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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Portland Beavers (via LogoLynx)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harry Jackson (John Anderson, via MacGyverOnline)

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

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

The Playlist, August 22, 2019

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

Harry MacGyver (Michael O’Keefe, via MacGyverOnline)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Synopsis (via Season Zero)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Production Office Sign (via Jennica Schwarzman)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

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

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

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

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

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

Social Media Header (via MacGyverOnCBS)

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

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

Deadline, August 29, 2019

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

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

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every time I dig through my stash of photos, I come across material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

MacGyver-4
Unofficial Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the Upfronts, the networks traditionally release art work and teaser trailers or featurettes to attract the potential audience and international buyers. According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked a lot of interest. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer to “promo non grata” and erased all their former tweets, posts and Official Stills concerning promo for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts within a few days.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secret Lab; built on Location (via John Mott)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best of the Best (IV) – Top 5 Blog Posts in 2020

Maybe you joined the fandom recently? So you might enjoy to check out “older” stuff about the Reboot?

Hereby, I present you my Top 5 Blog Posts 2020 – a short write-up of the 5 blog posts with the most hits at the end of last year. Maybe this post will make you curious to check out the full post in case you missed it back when I had originally posted it?

Lucas Till on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Micahveli Shakur)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Seasons 1 and 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

I have done a few of these before. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2017 (all about “deleted” scenes in the pilot script), you can check it out here. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2018, you can check it out there. The one for 2019 can be found here. Though I have to admit if you’ve already read the one from last year, there’s not much news for you.

 

Rank 5 (612 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

In this blog post, I wrote about the origins of the Unaired Reboot Pilot. There’s mentions of another Unaired Pilot (Young MacGyver with Supernatural star Jared Padalecki in the lead role; playing MacGyver’s nephew Clay), a script that wasn’t used, a (heavily revised) script that was used for a pilot that never aired and the reboot of the Reboot… As you can see, there’s been a lot going on with this project.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

Rebooting a Pilot is not unusual for Pilot Season. The character descriptions alone might be worthy of their own blog post. Too bad we might never get to watch this pilot that shall not be named… but I think they had made the right decision to change, switch and tweak things (even though I’m not all okay with what they did with it).

ICYMI: A few months ago, they re-added the Unaired Pilot as “Episode 0” on IMDb. I’m curious if it gets deleted again or not.

 

Rank 4 (634 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (IV) – The Unaired Pilot: BtS photos Part 2

I had amassed quite a bit of material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot over time which led to several blog posts. In this one, I took another opportunity to present some of the BtS photos – for example Lucas Till and George Eads during a costume fitting as MacGyver and Lincoln (before he became Jack Dalton).

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

It’s not easy to find more BtS material online. Part of the problem is that they had wiped the original entry on IMDb and that some social media accounts of cast and crew members (e.g. assistants) went private.

I’m not sure what the policy is about posting BtS material of unaired projects, but people seem to be pretty hesitant – and so many years later, it’s too much work to scroll through 4 years of posts on their social media accounts.

 

Rank 3 (790 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

It wasn’t much, but the Unaired Pilot had gotten some promo material: Three Official Stills, a trailer and social media headers. That’s what I wrote about in this post.

Because CBS decided to reboot the Reboot with a different main cast and a different showrunner, they declared the promotional material to “promo non grata” right after the Upfronts in May 2016. The same day, they erased all their former tweets, posts and previously released promo material for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

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

Well, it’s the internet after all, so they couldn’t erase it completely. Some media outlets still use the old logo and the old stills. What once was posted online, has a tendency to come back. I still hope that some day, we’ll see more of it – without having to go search for it for as many hours as I did back then when I still had the patience.

 

Rank 2 (909 Hits): You can google it (Part 2): About Samantha/Olivia Cage

A lot of readers find my blog by using search engines. I wrote a couple of blog posts about what search terms led to people click on one of my blog posts. Interestingly, a lot of those clicks were due to Isabel Lucas and her character of Samantha Cage (formerly known as Olivia Cage) who was introduced in Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE).

Isabel Lucas on set of Episode 3×05: Skull + Electromagnet (via Robert Maxfield)

Cage was an underdeveloped character that divided the fandom. Yet, even many of the viewers who didn’t like her too much were rather disappointed when and how she got written out of the show in the middle of Season 2; mainly since all of the “secrets” surrounding her character sort of vanished as well and were never resolved.

