Looking Back at Season 1 (XIX) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 5)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: In the Van

This scene takes place when Mac, Jack  and Riley try to catch Nikki before her plane takes off. While Jack is driving the Handyman Van, he and Mac have a conversation:

 

This is the second time in the script that MacGyver states he loves Nikki. In the finished pilot, the L-Word is never mentioned at all.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In the Pilot Episode, MacGyver speaks Italian while posing as a waiter at Lake Como. Nikki seems quite impressed:

NIKKI: When did you learn to speak Italian?

MACGYVER: When you said yes to Rome.

I’m pretty sure in all these years, MacGyver had been in Italy before for a mission with DXS, but never felt the need to learn Italian. The next snippet of the conversation in the van kinda reveals what the mention of Rome was all about:

Somehow, Jack strikes me as the romantic type, despite not having much luck in the love departement. I don’t think he would believe in the concept about all women being liars.

Also, it’s not clear if Rome was just a destination for a romantic holiday or if “more” had been meant to happen. Considering that MacGyver and Nikki had been dating for two years and apparently have known each other for three years, it’s possible that maybe he would have asked her to marry him? Seems like a convenient little plot bunny that in case Tracy Spiridakos’ Nikki came back for another episode, there would be some kind of big previously-planned-marriage-proposal-revelation (e.g. Bozer or Jack finding the ring that was meant for Nikki).

 

Scene: Back home

This scene takes place when Riley and Jack come visit MacGyver, who sits at the campfire, watching the photos of him and Nikki burn. Riley admires some of MacGyver’s handywork before she finds the amulet that leads to the first notion of Cairo and sparks the idea of re-naming DXS after the bird rising from the ashes:

It’s possible this scene was filmed and edited out or cut together. I always felt the scene was a bit weird; the dialogue whileRiley snags the amulet from the chair never made much sense to me.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)
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Looking Back at Season 1 (XVIII) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 4)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: At DXS

This scene takes place when Mac and Jack return to DXS after Mac was informed by Patricia Thornton about the bio-weapon being back on the market and Mac collecting Jack who was working on a movie set.

In voice-over, MacGyver talks a bit about DXS and what they do:

It makes sense they shortened the voice-over because revealing too much about DXS (or Phoenix) would have limited the possibilites for upcoming storylines – at least in case they wanted to change direction during the Season while still figuring out what worked for the audience and what didn’t.

After pushing in on the main heroes, Jack tries to enter the building:

To be honest, this snippet puzzles me a little bit. It does nothing but paint Jack being a bit incompetent at times. In the script, it’s mentioned that they haven’t seen each other in about 3 months and haven’t been at DXS either, where there is no mention of that in the episode.

 

Scene: Meeting Riley

This scene takes place right when MacGyver, Jack and Thornton go visit Riley in prison.

Again, it makes sense they didn’t reveal too much about the reasons for Riley’s imprisonement since this would have limited the possibilites for an upcoming Riley-centered Episode (which we got in Episode 1×11: Scissors).

 

Scene: Tinfoil

Mac, Jack and Riley travel to San Francisco to find Kendrick and the bio-weapon. They debate how to find him in the hotel:

Again with the bikini-clad babes. Someone must be fond of those *lol*.

This scene might have been re-written for budget or location reasons. It wasn’t necessary to film a scene that calls for a swimming pool and several extras; escpecially since the bikini beauties were already needed for the “Baywatch With Tanks”-Scene (you can find more about that one in this blog post).

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In the Pilot, the scene is set within a storage room. Sure, the scenery isn’t as nice, but it keeps the focus on the MacGyverism instead of the surroundings and the banter that happens beforehand.

 

Scene: Chasing Kendrick

In the chase for Kendrick, we are robbed of an extended MacGyverism:

We got a bola for Episode 1×14 (Fish Scaler), though.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

It’s possible that the next scene had been filmed and was cut out in the editing room. On the other hand, it makes sense that in the finished scene, Kendrick stays unconscious. In fact, it would have made more sense if he had been dead after the “incident” with the ladder.

