Callan is a serious minded and intelligent spy show that came out of Britain in the late 1960s. Edward “The Equalizer” Woodward plays a reluctant, obstinate but gifted (and handsome) killer who works for a shadowy government agency called The Section. Morals, plots and allegiances are ambiguous and you’ve really got to pay attention to appreciate the twists and plotting.
The thrills here are more subdued and psychological and Callan lacks the gadgets, cars and big explosions of typical spy fare. Not surprisingly, the recommendation came from good friend and spy aficionado Matthew (of the blog Double O Section) who also set us up with the similarly intelligent and complex Sandbaggers, which came to BBC a decade later.
Only the third series, the first in color, and subsequent are released on DVD, so if you do Netflix these prepare yourself to be dropped in the middle of major story arch – but don’t worry, you’ll figure out what’s going on in no time.