MacGyver Reboot Update #38

Two weeks left until the Season 2 Premiere – there are new Cast members, Episode Titles Announcements and a Photo Shoot!

BtS of Season 2 (via Isabel Lucas)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Season 2 News and Promo
The Season 2 Premiere is approaching fast. Some of the Promo material and announcements are only partially official, though. Also, there’s still no Season 1 DVD relase date for the US yet. But the news are slowly trickling in.

Although Hurricane Irma had hit Georgia and Atlanta area, production had only been shut down for day. If any indoor stages or locations suffered from the storm, we haven’t heard about it yet. Thankfully, Cast and Crew made it through unscathed; although they experienced some trouble due to power outtages.

On September 5, we got a new official poster via FOX España. The same picture is used as the header photo for the official social media accounts by CBS.

Official Season 2 Poster (via FOX España)

As with the other poster we got two weeks ago, they used the promo shoot Lucas Till and George Eads had done for Season 1 last year. It reminds me a bit of the Complete Collection DVD Set of the Original Show. Some people have been complaining about Jack Dalton being in the front, but I don’t mind as much. It’s interesting to note that they’re focusing more on the bromance than on the main hero the show is named for, though. I don’t know if this is a foreshadowing for the upcoming season (e.g. that the bromance will have more relevance than the team aspect this year).

As Justin Hires revealed, they have been doing a photo shoot yesterday. All cast members were dressed in blue and grey tones. Tristin also posed for a picture with DP (Director of Photography) Gabriel Beristain while Lucas had some “help” from Einstein.

Post-Production on Episode 2×01
On September 5, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov shared a new BtS picture of himself being on set. While he was finishing the editing process for the Season 2 Premiere Episode, he also granted us a glimpse at several short BtS videos. One of them takes place in Syria and is most likely part of the Opening Gambit. Like in the Season Finale, two people (presumably Mac and Jack) crash through the ceiling to take out the bad guys.

Instagram Live Story Screenshots of Season 2 (via Peter Lenkov)

In another clip, Jack urges Mac not to talk about Cairo – especially not when they’re in an airplane, flying directly over Cairo. Isabel Lucas (presumably as Agent Carmen) sits in front of Mac while Riley and Bozer are nowhere to be seen.

Two weeks ago, Peter Lenkov had visited Montreal to teach a Master Class in script writing to film students. On that occasion, he had taken the time to do some interviews. It makes sense now that Lenkov doesn’t engage so much in social media anymore as last year: Besides working on MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Salvation, he’s already working on another Reboot! As he told Quebec’s The Suburban, he can’t reveal yet what the project is, though.

BtS of Episode 2×05 (via Peter Lenkov)

On September 12, Lenkov shared two more pictures: One of Isabel Lucas with Lucas Till and George Eads, and a clearer picture of Jack in his Halloween Costume. So far, we haven’t seen the other costumes, but there’s a good chance that Bozer made “Team Phoenix” dress up as an hommage to The Wizard of Oz. I’m wondering a bit why we don’t get to see Bozer’s supposedly amazing mask making skills, though.

Filming in Cuba
On September 2nd, Alan Cohen revealed that he and Gabriel Beristain were already en route towards Havana to film a stunt sequence. It didn’t take long until Peter Lenkov, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe or Crew Members posted BtS pictures of a scene involving an interesting vehicle.

The scene reminds me of the Classic MacGyver Episode 2×17 (Dalton, Jack of Spies). As BtS pictures revealed, George Eads’ Stunt Double Reece Fleetwood was indeed in charge of riding the motorcycle.

BtS of Season 2 (via Gabriel Beristain)

The finished stunt sequence will probably be a chase scene. On September 3rd, Peter Lenkov had uploaded a short and rather blurry video sequence of a Stunt Driver getting a car into position. We’ve already seen this car before, but in a studio in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the main cast was filming their part in the same scene in Atlanta in front of a Green Screen. On September 8, George Eads shared a BtS picture of the process on Instagram. It’s funny how the crew is walking around in sweaters while the main heroes have to pretend they’re sweating under the Cuban sun.

(Just days after 2nd Unit had returned from Havana, Cuba was hit by the Hurricane; suffering from major destruction. There are still people without access to fresh water or a place to live since big areas have been completely destroyed.)

BtS of Season 2 (via George Eads)

Filming in “Nigeria” and “Ecuador”
On August 30, Cast and Crew had filmed at Berry Hill Airport. The location was dressed as Nigeria and apparently involves more of Jack running through the woods with his gun while Bozer takes care of the equipment. Apparently, there will also be a stunt involving fire since George Eads had revealed how to fireproof your shoes.

