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

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.

Judging by social media pictures by cast and crew, we know this wasn’t the final version. There was a Production Draft from June 29 and several revisions (Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green) when they finally started the table read on July 8.

I’m taking a look at the only version of the Pilot Script that’s available to me at the moment – the Revised Network Draft from June 20 (2016).

 

Scene: Lake Como

This scene takes place at Lake Como, after MacGyver entered the villa and donned his camera glasses, right before he meets up with Patricia Thornton.

I think this is an interesting little snippet. Many viewers complained on social media that MacGyver came off as too cocky and James-Bond-like. And I think that was the main reason that many fans of the Original Show stopped watching. I think more scenes like this one could have helped preventing that.

Interestingly, this is a theme in most of the Reboot-FanFiction as well – MacGyver is not a ladies man; usually clueless when women flirt with him.

 

Scene: MacGyver running

This scene happens right after the Opening Credits.

There are no voice-overs in the finished scene. I don’t know if they ever made them and decided to take them out or not. They’re not necessary for the scene in my opinion. On the other hand, I never really felt the love and betrayal between MacGyver and Nikki. Maybe something like this would have helped.

 

Scene: MacGyver taking a shower

This scene happens after MacGyver’s run and talking with Bozer and before the shower scene.

This little snippet isn’t that important to the story, but it gives us a bit more insight into who MacGyver is. Also, the set of MacGyver’s house is really interesting. I would have liked to see more of it – especially since we saw Bozer’s room in Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew), but never got to see MacGyver’s room.

 

After the Flashback comes this little snippet:

I’m curious if this was written with another specific storyline in mind. It could also be some “leftovers” from the Unaired Pilot Script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo. The Unaired Pilot Script had MacGyver rescuing himself after being held prisoner for five years in Pakistan by the Mazzari, a terrorist group. It’s possible that Colaizzo’s script implied MacGyver being tortured.

If this was added by Lenkov, it could have been part of MacGyver’s childhood story; e.g. how his mother died. I’m thinking car accident – and the idea of MacGyver being with her when she died. But I guess this might have been too dark as a backstory – the most recent episodes proved again that the show is seen as light entertainment for a Friday evening.

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Looking Back at Season 1 (VIII) – The Curious Case of the Yellow Rubber Duckies

On July 27 in 2016, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted a picture of himself; shouldering a certain missile prop on the MacGyver Reboot set.

BtS of Season 1 (via Peter Lenkov)

He deleted the picture a few hours later; maybe aware that he had just given a HUGE Easter Egg away – although it was still two months before the Season 1 Premiere. (Even Non-MacGyver-Fans know about the famous missile shot with Richard Dean Anderson that still serves as the probably most famous Promo Picture for the Original Show.)

Interestingly, the online conversation and speculations between fans of the Original Show soon shifted to something that was on the table behind Lenkov – the Yellow Rubber Duckies.

Why? It’s a fact that Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson has an affinity for Rubber Duckies. Back when RDA was still active on Twitter, he had posted pictures of him with/or of Yellow Rubber Duckies several times.

Rubber Duckies in the Wild (via Richard Dean Anderson, 6th of July 2012)

In an article about RDA’s Malibu Home from 2009, rubber duckies are mentioned living in the bathroom of Richard’s daughter Wylie.

There is a photo of RDA napping with a yellow duck on his chest. The picture was taken in July 2000, on a trip with Bobby Kennedy for an expedition to Headwall Canyon, a very remarkable wilderness 60 miles outside Vancouver. The 7-day excursion was filmed as part of the “National Geographic Explorer” series and aired in October 2000.

Richard Dean Anderson (National Geographic Explorer, July 2000)

On BtS set pictures of the original show, you can see a single Yellow Rubber Ducky in MacGyver’s kitchen on the Houseboat Set.

MacGyver Houseboat Set during Hiatus (August 1990)

 

Back to the present. (Well, the recent past.)

A few weeks later after Lenkov’s vanishing photo, there was an Instagram Post by one of the set decorators – consisting of a picture with LOTS of stranded Rubber Duckies; waiting for better things to come.

Lots of Rubber Duckies (via citykitty)

Was it just a coincidence instead of an hommage? One of the set decorators stumbling over these homeless duckies for a bargain, and thinking they would make a great prop?

