Looking Back at Season Zero (XIV) – The Script (Part 5): Mickey

The Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot was filmed in 2016. I’m still trying to find new material for you – which is not easy. In this series of blog posts, I write about the first draft of the Unaired Pilot Script.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines and characters. For daily news and discussions, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, I’m not done yet. It just takes a lot of time and effort. Sadly, the days never seem to have enough hours… and my blogging isn’t paid.

The Unaired Pilot Script
A short recap: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. I’ve never managed to find the pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts.

The first draft of the script is dated February 26, 2016. As mentioned in this blog post regarding the script, there were heavy rewrites between the first draft and the filming process. But in case the promo cut (or even the full episode) ever gets released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists. I don’t want to ruin your fun.

The Character: Mickey
In the Opening Gambit of the first draft, we meet Angus “Mac” MacGyver just before escaping a cave in Pakistan. It’s been five years since he was taken as POW (prisoner of war).

Homecoming Crowd Scene (via John Mott)

Following the opening credits, MacGyver returns to Portland after his hospital stay. We meet his best friends Mickey and Gunner at the airport. They’re all very happy to celebrate Mac’s return to civilian life. It’s not like he’s traumatized, right?

The scene switches pretty quickly to MacGyver’s old bedroom in Grandpa Earl‘s home. While Mickey had to go back to work, Gunner spends more time with Mac. Plot Twist: MacGyver realizes that Gunner and Mac’s former girlfriend Mickey are dating. Mac doesn’t think that’s all too great, but he doesn’t say anything.

Now that MacGyver moved back in with Grandpa Earl, he helps Earl out in the hardware store. After all, Mac has a lot of free time in between the veteran meetings and nothing else to do.

While MacGyver mentally sort of stayed a “free spirit”, both Mickey and Gunner have turned into “boring” adults with full schedules, a career and a desire to earn money. They never talk about what happened to him. They don’t have much time for him. Mac feels lost and out of place.

One day, there’s a robbery at Earl’s store. Or was it terrorism? Everyone thinks MacGyver’s a bit paranoid, being a POW and all. Nevertheless, Mac investigates the case with his “new” friends (Lincoln and Sipps) while also involving his “old” friends (Mickey and Gunner).

Although Gunner thinks the case should be handled by the authorities, he tries to help. He’s not happy about Mickey spending so much time with her ex-boyfriend, though. And he voices that unhappiness loud and clear on several occasions.

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

Mickey doesn’t understand what Gunner’s problem is. Yes, she’s bantering with Mac, but they’re like best friends, right? (In the script, Colaizzo makes sure that the audience knows about MacGyver and Mickey still having feelings for each other; preparing us for the drama that will inevitably arise in an upcoming episode.)

Generally, there’s not much character development for Mickey. Like Gunner, the character stays rather bland. But unlike for Gunner, there’s no big reveal or plot twist at the end. Maybe Colaizzo wanted to keep every possibility for development open. Mickey could have turned out to be a potential love-interest or the ex that betrays MacGyver (sounds familiar, right?).

Script versus Trailer
Mickey (played by Addison Timlin) doesn’t have much spotlight in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer. Her name is never mentioned. She can be seen in two of the “not-so-official” Stills by Production Designer John Mott: One in presumably Mac’s home and one from behind in the homecoming ceremony crowd at the airport.

Teaser trailers can be deceiving, but it looks like Mickey was intended as a regular character. She serves as the hacker (or officially the computer analyst) on the team and is most likely an algamation of two female characters (Mickey and Sipps) in the script.

Addison Timlin in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (Teaser Trailer Screenshot)

As mentioned before, the teaser trailer has barely any resemblance to the first draft script. Besides the Opening Gambit, there was nothing I recognized. Therefore, it’s difficult to estimate how big Mickey’s part would have been on screen. She didn’t show up in any of the storyboard excerpts I’ve seen.

The casting announcement by Deadline reads as follows:

Addison Timlin (Californication) has been cast as the female lead opposite Lucas Till in CBS’ drama pilot MacGyver. (…) Timlin will play Mickey, an app developer who’s aggressively progressive in her political views, with a soft spot for MacGyver.

Deadline, March 2016

Just before the Upfronts, SpoilerTV had provided character descriptions. They might have been written for the Upfronts specifically (e.g. for the press kit).

In the character description by SpoilerTV, there’s barely any useful info. It reads like she was downgraded to a simple love interest – but from the trailer, we know that she will be part of the team and go on missions with MacGyver and Lincoln.

Unaired Pilot Character Descriptions (via SpoilerTV)

In the script, Mickey is part of the “big showdown” in the mall. But at the end, she will stay behind while the team is accompanied by Sipps, a trained agent and Lincoln’s daughter.

What about Nikki?
Judging by the Easter Eggs in the Unaired Pilot Script, we have to assume that writer Paul Downs Colaizzo had some knowledge about characters in the OG show. But there aren’t many similarities between Mickey and Nikki Carpenter. The few similarities were added by Showrunner and EP Peter Lenkov who had to rewrite the script once again.

In the Reboot, Nikki Carpenter is played by Tracy Spiridakos. There are some similarities between OG and rebooted Nikki Carpenter, but the ex-girlfriend betraying the male hero seems to be a thing in all the Lenkoverse shows. I’m assuming that Lenkov simply wanted to use her name as another Easter Egg.

There’s a hacker in most of the CBS drama shows, and Lenkov was pressed for time to get the rebooted Reboot going. But it seems that he went back to the first draft, because his creation of Riley Davis (played by Tristin Mays) is probably based on Sipps, not on Mickey.

MacGyver Reboot Update #174

While Tristin Mays has wrapped her scenes for a new movie, MacGyver fans enjoy rewatching their favourite show on DVD.

Bob Zellner, Ms. Wanda and Lucas Till (via Shirts Across America)

(For daily news and to discuss your favourite topics, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

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MacGyver on DVD
ICYMI: In the US, the Complete Series DVD Box (including Season 5) with 21 discs was released on June 14. You can order it here. Sadly, the box set doesn’t include any bonus material. There’s also no release date so far for a single Season 5 DVD edition in the US.

In Germany, the Season 5 DVD was released yesterday. As bonus material, there’s several deleted and extended scenes. They all belong to scenes filmed under new showrunner Monica Macer (Episodes 5×06, 5×13, 5×14 and 5×15) and have a runtime of about 9 minutes. You can order the DVD here.

MacGyver Season 5 DVD back cover (German version, via World Of Games)

They also released the German version of the Complete Series Box Set with 24 discs. On the box, the bonus material listed is the same as for Seasons 1 and 2.

Overview of the upcoming DVD releases in France:

  • The Season 4 DVD will be released on August 17.
  • The Season 5 DVD will be released on September 21.
  • The Complete Series Box Set with 23 discs will be released on September 21.

Overview of the upcoming DVD releases in other countries:

  • In Japan, the Special Selection Season 4 DVD Box and the Season 5 DVD will both be released on July 6.

What are Cast and Crew up to?
On Tuesday, we got a new sighting of Lucas Till and Bob Zellner (presumably for an event by Shirts Across America).

