Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in April/May 2016. I have written about it before, but it was usually a few bits and pieces here or there. 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 Part 1 (about the Unaired Pilot’s Origins), you can read it here.

cixaiiwwuaa7aaz-wp
Unaired MacGyver Pilot Logo (via CBS)

Rebooting the Reboot
The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April/May 2016. Production wrapped on May 5, only two weeks before the CBS Upfronts – THE event for the networks to announce their TV schedule for Fall and to provide more info about the upcoming TV shows.

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been picked up and ordered to Series by CBS – with Peter Lenkov as an Executive Producer. The Hollywood Reporter hinted that the script might be tossed out and stated that the secondary cast members were “unlikely to return”. Deadline added that Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise of the series remaining the same; confirming that the supporting cast was not coming back.

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS, via NY Times)

Of course, this was exciting, yet also concerning news. What had exactly happened, and was this project doomed now that they rearranged everyting, but still wanted the show to premiere in Fall? What would this mean for the quality of the show, if the showrunner had to not only find a new cast, but also a new crew and new locations in time to start filming in Summer? Why had CBS picked up the show for Fall if they didn’t like the pilot, the script or the cast in the first place? Did they care for MacGyver at all or only for the promise of making money with a well-known brand that had the potential to be turned into a franchise? And wasn’t Peter Lenkov already busy enough with Hawaii Five-0?

The move also left a bit of a bitter taste since it looked like the secondary cast members got the news at the same time as us – via the internet.

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

Official Stills that were not meant to stay
Despite the Pilot Episode being scrapped and just days before the CBS Upfronts, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads in character on May 16 via NY Times. (The article itself was not about the Reboot per se, but about the nostalgia leading to resurrecting old TV shows.)

The reactions were mixed. Many felt that MacGyver looked too young, but were quite happy to see that both chemistry and physics still seemed to be an important part of the show. Others made fun of rebooted MacGyver’s hairdo; deeming him as one of the “Hanson Brothers”.

Social Media Header (via MacGyver On CBS)

On May 18, they released two new Official Stills just before the Upfronts. The tweet by Eric Goldman reveals that a lot of the talk revolved around MacGyver’s hair again:

MacGyver 2016 has no time for haircuts! He’s gotta make a thing out of a thing!

The third Still had rebooted MacGyver walking to his next mission. About the same time, CBS revealed the new social media pages for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; revealing another look at the pilot and the new logo. (Little did we know that only hours later, the Stills would be deleted; alongside all material on the social media pages.)

The logo – featuring an SAK forming the letter “v” in the show title – was very well received among the fans. Even 30 years after the original series, everyone associates the SAK with MacGyver, so the logo was pretty clever and easily recognizable.

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

The description for the show provided by CBS read as follows:

A secret agent unlike any other, MacGyver escapes perilous situations with nothing but a paperclip, his trusty Swiss Army knife and his wit. A dynamic reimagining of the hit television series, this action-packed origin story follows the young MacGyver as he returns from war, a hero with an idealistic vision of saving the world. He and his late father’s best friend partner to form the clandestine Phoenix Foundation.
Using his scientific know-how and resourcefulness, MacGyver – alongside his intrepid team – undertakes missions to save lives and change the world.

CBS also revealed that the show was scheduled to air on Fridays, which had some fans worried since Friday used to be a “death slot” for years until CBS had managed to turn it around for them.

Presentation of the Unaired Pilot Promo Material at the CBS Upfronts 2016 (via Twitter)

The Teaser Trailer that disappeared
At the Upfront Events, usually both Art Work and Teaser Trailers for the new Fall shows are being released. This not only to tease the potential audience, but also to attract international buyers. Since we already knew that the Pilot Episode would be scrapped along with most of the cast, we were wondering if CBS would even dare to show a trailer.

The trailer soon hit social media accounts all around the world. To watch it, the fans had to do a bit of MacGyvering themselves since the trailer was geo-blocked outside the USA. It didn’t take long for other countries to post and revierw it as well, though. Let’s just say it wasn’t that well received – or the positive reviews got buried under the amount of negative comments and down-votes. Many Original fans found rebooted MacGyver too cocky or too violent and not very distinguishable from any other action show. And of course, the comments about his hair were never-ending.

Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer Screenshots

Some of the fired cast members (e.g. Addison Timlin) were not happy either; tweeting statements like “I wish network television would quit firing me but putting me in their promotions anyway”.

In the Teaser Trailer, they created the tagline that they would later use for the rebooted Pilot Episode again: Mac is Back. The trailer clearly marked the show as a one-man-show like the Original, with MacGyver as the lead hero in the centre.

Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer Screenshots

According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked a lot of interest among international buyers. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer soon to “promo non grata” and erased all their former tweets, posts and Official Stills concerning promo for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

The LA TV Screenings
A few days later, Peter Lenkov posted a photo on Instagram that showed a promo poster in form of a character portrait with Lucas Till. Interestingly, they used yet another font for what seemed like the new MacGyver logo, but the writing style was used for posters for other CBS shows as well. Since Lenkov was on holiday, he didn’t attend the event and neither did the (remaining) cast members.

Usually, there are cast photos and interviews being made at the LA TV Screenings, but with the imminent rebooting of the reboot, we didn’t get to enjoy any of that.

Promo Poster at the LA TV Screenings (via Peter Lenkov)

 

(More in Part 3, coming soon.)

Advertisements

Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired Pilot. So, since you’re not getting one of my usual Updates today, why shouldn’t I write a blog post about the Pilot Episode that – according to CBS, at least – shall not be spoken of?

cixaiiwwuaa7aaz-wp
Unaired MacGyver Pilot Logo (via CBS)

I have written about the Unaired Pilot every now and then, but it was usually a few bits and pieces here or there. I’ll try 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 machines.

About that Unaired Pilot
The idea of rebooting MacGyver has been around for a while – not surprising, since MacGyver is a well-known name all around the world. The Original Show has sold very well overseas and is still aired on TV in many countries. There is actually a Pilot Episode for a spinoff series called Young MacGyver (filmed in 2003, starring Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki as MacGyver’s nephew Clay), but the show never went into production. You can head over to MacGyver Online for more information (including news items, photos and a cast list) about Young MacGyver.

Jared Padalecki in Young MacGyver (2003)

In October 2015, the Hollywood Reporter announced that MacGyver would be brought back as a TV Show for CBS. R. Scott Gemmill (NCIS: Los Angeles) was set to write the script with James Wan (who had been attached for a MacGyver movie in 2012) directing the pilot.

In February 2016, Deadline reported that CBS had ordered a pilot. Apparently not happy with the script they already had, CBS announced that the Pilot Episode would be written by Paul Downs Colaizzo. Only a few days later, Lionsgate announced that they had made a development deal with CBS for a MacGyver movie.

Title Page of the Unaired Pilot Script (via Paul Downs Colaizzo)

The character descriptions – released (or rather leaked) by SpoilerTV – sparked heated discussions among Original fans since they confirmed the rumours that the Reboot would be indeed a Reboot and not a Remake, and also some sort of a Prequel and not a Sequel.

Doing a sequel wouldn’t have been that difficult, especially since the Reboot was meant to be set in present time: In the Season Finale of the Original Show, MacGyver’s son Sam (Sean Angus Malloy or S.A.M.) of about 20 years is revealed. Because the series ended in 1992, MacGyver’s son would would have been about 45 years in 2016. Why not make S.A.M. having a son of his own – or maybe even a daughter? This would have quenched the public thirst for a female MacGyver and also would have opened the doors for several cast members of the original show coming back for cameos as their original character.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Also, MacGyver’s background story didn’t quite fit with the Original Show. Many commenters mentioned the story being a bit too similar to Arrow or Homeland and the storyline including the characters not being very original or exciting.

Further details were announced in March by the Hollywood Reporter: George Eads (CSI) would co-star in the show as a character named Lincoln; with David Von Ancken (Code Black) directing the pilot and James Wan (Saw) as Executive Producer. The Pilot was set to start filming by the end of March in Portland.

