You can google it (Part 3): Cast and Characters

It’s been more than 18 months since I’ve started blogging about the MacGyver Reboot on this blog. Most people land here via Twitter or Tumblr, but some also by using search engines. The top 3 list of search terms is still pretty boring:

  1. dashboardonfire
  2. dashboard on fire
  3. dashboard on fire wordpress

Some search engines don’t reveal search terms for privacy reasons. Google, for example, has been encrypting the vast majority of search terms since 2013. So WordPress often can’t specify which search terms were used by visitors who arrived at this site from a search engine. That’s why the majority on my list – over 3800 by now – are unknown search terms.

Excerpt of the search engine statistics (retrieved November 21, 2018)

Still, there’s a couple of search terms I want to address in blog posts and maybe help the unknown searching beings to get answers for their questions. In this post, I’m going to look at some of the most used search terms since May 2018. At the moment, most of you are looking for and asking about “missing” cast members.

If you missed Part 1 (about cast, characters and locations search terms), you can find it here. If you missed Part 2 (regarding Isabel Lucas’ character of Olivia/Samantha Cage), you can find it here.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about main characters and storylines in Seasons 2 and 3 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Where’s George?
For Seasons 1 and 2, many of you commented with a “Where’s Lucas?” on the cast’s social media posts. Lately, it’s been all about “Where’s George?”, asking about the whereabouts of George Eads who plays Jack Dalton.

Well, George has been on set regularly. But he had a lighter filming schedule this season, not appearing at all in two episodes (3×04 and 3×08) so far. He also wasn’t as generous with posing for photos or videos anymore. The last time I’ve seen him on a BtS photo was on October 31, uploaded by Carlos Bernard (director of Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack).

BtS photo of Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack (via Carlos Bernard)

I assumed he had asked for a lighter schedule to spend more time with his family; similar to Scott Caan on Hawaii Five-0. But then, news about George Eads actually leaving the show for good hit on November 26. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce it. The quite unexpected and somewhat shocking news articles flooded Twitter and other social media for days; also making waves in Europe.

We don’t know yet for sure how or when the character of Jack Dalton will be written out. As ET Online stated on Monday, Eads was currently on set filming his last episode when news got out, which would have been either Episode 3×13 or 3×14. Deadline had more information: While Eads has been released from his series regular contract and his character Jack Dalton is being written out, I hear he is not being killed off, with the door left open for Eads to possibly return as a guest star.

BtS photo of Episode 3×14: Father + Bride + Betrayal (via Avi Youabian)

Of course, networks almost always say that about top-billing guest stars and fan favorites leaving and yet it rarely happens. Let’s hope for the best.

On Tuesday, Justin Hires revealed that George was part of the wedding location scenes they’ve been filming for Episode 3×14. According to Roberto Sanchez, it’s titled “Father + Bride + Betrayal”. Of course, we don’t know if they’ve also been filming some additional scenes (e.g. flashback scenes) for later episodes. Interestingly, neither Lucas Till nor his Stand-In Matthew Albright have been spotted for a week until Lucas popped up in Justin’s and director Avi Youabian’s BtS videos. It’s possible Lucas and George have been filming some scenes on their own that we’re not allowed to know about yet.

Similar search terms:
why george eads hasn’t been on macgyfer lately

 

did reign edwards leave macgyver
To recap: Reign Edwards plays Bozer’s girlfriend Leanna Martin. She joined back in S2 for a handful of episodes, leading to speculations that she would join Season 3 as a regular field agent; sort of a replacement for Isabel Lucas’ character Samantha Cage. She was listed as a recurring for the first three episodes of S3 – and then she suddenly disappeared. It was mentioned in Episode 3×04 that Leanna was unavailable while being on another mission. But apart from Bozer and his worries about their relationship in 3×05, she wasn’t seen nor mentioned again until she popped up in Episode 3×09 last week.

Screenshot of Episode 2×16: Hammock + Balcony (via CBS)

Reign was filming a pilot project for Amazon Studios in New Zealand. She came back to set in October and should also appear at least in Episodes 3×10 and 3×11. Since then, she hasn’t been seen on set again so at the moment, we don’t know if her character is leaving definitely or staying as recurring. If her pilot was picked up, she might be busy with an other series soon and being written out of the Reboot. If that happens, it would be probably due to Leanna and Bozer breaking up or her being assigned to another longterm mission.

Interestingly, Leanna was highlighted in Episode 3×01 as the field agent that can do anything (e.g. flying a helicopter) and has excellent fighting skills, similar to Samantha Cage. But besides last Friday’s episode (that depicted her as being a bit of a neat freak when it comes to refrigerators), there wasn’t much character development for her.

Episode 3×03: Bozer + Booze + Back to School (Official Still via SpoilerTV)

Similar search terms:
what happened to leanna martin on macgyver s3e3 spoiler 2
full recap what happened to leanna martin on macgyver s3e3 spoiler 2

 

will isabel lucas return to macgyver?
To recap: Isabel Lucas played Samantha Cage. She was a regular cast member in the first half of Season 2; appearing in 12 episodes.

In general, no cast member is 100% safe on a TV show – not even when their character’s name is the title of the show (see recently cancelled Roseanne and its Spin-Off The Conners). We don’t know if Samantha Cage had been meant to stay on for an entire season initially or not. The character wasn’t well received on social media; enhanced by some of the Jack Dalton fans that feared she had been brought in to replace George Eads.

