and desperately craves the approval of Callan. This series is essential viewing for anyone interested in the spy genre, but may be even more intriguing to people who don’t like tales of ridiculous secret agent derring-do--think of Callan as the anti-James-Bond. --Bret Fetzer
Callan is one of the best TV series ever. The problem with Set 1 is it is actually Series 3. I was disappointed to find that it does not contain Series1. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Bronwyn Hunt
10 years ago I purchased SET 3 of Callan and loved it ( 5 stars).The moment I saw set 1 and 2 on Amazon I purchased both. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kay Bowling
This truly is Edward Woodward's show and his talent, abilities and inspiration carry through the series. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pen Name
Watch and enjoy as you get to understand why Woodward is always an angry man. He dispenses death with his own understanding of justice for the innocent, even when it goes against... Read morePublished 16 months ago by halh
More action that the "Palfry of Westminister" series. Productions standards are on a par with British TV of the time (i.e. not high) but enjoyable none-the-lessPublished 19 months ago by Virginia Yank
Glad I found out about the CALLAN series---fun TV espionage from the Len Deighton/John LeCarre school of dead drops and one time pads. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Crawford
I remember watching this show on a barely viewable UHF station as a kid. I loved the show. I believe that this show more accurately portrayed the spy games during the cold war... Read morePublished on September 13, 2011 by Carol S. Faber
I had heard about this series from youtube and was very excited to order. Exactly what I expected. Great acting by all cast members but especially by Edward Woodward, he can... Read morePublished on June 8, 2010 by N. Weitz