 

MacGyver Reboot Update #43

Last Friday’s Episode managed to reach more than 7 millions live viewers, setting a new live audience record for Season 2. Also, “Original Jack Dalton” Bruce McGill will guest-star in an upcoming episode!

BtS of Season 2 (via Lucas Till)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Work, work, work
It looks like production is gearing up for a well-earned holiday break because filming continued on the last two weekends. Due to evening and night shoots, cast and crew didn’t get to watch the latest episodes because they were still on set when the show aired.

They still take the time to post some pictures for us and thankfully, George Eads hasn’t lost his new-found love for Instagram yet. On October 26, he revealed that Jack Dalton will have to wear a suit again. On a photo posted on November 1, he joked that Jack at least was trying to help. The BtS picture shows cast and crew filming on and under a soundstage. Judging by other location pictures and Instagram Live Stories, it looks like MacGyver is trying to defuse a rather large bomb. Eads also pleased the fans by posting pictures of him doing ADR (Automatic Dialogue Recording) and thanking for the great ratings last Friday.

BtS of Season 2 (via Justin Hires)

Justin Hires shared a picture of Bozer being in trouble again, getting interrogated in prison. At least he had some beautiful company on set, even if one of them has a habit of trying to look into his phone. Justin also shared a picture of him and Lucas on set, their characters apparently taking a break from playing Ping Pong in the lab.

Meredith Eaton just posted an Instagram Live Story today, revealing that she’s doing ADR for Episode 2×09.

Filming in “Afghanistan”
On October 25, Tristin Mays had shared a video of her driving a Sanitation Truck. As it turned out, this scene will be part of another “explosive” Episode because Emerson Brooks (who played Charlie Robinson in Episode 1×06: Wrench) was back on set and most likely, “The Ghost” will make a comeback as well.

Last week, they had lots of Extras on set; mainly SWAT, FBI and Bomb Techs. Meredith Eaton called it “a situation”, so I guess there will be lots of action.

BtS of Season 2 (via Garfield Wedderburn)

On November 7, George Eads posted several pictures of him and with Lucas Till in “Afghanistan”. Back in October, we had already seen BtS photos posted by Garfield Wedderburn that featured him with Lucas and George in soldier gear.

Months ago, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov had promised we would get to know how Mac met Jack. The fact that both Tristin Mays and Justin Hires have been on this desert set as well means the episode is set in current time, but set location pictures, Instagram Live Stories by Lucas and and the most recent BtS photos by George hint at flashback scenes to Afghanistan when Jack was still with Delta and Mac an EOD Tech.

Isabel Lucas doesn’t post much, but shared a BtS-picture of Episode 2×06 that shows her on the hood of a car. Interestingly, she hasn’t been seen on set pictures or videos for weeks. Either Samantha Cage has very good Ninja Skills or she went to travel the world with Murdoc.

Official Stills, Press Releases and Sneak Peeks
On November 3, we got the Press Release for Episode 2×08 (Packing Peanuts + Fire) and a first Still of Riley with her father. On November 7, CBS added more Official Stills for Episode 2×07 (Duct Tape + Jack). We also got the title for Episode 2×09: CD-Rom + Hoagie Foil.

Episode 2×07: Duct Tape + Jack (via SpoilerTV)

Sadly, we got no Sneak Peeks in advance of Episode 2×06, although they had only released one single Offical Still beforehend. There were no Sneak Peeks for today’s Episode 2×07, either.

Thanks to the cast, we got some more BtS material of the episodes, e.g. the stunt-scene of Bozer’s stunt double being on fire in last week’s episode 2×06.

Interviews and other Promo
On October 26, CBS Watch! Magazine had posted 14 BtS Set pictures of Justin Hires with various cast members;  giving a “tour of typical MacGyver moments”.

Some of these photos are on-set-pictures from last week’s Episode 2×06 (Jet Engine + Pickup Truck); making up for the lack of Official Stills. We also got a glimpse of Jack Dalton’s “homebase” that we will visit in tonight’s Episode 2×07 (Duct Tape + Jack).