Justin Hires posted a BtS picture of the Nigeria Set on September 9. For several days, he had already uploaded BtS videos; e.g. of the drone that will be used in this episode. FlyWorx revealed that the drone will actually be featured in the episode and wasn’t just used for location shots. Many Extras shared pictures on social media; praising the set decorators. Extra Patrick Pierre was also the first to share a clear picture of Isabel Lucas on set.

BtS of MacGyver Season 2 (via Patrick Pierre)

Cast and Crew seem to be constantly on the move, shooting in many different locations. On September 10, production moved to “Ecuador”. As with the set for Nigeria, the scenes involved high officials and other military people.

They’ve also been back filming at the Fox Theatre (that had already been used as a location for Episode 1×15: Magnifying Glass). In the newest pictures and BtS videos by Justin Hires, we see a new appartement location. Since Justin revealed that we will re-visit Bozer at his first job as a burger-flipper, it’s possible that this appartement will also be part of a flashback scene.

Bonding with “The Gifted”
On August 23, there had been several postings about the new X-Men spin-off The Gifted (FOX) and MacGyver filming on the same location and sharing the base camp. Apparently, Lucas and George weren’t impressed about the MacGyver Crew announcing a showdown between departements: They spent Labor Day with some of The Gifted Crew; swimming in the Lake and cooking breakfast together.

Havok and Polaris (via Emma Dumont)

Emma Dumont, who plays Polaris in the show, posted a picture of her and Lucas Till that soon went viral on X-Men Fansites. In the Comics, Polaris and Havok (played by Lucas in the X-Men movies) are romantically involved. Many fans have been wondering if Lucas would make a guest appearance on The Gifted. As for now, it seems that although other actors (e.g. Amy Acker or Jermaine Rivers) and crew we’ve seen working on MacGyver are involved, Lucas isn’t part of it.

Cast and Character News
We’ve already known for a while about Isabel Lucas joining the main cast this upcoming season. There’s still no official press release yet, but the cast has already granted her a warm welcome: Justin Hires posted a picture of “Team Phoenix” in the War Room on September 11. A day later, Meredith Eaton and Lucas Till posted a welcome picture on Instagram. Isabel also posted the same picture of her with Mac and Jack on set that Lucas had already posted.

Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Stand-Ins, African American Women, Nigerian Townspeople, Techs and Agents, Hispanic Patrons, Reporters, Security and Paramedics, a Photo Double for Lucas, Hispanic Nurses, Patients and Orderlies, for Bad Guys, for Police and for people portraying Neighbors.

Reruns
There’s no rerun today. The rerun of the Season 1 Finale – Episode 21 (Cigar Cutter) – will air next Friday (September 22); just a week before the Premiere of Season 2.

Episode 1×21: Cigar Cutter (via SpoilerTV)

MacGyver in Germany – Ratings
On average, every episode of MacGyver airing in Germany earned about 868’000 live-viewers in the important demo group (14-49 years old). That’s a demo market share of 10% and quite a good result for this sometimes disastrous German TV Summer.

The Network had skipped over 3 episodes (11, 16 and 19) to start early with new episodes of NCIS and the premiere of Bull; followed by Hawaii Five-0. So far, these ratings aren’t as good as they had been for Lethal Weapon and MacGyver. Sat.1 had promised to air the remaining episodes next year with Season 2, but we’ll see if they decide to air reruns if the ratings for their other CBS shows keep falling.

Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via SpoilerTV)

MacGyver in Austria
The Austrian Channel ORF1 started airing the Reboot on September 2 (Saturdays at 7.10pm). I don’t know anything about regular TV ratings in Austria, but the show seems to do well enough. The Pilot Episode reached 93’000 people in demo, which is a market share of 4. (For comparison: A new episode of The Big Bang Theory airing an hour earlier reached 64’000 people on average, the Formula 1 race airing afterwards about 775’000 people.)

A week later, Episode 1×02 managed 81’000 viewers on avarage (also with a market share of 4).

Advertisements

Looking Back at Season 1 (XIII) – Guns and Violence

MacGyver doesn’t use guns and only resorts to violence when necessary. He uses his brains – mainly his vast science knowledge – to solve problems and catch the bad guys. This was established by the Original Show. It’s also one of the reasons why the show was so successful in the first place, especially overseas.

Original MacGyver Ad (ABC/Paramount)

A Reboot is always tricky. It’s basically a new show that still has to honor the original to a certain extent. There are some things that can’t be touched while some things are a “nice to have”. Of course, not everyone feels the same about these “nice to have”s.