Some of her traits were incorporated into the character of Desi Nguyen (who had her first appearence in Episode 3×15), but people still occasionally ask about Samantha Cage on social media.

I haven’t written yet a review about Cage, but if you want to know more about her and what people actually typed into Google only to find my blog, you can find the post here.

 

Rank 1 (1229 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

The “Winner” of 2020 is the same post that was on Rank 1 in 2018 and 2019 as well. When people talk about Original MacGyver, they often mention his glorious hair. There was a lot of “hair drama” surrounding the Reboot. So in this blog post – my first non-update-blog-post back in 2017, actually – I wrote about MacGyver’s hair. And apparently people keep googling for it; finding my blog post.

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

I’ve been planning to write Part 2 (and probably even 3) since forever, but that still might take a while. Real Life responsibilities, a ton of Reboot Update Posts last year and other stuff, you know.

 

Runner-up posts to give you the Top Ten at the end of 2020:

The Best of the Best (III) – Top 5 Blog Posts in 2019

Maybe you joined the fandom recently? So you might enjoy to check out “older” stuff about the Reboot?

Hereby, I present you my Top 5 Blog Posts 2019 – a short write-up of the 5 blog posts with the most hits at the end of last year. And I added a few photos in between so it’s all the more fun for you – and maybe a way to get you to check out the full post in case you missed it back when I had originally posted it?

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

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Seasons 1 and 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2017 (all about “deleted” scenes in the pilot script), you can check it out here. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2018, you can check it out there.

 

Rank 5 (408 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (IV) – The Unaired Pilot: BtS photos Part 2

I had amassed quite a bit of material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot over time which led to several blog posts. In this one, I took another opportunity to present some of the BtS photos – for example Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (before he became Jack Dalton in Episode 1×01: The Rising) during a costume fitting.

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

 

Rank 4 (434 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

In this blog post, I wrote about the origins of the Unaired Reboot Pilot. There’s mentions of another unaired pilot (Young MacGyver with Supernatural star Jared Padalecki), a script that wasn’t used, a script that was used for a pilot that never aired and the reboot of the Reboot… As you can see, there’s been a lot going on with this project.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

On the other hand, this is not all that exceptional for pilot season. The character descriptions alone are worthy of their own blog post. Too bad we might never get to see this pilot that never aired… but I think they had made the right decision to change, switch and tweak things (even though I’m not all okay with what they did with it).

 

Rank 3 (537 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

It wasn’t much, but the Unaired Pilot had gotten some promo material as well. Three Official Stills, a trailer and social media headers. That’s what I wrote about in this post.

Because CBS decided to reboot the Reboot with a different main cast and a different showrunner, they declared the promotional material to “promo non grata” right after the Upfronts in May 2016. The same day, they erased all their former tweets, posts and previously released promo material for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

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

Well, it’s the internet after all, so they couldn’t erase it completely. Some media outlets still use the old logo and the old stills. What once was posted online, has a tendency to come back again. I still hope that some day, we’ll see more of it.

 

Rank 2 (643 Hits): You can google it (Part 2): About Samantha/Olivia Cage

A lot of people find my blog by using search engines. I wrote a couple of blog posts about what search terms led to people click on one of my blog posts. Interestingly, a lot of those clicks were due to Isabel Lucas and her character of Samantha Cage (formerly known as Olivia Cage) who was introduced in Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE).

BtS of Episode 2×05: Skull + Electromagnet (via Isabel Lucas)

Cage was an underdeveloped character that divided the fandom. Yet, even many of the viewers that didn’t like her too much were rather disappointed when she got written out of the show in the middle of Season 2 since all of the “secrets” surrounding her character sort of vanished as well and were never resolved.

I haven’t written yet a review about Samantha Cage, but if you want to know more about her and what people actually typed into Google only to find my blog, you can find the post here.

 

Rank 1 (705 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

The “Winner” of 2019 is the same post that was on Rank 1 in 2018 as well. When people talk about Original MacGyver, they often mention his glorious hair. There was a lot of “hair drama” surrounding the Reboot. So in this blog post – my first non-update-blog-post back in 2017, actually – I wrote about MacGyver’s hair. And apparently people keep googling for it; finding my blog post.

