MacGyver Reboot Update #101

One week left until the Premiere of Season 4! While filming continues, new promo material is coming almost daily now. There’s a lot of grounds to cover in this post, so prepare for the longest Reboot Update Post since I started blogging.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via CBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)


Season 4 Storyline and other Promo News
We’re getting close: Season 4 will premiere next Friday! We already got a lot of exciting promo material in the last few weeks. Here’s the overview in case you missed anything:

  • Mysterious Logo: On January 7, CBS released a red logo with black writing and no further explanation.

Fans guessed it being a logo for either the “new” Phoenix Foundation or rather the bad guy organization as the story-arc for the first half of the season (more on that further down).

  • Teaser Trailer and Storyline News: On January 10, we got a Season 4 preview in form of a 30-seconds-trailer; containing scenes from the first three or four episodes.

According to TV Line, Season 4 will pick up 18 months after the Phoenix Foundation was disbanded and the team members were stripped of their high-level clearances.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Meredith Eaton)

Our favorite characters team up again, though when Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) asks them for help stopping an imminent attack.

  • Press Release and Stills for 4×01: On January 17, we got a Press Release with the synopsis and a First Still for the Season Premiere Episode via SpoilerTV.

CBS later uploaded 25 more Stills onto their press site. Not all of them are available yet, but a first set of 8 watermarked Stills (shot by Set Photographer Mark Hill) are available on Getty Images. One of the photos was used for promo by CBS and TV Guide Magazine. It’s possible that more outlets will have some of the photos as an exclusive next week. Some untagged Stills are up on sites like ShowbizJunkies or TVSeriesFinale already, but in a rather low quality.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via ShowbizJunkies)

Let’s hope we get some in better quality before the episode airs.

The First Look Video is the first meeting between MacGyver and Russ Taylor on campus where Mac works; with Russ trying to recruit MacGyver for a new mission and Mac not wanting to do anything with it. In the Sneak Peek, we get to see the “rebooted” Team Phoenix onto their first mission.

  • Press Release and Stills for 4×02: On January 23, we got a Press Release and the First Still for Episode 4×02 via SpoilerTV.

CBS later uploaded 15 Stills in total onto their press site. At the moment, 14 of them are available on Getty Images (watermarked, of course). Weirdly, the cast list for 4×02 is the exact same as for 4×01, so there might have been a mix-up with the episode order being different from the production order.

  • BtS Interview on set: On January 27, Astrid Martinez from TV News Channel CBS46 visited the cast on set.

So far, we haven’t seen much material yet besides a BtS photo and a few Instagram Stories.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Astrid Martinez)

I’m assuming they will air it either today or on the day of the Premiere.

  • Interview with Lucas Till in “Pick of the Week“: TV Guide Magazine chose the Reboot Season Premiere as their pick of the week; adding a short interview along with one of the new promo photos.

In the interview, Lucas reveals that MacGyver is working as a college chemistry professor and pretty miserable; the ex-Phoenix members having fallen out of touch with each other while working “normal” day jobs. Also, the new enemy of the season is a collective called “The Codex”; so we can assume the red logo with black writing is theirs. Furthermore, Russ will buy up the Phoenix. (Considering the amount of them filming in the War Room back in Summer, them being disbanded wouldn’t have been a longterm-state anyway.)

  • Press Release and Stills for 4×03: On January 30, we got the Press Release and a First Official Stills for Episode 4×03 via SpoilerTV.

For now, no additional Stills have popped up.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Justin Hires)

ICYMI: Production Design Company Keith Neely had uploaded several Season 4 photos onto their website about a month ago. The set photos disappeared very soon – only for a few to pop up again recently; featured on the landing page. At the moment, they’ve disappeared again, so stay tuned.

Season 4 Episode Overview
It’s easy to lose track about the production process and what’s been going on since filming started back in July last year. Here’s a short recap about the episodes we can look forward to. The infos were either provided by CBS, by people working on the show or taken from IMDb (cast and crew info), from SpoilerTV or similar sites (episode titles and storyline info) and from The Futon Critic (airdates).

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

As you can see, there will be a 3-week-break for March Madness like every year. But as always: Episode titles and airdates are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. And even then, changes are still a possibility.

  • 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 7)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (February 14)
    (Presumably) Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (February 21)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: (title tba) (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (April 10)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: (title tba)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: (title tba)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: (title tba)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: (title tba)
  • 4×12: (title tba)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (tbd)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard
  • 4×14: (title tba)
  • 4×15: Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness (tbd)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
  • 4×16: Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (tbd)
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core

A little recap: Filming for Episode 4×14 had started on Monday, January 6. The cast filmed scenes in the War Room, in and around the Governor’s Mansion and did a little photoshoot in between scenes.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

Working on Episode 4×15
Filming for Episode 4×15 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness) started around January 16. The episode is directed by Avi Youabian (who also directed Episode 3×14). Justin Hires posted several Instagram Short Stories while filming in the War Room and waiting in between scenes. According to the Stand-Ins and the crew, they also filmed some elevator scenes.