Lucas Till and Isabel Lucas in Episode 2×03: Roulette Wheel + Wire (Screenshot)

Theoretically, it would be possible for Isabel Lucas to come to the show again since Cage went back to Australia to recover from a gunshot wound. In fact, it happens on Peter Lenkov’s other show Hawaii Five-0 quite often that characters show up again after a season or two. The chemistry between her and the cast seemed good, so I don’t think that would be a problem. Since her character hasn’t been mentioned in Season 3 so far at all, it didn’t seem very likely to happen – but that could change now with George Eads being gone soon.

In my opinion, the storyline of Cage wasn’t resolved satisfactorily. She was almost shoved aggressively into the team at first; making her a regular instead of a recurring character before joining Phoenix – then as the character finally seemed to work it fizzled out and disappearing in the backgroundd, almost being overlooked in some episodes. After a plot twist that was never explained either, she wasn’t seen or talked about again.

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

Also, Murdoc hinted at her not using her real name and having secrets that her friends (aka Team Phoenix) would not approve of. Of course, this could have been a joke regarding the character’s name change after they had started filming (see this post for more information about Olivia Cage), but it rather feels that some of the writers didn’t really know what to do with her, while other writers had had some ideas for the character that somehow didn’t turn out since Isabel’s guest stint was cut short.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if she came back for another episode or two to wrap up her storyline.

Similar search terms:
why hasn’t isabel lucas been on mcgyver lately
what happened to cage on macgyver
isabel lucas left mcguver
isabel lucas leaving macgyver
when does cage come back in macgyver

Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in April/May 2016. I have written about it before, but it was usually a few bits and pieces here or there. 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.

If you missed Part 1 (about the Unaired Pilot’s Origins), you can read it here.

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Unaired MacGyver Pilot Logo (via CBS)

Rebooting the Reboot
The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April/May 2016. Production wrapped on May 5, only two weeks before the CBS Upfronts – THE event for the networks to announce their TV schedule for Fall and to provide more info about the upcoming TV shows.

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been picked up and ordered to Series by CBS – with Peter Lenkov as an Executive Producer. The Hollywood Reporter hinted that the script might be tossed out and stated that the secondary cast members were “unlikely to return”. Deadline added that 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.

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

Of course, this was exciting, yet also concerning news. What had exactly happened, and was this project doomed now that they rearranged everyting, but still wanted the show to premiere in Fall? What would this mean for the quality of the show, if the showrunner had to not only find a new cast, but also a new crew and new locations in time to start filming in Summer? Why had CBS picked up the show for Fall if they didn’t like the pilot, the script or the cast in the first place? Did they care for MacGyver at all or only for the promise of making money with a well-known brand that had the potential to be turned into a franchise? And wasn’t Peter Lenkov already busy enough with Hawaii Five-0?

The move also left a bit of a bitter taste since it looked like the secondary cast members got the news at the same time as us – via the internet.

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

Official Stills that were not meant to stay
Despite the Pilot Episode being scrapped and just days before the CBS Upfronts, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads in character on May 16 via NY Times. (The article itself was not about the Reboot per se, but about the nostalgia leading to resurrecting old TV shows.)

The reactions were mixed. Many felt that MacGyver looked too young, but were quite happy to see that both chemistry and physics still seemed to be an important part of the show. Others made fun of rebooted MacGyver’s hairdo; deeming him as one of the “Hanson Brothers”.

Social Media Header (via MacGyver On CBS)

On May 18, they released two new Official Stills just before the Upfronts. The tweet by Eric Goldman reveals that a lot of the talk revolved around MacGyver’s hair again:

MacGyver 2016 has no time for haircuts! He’s gotta make a thing out of a thing!

The third Still had rebooted MacGyver walking to his next mission. About the same time, CBS revealed the new social media pages for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; revealing another look at the pilot and the new logo. (Little did we know that only hours later, the Stills would be deleted; alongside all material on the social media pages.)

The logo – featuring an SAK forming the letter “v” in the show title – was very well received among the fans. Even 30 years after the original series, everyone associates the SAK with MacGyver, so the logo was pretty clever and easily recognizable.

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

The description for the show provided by CBS read as follows:

A secret agent unlike any other, MacGyver escapes perilous situations with nothing but a paperclip, his trusty Swiss Army knife and his wit. A dynamic reimagining of the hit television series, this action-packed origin story follows the young MacGyver as he returns from war, a hero with an idealistic vision of saving the world. He and his late father’s best friend partner to form the clandestine Phoenix Foundation.
Using his scientific know-how and resourcefulness, MacGyver – alongside his intrepid team – undertakes missions to save lives and change the world.

CBS also revealed that the show was scheduled to air on Fridays, which had some fans worried since Friday used to be a “death slot” for years until CBS had managed to turn it around for them.

Presentation of the Unaired Pilot Promo Material at the CBS Upfronts 2016 (via Twitter)

The Teaser Trailer that disappeared
At the Upfront Events, usually both Art Work and Teaser Trailers for the new Fall shows are being released. This not only to tease the potential audience, but also to attract international buyers. Since we already knew that the Pilot Episode would be scrapped along with most of the cast, we were wondering if CBS would even dare to show a trailer.

The trailer soon hit social media accounts all around the world. To watch it, the fans had to do a bit of MacGyvering themselves since the trailer was geo-blocked outside the USA. It didn’t take long for other countries to post and revierw it as well, though. Let’s just say it wasn’t that well received – or the positive reviews got buried under the amount of negative comments and down-votes. Many Original fans found rebooted MacGyver too cocky or too violent and not very distinguishable from any other action show. And of course, the comments about his hair were never-ending.

Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer Screenshots

Some of the fired cast members (e.g. Addison Timlin) were not happy either; tweeting statements like “I wish network television would quit firing me but putting me in their promotions anyway”.

In the Teaser Trailer, they created the tagline that they would later use for the rebooted Pilot Episode again: Mac is Back. The trailer clearly marked the show as a one-man-show like the Original, with MacGyver as the lead hero in the centre.

Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer Screenshots

According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked a lot of interest among international buyers. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer soon 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.

The LA TV Screenings
A few days later, Peter Lenkov posted a photo on Instagram that showed a promo poster in form of a character portrait with Lucas Till. Interestingly, they used yet another font for what seemed like the new MacGyver logo, but the writing style was used for posters for other CBS shows as well. Since Lenkov was on holiday, he didn’t attend the event and neither did the (remaining) cast members.

Usually, there are cast photos and interviews being made at the LA TV Screenings, but with the imminent rebooting of the reboot, we didn’t get to enjoy any of that.

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

 

(More about the BtS photos of the Unaired Pilot in Part 3.)

Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired Pilot. So, since you’re not getting one of my usual Updates today, why shouldn’t I write a blog post about the Pilot Episode that – according to CBS, at least – shall not be spoken of?

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Unaired MacGyver Pilot Logo (via CBS)

I have written about the Unaired Pilot every now and then, but it was usually a few bits and pieces here or there. I’ll try 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 machines.

About that Unaired Pilot
The idea of rebooting MacGyver has been around for a while – not surprising, since MacGyver is a well-known name all around the world. The Original Show has sold very well overseas and is still aired on TV in many countries. There is actually a Pilot Episode for a spinoff series called Young MacGyver (filmed in 2003, starring Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki as MacGyver’s nephew Clay), but the show never went into production. You can head over to MacGyver Online for more information (including news items, photos and a cast list) about Young MacGyver.

Jared Padalecki in Young MacGyver (2003)

In October 2015, the Hollywood Reporter announced that MacGyver would be brought back as a TV Show for CBS. R. Scott Gemmill (NCIS: Los Angeles) was set to write the script with James Wan (who had been attached for a MacGyver movie in 2012) directing the pilot.

In February 2016, Deadline reported that CBS had ordered a pilot. Apparently not happy with the script they already had, CBS announced that the Pilot Episode would be written by Paul Downs Colaizzo. Only a few days later, Lionsgate announced that they had made a development deal with CBS for a MacGyver movie.

Title Page of the Unaired Pilot Script (via Paul Downs Colaizzo)

The character descriptions – released (or rather leaked) by SpoilerTV – sparked heated discussions among Original fans since they confirmed the rumours that the Reboot would be indeed a Reboot and not a Remake, and also some sort of a Prequel and not a Sequel.

Doing a sequel wouldn’t have been that difficult, especially since the Reboot was meant to be set in present time: In the Season Finale of the Original Show, MacGyver’s son Sam (Sean Angus Malloy or S.A.M.) of about 20 years is revealed. Because the series ended in 1992, MacGyver’s son would would have been about 45 years in 2016. Why not make S.A.M. having a son of his own – or maybe even a daughter? This would have quenched the public thirst for a female MacGyver and also would have opened the doors for several cast members of the original show coming back for cameos as their original character.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Also, MacGyver’s background story didn’t quite fit with the Original Show. Many commenters mentioned the story being a bit too similar to Arrow or Homeland and the storyline including the characters not being very original or exciting.

Further details were announced in March by the Hollywood Reporter: George Eads (CSI) would co-star in the show as a character named Lincoln; with David Von Ancken (Code Black) directing the pilot and James Wan (Saw) as Executive Producer. The Pilot was set to start filming by the end of March in Portland.

Unaired Pilot Character Description forLincoln (via SpoilerTV)

Finally, Deadline reported Lucas Till being cast as the new MacGyver with Brett Mahoney co-writing the script and Joshua Boone playing MacGyver’s best friend Gunner. A week later, Deadline revealed Addison Timlin (Californication) and Michelle Krusiec (Hawaii Five-0, General Hospital) as additional cast; the former playing a computer nerd with the latter portraying a secret agent.

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

In April 2016, a few BtS pictures, tweets and short videos from the set finally emerged on social media – only to be deleted soon after fans had shared and discussed the “treasure” online. As it’s the usual procedure during Pilot Season, CBS tried very hard to keep the production under wraps. While we soon realized that the Pilot was being filmed in LA and not in Portland, there was still not a single BtS picture of Lucas Till (of course, everyone wondered what he would look like; especially what hairstyle rebooted MacGyver would be wearing).

Of course, trying to keep a production under wraps doesn’t stop the curiosity – and inquiring people combing through social media for more. A first glimpse of the new logo font (provided by the director’s assistant Meg London-Boche) and a picture of the pilot script title page kept the discussions going on for days. (I remember most fans of the Original Show liking the font.) A few set pics (e.g. shot in the abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Mall) promised some interesting action sequences.

BtS picture of the Unaired Pilot (via Meg London-Boche)

The Pilot Script review by Season Zero didn’t read very promising, but it’s difficult to judge a new TV show by a single script review of an episode that hasn’t been finished yet. On the 5th of May, Meg London-Boche tweeted about the pilot being finished. Little did we know back then that the Pilot would be scrapped and reshot, earning the title of being an Unaired Reboot Pilot that got rebooted.

