MacGyver Reboot Update #130

After two weeks of reruns, we’ll finally get new episodes starting next week! Meanwhile, Film and TV productions in LA are going into a prolonged Holiday Hiatus.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Viveca Mays)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines and characters by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

About Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Two weeks ago was the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma); the first episode filmed for Season 5. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and Jim Adler and directed by David Straiton. They released 18 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks beforehand.

We got several new/old BtS photos and Instagram stories just before and during the episode aired; e.g. by Tristin Mays, by Stephanie Hicks, by Justin Hires or by the official MacGyverCBS account.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Justin Hires)

As expected, Matty appeared on screen only since Meredith Eaton is filming on the LA Unit. With so many Riley-fans and MacRiley-fans being disappointed, the Writers appeased them by tweeting that there will be more MacRiley content coming and that Riley’s hacker-persona Artemis37 will make a return in an upcoming episode.

A few days later, we got new BtS photos by Guest Star Carmen Alexis (who played an FBI Agent). Tech Consultant Rhett Allain typed up a blog post about the MacGyverisms.

Episode 5×03 had 4.724 million live-viewers and a 0.5 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. Compared to the other CBS scripted shows (21 so far), it places Rank 12 in average demo and Rank 13 in average audience numbers per episode.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Tristin Mays)

At the moment, the average CBS Friday ratings per episode look like this:

  • MacGyver (8pm): 0.51 in demo (-23.43% compared to last season), 4.802 million live-viewers (-21.03%)
  • Magnum PI (9pm): 0.51 demo (-20.87%), 5.552 million live-viewers (-16.71%)
  • Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.50 demo (-22.92%), 6.401 million live-viewers (-16.71%)

Several of the writers joined the live-tweeting, but interestingly none of the main cast besides Henry Ian Cusick. With about 845 estimated tweets per hour, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. But it did better than #BlueBloods with about 757 tweets per hour and #MagnumPI with about 389 tweets per hour.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Carmen Alexis)

Overall, the episode was not as well-received on social media as the former Season 5 episodes. But it got people talking a lot (with some discussions still ongoing). About a week later, Carmen Alexis also posted a video-log and more BtS photos on Instagram; revealing that she initially had more scenes (that apparently got cut).

What you need to know about Episode 5×04 (MAC419)
Next week is the premiere of Episode 5×04 (Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason). It was written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez and directed by Peter Weller, who already directed Episodes 2×20 and 4×03. This episode was filmed with production number MAC419 (Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason) back in March.

Episode 5×04: Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (via Henry Ian Cusick)

We got the Press Release and a first Official Still on December 21. Here’s the synopsis:

Mac’s meeting with Desi’s parents goes sideways when her brother finds himself in trouble and desperately needs their help. Also, Russ and Matty must ask an old nemesis for assistance when their new recruitment candidate is kidnapped.

This episode sees the return of Guest Star Peter Weller as Elliot Mason. For a refresher on Mason, you can find his character bio page here. Both Guest Stars Corey Jung and Dollar Tan praised Peter Weller’s work ethic as actor and as director.

Episode 5×04: Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (via Corey Jung)

In generally, there wasn’t much BtS material available when the episode was being filmed and so far, we didn’t get any new BtS material since then. I remember them filming scenes at a science fair and what looks like a car accident. There was no BtS material at all of meeting Desi’s parents. In fact, I remember Levy posting an Insta Story on March 5; stating that she had a week off filming.

The preview will hopefully be released tonight. Additionally, it’s the only CBS crime show besides NCIS LA that didn’t get any more Official Stills released yet. It’s a pity they treat the show as an afterthought; considering this episode was filmed about 10 months ago already.

Season 5 Overview
In his interview with Parade, Lucas Till talked about Season 5 being a “Frankenstein Season”, and he wasn’t exaggerating. Considering that some of these episodes were filmed almost a year ago, I keep wondering how the cast keeps track of the storyline.

Episode 5×04: Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (via What2Vue)

Here’s an overview of all the information about the upcoming episodes so far. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×04 (MAC419): Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (January 8)
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
  • 5×05 (MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + Safe Cracker + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core

Remember that episode titles and episode order are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.