George Eads and Justin Hires on Set of Season 2 (via CBS Watch! Magazine)

On October 27, CBS shared a short interview with Meredith Eaton about her character Matilda “Matty” Weber. Asked about her favorite scene she has filmed so far in Season 2, Meredith answered:

One of my favorite scenes that Matty has in Season 2 is with Murdoc’s son. There’s a real poignant moment where she’s talking to him, and Matty reveals part of her own past to his son. It’s a really sweet scene between the two of them. That was really enjoyable.

(Meredith Eaton for CBS)

Interestingly, that’s actually a scene for Episode 2×04 (X-Ray + Penny) we never even got to see. It’s still a possibility that it ends up in a later episode, but more likely as a Deleted Scene on the Extras of the Season 2 DVD.

For Halloween, CBS additionally posted an interview with Sarah Downer, Costume Designer on the Reboot. Besides giving tipps on Halloween costumes (e.g. which substance to use for fake blood), she also talked about how they had decided which costume of the “Zombie Wizard of Oz” theme to use for each actor.

Season 2 Ratings
While the Season 2 ratings for the first four episodes hadn’t been overwhelming, they were stable: On average, every episode pulled in 6.65 million live viewers per episode so far with a rating of 0.8.

BtS of Episode 2×06: Jet Engine + Pickup Truck (via Isabel Lucas)

The Halloween Episode on October 27 aired an hour later than usual and took over the time slot of Hawaii Five-0. Furthermore, there was a World Series Game going on that evening and Season 2 of Stranger Things had just dropped on Netflix, so ratings weren’t really predictable. Yet, we were in for a surprise:  Episode 2×05 (Skull + Electromagnet) reached 6.45 million live viewers with a rating of 0.9 in the important demo-group (18-49).

Episode 2×06 (Jet Engine + Pickup Truck) last week was the first Season 2 Episode to reach more than 7 million viewers; managing 7.09 million live viewers with a demo of 0.8.

Cast, Crew and Character News
Today, TV Insider revealed more infos about Bozer’s new love interest, an ambitious operative-in-training called Liana. Reign Edwards will join the cast for at least 3 episodes “and possibly more”, starting on November 17. It’s possible they’re testing the waters with Edwards as a potential recurring (or even regular) cast member since many fans didn’t take Isabel Lucas joining Team Phoenix so well.

As I mentioned, Emerson Brooks has been back on set as Charlie Robinson, Mac’s fellow EOD friend. Other upcoming guest-stars are Billy Baldwin as Riley’s father (in Episode 2×08: Packing Peanuts + Fire), Eddie McClintock and Ashley Tisdale as a CIA Agent. Both Justin Hires and Lucas Till shared BtS pictures and videos of them with Ashley on set and having fun.

BtS of Season 2 (via Ashley Tisdale)

Probably the most exciting casting news is that none other than “Original Jack Dalton” Bruce McGill will guest-star in an upcoming episode! On November 3, news about Bruce McGill’s appearance in the reboot hit the internet. As Entertainment Weekly reported, McGill will play Detective Greer, a seasoned LAPD veteran who reads MacGyver his Miranda Rights for murder. Greer believes that MacGyver is a bomb maker who took down a warehouse, killing someone, and intends to charge him with domestic terrorism.

In the press release, McGill said:

I was happy to make a guest appearance on MacGyver. It’s unusual for an actor to be on the original series and then, 30 years later, be on a newer version. The cast and producers were warm and embracing, and I enjoyed being a part of the new show.

(Bruce McGill for CBS)

Lucas Till posted a picture of him with rebooted and Original Jack Dalton on Instagram, stating his excitement about working with another actor of the original cast. TV Line had added an Official Still to their post, stating that the episode will air on December 15. The description for the Still reveals that it’s Episode 2×11 (Bullet + Pen), directed by Carlos Bernard. It’s not clear yet if this will be the Midseason Finale or if they will additionally air Episode 2×12 just before Christmas.

Episode 2×11: Bullet + Pen (Guy D’Alema for CBS)

Interestingly, the storyline for this episode reminds me of the background story James Wan had intended for a MacGyver movie back in 2012, in which MacGyver was wanted for terrorism and had to clear his name.