Rebooting the Reboot
After that, the Waiting Game started – because as Young MacGyver had taught us: in Pilot Season, a filmed Pilot Episode doesn’t guarantee that the show will be picked up. On the 13th of May, an Instagram post by Peter Lenkov confused us quite a bit. Only a few hours later, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had indeed been picked up and ordered to Series by CBS – with Lenkov being added as an Executive Producer.

Peter Lenkov confirming the MacGyver Reboot being ordered to series at CBS

Surprisingly, the Hollywood Reporter hinted that the script might be tossed out and stated that the secondary cast members were “unlikely to return”. Deadline stated that 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.

While quite a bit surprising for us people not involved in the TV Show Industry, this isn’t so uncommon during Pilot Season. Sometimes, Pilot Episodes are redone with some cast members being “exchanged” (this happened e.g. with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well with Charmed), but this seemed quite a surprising move and made us ask a lot of questions: Why ordering a pilot without a script in the first place? Why pick up a show if you don’t like the pilot? Do they care for MacGyver at all or only for the promise of making money with a well-known brand with the potential of turning it into a franchise? Isn’t Peter Lenkov already too 0busy with Hawaii Five-0?

BtS picture of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Ralph Cartel). Who’s Hunter? And will we ever know?

Understandably, former cast members were not happy because some of them actually hadn’t known about this development until the press release.

On May 16, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads in character – despite the Pilot Episode being scrapped and just days before the CBS Upfronts. This was going to be interesting.

 

(More in Part 2, coming soon.)

Looking Back at Season 1 (XX) – Early Versions of the Pilot Script

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft (June 20, 2016) – has been floating around for a while now. I have been looking at Deleted Scenes in that Draft in several of my blog posts.

Of course, a script isn’t written and “sold” within the first try. There are revisions; lots and lots of revision. There must have been several earlier versions of the script used for filming. On September 18, 2016 – only days before the Series Premiere – SpoilerNet posted a summary of the Pilot Episode Script online. After watching the episode and reading the beforementioned Revised Network Draft, it’s clear that the person posting these spoilers must have had access to an early version of the script that never made it into production.

I’m looking at some of the interesting story or character parts in there.

 

Scene: Lake Como

One big difference in this early script version: Patricia Thornton was never part of the Lake Como mission. It’s Nikki that gives MacGyver all the information he needs to know.

In my opinion, this makes a lot of sense. There’s no need for Thornton to be there. They obviously had enough information concerning the whereabouts and enough time to bring a team and surveillance. In the Pilot Episode, all Thornton does is descending the stairs looking all dolled up and telling MacGyver where the safe is located. Of course, she could have been part of a bigger scheme (e.g. infiltrating the scene days or even weeks before in an undercover mission to gather information), but logic suggests this would have been done by another agent, not by the boss.

Storytelling-wise, it makes sense to include Thornton, though: All the important “players” – aka the series regulars or the main cast – of the new show are introduced within seconds, tied together via MacGyver’s voice-overs. They would have needed another introduction scene for Thornton (see below how it was done in this script version).

 

Scene: Mac and the Gun

As we all now, the Lake Como Mission goes south and Kendrick (in this early script version still an unnamed villain) holds Nikki at gunpoint. What’s happening now might make you scratch your head (or make you searching for your pitchfork): MacGyver pulls his gun.

Uhm. Yeah. That happened. They crazy, no?

I think all Original MacGyver fans will agree here that this makes no sense at all. And if this had stayed in the script, the outrage would have been one of epic proportions.

I don’t know what Peter Lenkov has been thinking while writing this. Maybe he had an idea of a new backstory about MacGyver’s dislike for guns for another episode. Maybe he was high on caffeeine and in dire need of sleep. I don’t think I need to write any further comments on this.

 

Scene: Thornton’s Introduction

In the Unaired Pilot, MacGyver had a best friend from High School called “Gunner”, played by Joshua Boone. I don’t know if they were supposed to be room-mates as well, but it’s clear that Lenkov took that idea, transforming Gunner to Bozer very early on.

The introduction of Patricia Thornton is a nod to the Original MacGyver Pilot. In the Original Pilot Episode, MacGyver lives in the Griffith Observatory and spends time with his “little brother” when his boss arrives in a helicopter that lands directly in front of the observatory.

It doesn’t really make sense that Thornton takes a chopper just to show him a video. A chauffeur bringing her in a limousine would have been a fancy enough choice. I like that they tried to bring in another Easter Egg that only people knowing the Original Pilot would recognize, but I think the way it ended up being filmed worked much better overall.

 

Scene: Inside DXS

Reading the beginning of the next scene, it feels like Lenkov intended to have a big room full of techs bustling around. Of course, such a scene would need lots of Extras and staging and time, so it turned out smaller in the finished episode.

I think it’s a bit unfair that they tried to blame all onto Mac and Jack. The intel was either not sufficient (e.g. what kind of weapon was being sold) or all wrong (e.g. about the hand-scanner or the security detail) – so it was partially Thornton’s and Nikki’s fault as well. Of course, we can’t just blame the “dead” girl.

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

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: In the Van

This scene takes place when Mac, Jack  and Riley try to catch Nikki before her plane takes off. While Jack is driving the Handyman Van, he and Mac have a conversation:

 

This is the second time in the script that MacGyver states he loves Nikki. In the finished pilot, the L-Word is never mentioned at all.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In the Pilot Episode, MacGyver speaks Italian while posing as a waiter at Lake Como. Nikki seems quite impressed:

NIKKI: When did you learn to speak Italian?

