Looking Back at Season 1 (XIII) – Guns and Violence

MacGyver doesn’t use guns and only resorts to violence when necessary. He uses his brains – mainly his vast science knowledge – to solve problems and catch the bad guys. This was established by the Original Show. It’s also one of the reasons why the show was so successful in the first place, especially overseas.

Original MacGyver Ad (ABC/Paramount)

A Reboot is always tricky. It’s basically a new show that still has to honor the original to a certain extent. There are some things that can’t be touched while some things are a “nice to have”. Of course, not everyone feels the same about these “nice to have”s.

I was happy they put Lucas Till into the brown leather jacket as a nod to the original. But if they had decided that it was too hot in Atlanta to let Lucas run around in it all day and had to let go of it, that would have been fine by me. No need to make an actor collapse due to a heat-stroke just to have another Easter Egg to cross off your list. I love the voice-overs, but I can understand why they stopped doing them after a while. I know others were very vocal about the lack of rebooted MacGyver’s love for hockey, but I got over that pretty quickly.

For me, it would have been nice if the Reboot (and especially the Pilot Episode) had implemented more of the subtleties of Original MacGyver’s character – e.g. the fact that he doesn’t drink alcohol or that he cares deeply about the welfare of animals and the environment. On the other hand, it was very important to me that they keep MacGyver’s aversion toward guns and violence.

Guns, violence and nudity
There is a time and place for guns, violence or nudity in movies and TV shows. While I don’t think it’s necessary tho have this “holy trinity” in a movie or a TV show to entertain me, I don’t mind it if it happens in the right context and serves a purpose. I don’t need it just for the sake of entertainment – because if there’s a good storyline and great acting, you don’t need the big kabooms or naked shenanigans.

Like most fans of the Original MacGyver show, I believe that there’s no need for guns, violence and nudity in a MacGyver Reboot.

The nonviolent aspect is more than a subtlety, it was the core of the show.

(Nicholas Sweedo, blog-owner of The MacGyver Project)

Original MacGyver was famous for being a family-friendly show. It was different than its counterparts airing at the same time (e.g. The A-Team). Paramount (who owned Original MacGyver back then) used this also for advertizing, e.g. with he statement in the ad above (You don’t need a weapon when you’re armed with imagination) or for the DVD Cover of Season 2 (His Mind is the ultimate Weapon).

Original MacGyver Season 2 DVD Cover (USA)

Of course, CBS and the showrunners were aware that they couldn’t dare rebooted MacGyver using guns and too much violence. MacGyver is a well-known TV show and a bankable Franchise; they didn’t want to lose Original Fans as potential viewers. Problem is: They wanted rebooted MacGyver as the secret agent of the Original Season 1, not the preachier PSA version of the later seasons. They wanted the big kabooms and car chases and bazookas. They wanted the action. So what did they do? They gave rebooted MacGyver combat experience and a gun-wielding sidekick in the character of Jack Dalton.

I don’t need Jack (or Team Phoenix) to handle it
From a production standpoint, writing Jack Dalton as the character he is was kinda brilliant. Also, George Eads is a delight to watch. (Yes, he’s nothing like Original Jack Dalton played by Bruce McGill, but that’s a topic for another blog post.)

My main problem: Bringing Jack in as a gun-wielding Ex-CIA-Agent and Ex-Sniper with Delta Force makes MacGyver’s unique way of problem-solving kinda void. If Mac can’t do it, there’s always Jack who can get him out by shooting at the bad guys. In the end, Mac didn’t really manage to solve the problem without guns (and unnecessary violence) – he just let Jack (or someone else, e.g. Sarah Adler in Episode 1×02) do it.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

There is a specific scene in the Pilot Episode that was the main reason for fans of the Original Show turning their backs on the Reboot early on. It was also one of the main reasons for the massive amount of backlash on social media while the episode aired (not only in the US, but also in Germany, France or Italy): MacGyver is trying to defuse a bomb (presumably in Afghanistan) with the bad guys closing in. He asks for Jack’s help who promptly shoots them. Sniper-style. Funny quip (Who loves you, baby?) included.

The scene was partially written as an Easter Egg for fans of Hawaii Five-0 and to establish the possibility of a future crossover episode: In a deleted shot of this scene, the word ALOHA can be seen on Jack’s sniper rifle. It’s a nod to the shared history with H50 main character Steve McGarrett (played by Alex O’Loughlin).

Deleted Shot of Episode 1×01: The Rising. Photo by Guy D’Alema (via TVLine)

If the show wasn’t a Reboot of MacGyver, this scene wouldn’t be a big problem, I guess. There is not much to say against the realism of it. The problem is, as Kate stated in the RDA forums:

[MacGyver] didn’t have a back-up team – he WAS the back-up team.

(Kate Ritter, creator and host of the Official Richard Dean Anderson website)

It’s a fine and difficult line to turn the lone-wolf-character of the Original Show into a member of a team without making him appear helpless at times. So far, the Reboot hasn’t quite mastered it yet; especially in the first episodes of Season 1. Since the show is named after a main character, this character should be able to do a mission without having others to bail him out all the time – especially with the help of over-the-top technology (via Riley) or guns (via Jack).

Regarding Mac not using a gun in this — It sometimes ends up just making him look like the least efficient member of the team. 