On January 21, they filmed inside the Equitable Building and at the Candler Hotel. Henry Ian Cusick shared a new BtS photo of him with Lucas Till, Tristin Mays and Jessie T Usher; all dressed up. Short Stories from set showed Levy Tran wearing a suit and having fun between scenes with her co-stars; pushing a wheelchair (occupied with Tristin Mays) around.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Henry Ian Cusick)

Guest Star Jean Brassard uploaded several BtS photos onto Instagram during the next few days; for example a nice photo of him with Levy and Tristin; revealing that Riley most likely will get hurt (if the fake blood on her shirt is any indication). He also uploaded photos with Lucas Till, with director Avi Youabian, with Jessie T Usher (who guest-stars as “Vincent”), with the “bad guys” and with Ian Henry Cusick. Lucas provided a new BtS photo of him with Ian and Jessie by January 29.

They had another night shoot on January 23; filming in and outside of the Candler hotel. According to Insta Stories, there was a hint there might be a car getting shot at (unless the crew just took the opportunity to whack a hammer repeatedly onto the car after it already got dozens of bullet holes). A day later, Showrunner Peter Lenkov uploaded an Instagram Story during editing; showing Desi helping a bleeding Riley getting out of the bullet-holes-riddled car and into to the hotel. Director Avi Youabian uploaded a few photos as well; plus a video of the Stand-Ins sitting inside the black Maserati and joking about crashing it.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Jean Brassard)

Even another night shoot couldn’t keep the cast in joining Cornell Willis for Tie Friday; filming the last scenes of the episode. A few days later, Avi Youabian added more photos; e.g. with Meredith Eaton.

On January 27, they set up a “sandy beach” location in front of a big green screen alongside 3 walls. If I didn’t know it better, I’d thought they were filming a crossover with either Magnum or Hawaii Five-0. The same morning, Astrid Martinez from TV News Channel CBS46 visited the cast on set.

Working on Episode 4×16 and beyond
On January 24, Guest Star Annabelle Acosta had revealed the script title page of Episode 4×16: It’s called “Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO” and was written by Jim Adler. Of course, the title had many fans being excited; speculating if “Jack” means the character Jack Dalton or simply a car jack. As it is, it might be Jack’s GTO that will be used for a MacGyverism.

Script Title Page of Episode 4×16: Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (via Anabelle Acosta)

The episode is directed by Ericson Core (who already directed Episodes 2×02 and 2×22). Filming started with the second/stunt team doing some ropewire work. The scene looks like 5 villains roping down from a roof; executing a heist job.

On January 28, filming started early at Fulton County Airport; with military jeeps in the hangar and helicopters flying. We also got a photo of Lucas Till looking dapper in MacGyver’s military dress uniform; and a lot of Extras in uniforms, too. The scene had fans speculating if Mac is attending a funeral (considering Justin Hires was wearing a suit on set as well) or if it’s rather a celebratory instead of a sad event. The next day, filming continued in the War Room. Meredith Eaton – who had been rather quiet on social media for a while – provided a new photo of Matty and MacGyver trying to solve a puzzle.

Yesterday, they went back to Game-X where they usually filme the Arcade scenes. They also destroyed wine bottles after setting up in a different location; dropping single bottles and throwing crates onto the ground.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Avi Youabian)

Today, Lucas’ friend/roommate Mike Milligan was back on set; presumably at East Point Wagon Works. For Tie Friday, Cornell Willis showed up wearing one with a print of the periodic table of elements. Looking good!

Crew, Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Caucasian Security Guards, for Zurich Street Pedestrians, for an African American Tech, for Featured Caucasian Friends of an Actor, for Pizza Restaurant Patrons, for Gunmen, for a Cauciasian Featured Businessman and for Caucasian Military Men. They’ve also been looking for Techs and Agents plus for a Stand-In for Bojana Novakovic.

ICYMI: Executive Producer Terry Matalas got assigned as showrunner for Season 2 of “Star Trek: Picard” (on CBS All Access) and has already been pulled off the Reboot. We haven’t officially heard about the show getting a new co-showrunner, but on both the script title pages for Episodes 4×15 and 4×16, there’s a new name on the producers list.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (via SpoilerTV)

Season 4 Predictions: Overview
The show being pushed to midseason, the personnel changes plus the late back-order for more episodes might have several consequences. I wrote about these consequences extensively in my last blog post. If you missed and/or want to re-read it, you can find it here. If you have more important things to do, here’s a short overview with my three main expectations for Season 4:

  • Two Half-Seasons: Since the story-arc was initially written for 13 episodes with EP Terry Matalas as the co-showrunner, I expect the season to be cut into two or even three main storylines. It’s also possible for the two “halves” to have a different tone (and quality) to it; rather feeling like two different seasons.
  • No Holiday-Related Episodes: Being pushed to midseason, any premiere date between January and April was a possibility. There probably won’t be any holiday-related episodes.
  • Changes in Cast and Characters: Some recurring guest stars might not be available for the production of the rest of the episodes – or their characters may have already been written out in the first half of the season. There’s also the possibility of bringing back a guest star despite the storyline for this character being “finished” in an earlier episode. Secondly, there’s a new regular character in town. Additionally, because Episode 4×01 starts with a time jump of 18 months since the events of the Season 3 Finale, there might be some heavy changes in the history of the characters and the relationships between them.