Tristin Mays enjoying some downtime (via Peter Lenkov)

Tristin Mays has wrapped her scenes for Bang, a movie co-written and produced by Ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov. During downtime, they visited an Elephant Resort, took a boat ride or had dinner in a rooftop restaurant. She hasn’t posted for a while. It’s possible she has left Thailand by now.

Henry Ian Cusick has been cast as the voice actor for “Peet the Sock Man” on the Wingfeather Saga; an animated series based on the books by Andrew Peterson. Last week, he attended Mississippi Comic Con; happily posing with fans on photo ops (sometimes even as Russ Taylor).

Henry Ian Cusick at Mississippi Comic Con (via Erika Lovingfoss)

MacGyver The Musical
ICYMI: Last month, they finished recording the MacGyver musical concept album – or so we thought. As it turns out, there is a contest of who will sing as MacGyver. The winner will be flown to New York City for a recording session. Check here for more information (e.g. submission guidelines) or check out the announcement by Tristin.

There’s an official poster for the album now, but no official release date (though it’s been mentioned that it will come out in September).

MacGyver on ionTV
ICYMI: ion Television is currently airing the second cycle of reruns. There will be no reruns on July 4th.

Cover for the MacGyver musical concept album

Starting July 11, ionTV will air Leverage: Redemption on Mondays. To make room on the schedule, they will reduce the number of MacGyver reruns; airing 10 episodes instead of 16. I’ve seen a lot of posts on Twitter and FB by people who just started watching the Reboot, so it’s nice they keep airing it.

CBS Pilot Season (encore)
A while ago, CBS and their affiliate network The CW cancelled almost a dozen shows. This morning, they also axed Tom Swift, the CW show MacGyver-writer Teresa Huang had worked on. One of the set designers of the Reboot had also worked on Tom Swift in Atlanta, which is why he had been able to re-design the Phoenix Foundation stage plane and bring it over to the new stage location.

Justin Hires doing Comedy Stand-Up at the Laugh Factory (via Justin Hires)

In further news, cast contracts for Magnum PI ran out yesterday, and it looks like they waited until the last moment to get negotiations done. According to Deadline, NBC has ordered 20 more episodes split into two seasons. There’s no information yet when filming is supposed to start.

Even though the show is saved, there probably won’t be any characters of fully-owned CBS shows (e.g. Angus MacGyver) showing up for a crossover. I’m also not sure if Levy Tran could come back as the character she played in Season 4. It might depend on the writer’s room (aka which writers and producers will be brought back).

Other MacGyver-related News
ICYMI: Lenkov recently posted some stories about the Unaired MacGyver Pilot script (presumably the edited version he “MacGyvered” out of the script used for filming the unaired pilot).

(Note: I’ve written several blog posts about the Unaired Pilot Script. You can find an overview of these posts here.)

Excerpt of the revised Unaired MacGyver Pilot Script (via Peter Lenkov)

Check out the official SaveMacGyver website and their social media accounts to keep up with news about the #SaveMacGyver movement. There still very active; engaging the community.

Other MacGyver-related news you might have missed:

  • Reign Edwards was a speaker at the 6th annual Women in Entertainment Summit on June 22.
  • According to Variety, David Dastmalchian has been cast in the movie Late Night With the Devil. The movie is currently shooting in Australia.
  • Levy Tran’s upcoming movie Secret Headquarters will premiere on Paramount+ in August. There are no promo photos nor a poster yet.

MacGyver Reboot Update #173

While Tristin Mays is busy filming a new movie in Thailand, most of the MacGyver cast have disappeared from social media.

Complete Series DVD Box Cover (US version, via Nothing But Geek)

(For daily news and to discuss your favourite topics, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

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MacGyver on DVD
In the US, the Complete Series DVD Box (including Season 5) with 21 discs was released on June 14. You can order it here.

As a photo of the back cover reveals, the box set doesn’t include any bonus material. Sadly, the entire box looks rather cheap. There’s also no release date yet for a single Season 5 DVD edition in the US.

Complete Series US DVD Box Back Cover (via Minnie Mama)

Overview of the upcoming DVD releases in Germany:

  • The Season 5 DVD will be released on June 30. The listed bonus material says there will be deleted and extended scenes. You can pre-order it here.
  • The Complete Series Box Set with 24 discs will be released on June 30. So far, the bonus material listed is the same as for Seasons 1 and 2.

Overview of the upcoming DVD releases in France:

  • The Season 4 DVD will be released on August 17.
  • The Season 5 DVD will be released on September 21.
  • The Complete Series Box Set with 23 discs will be released on September 21.

Overview of the upcoming DVD releases in other countries:

  • In Japan, the Special Selection Season 4 DVD Box and the Season 5 DVD will both be released on July 6.

What are Cast and Crew up to?
Tristin Mays has boarded the movie Bang, co-written by Ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov. It’s currently filming in Thailand; also starring Peter Weller (who played Elliott Mason on the MacGyver Reboot). While Weller had his last filming day yesterday, Lenkov just arrived today in Bangkok; visiting the set already.

BtS photo of Tristin Mays in Bang (via Wych Kaosayananda)

Based on BtS photos by the director, it looks like Tristin plays the girlfriend of one of the lead actors. BtS photos can be deceiving, though. And there’s still no IMDb entry for the project with further information.

Henry Ian Cusick has been cast as the voice actor for “Peet the Sock Man” on the Wingfeather Saga. The animated series is based on the books by Andrew Peterson and should be released this Winter.

There have been no sightings of Lucas Till, Levy Tran or Meredith Eaton lately.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

Back in January, Tristin pondered on Twitter if she should delete the app; stating that she keeps forgetting on having an account and needing to set reminders to even post there. This week, she DID delete Twitter and also cleaned up once again her Instagram account; deleting the majority of posts.

The fact that she’s working with Lenkov again (who’s been fired for abusive behavior and creating a toxic work environment) plus some of her recent posts on social media caused quite a bit of an outcry. It’s not clear if this was a reaction to it. Both her and Levy Tran have cleaned up their Instagram accounts before: Tristin went from about 900 posts in June last year down to about 150 at the moment; Levy went from about 460 posts last June down to 200.

Cast announcements (via The Wingfeather Saga)

MacGyver on ionTV
ICYMI: ion Television is currently airing the second cycle of reruns. The Monday schedule has one episode of NCIS: New Orleans, followed by 5 episodes of NCIS: LA and 16 episodes of MacGyver.

The website announced that Leverage: Redemption will air on Mondays as well; starting July 11. It’s not clear yet if MacGyver will stay (e.g. by reducing the number of episodes) or not. I’ve seen a lot of posts on Twitter and FB by people who just started watching the Reboot on ionTV, not knowing about the show before. It would be nice if the networks keeps the reruns going.

CBS Pilot Season (encore)
ICYMI: CBS and their affiliate network The CW cancelled almost a dozen shows. One of these shows is Magnum PI, the last of the Lenkoverse shows.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

As Deadline reported, talks are underway for NBC and/or USA Network to keep the show going. Cast contracts are presumably running out by the end of the month, but there haven’t been any news regarding a potential renewal since my last blog post. Even if the show is saved, there probably won’t be any characters of fully-owned CBS shows (e.g. Angus MacGyver) showing up for a crossover.

Other MacGyver-related News
ICYMI: Lenkov recently posted some stories about the Unaired MacGyver Pilot script (presumably the edited version he “MacGyvered” out of the script used for filming the unaired pilot).