I was happy they put Lucas Till into the brown leather jacket as a nod to the original. But if they had decided that it was too hot in Atlanta to let Lucas run around in it all day and had to let go of it, that would have been fine by me. No need to make an actor collapse due to a heat-stroke just to have another Easter Egg to cross off your list. I love the voice-overs, but I can understand why they stopped doing them after a while. I know others were very vocal about the lack of rebooted MacGyver’s love for hockey, but I got over that pretty quickly.

For me, it would have been nice if the Reboot (and especially the Pilot Episode) had implemented more of the subtleties of Original MacGyver’s character – e.g. the fact that he doesn’t drink alcohol or that he cares deeply about the welfare of animals and the environment. On the other hand, it was very important to me that they keep MacGyver’s aversion toward guns and violence.

Guns, violence and nudity
There is a time and place for guns, violence or nudity in movies and TV shows. While I don’t think it’s necessary tho have this “holy trinity” in a movie or a TV show to entertain me, I don’t mind it if it happens in the right context and serves a purpose. I don’t need it just for the sake of entertainment – because if there’s a good storyline and great acting, you don’t need the big kabooms or naked shenanigans.

Like most fans of the Original MacGyver show, I believe that there’s no need for guns, violence and nudity in a MacGyver Reboot.

The nonviolent aspect is more than a subtlety, it was the core of the show.

(Nicholas Sweedo, blog-owner of The MacGyver Project)

Original MacGyver was famous for being a family-friendly show. It was different than its counterparts airing at the same time (e.g. The A-Team). Paramount (who owned Original MacGyver back then) used this also for advertizing, e.g. with he statement in the ad above (You don’t need a weapon when you’re armed with imagination) or for the DVD Cover of Season 2 (His Mind is the ultimate Weapon).

Original MacGyver Season 2 DVD Cover (USA)

Of course, CBS and the showrunners were aware that they couldn’t dare rebooted MacGyver using guns and too much violence. MacGyver is a well-known TV show and a bankable Franchise; they didn’t want to lose Original Fans as potential viewers. Problem is: They wanted rebooted MacGyver as the secret agent of the Original Season 1, not the preachier PSA version of the later seasons. They wanted the big kabooms and car chases and bazookas. They wanted the action. So what did they do? They gave rebooted MacGyver combat experience and a gun-wielding sidekick in the character of Jack Dalton.

I don’t need Jack (or Team Phoenix) to handle it
From a production standpoint, writing Jack Dalton as the character he is was kinda brilliant. Also, George Eads is a delight to watch. (Yes, he’s nothing like Original Jack Dalton played by Bruce McGill, but that’s a topic for another blog post.)

My main problem: Bringing Jack in as a gun-wielding Ex-CIA-Agent and Ex-Sniper with Delta Force makes MacGyver’s unique way of problem-solving kinda void. If Mac can’t do it, there’s always Jack who can get him out by shooting at the bad guys. In the end, Mac didn’t really manage to solve the problem without guns (and unnecessary violence) – he just let Jack (or someone else, e.g. Sarah Adler in Episode 1×02) do it.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

There is a specific scene in the Pilot Episode that was the main reason for fans of the Original Show turning their backs on the Reboot early on. It was also one of the main reasons for the massive amount of backlash on social media while the episode aired (not only in the US, but also in Germany, France or Italy): MacGyver is trying to defuse a bomb (presumably in Afghanistan) with the bad guys closing in. He asks for Jack’s help who promptly shoots them. Sniper-style. Funny quip (Who loves you, baby?) included.

The scene was partially written as an Easter Egg for fans of Hawaii Five-0 and to establish the possibility of a future crossover episode: In a deleted shot of this scene, the word ALOHA can be seen on Jack’s sniper rifle. It’s a nod to the shared history with H50 main character Steve McGarrett (played by Alex O’Loughlin).

Deleted Shot of Episode 1×01: The Rising. Photo by Guy D’Alema (via TVLine)

If the show wasn’t a Reboot of MacGyver, this scene wouldn’t be a big problem, I guess. There is not much to say against the realism of it. The problem is, as Kate stated in the RDA forums:

[MacGyver] didn’t have a back-up team – he WAS the back-up team.

(Kate Ritter, creator and host of the Official Richard Dean Anderson website)

It’s a fine and difficult line to turn the lone-wolf-character of the Original Show into a member of a team without making him appear helpless at times. So far, the Reboot hasn’t quite mastered it yet; especially in the first episodes of Season 1. Since the show is named after a main character, this character should be able to do a mission without having others to bail him out all the time – especially with the help of over-the-top technology (via Riley) or guns (via Jack).

Regarding Mac not using a gun in this — It sometimes ends up just making him look like the least efficient member of the team. 