MACGYVER: When you said yes to Rome.

I’m pretty sure in all these years, MacGyver had been in Italy before for a mission with DXS, but never felt the need to learn Italian. The next snippet of the conversation in the van kinda reveals what the mention of Rome was all about:

Somehow, Jack strikes me as the romantic type, despite not having much luck in the love departement. I don’t think he would believe in the concept about all women being liars.

Also, it’s not clear if Rome was just a destination for a romantic holiday or if “more” had been meant to happen. Considering that MacGyver and Nikki had been dating for two years and apparently have known each other for three years, it’s possible that maybe he would have asked her to marry him? Seems like a convenient little plot bunny that in case Tracy Spiridakos’ Nikki came back for another episode, there would be some kind of big previously-planned-marriage-proposal-revelation (e.g. Bozer or Jack finding the ring that was meant for Nikki).

 

Scene: Back home

This scene takes place when Riley and Jack come visit MacGyver, who sits at the campfire, watching the photos of him and Nikki burn. Riley admires some of MacGyver’s handywork before she finds the amulet that leads to the first notion of Cairo and sparks the idea of re-naming DXS after the bird rising from the ashes:

It’s possible this scene was filmed and edited out or cut together. I always felt the scene was a bit weird; the dialogue whileRiley snags the amulet from the chair never made much sense to me.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

Looking Back at Season 1 (XVIII) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 4)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: At DXS

This scene takes place when Mac and Jack return to DXS after Mac was informed by Patricia Thornton about the bio-weapon being back on the market and Mac collecting Jack who was working on a movie set.

In voice-over, MacGyver talks a bit about DXS and what they do:

It makes sense they shortened the voice-over because revealing too much about DXS (or Phoenix) would have limited the possibilites for upcoming storylines – at least in case they wanted to change direction during the Season while still figuring out what worked for the audience and what didn’t.

After pushing in on the main heroes, Jack tries to enter the building:

To be honest, this snippet puzzles me a little bit. It does nothing but paint Jack being a bit incompetent at times. In the script, it’s mentioned that they haven’t seen each other in about 3 months and haven’t been at DXS either, where there is no mention of that in the episode.

 

Scene: Meeting Riley

This scene takes place right when MacGyver, Jack and Thornton go visit Riley in prison.

Again, it makes sense they didn’t reveal too much about the reasons for Riley’s imprisonement since this would have limited the possibilites for an upcoming Riley-centered Episode (which we got in Episode 1×11: Scissors).

 

Scene: Tinfoil

Mac, Jack and Riley travel to San Francisco to find Kendrick and the bio-weapon. They debate how to find him in the hotel:

Again with the bikini-clad babes. Someone must be fond of those *lol*.

This scene might have been re-written for budget or location reasons. It wasn’t necessary to film a scene that calls for a swimming pool and several extras; escpecially since the bikini beauties were already needed for the “Baywatch With Tanks”-Scene (you can find more about that one in this blog post).

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In the Pilot, the scene is set within a storage room. Sure, the scenery isn’t as nice, but it keeps the focus on the MacGyverism instead of the surroundings and the banter that happens beforehand.

 

Scene: Chasing Kendrick

In the chase for Kendrick, we are robbed of an extended MacGyverism:

We got a bola for Episode 1×14 (Fish Scaler), though.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

It’s possible that the next scene had been filmed and was cut out in the editing room. On the other hand, it makes sense that in the finished scene, Kendrick stays unconscious. In fact, it would have made more sense if he had been dead after the “incident” with the ladder.

 

Looking Back at Season 1 (XVII) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes Part 3 (Baywatch With Tanks)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

On July 19 in 2016, we got several pictures of a tank on set. A tank that soon got invaded by bikini-clad women in heels or boots while carrying weapons. Hmm. SkyDroneCinema called it a “hot hot day on set” while Lenkov asked 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???

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Tiko Pavoni)

As more pictures turned up, we realized the scene also featured Ninjas. There had been a Casting Call by Central Casting Georgia looking for Ninjas on July 18, but seeing them together with gun-wielding “bikini babes” just made this even more surreal.

Casting Call from July 18 (via Central Casting Georgia)

Pictures of the Ninjas posing with the bikini girls would have fit for movies along “MacGruber” or “Sharknado”, so of course we weren’t just puzzled about this, but also concerned – because the material we had gotten the days before looked so much different. It felt like the quality of the production had just dropped a notch.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Chris Delfin)

Crew member Chris Payne Gilbert sure had fun filming this scene, as did George Ead’s Stand-In 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).

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Chris Payne Gilbert)

While some fans were as happy as Lucas Till and George Eads snagging Ninja-Shooting Bikini Babe India Batson for a picture, others were either confused or disappointed; stating that “Baywatch With Tanks” (thanks for this label, Miasma!) wasn’t the image the show should be going for.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via India Batson)

We kept guessing at what this scene should be for days. Opening Gambit? Weird Dream Episode? Music Video for the Soundtrack? Promo Video for Comic Con San Diego? Maybe another production filming on the same studio lot and Lucas and George posing for fun during a break?

As it turned out, all the excitement and chatter was for nothing because the scene got cut in the end. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten a DVD copy (Season 1 has only been released in Australia and the UK so far), the scene made it onto the DVD Extras.

A look at the DVD Extras for Episode 1×01: The Rising (UK Version, via Attila Vass)

FunFact: A tiny shot of the scene actually had made it into one of the Official Trailers, so it must have been cut in the later stages of the editing process.