(Note: I’ve written several blog posts about the Unaired Pilot Script. You can find an overview of these posts here.)

Excerpt of the revised Unaired MacGyver Pilot Script (via Peter Lenkov)

Check out the official SaveMacGyver website and their social media accounts to keep up with news about the #SaveMacGyver movement.

Other MacGyver-related news you might have missed:

  • Reign Edwards is a speaker at the 6th annual Women in Entertainment Summit on June 22.
  • Henry Ian Cusick is scheduled for photo ops at Mississippi Comic Con on June 25 and June 26.
  • Levy Tran’s upcoming movie Secret Headquarters will premiere on Paramount+ in August.
  • The concept album for the MacGyver musical should be out in September.

MacGyver Reboot Update #172

While CBS Show Magnum PI might get saved after all, the MacGyver cast isn’t attached to any upcoming TV shows yet.

MacGyver Musical Concept Album Promo (via Yasir Muhammad)

(For daily news and to discuss your favourite topics, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

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MacGyver The Musical
ICYMI: Back in March, MacGyver-creator Lee David Zlotoff revealed that they’re going to put together a concept album of the songs used for the musical. On May 9, Tristin Mays announced that Lee had asked her to sing a song for the album.

On May 16, recording started in NY; finishing already two days later. We got to see some Instagram Stories of the musical cast rehearsing beforehand, and the official MacGyver account shared a sneak peek of Tristin in the recording booth.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

There’s no release dates yet for the album or the next iteration of the musical. According to an Instagram Story by Mike Dorsey, the album will be out in September. As Yasir Muhammad posted, they’re trying to get a Broadway production set up and running.

MacGyver on ionTV
ICYMI: Reruns of the MacGyver Reboot air every Monday on ion Television. With ionTV scheduling 16 episodes per week, the first run will be done by next week; starting another run immediately after the Season 5 finale has aired.

Interestingly, ionTV has already announced on their website that Leverage: Redemption will air on Mondays; starting July 11. At the moment, the Monday schedule has one episode of NCIS: New Orleans, followed by 5 episodes of NCIS: LA and 16 episodes of MacGyver.

MacGyver Teaser (via ionTV)

It’s not clear if MacGyver will stay or if they will simply reduce the episodes. While NCIS: LA fans have been very vocal and speaking out against the Reboot, they might get their wish to get MacGyver gone, but also lose the reruns of their own favourite show in the process.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on Twitter and FB recently by people who just started watching the MacGyver Reboot on ionTV, not knowing about the show before. But with the Complete Series DVD Box Set coming out soon in the US, it’s also possible that CBS wants to “kill” it in syndication for now so that people watch it on Paramount+ and buy the DVDs. I’ve seen posts about the show leaving Amazon Prime in some countries this month; right on time either the Season 5 DVD or the Complete Series DVD Box Set comes out.

Justin Hires during a stand up comedy set (via Michael Schwartz)

What are Cast and Crew up to?
Most of the MacGyver cast seem to have disappeared from social media. Justin Hires is the only one posting daily; promoting his comedy shows or podcasts. He mentioned turning down several TV show offers, so we probably won’t seem him on our TV screens anytime soon (unless it’s in reruns).

ICYMI: Ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov recently posted some stories about the Unaired MacGyver Pilot; adding some excerpts of the script (presumably the edited version he “MacGyvered” out of the script used for the unaired pilot).

(Note: I had envisioned to update my previous blog posts about the Unaired Pilot Script to incorporate the new information about some of the characters; but it’s almost impossible to know which parts and voice-overs were used in the script used for filming and which bits had been added by Lenkov. You can find an overview of the posts regarding the Unaired Pilot here.)

Excerpt of the revised Unaired MacGyver Pilot Script (via Peter Lenkov)

MacGyver on DVD
Sadly, I still haven’t found a preview of the DVD back covers or more info about bonus material. But here’s an overview of all the upcoming DVD releases:

  • In German-spaking regions, the Season 5 DVD will be released on June 30. The listed bonus material says there will be deleted and extended scenes. You can pre-order it here. For the US, there’s no release date yet for a single Season 5 DVD edition.
  • In the US, the Complete Series DVD Box (including Season 5) with 21 discs will be released on June 14. There’s no bonus material listed. You can pre-order it here.
  • The German version of the complete series box set with 24 discs will be released on June 30. So far, the bonus material listed is the same as for Seasons 1 and 2.
  • In Japan, the Special Selection Season 4 DVD Box and the Season 5 DVD will both be released on July 6.
  • In France, the Season 4 DVD will be released on August 17. There is no bonus material listed.

CBS Pilot Season (encore)
Upfronts Week was pretty brutal this year. In total, CBS and their affiliate network The CW cancelled almost a dozen shows.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

CBS cancelled Magnum PI, the last of the Lenkoverse shows. The CW axed Batwoman who had Javicia Leslie as the lead character in Season 2.

Generally, a show isn’t really cancelled on a network until they release the “Post Mortem Interview” with a showrunner; talking about what would have happened the next season. (Because if the show was renewed against all odds on the same network, showrunners or writers might change and they wouldn’t be able or willing to recycle the same ideas or visions the previous showrunners or writers had.)

Magnum PI never got one of those, so I was sure that something was going on behind the scenes. As Deadline reported yesterday, talks are underway for NBC and/or USA Network to keep the show going.

Private Photoshoot, September 2021 (via Tristin Mays)

I’m not sure what that would mean for some of the guest stars and their characters (e.g. Levy Tran), but characters of fully-owned CBS shows showing up (e.g. Angus MacGyver or Steve McGarrett) probably couldn’t happen.

Despite Upfronts Week, there was no news about The Spook who sat by the Door (which Lucas Till filmed a pilot for). They still haven’t attached a new writer to, so it looks like it might take a while for the re-development to get back on track. There’s also no update on the Flashdance series (which Tristin Mays was preparing for).

Other MacGyver-related News
Check out the official SaveMacGyver website and their social media accounts to keep up with news about the #SaveMacGyver movement.

Official Still for Tom Swift (via CW/IMDb)

Other MacGyver-related news you might have missed:

  • The Phoenix Foundation plane set ended up being repurposed for the new CW Show Tom Swift that premiered this week. MacGyver-writer Teresa Huang and several former crew members work on the show which is filmed in Atlanta.
  • Secret Headquarters will premiere on Paramount+ instead of in theatres. Levy Tran worked on the movie in Atlanta. She’s still not listed on the IMDb entry, so her part might be smaller than I hoped.

MacGyver Reboot Update #171

While Upfronts Week is imminent, the MacGyver cast isn’t attached to any upcoming TV shows yet. We still got some news in the last few days.

Promo for the Season 5 DVD (via Amazon Germany)

(For daily news and to discuss your favourite topics, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

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MacGyver The Musical
MacGyver the Musical had premiered in February in Houston; running several shows a week for a month. Back in March, MacGyver-creator Lee David Zlotoff revealed that they’re going to put together a concept album of the songs.

Last month, the official Instagram account asked the fans who they would like to hear on the album; no matter if the singer is famous or not. The posts have been deleted by now; but I do remember us fans suggesting anyone from the MacGyver cast (rebooted or original version). On May 9, Tristin Mays announced that Lee asked her to sing a song for the album.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

I did see some stories of the musical cast rehearsing this week, but nothing from Tristin (or any Tristin sightings during rehearsals). There’s no release dates yet for the album or the next iteration of the musical.