(Forum User Miasma in the MacGyver Online Forums)

In the Pilot Episode, Mac uses a MacGyverism to create smoke to trigger the fire alarm. So why not just activate the fire alarm by hitting the button? Why not just burn a piece of paper in a bucket? There was no MacGyverism (and therefore no MacGyver) needed here because anyone else could have thought of that and done it. The MacGyverism was just for show.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

To be fair, this happened in the Original Show as well sometimes. But now that MacGyver is surrounded by a team, such unnecessary MacGyverisms are even more obvious. They needed a distraction that could have been delivered by Riley or Jack as efficiently – and faster, without wasting any chemicals.

Also, the fact that CBS chose to send MacGyver on missions as a secret agent instead of traipsing around and finding himself in trouble while trying to help others creates another problem: If they are sent on missions planned in advance with Riley bringing her laptop and Jack bringing his gun, whey don’t they take their spy-kits (with night-vision-goggles and other useful stuff) with them as well? They would still need to improvise every now and then, but they wouldn’t need to start from scratch every time.

The reason that MacGyver takes on missions by the government without any gear can’t be explained that easily in the Reboot as in the Original where he didn’t have a team.

I don’t need no guns
You might remember Original Episode 5×06: Halloween Knights, where Murdoc enlists MacGyver’s help to rescue his sister from former employer HIT (Homicide International Trust).

It would have been an easy and lazy way for the writers to let Murdoc bring his deadly tools. But MacGyver made following deal with Murdoc: No guns or I don’t help you. Of course, Murdoc found a way to cheat on the deal, and yet MacGyver still didn’t use the deadly tools in the way Murdoc had intended. It was the core of the episode (and the original series) to catch the bad guys without the help of guns and bombs (or only using them as distraction devices).

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In a video interview with ET Online (September 29, 2016), Lucas Till said about the role of Jack Dalton: “He uses the guns, because MacGyver famously doesn’t use guns.” Yes, that’s right. But the writers didn’t really get the point, did they?

See Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) for example: What’s the point using a MacGyverism instead of a gun if there’s a gun (or two, maybe even three with Thornton on board) at hand anyway? Instead of throwing the net onto the bike to stop the bad guy, they could have kept shooting at the tires with the same effect. Original MacGyver is known for using guns as a tool; but if rebooted MacGyver accepts a gun-wielding posse around him anyway, he could have just asked them to shoot at the tires. Or shoot at the tires himself.

There is a reason why MacGyver avoids guns. And it’s not because it looks way more interesting if he doesn’t use them.

Back when Executive Producers Peter Lenkov and James Wan attended ComicCon in July 2016, I was actually pleasantly surprised that they really intended to keep Mac not using guns. I never expected the Reboot to be as strictly anti-gun as the original; and I’m pretty sure we’ll never see episodes like “Blood Brothers” or “The Gun” like we did in the Original Show – but those interviews back then gave me hope.

So of course after watching the first few episodes, I was very disappointed how this topic was handled. Fact is: Original MacGyver doesn’t just not use guns (unless it’s as a wrench or another tool) – he condones them. He hates them with a passion. And he insists on people leaving their gun behind if they want him to help. As soon as they made Jack a gun-wielding Ex-CIA-Agent, they kinda eliminated one of the core points (or maybe even THE core point) of the original.

I don’t need the bad guys to get killed
The other problem I have with the ALOHA-Scene: Original MacGyver would never work with someone who regularly kills people to protect him. Knocking them unconscious or incapacitating them in another way yes, but not kill them. He also wouldn’t tolerate said someone to be so cavalier about it.

Let’s be honest: The Original Show was cheesy and quirky and not very realistic when it came to bad guys getting knocked on the head. John Kendrick (played by Vinnie Jones) in the Pilot Episode of the Reboot is a bad guy who would have fit in well in an original episode – especially the way he’s captured: MacGyver drops an Escape Ladder on him. Realistically, Kendrick should have been dead. But he doesn’t even appear concussed, and that’s fine with me.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

So why didn’t they do this for other bad-guys-scenes as well, e.g. in the boat chase: The goons see the empty boat coming at them. Why not let them jump off the boat before it crashes into them and explodes? It’s exactly what would have happened in an Original Episode.

The Anti-Handgun-Stance of the Original Show
The Original Show was very anti-gun, specifically anti-handgun. I wasn’t aware that this was kinda unique for an US TV-Show until I grew older. As a kid, in my opinion only bad guys carried guns – unless they were police officers or soldiers.

Growing up in Switzerland, I never came in contact with guns until my first boyfriend had to join the military service at the age of 18. And it wasn’t until I started watching TV shows in their original language that I realized how the use of guns, violence and sexuality differentiates in the US compared to Europe.

Sean Wohland and Richard Dean Anderson in a Promo Photo for Original MacGyver Episode 4×02 (Blood Brothers)

Original MacGyver Episode 4×02 (Blood Brothers, 1988) had impressed me back then when I first watched it as a kid – and it’s still one of my favorite episodes. In Blood Brothers, MacGyver returns to his hometown to find himself haunted by the memories of a fatal shooting accident when he was a kid. (Mac had brought a gun to make shooting excercises at beer cans with his friends. When Neil tried to shoot at a bird, MacGyver prevented him from doing so, ending with Jesse getting accidentally shot in the chest and dying.)