Fun Fact: Inserting interesting props as a visual signature is nothing new. If you’ve seen RDA’s other longtime-series “Stargate SG-1”, you might have noticed that in almost every episode directed by William Waring, there’s a pineapple in one of the scenes.

Some of these battered-looking Yellow Rubber Duckies had quite the career. On September 23rd last year, the Duckies had their prominent premiere in the Pilot Episode (The Rising). It’s quite the important scene, because the Duckies are present when the Phoenix Foundation is born.

Screenshot of Episode 1×01 (The Rising)

On October 26, Stand-In Briana Lamb posted a close-up of the Duckies “swimming” in the empty bowl.

BtS of Season 1 (via Briana Lamb)

They made another appearance in Episode 1×03 (Awl), in the scene where Jack gets MacGyver to finally reach out to his father and write a letter.

Screenshot of Episode 1×03 (Awl)

The “career high” was probably in Episode 1×05 (Toothpick), when the Duckies were featured in a longer scene between Bozer and Riley.

Screenshot of Episode 1×05 (Toothpick)

(Is this Rubber Ducky Cruelty, by the way?)

(Note that there is another Easter Egg plainly visible on Bozer’s sweater.)

Screenshot of Episode 1×05 (Toothpick)

Interestingly, they used another set of Duckies for Justin Hires and Tristin Mays to hit with the racket. This might have been a decision purely for aesthetic reasons since these Duckies have a richer yellow color and therefore more visibility in the shot. They probably bought them brand new.

Screenshot of Episode 1×05 (Toothpick)

In the swimming pool, it was the “old” Duckies having a swim.

Screenshot of Episode 1×05 (Toothpick)

Still Photographer Guy D’Alema captured both sets of Duckies in this BtS picture (January 2017).

BtS picture of Season 1 (via Guy D’Alema)

In Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew), we get to see where the Duckies hibernate: In Bozer’s bedroom.

Screenshot of Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew)

In Episode 1×11 (Scissors), the Duckies are almost hidden. Look closely!

Screenshot of Episode 1×11 (Scissors)

More cruelty against innocent Rubber Duckies happens in Episode 1×16 (Hook). When Riley is playing “Truth or Dare” with Team Phoenix, Jack lobbs the Duckies at her; trying to disctract her and win the game.

Screenshot of Episode 1×16 (Hook)

The most secret appearance of one single Ducky probably happens during the Crossover-Episode with Hawaii Five-0. Look on the right side, under the chair. Sneaky!

Screenshot of Episode 1×18 (Flashlight)

The last appearance I noticed was in the Season Finale, when MacGyver tells Jack about the letter. During the scene, the Duckies are partially hidden – either by the credits or by the MacGyvered prop on the table.

Screenshot of Episode 1×21 (Cigar Cutter)

It’s possible I missed some more appearances, of course. (If you know something I don’t – that’s what the comment section is for.)

It’s still not entirely clear to me what the Yellow Rubber Duckies are about. I do think they might be an hommage to RDA, but who knows. They could be an hommage to CBS and its show “Big Brother” (because a yellow rubber ducky has been a regular in Big Brother houses for several seasons and you can actually buy a yellow rubber duck with the Big Brother logo at the CBS Store).

We might hear about it on the DVD Extras. We might see them again in Season 2. I hope we do, actually. They’re cute.

Looking Back at Season 1 (V) – The Promo (Part 2: The Portraits)

On September 15 in 2016, CBS had released the first promo pictures and stills for the Pilot Episode. Some of these pictures were used as character portrait pictures to introduce the characters of “Team MacGyver” (that would become “Team Phoenix” by the end of the episode).

As far as I know, the character portraits were mainly used on the official Facebook and Instagram pages.

The team members were marketed like this:
Angus MacGyver (Lucas Till) = The Brains
Jack Dalton (George Eads) = The Muscle
Riley Davis (Tristin Mays) = The Hacker
Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) = The Boss
Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires) = The Best Friend

To put it mildly, the character portraits weren’t received very well by fans of the Original Show, especially by fans that hadn’t heard yet that there would be a team involved. The most vocal comments were about Jack Dalton being “The Muscle”.

Personally, I wasn’t very happy with Bozer being portrayed as “The Best Friend”, especially after the BtS video from set were Justin joked about playing the black guy flipping burgers on the show. (CBS was critized heavily after last year’s upfronts due to the fact that all main heroes for their new 2016 Fall Shows were white males. Justin being marketed like this just added a little more fuel to the fire.)