(Forum User Miasma in the MacGyver Online Forums)

In the Pilot Episode, Mac uses a MacGyverism to create smoke to trigger the fire alarm. So why not just activate the fire alarm by hitting the button? Why not just burn a piece of paper in a bucket? There was no MacGyverism (and therefore no MacGyver) needed here because anyone else could have thought of that and done it. The MacGyverism was just for show.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

To be fair, this happened in the Original Show as well sometimes. But now that MacGyver is surrounded by a team, such unnecessary MacGyverisms are even more obvious. They needed a distraction that could have been delivered by Riley or Jack as efficiently – and faster, without wasting any chemicals.

Also, the fact that CBS chose to send MacGyver on missions as a secret agent instead of traipsing around and finding himself in trouble while trying to help others creates another problem: If they are sent on missions planned in advance with Riley bringing her laptop and Jack bringing his gun, whey don’t they take their spy-kits (with night-vision-goggles and other useful stuff) with them as well? They would still need to improvise every now and then, but they wouldn’t need to start from scratch every time.

The reason that MacGyver takes on missions by the government without any gear can’t be explained that easily in the Reboot as in the Original where he didn’t have a team.

I don’t need no guns
You might remember Original Episode 5×06: Halloween Knights, where Murdoc enlists MacGyver’s help to rescue his sister from former employer HIT (Homicide International Trust).

It would have been an easy and lazy way for the writers to let Murdoc bring his deadly tools. But MacGyver made following deal with Murdoc: No guns or I don’t help you. Of course, Murdoc found a way to cheat on the deal, and yet MacGyver still didn’t use the deadly tools in the way Murdoc had intended. It was the core of the episode (and the original series) to catch the bad guys without the help of guns and bombs (or only using them as distraction devices).

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In a video interview with ET Online (September 29, 2016), Lucas Till said about the role of Jack Dalton: “He uses the guns, because MacGyver famously doesn’t use guns.” Yes, that’s right. But the writers didn’t really get the point, did they?

See Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) for example: What’s the point using a MacGyverism instead of a gun if there’s a gun (or two, maybe even three with Thornton on board) at hand anyway? Instead of throwing the net onto the bike to stop the bad guy, they could have kept shooting at the tires with the same effect. Original MacGyver is known for using guns as a tool; but if rebooted MacGyver accepts a gun-wielding posse around him anyway, he could have just asked them to shoot at the tires. Or shoot at the tires himself.

There is a reason why MacGyver avoids guns. And it’s not because it looks way more interesting if he doesn’t use them.

Back when Executive Producers Peter Lenkov and James Wan attended ComicCon in July 2016, I was actually pleasantly surprised that they really intended to keep Mac not using guns. I never expected the Reboot to be as strictly anti-gun as the original; and I’m pretty sure we’ll never see episodes like “Blood Brothers” or “The Gun” like we did in the Original Show – but those interviews back then gave me hope.

So of course after watching the first few episodes, I was very disappointed how this topic was handled. Fact is: Original MacGyver doesn’t just not use guns (unless it’s as a wrench or another tool) – he condones them. He hates them with a passion. And he insists on people leaving their gun behind if they want him to help. As soon as they made Jack a gun-wielding Ex-CIA-Agent, they kinda eliminated one of the core points (or maybe even THE core point) of the original.

I don’t need the bad guys to get killed
The other problem I have with the ALOHA-Scene: Original MacGyver would never work with someone who regularly kills people to protect him. Knocking them unconscious or incapacitating them in another way yes, but not kill them. He also wouldn’t tolerate said someone to be so cavalier about it.

Let’s be honest: The Original Show was cheesy and quirky and not very realistic when it came to bad guys getting knocked on the head. John Kendrick (played by Vinnie Jones) in the Pilot Episode of the Reboot is a bad guy who would have fit in well in an original episode – especially the way he’s captured: MacGyver drops an Escape Ladder on him. Realistically, Kendrick should have been dead. But he doesn’t even appear concussed, and that’s fine with me.

Episode 1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

So why didn’t they do this for other bad-guys-scenes as well, e.g. in the boat chase: The goons see the empty boat coming at them. Why not let them jump off the boat before it crashes into them and explodes? It’s exactly what would have happened in an Original Episode.

The Anti-Handgun-Stance of the Original Show
The Original Show was very anti-gun, specifically anti-handgun. I wasn’t aware that this was kinda unique for an US TV-Show until I grew older. As a kid, in my opinion only bad guys carried guns – unless they were police officers or soldiers.

Growing up in Switzerland, I never came in contact with guns until my first boyfriend had to join the military service at the age of 18. And it wasn’t until I started watching TV shows in their original language that I realized how the use of guns, violence and sexuality differentiates in the US compared to Europe.