MacGyver on ionTV
ICYMI: On May 2nd, the MacGyver Reboot premiered on ion Television. They’ve scheduled about 16 episodes each Monday. There was more advertizing on social media than CBS did for Season 5. On April 24, ionTV tweeted about the main characters; providing some info for new viewers unfamiliar with Team Phoenix. They also changed the Twitter header and their profile photo for the occasion. On the following days, they posted posters and trailers. Some of the cast joined the promotion; e.g. Tristin Mays with a BtS video of Episode 5×09.

MacGyver Teaser (via ionTV)

For the second batch of episodes, they kept posting on social media; e.g. a short trailer about Jack Dalton.

MacGyver Profits Lawsuit (encore)
ICYMI: The 2018 profits lawsuit stems from a TV producing deal in the mid-1980s (involving several producers, Paramount and Major Talent Agency) that preceded the original MacGyver show. After the series was rebooted in 2016, Hanzer Holdings and Arlita sued CBS; claiming they’re entitled to a share in profits for MTA’s work for the OG show.

An April trial was pushed back for settlement discussions. As The Hollywood Reporter stated on May 9, terms of the agreement to resolve the lawsuit have been fully executed. A notice of settlement to dismiss the case will be filed by June 23.

Meeting up in Atlanta (via Teresa Huang)

It’s not clear if we’ll ever know the nature of the settlement and if it has any impact on further use of the MacGyver brand.

What are Cast and Crew up to?
ICYMI: A few weeks ago, we got a new Lucas Till sighting in Atlanta. He met up with MacGyver Writer Teresa Huang and TV writer Helen Shang.

While we haven’t seen much of Levy Tran, a first poster for her upcoming movies Expend4bles has been released at CinemaCon.

Justin Hires is still doing regular stand-up comedy shows. Meanwhile, Reign Edwards (who played Leanna) did a lot of promo for Season 2 of The Wilds before the Premiere on May 6.

First poster for Expend4bles (via Martial Arts Action Cinema)

Ex-Showrunner Peter Lenkov keeps answering fan questions as Instagram stories. Sadly, he mostly uses the opportunity to rant about Lucas or “that paperclip show” (forgetting that Lenkov himself was the one making the rebooted Reboot all about paperclips) but every now and then, he posts interesting tidbits (e.g. the budget for Hawaii Five-0 being 100 million dollars every year). This week, he posted some stories about the Unaired MacGyver Pilot; adding some excerpts of the script (presumably the revised version that has been used for filming).

(Note: I will probably update my previous blog posts about the Unaired Pilot Script to incorporate the new information about some of the characters. You can find an overview of the posts regarding the Unaired Pilot here.)

Excerpt of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot Script (via Peter Lenkov)

Otherwise, there wasn’t much going on regarding cast and crew. Stunt Coordinator Daniel Hargrave posted a new BtS photo of Episode 5×06.

MacGyver on DVD
You might have missed some of the DVD news. Here’s an overview of all the upcoming DVD releases:

  • In German-spaking regions, the Season 5 DVD will be released on June 30. The listed bonus material says there will be deleted and extended scenes. You can pre-order it here. For the US, there’s no release date yet for a single Season 5 DVD edition.
  • In the US, the Complete Series DVD Box (including Season 5) with 21 discs will be released on June 14. There’s no bonus material listed. You can pre-order it here.
  • The German version of the complete series box set with 24 discs will be released on June 30. There’s three language options (German, English, French). So far, the bonus material listed is the same as for Seasons 1 and 2.
  • In Japan, the Special Selection Season 4 DVD Box and the Season 5 DVD will both be released on July 6.
  • In France, the Season 4 DVD will be released on August 17. There is no bonus material listed.

CBS Pilot Season
In the Spotted Ratings forum, the Thursday before Upfronts Week is called Bloody Thursday (because traditionally, cancellation news come on Thursday and Friday). And bloody it was, indeed. In total, CBS and their affiliate network The CW cancelled almost a dozen shows within the last few days (CW even more shows than in the last 5 years combined).

Justin Hires during a stand up comedy set (via The Comedy Chateau)

CBS also cancelled Magnum PI, the last of the Lenkoverse shows. That means that Levy Tran won’t be back as a guest star in her Magnum PI character (unless they bring her back to another show in the same universe; e.g. one of the NCIS shows).

CBS ordered three rookie drama shows to series while passing on all the comedy pilots. The definite schedule will be presented at the Upfronts on May 18. So far, none of the former MacGyver cast members is attached to any of these new shows.

There’s also no news about The Spook who sat by the Door (which Lucas Till filmed a pilot for) or the Flashdance series (which Tristin Mays was interested in; taking ballet lessons). It looks like both projects are still in re-development and might not be ready to get back on track this year.

MacGyver Promo (via ionTV)

Other MacGyver-related News
Check out the official SaveMacGyver website and their social media accounts to keep up with news about the #SaveMacGyver movement. Other MacGyver-related news you might have missed:

  • Teri Hatcher attended German Comic Con in Dortmund (April 23 and 24).
  • Background actor Tony Morgan re-posted some BtS photos of Episode 1×17 (Ruler) this week.
  • Henry Ian Cusick is now attached to 8 upcoming projects on his IMDb page. He’s a busy man.

Looking Back at Season Zero (XIII) – The Script (Part 4): Lincoln

The Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot was filmed in 2016. I’m still trying to find new material for you – which is not easy. In this series of blog posts, I write about the first draft of the Unaired Pilot Script.

Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (via Eileen Cox Baker)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines and characters. For daily news and discussions, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, I’m not done yet. It just takes a lot of time and effort. Sadly, the days never seem to have enough hours… and my blogging isn’t paid.

The Unaired Pilot Script
A short recap: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts hasn’t surfaced so far.

The first draft of the script is dated February 26, 2016. As mentioned in this blog post regarding the script, there must have been heavy rewrites between the first draft and the filming process. But in case the promo cut (or even the full episode) ever gets released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists. I don’t want to ruin your fun.

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

The Character: Lincoln
In the Opening Gambit of the first draft, Angus “Mac” MacGyver escapes from being a POW (prisoner of war) in Pakistan. It’s been five years since he was taken.

Following the opening credits, MacGyver returns to Portland and tries civilian life; moving back into his old bedroom at Grandpa Earl’s and helping out in the hardware store. One day, there’s a robbery. Or was it terrorism? The police and Mac’s friends think he’s just being paranoid.

We meet Lincoln a few days later, while MacGyver is attending a veteran support group meeting. In the script, Lincoln is described as being in his 40s who loves to listen to Duran Duran and is a bit paranoid. Lincoln reveals to Mac that he worked for the CIA, was removed from his position a while ago, and that his boss used to be Agent Croix (who had approached Mac while still being in the hospital).

He also tells Mac that he tried several times to rescue him without success – which surprises Mac, but doesn’t make him ask any further questions. We later learn that Lincoln has a daughter named Sipps who’s also an agent. They have a rather rocky relationship.

