We finally reached another important Friday this year – the Premiere of Season 5!
(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)
About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
There hasn’t been as much promo as for Season 4 – until today. Here’s an overview of what we got as promo for Season 5:
- Previews and Teasers: We got the first Season Preview Trailer on November 20, with a shorter version (presumably the TV spot) posted on November 30.
While they had used material from the first four episodes for the Season 4 Preview, they mostly used material from Episode 5×02 this time. Also, many fans weren’t too happy that the promo focused a lot on Desi, but not on the long-time-regulars like Bozer and Matty. Not to mention that it was too short anyway.
GlobalTV (Canada) also put a Season Teaser Trailer out on November 26. It only used scenes from Season 4, but focused on MacGyver instead which in my opinion worked better.
- Character Teasers: Later, there were several teaser videos of the characters announcing countdowns. We got a teaser of Russ Taylor (2 Weeks left), a teaser of Desi (1 Week), one of Matty (5 Days), one of Bozer (3 Days), one of Riley (2 Days) and one of MacGyver (Tomorrow).
It was nice to get a few additional teasers with material from the “real” Season 5. Besides Russ, they all looked way too serious though.
While they posted the videos on Instagram, they often posted a screenshot photo on Facebook.
- Character Posters: We got a character poster of Russ (put together with a shot from Episode 4×01), of Desi (Episode 4×07), of Matty, (taken from the portrait photoshoot they did during Season 4), of Bozer, of Riley and… none of MacGyver (at least not when writing up this post).
To me, these character posters weren’t all that interesting since they were put together with material used more than half a year ago.
- Sneak Peeks: On Wednesday, we got 3 Sneak Peeks and the Opening Scene as an exlusive clip by ET Online. They chose a variety of clips featuring all the regular characters.
Back when I still thought they would air the “leftover” episodes of Season 4 first, I speculated in several blog posts that they might add another time jump for easier transition.
As ET Online reveals with the Opening Scene, we will indeed get another time jump – just not how I expected it. More about that further down.
- On-Set-Interviews: Yesterday, Lucas Till did a short Zoom Call Interview on Good Day Sacramento. He was also part in the CBS Friday-Line-Up Preview; revealing that we will see even more depth of character this season. Today, local station CBS58 (Milwaukee) aired another interview; with Lucas stating that MacGyver fans are the best. There was also a short segment for CBS LA where he talked about the covid safety protocols a bit.
For the interview with CBS58, Lucas revealed that brother Nick is still his assistant; driving him to set every day and taking a daily covid test like the rest of the cast and crew.
Of course, the live-video quality over Zoom Calls is not the same that we’re used to, but it’s nice that they still get a promo cycle on so many local TV stations.
- Off-Set-Interviews: Lucas Till had an interview with Matt Weiss for CBS62 (Detroit); stating that Season 5 is the best season he ever had. He also did a longer interview with Parade that was released today. A few hours ago, Lucas did an appearance on The Talk; alongside Magnum PI lead actor Jay Hernandez.
They touched again upon a potential crossover between the two shows; with Lucas repeating that he’d really like to drive that Ferrari.
All you need to know about Episode 5×01 (MAC415)
Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) airing tonight is the “leftover” episode that was initially filmed with production number 415. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Avi Youabian. We got 16 Official Stills in total and 4 Sneak Peeks.
If you need a refresher, here’s the synopsis for the Season Premiere:
Mac and the team infiltrate a glamorous hotel used as an international hideout for criminals to find a woman with vital information on Codex. However, their target has a new secret identity, including a completely new face.
Lucas Till talked about the episode in his promo interviews; mentioning that it is a nod to John Wick and that he had a lot of fun filming it.
Guest Star Jean Brassard posted several new BtS photos; e.g. one photo with director Avi Youabian and one with co-star Jessie T Usher. He added some old BtS photos as well, but added statements about the actors he worked with. Jessie also posted old and new BtS photos; e.g. a group photo with Tristin Mays, Lucas Till and Henry Ian Cusick.
Guest Star Eugenie Bondurant also added a few BtS photos via Instagram. Meanwhile, CBS mostly re-posted material seen before. Hopefully, we’ll see some additional BtS stuff while the episode airs. It’s nice to see everyone getting excited about watching an episode filmed almost a year ago.
What you need to know about Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Next week, we’ll get Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice). This is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. Here’s the synopsis:
When Taylor’s former protégé is killed while preventing a bio-weapon from falling into the wrong hands, Mac and the team must find the weapon so Desi can pull off the ultimate heist before it’s sold to a terrorist cell.
CBS released 16 Official Stills. On Getty Images, you can find 6 (tagged) Stills since the untagged Stills apparently still haven’t been released yet.
