Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.
If you missed Part 1 (about the Unaired Pilot’s Origins), you can read it here. If you want to read Part 2 (about the Unaired Pilot’s promo material), you can find it there. The post with the first part of BtS photos is to be found here.
(Note: If there’s no link to the photos I’m writing about, that means either the account has been set to private / been disabled or the photo/video has been deleted from social media.)
Hiding in Plain Sight
Of course, we were mostly interested in what “New MacGyver” would look like. Since we knew that Lucas Till had been sporting long hair before they started filming, there were different opinions if he would (or should) wear something similar to Original MacGyver’s mullet or not.
We never got to see a photo of Lucas on set while the filming process was still going on – although he had been in a short Twitter video uploaded by Hope Ayiyi, hiding in plain sight: While many assumed the guy at the podium was either Lucas or his look-alike-Stand-In, it turned out that Lucas had been sitting right next to it.
(I hadn’t realized before watching some of Lucas’ promo duties for X-Men: Apocalypse a few weeks later that he had still been sporting long hair during filming. All the other photos in this blog post have been found or uploaded online AFTER the Official Stills and the Teaser Trailer had been released.)
In a BtS photo (uploaded by Hope Ayiyi on the same day), you can see Lucas in character at the podium. This scene was also briefly featured in the Teaser Trailer. There had been some tweets on that day of Extras being cast as reporters, but they never provided any photos, holding up the no-photos-order for Pilot Season.
Until a few weeks ago, I’ve never been able to find BtS photos of the other cast members in costume on set. We do have semi-official studio photos of the guys in costume, though – curtesy of Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker and her website.
There’s both Lucas and George as MacGyver and Lincoln (before his character’s transformation into Jack Dalton in the rebooted Pilot), but also one of Joshua Boone as Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (before the character’s transformation into Wilt Bozer).
Interestingly, in both this studio photo and the official portrait used for promo at the LA screenings, Lucas Till keeps his long hair “hidden” in a ponytail, contrary to the Teaser Trailer and the Official Stills.
Also, Unaired Pilot MacGyver’s costume and stance reminds Original fans of “Comic MacGyver”, a drawing of MacGyver that had been released by Lee David Zlotoff’s before the MacGyver Comics came out (and is still used as an icon on Zlotoff’s social media accounts). The drawing resembles RDA’s MacGyver, contrary to the drawings done for the comics. It is possible that the Costume Designer had taken some inspiration from this early version.
Sadly, I couldn’t find anything about the costumes for the female characters. Either someone else took care of their costumes or Eileen Cox Baker didn’t put them up on her website. There is also a photo of the Rebels (or the Mazari, according to the storyline description by SpoilerTV) in costume.
The clothes look good, but the beards are not very convincing.
We’ve seen some BtS photos of the locations used for the Teaser Trailer that was released just before the Upfronts in May 2016. A few weeks ago – when picking up the research again for Unaired Pilot stuff – I finally stumbled over the first “official” set photos, curtesy of Production Designer John Mott.
One is of MacGyver’s home, built on location. We can see Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (Joshua Boone), MacGyver and Mickey (Addison Timlin), plus an unknown character on the left. Interestingly, this home looks very different from the one used for the new pilot directed by James Wan (1×01: The Rising). MacGyver’s home used for the rebooted pilot is cluttered with stuff as well, but this one has more of an “antique” and old-fashioned feel to it; a bit like for Indiana Jones.
It’s possible that MacGyver’s home had belonged to his father or grandfather. It doesn’t seem that plausible why MacGyver and Hunter (both in their mid-twenties) would live in such a place otherwise.
Meghan Lyvers had provided another photo of MacGyver’s home on Instagram back in April 2016. In the background, you can see the chemistry supplies that were also featured in one of the Official Stills.
The other photo by John Mott is of MacGyver kept hostage in a secret lab. The container being held by the villain reminds me of the one used for the rebooted Pilot Episode. Judged by this photo and the parts of the storyboard I’ve seen, I’m assuming that there might have been a bio-weapon as well in the storyline for the Unaired Pilot.
Lucas on Location
There’s only a handful of photos of Lucas Till on location, but let’s take a look at them. There’s one of Lucas with Executive Producer James Wan, Producer Michael Clear and other crew members during a night shoot; provided by Adam Michna.
There’s another one of Lucas posing with Micahveli Shakur. (Since the complete cast and crew list is nowhere to be found, I don’t know what his job on set was.)
Another BtS photo shows Lucas with his Stunt Double Peter Wallack. This scene was part of the Teaser Trailer as well, when MacGyver escapes from the Mazari’s hiding place.
Another photo was taken during the scene filmed at the abandoned shopping mall (Hawthorne Plaza). It can be found in the gallery of Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker’s IMDb site. Interestingly, it looks like the bad guy driving the car survived the explosive arrow that had been MacGyvered to stop him. (It had been one of the major complaints by Original MacGyver fans about the Teaser Trailer that it looked like New MacGyver had killed someone.)
Production wrapped on May 5, only two weeks before the CBS Upfronts. (The Upfronts are events where the networks announce their TV schedule for Fall and provide more info about their new TV shows to the press.)
For now, it looks that visual material of the Unaired Pilot is still kept under wraps. Let’s hope that people involved in this project will provide us with more photos and videos one day.