Unaired Pilot Character Description forLincoln (via SpoilerTV)

Finally, Deadline reported Lucas Till being cast as the new MacGyver with Brett Mahoney co-writing the script and Joshua Boone playing MacGyver’s best friend Gunner. A week later, Deadline revealed Addison Timlin (Californication) and Michelle Krusiec (Hawaii Five-0, General Hospital) as additional cast; the former playing a computer nerd with the latter portraying a secret agent.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Gunner and Mickey (via SpoilerTV)

In April 2016, a few BtS pictures, tweets and short videos from the set finally emerged on social media – only to be deleted soon after fans had shared and discussed the “treasure” online. As it’s the usual procedure during Pilot Season, CBS tried very hard to keep the production under wraps. While we soon realized that the Pilot was being filmed in LA and not in Portland, there was still not a single BtS picture of Lucas Till (of course, everyone wondered what he would look like; especially what hairstyle rebooted MacGyver would be wearing).

Of course, trying to keep a production under wraps doesn’t stop the curiosity – and inquiring people combing through social media for more. A first glimpse of the new logo font (provided by the director’s assistant Meg London-Boche) and a picture of the pilot script title page kept the discussions going on for days. (I remember most fans of the Original Show liking the font.) A few set pics (e.g. shot in the abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Mall) promised some interesting action sequences.

BtS picture of the Unaired Pilot (via Meg London-Boche)

The Pilot Script review by Season Zero didn’t read very promising, but it’s difficult to judge a new TV show by a single script review of an episode that hasn’t been finished yet. On the 5th of May, Meg London-Boche tweeted about the pilot being finished. Little did we know back then that the Pilot would be scrapped and reshot, earning the title of being an Unaired Reboot Pilot that got rebooted.

Rebooting the Reboot
After that, the Waiting Game started – because as Young MacGyver had taught us: in Pilot Season, a filmed Pilot Episode doesn’t guarantee that the show will be picked up. On the 13th of May, an Instagram post by Peter Lenkov confused us quite a bit. Only a few hours later, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had indeed been picked up and ordered to Series by CBS – with Lenkov being added as an Executive Producer.

Peter Lenkov confirming the MacGyver Reboot being ordered to series at CBS

Surprisingly, the Hollywood Reporter hinted that the script might be tossed out and stated that the secondary cast members were “unlikely to return”. Deadline stated that Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise of the series remaining the same; confirming that the supporting cast was not coming back.

While quite a bit surprising for us people not involved in the TV Show Industry, this isn’t so uncommon during Pilot Season. Sometimes, Pilot Episodes are redone with some cast members being “exchanged” (this happened e.g. with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well with Charmed), but this seemed quite a surprising move and made us ask a lot of questions: Why ordering a pilot without a script in the first place? Why pick up a show if you don’t like the pilot? Do they care for MacGyver at all or only for the promise of making money with a well-known brand with the potential of turning it into a franchise? Isn’t Peter Lenkov already too 0busy with Hawaii Five-0?

BtS picture of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Ralph Cartel). Who’s Hunter? And will we ever know?

Understandably, former cast members were not happy because some of them actually hadn’t known about this development until the press release.

On May 16, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads in character – despite the Pilot Episode being scrapped and just days before the CBS Upfronts. This was going to be interesting.

 

(More in Part 2, coming soon.)

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.

Looking Back at Season 1 (IV) – The Promo (Part 1: The Poster Art)

If you’ve read some of my Updates, you probably already know: I’m not a big fan of the Official Poster Promo.

I like the colors. The combination of the colors looks good at night, too. The BtS videos look like they had a lot of fun shooting it. I like that it features only a single character – the character the show was actually named for. It seems they had quite the decent advertizing budget. The poster art looks very modern, I guess. And it looked pretty great being painted onto Hotel Figueroa in LA.

But I just don’t like the poster itself.

Day vs Night (via Twitter)

For one, I think it’s a bit misleading.