Sean Wohland and Richard Dean Anderson in a Promo Photo for Original MacGyver Episode 4×02 (Blood Brothers)

Original MacGyver Episode 4×02 (Blood Brothers, 1988) had impressed me back then when I first watched it as a kid – and it’s still one of my favorite episodes. In Blood Brothers, MacGyver returns to his hometown to find himself haunted by the memories of a fatal shooting accident when he was a kid. (Mac had brought a gun to make shooting excercises at beer cans with his friends. When Neil tried to shoot at a bird, MacGyver prevented him from doing so, ending with Jesse getting accidentally shot in the chest and dying.)

On November 18 in 1988, Richard Dean Anderson talked about the story behind this episode on Good Morning America and how the NRA (National Rifle Association) had managed in Paramount making the producers drop the message they had wanted to add at the end of the episode.

In Episode 6×03 (The Gun, 1990), a gun used to assassinate a presidential candidate years ago is found, leading investigators to accuse MacGyver’s friend from the youth center of shooting a cop.

Before the episode aired, Co-Executive Producer Stephen Downing (an ex-officer in the LA Police Departement) talked with the Los Angeles Times about the problems they had been facing two years ago:

“The result of that story was a lashing out of us by the NRA. Since that time, we have been on their hit list. They have been encouraging people not to watch us and boycott our sponsors. We try to do a decent job of really saying why a gun is dangerous and they choose to boycott us and put us on their hit list.”

(Co-Executive Producer Stephen Downing for LA Times, October 1990)

Don’t get me wrong: I’m aware that opinions in “TV Show Life” and real life aren’t always the same. Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson and many of the cast and crew were very anti-handgun themselves. It’s one of the reasons why episodes like “Blood Brothers” or “The Gun” exist. That doesn’t mean that all people working on the show had the same opinion about this topic.

I also know that this doesn’t reflect the opinions of everyone working on the Reboot. I’ve seen pictures of crew members showing off their gun collections (and no, they weren’t always prop guns) on social media. I’ve seen pictures of Lucas Till going hunting with his extended family and I’ve read interviews with George Eads stating he had gone hunting with Lucas on the weekends.

This is all BtS stuff that we probably wouldn’t even know about if not for social media. But that doesn’t mean they can’t address the topic in the Reboot and handle it in a similar way as the Original did. After all, they knew that a certain amount of expected anti-gun and anti-violence stance would come with the package; no matter if they made a reboot (instead of a sequel, a prequel or a remake).

It’s getting better…
I’ve been complaining a lot, haven’t I. I have no problem to admit that the show DID get better concerning the use of guns as the series progressed.

It’s just a pity that within the first episode, they had already lost a lot of potential viewers – mainly fans of the Original Show. And mainly due to the fact how they had handled the use of guns and violence.

Overall, the show felt a bit like a compromise to me: They had the order by CBS to reshoot the Unaired Pilot and to keep the Ex-CIA-Agent as the bromance-buddy. There wasn’t much time left because the premiere date wasn’t to be changed. So Peter Lenkov turned Lincoln into Jack Dalton; therefore keeping the action-buddy AND an Easter Egg (and the chemistry between Lucas Till and George Eads that had already been established). But that also meant there would always be a gun present in MacGyver’s vicinity and that turned out to be a problem.

After watching the first few episodes, I had made following statement in the MacGyver Online Forums:

The story still has to work if there wasn’t a gun involved. Let Jack’s gun disappear (lost, taken by the bad guys, running out of ammo) and see what happens. Does the storyline hold up? Do the MacGyverisms still work? If not, that’s not a MacGyver story.

It’s interesting that storywise, two of my favorite episodes are actually episodes where Jack doesn’t have immediate access to his gun. In Episode 1×10 (Pliers), Mac and Team travel to Mission City in their free time to accompany Mac who’s finally agreed to give a chemistry lesson at his old high school. As far as I know, Jack hadn’t taken his gun with him since this wasn’t an official mission.

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (via SpoilerTV)

In Episode 1×13 (Large Blade), Jack loses his gun right at the beginning. He gets it back later into the episode, but never really gets to shoot it.

…but there’s still some work to do.
While the writers sure will honor MacGyver not using guns in the upcoming second Season as well, I think they really need to address the reasons more explicitly soon.

There’s actually an easy way to explain rebooted MacGyver’s aversion towards guns: When it’s revealed in Episode 1×02 that Mac’s mother died when he was 5, I immediately thought she had been shot and that this would turn out as the backstory for a flashback episode.