If you think about Season 1, we already experienced what two half-seasons mean. Back in 2016, the two main writers on the show got pulled off for another project after 8 episodes. Additionally, the midseason finale brought on a heavy change in Patricia Thornton – one of the rebooted characters from the Original – being replaced by Matty Webber (who bears the name of an OG character as an Easter Egg, but no resemblance to her OG character). Also, while it’s a pity to not get a Halloween- or Christmas-related episode, it won’t impact the storylines too much. The Time Jump though, that one might lead to some changes with a big impact on the entire season.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Jean Brassard)

About that Time Jump
Time Jumps are not a new thing in TV-Show-Land. But the decision to have 4×01 starting with such a long one means that the writers and producers practically got a “blank slate” to change and shape the show into whatever they felt like; the only limitations being the budget (e.g., they couldn’t re-locate Phoenix to Hawaii or into space) and keeping the premise of a crime-show (e.g. they couldn’t have MacGyver working and living in an elephant sanctuary in Botswana for six episodes).

Otherwise, they were able to change the history of the characters and the relationships between them however they please. They can just tell us it happened off-screen and we have to accept it. We might get so see glimpses of it in flashbacks, but probably without ever getting the full story (Cairo, anyone?).

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Delaney Williams)

The first example I already touched upon is MacGyver’s romantic life. The last few episodes of Season 3 hinted at a beginning romance between Mac and Desi. There’s several possibilities:

  • a) Mac and Desi are in an already established relationship; maybe even living together.
  • b) Mac and Desi had a few dates, but it never led to anything more.
  • c) Mac and Desi dated for a while, then broke it off.
  • d) The audience doesn’t get to know about the status of their relationship until a few episodes into the season.

I wrote this section several days before the second Sneak Peek clip that hints at Mac and Desi having been dating and breaking it up again off-screen – and Desi still feeling a bit resentful over it. Of course, clips and photos can be deceiving. But whatever they chose to do in the end, it’s an easy (and lazy) way to skip over the usual building of romance and trust between two characters. They also don’t need to explain how they broke it off; leaving a backdoor open to reveal the reason in another episode when it suits them; e.g. to add tension and/or to provide the opening of a new storyline or the introduction of a new character. It also leaves the possibility of the two getting together again, without having to actually show the two falling in love anew. The rekindling of their relationship can just happen in the spur of a moment (e.g. a mission going wrong and them being stuck together in a hopeless situation; finally talking it out)

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Kelita Miller)

It is rather interesting that almost all of the regular/recurring characters ended the season with “broken” relationships: Mac/James (fight), Mac/Jack (Jack left for a mission with no end date), Riley/Billy (broken), Bozer/Leanna (unclear), Matty/Ethan (broken) and Murdoc/Amber (broken). The possibilities for these relationships and how they are going to play out are endless and might have been influenced by the availability of the recurring guest-stars.

For example, Riley and Billy could easily get back together if it turns out that Billy “sexting” another woman was just a misunderstanding and not an indication of him cheating (e.g. cover identity for a mission or his brother Frank using the phone). The same way, we might get to see all of the above characters dating someone new at the start of the season. Anything is possible, so it will be interesting to see what the writers did with it.

Teen Choice Awards Surfboard (via Peter Lenkov)

Best of TV Awards: Round 1
The Reboot is competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs. Reminder: In Round 1, you can vote as many times as you want. Also, you can add a new entry nominee into the “other” box at the bottom of the category. Two categories are still open, so don’t forget to vote since Round 1 is probably done soon!

These are the categories to keep an eye on in Round 1:

  • Best Action or Drama Actor/Actress (Lucas Till, Justin Hires, Tristin Mays, Meredith Eaton)
  • Best Recurring Actor/Actress (George Eads, Tate Donovan, Reign Edwards; closed)
  • Favorite Show (closed)
  • Best Guest Actor/Actress (David Dastmalchian, Michael Des Barres; closed)
  • Best Director (Brad Turner for Episode 3×13, closed)
  • Best Episode (Episodes 3×11, 3×13, 3×22; closed)
  • Favorite Character (Mac, Jack, Riley, Bozer; closed)
  • Best Writing (closed)
  • Best Stunts (closed)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; closed)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; closed)

In other news, the surfboard (the winning prize at the Teen Choice Awards in the category “Choice Action TV Show”) finally arrived at the Paramount Studio Lot. Considering that the Award show had taken place last August, hat sure took a while to be delivered.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Lucas Till)

Season 3 DVD and other merchandise
The Season 3 DVD was released on January 14. Sadly, the US version doesn’t contain any Extras or special features. If you haven’t done so, you can order it via Amazon US at a great price (it’s still on sale with 50% off).

The CBS swag store for MacGyver still isn’t open yet (the page exists, but the store is empty).

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