BtS photo of Season 4 turned Season 5 (via Lavonda Till)

For now, I sorted the other upcoming episodes by production number:

  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
  • (MAC503): tba
    Presumed guest appearances by David Dastmalchian and Joe Pantoliano
  • (MAC504): tba
    Presumably written by Teresa Huang

There’s still no official word on the episode number. With the 2-month-delay to start filming, it’s very likely that Season 5 will also have only 13 episodes. Most of the LA productions have agreed to extend their Holiday Hiatus. It’s not clear yet if the LA Unit for MacGyver (where Meredith Eaton films) will be affected. While Magnum PI is more or less safe, there might be a prolonged hiatus for Blue Bloods (that films in NY). They already scheduled a rerun in two weeks while there will be new episodes for the other Friday shows.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Carmen Alexis)

On Tuesday, TV Line posted some scoop about an upcoming episode (presumably the one with production number 502):

What can you tease about MacGyver‘s quarantine episode that’s coming up this season?  –Amel
If you loved seeing Henry Ian Cusick’s Desmond romance Penny on Lost, just wait until you see him “stuck” in quarantine with Sofia Walker (played by Camilla Arfwedson). I mean, there’s sword play, fierce drumming, rocking out…. All told, Russ’ romantic fling takes on a longer, and more complicated, turn when they then quarantine together. Meanwhile, Mac, Bozer and Riley witness from their own bubble — and then try to stop — a crime in progress at their neighbor’s house.

(via TV Line, December 29)

Season 4 Reruns
Last week, we got a rerun of the Season 4 Premiere (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix). It brought 3.108 million live-viewers and got a 0.3 demo rating, which is better than the average Season 4 ratings so far.

Tonight, there’s a rerun of Episode 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).

Episode 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (via SpoilerTV)

Working on Episode MAC503 and beyond
Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 started on December 7. To Recap: They filmed in Downtown Atlanta and in Marietta Square dressed as Mexico. Otherwise, it was rather quiet regarding BtS material.

On December 18, Steven Serna posted that they just wrapped for 2020. Yet Alessia Costantini still seemed to be scouting locations on December 21. A day later, Joe Pantoliano posted a photo of himself on set with Tristin Mays and David Dastmalchian, so it looks like his character Eric Andrews (aka General Ma from Episode 5×03) will be back for another guest appearence.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Joe Pantoliano)

Writer Teresa Huang posted on December 11 that she’s remotely prepping her episode that will be filming in January (presumably MAC504). So far, there’s no information about on what day filming will resume.

Other MacGyver-related News 
December usually means lots of Best-Of-Lists. On SpoilerTV, the MacGyver Reboot was on Rank 15 for the list of most popular shows of 2020. The Popularity Score is based on a calculation of Page Views, Video Plays, Poll Votes, Comments, Facebook and Tweet Likes. Also, the poll about Episode 5×03 made Rank 4 on the list of most popular “What Did You Think Of” polls.

MacGyver Reboot Update #129

There’s only one new episode tonight before the Reboot (and my blog posts) go into Christmas Hiatus. It’s the first episode filmed under the new showrunner, so everyone is really curious.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (Tom Griscom/CBS via Seat42F)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines and characters by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
Season 5 premiered two weeks ago. Most of the promo material was released and aired before the Premiere, but some stuff was kept to air before last week’s Episode 5×02. The biggest surprise was a video via ET Online about the Mays Family Road Trip: Back in July, Tristin Mays and her family plus the two family pets (Bird Pine and Dog Sergeant) travelled from LA to Atlanta.

Mays Family Road Trip (Screenshot via ET Online)

Because filming for Season 5 was delayed for another 2 months after arriving, Tristin had enough time to film a holiday TV movie (The Christmas Sitters) in Colorado. The movie premiered last Sunday on ionTV.

There hasn’t been any new interviews so far with Showrunner Monica Macer, despite the first episode filmed under her supervision airing tonight.

ICYMI: Tech Consultant Rhett Allain switched blogs. You can find his blog post about the MacGyverisms (aka MacHacks) used in Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) here and the ones used in Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice) here.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Meredith Eaton)

About Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Last week was the premiere of Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice); initially filmed with production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. They released 16 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks beforehand.

We got new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories just before and during the episode aired; e.g. by Guest Stars Eden Harper or Mei Ritchart (Young Desi). Lucas Till also had some time to post on social media; using the Stills to tell a story.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Eden Harper)

A day later, Sarah Downer posted a compilation of guest star Sebastian Roche in costume plus one of Lucas and Levy in their auction costumes.