BtS with the prop gun for Episode 1×08: Corkscrew (via Lucas Till on Twitter)

Problem is: In Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew), rebooted Murdoc invades MacGyver’s home. Bozer asks MacGyver why he didn’t have a gun like Jack. If Mrs MacGyver had died at the hand of a gun, wouldn’t Bozer as Mac’s best friend know that? And shouldn’t he already know that MacGyver would never want to carry a gun, despite him being in the military for several years?

Personally, I would hate this backstory for rebooted MacGyver. Because it would make MacGyver a victim only. In the original version, it’s revealed that it was a young MacGyver that had brought the gun that killed one of his friends. He was partially a complice in Jesse dying and never got over feeling guilty about it. Which might have formed and festered the need in MacGyver to help others and save other people’s life.

Guns should also be a controversial topic between Mac and Jack – or at least they should have been when they started working together. There’s no way that MacGyver was able to join the military and a secret government agency without having to fight about his right not having to handle guns in the past.

 

So please, dear MacGyver writers! Take on this hot topic and turn it into something fruitful. This shouldn’t be ignored and I think there’s a big possibility to add even more value to this show by finally handling it properly.

 

Author’s Note: I wasn’t trying to make a political blog post here, but as you maybe noticed: I’m strictly anti-gun. Always have been. I’m willing to discuss this topic in a civil manner, but you won’t change my mind. And I won’t try to change yours. Just saying what I think about the use of guns and violence in the first Season of the MacGyver Reboot and why it should have been handled differently.

MacGyver Reboot Update #37

Filming for Season 2 started two months ago. Not even four weeks left until the Season 2 Premiere! Also, we got the Press Release and Stills for the first episode of the new Season.

BtS picture of Season 2 (via George Eads)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 2 and Episode 2×01 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Season 2 News and Promo
Filming for Season 2 started two months ago. The Season 2 Premiere is in less than a month.

Just yesterday, I wrote following complaint in the first section for this blog post:

Sadly, the promo hasn’t really picked up yet – in contrast to Hawaii Five-0 and other non-CBS-shows (e.g. Lethal Weapon).  There’s not even a DVD relase date for the US so far.

Guess I can’t really complain anymore, huh? (Although I’m still wondering about that missing DVD release date…)

On August 29, we got the official poster for Season 2. As expected, it’s a picture of the promo shoot they did for Season 1 – and they actually picked the same picture that is being used as a header for the official show website by CBS. Since both Lucas and George practically sport the same hair like a year ago, it makes sense to “recycle” old material. Still, this a bit disapponting. I’m sure they have much more archive material to choose from.

Also, I’m a bit confused that they’re promoting the show as a buddy-show with Mac and Jack again while the members of “Team Phoenix” usually have almost as much screentime as these two – unless they focus more on the bromance than the team aspect this season (which I doubt).

Official Season 2 Poster (via SpoilerTV)

On August 31, CBS shared the Press Release for the Season 2 Premiere Episode (2×01: DIY or DIE). We also got 5 Stills via SpoilerTV. They all feature Mac and/or Jack. So far, we still have no official information about the new Season 2 cast members (and therefore no Stills of them, either).

Looking at the main cast, Justin Hires is probably the one who posted the most on social media so far. It’s nice to see George Eads is giving Instagram another try while it’s been a bit quieter on Lucas’ and Tristin’s accounts recently. Funny thing: George had created like 3 new Instagram Accounts within a year. I’m assuming he’s one of those people that forget their login-information and open a new account instead; so lets enjoy it while it lasts.

Editing and doing Interviews
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov is apparently pretty busy because he hasn’t posted much since the filming started. For now, it’s usually information about Hawaii Five-O. On August 24, he shared a short fight scene he was doing editing work on. It’s Mac and Jack fighting off bad guys in the airplane hangar they’ve been filming at a few weeks ago.

On August 28, Lenkov shared a storyboard picture of Episode 2×06 (Jet Engine + Pickup Truck). I always liked these storyboard drawings and hope we get to see more of them.

This week, Lenkov had visited Montreal where he taught a Master Class in script writing to film students and also gave interviews to several news outlets.

Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via SpoilerTV)

On August 24, TV Guide published a Guide for the Returning Fall Shows. Each show has a little description what happened last season (Where We Left Off) and what’s coming this season (The Scoop). The Scoop for the Reboot was this: Murdoc has a long list of people to kill and MacGyver is at the top, but there are some other names that will have to come first before he reaches his prime target.

Lenkov had added following statement:

“Murdoc likes to toy with his victims before he pulls the trigger. So there’s some good times ahead between these two.”

