Robert McCall, one of the best covert operatives in the business became disenchanted with his work in a CIA-like organization known only as "the Company." Seeking redemption for some of his darker exploits, McCall resigned, and offered his services through newspaper ads to people in trouble, who were beyond the help of official channels, like the police. McCall used his skills in espionage and frequently enlisted the help of former colleagues still in the Company to get the job done. He also continued to maintain contact with his friend and former boss, a man known only as Control.
During the height of the show's popularity, actor Edward Woodward was often approached on the street by people in need, with situations similar to those depicted in the show. He began carrying flyers with the phone numbers of social services organizations and legal clinics for them to contact.
Like ancient Rome, we today are once more importing every form of exotic superstition in the hope of finding the right remedy for our sickness.
-- C. G. Jung
Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam (1930), CW 15: pg. 60
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