After realizing that Lincoln isn’t full-on crazy, Mac lets Lincoln help him investigate the case alongside Sipps while also involving his ex-girlfriend Mickey and best friend Gunner (who’s now dating Mickey).

George Eads and Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe via CBS)

Lincoln suggests that MacGyver’s flashbacks will get better if they manage to put the gunmen away. His plan is to break into the Portland Police Department to look at the evidence. MacGyver manages to get them in and grab the gun used in the robbery; impressing Lincoln with some of his MacGyverisms.

In the midst of the investigation, there’s a little plot twist for the audience; hinting at Lincoln knowing MacGyver’s father David (who died during Desert Storm). Later, Agent Croix reveals to MacGyver that Lincoln was fired after using illegal means to bring Mac home.

When Lincoln confesses to MacGyver that he was with David when he died, Mac doesn’t take the news well. He accuses Lincoln of being a lunatic and is disappointed that he was lied to why Lincoln was so intent on helping him.

While MacGyver ghosts them both, Lincoln keeps investigating with Sipps. It doesn’t take long for them to meet again in rather unfortunate circumstances: Mac found bombs planted inside and outside a mall and Mickey and Gunnar (plus many civilians and Army vets) are in danger. As you can imagine, Mac is very stressed.

Of course, the team saves the day – and even catch some of the villains. But MacGyver still has some unanswered questions about things that happened while he was a POW and who was behind it.

At the end of the script, MacGyver, Lincoln and Sipps join the new task force by Agent Croix; going on their first mission to save a little girl. Lincoln is also ready to repair the relationship with his daughter.

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

Script versus Trailer
Contrary to Gunner, Lincoln gets some spotlight in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer shown at the Upfronts – mostly as the one with the funny quips who likes to hug. He’s in one of the Official Stills and in two of the “not-so-official” Stills by Production Designer John Mott – one of Mac and Lincoln in lab coats invading a laboratory undercover and one of the two sitting in a restaurant.

As mentioned before, the teaser trailer has barely any resemblance to the first draft script. Besides the Opening Gambit, there was nothing I recognized. Therefore, it’s difficult to estimate how big Lincolns part would have been on screen. While Lincoln was spotted several times in the teaser trailer, he didn’t appear in the “big showdown” scene. He also didn’t show up in any of the storyboard excerpts I’ve seen.

Just before the Upfronts, SpoilerTV had provided character descriptions. They might have been written for the Upfronts specifically (e.g. for the press kit).

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

In the character description by SpoilerTV, Lincoln is older and the boss mentioned is his sister. In the trailer, Mickey seems to be an algamation of two female characters (Mickey and Sipps) in the script.

It’s not clear if Lincoln was supposed to have a daughter in the version that was filmed, or if that was a character they would have brought in later. I guess they wanted the female character joining the missions to be a hacker and not another experienced, weapons-trained agent.

What about Jack?
While an Easter Egg at the end of the script hints at an OG character, none of the other characters bear any resemblance to any OG characters. Lincoln was a new character created by Colaizzo. This is probably the main reason why Jack Dalton in the Reboot doesn’t bear any resemblance to the OG character of the same name after the new Showrunner and EP Peter Lenkov took over.

Unlike for MacGyver, Colaizzo didn’t give any pointers to what actor he had envisioned for Lincoln while writing.

The age for Lincoln was probably changed after casting George Eads. Peter Lenkov then rewrote Lincoln into Jack; changing his backstory and using the name as another Easter Egg.

In the Reboot, Jack Wyatt Dalton (played again by George Eads) has similar characteristics as Lincoln. Considering that Lenkov had to reboot the Reboot and bring it back on track with a new cast, new crew and a new filming location within three or four months, he simply didn’t have the time to re-invent all of the characters.

George Eads as Jack Dalton (via MacGyverOnline)

It’s also possible that some traits were brought in by George Eads as “leftovers” from the Unaired Pilot. Both George Eads and Lucas Till said in Comic Con interviews back in 2016 that it had been difficult to switch into a new character while keeping the same name used in the Unaired Pilot.

Interestingly, Lenkov made Jack younger than George was and kept Lucas Till’s real age – probably to diminish the age difference between the two actors; going for the bromance rather than a father-son-relationship. (Which didn’t fully work if you look at the available MacGyver Reboot FanFiction out there.)

You can find all information about rebooted Jack Dalton here.

It’s not clear what the initial ideas for Lincoln had been and if they were similar to some of the storylines Jack had in the Reboot. It sure would have kept the tension high with Mickey being on missions with her ex-boyfriend and Lincoln having to work for his sister.

Lincoln isn’t fleshed out that much in the script, so there would have been endless possibilities for potential storylines regarding his family, his love-life and his former job.

Looking Back at Season Zero (XII) – The Script (Part 3): Gunner / Hunter

I’m still trying to find new material regarding the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot; filmed in 2016. In this series of blog posts, I write about the first draft of the unaired pilot script.

BtS photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Ralph Cartel).

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines and characters. For daily news and discussions, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come – it just takes time. Sadly, the days never seem to have enough hours… and my blogging isn’t paid.

The Unaired Pilot Script
A short recap: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts hasn’t surfaced so far.

The first draft of the script is dated February 26, 2016. As mentioned in this blog post regarding the script, there must have been heavy rewrites between the first draft and the filming process. But you’ll never know. In case the promo cut or the full episode ever get released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists. I don’t want to ruin your fun.

Joshua Boone as Gunner / Hunter (via Eileen Cox Baker)

The Character: Gunner / Hunter
In this blog post, I will focus on a character that seems to have two names. He was played by Joshua Boone; back then only known for a handful of guests spots.

In the script, the character is listed as “Gunner” – while on the BtS photo above, he’s listed as “Hunter”. IMDb uses both names; hinting towards a potential plot twist.

Just before the Upfronts, SpoilerTV had provided character descriptions. They differ from the script I’ve read, so I’m assuming they’re based on either a revised script or the final draft. They might have been written for the Upfronts; e.g. for the press kit.

Unaired Pilot Character Descriptions (via SpoilerTV)

In the character description by SpoilerTV, Gunner was sort of “downgraded” to a handy man. In the script, Gunner used to be a coast guard; knowing his way with guns and changing careers after being overlooked for promotions. He now works at Portlife Life Insurance, and boasts about being named the 16th best life insurance broker in Portland by Oregon Magazine.

About Gunner
We meet Gunner at the airport in Portland, when Angus MacGyver returns from his hospital stay after being rescued from being a POW (prisoner of war) for five years.

The scene switches pretty quickly to MacGyver’s room. Apparently, Grandpa Earl never cleared it out; and it seems to me that the only reason the script has Gunner joining Mac in “re-discovering” his home is to add the plot twist of MacGyver realizing that Gunner and Mac’s former girlfriend Mickey are dating.

MacGyver tries to go back to civilian life and helps Earl in the hardware store. One day, there’s a robbery. Or was it terrorism? Mac was a POW for five years, so everyone deems him paranoid. Nevertheless, Mac investigates the case with his new friends (e.g. Lincoln and Sipps) while also involving his old friends (e.g. Mickey and Gunner).

Homecoming Crowd Scene (via John Mott)

Gunner is worried about Mac spending so much time on a case that might be just a robbery gone wrong. Although Gunner thinks the case should be handled by the authorities, and that Mickey spends way too much time with her ex-boyfriend, he tries to help.

