Looking Back at Season 1 (IX) – The Official Stills (Part 1)

I was always a bit puzzled about the release of the Official Stills for the MacGyver Reboot. (But maybe that’s just how it works with TV shows in the US – it’s not like I’m an expert on the subject.)

Sometimes we would get 20 Official Stills for an episode – another time only 3. Sometimes we would get 9, but all of them looking very similar. Or 6 out of them showing people standing around, looking at something we can’t see. The quality seemed to vary as well.

Overall there weren’t many in the bunch that would actually spark my interest, but it’s fun to look over them again, now that it’s been many months since I’ve seen the episodes for the first time.

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

Episode 1×01: The Rising (Still Photographer: Guy D’Alema, Jace Downs, Ron P. Jaffe)
It’s necessary to release a bunch of Official Stills for a Pilot Episode, of course. We got about 19 Official Stills via SpoilerTV and a few more via Getty Images. It’s difficult to judge stills when you don’t know all the characters yet, but I thought they had a good variety of different scenes – there was team bonding, running, disarming bombs, kissing and MacGyvering.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Probably the one with Mac and Jack doing some MacGyvering.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: No Still where we get to see the SAK? What a missed opportunity. Also, the only Still with Bozer in it seemed to be a weird choice.

Episode 1xo2: Metal Saw (Jace Downs)
For the second episode, we got about 12 Stills via SpoilerTV. Interestingly, 3 of them seem to be BtS pictures dressed as Stills.

Episode 1×02: Metal Saw (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: MacGyver hanging out of the car window, holding a bottle. You just want to know what he’s going to do, right?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The Stills are all taken from only two scenes – the Opening Gambit and Bozer talking with Riley. Again no SAK. And why didn’t they release a Still of guest star Amy Acker? She was mentioned in articles and used in the previews, so her appearance wasn’t exactly a surprise anymore.

Episode 1xo3: Awl (Guy D’Alema, Erika Doss, Jace Downs)
The third episode had about 13 Stills via SpoilerTV. Lots of them are close-up portraits pictures of the cast – except for Bozer, who’s nowhere to be found.

Episode 1×03: Awl (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Mac and Jack walking through fire – there must be something symbolic about that, no?

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The cast is very pretty to look at, but for such an action-heavy Opening Gambit, there’s only a single Still explicitly hinting at any action.

Episode 1xo4: Wire Cutter (Guy D’Alema, Erika Doss)
The episode with the first guest star that had also appeared in the Original Show. We got 9 Stills via SpoilerTV and an additional one (featuring the big Russian bomb) that was used in articles.

Episode 1×04: Wire Cutter (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: One with guest star Elya Baskin of course.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: The Stills are a variety of different people and different scenes. So not disappointing at all. Although I still haven’t seen that SAK…

Episode 1xo5: Toothpick (Guy D’Alema, Jace Downs)
On the set of the fifth episode, they did many video interviews for regional TV promo and for print interviews that were released during the next few months. Yet, we only got 7 Official Stills via SpoilerTV.

Episode 1×05: Toothpick (via SpoilerTV)

MY FAVORITE: Not much to choose from. Probably the one of “Main Team Phoenix” standing there with Jack looking all banged up.

NOW THAT’S DISAPPOINTING: I don’t like this episode all that much. Sadly, the Stills aren’t all that interesting, either. And there’s no SAK, but a phone. Hm.

 

(More coming soon.)

Looking Back at Season 1 (VII) – The Promo (Part 4: The Teaser Promo)

The first Teaser Promo was released before they had even started filming the rebooted Pilot Episode. On June 21, Lucas Till revealed the Premiere Date (September 23rd) to us in form of a teaser video clip; the premiere date formed by tools.

 

The Teaser still used the old logo of the Unaired Pilot (with the SAK forming the “V”). Additionally, we got to see Lucas Till’s new MacGyver-haircut for the first time.

For July, they used some more teaser clips with scenes of the first trailer for the Pilot Episode. Otherwise, for the initial Reboot Promo it was all about the tools. If you remember, they had handed out an updated version of the Original MacGyver Paperclip Tool at ComicCon San Diego. They used the original tagline “The only tool you’ll ever need” as well.

ComicCon San Diego 2016 Swag (via Amy Rushia on Instagram)

On August 16, CBS released two new Teaser Clips. The first shows MacGyver teetering on two chair-legs at the edge of a skyscraper, certainly in danger of falling. But we didn’t need to worry, because “he’s got this”.

The second one shows MacGyver tied to a chair, freeing himself with a paperclip.

While I’m not so fond of the first clip, I’m still laughing about the second. No, it’s not really in line of Original MacGyver, but it was quite a clever way to catch the attention of a new potential audience. Also, the clips are a bit of an homage to the cheesy 80’s TV shows ads.

The Teaser Promo got some negative comments by fans of the Original Show; most of them stating that rebooted MacGyver seemed too cocky. This was actually my first impression as well – but I liked the fact that was MacGyver only and not “Team Phoenix”.

However, I believe this is one of the reasons why so many fans of the original show were disappointed by the Pilot Episode. We already learnt in interviews during the promo tour that rebooted MacGyver isn’t a lone wolf anymore, but the Teaser Promo and the Press Tour Events (attended by George Eads as the only cast member besides Lucas Till) made it seem that the Reboot is more of a “buddy show” and that the team wouldn’t be as prominent as it turned out to be.

Also, the paperclip as a tool seemed to be a much bigger thing in the beginning than at the end of the season. There’s a pretty funny BtS picture that Lucas Till posted on Instagram last September.