On November 18 in 1988, Richard Dean Anderson talked about the story behind this episode on Good Morning America and how the NRA (National Rifle Association) had managed in Paramount making the producers drop the message they had wanted to add at the end of the episode.

In Episode 6×03 (The Gun, 1990), a gun used to assassinate a presidential candidate years ago is found, leading investigators to accuse MacGyver’s friend from the youth center of shooting a cop.

Before the episode aired, Co-Executive Producer Stephen Downing (an ex-officer in the LA Police Departement) talked with the Los Angeles Times about the problems they had been facing two years ago:

“The result of that story was a lashing out of us by the NRA. Since that time, we have been on their hit list. They have been encouraging people not to watch us and boycott our sponsors. We try to do a decent job of really saying why a gun is dangerous and they choose to boycott us and put us on their hit list.”

(Co-Executive Producer Stephen Downing for LA Times, October 1990)

Don’t get me wrong: I’m aware that opinions in “TV Show Life” and real life aren’t always the same. Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson and many of the cast and crew were very anti-handgun themselves. It’s one of the reasons why episodes like “Blood Brothers” or “The Gun” exist. That doesn’t mean that all people working on the show had the same opinion about this topic.

I also know that this doesn’t reflect the opinions of everyone working on the Reboot. I’ve seen pictures of crew members showing off their gun collections (and no, they weren’t always prop guns) on social media. I’ve seen pictures of Lucas Till going hunting with his extended family and I’ve read interviews with George Eads stating he had gone hunting with Lucas on the weekends.

This is all BtS stuff that we probably wouldn’t even know about if not for social media. But that doesn’t mean they can’t address the topic in the Reboot and handle it in a similar way as the Original did. After all, they knew that a certain amount of expected anti-gun and anti-violence stance would come with the package; no matter if they made a reboot (instead of a sequel, a prequel or a remake).

It’s getting better…
I’ve been complaining a lot, haven’t I. I have no problem to admit that the show DID get better concerning the use of guns as the series progressed.

It’s just a pity that within the first episode, they had already lost a lot of potential viewers – mainly fans of the Original Show. And mainly due to the fact how they had handled the use of guns and violence.

Overall, the show felt a bit like a compromise to me: They had the order by CBS to reshoot the Unaired Pilot and to keep the Ex-CIA-Agent as the bromance-buddy. There wasn’t much time left because the premiere date wasn’t to be changed. So Peter Lenkov turned Lincoln into Jack Dalton; therefore keeping the action-buddy AND an Easter Egg (and the chemistry between Lucas Till and George Eads that had already been established). But that also meant there would always be a gun present in MacGyver’s vicinity and that turned out to be a problem.

After watching the first few episodes, I had made following statement in the MacGyver Online Forums:

The story still has to work if there wasn’t a gun involved. Let Jack’s gun disappear (lost, taken by the bad guys, running out of ammo) and see what happens. Does the storyline hold up? Do the MacGyverisms still work? If not, that’s not a MacGyver story.

It’s interesting that storywise, two of my favorite episodes are actually episodes where Jack doesn’t have immediate access to his gun. In Episode 1×10 (Pliers), Mac and Team travel to Mission City in their free time to accompany Mac who’s finally agreed to give a chemistry lesson at his old high school. As far as I know, Jack hadn’t taken his gun with him since this wasn’t an official mission.

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (via SpoilerTV)

In Episode 1×13 (Large Blade), Jack loses his gun right at the beginning. He gets it back later into the episode, but never really gets to shoot it.

…but there’s still some work to do.
While the writers sure will honor MacGyver not using guns in the upcoming second Season as well, I think they really need to address the reasons more explicitly soon.

There’s actually an easy way to explain rebooted MacGyver’s aversion towards guns: When it’s revealed in Episode 1×02 that Mac’s mother died when he was 5, I immediately thought she had been shot and that this would turn out as the backstory for a flashback episode.

BtS with the prop gun for Episode 1×08: Corkscrew (via Lucas Till on Twitter)

Problem is: In Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew), rebooted Murdoc invades MacGyver’s home. Bozer asks MacGyver why he didn’t have a gun like Jack. If Mrs MacGyver had died at the hand of a gun, wouldn’t Bozer as Mac’s best friend know that? And shouldn’t he already know that MacGyver would never want to carry a gun, despite him being in the military for several years?

Personally, I would hate this backstory for rebooted MacGyver. Because it would make MacGyver a victim only. In the original version, it’s revealed that it was a young MacGyver that had brought the gun that killed one of his friends. He was partially a complice in Jesse dying and never got over feeling guilty about it. Which might have formed and festered the need in MacGyver to help others and save other people’s life.

Guns should also be a controversial topic between Mac and Jack – or at least they should have been when they started working together. There’s no way that MacGyver was able to join the military and a secret government agency without having to fight about his right not having to handle guns in the past.

 

So please, dear MacGyver writers! Take on this hot topic and turn it into something fruitful. This shouldn’t be ignored and I think there’s a big possibility to add even more value to this show by finally handling it properly.