Additionally, CBS also released official portraits of each cast member on their website; listing a few facts and projects.

I liked those portraits, although Tristin’s was different (probably taken on set). On the CBS website, they later replaced her background with the same “studio grey” to match the other pictures.

As the main character, Lucas Till had some additional pictures that were mostly used by TV magazines and for articles online.

CBS later replaced Sandrine Holt’s portrait on their website with a new one by Meredith Eaton. It’s interesting to note that “The Boss” character portrait of Sandrine as Patricia Thornton has been removed from the Facebook Page (although Meredith never got her own). It’s still up on Instagram, though.

They had done more portraits of Lucas in the photoshoot that was done at the same time as the parachute scene for the Billboard Poster Art. (You can read more about this in my other blog post from earlier this week.)

It’s possible they decided not to officially release them because MacGyver is wearing a bomb vest while being tied to a chair. Many countries (at least in Europe) have strict rules about such pictures; meaning they might not have been able to use them for international promo anyway. In fact, European countries used their own poster art that goes along with the teaser clips. (I will cover this topic in another blog post soon.)

For their website, CBS still uses a header of only “Mac and Jack”; presenting them as the main leads and implying that the Reboot is mainly a two-man-show.

I’d love to see more high-quality pictures of these one day. Since George is wearing the same haircut again now that they started filming the new season, it’s actually possible they might be used for the Season 2 promo as well.

Looking Back at Season 1 (IV) – The Promo (Part 1: The Poster Art)

If you’ve read some of my Updates, you probably already know: I’m not a big fan of the Official Poster Promo.

I like the colors. The combination of the colors looks good at night, too. The BtS videos look like they had a lot of fun shooting it. I like that it features only a single character – the character the show was actually named for. It seems they had quite the decent advertizing budget. The poster art looks very modern, I guess. And it looked pretty great being painted onto Hotel Figueroa in LA.

But I just don’t like the poster itself.

Day vs Night (via Twitter)

For one, I think it’s a bit misleading.

The Reboot is clearly more “Team Phoenix” than “MacGyver”. Back when the writers (e.g. Brian Durkin) were still writing scripts and filming hadn’t started yet, there was a lots of talk about Jack Dalton and the Hashtag #MacAndJack was used frequently. Although both Lucas Till and George Eads did the promo tour shortly before the premiere in September, it was only Lucas who was featured in the poster art and the mini clips.

Additionally, they had stated at Comic Con San Diego that MacGyver would still be afraid of heights. Here, he looks like he jumps out of helicopters before breakfast every day.

Pizza and Scripts (via Cornell Willis)

Two, I don’t think the poster fits the character.

Back when the poster art was seen on billboards and on busses, many people uploaded photos of it on social media. Most reactions were negative. People who didn’t know the original show were kinda confused what this should be. They deemed it too cheesy and assumed it was promo for a B-Movie with lots of CGI explosions. Others made fun of it, stating it was a rip-off of other movie posters and game covers.

Pizza Boxes are good for creating stuff (via Twitter)

Many fans of the original show took offense by stating that Lucas Till’s version of MacGyver was too cocky and “smirky” and that the sujet itself was too “patriotic”. I have to agree that it wasn’t necessary to put an American flag on the parachute. This might be a controversial topic, depending where you readers are from.

I’m not American and to me, MacGyver has always been an international show. In some countries, the original show has been airing for years on free TV stations without any hiatus. I don’t remember a single episode where MacGyver put emphasis on his heritage (growing up in Minnesota, yes, but not being American per se).

Sightseeing with Style (via Proper Sightseeing)

Third, I think it’s overly photoshopped.

When the poster art was released in August 2016, I still didn’t know much about Lucas or his work. By now, I’ve seen many pictures of him and several of his movies, and I have to say he has a nice and natural smile. The poster diminishes that and makes him look a bit like a cocky jerk.

I’m aware that this might be exactly what the studio had in mind. Rebooted MacGyver is younger than OT MacGyver, and even in the original show, MacGyver stated that he was a bit cocky and sometimes too self-assured in his younger years.

Wall Painting on Hotel Figueroa, LA (via Mohamad M Ali)

I can’t even imagine what Lucas must have felt like; seeing your own face on huge billboards all around the city you live in. That’s quite an accomplishment if you’re still so young. But I just don’t know why they chose this one as the end result.