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

I’m still planning to write Part 2 (and probably even 3) in the near furture, but that might take a while. Real Life responsibilities and stuff, you know.

 

Runner-up posts to give you the Top Ten of 2019:

The Best of the Best (II) – Top 5 Blog Posts in 2018

We still have to wait for about two months for the start of Season 4 and the production is currently on hiatus until January. Also, maybe you joined the fandom only recently? So you might enjoy or have finally some time to check out “older” stuff about the Reboot.

Hereby, I present you my Top 5 Blog Posts 2018 – a short write-up of the 5 blog posts with the most hits at the end of last year. And I added a few photos in between so it’s all the more fun for you – and maybe a way to get you to check out the full original post in case you missed it back then?

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (via CBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 1 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2017, you can check it out here. The top posts in 2017 were all posts about “deleted” scenes in the pilot script. The top posts for 2018 are a bit more varied, thankfully.

 

Rank 5 (221 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (VI) – The Promo (Part 3: The TCA Portraits)

In this blog post, I wrote about the main cast plus Executive Producers Peter Lenkov and James Wan attending the TCA Summer Press Tour Event back in August 2016.

TCA Summer Studio Photoshoot (via Hollyrood Reporter)

Before the panel, the main cast took part in a photoshoot for the so-called Summer Studio Portraits. Pretty people posing for pretty photos – what else do you need?

Still wish we had gotten a group photo, though *sigh*.

 

Rank 4 (233 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (XIX) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 5)

Funny coincidence: This blog post was already on Rank 4 for the top posts in 2017.

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. In this blog post, I wrote about two scenes written into the pilot script that we didn’t get to see in the episode that aired on TV.

One is a conversation between Mac and Jack about Nikki while racing the (stolen) handyman van to the airport. The other one is an excerpt about the missile prop with Team Phoenix sitting around Mac’s firepit.

 

Rank 3 (270 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

In this blog post, I wrote about the origins of the Unaired Reboot Pilot. There’s mentions of another unaired pilot (Young MacGyver with Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki), a script that wasn’t used, a script that was used for a pilot that never aired and the reboot of the Reboot….

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Sounds confusing, but is state of the art for pilot season and pretty interesting. The character descriptions alone are worthy of a blog post. Too bad we probably will never get to see this pilot that never aired…

 

Rank 2 (328 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

The aforementioned Unaired Pilot I just wrote about actually got some promo material as well. This is what I wrote about in this post.

Because CBS decided to reboot the Reboot with a different main cast team and a different showrunner, they declared the promo material to “promo non grata” and erased all their former tweets, posts and previously released Official Stills for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

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

Well, not they couldn’t erase it completely. Some media outlets still use the old logo and the old stills. What once was posted online, has a tendency to come back again. I really hope that some day, we’ll see more of it.

 

Rank 1 (351 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

When people talk about Original MacGyver, they often mention his glorious hair. There was a lot of “hair drama” surrounding the Reboot as well. So in this blog post – my first non-update-blog-post back in 2017, actually – I write about MacGyver’s hair. And it was the top post of 2018.

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

Funny thing: At the moment, it’s still the top post of this blog (with almost 700 hits). Maybe I finally find the time to write Part 2 of this “hairy” topic….

 

Runner-up posts to give you the Top Ten of 2018:

Looking Back at Season 3 (V) – The Official Stills (Part 5)

It’s been 6 weeks for the Fall shows on CBS. Not for MacGyver, sadly. So let’s (finally!) finish another blog post to help easing the pain of having to wait for Season 4, no?

As with Seasons 1 and 2, I’m looking back at the Official Stills for each episode of Season 3; picking my favorites and writing down some of my thoughts. (Because I just can’t keep quiet, as you all know.)

Episode 3×22: Mason + Cable + Choices (Official Still via Getty Images)

If you missed Part 1 (Episodes 3×01 to 3×05), you can read the post here. For Part 2 (Episodes 3×06 to 3×10), you can visit there. Part 3 (Episodes 3×11 to 3×15) is to be found here. And there you can read Part 4 (Episodes 3×16 to 3×19).

 

Episode 3×20: No Go + High Voltage + Rescue (Still Photographer: Jace Downs)
For Episode 3×20, we got 11 Official Stills by Still Photographer Jace Downs. Most of them are not all that interesting, but there is a nice team shot that already has been used for a lot of Season 4 fan art.