 

Author’s Note: I wasn’t trying to make a political blog post here, but as you maybe noticed: I’m strictly anti-gun. Always have been. I’m willing to discuss this topic in a civil manner, but you won’t change my mind. And I won’t try to change yours. Just saying what I think about the use of guns and violence in the first Season of the MacGyver Reboot and why it should have been handled differently.

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Looking Back at Season 1 (IX) – The Official Stills (Part 1)

I was always a bit puzzled about the release of the Official Stills for the MacGyver Reboot. (But maybe that’s just how it works with TV shows in the US – it’s not like I’m an expert on the subject.)

Sometimes we would get 20 Official Stills for an episode – another time only 3. Sometimes we would get 9, but all of them looking very similar. Or 6 out of them showing people standing around, looking at something we can’t see. The quality seemed to vary as well.

Overall there weren’t many in the bunch that would actually spark my interest, but it’s fun to look over them again, now that it’s been many months since I’ve seen the episodes for the first time.

I’m looking back at the Official Stills for each Episode; picking my favorites and writing down some of my thoughts. (Because I just can’t keep quiet, as you all know by now.)

Episode 1×01: The Rising (Still Photographer: Guy D’Alema, Jace Downs, Ron P. Jaffe)
It’s necessary to release a bunch of Official Stills for a Pilot Episode, of course. We got about 19 Official Stills via SpoilerTV and a few more via Getty Images. It’s difficult to judge stills when you don’t know all the characters yet, but I thought they had a good variety of different scenes – there was team bonding, running, disarming bombs, kissing and MacGyvering.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Probably the one with Mac and Jack doing some MacGyvering.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: No Still where we get to see the SAK? What a missed opportunity. Also, the only Still with Bozer in it seemed to be a weird choice.

Episode 1xo2: Metal Saw (Jace Downs)
For the second episode, we got about 12 Stills via SpoilerTV. Interestingly, 3 of them seem to be BtS pictures dressed as Stills.

Episode 1×02: Metal Saw (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: MacGyver hanging out of the car window, holding a bottle. You just want to know what he’s going to do, right?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The Stills are all taken from only two scenes – the Opening Gambit and Bozer talking with Riley. Again no SAK. And why didn’t they release a Still of guest star Amy Acker? She was mentioned in articles and used in the previews, so her appearance wasn’t exactly a surprise anymore.

Episode 1xo3: Awl (Guy D’Alema, Erika Doss, Jace Downs)
The third episode had about 13 Stills via SpoilerTV. Lots of them are close-up portraits pictures of the cast – except for Bozer, who’s nowhere to be found.

Episode 1×03: Awl (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Mac and Jack walking through fire – there must be something symbolic about that, no?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The cast is very pretty to look at, but for such an action-heavy Opening Gambit, there’s only a single Still explicitly hinting at any action.

Episode 1xo4: Wire Cutter (Guy D’Alema, Erika Doss)
The episode with the first guest star that had also appeared in the Original Show. We got 9 Stills via SpoilerTV and an additional one (featuring the big Russian bomb) that was used in articles.

Episode 1×04: Wire Cutter (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: One with guest star Elya Baskin of course.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The Stills are a variety of different people and different scenes. So not disappointing at all. Although I still haven’t seen that SAK…

Episode 1xo5: Toothpick (Guy D’Alema, Jace Downs)
On the set of the fifth episode, they did many video interviews for regional TV promo and for print interviews that were released during the next few months. Yet, we only got 7 Official Stills via SpoilerTV.

Episode 1×05: Toothpick (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Not much to choose from. Probably the one of “Main Team Phoenix” standing there with Jack looking all banged up.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: I don’t like this episode all that much. Sadly, the Stills aren’t all that interesting, either. And there’s no SAK, but a phone. Hm.

 

(More coming soon.)

MacGyver Reboot Update #11

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on September 16, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Only a week until the Premiere! Filming continues while the promo cycle is in full swing with interviews, new promo pics, talk show visits, screenings, press days on set, preview clips and ringing the New York Stock Exchange Bell. It’s become impossible to keep track of everything!

via Georgia National Guard

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

Working on Episodes 4 and 5 (and maybe 6)
Filming continued for Episodes 4 and 5. On September 7, the crew set up at Atlanta City Hall; the atrium masquerading as a train station in Frankfurt, Germany. Several Extras and even the catering crew posted pictures from the set and from behind the scenes.

The next day, production moved locations to film scenes on actual trains. Rigging Key Grip Thomas Browne and Location Scout Gonzo Rey granted us a look at their interesting work environment. According to StandIn Mikey Leo, the scenes were shot at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Over the next few days, Extras and crew members shared pictures. Nick Burrell revealed what the crew likes to snack on during a break. Mikey and Briana Lamb taught us some more about StandIn work.

On September 13, the set was invaded by dozens of news stations and interviewers for press day. Reporters and Journalists shared many pictures and videos on social media – so many that I can’t refer to all of them. In this video, Lucas revealed one specific MacGyverism he will be doing on Episode 5. Sounds familiar, no?

via Suzanne Lawler

Director Bobby Roth gave us an inkling how demanding shooting an episode can be. On September 15, he tweeted that Episode 5 has been wrapped with over 500 camera setups in 8 days.

