Looking Back at Season Zero (VII) – The Storyboard Part 3

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:


(Note: If there’s no link to the material I’m writing about, that means either the social media account has been set to private or been disabled or that the material has been deleted.)


Recap of the latest Unaired Pilot Storyboard Post
A storyboard is a graphic representation of how film material will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations representing each shot. Think of it as sort of a comic book version of a script.

The storyboard for the Unaired Pilot was created by Storyboard Artist Aaron Sowd. In the excerpt from scene 49, we got to see MacGyver escaping from duct tape bindings and hunting down the bad guys (Redwood and Keith).

While Redwood falls over the edge after being stunned by a MacGyverism, Mac runs to the escalator to catch up with Keith.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

If you think this scene looks familiar, then that’s probably because you might have seen it in the Teaser Trailer for the Unaired Pilot.

The Escalator
MacGyver slides down “between” the two escalators that are standing still since they’re not in use anymore. I’m not sure what location the villain’s dungeon was supposed to be in the original script or the storyboard, but the scene was filmed in the empty Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Mall.

(Fun Fact: Justin Hires filmed at the same location for the Pilot Episode of “Rush Hour”, another CBS show that was cancelled after their initial run of 13 episodes.)

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Aaron Sowd envisioned to show MacGyver sliding down from different perspectives. In the Teaser Trailer, we see it only from one direction, with Mac rolling over at the bottom after gaining a lot of speed. Note that in the Trailer, he’s holding unto a pipe which he isn’t holding (yet) in the storyboard.

Screenshot of Lucas Till in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer

After the slide shot, the storyboard cuts to Keith running towards his car with Mac running after him. Mac then stops and hunkers down, being in pain (I’m not sure why since I don’t have the full storyboard).

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Mac did take a beating before, so maybe he’s holding his ribs. So he notices he still has the vial in his pocket. Perfect opportunity for another MacGyverism!

According to the storyboard, the vial contains red mercury. Wikipedia says:

Red mercury is a substance of uncertain composition purportedly used in the creation of nuclear bombs, as well as a variety of unrelated weapons systems. It is considered a hoax and the existence of such a substance has not been documented. Samples of “red mercury” obtained from arrested would-be terrorists invariably consisted of nothing more than various red dyes or powders. It has been suggested these may have been sold as part of a campaign intended to flush out potential nuclear smugglers.

When Mac looks at the vial, we can see pipes in the background.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Bow and Arrow
As Aaron Sowd notes, the following shots could be a series of quick cuts in montage style or being intercut with Keith fleeing to heighten the tension.

They can’t keep Keith running several minutes so MacGyver has enough time to build his new MacGyverism – either Keith’s car would have to be very far away, Keith is the slowest runner ever or MacGyver builds his MacGyverism within 20 seconds.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

I’m assuming in the finished version it was the latter and I’m pretty curious how this scene turned out on screen. They might have used a split-screen-technique similar to the one they used very often in the first Season of the Reboot.

So MacGyver takes one of the PVC pipes; wrapping the wire around it on one end. Then he bends the pipe so he can wrap the other end of the wire around the other end of the pipe; building a bow.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Then we see a close-up of MacGyver picking up a smaller pipe to build an arrow.

Sadly, the vial doesn’t fit into or onto the smaller pipe. Mac is not amused.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

In fact, he’s very frustrated – until he remembers the duct tape bindings and the pieces of duct tape that he had taped onto his leg earlier for whatever reason (knowing MacGyver, maybe to avoid littering) after he had freed himself.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

So he duct tapes the vial on top of the smaller pipe and there goes the red mercury tip for his arrow.

Aimed to shoot
So bow and arrow ready, Mac draws the bow, ready to shoot – hopefully, Keith hasn’t fleed the building yet. I like Aaron noting “heroic shot” on the last drawing; a bit like a modern Robin Hood.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Interestingly, in the Trailer, we see (a slightly bloody-faced) Lucas Till only very briefly in the heroic shot.

Then the camera switches to show him in profile when he lets go of the arrow.

Screenshot of Lucas Till in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer

As you can see, Mac aims high. You’ll soon find out why – in my next blog post.


(More Storyboard Info coming soon. You can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot.)

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