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.

MacGyver Reboot Update #29

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on May 12, 2017. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

With only two months left until filming for Season 2 starts, the writers are working on new scripts.

BtS of Season 1 (via Pius Pietrzyk)

Crisis averted
Thankfully, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) managed to secure better working conditions for script writers during weeks of tense negotiations, therefore avoiding a strike that would have resulted in TV show productions coming to a grinding halt and being stopped for weeks, maybe even months.

Production should go on as planned. As David Slack tweeted on May 2nd, he’s already writing on a new episode for Season 2.

working on new scripts (via David Slack)

Reruns
There will be a rerun of Episode 13 (Large Blade) on May 26 and a rerun of Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) on June 2.

Season 2 News
As Executive Producer Peter Lenkov confirmed on May 10, Season 2 will start in September.

What are cast and crew up to?
Peter Lenkov is gearing up for the premiere of his CBS Summer Show “Salvation” in July. Justin Hires is busy polishing his career as a stand-up comedian. Tristin Mays and Meredith Eaton recently visited one of his shows.

Comedy Club (via Justin Hires)

Because of the DVD-Release of Monster Trucks, Lucas Till had been doing promo for this movie back in April. In a video interview with TVs Talking Pictures, Lucas also talked about filming MacGyver. He revealed that George Eads is one of his best friends, that he fell asleep several times while trying to memorize his lines and that he was stressed out 8 of 9 months while shooting because he put too much pressure on himself, trying to fill RDA’s big shoes by taking on such an iconic role.

What’s going to happen now?
Next Wednesday, CBS will present their 2017-2018 TV Schedule at the Upfronts in New York. Since both Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods have been renewed as well for another season, the reboot airtime schedule probably won’t change.

Both Peter Lenkov and Lucas Till will be at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in June. Lenkov is listed as a member of the festival’s jury while it is not clear yet in what capacity Lucas will be there.

Monster Trucks Promo (via Instagram)

There has been no word yet if there will be another promo event at Comic Con San Diego (July 20 to 23) this year.

MacGyver around the world
The Reboot is or has been airing in several countries by now; e.g. Australia, Turkey, the UK, the French speaking region of Switzerland, New Zealand or the Netherlands. The show is airing soon in Japan and in France. The premiere for Germany (on Sat.1) is set for June 19.

The German dubbing of rebooted MacGyver is done by Ozan Ünal who funnily also voiced Nicholas Hoult’s character of “Beast” in the X-Men movies with Lucas Till and David Dastmalchian in “CSI Cyber“. Ünal otherwise regularly dubbs Emile Hirsch, Logan Lerman (in the Percy Jackson Series) or Ian Somerhalder. On German TV, he’s probably best known for voicing Johnny Galecki in all episodes of “The Big Bang Theory“, so this is going to be weird and interesting for me.

The Vault: Unaired Pilot
A year ago, Meg London-Boche – Assistant of Director David Von Ancken – tweeted about the MacGyver Pilot being done. 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.

BtS of the Unaired Pilot (via Adam Michna)

The Unaired Pilot has more or less disappeared. The IMDb page was deleted rather quickly, along with every official material that had been posted by CBS on social media. It’s difficult to predict if we’ll ever get to see this Unaired Pilot that shall not be named. It’s probably futile to hope for it being released on the Season 1 DVD.

 

Original Author’s Note (May 12): This is my last Update for the MacGyver Reboot – for now. I will probably continue posting somewhere else, but I have to set it up first and I don’t know yet when it’s going to be ready. (I have been writing in German on my own blog for 11 years, but I don’t want to mix up blog posts in different languages.)

A big THANK YOU to Nicholas Sweedo for letting me write on his blog. I wouldn’t have dared to do it on my own. I never thought I would be able to write so many blog-posts in another language and I learnt A LOT while doing this.

A big THANK YOU for you readers as well. I never thought these blog-posts would get so many hits. Hopefully read you soon! If you need a quick fix of MacGyver Reboot News until my next Update, you can find me on Twitter.

Original Editor’s Note (May 12): A big thanks to Andrea (Dashboard) for all her great posts and for being really nice to work with! I decided that I wanted to distance this blog from the reboot since I don’t like it and am not watching it any more. But for fans of the reboot, Andrea really is the best person out there to follow for the latest news and information, and I’m sure that her new blog will be an awesome place to go for that!

There’s something about MacGyver…

Disclaimer: My original guest-posts (MacGyver Reboot Updates #1 to #29) were first published on Nicholas Sweedo’s Blog called The MacGyver Project.
I made a few minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures, layout changes, additional author’s notes) before re-posting these guest-posts on my own blog for safe-keeping in form of an archive (and to please my OCD tendencies *blush*).
If you want to read the original guest-posts in their pure form including comments and discussions and without any layout-shifts and mishaps (e.g. links not opening up in a new window, pictures not available to view in their original size), visit the original source. For easier access, here’s an overview of all original guest-posts. (You should visit Nick’s blog anyway, especially if you’re a fan of Original MacGyver. His blog is pure awesomeness.)

 

Hi there.

My Name is DashboardOnFire and I write about the MacGyver Reboot.

 

First of all: I love all things MacGyver, especially Richard Dean Anderson’s version. It was my favorite TV show as a kid (yes, I’m that old that I grew up with Original MacGyver).

Richard Dean Anderson posing for a MacGyver Promo Shoot (July 1986, via Getty Images)

The love for the original is what made me being interested in the Reboot in the first place. I thought I would watch at least the pilot episode (it’s MacGyver, after all). Then I started looking for information about the production and the filming process online. Then I started sharing this information and discussing it on the MacGyver Online Forums. Because there was drama (The Casting! The hair! The Unaired Pilot that shall not be seen! The Reboot Overhaul! The cast and crew that was let go!) and things to learn and people to meet.

Then I started blogging about it. When the pilot episode finally premiered, I was already in too deep because I had opinions. And I needed to discuss them.

Original Logo vs Unaired Pilot Logo vs Reboot Logo

Maybe you’ve already read some of my posts on The MacGyver Project, a blog by Nicholas Sweedo. Back in July 2016, he invited me to start guest-blogging about the Reboot. Between July 2016 and May 2017, I wrote 29 guest-blog-posts.

I’ve reserved the address for this blog called “Dashboard On Fire” back in February 2017 – mainly because it goes along with my Twitter Account. I didn’t know if and when I would ever need this blog; especially because I didn’t know if I would continue blogging in English if the Reboot wouldn’t get a second season.

Today, I had to decide quickly if I would continue this on my own or not and I made the decision that YES, I would try.

Lucas Till posing for a MacGyver Promo Shoot (October 2016, via CBS Watch! Magazine)

The reason why I set up a blog via WordPress is that I’ve been blogging in German using WordPress for about 7 years now. It’s easier to handle two blogs using the same tools. I’m aware that this means that people that used to comment on my guest-posts on The MacGyver Project (that publishes via Blogspot) might not be able to comment in here as easily as before.

I would have preferred to set up a website using a “universal” disscussion tool (e.g. Disqus), but I have no clue about these things and didn’t have the time to learn it within 2 weeks (because I wanted to continue with my former bi-weekly publishing schedule since in my experience, if I don’t post regularly I forget to do it altogether).

So here I am. Thank you for visiting and reading, commenting and sharing.