Episode 5×02 attracted 4.785 million live-viewers and got a 0.5 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. Compared to the other CBS scripted shows (21 so far), it places Rank 13 in both average demo and audience numbers per episode.

Several of the writers joined the live-tweeting again. With about 745 estimated tweets per hour on average, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. In comparison, #BlueBloods trended on Rank 11 US-wide with about 2900 tweets per hour, while #MagnumPI reached 269 tweets per hour. Overall, the episode was well-received on social media.

ADR for Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Carmen Alexis)

We’ve already reached Christmas hiatus for most CBS shows. At the moment, the average Friday ratings per episode look like this:

  • MacGyver (8pm): 0.50 in demo (-25.37% compared to last season), 4.842 million live-viewers (-20.38%)
  • Magnum PI (9pm): 0.50 demo (-23.08%), 5.591 million live-viewers (-16.13%)
  • Blue Bloods (10pm): 0.50 demo (-23.08%), 6.410 million live-viewers (-16.59%)

What you need to know about Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Tonight is the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma). This is the first episode that was filmed for Season 5.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (Tom Griscom/CBS via Seat42F)

We got the Press Release on December 10. Here’s the synopsis:

When Russ is kidnapped, Mac and the team must break out a previously murderous psychopath, now pacifist, from prison to help find him. Also, while on the run, Mac and Desi are forced to confront their relationship issues.

As mentioned last week, the storyline deviates from the exclusive Fall Preview for TV Guide Magazine – because they had announced that David Dastmalchian would return as Murdoc. As it is, the storyline has been re-written by using the character of Eric Andrews (played by Joe Pantoliano). This episode also sees the return of Guest Stars Tobin Bell (Leland) and Zach McGowan (Roman). For a refresher on Leland, you can find his character bio page here.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via TV Line)

On December 14, we got an exclusive First Look provided by TV Line with 3 Official Stills featuring Riley and MacGyver on what looks like a picnic date. Of course, the MacRiley fans were full of joy; reposting the photos on social media like crazy, but also speculating if this might be a dream sequence, a flashback or an undercover mission. 5 Official Stills were later uploaded on SpoilerTV. You can find 13 Stills (in smaller quality) on Seat42F. Two days later, we got 3 Sneak Peeks.

We got a few new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories in the last few days; e.g. by Christopher Jon Duddy. Guest Star Carmen Alexa (who plays an FBI Agent) uploaded an ADR Session video and several BtS photos of herself in the ADR studio. Even Justin Hires found the time to post new BtS photos today.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Christopher Jon Duddy)

Season 5 Overview
In his recent interview with Parade, Lucas Till talked about Season 5 being a “Frankenstein Season”, and he wasn’t exaggerating: The next premiere after the holidays will be the episode that has been filmed with production number MAC419. Considering that these episodes were filmed almost a year ago, I keep wondering how the cast keeps track of the storyline. Judging by the episode title, we should see the return of Mason (played by Peter Weller). However: Unlike the other Friday shows, it didn’t get a Press Release yet.

As mentioned last week, animal wrangler Jamie stated on Instagram that her episode (MAC417) would be scrapped. For now, there’s no official statement if there are episodes being dropped or not. Let’s hope we get to watch them all (if not on TV, then at least on DVD).

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via MacGyverCBS)

Here’s an overview of all the information about the upcoming episodes so far. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
    Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
  • 5×04 (MAC419): Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (January 8)
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller

Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS.

Episode 5×04: Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason (via Peter Lenkov)

For now, I sorted the other upcoming episodes by production number:

  • (MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
  • (MAC503): tba
    Presumed guest appearance by David Dastmalchian
  • (MAC504): tba
    Presumably written by Teresa Huang

During Christmas Break, we’ll get reruns of the Season 4 Premiere (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) and of Episode 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via Lucas Till)

Working on Episode MAC503 and beyond
(Note: Since we don’t know the order of the episodes yet, I will continue to refer to the to-be-filmed-episodes by their production number.)

Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 started on December 7. To Recap: David Dastmalchian arrived in Atlanta on December 8, but there has been no confirmation so far that he will be part of the episode. Last Friday, we got an Insta Story of Henry Ian Cusick with Lucas Till (who’s dressed in medieval knight armour).