It is possible that production on Episode 6 already started since Justin Hires just posted another live video on Facebook. During the 7-minute-video, Justin shows us the entire set of New MacGyver’s home; including the contents of his fridge. Right at the beginning, he mentions that they’re shooting the Halloween Episode right now.

Let the Promo continue: Stills and Sneak Peeks
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted more pictures of the main characters last week; e.g. of MacGyver, Jack, Patricia and Riley. George Eads also started posting pictures regularly (although his account seems to be disabled right now); like one of a scene he did with Vinnie Jones.

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

We also got more promotional photos for the Pilot Episode on September 14 via SpoilerTV. One day later, they revealed 3 sneak peek clips. The first one shows the scene with MacGyver jumping off a helicopter (that Jack is flying) onto a driving military truck; trying to save the world. The second clip is the scene that was shot at “Lake Como” in Italy (and includes Nikki Carpenter) while the third one deals with MacGyver and Jack meeting up with Riley Davis in prison to recruit her for a mission.

Let the Promo continue: New York, New York
On September 8, the main trio travelled to New York for promo. Peter Lenkov posted several pictures of George Eads and Lucas Till behind the scenes or meeting the fans.

via NYSE (Twitter)

Lucas and George did a video interview with CBS News. Lucas did an additional single interview (including a preview with new scenes) while George was a guest on “Live with Kelly“. They also did radio interviews (e.g. with Sirius Radio) and posed with NY Police Officers. Later that day, the three got to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. After all this work, they finally got to enjoy some pizza.

Let the Promo continue: Big Brother and MacGyvering Pizza Boxes
By the way: There’s no need to throw away your pizza box afterwards, because you can use it to MacGyver a Birdhouse or a Tablet Stand!

via CBS

After the Iowa State Fair, CBS also promoted the reboot at the Indiana State Fair. The airing of the MacGyver segment on “Big Brother” garnered quite some attention on social media. Apparently, the winner received “a trip for two to the set (…) for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of all the action” – although many still complain on social media that the competition was rigged.

Let the Promo continue: Preview Trailers and BtS-Videos
On September 5, TV Promo 360 released another “inofficial” video with a few new scenes. CBS shared a 360°-BtS-Video with an interesting soundtrack. Is this the new theme song we’re hearing? I’m not really a fan of modernized well-known songs, but I could actually accept this. The use of this soundtrack is a bit puzzling though because someone at the MacGyverOnline Forums pointed out to me recently that this one is quite old.

On September 14, CBS released a BtS-Video of a photo shoot with Lucas and George; including the scene with Lucas hanging from the ceiling on a parachute for the official poster. I’m still no fan of the poster, but it looks like shooting it was lots of fun!

Let the Promo continue: Screening for the Georgia National Guard
On September 11, the pilot was shown at a special screening event for the members of the Georgia National Guard and their families at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Lucas Till grew up on the base and attended the Q&A with his father, along with other cast members. They took their time to pose for photos and answer questions. You can see official pictures of the event here.

via Georgia National Guard

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has made more casting calls; e.g. for caucasian people who have an upscale business attire wardrobe or for men and women to fill spots for FBI, Firefighters, Cops, Bomb Technicians, Soldiers and other Army Personnel. Sounds like lots of action in the next episodes!

In his Facebook Video, Justin Hires revealed some interesting tidbits. We finally know that MacGyver’s home is located in California with a direct view onto the Observatory from the Original Pilot Episode. Also, New MacGyver likes to surf. According to the TVLine-Review of the Pilot Episode and this video from the Press Day on set, Justin’s character Wilt doesn’t know about MacGyver’s true occupation which will lead to some funny situations.

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In an Interview with Suzanne Lawler, Tristin Mays revealed that Jack Dalton is her character Riley’s Ex-Stepdad and that they have a love-hate-relationship. I guess we can expect some family drama history being revealed and the possibility of Riley’s mom showing up in a later episode.

On September 15, we got more information on Episode 2 with Amy Acker. We already knew about the synopsis, but the episode called “Metal Saw” was directed by Jerry Levine (Hawaii Five-0, Elementary).

MacGyver Crew as a winning Team
Apparently, the crew of Iatse Local 479 likes to spend some time off set together: Several crew members joined the 2nd Annual Atlanta Film Community Charity Kickball Tournament on September 11 – and actually won 1st place! Well done!

MacGyver Reboot Update #7

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

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

via Getty Images

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

via SpoilerTV

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

via Peter Lenkov

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

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

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

via Twitter

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

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

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

via Getty Images

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

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

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

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

via Proper Sightseeing

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

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

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

MacGyver Reboot Update #6

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 8, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Cast and crew are busy working on the second episode – too busy to post on social media?

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)


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

 

Working on Episode 1×02
Since production started on Episode 2, the posting of set-pictures by cast and crew has significantly lessened; especially by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. Several people hinted that there are strict rules about posting information. Nonetheless, we still got some interesting pictures.

Tristin Mays shared a picture of Lucas Till hunting Pokémon on his cell phone. He’s lying on a gurney – his surroundings implying a hospital scene. She posted another picture from set together with George Eads and Lucas; probably trying to fix a car.