Of course, it’s not just about guest-stars. After all, TV wouldn’t work without Extras. Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Stand-Ins, Photo Doubles, a Bomb Squad, Men who are currently or have been real Firemen, for SoldiersFBI & Police, SWAT and Agents or for LAPD Bomb Techs. They’ve also been looking for a Man with a Car, Bartenders, Men and Women who portray Middle Eastern or East Indian for a small Bazaar Scene, Office Workers and Men with military or tactical experience.

MacGyver in Latin America
The Reboot started airing in several Latin American countries recently. There were some screening events beforehand. Depending on the venue, journalists gathered to conquer “MacGyverland” (Colombia) or had to disarm bombs (Argentina), solve puzzles, crack open a safe or to step over laser lights without getting “harmed”. There were fake missiles, confetti bombs and fighting stunt men. They also got their own paperclip goodie to take home or were able to visit the “spy van”.

BtS of Season 2 (via Garfield Wedderburn)

MacGyver in Austria
Episodes 1×07 (Can Opener) and 1×08 (Corkscrew) garnered 69’000 resp. 73’000 viewers. Episodes 1×09 (Chisel) and 1×10 (Pliers) reached 76’000 resp. an impressive number of 105’000 viewers.

Tomorrow, Austrian channel ORF1 will air the German-speaking TV-Premiere of Christmas-Episode 1×11 (Scissors). There will be no episodes for the next few weeks due to the upcoming Winter Sports Events. There’s no information yet when fans finally get to see the German-speaking premieres of Episodes 1×16 (Hook) and 1×19 (Compass).

Looking Back at Season 1 (XVII) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes Part 3 (Baywatch With Tanks)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

On July 19 in 2016, we got several pictures of a tank on set. A tank that soon got invaded by bikini-clad women in heels or boots while carrying weapons. Hmm. SkyDroneCinema called it a “hot hot day on set” while Lenkov asked the same question that fans have been asking on the MacGyver Online Forums and on the MacGyver Online Facebook Page: What does this have to do with MacGyver???

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Tiko Pavoni)

As more pictures turned up, we realized the scene also featured Ninjas. There had been a Casting Call by Central Casting Georgia looking for Ninjas on July 18, but seeing them together with gun-wielding “bikini babes” just made this even more surreal.

Casting Call from July 18 (via Central Casting Georgia)

Pictures of the Ninjas posing with the bikini girls would have fit for movies along “MacGruber” or “Sharknado”, so of course we weren’t just puzzled about this, but also concerned – because the material we had gotten the days before looked so much different. It felt like the quality of the production had just dropped a notch.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Chris Delfin)

Crew member Chris Payne Gilbert sure had fun filming this scene, as did George Ead’s Stand-In Mikey Leo and model Teresita Vicente (although she later deleted her Instagram picture stating she had been shooting Ninjas all day with a machine gun while wearing a bathing suit).

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Chris Payne Gilbert)

While some fans were as happy as Lucas Till and George Eads snagging Ninja-Shooting Bikini Babe India Batson for a picture, others were either confused or disappointed; stating that “Baywatch With Tanks” (thanks for this label, Miasma!) wasn’t the image the show should be going for.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via India Batson)

We kept guessing at what this scene should be for days. Opening Gambit? Weird Dream Episode? Music Video for the Soundtrack? Promo Video for Comic Con San Diego? Maybe another production filming on the same studio lot and Lucas and George posing for fun during a break?

As it turned out, all the excitement and chatter was for nothing because the scene got cut in the end. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten a DVD copy (Season 1 has only been released in Australia and the UK so far), the scene made it onto the DVD Extras.

A look at the DVD Extras for Episode 1×01: The Rising (UK Version, via Attila Vass)

FunFact: A tiny shot of the scene actually had made it into one of the Official Trailers, so it must have been cut in the later stages of the editing process.

Screenshot of one of the Official Trailers (via CBS)

Looking at the script, this scene takes place after Patricia Thornton had recruited MacGyver back into DXS, stating his “vacation” was over.