We know that David Dastmalchian has been in Atlanta recently and presumably filmed some scenes for the Reboot as well. There was a “mystery” person on set of the Halloween Episode that Justin Hires didn’t want to reveal. We’ll see if this was David or not. Considering Lenkov’s statement, it’s also possible they took the opportunity to film several scenes for different episodes.

Then of course, there’s also the unresolved issue with Mac’s dad:

“One of the big Season 2 arcs is the search for Mac’s father,” says Lenkov, “a journey that will come to an end in the season finale when we will finally reveal who and where he’s been.”

The use of “who he’s been” is quite interesting. Many months ago I had this weird feeling that MacGyver’s dad might have been some secret agent. I had even made a Season 1 Finale Plot Twist Guess out of it. Back then, I was unaware that this is a similar storyline on Hawaii Five-0 (where Steve McGarrett’s mother – presumed dead for many years – showed up, revealing that she had been working as a government agent and had to fake her death for her family’s sake).

Not revealing Mac’s dad until the Season Finale is quite clever looking at it from the Studio’s point of view, because it gives them enough time to cast someone interesting (who is maybe a bit more famous and expensive and could draw in new viewers). There’s a big potential in making Mac’s father a recurring role if the show gets renewed for a 3rd Season, after all. On the other hand, the writers have a tendency to draw out storylines that either get forgotten or fizzle out… until they remember it was never resolved properly and try to create a delayed plot twist around it.

BtS of Season 2 (via Patrick Kral)

So much work, but so excited
You can feel the cast is getting excited about the Season 2 Premiere. There have been quite a few posts on Social Media to help us remember the Premiere Date. On August 19, Meredith Eaton shared a BtS picture of Matty wearing her “thinking face”. Meredith also revealed that she always follows the “Magenta Memo“.

On August 22, Justin Hires posted a picture of Bozer standing in his living room. Looks like Mac still hasn’t finished his work on that motorbike. Justin uploaded a compilation of his BtS videos from set onto his YouTube channel. In a live interview on Snapchat, he revealed that he hadn’t met Lucas before the first table read. He also said that he had done 80% of his stunts on Rush Hour himself, since him being quite athletic thanks to his black belt in Karate. I guess we won’t have to wait long until Bozer gets some fight scenes to do.

BtS of Season 2 (via George Eads)

On August 28. Justin revealed he was doing ADR. The sequence on screen shows Jack being in pain and matches the hospital scene picture that Lenkov had posted on July 31st.

George Eads shared an amazing picture of him and Lucas Till wearing Lapland Folklore on set. The costumes look pretty authentic to me. Otherwise, his character Jack Dalton is still kicking doors and running around with guns.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, George Eads revealed what had drawn him to join the show:

“They called me and the name alone had me running as fast as I could to get over there (to sign on). I saw all the action and I saw that I was going to play an ex-military kind of junkyard dog, which was such a departure (from Stokes on CSI) so I was in.”

He also had nice words to say about Lucas Till:

“I never saw the original MacGyver running like this guy runs. He’s like a deer — it is amazing. There’s a lot of action on this show and I think his stuntman is the highest paid stuntman that doesn’t do much because he won’t let him. When you have a star that’s enthusiastic about all the action, it really helps. He doesn’t want to stand there. He wants to do it. It inspires me.”

Jack in the Jungle
According to Justin Hires and BtS pictures by Anne-Marie and other crew members, they have been filming in the “Jungle” recently for several days. It’s possible this location is related to a plane crash and a rescue mission. George Eads posted several pictures of “Jack in the Jungle” on August 19 and August 26 and additionally one of him and Lucas Till “playing make-believe”.

BtS of Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via George Eads)

It looks like people are dragging Jack away. I initially assumed they would use another angle, making it look like Jack has to save Mac from falling. (In the Official Stills released yesterday, it looks like Jack is lowering Mac down into a sewer.) Peter Lenkov posted a close-up of George’s face; stating that “it’s good to have friends like Jack”.

Bozer somehow ends up carrying all the CSI luggage in this episode.

On August 30, they filmed at Berry Hill Airport. The location is dressed as Nigeria and apparently involves more jungle and some more crashed planes. Both George and Lucas took time to pose for fan photos and set visitors.

The Halloween Episode
It might be Summer in Atlanta, but as Justin Hires had revealed a few weeks ago, filming for the Halloween Episode had already started. The episode doesn’t have a title yet, but thanks to Einstein we know who is directing it: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum who has already directed Episode 1×20: Hole Puncher. Acting- and camerawise, 1×20 was my favorite episode of Season 1, so I’m looking forward to this.

Justin posted a few BtS pictures and videos of this episode as well. George Eads shared a picture of him dressed up as the tin-man. Might be a reference to the Wizard of Oz? At least it looks like an interesting Halloween costume.

