What was Robert McCall's background?
Robert McCall was the son of a distinguished British Army officer and an American showgirl whom he was ostracized by his family after marrying. His father would later be murdered by a colleague during the Suez campaign whilst Robert McCall was at boarding school, McCall holding a lifelong resentment against his father for their detached relationship. McCall would later join The Agency/Company, a branch of American intelligence which operated both at home and abroad serving in the Malayan War, Vietnam War and the Angolan conflict as well as other Cold War battlegrounds. He is deeply disturbed by his past deeds especially collaborating with Apartheid South Africa and helping to install dictatorships in South and Central America in the fight against communism. He was briefly married and fathered a son, Scott and we later learn he also had an illegitimate daughter with a past lover. In 1985 he became disilluisioned with his profession and left to become a freelance troubleshooter/vigilante.
Is Robert McCall's character actually the same as his character in Callan?
No, although they both served in the Malayan War. Callan was a working class former National Serviceman (a British conscripted soldier between 1945-1960) and karate expert who was blackmailed into working for the British intelligence services after being caught robbing banks. McCall was the upper class Anglo-American son of a British Intelligence officer and his American wife who worked for American Intelligence.