We get several scenes with Gunner acting as the jealous boyfriend. I’m sure Gunner was intended as a recurring characer, maybe even as the season finale villain. But if they also intended to keep the jealous boyfriend trope, this would have gotten old and boring pretty fast.

Interestingly, MacGyver never confronts Gunner about his behavior. And when he suspects Gunner on being involved with the robbery, it’s solved within the next few sentences. Generally, there’s not much character development until the showdown in the mall (a normal mall, not a deserted one like in the trailer), where Gunner gets to be a hero of his own; showing off some parcour skills.

Overall, the character stays rather bland until the plot twist at the end, which is an Easter Egg that might only be realized by fans of (or people in the know about) the original show. It’s not yet clear to me if the plot twist was dropped for the episode that was filmed or if it was changed into something less obvious.

Script versus Trailer
Gunner aka Hunter doesn’t have any spotlight in the Unaired Pilot trailer. His name is never mentioned. There’s only glimpses of him in two of the “not-so-official” Stills by Production Designer John Mott – one in presumably Mac’s home (see below) and one from behind in the homecoming ceremony crowd at the airport (see above).

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

Of course, teaser trailers can be deceiving. But it looks like Gunner was intended as a recurring character only, while Mickey was intended as a regular character; being an algamation of two female characters (Mickey and Sipps) in the script.

What about Bozer?
Judging by the Easter Eggs in the Unaired Pilot Script, we have to assume that writer Paul Downs Colaizzo has either watched the OG Pilot (or read the OG script) and/or done some research about OG characters. But while the Easter Egg at the end hints at an OG character, none of the other characters bear any resemblance to any OG characters.

In the Reboot, Wilt Bozer (played by Justin Hires) is MacGyver’s best childhood friend. You can find all information about his character here. I’m assuming that Showrunner and EP Peter Lenkov rewrote Gunner into Bozer; using the name as another Easter Egg.

Interestingly, they kept Gunner’s clothing style for Bozer despite being different characters with very different occupations and different career ambitions.

Justin Hires as Wilt Bozer (via MacGyverOnline)

It’s possible that they simply didn’t have the time to re-invent all of the secondary and/or recurring characters; considering Lenkov had to reboot the Reboot and bring it back on track with a new cast, new crew and a new filming location within three or four months.

At the beginning of Season 1, Bozer is trying to make it as a film director in his free time while flipping burgers as a day job. In the middle of the season, he joins the Phoenix Foundation as a lab tech and later turns into a full agent going on missions.

It’s not clear if the initial idea for Gunner had been the same. It sure would have kept the tension high with Mickey being on missions with her ex-boyfriend. Overall, it could have led to a show with a lot of relationship drama – which Lenkov chose to avoid; focusing on the action and the bromance aspects of the show (at least in the first few seasons).

Looking Back at Season Zero (XI) – The Script (Part 2): Earl and David

Every time I dig through my folders, I come across the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m still trying to find new material; putting together all the interesting information. In this series of blog posts, I write about the first draft of the Unaired Pilot script.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines and characters. For daily news and discussions, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come – it just takes time. Sadly, the days never seem to have enough hours… and my blogging isn’t paid.

The Unaired Pilot Script
A short recap: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts hasn’t surfaced so far.

The first draft of the script is dated February 26, 2016. In case the promo cut or the full episode ever get released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists in the upcoming blog posts regarding the script. I don’t want to ruin your fun, after all.

The Portland Beavers (via LogoLynx)

The Location: Portland
The First Draft of the Unaired Pilot is set in Portland. I haven’t figured out why, because the location doesn’t really matter for the storyline. According to Wikipedia, Paul Downs Colaizzo was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia. He studied in New York City and still lives there.

The Unaired Pilot was initially set to film in Portland, so it’s possible that CBS demanded of Colaizzo to make Portland the main location.

The Characters: Earl and David
In this blog post, I will focus on two characters appearing in the first draft of the script. They’re both related to lead character Angus MacGyver. One has a speaking role, while the other is being mentioned only (because he’s already dead).

Yes, it’s Grandpa MacGyver (Earl) and Papa MacGyver (David). Not much is known about them. They only seem to serve the backstory of the lead character. We don’t know what actors would have played them since they were never listed on IMDb and didn’t appear in the teaser trailer or the storyboard excerpts.

As mentioned in my last blog post regarding the script, there must have been heavy rewrites between the first draft and the filming process. It’s possible their scenes were written out or cut in the editing room.

About Earl
Grandpa Earl is in his 60s. He owns a hardware store. I don’t remember a wife or other kids being mentioned. Or any hobbies. And there’s not much personality to discover. Overall, the character stays bland – similarly to Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) who made it to the rebooted version that aired on TV.

I’m not sure how big Grandpa Earl’s role would have been. If he was intended as a recurring characer, then probably only to book-end the episodes and only as long as MacGyver was still living there and/or occasionally visiting in between missions.

We meet Earl at the airport in Portland, when Angus MacGyver returns from his hospital stay after a 5-year-long-stint as a POW (prisoner of war). It’s implied that Earl travelled with Mac back to Portland – but we don’t know what happened in between as the reunion of Mac and Earl wasn’t written into the script. The scene switches to MacGyver’s bedroom. Apparently, Earl never cleared it out.

According to the script, MacGyver lost both his parents while being young, so he moved in with Earl as a kid. He also collected boomerangs (which might have been an Easter Eggs since this fact doesn’t matter as the story progresses).

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

There’s not much information about the place otherwise. In the few BtS photos of the Unaired Pilot, it looks like Mac lives on his own, although the place looks like he might have inherited it from his grandpa.

MacGyver helps Earl in the store one day, and there’s a robbery. Or was it terrorism? Mac was a POW for 5 years, so everyone deems him paranoid and in need of more veteran support group meetings. Mac investigates with Lincoln and his friends, so Earl doesn’t have much scenes overall.

What about Harry?
Original MacGyver fans know that Mac’s grandfather from his mother’s side was named Harry Jackson. Harry became a father-figure to MacGyver after his father and grandmother were killed in a car accident. If you’re interested in Harry, you can find more information here.

Harry Jackson (John Anderson, via MacGyverOnline)

Judging by the Easter Eggs in the Unaired Pilot Script, we have to assume that Paul Downs Colaizzo has at least watched the OG Pilot. Or not? While doing promo for another project back in August 2019, Colaizzo stated in an interview:

I got a phone call in the middle of the night that said, “We need you to move to LA tomorrow and start working on the pilot of ‘MacGyver.’” And when you’re on an overall deal, that’s sort of the agreement, that you work for the studio. I’d never seen an episode of “MacGyver” in my life. I wrote a pilot, though, and at that point, the studio was determined to keep that thing going, and I was along for the ride.

The Playlist, August 22, 2019

In theory, you don’t need to watch any episodes with OG Grandpa Harry to know about Harry. You can read the IMDb synopsis of each episode, check Wikipedia or the extensive character backlog and the forum of MacGyver Online.

Harry MacGyver (Michael O’Keefe, via MacGyverOnline)

So why didn’t Colaizzo use Harry as the name for rebooted MacGyver’s grandpa? Maybe it was a hommage to his own grandpa. Or he felt some liberty since this is presumably the father of Papa MacGyver, not the father of Mama MacGyver (contrary to the OG show).