Peter Lenkov showed us a new possible Easter Egg on August 4 – a pizza box from “Zlotoff’s Pizzeria”. Also, MacGyver and Jack get caught by the bad guys, yet still find a reason to fistbump on this episode’s mission. According to StandIn Mikey Leo, this scene plays on the North/South Korean border and involves gunfire and explosions.

Location Scout Gonzo Rey shared a picture of a nice looking vintage car (Chevrolet Bel Air?) on a set in the woods – we’ll see if MacGyver needs to bulletproof this one, too. Hopefully, it won’t get destroyed – as Brandon Aquino revealed, the car looks also very nice from behind.

On August 5, Peter Lenkov revealed how Jack Dalton always manages to sneak past the bad guys. Is growing a beard what it takes to save a CIA agent? Or will Jack also make use of his gun? Judging by the picture she tweeted a day later, Amy Acker’s character certainly looks pretty capable of saving herself without any outside help.

Impressive Equipment
On the 3rd of August, SkyDroneCinema showed us their “weapon of choice”: an impressive camera that is most likely handled expertly by Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni.

via SkyDroneCinema

The Crew built quite the construction for filming in the Metropolitan Art and Business District on August 4. 

On August 5, FlyWorx shared pictures of a drone on set. I don’t know much about drones, but this one looks pretty… big. And expensive. 

In an Instagram post from July 26 (that was later deleted), Steven showed how he had MacGyvered a steadycam camera stabilizer to wear on his back so he could run in front of Lucas Till while filming an action scene (probably for the pilot episode). MacGyvering equipment together is done all the time on sets, but it’s nice to see that the crew on the reboot is as creative as MacGyver himself. Can Steven also keep up when New MacGyver is driving his motorcycle?

Cast and Crew News
It seems that Writer John Turman (Hulk, Rise of the Silver Surfer) has joined the team; probably the writer’s crew.

Several Extras shared their involvement in the second episode; e.g. Joslyn Sky (Venezuelan Super Market Scene), Carlos Guerrero (as a character named Alfredo Barrios), John J Shim or G-Rod, who showed a short sequence of his stunt prep work on Instagram. Jonathan Fritschi revealed he had a great time on set while working with Tristin Mays.

Central Casting Georgia has again made several casting calls; e.g. for Extras portraying villagers in a Malaysian town, for young professionals and for golfers. It’s safe to say that New MacGyver covers a lot of Asian ground in the first few episodes.

While Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson has no interest in taking part in the reboot, other actors that participated in the original show certainly wouldn’t mind; e.g. Jason Priestley (from the episode “Blood Brothers“).

via FlyWorx

Fall TV Previews
If you’re living near New York or LA and don’t want to wait until the TV premiere, you might get to see MacGyver two weeks early: There’s a Fall TV Preview Screening at PaleyFest.

Working on a Sunday
As there are still at least 11 episodes to shoot, the crew also works on the weekends – as shown by StandIn Mikey Leo or by Location Scout Gonzo Rey. Set Days still start early. At least they get some help by decorative butterflies, by eating vitamins of fruity beasts from the catering crew and by drinking some MacGyver-themed red wine after wrapping.

MacGyver Reboot Update #5

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 1st, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Last week, they finished filming the pilot episode and started production on the next one. Also, we got some more promo and lots and lots of set pictures!

via CBS


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

 

Another Shooting Day in “Hotlanta”
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov announced on Instagram on July 25 that he was back in Atlanta to resume filming of the pilot episode. He was greeted with “Welcome back to Hotlanta!”. 

We had already heard at ComicCon that Lucas Till had been a real trooper while shooting for the pilot episode on a hot tarmac in his leather jacket without complaining. It seemed the weather conditions were still quite challenging while the crew was filming downtown. Lenkov posted a picture of his “sweating jeans” while Lucas shared a picture of George Eads wearing a so-called “cold scarf”. It’s unclear if Vinnie Jones – who had tweeted being back on set earlier – had also gotten one of those. On the same day, stuntman Aden Stay shared a picture from the set right before getting ready for action.

Bypassers were excited to see the production going on; e.g. while filming near Cafe Lucia or at the Georgian Terrace Hotel

Get a Taste of the Action
On July 26, CBS released a “Sneak Peak” (sic!) of the pilot episode with comments by Peter Lenkov, Lucas Till, George Eads and Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. We can taste the action alright; e.g. MacGyver chasing after an airplane, fighting bad guys and getting ready to do some MacGyverisms. Shortly after, they added a 10-second-TV-ad for the premiere. They made a modern version of the title in front of an explosion, and it looks surprisingly good (although us “old” fans still wonder about getting the old theme along the new opening credits).

On the same day, we got several promo stills for the Pilot Episode by SpoilerTV.

The Iconic Shot
Every MacGyver Fan knows the iconic picture of MacGyver shouldering a missile – and maybe even non-fans do (this is probably one of the most often used stills of the original show). Peter Lenkov shared a very interesting picture on July 26 of himself on the interior set, shouldering a white missile with a red nose while wearing sunglasses. Even more interestingly, he later deleted the picture. Did Lenkov give too much away about what the team had in mind for the next promo shot? 