The Reboot is clearly more “Team Phoenix” than “MacGyver”. Back when the writers (e.g. Brian Durkin) were still writing scripts and filming hadn’t started yet, there was a lots of talk about Jack Dalton and the Hashtag #MacAndJack was used frequently. Although both Lucas Till and George Eads did the promo tour shortly before the premiere in September, it was only Lucas who was featured in the poster art and the mini clips.

Additionally, they had stated at Comic Con San Diego that MacGyver would still be afraid of heights. Here, he looks like he jumps out of helicopters before breakfast every day.

Pizza and Scripts (via Cornell Willis)

Two, I don’t think the poster fits the character.

Back when the poster art was seen on billboards and on busses, many people uploaded photos of it on social media. Most reactions were negative. People who didn’t know the original show were kinda confused what this should be. They deemed it too cheesy and assumed it was promo for a B-Movie with lots of CGI explosions. Others made fun of it, stating it was a rip-off of other movie posters and game covers.

Pizza Boxes are good for creating stuff (via Twitter)

Many fans of the original show took offense by stating that Lucas Till’s version of MacGyver was too cocky and “smirky” and that the sujet itself was too “patriotic”. I have to agree that it wasn’t necessary to put an American flag on the parachute. This might be a controversial topic, depending where you readers are from.

I’m not American and to me, MacGyver has always been an international show. In some countries, the original show has been airing for years on free TV stations without any hiatus. I don’t remember a single episode where MacGyver put emphasis on his heritage (growing up in Minnesota, yes, but not being American per se).

Sightseeing with Style (via Proper Sightseeing)

Third, I think it’s overly photoshopped.

When the poster art was released in August 2016, I still didn’t know much about Lucas or his work. By now, I’ve seen many pictures of him and several of his movies, and I have to say he has a nice and natural smile. The poster diminishes that and makes him look a bit like a cocky jerk.

I’m aware that this might be exactly what the studio had in mind. Rebooted MacGyver is younger than OT MacGyver, and even in the original show, MacGyver stated that he was a bit cocky and sometimes too self-assured in his younger years.

Wall Painting on Hotel Figueroa, LA (via Mohamad M Ali)

I can’t even imagine what Lucas must have felt like; seeing your own face on huge billboards all around the city you live in. That’s quite an accomplishment if you’re still so young. But I just don’t know why they chose this one as the end result.

I actually like the screenshots of the BtS video and BtS pictures of the photoshoot much better.

BtS picture (via Nick Tortorici)

Looking back, it feels a bit strange that they had all this promo with the “Parachute Scene”, yet cut the scene so short in the Pilot Episode. It’s probably the most interesting MacGyverism in the episode; especially for viewers that don’t know the original show.

Yes, time is essential for the scene. I guess it played out better in the Unaired Pilot, where MacGyver probably “sailed” for a much longer time once he escaped the burning truck that fell down a cliff.

Interestingly, there was a second billboard version out there in LA, but we never got to see it anywhere else in any other form.

Billboard in LA (via Byron Nickleberry)

Looking Back at Season 1 (II) – Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist (Part 1)

It’s always fun to speculate what could happen. It’s even more fun for a TV show than for a book or a movie; especially if a TV show is already running for more than a few seasons because there are many characters and storylines to choose from.

Back in March, when the filming for Season 1 was coming to an end, I joined the “Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist” Game on Twitter. The point of this silly game is to make crazy and whacky predictions about a Season Finale that you would never expect to happen – but that actually COULD happen.

I’m looking back at the first half of my Season Finale Plot Twists guesses. (Because it’s fun, that’s why!)

 

Why? If you read my recent blog post about MacGyver’s hair, you know why. MacGyver’s hair has always been a hot topic. There were heated discussions after Lucas Till was cast for the Reboot and again after the first stills of the Unaired Pilot were released. MacGyver’s mullet always seemed to be something holy that isn’t allowed to be touched. We already knew that Dr. Zito would make an appearance in the Season Finale, but we didn’t know yet who would play him.