Screenshot of one of the Official Trailers (via CBS)

Looking at the script, this scene takes place after Patricia Thornton had recruited MacGyver back into DXS, stating his “vacation” was over.

So while MacGyver was healing (both physically and emotionally), Jack was working as a tech consultant on a movie set. Interestingly, the script never describes much of the movie besides having a young and good-looking starlet with a machine-gun, playing a character being a spy working undercover. I’m curious to know who actually came up with adding Ninjas to the “Baywatch with Tanks” concept.

I don’t think it was hinted at in the Pilot Episode that Mac and Jack didn’t stay in close contact after Lake Como. I’d think that Jack would have stayed at Mac’s side while being treated at the hospital, but it’s quite possible that Jack felt responsible for MacGyver’s girlfriend and valued team member Nikki getting killed and tried to deal with this guilt on his own.

In the version that aired, Mac and Jack are simply reunited without ever talking about the events at Lake Como. While I’m aware that the scene was probably cut for time, this just again made me think that it would have been nice to actually get a two-parter for the Pilot Episode or maybe an episode longer than the standard 40-and-something-minutes.

Scenes like this would definitely have helped to implement the friendship between these two and why they’re still working together. On the other hand, I’m totally fine about dropping the next scene:

The role of “Tiffany” was played by India Batson. I feel bad for her the scene got cut, but besides painting Jack as a bit of a ladies man, it doesn’t do much for moving the plot forwards.

BtS picture on set of Episode 1×01: The Rising (via Lucas Till)

Me being one of the “unlucky” ones without access to the DVD Extras, I can only speculate that the scene was cut for time. I don’t know much about filming budgets, but I’d say this was a rather expensive scene to let go of.

I’m fine with dropping it, though. I’s not really relevant to the plot and rather slows it down. It would have been nice to have Mac and Jack talking about the mission and their guillt, but it wasn’t necessary to do it here. Also, since Bozer is the one being interested in movies and being a director, it would have made much more sense to me if Bozer worked on movie sets (e.g. as an Extra or in catering) to earn some experience in the field. They could have worked that into an episode with MacGyver having an adventure outside of Phoenix like in the Original Show – e.g. there’s weird stuff going on at Bozer’s work place aka the film set he got a little job at; similar to “Cleo Rocks”.

Looking Back at Season 1 (XVI) – The Pilot Script: Deleted Scenes (Part 2)

The rebooted Pilot Script for the MacGyver Reboot was written by Executive Producer Peter Lenkov. An earlier version of the script – the Revised Network Draft – has been floating around since October 2016.

There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they did the first table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the Revised Network Draft of the Pilot Script from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: In the helicopter

This scene takes place when Mac and Jack are in the helicopter, chasing the bad guys transporting the bio-weapon in the truck to its destination.

The vial of morphine won’t be mentioned again until towards the end of the episode – you’ll see why further down.

 

There is some more banter and action first before Riley informs them where the (blue) truck is headed:

Original MacGyver was often annoyed by some of Jack’s comments. This scene here doesn’t feel very MacGyver, though. Original MacGyver might have thought Jack was naive and and gullible, but I don’t think he would have ever implied that Jack was mentally impaired.

Also, rebooted Mac and Jack have known each other for years. It seems weird that Jack suddenly finds MacGyver’s fear of heights inconvenient and something that Mac should overcome right now, even though it might have been a topic before.

 

Scene: Siberia

This scene takes place right after MacGyver and Jack secured the bio-weapon and before everyone meets at MacGyver’s and Bozer’s place; choosing a new name for DXS.

 

This scene was actually filmed, but got dropped in the editing room – probably for time. I don’t think they had already the idea of “recycling” this for a later episode.

BtS of 1×01: The Rising (via Peter Lenkov)

They reshot the Siberia Scene for the Season 1 Finale (1×21: Cigar Cutter), but without any voice-overs because the trip to Siberia happened under different circumstances. I would have actually preferred to see it here in the Premiere Episode. It feels very Original MacGyver; more than the version filmed for the Season Finale.

It shows the rebellious side of MacGyver; the side that is willing to breaking the rules to prevent potential disaster. In the Season Finale Version, Jack and Matty knew what MacGyver was about to do; this was probably even sanctioned by Phoenix and Oversight.

BtS of 1×21: Cigar Cutter (via Peter Lenkov)

Looking Back at Season 2 (II) – Guess the Season 2 Premiere Plot Twist (Part 2)

It’s always fun to speculate what could happen in a TV show; especially if a TV show is already running for more than a few seasons. There are many characters and storylines to choose from.

Back in March 2017, when the filming for Season 1 was coming to an end, I joined the “Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist” Game on Twitter. The point of this silly game is to make crazy and whacky predictions about a Season Finale that you would never expect to happen – but that actually COULD happen.

For Season 2, I made predictions about the Season Premiere Plot Twist.

 

In this blog post, I’m looking back at the second half of my Season 2 Premiere Plot Twists guesses. (Because it’s fun, that’s why!)

 

Why? At the end of the Pilot Episode, Thornton announced that due to Nikki Carpenter’s betrayal, DXS would have to relocate and get a new name.

Could this have happened? Theoretically, this should have already happened after Thornton was revealed as the mole. Phoenix wasn’t safe anymore – maybe that’s the reason why they got breached in the Season 1 Finale?

Would I have wanted this to happen? Well, I wouldn’t have minded them relocating, but changing the name of the Phoenix Foundation is a no-go, of course.