I actually like the screenshots of the BtS video and BtS pictures of the photoshoot much better.

BtS picture (via Nick Tortorici)

Looking back, it feels a bit strange that they had all this promo with the “Parachute Scene”, yet cut the scene so short in the Pilot Episode. It’s probably the most interesting MacGyverism in the episode; especially for viewers that don’t know the original show.

Yes, time is essential for the scene. I guess it played out better in the Unaired Pilot, where MacGyver probably “sailed” for a much longer time once he escaped the burning truck that fell down a cliff.

Interestingly, there was a second billboard version out there in LA, but we never got to see it anywhere else in any other form.

Billboard in LA (via Byron Nickleberry)

Looking Back at Season 1 (III) – Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist (Part 2)

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

Back in March, 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.

I’m looking back at the second half of my Season Finale Plot Twists guesses. You can find Part 1 here.

 

Why? Episode 1×19: Compass hadn’t happened yet and Bozer finally declaring his love to Riley was expected to happen sometime soon; especially after he suddenly had a rival present.

It was kinda weird that after Bozer finally got Riley’s number, nothing ever happened. It was not clear if they had been dating or if he ever asked her out at all and had been turned down. It’s like they forgot about this storyline just to pick it up again in the Crossover Episode 1×18: Flashlight.

Could this have happened? Yes, although it’s rather unlikely. Although: If Thornton hadn’t already been established as a major bad guy and been replaced, I think it’s actually possible they could have made her acknowledge a girlfriend or fiancée one day (e.g. because she had been kidnapped).

The Reboot has a very diverse cast and even someone handicapped; why not make one of the main characters presented as being gay?

Would I have wanted this to happen? Now that Thornton had already been out of the picture: No. But I wouldn’t have minded if Riley had turned down Bozer because she wasn’t into guys.

Could this still happen? Theoretically yes, but it’s not very likely.

 

Why? Original MacGyver has been in a coma as well (in Episode 5×21: Passages) and this would be quite a dramatic plot twist indeed.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Not really. Sounds like a typical FanFiction trope.

Could this still happen? Yes. But that would probably be a cheap way to reset the whole series because they wrote themselves into a corner. Also, that would mean that Riley, Matty, Murdoc and almost every other character introduced after the pilot episode weren’t a part of the MacGyver Universe and would have to disappear. Hell, even the Phoenix Foundation wouldn’t exist.

 

Why? Original MacGyver had several episodes that dealed with either MacGyver dreaming (e.g. the Western-Episode: 5×12: Serenity) or being unconscious (e.g. the two-parter in Season 7: Good Knight MacGyver) – and these episodes always turned out to be a lot of silly fun. Even the Opening Gambit of the Reboot Episode 1×17 (Ruler) turned out to be Bozer day-dreaming at work.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Oh hell yes! MacGyver playing General Wang in a movie with Godzilla that doesn’t even fit into the B-Movies-Category – it would be a movie within a TV show, and that would have been a lot of silly fun for both the cast and the viewers.

Could this still happen? Technically yes, but since the deadline for the CELLebration Film Festival has long been overdue, it would probably be another movie that Bozer made between missions.

 

Why? Richard Dean Anderson played both Original MacGyver and Colonel and later Major General Jack O’Neill (in the Stargate Series). So, why not?

Could this have happened? Well, yes and no. It’s absolutely possible that MacGyver is adopted and that his biological father is a Major General by the name of Jack O’Neill. But I’m pretty sure that would be a funny Easter Egg and not the REAL Jack O’Neill. That’s rather a storyline reserved for a FanFiction Crossover.

Would I have wanted this to happen? In FanFiction, sure. In the Reboot, no. MacGyver finding out he’s adopted would unnessecarily complicate the progressing season.

Could this still happen? Yes, although it’s rather unlikely.

 

Why? George Eads Stand-In Kevin Marshall had posted this picture on Facebook with following comment: That’s OFFICIALLY a wrap! Got to shoot the absolute final insert for #Macgyver S1. Not a bad location either. I’m gonna miss wearing Jack’s killer threads too.

Because filming had already wrapped two weeks ago, this was a very interesting post; especially since many other crew members being involved in the Reboot also had posted pictures of this location on their social media accounts.