Could this have happened? Yes, of course. Richard Dean Anderson would have made a very believable Dr. Zito; and cast and crew had made it very clear that they would LOVE to have RDA on the show. If he had changed his mind and told CBS “I’ll do it, but only if I get to play Dr. Zito“, he would have gotten the part. And we know Dr. Zito likes to hold people hostage in cells and to threaten and torture them.

Would I have wanted this to happen? RDA as an evil guy? Yes, please! The last shot of the episode showing a close-up of Lucas Till while “Original MacGyver” is shaving off rebooted MacGyver’s hair? Oh yes! I can’t even imagine the drama on social media after somebody leaking a picture of Lucas being bald… It’s safe to say that the ratings would have gone through the roof.

Could this still happen? Well, yes and no. Dr. Zito was already played by someone else – but there’s still the possibility of RDA (or another bad guy) shaving off Lucas’ hair. Although it wouldn’t be as much fun without RDA being involved.

 

Why? On the 10th of March, Lucas Till had posted a picture of MacGyver-Creator Lee David Zlotoff visiting the set. The cast was still in character, and Justin Hires as Bozer was wearing a bloody shirt while Tristin Mays as Riley had bloody streaks on her chest. There were speculations that Bozer would die (maybe while saving Riley), or that his almost-dying would get Riley to confess her true feelings for him.

It was already established that Bozer is a genius in mask-making, but we haven’t seen any of his masks since Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew). After that, it was all noses.

Also, it would make sense for Murdoc wanting to hurt MacGyver not just physically, but emotionally. And he’s crazy enough to wear a mask of MacGyver while doing the killing. It would actually be a throwback to the Original Show (Episode 6×12: Jerico Games), where a killer shot someone while posing as MacGyver to frame him.

Lee David Zlotoff visiting the set (via Lucas Till)

Could this have happened? Yes. There were speculations early on in the series that MacGyver’s best friend would die. And speculations until the last minute that Riley and Bozer would finally get together.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, at least in regard of Bozer dying in the first season. MacGyver feeling responsible for his best friend’s death would have overshadowed the whole next season, but probably wouldn’t have been adressed properly. MacGyver has already enough emotional issues that aren’t dealt with. Also, I would have preferred for MacGyver getting stabbed because hello, MacWhump!

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? MacGyver’s father has been mentioned since the beginning, but we still don’t know much about him. Him showing up unexpectedly would have made perfect sense for a plot twist and a cliffhanger in a Season Finale. Also, the longer he’s not showing up, the higher the expectations about the actor who will play him. Richard Dean Anderson would have been the most obvious choice for many fans, so of course the plot twist would be that it’s somebody else no one would have expected. (My second choice would have been Michael Des Barres, actually.)

Could this have happened? Well, Bruce McGill is quite busy at the moment, but yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure, why not? I would have preferred it over MacGyver looking for his father for the rest of the episodes.

Could this still happen? My assumption is this might happen in the Season 2 Finale. Well, MacGyver’s dad showing up in the final scene, not Bruce McGill playing him. If they know beforehand the show is getting a third season, I think it’s actually possible to have a close-up on MacGyver’s face saying “Dad???” while opening the door, but NOT showing who his father is.

 

Why? We still don’t know how Bozer’s movie turned out – or if he ever handed it in. Technically, he was still working on it until Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew).

Could this have happened? Yes, although it’s very unlikely.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Hm. Don’t know. Feels unresolved and not inventive enough.

Could this still happen? Technically yes, but I’m assuming the deadline for the CELLebration Film Festival was set for a long time ago. If Justin wanted to leave the show or if his character is going to be written out, it would probably happen differently; mainly more dramatically.

 

Why? The storyline with Nikki Carpenter was never satisfactorily resolved. She just disappeared although she should have been involved in everything concerning the Organization (and therefore at least in Episodes 1×17: Ruler and 1×21: Cigar Cutter). Also, it’s reasonable to assume that Tracy Spiridakos will show up again if she’s available.

