Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on September 23, 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.
Only hours until the Premiere! Filming continues while the reviews for the Pilot Episode are piling up. And we got the new Opening Title Sequence to go along with the new Opening Theme!
(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any too revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided; especially on the links to the reviews!)
Working on Episodes 2, 5 and 6 (I think)
I kind of lost sight of what episodes the crew is working on right now – there’s so much going on! While the promo continued at full speed, we didn’t get that many pictures as in the weeks before. Some showed a new set or set equipment like this fog horn.
On September 17, the crew set up at the Pullman Rail Yard, probably to film more scenes for Episode 5. They also shot more train scenes back at the Southeastern Railway Museum. On September 20, the crew worked in Downtown Atlanta, masquerading the city as New York. The fleet included NY Police Cars and Taxis. Meanwhile, G-Rod did some ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for Episode 2.
Chris Payne Gilbert shared a nice pic of George Eads preparing his lines. Lucas Till posted an interesting picture of himself “wreaking havoc”. MacGyver shooting an automated weapon? *gasp*. Lucas was quick to add that New MacGyver still doesn’t use guns. My guess is this is a BtS from the Pilot Episode where we get to see bikini-clad women shooting Ninjas off a tank. (You will know soon why that is.) On the same day, Lucas shared a picture of his bomb-defusal suit – and he wasn’t the only one following the dresscode.
On September 22, Aina Dumlao shared the news that she’s back on set – watching MacGyver episodes in her trailer. There’s worse homework than watching original MacGyver, right?
Let the Promo continue: Sneak Peeks and Refreshers
Promo is still hitting the state fairs – recently in Oklahoma. But the main promo consists of previews and sneak peek videos.
CBS distributed many videos to various outlets this week. To list a few: We got to see a BtS-Video of the stunt work with Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. One video let us “get to know the stars” a bit better while ET Canada shared another Featurette with short interviews on set.
CBS also helped us to freshen up our knowledge about MacGyver’s 7 Notorious Tools (as if we wouldn’t remember) and to decide which episodes of classic MacGyver to watch before the premiere – the cast and crew’s favorites, of course: “Trumbo’s World” (Lucas), “The Heist” (Tristin Mays) and “Partners” (James Wan).
Let the Promo continue: Theme and Title Opening Sequence
On September 18, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov revealed that the Orchestra was scoring the pilot plus recording the new theme. He even provided little videos to listen in. How exciting!
On September 20, Yahoo! posted an amazing fake title opening sequence they had edited together for fun. It’s actually a recreation of the original title sequence that many people mistook as the real deal. Only hours later, Entertainment Weekly posted the official new title sequence – and squashed the excitement of many fans.
I’m glad the reboot gets a “real” opening sequence (and not just the title for five seconds like other modern TV shows). I love that they kept the focus on MacGyver’s hands instead of the character’s faces. I kinda like the music although it sure isn’t as memorable as the original. But this opening is not as much fun as it could have been – especially not if you compare it to Yahoo’s fan-made title sequence *sigh*.
Let the Promo continue: Reviews and Interviews
Several reviews of the Pilot Episode have made the rounds now and they keep coming in. Some are quite harsh; e.g. the reviews by Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Others are more “meh” about it; e.g. Collider or USA Today. I liked the review by Your Entertainment Corner – it is critical, but fair and rather points out the strong and weak points instead of just bashing on it. Another very nice one is the review by Cinemablend which comments some more on the characters and the performances.
On September 21, Eric Goldman shared an interview with James Wan about the reboot in general and shooting the pilot. Peter Lenkov talked with TV Guide about how to keep the spirit of the original. Front Row Features posted an interview with Lucas and George.
As Justin Hires reveals, press days and doing interview rounds for TV is hard work, but can also be very fun and practical. With the help of journalists at Yahoo and TV Guide, the cast managed to escape one of the famous Escape Rooms. Of course they did; it’s MacGyver!
Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has made more casting calls; e.g. for onlookers of a crime scene, for people to work in flashback scenes to the 1970’s, for a SWAT guy and for downscale and dented neighborhood cars.
On September 17, Peter Lenkov granted us a first look at Penny Parker. Justin Hires posted a new picture of his character Wilt with MacGyver. While sharing his Favorite Classic MacGyver Moment, James Wan confirmed that Murdoc will be a character in the reboot.
India Batson shared the news that her scene as Tiffany was cut from the pilot episode. Seems like some of the bikini-babes didn’t fulfill their Shooting-Ninjas-off-Tanks-quota. Hopefully, there’s DVD extras for people who were looking forward to see her.
On September 22, SpoilerTV revealed the press release for Episode 3 (“Awl”): Team MacGyver will travel to Malaysia to extract a terrorist groups’ money man who holds key intel to an impending attack.
What is my opinion on this?
As I stated in my very first blog post about the reboot, I’m not a fan of reboots or remakes in general and I don’t like that many of the shows on TV right now. This so-called reimagination sure has its flaws and problems. Some of them because the reboot is set in modern times, others because of the creation and background stories of certain characters. I’m also not very fond of the Team MacGyver concept because it’s the typical team formula you get to see on television all the time.
Of course, it’s not that easy to satisfy fans of the old show. Yet I do think this reboot can be fun if you don’t compare it too much to the original and to the iconic character that Richard Dean Anderson created over the course of 7 seasons. It’s a good thing that a new generation will also get to see a hero like MacGyver, even if he’s different.
Also, with the buzz going on on social media (Forbes states that along with “This is Us”, MacGyver gets the most buzz of all the fall tv premieres), it’s nice to see that so many people are fans of the old show. The reboot will inspire people to check out the original, regardless if they liked the new version or not.