BtS picture of the Teaser Promo (via Lucas Till)

It will be interesting to see if they’ll use the paperclip also as one of the important tools in Season 2. Executive Producer Peter Lenkov already promised they will keep the paperclip art (although they tended to forget it over the first season).

A slightly different version of the paperclip teaser was used for the German Promo. Additionally, they made very short teaser clips for Facebook, adressing how MacGyver uses tools differently than other people do (e.g. using a paperclip as a key or a shoelace as a bungee rope).

I don’t know about any other International Teaser Videos. Most European countries made their own trailers with scenes from the Pilot Episode. You can watch the Italian version (on Channel Rai2) here.

The subject of the Teaser Promo was also used for International Promo on social media (e.g. Germany, Turkey, South Africa). The Facebook and Twitter Header shows MacGyver teetering on the edge again (although he’s wearing different clothes this time).

International Promo (Facebook / Twitter Header)

The Poster shows MacGyver hanging upside down, using the tagline “No agent has done more with less”. This tagline was also used in some of the US video teaser previews.

International Promo (Poster)

I’m not sure if we’ll get another Teaser Promo for Season 2. It would be fun, though.

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)

MacGyver Reboot Update #2

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project  on July 8, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Executive Producer Peter Lenkov is a busy bee. He travelled to Hawaii for the new season of “Hawaii Five-0” (filming started on July 6th). On the 7th of July, he was back in Atlanta to start production on the MacGyver Reboot. Yes, ladies and gentlemen: It’s on! Also, MacGyver goes to Comic-Con this month!

Sightings
Both Lucas Till and George Eads had arrived in Atlanta a few days beforehand. They visited a Target store twice (both times posing for fan photos) and celebrated the 4th of July with actor Michael Aaron Milligan on Lake Lanier (it is unclear for now if “Mike” will be part of the cast). George Eads got a “new” haircut at Supercuts. We can assume that his character of Jack Dalton will look the same as his character of Lincoln for the unaired pilot that shall not be named.

Production has started
Script Writer Brian Durkin shared a picture of a golf cart from set on Instagram; stating it was all “ready to go” on July 5. On the same day, location scout Gonzo Rey posted a few pictures while location scouting in Atlanta.

On the 8th of July, Peter Lenkov posted a picture of the first production meeting; featuring the script title page of the pilot episode called “The Rising”. The next day, he shared some pictures of the set. It seems like they’re building a house – a house with a structure that looks a bit like Mac’s houseboat.

On the same day, Justin Hires shared a picture of a table read, featuring again the title page of the (revised) script.

Cast and Crew News
On the 1st of July, Matt Clanton announced that he would advise and coordinate a tactical team of ATFF (Act Tactical For Film) folks in the reboot. Matt is a former police officer and teaches actors how to fight and use weapons like real fighters, officers or S.W.A.T. team members would; meaning we will get to see some heavy-packed action scenes. His Facebook comment “they are going for the same tone” made us fans of the original show very happy.

On the 5th of July, Central Casting sent out another casting call for extras; this time looking for a bald bodyguard for the pilot episode and Asian and Hispanic men and women for several upcoming roles in different episodes.

Justin Hires posted a picture of the “MacGyver Squad” on Instagram on July 7. Between Justin and Lucas is actress Tristin Mays (The Wedding Ringer). Has the show found its new leading lady?

On the 8th of July, Russell Snipes shared on his Facebook page that he’s been hired as Lucas Till’s standin. Justin Hires’s table read picture on Instagram lists David Slack (Person of Interest) as Co-Executive Producer.

MacGyver at Comic Con
On July 6, The Wrap revealed the tv show line up for the Comic-Con 2016 in San Diego: There will be a MacGyver panel with an exclusive sneak peek on July 21.

During the 4-day-Convention (July 21 to July 24), CBS will offer complimentary rides throughout the Gaslamp District in branded electric cars. One of the featured shows on these cars is MacGyver, and trailers of the series will be screened for the passengers in those cars as well. Brand ambassadors will distribute giveaways making their debut at Comic-Con, including the MacGyver “multi-tool”.

This “multi-tool” might refer to the new poster that was released. The picture itself is not new (it is currently used for the header of the official MacGyver on CBS Facebook page), but additionally shows a big red paperclip and the tagline “the only tool you’ll ever need”.

On social media, the poster was not well received. French media outlets mocked the cheap looking quality and the overwhelming size of the paperclip. Fans are concerned that people who don’t know MacGyver might be misled by the tagline (implying that MacGyver himself is a tool).

We have to remember though that this tagline is not new. Pictures of the original “MacGyver Multitool” are still making the rounds on the internet. This might be partially responsible why so many people think that paperclips were Mac’s favorite tools or that they were used very often in the show (which is not true).

The new multi-tool could be a nod to the original pilot episode, where MacGyver disarmed a missile with a paperclip. In fact, script writer Brian Durkin posted a picture of a paperclip on Twitter back in June with the statement “Endless possibilities”. The tweet was deleted only hours later, which made fans joke that he might have given too much insight of the script. Who knows: maybe he unintentionally let us know that the pilot episode of the reboot also will include a paperclip…

What us fans can be happy about for sure: In Ballroom 20, people will get to see a sneak peek (featuring a paperclip?) for Season 1, followed by a moderated panel discussion that Lucas Till, George Eads, Peter Lenkov and James Wan will attend. We can expect lots of pictures, video clips and interviews from this event. Yay!