Could this have happened? Yes. It’s implied in Episode 1×12 (Screwdriver) that MacGyver and Nikki had sex in the wedding room suite. It’s also a throwback to the Original Show where MacGyver had a “baby-scare” in Episode 2×20: Friends (for a few moments at least, although it wasn’t mathematically possible that the kid could have been his).

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, absolutely not. MacGyver being a father at this point would make the show very complicated; especially if he wasn’t dating the kids’ mom anymore. He wasn’t living with Nikki back when they’ve been dating for 2 years, so he wouldn’t do it now just for sake of the child – but he probably would quit his job. Sounds like an idea for a Spin-Off: Retired agent taking care of his child while the mother working for the CIA travels the world. Eh, no.

Could this still happen? Yes. But it made sense that in the Original Show, the appearance of a child didn’t happen until the Season Finale.

 

Why? We don’t know much about MacGyver’s father besides him leaving when MacGyver was either 10 or 12 years old – depending if you’re referring to Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) or to Episode 1×18 (Flashlight).

Could this have happened? Yes. It’s actually a storyline that happens in a similar way more than once in FanFiction – in MacGyver FanFiction as well.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No. I have this feeling that the revelation about MacGyver’s dad will be quite the plot twist anyway, no matter why he left. But I’d rather prefer him to be a “normal” guy that couldn’t deal with his wife’s death and grieving son and (falsely) believed it would be better if he left his son in the care of someone else.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? We don’t know much about MacGyver’s mom besides her dying when he was 5 years old. I always expected some explanation about how or why she died; e.g. in Episode 1×10 (Pliers) when Mac tells Valerie that his mom died when he was a kid.

Could this have happened? Yes, but the story behind it would probably have been a stretch.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, absolutely not.

Could this still happen? Yes, but that would be even more of a stretch and could be interpreted as a desperate attempt to get better ratings (which the show doesn’t need for the moment).

 

End of Part 1. You can find Part 2 here.

Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

When people talk about MacGyver, they often mention certain items or character traits. Interestingly, this changes depending on the country.

In English-speaking countries, people often mention paperclips and chewing gum. In German-speaking countries, it all seems to be about MacGyver’s hair. Even in Switzerland, the mullet is mentioned before the Swiss Army Knife (maybe because MacGyver never carried a model of the SAK that was carried by actual Swiss Army Soldiers).

RDA as Original MacGyver (1985-1988)

Back in February 2016, when news outlets like Deadline announced CBS ordering a pilot for a MacGyver Reboot, the social media buzz was intense. And many people asked: Who will be the new MacGyver? What will he look like? What will his hair look like?

On March 23, CBS finally announced Lucas Till being cast as rebooted MacGyver. While some news outlets like Deadline used an old picture of Lucas from 2011 (his official IMDb portrait, originally from a promo event for X-Men: First Class), most websites like the Hollywood Reporter or Variety used a more or less recent picture of Lucas sporting long hair (from his appearance at the Catalina Film Festival in September 2015). Cue the drama.

Lucas Till at public appearances 2011 (via IMDb) and 2015 (via The Hollywood Reporter)

I was around 10 years old when I watched my first episode of Original MacGyver, and it was an episode of Season 3 (The Widowmaker). I’m a kid of the 80s, so Richard Dean Anderson’s hair as MacGyver wasn’t all that unusual to me. But I will always associate MacGyver’s hair with Seasons 3, 4 or 6 – not with the shorter and darker do he sported in Seasons 1 and 2 or the longer “beach-style-hair” in Seasons 5 and 7.

I experienced “hair-drama” before: Back in December 2007, when Robert Pattinson was cast for the first Twilight-Movie. When Summit Entertainment announced him being cast as Edward Cullen, Rob was still sporting black and a bit longer hair than usual because of his latest role in Little Ashes (2008) where he portrayed artist Salvador Dalì. So what happened? There were petitions.

Petitions by vicious fangirls (and fanboys) with thousands of signatures that demanded that “Cedric Diggory” (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005) was not the right person for this role and should be re-cast. Well. We know what happened: The first Twilight-Movie broke the record for the best US domestic opening box office by a female director (which was broken in 2015 by the first installment of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, which has been recently surpassed by “Wonder Woman”). Pattinson made four other Twilight-Movies that made a lot of money. And against the predictions back then, his career is far from over.