Could this still happen? Yes. But I’m pretty sure it won’t.

 

Why? On August 26, George Eads had posted a BtS picture on Instagram where it looked like Jack was holding onto MacGyver for dear life. In the Official Stills a few days later, it looked a bit like MacGyver was stuck in the sewer and Jack tried to pull him out.

Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via Seat 42F)

Could this have happened? This wasn’t very likely to happen, no. But it would have been fun, right?

Would I have wanted this to happen? MacGyver narrating an entire episode? Yes, please.

Could this still happen? Sure. Although MacGyver being stuck for 40 minutes without a way of getting out doesn’t feel like MacGyver.

 

Why? On July 31, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov uploaded a BtS picture of Mac and Jack in the hospital. Mac looks pretty bedraggled and slightly guilty while Jack apparently can’t sit properly.

BtS of Season 2 (via Peter Lenkov)

Could this have happened? Jack mentioned in Episodes 1×17 (Ruler) and 1×20 (Hole Puncher) that he goes all method when being undercover. So yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure, why not? Would have been especially funny if it turns out to be a really stupid tattoo.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? The synopsis of Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE) was this: Using a cell phone and soccer ball, MacGyver and the team search for a Navy SEAL who is believed to be alive in captivity in the Middle East. So we already knew a cell phone would be needed for a MacGyverism and that it wouldn’t survive.

Could this have happened? Yes, absolutely. It kinda DID happen, although it wasn’t Jack’s cell phone and that it didn’t really die. It was just lost to the bad guys.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure, why not?

Could this still happen? Yes, and I’m pretty sure it will.

 

Why? It didn’t happen in every episode, but Mac making Paperclip Art was kind of an underlying storyline throughout Season 1. And Lisa’s Tweet about that huge Paperclip immediately inspired this Plot Twist Guess.

Could this have happened? Yes, although it wasn’t very likely.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure; and I still think this should be addressed in some capacity.

Could this still happen? Yes, but I don’t think it will.

FunFact: I accidentally typed “Papierclip” in my Tweet. This was partly due to autocorrect (my “native” computer language is German), partly due to the fact that “Papier” in German means “paper” and we “normal” people use paperclips mostly for holding together papers, after all. Yet, a paperclip is called “Büroklammer” in German. In case you ever need it, I pronounce it “Büro-Chlammere” in Swiss German.

 

Why? None of the rebooted Phoenix Directors seems to have offices. They sure must have a ton of paperwork to do?

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? It would be nice to see more of Phoenix besides the War Room, the Interrogation Room and the Lab since the complex seems to be a big one with many underground levels.

Could this still happen? Yes. If they get another budget raise.

 

Why? I don’t like Sparky that much. I’d prefer scenes between “real” characters, not robotic ones.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? I prefer MacGyver saving the day, thank you very much. After all, the show is named after him.

Could this still happen? Sadly, yes.

 

I had made some Season Premiere Plot Twist Guesses that I hadn’t let loose on Twitter, but kept quiet on my Word Document until now. Some I deemed too similar to each other. Others I deemed too boring. And in the end, I had to limit my guesses because I was quite busy and had decided to write another Reboot Update instead so you wouldn’t have to wait 2 weeks as usual. I don’t see a reason to keep them all to myself now that the episode has aired.

Runner-Up Plot Twist Guess (No.2): Samantha Cage is Nikki Carpenter’s sister.

Why? Even after the main cast convirmed Isabel Lucas being cast as new series regular, we didn’t get any information about her character. There was no press release about her joining the team and no interviews or show appearances of her.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Not really, no.

Could this still happen? Yes, although that isn’t very likely. But since they’re both CIA, they actually might know each other (or might know about each other).

Why was this Plot Twist Guess not posted on Twitter? I had already made a Season 2 Premiere Plot Twist Guess about the new agent joining the team being Jack’s sister. So this Plot Twist Guess was redundant and therefore boring.

 

Runner-Up Plot Twist Guess (No.3): Jack shaved off his Mohawk after losing a bet.

Why? It was clear from the first BtS pictures we got that Jack Dalton had a new haircut.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure.

Could this still happen? Yes. It seems very Jack and losing this kind of bet probably hurts less than drinking an entire bottle of Hot Sauce like seen in Episode 1×16 (Hook).

Why was this Plot Twist Guess not posted on Twitter? I’m not sure. It didn’t seem important enough, I guess. I posted other Plot Twist Guesses first. And then I forgot all about it.

 

End of Part 2. You can find Part 1 here.

Looking Back at Season 2 (I) – Guess the Season 2 Premiere Plot Twist (Part 1)

It’s always fun to speculate what could happen in a TV show; especially if a TV show is already running for more than a few seasons. There are many characters and storylines to choose from.

Back in March 2017, when the filming for Season 1 was coming to an end, I joined the “Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist” Game on Twitter. The point of this silly game is to make crazy and whacky predictions about a Season Finale that you would never expect to happen – but that actually COULD happen.

For Season 2, I made predictions about the Season Premiere Plot Twist.

 

In this blog post, I’m looking back at the first half of my Season 2 Premiere Plot Twists guesses. (Because it’s fun, that’s why!)

 

Why? We already know that Team Phoenix likes to play “Truth or Dare”. On the 1st of August, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted a picture of Lucas Till on the Arcade set on Instagram. In the background, you can see a funny-looking mascot standing near other Extras sitting at a table.