Episode 3×20: No Go + High Voltage + Rescue (Official Still via CBS)

MY FAVORITE: The walking team shot one, of course.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Nothing downright disappointing. Four Stills of the cast sitting in a car just aren’t all that good for getting people interested in the episode beforehand.

 

Episode 3×21: Treason + Heartbreak + Gum (Erik Voake)
For Episode 3×21, we got 11 photos. Sadly, the Official Stills were never released on SpoilerTV in good quality. Some of the Stills aren’t even available anyhwere but on Getty Images.

Episode 3×21: Treason + Heartbreak + Gum (via MacGyverCBS)

MY FAVORITE: Pretty people doing obscure things. A longer scene with Desi and Oversight could have been very interesting – considering she’s now taking over the role of Jack (who Oversight kind of chose to be put together with Mac to watch his back while he didn’t with Desi).

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Not much to choose from. Only one Still with the main character – and it’s watermarked. To be honest, I don’t really like this episode that much and I think the BtS photos are way more interesting. It had originally been intended to be the Season Finale and I’m really glad they didn’t go with it.

 

Episode 3×22: Mason + Cable + Choices (Jace Downs)
The Season Finale delivered 12 Official Stills. Weirdly, CBS later deleted 4 of them from their official press release page before SpoilerTV got a hand on them. As with Episode 3×21, these Stills are only available via Getty Images and therefore watermarked.

Episode 3×22: Mason + Cable + Choices (Official Still via TV Insider)

MY FAVORITE: It’s Mac doing his thing while the others don’t really know what’s going on.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: With the press release, it wasn’t a secret anymore that Peter Weller would be guest-starring as the big bad in this episode. A Still with him would have been nice. Also, for a Season Finale, the Stills aren’t all that exciting – but the same can be said about the finale episodes for the previous seasons. On the other hand, they had released the first Still for the Season 2 Finale as a First Look Still of Oversight via TV Line. Nothing like that this time.

Looking Back at Season 3 (IV) – The Official Stills (Part 4)

It’s promotion time for the Fall shows on CBS. Not for MacGyver, sadly. So let’s finish another blog post to help easing the pain of having to wait for Season 4, no?

As with Seasons 1 and 2, I’m looking back at the Official Stills for each episode of Season 3; picking my favorites and writing down some of my thoughts. (Because I just can’t keep quiet, as you all know.)

Episode 3×18: Murdoc + Helman + Hit (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

If you missed Part 1 (Episodes 3×01 to 3×05), you can read the post here. For Part 2 (Episodes 3×06 to 3×10), you can visit here. Part 3 (Episodes 3×11 to 3×15) is to be found here.

 

Episode 3×16: Lidar + Rogues + Duty (Still Photographer: Guy D’Alema)
For Episode 3×16, we got 9 Official Stills by Still Photographer Guy D’Alema. They all feature Riley, Bozer and/or Desi in the lab with Sparky. Later, CBS added 4 screenshots of Mac and Desi out on the main mission as additional Stills.

Episode 3×16: Lidar + Rogues + Duty (Official Still via CBS)

MY FAVORITE: It might be a rather blurry screenshot, but I still prefer Mac out in the wild over a lab photo. Sorry, Guy.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Nothing downright disappointing. I still think it’s an interesting choice to get the Still Photographer to a certain location on the day the main character isn’t there. Especially since for this episode, not much happens in the lab. Maybe there had been a schedule change.

 

Episode 3×17: Seeds + Permafrost + Feather (Jace Downs)
For Episode 3×17, we got 13 Stills of the team either in the lab or on the main mission. Besides in one photo, there’s not much action going on.

Episode 3×17: Seeds + Permafrost + Feather (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Pretty people standing around and looking dangerous.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Not much to choose from besides pretty people standing around and looking pretty. I guess it could be worse.

 

Episode 3×18: Murdoc + Helman + HIT (Jace Downs)
Episode 3×18 delivered 19 Official Stills; 18 of them featuring one or more members of Team Phoenix staring down Murdoc.