Could this have happened? Yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Hm. I don’t know. It feels like MacGyver’s dad could turn out to be a total jerk.

Could this still happen? Theoretically yes, but it’s not even sure if this really is a location they used for the Reboot at all or if Kevin had either uploaded the wrong picture or decided to play with us. This is the location they used for filming the pilot episode of the new TV Show Dynasty that will have its premiere in October. (The location is featured in the trailer.)

 

Why? We still don’t know how or why MacGyver’s mother died, and Murdoc seems to be very interested in MacGyver’s parents.

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

Would I have wanted this to happen? No. The rest of the show would turn into a quest for MacGyver to revenge his mother’s death. The character of MacGyver was never into revenge, and this storyline would overshadow everything else.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? In an interview a day or two before the Season Finale aired, Executive Peter Lenkov had revealed that Season 2 will see both Riley and Bozer in relationships with other people. So it was a logical step to speculate about who could turn out to be the new love of Bozer’s life.

Could this have happened? Yes, of course.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Why not? I don’t mind hot doctors.

Could this still happen? Yes. Although my speculation after watching the episode was that Bozer might fall for “Lil Morgan”, the blonde Phoenix Tech that gets taken hostage by Dr. Zito before Matty steps in. The actress was also the only other actress being featured during the Opening Gambit of the Baseball Game.

 

Well, this was a whole lot of fun! I already have some plot twists in mind that could happen in the Season 2 premiere, so look out for those on Twitter.

Looking Back at Season 1 (II) – Guess the Season Finale Plot Twist (Part 1)

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

Back in March, 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.

I’m looking back at the first half of my Season Finale Plot Twists guesses. (Because it’s fun, that’s why!)

 

Why? If you read my recent blog post about MacGyver’s hair, you know why. MacGyver’s hair has always been a hot topic. There were heated discussions after Lucas Till was cast for the Reboot and again after the first stills of the Unaired Pilot were released. MacGyver’s mullet always seemed to be something holy that isn’t allowed to be touched. We already knew that Dr. Zito would make an appearance in the Season Finale, but we didn’t know yet who would play him.

Could this have happened? Yes, of course. Richard Dean Anderson would have made a very believable Dr. Zito; and cast and crew had made it very clear that they would LOVE to have RDA on the show. If he had changed his mind and told CBS “I’ll do it, but only if I get to play Dr. Zito“, he would have gotten the part. And we know Dr. Zito likes to hold people hostage in cells and to threaten and torture them.

Would I have wanted this to happen? RDA as an evil guy? Yes, please! The last shot of the episode showing a close-up of Lucas Till while “Original MacGyver” is shaving off rebooted MacGyver’s hair? Oh yes! I can’t even imagine the drama on social media after somebody leaking a picture of Lucas being bald… It’s safe to say that the ratings would have gone through the roof.

Could this still happen? Well, yes and no. Dr. Zito was already played by someone else – but there’s still the possibility of RDA (or another bad guy) shaving off Lucas’ hair. Although it wouldn’t be as much fun without RDA being involved.

 

Why? On the 10th of March, Lucas Till had posted a picture of MacGyver-Creator Lee David Zlotoff visiting the set. The cast was still in character, and Justin Hires as Bozer was wearing a bloody shirt while Tristin Mays as Riley had bloody streaks on her chest. There were speculations that Bozer would die (maybe while saving Riley), or that his almost-dying would get Riley to confess her true feelings for him.

It was already established that Bozer is a genius in mask-making, but we haven’t seen any of his masks since Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew). After that, it was all noses.

Also, it would make sense for Murdoc wanting to hurt MacGyver not just physically, but emotionally. And he’s crazy enough to wear a mask of MacGyver while doing the killing. It would actually be a throwback to the Original Show (Episode 6×12: Jerico Games), where a killer shot someone while posing as MacGyver to frame him.

Lee David Zlotoff visiting the set (via Lucas Till)

Could this have happened? Yes. There were speculations early on in the series that MacGyver’s best friend would die. And speculations until the last minute that Riley and Bozer would finally get together.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, at least in regard of Bozer dying in the first season. MacGyver feeling responsible for his best friend’s death would have overshadowed the whole next season, but probably wouldn’t have been adressed properly. MacGyver has already enough emotional issues that aren’t dealt with. Also, I would have preferred for MacGyver getting stabbed because hello, MacWhump!