It’s no secret: What you post on social media will make the rounds, even if you try to make it disappear. The cat was already out of the bag, so maybe that’s the reason that only two days later, several other crew and cast members posted pictures of themselves or of Lucas with the prop; e.g. Producer Michael Clear, Justin Hires or Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni. Peter Lenkov posted a short video where we get to see Lucas on the monitor, carrying the missile trough the forest (jungle?). His t-shirt indicates that MacGyver went to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Interior Sets
We got lots of new pictures of the interior sets for the rest of the week. Justin Hires announced his first day working on set on July 26. Lucas Till posted a picture of Justin and one of George Eads plucking at a guitar. Justin in turn had posted several videos on his Facebook Account. Lenkov showed us Lucas getting touched up by the MakeUp Departement before sharing several pictures of (presumably) MacGyver’s home; e.g. the living room, the fridge and the work area.

It’s fun to see pictures even though you’re not really sure what to make of it; e.g. of MacGyver with a Robot Hand or of Wilt Bozer making waffles. Also, the crew shot some scenes in “Siberia“. Must be pretty funny; filming in full winter gear inside a studio in Hotlanta under bright lights (ahem). 

Cast and Crew News
Several Extras shared their involvement in the reboot; Katy Harrington (hotel guest), Jonathan Fritschi, Kevin Pinkney or Gary Sonny Alfano (drug dealer). StandIn James Grabowski revealed with his call sheet of the pilot episode that this was going to be an “open-flame-kind-of-hot-day” on set.

On the same day the crew was filming in “Siberia”, a husky was at the studio. It’s unclear for now if the dog will be part of this scene or not.

On July 27, MacGyver CBS officially introduced Tristin Mays as the character of computer hacker Riley Davis. On the same day, Lucas Till shared a picture of him with his Stunt Double Chris Brewster.

Team MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Fans had already recognized her on a picture provided by Peter Lenkov. On July 28, TVLine confirmed that Amy Acker is guest-starring on the second episode. She will play a CIA operative working undercover in Caracas who got kidnapped. Of course, we can expect Mac and Jack to get her out; maybe even get the girl AND the missile.

To the disappointment of many fans (myself included), it doesn’t look like Richard Dean Anderson will be part of the reboot. In a statement through his website on July 25, RDA said that he’s “(…) not considering being a part of a project that has overlooked the insanely LOYAL FANS of the original character and has proceeded without considering how and why they all became and STAYED loyal fans…(…)“. We will see if he still feels that way after the first few episodes have aired. From what I’ve seen of the production and heard and read of the panel and interview roundtables at ComicCon, it seems like this time around the crew actually tries to honor the original show.

Working on Episode 1×02
On July 27, Peter Lenkov informed via Instagram that they have started production on Episode 1×02 before wrapping the pilot episode on July 28. According to SpoilerTV, the second episode is called “Metal Saw”. An important tool on MacGyver’s SAK, maybe? 

The locations look pretty interesting. Also, Lenkov showed us how MacGyver would bulletproof a car. If I was sitting in this car, I would feel safer already. Maybe.

There are quite some more episodes to film until December and the crew was in for another night shoot on July 29. But they still have fun on set between takes. Tracy Spiridakos showed us what happens when you forget your phone at a table full of stunt men.

MacGyver Reboot Update #4

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on July 24, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

The MacGyver Reboot has been filming the pilot episode for its second week – and stopped by for a visit at the ComicCon in San Diego!

via Instagram

 

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pics, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get spoilered by reading my posts or clicking on the links provided!)

 

Aloha from Set
During the second week of shooting, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov and several crew members continued to grant us a look inside the production. On July 18, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe posted a video of a stuntman climbing on a military truck driving along the highway with a helicopter following behind the truck. Pretty cool!

On the same day, Lenkov posted several pictures of George Eads in full military gear, looking like a sniper trying to take out the bad guys. Lenkov included a picture with “Aloha” written on the rifle; therefore sending a “little love letter” to his crew filming Hawaii Five-0. On the same day, he posted a short video of Lucas Till as MacGyver cutting some wires while wearing a protection suit. Looks like he just saved the day again by defusing another bomb!

Peter Lenkov introduced us to “Team MacGyver” by posting a picture with Lucas Till (MacGyver), George Eads (Jack Dalton), Sandrine Holt (Patricia Thornton) and Tristin Mays (Riley Davis). Composer Keith Power has started scoring – and apparently needs lots of coffee while doing it.

via Peter Lenkov

 

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

Chris Payne Gilbert sure had fun with this scene, as did George’s StandIn Mikey Leo and model Teresita Vicente (although she later deleted her Instagram picture stating she had been shooting Ninjas all day with a machine gun while wearing a bathing suit). While some fans were as happy as Lucas and George snagging Ninja-Shooting Bikini Babe India Batson for a picture, others were either confused or disappointed; stating that “Baywatch With Tanks” wasn’t the image the show should be going for. I’m still guessing at what this scene should be. Opening Gambit? Weird Dream? Fantasy? Music Video for the Soundtrack? We’ll see in September.

On the same day, Lenkov posted pictures of a helicopter on set while SkyDroneCinema shared a video back from the Estate Party Night Shoot at the Swan House in which we get to know New MacGyver’s fighting style.

via Peter Lenkov

 

MacGyver at Comic Con: Multitool and fun ride
CBS had announced before that they would hand out a new version of the “MacGyver Multitool” and that fans would have the chance to take free rides in electric cars. Lucas and George got to enjoy a ride while doing interviews. It didn’t take long for visitors at Comic Con San Diego to share pictures of their paperclip, most of them complimenting the advertizing.