So while MacGyver was healing (both physically and emotionally), Jack was working as a tech consultant on a movie set. Interestingly, the script never describes much of the movie besides having a young and good-looking starlet with a machine-gun, playing a character being a spy working undercover. I’m curious to know who actually came up with adding Ninjas to the “Baywatch with Tanks” concept.

I don’t think it was hinted at in the Pilot Episode that Mac and Jack didn’t stay in close contact after Lake Como. I’d think that Jack would have stayed at Mac’s side while being treated at the hospital, but it’s quite possible that Jack felt responsible for MacGyver’s girlfriend and valued team member Nikki getting killed and tried to deal with this guilt on his own.

In the version that aired, Mac and Jack are simply reunited without ever talking about the events at Lake Como. While I’m aware that the scene was probably cut for time, this just again made me think that it would have been nice to actually get a two-parter for the Pilot Episode or maybe an episode longer than the standard 40-and-something-minutes.

Scenes like this would definitely have helped to implement the friendship between these two and why they’re still working together. On the other hand, I’m totally fine about dropping the next scene:

The role of “Tiffany” was played by India Batson. I feel bad for her the scene got cut, but besides painting Jack as a bit of a ladies man, it doesn’t do much for moving the plot forwards.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Lucas Till)

Me being one of the “unlucky” ones without access to the DVD Extras, I can only speculate that the scene was cut for time. I don’t know much about filming budgets, but I’d say this was a rather expensive scene to let go of.

I’m fine with dropping it, though. I’s not really relevant to the plot and rather slows it down. It would have been nice to have Mac and Jack talking about the mission and their guillt, but it wasn’t necessary to do it here. Also, since Bozer is the one being interested in movies and being a director, it would have made much more sense to me if Bozer worked on movie sets (e.g. as an Extra or in catering) to earn some experience in the field. They could have worked that into an episode with MacGyver having an adventure outside of Phoenix like in the Original Show – e.g. there’s weird stuff going on at Bozer’s work place aka the film set he got a little job at; similar to “Cleo Rocks”.

Looking Back at Season 1 (XVI) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 2)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: In the helicopter

This scene takes place when Mac and Jack are in the helicopter, chasing the bad guys transporting the bio-weapon in the truck to its destination.

The vial of morphine won’t be mentioned again until towards the end of the episode – you’ll see why further down.

 

There is some more banter and action first before Riley informs them where the (blue) truck is headed:

Original MacGyver was often annoyed by some of Jack’s comments. This scene here doesn’t feel very MacGyver, though. Original MacGyver might have thought Jack was naive and and gullible, but I don’t think he would have ever implied that Jack was mentally impaired.

Also, rebooted Mac and Jack have known each other for years. It seems weird that Jack suddenly finds MacGyver’s fear of heights inconvenient and something that Mac should overcome right now, even though it might have been a topic before.

 

Scene: Siberia

This scene takes place right after MacGyver and Jack secured the bio-weapon and before everyone meets at MacGyver’s and Bozer’s place; choosing a new name for DXS.

 

This scene was actually filmed, but got dropped in the editing room – probably for time. I don’t think they had already the idea of “recycling” this for a later episode.

BtS of 1×01: The Rising (via Peter Lenkov)

They reshot the Siberia Scene for the Season 1 Finale (1×21: Cigar Cutter), but without any voice-overs because the trip to Siberia happened under different circumstances. I would have actually preferred to see it here in the Premiere Episode. It feels very Original MacGyver; more than the version filmed for the Season Finale.

It shows the rebellious side of MacGyver; the side that is willing to breaking the rules to prevent potential disaster. In the Season Finale Version, Jack and Matty knew what MacGyver was about to do; this was probably even sanctioned by Phoenix and Oversight.

BtS of 1×21: Cigar Cutter (via Peter Lenkov)

Looking Back at Season 1 (XV) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 1)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

Judging by social media pictures by cast and crew, we know this wasn’t the final version. There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they finally started the table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the only version of the Pilot Script that’s available to me at the moment – the Revised Network Draft from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: Lake Como

This scene takes place at Lake Como, after MacGyver entered the villa and donned his camera glasses, right before he meets up with Patricia Thornton.