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? MacGyver’s father has been mentioned since the beginning, but we still don’t know much about him. Him showing up unexpectedly would have made perfect sense for a plot twist and a cliffhanger in a Season Finale. Also, the longer he’s not showing up, the higher the expectations about the actor who will play him. Richard Dean Anderson would have been the most obvious choice for many fans, so of course the plot twist would be that it’s somebody else no one would have expected. (My second choice would have been Michael Des Barres, actually.)

Could this have happened? Well, Bruce McGill is quite busy at the moment, but yes.

Would I have wanted this to happen? Sure, why not? I would have preferred it over MacGyver looking for his father for the rest of the episodes.

Could this still happen? My assumption is this might happen in the Season 2 Finale. Well, MacGyver’s dad showing up in the final scene, not Bruce McGill playing him. If they know beforehand the show is getting a third season, I think it’s actually possible to have a close-up on MacGyver’s face saying “Dad???” while opening the door, but NOT showing who his father is.

 

Why? We still don’t know how Bozer’s movie turned out – or if he ever handed it in. Technically, he was still working on it until Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew).

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

Would I have wanted this to happen? Hm. Don’t know. Feels unresolved and not inventive enough.

Could this still happen? Technically yes, but I’m assuming the deadline for the CELLebration Film Festival was set for a long time ago. If Justin wanted to leave the show or if his character is going to be written out, it would probably happen differently; mainly more dramatically.

 

Why? The storyline with Nikki Carpenter was never satisfactorily resolved. She just disappeared although she should have been involved in everything concerning the Organization (and therefore at least in Episodes 1×17: Ruler and 1×21: Cigar Cutter). Also, it’s reasonable to assume that Tracy Spiridakos will show up again if she’s available.

Could this have happened? Yes. It’s implied in Episode 1×12 (Screwdriver) that MacGyver and Nikki had sex in the wedding room suite. It’s also a throwback to the Original Show where MacGyver had a “baby-scare” in Episode 2×20: Friends (for a few moments at least, although it wasn’t mathematically possible that the kid could have been his).

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, absolutely not. MacGyver being a father at this point would make the show very complicated; especially if he wasn’t dating the kids’ mom anymore. He wasn’t living with Nikki back when they’ve been dating for 2 years, so he wouldn’t do it now just for sake of the child – but he probably would quit his job. Sounds like an idea for a Spin-Off: Retired agent taking care of his child while the mother working for the CIA travels the world. Eh, no.

Could this still happen? Yes. But it made sense that in the Original Show, the appearance of a child didn’t happen until the Season Finale.

 

Why? We don’t know much about MacGyver’s father besides him leaving when MacGyver was either 10 or 12 years old – depending if you’re referring to Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) or to Episode 1×18 (Flashlight).

Could this have happened? Yes. It’s actually a storyline that happens in a similar way more than once in FanFiction – in MacGyver FanFiction as well.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No. I have this feeling that the revelation about MacGyver’s dad will be quite the plot twist anyway, no matter why he left. But I’d rather prefer him to be a “normal” guy that couldn’t deal with his wife’s death and grieving son and (falsely) believed it would be better if he left his son in the care of someone else.

Could this still happen? Yes.

 

Why? We don’t know much about MacGyver’s mom besides her dying when he was 5 years old. I always expected some explanation about how or why she died; e.g. in Episode 1×10 (Pliers) when Mac tells Valerie that his mom died when he was a kid.

Could this have happened? Yes, but the story behind it would probably have been a stretch.

Would I have wanted this to happen? No, absolutely not.

Could this still happen? Yes, but that would be even more of a stretch and could be interpreted as a desperate attempt to get better ratings (which the show doesn’t need for the moment).

 

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

Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

When people talk about MacGyver, they often mention certain items or character traits. Interestingly, this changes depending on the country.

In English-speaking countries, people often mention paperclips and chewing gum. In German-speaking countries, it all seems to be about MacGyver’s hair. Even in Switzerland, the mullet is mentioned before the Swiss Army Knife (maybe because MacGyver never carried a model of the SAK that was carried by actual Swiss Army Soldiers).

RDA as Original MacGyver (1985-1988)

Back in February 2016, when news outlets like Deadline announced CBS ordering a pilot for a MacGyver Reboot, the social media buzz was intense. And many people asked: Who will be the new MacGyver? What will he look like? What will his hair look like?