Interestingly, the MacGyver logo on the electric cars and on the shirts of the Multitool-Promo-Crew is different: The SAK is gone. In the meantime, it has also disappeared from the logos on the official social media accounts. Let’s hope it doesn’t get replaced by a paperclip somehow, because I really liked the old logo. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed about the change – partly because THIS is the only tool MacGyver really needs, but mostly because being from Switzerland, I was always very proud of a Swiss product so prominently featured in the most favorite TV show of my childhood. Thanks to MacGyver, until my former male classmates had to join the military service at the age of 18 I believed that the official SAK at that time was red (it was actually silver until 2008; now they’re handing out a very different model in green).

 

via CBS Watch! Magazine
MacGyver at Comic Con: Panel and Roundtable Interviews
Besides Lucas Till and George Eads, both Peter Lenkov and James Wan attended the panel and did several interview rounds.

Watching the 30-minutes-panel, the team seems to work very well together and the chemistry between Till and Eads is great (they already turned the people behind the Keysmash Blog Twitter Account into shippers). If you’re interested in the video, you can check it out here. (Sadly, the additional two short video clips they showed have not been made public yet.)

Especially Peter Lenkov and James Wan managed to ease a lot of the worries weighing on us fans. Wan acknowledged that MacGyver is “such a different hero from what we see on TV these days” and stated that they want to retain that spirit of a great role model blessed with intelligence and humanity.

Lenkov promised to include lots of Easter Eggs for fans of the old show. He revealed hoping to involve cast members of the original version and reaching out to Richard Dean Anderson. This admission led to dozens of online articles popping up even before the panel ended; e.g. by Variety, Deadline or the Hollywood Reporter. While it is still unclear what kind of role they would offer to him, an appearance of RDA sure would draw in many fans still wary of a reboot.

While the producers want to honor the legacy and won’t turn Angus MacGyver into some kind of Jason Bourne or James Bond, Lenkov also said that they will update some of the techniques, meaning different shooting styles and editing techniques. Additionally, MacGyver won’t be a “lone wolf” anymore but more of a team player (which has become a standard in almost every modern tv show, but I’m still not sure if this is always a good thing).

via Hollywood Reporter

In the Roundtable Interview posted by Seat42F, Lucas Till admitted having catched some reruns in his youth, but not being an avid fan back then. He’s currently on Season 2 for research purposes. George Eads stated feeling the pressure and the tiring shooting schedule, but also feeling very proud being part of this project. Seat42F shared another Roundtable Interview with Lenkov and Wan, where Lenkov confirmed that they would keep the Opening Gambits. Regarding the challenges about setting the reboot into 2016, Wan and Lenkov stated that while today’s world is very much digital and so many problems are solved with computers,MacGyver still thinks in analog ways. Wan always liked that MacGyver only turned to violence as a last resort; and while the show is set “in a modern world that is so violent“, he wants the hero to keep using his brain for creative problem solving.

In the press junket interview posted by sandwichjohnfilms, Lenkov promised that we will see why Lucas Till is the perfect MacGyver. Lenkov is aware that people are very sceptical of this reboot and wants to retain the soul of the old show while introducing it to a new audience. For Wan, it doesn’t matter what type of film he’s making (action, horror or comedy; low-budget or blockbuster), because for him it’s all about the characters and if the chemistry is right, then “the action and the set-pieces are just the cream on the cake that makes it all the more tastier“.

In a video interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lucas Till repeated his earlier statement in the panel that he would be okay wearing a mullet in the next season.

via CBS

The article by USA Today confirms that the show will keep the voice-overs. During a video interview with ET Online, Lucas had joked about his stunt guy sitting on the sidelines – and he already paid the price for it, as the article reveals: Till (…) has persuaded producers to let him perform a number of MacGyver’s tricky stunts. He sports a band-aid on his finger from a cut suffered grabbing the side of a serving tray at the end of a complicated kick-and-catch move. Let’s hope he realizes that having a stunt person is actually a good thing, no matter how much fun it is to do the stunts yourself – otherwise, RDA might explain (and show) it to him.

Cast and Crew News
During last week, Central Casting Georgia has made several casting calls; e.g. for Ninjas, Korean workers and soldiers, Caracas guards or Asian hackers. They’re also looking for old cars and mopeds and for a hand double – judging by the provided picture, probably for Lucas Till.

Singer George Lott announced on July 19 that he will have a featured cameo role in the show – maybe even for the episode called “Baywatch with Tanks”?

Peter Lenkov shared the information that it’s only 5 more days with James Wan until moving forward onto the next episode. So far, we don’t know yet its title or its director – but the casting calls indicate an Asian setting. Brian Durkin is back on the studio lot writing new episodes, so there will be more casting calls soon.

Back Home
Several times, Peter Lenkov had already posted pictures of the Griffith Observatory back in LA – MacGyver’s home in the original pilot. The speculations and hopes of many fans turned out to be true when Pilot Episode Director James Wan posted a picture on July 23 of the crew shooting at Griffith Park in front of the observatory. New MacGyver is definitely going back to his roots.