Also, we don’t know if the name was changed for the script that was used for filming. It’s both possible that they did it during revisions and Showrunner Peter Lenkov took it for his own script, or that he changed the name later; implementing an Easter Egg of his own.

About David
As seen in the script snippets posted here, MacGyver’s dad died during Desert Storm. Little MacGyver was only one year old – raised by his mother until she died in a car crash when he was six.

What about James?
Original MacGyver fans know that Mac’s dad was named James MacGyver. Mac’s dad being a soldier being killed during Desert Storm is quite a difference from the OG storyline, but also of the Reboot storyline that Lenkov implemented.

When SpoilerTV provided character descriptions just before the Upfronts, they already revealed that Lincoln knew MacGyver’s father. This is presented as a plot twist in the script (perfectly placed for a commercial break).

MacGyver will later learn about this, and will be angry with Lincoln about being kept in the dark. (I will come back to this scene in an upcoming blog post about Lincoln.)

Earl and Lincoln
Interestingly, Lincoln enters Earl’s hardware store to check out the crime scene, but Earl isn’t there. Would he have recognized Lincoln from the photo? Have they met before? Maybe that’s backstory stuff that was supposed to touch upon in later episodes.

Both Earl and Lincoln are in the last scene, but don’t acknowledge each other. It’s a bit weird. Maybe I missed something and have to read it again. Maybe I’ll find the missing piece while doing “research” for my next blog post.

Looking Back at Season Zero (X) – The Script (Part 1)

Every time I dig through my folders, I come across material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m still trying to find new material; putting together all the interesting information.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines. For daily news and to discuss, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come. Problem is that the days never have enough hours…

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Anita Kalathara)

Rebooting the Reboot
A short recap for fans who recently joined the fandom (or have faulty memories): The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken (who sadly died in July 2021 at the age of 56). Production wrapped two weeks before the CBS Upfronts.

The Upfronts are a press event where networks present their upcoming TV schedules and rookie shows. They release art work and previews to get the press to write positive reviews so the projects attract a big audience and international buyers.

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Synopsis (via Season Zero)

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been ordered to Series. Deadline added that Showrunner Peter Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise remaining the same; confirming an earlier report by The Hollywood Reporter that the supporting cast was not coming back.

Within a few days, CBS erased all their former tweets, posts, the trailer and official stills regarding the discarded pilot from their social media accounts. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts has never surfaced. Ironically, it has an IMDb-rating of 9.7 stars.

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Eileen Cox Baker)

Note that in case the promo cut or the full episode ever get released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists in the upcoming blog posts regarding the script. I don’t want to ruin your fun *hehe*.

The Unaired Pilot Script
I never got my hands on the final script used for filming. I recently did get my hands on what looks like the first draft of the script, though. It’s dated with February 26, 2016.

(Don’t ask me how I came to it, as I can’t reveal my source. I won’t upload it anywhere or send it out since said source could get into trouble.)

In April 2016, cast member Anita Kalathara (who played Neha) had provided a look at the script title page used during a table read. It was the “Yellow Draft”, dated for March 25 and now listing Brett Mahoney (Empire, Code Black, CSI: Miami) alongside Paul Downs Colaizzo as writers. The title page also carries the red logo that was used for production.

The script title page provided by Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker has 2nd Blue Revisions, dated for April 3. A photo of the script title page by Second Assistant Director Clint Buckner shows 2nd Cherry Revisions, dated for April 12.

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Production Office Sign (via Jennica Schwarzman)

Fun Fact: There is a standard order for script revision colors. According to the WGA West, the standard script revision color sets are:

  • White (unrevised)
  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Goldenrod
  • Buff
  • Salmon
  • Cherry
  • Second Blue Revision
  • Second Pink Revision and so on…

Using Second Cherry Revisions means that in theory, there could have been 16! revisions up to this point; possibly more. Just by judging the teaser trailer alone, the pilot that was filmed has many differences to the first draft (more about that further down). In fact, it seems to be a completely different episode.

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Clint Buckner)

The Synopsis
Not much is officially known about the storyline of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot. All we got for promo was a few stills and a teaser trailer. There are a handful of BtS photos and excerpts of the storyboard.

The website Season Zero used to review scripts during Pilot Season. Back in May 2016, they had posted a synopsis and a review online (the site was deleted a few years ago; the company being incorporated into Primetimer). Their verdict:

CBS didn’t like the first version of the script written by NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer R. Scott Gemmill. They could have abandoned the idea. But they comissioned another one instead, by newcomer Paul Downs Colaizzo, who’s under an overall deal with them. My guess: he didn’t really have a choice and did it without any pleasure. And it shows.

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

Fun Fact: The title of the article was “And you thought Scorpion was stupid?”. They later changed the URL to “the-handsome-and-adventurous-version-of-tbbts-sheldon”, but kept the title.

Regarding MacGyver, the author was a bit confused about why the origin story is set in 2015. He cites the dialogue as poor, that there are too many flashbacks from war and that the script is never fun:

Well. Not entirely true. The opening scene kinda is. In a ridiculous way. The way he escapes from prison… It’s clever. And laughable. (…) Spoiler alert: Mac ends the sequence on a hand-made parachute over a giant cliff! That’s one hell of a cliffhanger. But as soon as he returns home, right after the main titles, it’s never fun again.

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

Of course, we know what Parachute Scene he’s talking about, as this was shown in the teaser trailer and also used in the header for the official Facebook page.

Social Media Header (via MacGyverOnCBS)

While doing promo for another project back in August 2019, Colaizzo admitted in an interview:

MacGyver was a bit of a one-off. It was sort of a jumble of influences, trying to get that show going. It’s not something I really worked on for long, or with passion.

Deadline, August 29, 2019

It’s still not clear to me why CBS was in such a hurry to get the project going; ordering two scripts they weren’t happy with, yet still getting one of them filmed only to drop it and have it re-written and re-filmed again.

Generally, it’s a typical CBS crime drama storyline, peppered with MacGyverisms. A war hero returns home, seeing a threat. No one believes him, but he teams up with some interesting characters and saves a lot of people.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

My Review
As mentioned above, the storyline isn’t anything that blows your mind – but it’s not a total failure. The characters stay a bit bland (similarly to the rebooted version of Patricia Thornton in Season 1), but we don’t know how they would have handled their backstories in follow-up episodes.

There’s some clever MacGyverisms, but I didn’t understand them all (probably due to the language barrier since English isn’t my First Language). But if you take them out, it would be a standard CBS crime show episode; written for any of the current crime dramas on air.

Original MacGyver fans will immediately recognize several Easter Eggs, meaning that Colaizzo must have watched at least the pilot episode (which isn’t saying much, sadly). There aren’t many, though. We have a Phoenix on a messenger bag, for example.

Sadly, there’s no mention at all of a Swiss Army Knife, which is certainly the biggest failures of them all. (There’s talk about paper clips, though.)

BtS Photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Scott Klein)

Yes, there are several flashbacks to Mac’s time as a POW (Prisoner of War), but they didn’t bother me. I could see the flashbacks playing a role in further episodes (similarly to TV-Show Arrow), especially if they had picked up on the storyline of the two soldiers who were taken with Mac.