BtS photo of Season 5 (via E Rickelle)

On Saturday, filming continued for 2nd Unit. They filmed in Downtown Atlanta and in Marietta Square dressed as Mexico; also with a stuntman on a motorbike (that said “policia”). Otherwise, it’s still rather quiet regarding BtS material. Monica Macer tweeted a photo in front of a mannequin wearing MacGyvered scuba gear.

Two days ago, David Dastmalchian posted a selfie; revealing that his blue hair is gone and stating that he’s an alien. Interestingly, Hussein Agamiri posted a Story the same day from set; showing a construction that looks a bit like an UFO.

Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls since November 12. It’s still difficult to find out who’s on the crew at the moment and they don’t post much from set anymore. Levy Tran’s Instagram account is back up, but she’s not posting anything, either at the moment.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Lucas Till)

If you missed the premiere of Tristin Mays’ movie The Christmas Sitter on ionTV, you can catch the reruns on December 20 and 25. MacGyver Creator Lee David Zlotoff did an interview with SciFi4Me; talking about TV and his first novel (MacGyver: Meltdown). If you still need an idea for a (belated) Christmas Gift, it can be ordered here.

MacGyver Reboot Update #128

While we finally get to enjoy our weekly episodes, cast and crew are busy filming – so busy, that they don’t have much time to post on social media.

Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via CBS/SpoilerTV)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

 

About the Season 5 Premiere Promo
Season 5 premiered last Friday. Here’s a recap of the promo material:

  • Previews and Teaser Trailers: We got a Season Preview Trailer and a shortened TV spot version. GlobalTV (Canada) also put a Season Teaser Trailer out, using scenes from Season 4. Today, CBS released a new combo trailer (with Magnum PI) that got the “Grindhouse” treatment.
  • Character Teasers and Posters: There were several teaser videos announcing countdowns: Russ (2 Weeks left), Desi (1 Week), Matty (5 Days), Bozer (3 Days), Riley (2 Days) and MacGyver (Tomorrow). While they posted the videos on Instagram, they posted a screenshot photo on Facebook. They also added character posters (by using old Stills from Season 4).
  • Sneak Peeks: We got 3 Sneak Peeks and the Opening Scene as an exlusive clip by ET Online.

But what I always like best about promo days, are the interviews.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for The Talk

And while the Morning Shows interviews where as short as ever, we did get some news about the upcoming season.

  • Live-Interviews: Last week, Lucas Till did several live-interviews via Zoom; e.g. for Good Day Sacramento, for local stations CBS 58 (Milwaukee), for CBS LA and for CBS 8 (San Diego). Yesterday, we got another short one by CBS 46 (Atlanta).
  • Interviews: Lucas also did an interview with Matt Weiss for CBS 62 (Detroit) and a longer interview with Parade. Last Friday, he did an appearance on The Talk; alongside Magnum PI lead actor Jay Hernandez.

According to the Parade interview, new Showrunner Monica Macer managed to go back through the previous seasons and find story points that were left without a resolution.

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Anabelle Acosta)

Also, there will be a lot of standalone storylines that deal with individual characters and their backstories or their current stories – something that fans have waited for quite some time now.

About Episode 5×01 (MAC415)
Episode 5×01 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness) was initially filmed with production number 415. It was written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Avi Youabian. They released 16 Official Stills and 4 Sneak Peeks beforehand.

We got several new and old BtS photos and Instagram stories just before and during the episode aired; e.g. by Guest Stars Jean Brassard, Anabelle Acosta, Jessie T Usher or Eugenie Bondurant and a lot more by the director. Afterwards, we got a closer look at the props (e.g. the ventilator and the air bottles).

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (via Avi Youabian)

Episode 5×01 attracted 4.898 million live-viewers and got a 0.5 rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. While this doesn’t seem like much, the loss compared to last season is about the same as for the other Friday shows. Compared to all other CBS scripted shows airing episodes so far, it places Rank 13 in average demo and Rank 12 for average audience numbers per episode, so about the same as last season. Programming Insider doesn’t report the DVR-Ratings anymore, so I don’t know how much they gained in the Live +3 and +7 days ratings.

Some of the CBS Fall Shows that premiered in November are already on Christmas hiatus. We’ll see if that is a hindrance for the Friday Ratings (due to people not tuning in; thinking it’s going to be reruns as well).