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen vs Public Appearance (2007)

Back to MacGyver.

Expectations for the Reboot were high, of course. Very high. As fans of the Original Version, we knew that our expectations most likely wouldn’t be perfectly met. But one can only hope, right? There were lots of discussions about Lucas being cast (and about his hair!) in the MacGyver Online Forums as well.

I didn’t really know what to think – I had never seen a single one of Lucas’ movies back then and wasn’t able to judge his acting skills. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be wearing a mullet, of course since mullets are not deemed very cool anymore. But I was worried about him sporting long, shaggy hair in the reboot because of my dislike of RDA’s hair in Seasons 5 and 7.

RDA as Original MacGyver (1989-1991)

When it became clear that Lucas would probably keep his long hair, I did wonder if they would do some flashback-flashforward scenes (à la Arrow) to establish some of MacGyver’s backstory; especially because of the leaked character descriptions. The discussions remained speculations because although some pictures of shooting locations and the new logo were leaked (and later deleted) on social media, there was no picture of Lucas in character. Not even of Lucas NOT being in character.

We didn’t know what he would look like until the first official still was released on May 16. Let’s say the pictures weren’t very well received on social media. There were references to the Hanson Brothers and comments on Twitter that MacGyver doesn’t have time for haircuts because he’s busy saving the world.

Promo Material for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (2016)

Of course, all discussions and fears had been for nothing when it was announced only days later that the Reboot would be rebooted with a new Executive Producer, a new script, new cast members and a new filming location (and therefore a new crew). The Pilot Episode would be reshot which probably meant a new look (and a different hairstyle) as well.

I was very excited when I got a glimpse of Lucas in the first trailer for his upcoming movie “Monster Trucks” (2016) a few weeks later. The movie had already been shot in 2013, but hadn’t been released yet due to the long post-production process. I really liked his character’s hairstyle and also the clothes. Additionally, the lead role of Tripp handling tools and car parts made him look very MacGyver.

Lucas Till in Monster Trucks (Official Still, 2016)

On the 3rd of June in 2016, Lucas appeared at the CBS Television Studios Summer Soiree. His hair was still long, but seemed a bit shorter than in the Unaired Pilot. On June 21, CBS announced the Premiere Date and – surprise! – Lucas sported a new haircut. Which looked very good and very modern-day MacGyver in my opinion.

Not even a month later, we got the first glimpse of Lucas in character on the first day of shooting the new pilot. Sporting the signature leather jacket, I couldn’t even remember what had been the problem in the first place. Well done!

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

 

End of Part 1. I will reminisce about MacGyver’s hair some more in Part 2.

MacGyver Reboot Update #30

As predicted, Season 2 of the MacGyver Reboot will continue to air on Fridays this Fall. The competition for the Friday ratings has changed, though.

LA Wrap Party (via Justin Hires)

CBS Upfronts
On May 17, CBS presented their 2017-2018 TV schedule. As predicted, their Fridays Line-Up hasn’t changed and the “Holy Trinity” (MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods) stays intact. The competition has changed, though; e.g. because Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing has been cancelled. MacGyver will share its airtime with Once Upon A Time (ABC), Blindspot (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW).

Blindspot used to air on Wednesdays. The show earned on average 4.89 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 1.03) per episode which is less than MacGyver (7.73 live viewers, Demo 1.08). But like the Reboot, Blindspot also serves a lot of action scenes.

Once Upon A Time used to air on Sundays. In its 6th Season, the show managed on average 3.15 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 0.93) per episode. The show will undergo a complete overhaul for next season with the consequence of losing six series regulars; looking for a “younger” and “fresher” audience. The show was renewed due to its fierce and loyal fanbase, but we’ll see if the fans will stay without their main heroes that made the audience fall in love with the show in the first place. Also, considering they’re targeting a younger audience by using younger actors, moving the show to Friday might not help to get bigger ratings.