Production during a Pandemic: The LA Unit
The producers decided to slide the newly-filmed episodes between the old ones. As mentioned in my latest blog post, one reason could be that some of the main or recurring cast members can sit out for an episode without making it too obvious. I also mentioned to note that even after two weeks of production, we still didn’t know if Meredith Eaton has been back on set.
On December 1, CBS posted a BtS photo of Meredith holding the slate for the episode with production number 501; dated for November 30. Interestingly, the slate says “LA Unit”; confirming that Meredith stayed back in LA. Considering that filming for Episode 501 in Atlanta finished on November 20, I’m assuming that director David Straiton finished up in Atlanta first before travelling back to LA to direct Meredith’s scenes.
We will see if they cut the scenes together (by re-building a duplicate of the War Room and some clever editing) or if they have Matty call in via screen. It’s worth noting that they could have gone the easy way and written Matty temporarily out if they had aired the “leftover” episodes first. They could have let her film a few scenes now to explain her absence for the rest of the season (e.g. prolonged mission-absence or beaurocracy stuff in Washington) or simply explain her absence as narration.
Production during a Pandemic: The Time Jump
According to the Opening Scene clip by ET Online, 10 months and a pandemic have passed since the Season 4 Finale events. As I wrote in my Update Posts No. 101 and No. 102 back in January and February, time jumps are not a rarity in TV-Show-Land. With a time jump, the writers and producers usually get a “blank slate” to change and shape the show into whatever they wanted from the beginning.
It’s possible that with the depart of co-showrunner Terry Matalas, now-ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov put in a short time jump of one or two months to get things “back on track” the way he wanted. But I doubt he had planned for such a big one.
The switch of showrunners in the middle of a season is difficult enough, but adding a season cut short, 6 months in between filming plus the pandemic is not easy to handle. Granted, since Episode 5×01 is set in Zurich anyway, the climate back then isn’t as different as it is now. And with the leftover episodes in between, they couldn’t do such an extensive time jump as for Season 4. But they might use the time jump to set up upcoming storylines in advance that haven’t been thought about when writing the “leftover” scripts a year ago.
For example, they might use the new episodes to pretend that the pandemic is almost over. Therefore, they don’t have to explain when people aren’t wearing masks in the old episodes. (Depending on where the mission is set, the pandemic might already be over in the country of the week.) Otherwise, they are again able to tweak the history of the characters and the relationships between them to get where new showrunner Monica Macer wants. They can just tell us it happened off-screen with a few flashbacks and we have to accept it.
For now, I expect some adjustements to the relationship between MacGyver and Desi and to the living situation in Mac’s house. I guess we’ll know soon if Riley moved out or not. (With so much promo material out today, I can’t cover it all, but will probably adress it in next week’s post.)
Season 5 Overview
Here’s an overview of all the information about the upcoming episodes so far. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).
- 5×01 (filmed with production number MAC415):
Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (December 4)
Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
- 5×02 (MAC414): Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (December 11)
Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein, directed by Duane Clark
- 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
- 5×04 (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance (tba for 2021)
Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. It’s difficult to predict where the new episodes will be filed in between.
For now, the order of the other upcoming episodes is just an assumption; so I sorted them by production number:
- (filmed with production number MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
- (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
- (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
- (MAC419): Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason
Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
- (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
- (MAC503): Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog
Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks
We still don’t know yet how many episodes we’ll get. According to SpoilerTV, production dates are November to March.
Working on Episode 502
(Note: Since we don’t know the order of the episodes yet, I will continue to refer to the to-be-filmed-episodes by their production number.)
Filming for the episode with production number 502 started on November 23. According to the MacGyver Writers, the episode was written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher and is directed by Andrew Ahn. Due to Thanksgiving, cast and crew got to enjoy a long weekend in the middle of production.
On December 1, we got a BtS photo of Meredith Eaton with Alessia Costantini (presumably back in LA). With Atlanta getting snowfall, Meredith sure has the better weather conditions for filming at the moment. There was no new BtS material from set until today, when Tristin posted a few Instagram stories. As Lucas told CBS LA, they filmed a stunt scene with a garbage truck. Ian also just posted a story from set while sitting in a car; joined by Levy, Tristin and Lucas.
Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls.
The first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown) was released on November 27. Both the book and the kindle version can be ordered here.
On Tuesday, we finally got a first Trailer for Lucas Till’s upcoming movie Son of the South. It’s by the Australian distributor Heritage Films, so I hope that the US distributor also will release a trailer soon. There’s a release date for March 21 in France, but depending on the pandemic, the movie might not be released in theatres.