Episode 5×01: Resort + Desi + Riley + Window Cleaner + Witness (Mark Hill/CBS via KsiteTV)

The fans live-tweeted a lot, but with about 660 estimated tweets per hour on average, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend. (In comparison, #BlueBloods trended on Rank 4 US-wide with about 4900 tweets per hour, while #MagnumPI reached 266 tweets per hour.) Overall, the episode was well-received on social media.

What you need to know about Episode 5×02 (MAC414)
Tonight is the release of Episode 5×02 (Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice). This is the “leftover” episode that was filmed first when production restarted in January; using production number 414. It was written by Peter Lenkov and Andrew Klein and directed by Duane Clark. In case you need a refresher, here’s the synopsis:

When Taylor’s former protégé is killed while preventing a bio-weapon from falling into the wrong hands, Mac and the team must find the weapon so Desi can pull off the ultimate heist before it’s sold to a terrorist cell.

The Preview can be found here. CBS released 16 Official Stills. On Getty Images, you can find 6 (tagged) Stills while SpoilerTV has 6 untagged Stills (but a different variety). The untagged versions of all Stills were just uploaded here a few hours ago.

On Set of Episode 5×02: Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (via Justin Hires)

On Wednesday, we got 3 Sneak Peeks. As suspected, this episode will reveal more about Desi’s backstory and probably hint at the relationship status between her and MacGyver.

What you need to know about Episode 5×03 (MAC501)
Next week is the premiere of Episode 5×03 (Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma). We just got the Press Release yesterday, but no First Look Stills yet. It’s possible there will be some exclusive promo since this is the first episode shot with a new showrunner at the helm. Here’s the synopsis:

When Russ is kidnapped, Mac and the team must break out a previously murderous psychopath, now pacifist, from prison to help find him. Also, while on the run, Mac and Desi are forced to confront their relationship issues.

We’ll get a few familiar faces back as guest stars; e.g. Tobin Bell as Leland or Zach McGowan as Roman (both last seen in the Season 4 Finale). If you need a refresher on Leland, you can find his character bio page here. There’s a nice BtS photo by guest star Joe Pantoliano with Lucas Till and Levy Tran inside a car; posted back in November.

Episode 5×03: Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + Ma (via Joe Pantoliano)

Today, Joe went live on Instagram; praising the covid safety protocols on set. I hope we will get some more BtS material soon since there isn’t much from when they were actually filming.

It’s interesting to note that back in October, Monica Macer talked to TV Guide for their Fall Preview; stating that Codex is still a threat. Yet, the storyline was quite different:

In the MacGyver Season 5 opener, Codex kidnaps Phoenix owner Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) for one main reason: a prisoner exchange. So it’s assassin Murdoc (David Dastmalchian), held by Phoenix, for Taylor.

(TV Guide Fall Preview, via TV Insider)

I’ve been wondering why we never got to see David Dastmalchian on set and had assumed that they filmed out of order. (It later turned out that David had been up in Vancouver to film on another TV show.)

TV Guide Magazine Fall Preview (via PattiAnn Prinzivalli)

Instead of going the obvious route, they chose to take on the effort to rewrite the episode (initially titled “Telescope + S-218 + Amplifier + Frenemies + Fog; as seen on the script title page photo by Justin Hires). It would be nice to get some more information or even an interview about this, since filming out of order isn’t unusual and shouldn’t be more difficult despite filming during a pandemic.

Production during a Pandemic: The Time Jump (encore)
According to Episode 5×01, Season 5 picks up 10 months and a pandemic after the Season 4 Finale events. While they did have to deal with the pandemic sooner or later this season and I’m actually glad that they chose to do a post-pandemic world (like NCIS LA or Magnum), I do have some issues with putting the pandemic in as an afterthought into the “leftover” episodes.

Meredith Eaton on set of Season 5 (via Alessia Costantini)

Are we really to believe they shut down a secret agency due to a pandemic? Even though they’re not a government agency anymore since Season 4, I doubt they just closed down shop. Still using the cover of a think tank, they’d still be on the front lines (and MacGyver probably busy working on some new, extra-safe facemask prototype). Also, some minor storylines don’t make as much sense with such a long break (e.g. Russ and Desi still having trust issues 10 months later, but only now adressing it).