Friday Schedule 2017-2018 (via TV-Recaps-Reviews)

Reruns
There is a rerun of Episode 13 (Large Blade) today. The other scheduled reruns so far are Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) on June 2, Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass) on June 9 and Episode 16 (Hook) on June 16.

What are cast and crew up to?
This Monday, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov has been back on the Paramount Studios lot. With roughly a month left until production moves to Atlanta to get ready for filming, it’s save to say that there are scripts to finish, locations to scout, sets to design and build and casting calls to send out soon.

Lucas Till was also seen at the Paramount Studios lot on May 24, possibly for the LA Screenings that had prepared a pool and palm trees for a screening of the new Baywatch movie.

Lucas Till posing for a selfie (via Felipe Duque)

Justin Hires is already excited for next season. He posted several pictures of MacGyver Episodes and also a new picture with Lucas Till at the LA Wrap Party. George Eads was seen at a restaurant and posed for a picture. Interestingly, we can’t clearly see what’s going on with his hair, but it looks like he has shaved off Jack Dalton’s “Fauxhawk” for hiatus.

MacGyver around the world
The Reboot is or has been airing in several countries by now. The premiere for Italy is set for June 13 (Rai2). For the premiere in Japan, there will be a premiere event on June 6 which the dubbing actors for MacGyver (Mamoru Miyano) and Jack (Hiroshi Tsuchida) will attend.

While the English episode titles are named after tools on an SAK, other countries don’t even try to literally translate them. In Germany, the pilot episode (The Rising) is titled “Die Wiedergeburt” (Rebirth), episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Alias” (which doesn’t make much sense to me).

In France, the episode titles are either funny or outrageous. Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Sauvez la femme” (literally translated: “Rescue the woman”). Episode 1×11 (Scissors) is titled “Joyeux Noël” (Merry Christmas) while Episode 1×14 (Fish Scaler) reveales the plot since it’s titled “Agent double” (Double Agent).

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (via SpoilerTV)

The Vault: New/Old interview with George Eads
There were times when the promo load was so intense that I couldn’t catch all of it. I recently stumbled over an old interview with George Eads that was published in September 2016, a day before the premiere of the pilot episode.

Again, I’m amazed how often he gets away with revealing stuff in interviews; e.g. the entire plot for Episode 1×05 (Toothpick), that “pretty hefty bottles of wine” are consumed while rehearsing with Lucas Till and that they both get “a vitamin bag IV, amino shots and B12 shots” on the weekends. He also talked about the differences between filming scenes for MacGyver and CSI, about the bond with Lucas and about some of the issues with the Unaired Pilot.

Here’s an interesting excerpt regarding the original actors:

When they see the pilot and see we’ve hit the mark, we’ll have a lot more of them come around. I think that’s when we can ask Richard Dean Anderson. We’ll have to wait and see how the kid does before he does anything. It will be cool to have MacGyver play MacGyver. It would be almost like ‘Back to the Future.” We brush by the real Jack Dalton and MacGyver in a case. That might be interesting.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

(via Lauren Leigh)

He revealed that they reshot some scenes for Episode 1×03 (Awl). Comparing Jack Dalton with his CSI-character Nick Stokes, Eads said:

It’s completely different. There is still that bravery issue, that no fear issue that Nick had. But this character has severe PTSD. He’s a death dealer. He’s ex Special Forces, been in all kinds of secret ops. He kills without a conscience. He’s kind of the epitome of courage but when you have those screws loose, he’s the type of guy Mac has to turn around and say, ‘Stop! Calm down! We’re not just running in there like that!’  […]  So [Mac’s] teaching Jack how to get his temper and emotions in check because there’s nothing Jack likes better than to fight and kill someone who deserves it. He’s just a loose cannon, a damn wild man.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

It’s funny how I absolutely can’t see rebooted Jack Dalton in this, considering they were already filming Episode 5 when this interview took place. It feels like he’s talking about his Unaired-Pilot-character Lincoln. Also, I always felt that Jack does all the emotional work for MacGyver, not the other way around.