Episode 3×18: Murdoc + Helman + Hit (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: It’s Mac and MacDaddy confronting Murdoc. With James seemingly holding MacGyver back or trying to protect him, the Still allows speculations into different directions.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: 18 Stills of Team Phoenix staring down Murdoc. They could have at least provided one with Murdoc’s nemesis Helman. I mean, it’s Michael Des Barres, everyone. And with all the BtS photos and the trailer, it wasn’t a secret anymore that MDB would be guest-starring in this episode.

 

Episode 3×19: Friends + Enemies + Border (Jace Downs)
We got 8 Stills for this episode; all of them of Mac and/or Desi on the main mission.

Episode 3×19: Friends + Enemies + Border (Official Still via CBS)

MY FAVORITE: Mac and Desi in a tense conversation. This might get interesting.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: I think the episode would have provided better opportunities at Stills. But the Still Photographer is scheduled for a specific timeslot and has to take photos of what he can. I felt some of the BtS photos were more interesting, though.

 

(More coming soon.)

About that Social Media Etiquette

A lot of new fans joined the MacGyver fandom lately, but this post concerns both “old” and “new” fans. Because there’s something that keeps bugging me. To be honest, it’s bugging me since I’ve started posting about the MacGvyer Reboot. I tried to reason with some of the people doing it, but to no avail.

So I’ll say it again: It seems that some fans don’t think it’s necessary to remember that neither cast, crew nor fans are obliged to post BtS photos. They do it by their own free will, simply because they want to share it with us.

We should at least honor them by sourcing them, so people can find the original posts and like/comment on it. Unless the photo is already watermarked (see below). But even then, the compilation down below wasn’t done by Getty Images, but by me. I don’t mind if other people don’t know that. But some fandom creators DO mind. And a link to the original source can help others to find it if they’re not that experienced yet in fandom stuff.

TCA Summer Studio Photoshoot Compilation (via Getty Images)

Yes, I’m aware that it’s not always easy to find an original source. But stating “found on Tumblr” or “found on Pinterest” is simply not good enough. And this wouldn’t be necessary if people that found a photo first and decide to share it would simply retweet or repost it instead of uploading it without a source. And if they do upload it on another platform to share, would at least state the owner of the photo if they can’t add the source link.

Photos shared by the Main Cast and beyond
Yes, it’s not much of a problem for “old” fans if you state you found the photo you just posted on the social media account of one of the main actors – because we all know where find them. But what about the “new” fans that just joined the fandom? You might be an “old” fan that joined back in 2016, so how about helping out the newcomers so they can contribute to the fandom as well?

Not to forget: It’s annoying when that photo was originally posted weeks or months ago and someone wants to find the original photo in good quality – for creating fanart, for example. Justin Hires posts a ton of photos on Instagram each season, so good luck in finding a specific one. It’s also rather unfair in my opinion when it was originally shared by a Guest Star or an Extra that is harder to find and could use a little bit of extra boost on social media.

I know why people don’t want to put the original source link into Tumblr posts anymore, but it’s still not cool if you prefer to get hits and likes while neglecting the person who voluntarily shared that photo in the first place.

Content shared by fans and fandom artists
Yes, you just saw that cool photo and you want to share it. So why don’t you just check if someone else already posted it and share that post. Or even better, go to the original source and share that one instead? So the person who posted it first gets likes and comments?

The same way, we should honor fans that take the effort to produce content in posting FanFictions, FanArt, GIFs, compilations and blog posts. And no, downloading videos and re-upload them as your own isn’t cool, either. Yes, you are the reason why creators have started to tag their creations. Or even worse, have stopped to create any content for this fandom.

Season 4 FanArt (by MacGyverOnline)

And yes, I’m aware that sometimes, things get murky. This Season 4 group photo a lot of you shared was actually put together by MacGvyerOnline. But it’s been shared so often without a source and pops up so often in Google Search, that even cast and crew members have shared it, thinking it’s actually an official promo photo by CBS.

It can happen even if you’re careful. (But a hint: You can recognize it as fanart by looking at the SAK symbol.) That’s why we all should try to be even more careful with fanart and fandom content.

Content shared by my own
I take a lot of extra time to always add the original source into my blog posts, my tweets, my Tumblr posts and into all the posts in the MacGyverOnline forums.