I think this is an interesting little snippet. Many viewers complained on social media that MacGyver came off as too cocky and James-Bond-like. And I think that was the main reason that many fans of the Original Show stopped watching. I think more scenes like this one could have helped preventing that.

Interestingly, this is a theme in most of the Reboot-FanFiction as well – MacGyver is not a ladies man; usually clueless when women flirt with him.

 

Scene: MacGyver running

This scene happens right after the Opening Credits.

There are no voice-overs in the finished scene. I don’t know if they ever made them and decided to take them out or not. They’re not necessary for the scene in my opinion. On the other hand, I never really felt the love and betrayal between MacGyver and Nikki. Maybe something like this would have helped.

 

Scene: MacGyver taking a shower

This scene happens after MacGyver’s run and talking with Bozer and before the shower scene.

This little snippet isn’t that important to the story, but it gives us a bit more insight into who MacGyver is. Also, the set of MacGyver’s house is really interesting. I would have liked to see more of it – especially since we saw Bozer’s room in Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew), but never got to see MacGyver’s room.

 

After the Flashback comes this little snippet:

I’m curious if this was written with another specific storyline in mind. It could also be some “leftovers” from the Unaired Pilot Script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo. The Unaired Pilot Script had MacGyver rescuing himself after being held prisoner for five years in Pakistan by the Mazzari, a terrorist group. It’s possible that Colaizzo’s script implied MacGyver being tortured.

If this was added by Lenkov, it could have been part of MacGyver’s childhood story; e.g. how his mother died. I’m thinking car accident – and the idea of MacGyver being with her when she died. But I guess this might have been too dark as a backstory – the most recent episodes proved again that the show is seen as light entertainment for a Friday evening.

MacGyver Reboot Update #7

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 14, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Filming continues while the cast does the interview and photoshoot cycle at the TCA Press Tour in LA. Also, we got a brand new trailer, new stills and huge billboard ads!

via Getty Images

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Work, work, work
Cast and Crew were still filming for Episodes 1×02 and 1×03 last week; shooting on the Historic Oakland Cemetery, in Midtown Atlanta and Downtown near Hardy Ivy Park. Several bypassers caught them filming while walking through the park or were able to watch the set from above. The reboot also got some impressive new lighting installations for the interior sets. For the rest of the week, production seemed to move onto higher grounds. A sky scraper setting for New MacGyver’s work place, maybe?

We finally got some more information about the Ninja shooting, gun-wielding bikini babes on the tank. Turns out they’re actually The MacGyverettes! Of course, we still don’t know what this is all about – Opening Gambit? Mac working undercover on a movie set? Who knows. Seems we’re up for a big surprise (hopefully a good one).

While cast and crew are working long days and weekends, they still find the time to pose for fan pictures or joke around a little bit. Two lucky kids even got to meet the cast on set.

Let the Promo begin: Interviews, Stills and Billboard Ads
On August 9, IndieWire posted an interview with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov about rebooting beloved shows. Lenkov revealed his rules of remakes: 1) Honor the original property. 2) Dive even deeper into the characters that fans love. He said: “The secret sauce is what MacGyver does, and I’m hoping that becomes a thing where people the next day are talking about, ‘Can you believe he did that?’ I think the characters are different, and the original show was very plot-driven. Nowadays, we have to really look at why people are tuning in. They’re tuning in for the characters.”

On August 10, SpoilerTV released more promotional pictures for the Pilot Episode and the main cast.

via SpoilerTV

On August 11, someone spotted a new billboard ad from afar – which didn’t look very promising to me. The up-close-version of a new poster provided by Peter Lenkov on the same day revealed the new tag line: “No man has done more with less“. It looks slightly better up close, but this poster wouldn’t spark my curiosity enough to watch the pilot if I didn’t already have a clue what the show was all about. It also reminds me of the first poster for the Unaired Pilot that shall not be named.

via Peter Lenkov

On the other hand, it’s not so different from other posters for movies or TV shows. Some people might think it’s a little cheesy, but that only fit’s into some of the cheesier episodes of the original show. My problem is mainly that it doesn’t seem to bring across what Original MacGyver made him our favorite TV hero in the first place.