BtS of Season 2 (via Peter Lenkov)

Could this have happened? Sure, why not? So far, we never learnt much about Mac and Jack’s hobbies when they’re not working – besides Mac working on a motorcycle.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Hm. I guess such a storyline would have been used to make fun of Jack and wouldn’t have brought much value to the show, so probably not.

Could this still happen? Yes. Of all the main characters, I guess Jack would be the most likely to be a furry.

 

Why? MacGyver’s father was an underlying storyline throughout Season 1. In the Season Finale, we learnt that he has disappeared. Mac decided to go searching for him and Jack joined in; bringing along Robot Sparky and looking forward to a trip to Vegas.

Could this have happened? This wasn’t very likely to happen, but the writers tend to bring up topics that never get mentioned again. Also, it would have mirrored the Cairo storyline – we still don’t know what actually happened. The trip to Vegas could have been told in future Opening Gambits.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No. After all that build-up and the way the Season Finale ended, it would have been weird.

Could this still happen? I’m sure there will be episodes where MacGyver’s father isn’t mentioned, but judging by interviews so far for Season 2, Mac Senior’s disappearance will be an underlying storyline over the whole Season, coming to full term in the Season 2 Finale.

 

Why? While Jack pretends to join Mac in the quest of finding his father, he is rather looking forward to a trip to Vegas.

Could this have happened? Maybe. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that Jack might “accidentally” get married, but it’s a lot less plausible for Mac. Although, rebooted MacGyver does drink Alcohol…

Would I have wanted this to happen? Not really. Unless they pretended to get married for a mission. Also, if Mac and Jack ever get married, I want it to be a huge wedding with church and reception and hundreds of guests, not a shotgun wedding in Vegas.

Could this still happen? Sure. Doesn’t mean it should.

 

Why? Jack mentioned having a sister and a nephew in Season 1, but we never got to know more about his family. In July 2017, we got notice about 2 new female characters joining the team; one of them being an Intel Extraction Specialist.

Could this have happened? Yes, although it was very unlikely.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Not really. But I wouldn’t mind meeting Jack’s sister one day.

Could this still happen? Yes, but she would probably be his half-sister he hadn’t known about.

 

Why? Riley had to shoot someone in the Season 1 Finale Episode so she wouldn’t get killed herself. I thought Tristin Mays’ portrayal afterwards of Riley being in shock was brilliant. Both Riley and Bozer are more or less civilians despite their recent training, so it wouldn’t have been very far-fetched for them developing some form of PTSD.

MacGyver is famous for its main hero being anti-gun. The topic was never addressed in the Reboot, though and this would have been a great opportunity. Addressing this event could have opened up another storyline for Riley; e.g. Riley demanding shooting lessons from Jack or requesting to the higher-ups to carry a gun on missions. It also would have been a possibility of a clash of opinions in the team (e.g. the others opposing to Riley’s wish to carry a gun on missions or Jack refusing to teach her).

Could this have happened? The Storyline: Yes, but probably not as an Opening Gambit.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure; and I still think this should be addressed in some capacity.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? I have this feeling that the biological weapon of the Pilot Episode will come into play again. Also, there have been BtS pictures of Siberia Scenes back in July.

BtS of Season 2 (via Patrick Kral)

Could this have happened? Yes, but probably not in the Season Premiere.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Not sure. I had my fill with biological weapons for now.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? I love the voice-overs. I love Murdoc. So what’s not to like about voice-overs done by Murdoc?

Could this have happened? Since David Dastmalchian has been very busy lately, probably not for a full episode – but maybe for an Opening Gambit?

Would I have wanted this to happen? Yes, very much.

Could this still happen? Yes, although I think if there are voice-overs by someone else than MacGyver, it would be probably one of the main characters (e.g. Jack). That would be fun as well.

 

I had made some Season Premiere Plot Twist Guesses that I hadn’t let loose on Twitter, but kept quiet on my Word Document until now. Some I deemed too similar to each other. Others I deemed too boring. And in the end, I had to limit my guesses because I was quite busy and had decided to write another Reboot Update instead so you wouldn’t have to wait 2 weeks as usual. I don’t see a reason to keep them all to myself now that the episode has aired.

Runner-Up Plot Twist Guess (No.1): Samantha Cage will turn out to be Matty’s Love Interest.

Why? Ever since we got confirmation about other female cast members joining the show for Season 2, there have been speculations about one of them being a love interest for one of the male characters. These speculations turned up a notch after it was clear that Isabel Lucas had been cast as an agent joining Team Phoenix.

Most people speculating on social media assumed she would be a love interest for MacGyver. After the first preview, there was chatter about her being a love interest for Jack or Bozer (since there had been confirmation we would see Bozer and Riley in relationships with other characters).

Back in Season 1, there have been speculations about Patricia Thornton or Riley being gay (and therefore turning down Bozer). Many fans have praised the show for featuring strong female characters, people of color and actors with disabilities. There have been wishes that the show adds openly gay characters as well.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? As long as there won’t be any love-triangle-drama, I’m ok with her dating someone of Team Phoenix.

Could this still happen? Yes, especially now that it has been established that Samanta Cage is bi-sexual. We don’t know anything about Matty Webber’s love life, and it’s been made clear that the two have been known each other for a while, so…

Why was this Plot Twist Guess not posted on Twitter? I had made a Season 1 Finale Plot Twist Guess about Riley being in love with Thornton back then, so I thought this one was too similar. Also, I don’t really care if one of the main characters is gay or not.

 

End of Part 1. You can find Part 2 soon.