On March 23, CBS finally announced Lucas Till being cast as rebooted MacGyver. While some news outlets like Deadline used an old picture of Lucas from 2011 (his official IMDb portrait, originally from a promo event for X-Men: First Class), most websites like the Hollywood Reporter or Variety used a more or less recent picture of Lucas sporting long hair (from his appearance at the Catalina Film Festival in September 2015). Cue the drama.

Lucas Till at public appearances 2011 (via IMDb) and 2015 (via The Hollywood Reporter)

I was around 10 years old when I watched my first episode of Original MacGyver, and it was an episode of Season 3 (The Widowmaker). I’m a kid of the 80s, so Richard Dean Anderson’s hair as MacGyver wasn’t all that unusual to me. But I will always associate MacGyver’s hair with Seasons 3, 4 or 6 – not with the shorter and darker do he sported in Seasons 1 and 2 or the longer “beach-style-hair” in Seasons 5 and 7.

I experienced “hair-drama” before: Back in December 2007, when Robert Pattinson was cast for the first Twilight-Movie. When Summit Entertainment announced him being cast as Edward Cullen, Rob was still sporting black and a bit longer hair than usual because of his latest role in Little Ashes (2008) where he portrayed artist Salvador Dalì. So what happened? There were petitions.

Petitions by vicious fangirls (and fanboys) with thousands of signatures that demanded that “Cedric Diggory” (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005) was not the right person for this role and should be re-cast. Well. We know what happened: The first Twilight-Movie broke the record for the best US domestic opening box office by a female director (which was broken in 2015 by the first installment of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, which has been recently surpassed by “Wonder Woman”). Pattinson made four other Twilight-Movies that made a lot of money. And against the predictions back then, his career is far from over.

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen vs Public Appearance (2007)

Back to MacGyver.

Expectations for the Reboot were high, of course. Very high. As fans of the Original Version, we knew that our expectations most likely wouldn’t be perfectly met. But one can only hope, right? There were lots of discussions about Lucas being cast (and about his hair!) in the MacGyver Online Forums as well.

I didn’t really know what to think – I had never seen a single one of Lucas’ movies back then and wasn’t able to judge his acting skills. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be wearing a mullet, of course since mullets are not deemed very cool anymore. But I was worried about him sporting long, shaggy hair in the reboot because of my dislike of RDA’s hair in Seasons 5 and 7.

RDA as Original MacGyver (1989-1991)

When it became clear that Lucas would probably keep his long hair, I did wonder if they would do some flashback-flashforward scenes (à la Arrow) to establish some of MacGyver’s backstory; especially because of the leaked character descriptions. The discussions remained speculations because although some pictures of shooting locations and the new logo were leaked (and later deleted) on social media, there was no picture of Lucas in character. Not even of Lucas NOT being in character.

We didn’t know what he would look like until the first official still was released on May 16. Let’s say the pictures weren’t very well received on social media. There were references to the Hanson Brothers and comments on Twitter that MacGyver doesn’t have time for haircuts because he’s busy saving the world.

Promo Material for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (2016)

Of course, all discussions and fears had been for nothing when it was announced only days later that the Reboot would be rebooted with a new Executive Producer, a new script, new cast members and a new filming location (and therefore a new crew). The Pilot Episode would be reshot which probably meant a new look (and a different hairstyle) as well.

I was very excited when I got a glimpse of Lucas in the first trailer for his upcoming movie “Monster Trucks” (2016) a few weeks later. The movie had already been shot in 2013, but hadn’t been released yet due to the long post-production process. I really liked his character’s hairstyle and also the clothes. Additionally, the lead role of Tripp handling tools and car parts made him look very MacGyver.

Lucas Till in Monster Trucks (Official Still, 2016)

On the 3rd of June in 2016, Lucas appeared at the CBS Television Studios Summer Soiree. His hair was still long, but seemed a bit shorter than in the Unaired Pilot. On June 21, CBS announced the Premiere Date and – surprise! – Lucas sported a new haircut. Which looked very good and very modern-day MacGyver in my opinion.

Not even a month later, we got the first glimpse of Lucas in character on the first day of shooting the new pilot. Sporting the signature leather jacket, I couldn’t even remember what had been the problem in the first place. Well done!

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

 

End of Part 1. I will reminisce about MacGyver’s hair some more in Part 2.