You’re all free to share everything I post but there’s a reason why I always take the extra time to put the original source link into all my posts. If I don’t add a link to the original source, that usually means…

  • …the account was deleted
  • …the link has been lost
  • …it’s an Instagram Story Screenshot Compilation that has the source right on the photo (but I do try to be more consistent in adding a direct source link as well in the future).

For example, I can’t find the original TCA photos of the above posted compilation on Getty Images anymore. They must have been taken off the page for whatever reason.

But if I actually DID forget the original source – yes, it can happen to me too, of course – feel free to shout at me and I go and try to hunt it down in my notes. I don’t bite. (At least not usually *lol*.)

One of my typical BtS Instagram Short Story Screenshot Compilations (this one of Episode 3×09, via Justin Hires)

And now, I have to add a mini rant that inspired this blog post into the first place:

  • It’s not very nice when people go look into the MacGyverOnline forums for new content, then post it onto Twitter and Tumblr without linking back to the original source we extra put into the post for exactly that reason. At least you could give a shout out to MacGyverOnline that has been providing this platform for years for fans of both the Original MacGyver and the rebooted version to provide daily new content.
  • I usually recognize the photos I cropped together in a compilation for a specific blog post. And no, it’s not really nice to crop them further just because you don’t like one of the actors in the compilation I chose. Follow the original source and crop it together however you want it. Or maybe give me a shoutout then?

Come on, people. Let’s work together in this. It only takes a few extra seconds to add the source – especially when other people like me already handed it to you on a plate. It’s simply proper social media etiquette.

Looking Back at Season 3 (III) – The Official Stills (Part 3)

As with Seasons 1 and 2, I’m looking back at the Official Stills for each episode of Season 3; picking my favorites and writing down some of my thoughts. (Because I just can’t keep quiet, as you all know by now.)

Episode 3×14: Father + Bride + Betrayal (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

If you missed Part 1 (Episodes 3×01 to 3×05), you can find the post here. For Part 2 (Episodes 3×06 to 3×10), you can visit here.

 

Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack (Still Photographer: Guy D’Alema)
For Episode 3×11, we got 11 Official Stills. They all feature the main mission – or rather the memory of a main mission – with Mac and Jack.

Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: To me, Guy D’Alema is the best of the bunch of Still Photographers they have been using for Official Stills. My favorite Still of this episode is the perfect example – he chooses interesting angles. Even when he takes photos of the same scene, they don’t all look the same.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Nothing downright disappointing. I wouldn’t have minded an additional Still of the B-storyline with Riley, Leanna and Bozer, though. Or of the current storyline of Mac and Jack being held prisoner.

 

Episode 3×12: Fence + Suitcase + Americium-241 (Richard DuCree)
For Episode 3×12, we got 13 Stills of the team involved in the main mission. For once, the photos featured the team in different constellations.

Episode 3×12: Fence + Suitcase + Americium-241 (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: The one with Bozer, Mac and Riley. We didn’t get many Stills of the “core” team this season. The cast appears usually in pairs or alone in the Still photos; not as a group.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Not having a Still with Jack to choose from is always disappointing.

 

Episode 3×13: Wilderness + Training + Survival (Guy D’Alema)
Episode 3×13 delivered 9 Official Stills; all of them featuring MacGyver and the main mission.

Episode 3×13: Wilderness + Training + Survival (Official Still via CBS Press Express)

MY FAVORITE: It’s Mac doing some MacGyvering. What else do you need?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: It’s nice to see Mac doing his thing out in the wild, so nothing disappointing here.

 

Episode 3×14: Father + Bride + Betrayal (Guy D’Alema)
We got 9 Stills for this episode; all of them of the main cast.

Episode 3×14: Father + Bride + Betrayal (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: MacRiley! As a runner-up, we have Mac and Jack contemplating food at the top of this post.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: Pretty people in pretty clothes looking pretty. But it’s the last episode with Jack *sniff*. And there’s not even a group photo of them all dolled up.

 

Episode 3×15: K9 + Smugglers + New Recruit (Jace Downs)
This episode delivered 12 Official Stills. The new recurring cast member got 2 Stills all for herself and the guest star is in several of them as well.

Episode 3×15: K9 + Smugglers + New Recruit (Official Still via CBS)

MY FAVORITE: Pretty people looking fierce.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: No close-up Still of the canine guest star. He’s cute and deserves to have his own portrait.

 

(More coming soon.)