It seems they did invest quite some money for the upcoming promo, though. Besides another version of a huge billboard ad, there are Sightseeing Busses driving through Hollywood announcing the “New Fridays” on CBS. I’m already curious what else is coming.

Let the Promo begin: MacGyver at TCA
On August 11, the cast travelled to LA with Peter Lenkov and Pilot Episode Director James Wan to do the promo rounds at the Television Critics Association (TCA). The visit included a short interview panel, photoshoots, live video interviews (streamed on the official MacGyver on CBS Facebook page), press interviews and posing for pictures with the interviewers.

via Twitter

The panel wasn’t aired, but we got almost everything live on Twitter and shortly afterwards via Online Articles. Peter Lenkov started with a MacGyverism consisting of trying to power up his smartphone through a lemon. Apparently, he should have brought more lemons to make it work. (Or maybe a cactus from the Ugly Duckling episode? Maybe I should try this with my old-school cell phone since it’s not smart and only needs to be charged once a week anyway.)

We had already heard a lot of what was said at the San Diego ComicCon panel last month: It’s “Team MacGyver” now; MacGyver get’s a family and a “bromance”. Also, there definitely will be guns (although it won’t be MacGyver using them.) 

Thankfully, they also shared some new information: Since MacGyver’s first name is not a secret anymore, it will be used frequently in the reboot. They will incorporate the original theme, with a new theme in the main title sequence. They already have a role in mind for Richard Dean Anderson and (still) hope he says yes. Lucas Till admitted he cut his hair because of the negative reactions after shooting the Unaired Pilot (we probably won’t ever know if he wanted it cut or if the bosses made him do it). There’s a nod to Hawaii Five-0 in the pilot and Lenkov hopes they get to do a crossover eventually. The cast still does its homework and watches the MacGyver reruns in their trailers between takes.

via Getty Images

After they made everyone sing “Happy Birthday” to Lucas Till, the cast hit the TCA After Party before travelling back to Atlanta to pick up filming.

Let the Promo begin: The Trailer
On August 12, CBS unexpectedly dropped a new trailer. While it’s again restricted on YouTube for an US-only-audience, CBS TV Studios was nice enough to put it up on their Twitter Account and on Facebook so everyone can see it.

I’ve watched it several times now, but I’m still not sure what to think of it. For the reboot itself, I’m still hovering between excitement, annoyance and bracing myself for disappointment. As for the trailer, there’s a lot of action and we get to see every crew member of “Team MacGyver” – The Brains (MacGyver), The Muscle (Jack Dalton), The Boss (Patricia Thornton), The Best Friend (Wilt Bozer) and The Hacker (Riley Davis). Sadly, the introduction of the whole team in such a short time is why we don’t see very much of New MacGyver himself and what makes him tick. The trailer does peak my curiosity, but it doesn’t “feel” like MacGyver yet.

Cast and Crew News
TVLine provided more information about Amy Acker’s role; revealing her character’s name (Sarah Adler). They also confirmed our suspicions that she’s no damsel in distress that needs rescuing. According to Lenkov, she’s a “female version of George Eads’ Jack Dalton, and she’s pretty badass!”. 

via Proper Sightseeing

Sarah Mays shared a picture on Instagram that revealed her being part of the Make-Up-Departement. Several extras shared their excitement online; e.g. Aina Dumlao (as a character named Andie Lee), Steven Stokes (Background Actor) or Tyler Ellstein (StandIn). Also, the IMDb page is slowly filling up with more names for the first three episodes.

Filming, writing, cutting
Still many more episodes to shoot until December, and the premiere is only six weeks away. SpoilerTV has revealed that Episode 1×04 will be called “Wire Cutter”.

While the writers spend the nights on the studio lot working, Peter Lenkov apparently has had a long weekend of cutting to do. It’s good to see that everyone is so dedicated to this project; their energy sure adds to the curiosity and excitement for the fans of the old show.