I think they should have aired the 6 finished Season 4 episodes first and scrap or re-shoot the unfinished one; then adding a time jump there if needed. Maybe new showrunner Monica Macer didn’t have the patience to make good of what Peter Lenkov left her to work with in the last few episodes? Maybe they deemed some non-Codex-storylines too problematic?

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Christopher Foster)

Maybe this was the “safer” way; considering they don’t know how many episodes they will manage to shoot this season? (With cases rising again world-wide, it’s more and more likely there will be the immediate threat of another shutdown looming after the holidays.)

It’s also worth noting that animal wrangler Jamie stated last week on Instagram that her episode (MAC417) would be scrapped. To be honest, I still can’t imagine that CBS would be willing to scrap the rest of the episodes in these unsure times with potential shutdowns. It could maybe happen for one of the episodes – but judging by the BtS material, I can’t really think of a reason why it should be exactly this episode; especially since this would have featured the return of Frankie (first seen on Episode 1×19: Compass).

BtS photo of MAC417: Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage (via Jamie)

Season 5 Overview
Here’s an overview of all the information about the upcoming episodes so far. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West or by an anonymous source (episode titles), by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).

  • 5×02 (MAC414): Thief + Painting + Auction + Viro-486 + Justice (December 11)
    Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Andrew Klein, directed by Duane Clark
  • 5×03 (MAC501): Eclipse + USMC-1856707 + Step Potential + Chain Lock + MA (December 18)
    Written by Jim Adler and Stephanie Hicks, directed by David Straiton
  • 5×04 (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance (tba for 2021)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn

Remember that the episode titles and their order is not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. It’s difficult to predict where the new episodes will be filed in between.

Lucas Till in a Zoom Call Interview for CBS San Diego

For now, the order of the other upcoming episodes is just an assumption; so I sorted them by production number:

  • (filmed with production number MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Blood + Baggage
    Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
  • (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
    Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • (MAC419): Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason
    Written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez, directed by Peter Weller
  • (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt (unfinished production)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
  • (MAC503): tba

We still don’t know yet how many episodes we’ll get. According to SpoilerTV, production dates are November to March.

Script title page for Episode 501 (via Justin Hires)

During Christmas Break, we’ll get reruns of Episodes 4×01 (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix) and 4×07 (Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey).

Working on Episode MAC502
(Note: Since we don’t know the order of the episodes yet, I will continue to refer to the to-be-filmed-episodes by their production number.)

Filming for the episode with production number MAC502 started on November 23. According to the writers, the episode was written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher and is directed by Andrew Ahn. After Thanksgiving Break, we got a BtS photo of Meredith Eaton with Alessia Costantini (presumably back in LA). Thursday and Friday, they filmed a stunt scene with a garbage truck out in the rain; in front of a big green screen. Henry Ian Cusick posted an Insta story from set while sitting in a car; joined by Levy, Tristin and Lucas.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Steven Serna)

Apparently, we also got the first official “set accident”: In an Instagram Story, Tristin stated that she broke her toe the other day. According to a tweet by Monica Macer, the episode was wrapped shortly before the premiere of Season 5, so that the main cast was able to live-tweet and watch with the fans. The next day, we got a BtS photo of Lucas Till with a guest star.

Working on Episode MAC503
Filming for the episode with production number MAC503 presumably started on Monday. David Dastmalchian posted an Insta Story of him on Tuesday; revealing that he just arrived in Atlanta. It would be nice if he gets to film another episode after his storyline for MAC501 fell through, but there has been no confirmation so far.

BtS photo of Season 5 (via Henry Ian Cusick)

Yesterday, Monica Macer tweeted a photo taken inside of a church while scouting locations. Today, we got an Insta Story of Henry Ian Cusick; posing with Lucas Till who’s dressed like a medieval knight (sword and all). I’m already looking forward to what this is all about.

Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
There have been no new (public) Casting Calls. At this point, it might be possible that they switched casting agencies.

ICYMI: If you still need an idea for a Christmas Gift, the first MacGyver Novel (MacGyver: Meltdown) was released on November 27. Both the book and the kindle version can be ordered here. Last week, we finally got a first Trailer for Lucas Till’s upcoming movie Son of the South by the Australian distributor.

Don’t forget that Tristin Mays’ movie The Christmas Sitter premieres on Sunday on ionTV. You can check out the trailer here.