There’s a hint of MacGyver being whumped (beaten and whipped), so it would be weird if they would have glossed over it (although that’s not unusual for a show on CBS). In the script, Mac goes to veteran support group meetings, an idea that was never incorporated in the rebooted version.

Yes, the Unaired Pilot Script is darker than the pilot we’ve seen on TV. There aren’t many fun quips as seen in the teaser trailer, so they must have added those later to add some levity. (Although I’m not sure if they didn’t backfire; as many OG viewers found rebooted MacGyver to be arrogant and full of himself.)

In general, it feels like the pilot was written in a hurry. The storyline didn’t really stick with me. And it shows that it was a writer who was tasked with it because he was under an overall contract and not because he really wanted to do it.

The Characters
Just before the Upfronts, SpoilerTV had provided character descriptions. They differ from the script I’ve read, so I’m not sure if some stuff was added to be revealed later in the season or if the descriptions are based on a revised script (or even the final draft). They might have been written for the Upfronts; e.g. the press kit that was handed out. I’m not sure about the original source.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

In the script, Lincoln is described as being in his forties, so the age might have been changed after George Eads had been cast. Interestingly, Jack Dalton in the rebooted version is younger than George while at the same time, they used Lucas Till’s real age for Mac. Maybe CBS or Peter Lenkov wanted the age difference smaller to make it a more believable bromance.

The description says that Gunner works as a handy man. In the script, he used to be a coast guard. He now works at Portlife Life Insurance, and boasts about being named the 16th best life insurance broker in Portland by Oregon Magazine. They kept the fact of Gunner dating MacGyver’s ex, so they sure wanted to hold onto the potential love triangle drama.

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

In the script, MacGyver says that specialists Zwickey and O’Neill have been shot. Otherwise, they’re barely mentioned. In the character description, it says that they are still alive and in need of rescue. Also, they seem to be civilians, not fellow EOD Techs anymore. This plot point might have been rewritten as a cliffhanger. Maybe one of them was supposed to come back for revenge (similarly to Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack)?

I will touch upon the characters in upcoming blog posts; presumably MacGyver, Lincoln, Gunner, Mickey and Earl. There was also another character named Sipps in the script that wasn’t mentioned in the character descriptions. It’s possible that Sipps and Mickey were fused to one character; played by Addison Timlin in the filmed version.

Having MacGyver’s ex on missions sure would have led to some tension and drama in later episodes. Some baselines of the characters were rewritten and incorporated into The Rising, the pilot written by Peter Lenkov. So that could be another blog post. (So much stuff to write about! Do you even want to read about all that?)

Script versus Trailer
As mentioned above, the scenes in the teaser trailer and the storyboard excerpts differ a lot from the script. There’s also differences in the character descriptions provided by SpoilerTV.

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

In fact, none of the scenes or lines apart from the beggining and the end of the trailer make an appearance in the script at all. There’s no Kresson building, no MacGyver and Lincoln masquerading as lab rats going undercover, no Mac standing in front of the press in the hangar, no Mac tripping a bad guy with a fire house and also no Mac shooting a bow and arrow.

The storyboard excerpts and the official stills made it look like there was some bio weapon involved, but there’s none of that in the script, either. The only line in the script that made it into the trailer is the one at the end, when Mac is asking for bubblegum and a q-tip.

This all indicates that there were indeed heavy rewrites before filming. Even with reading the first draft of the script, we might never know what the Unaired Pilot would have been like if we never get to watch it.

Great, now I’m even more curious to watch it.

Looking Back at Season Zero (IX) – The Official Stills

Every time I dig through my stash of photos, I come across material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. 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.

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Unofficial Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines. For daily news and to discuss, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come. Problem is that the days never seem to have enough hours…

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

Rebooting the Reboot
A short recap for fans who recently joined the fandom: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. Production wrapped two weeks before the CBS Upfronts – the press event for networks to present their TV schedules and rookie shows.

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been ordered to Series by CBS. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the script might be tossed out and that the secondary cast members were unlikely to return. Deadline added that newly-appointed Showrunner Peter 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.

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

The Promo that disappeared
Just a few days before the CBS Upfronts, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads via NY Times; probably taken during a scene set in MacGyver’s home lab. It’s interesting to note that this photo was used for several articles for the premiere and sometimes still finds its way into online articles.

On May 18, CBS released two new Official Stills. One shows MacGyver doing a MacGyverism. The other one is also available on IMDb and has MacGyver in the lobby of the Kresson Building (presumably the “lair” of the bad guys). If you’re interested: The Kresson Building is not a stage set, but a real building with an impressive lobby; located on 5551 Katella Avenue in Cypress, California.

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

At the Upfronts, the networks traditionally release art work and teaser trailers or featurettes to attract the potential audience and international buyers. According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked a lot of interest. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer 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 within a few days.

While the Official Stills are still used in newer articles, the pilot so far has never surfaced. Nevertheless, it has an IMDb-rating of 9.6 stars.

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

Hunting for Treasure
It’s still difficult to find material regarding the Unaired Pilot. I never got my hands on the final script used for filming, and the IMDb page had been wiped (it’s been re-added last year, but is still missing a lot of information regarding cast and crew). Many of the social media accounts have been locked private, closed down for good or deleted old photos.

Back in July 2018, when picking up the research for some more Unaired Pilot stuff to add to new blog posts during hiatus, I stumbled over the first “official” set photos, curtesy of Production Designer John Mott on his website.

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

One is of MacGyver’s home, built on location. We can see Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (Joshua Boone), MacGyver and Mickey (Addison Timlin), plus an unknown character on the left. Sadly, that’s the only photo of this set; which looks very interesting.

The other Still is of MacGyver being kept hostage in an underground lab. Considering the parts of the storyboard I’ve seen, I’m assuming that the villain is holding a bio-weapon.

Secret Lab; built on Location (via John Mott)

The Unofficial Official Stills
Last year, Set Designer John Mott uploaded 6 additional “Unofficial” Stills. One shows MacGyver locked in a cell. Judging by the handful of BtS photos and the teaser trailer, this is our hero during his years as a POW. While parts of the set might have been on stage, some of the scenes were filmed in the “Batman Cave” aka the Bronson Canyon near Griffith Park in LA.

Another one has Mac and Jack (sorry, Lincoln) sitting in a restaurant. I wasn’t able to find out the location, but fun fact: MacGyver is doing some “Fork Art” that is probably a thing that Lucas likes doing (as seen in Episode 1×08: Corkscrew or in a video taken during downtime between promo events in Monte Carlo back in 2017).

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

The other Stills via John Mott look like screenshots also seen in the Teaser Trailer. One scene is taken of Lincoln and Mac infiltrating a lab, the other one during MacGyver’s escape from the cave in Afghanistan. A third one has MacGyver in front of the press, probably talking about his rescue.

The scene was shot in a hangar, and we have seen a few BtS photos by Extras.

Unofficial Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

While Still Photographer Ron P. Jaffe does have a website with Stills of his work (e.g. CBS shows Code Black or NCIS), he hasn’t uploaded any Stills of the Unaired Pilot. But who knows. Maybe one day, someone else working on this pilot stumbles over some photos sitting on a computer or phone and posts them on the internet.