BtS of Episode 2×05 (via George Eads)

It’s the Apocalypse! (Or just an Eclipse.)
There was a Solar Eclipse visible in the US on August 21. Cast and Crew had still to work that day, but they got to watch a few minutes of the spectacle outside of the studio during a break. Meredith Eaton shared a picture of her and Tristin Mays watching, eyes protected as advised. Tristin had posted some Instagram Live Stories, and many crew members posted pictures of them wearing Eclipse glasses or of the crescent-shaped shadows during the event.

Another extraordinary event happened on August 23, as there were several postings about the new X-Men spin-off The Gifted (FOX) and MacGyver filming on the same location and sharing base camp. A Crossover seems highly unlikely for these two shows since they’re not on the same network and the Reboot is not a SciFi show. It’s funny though because not only did Lucas Till play Havok in the X-Men movies, but Amy Acker is also one of the main characters. Apparently, the Reboot crew didn’t like to share and announced a showdown between departements.

A visit by Henry Winkler
Legendary Executive Producer Henry Winkler has been visiting the set yesterday. He posted a photo of him posing with Lucas, George and Einstein (who didn’t look very impressed). George Eads, Boom Operator Robert Maxfield and Cornell Willis shared some additional pictures of them with Henry.

Henry Winkler on Set of Season 2

Cast and Character News
Today, Ricky Russert posted another BtS picture of him in costume for Episode 2×01. He definitely looks like he’s been held hostage for quite some time (unlike MacGyver in the Unaired Pilot who was clean-shaven as a baby despite being held prisoner for years by terrorists).

Central Casting Georgia has been looking for a few Extras again, e.g. for Techs and Agents, Medics, Stand-Ins, European Cars, African American Combatants and Rebels, Nigerian Townspeople or for Parents (probably for a trick-or-treating scene for the Halloween Episode that was filmed that day). Other Casting Calls included a family for a photoshoot (Mom, Dad and 3 kids with blonde hair),  featured Gunmen (looking Swedish, Finnish or Norwegian), a Hand Double and Fit Female Models.

They’ve also been looking for another CIA Tech in a recurring role. I think it’s a good idea to have some recurring people working for Phoenix and the other agencies.

George and Lucas posing with a set visitor (via Jennifer Hunt Thompson)

Reruns
There’s a rerun of Episode 1×20 (Hole Puncher) today. The rerun of the Season 1 Finale – Episode 21 (Cigar Cutter) – will air on September 22. That’s just a week before the Premiere of Season 2.

MacGyver in Germany – Ratings
Two episodes of the Reboot aired in Germany on Mondays, 8.15 pm and 9.15 pm on Sat.1. Despite predictions on social media and the constant negative reviews, the show earned good ratings overall. In fact, MacGyver helped raising the Pro7 Sat1 Media Group ratings because they have struggled a lot this summer. Some TV shows turned out to be a total bust: While Rush Hour was shoved to midnight and reached decent enough ratings to stay on air, Code Black was cancelled after only 4 episodes and Pure Genius after 6 episodes. They also rushed through This Is Us to finish earlier than planned.

On average, every episode of MacGyver earned 868’333 live-viewers in the important demo group (14-49 years old). That’s a demo market share of 10.02% (which is just the desired market share of at least ten percent). Looking at total viewers (live-viewers older than 3 years), every episode reached on average 1.78 million people which is a total market share of 6.5%.

Cast and Crew watching the Solar Eclipse (via Robert Maxfield)

MacGyver in Austria
The Austrian Channel ORF1 starts airing the Reboot tomorrow. Every Saturday at 7.10pm, they will air a single episode.

I’ve mentioned before that Germany had skipped 3 Episodes in total (Episodes 11, 16 and 19). Sat.1 claimed “program-planning reasons” due to the premiere dates for new episodes of NCIS and Bull and promised to air the remaining episodes next year with Season 2.

If ORF1 decides to air the episodes despite Sat.1 skipping them, the German-speaking premiere of Episode 1×11 (Scissors) will happen on November 11.

Looking Back at Season 1 (XI) – The Opening Title Sequence

I’ve been planning to write this post for ages, but somehow I kept procrastinating this specific topic. Maybe because I’ve written already so much about it way back when in the MacGyver Online Forums?

Alas, I’ll give it another try.

Back in February 2016, when news outlets like Deadline announced CBS had ordered a pilot for a MacGyver Reboot, the social media buzz was intense. The questions most often asked were probably these: Who will be the new MacGyver? What will he look like? What will his hair look like? Will he still have his SAK?

Besides MacGyver’s hair (about which I’ve also written a blog post recently), the Opening Title Sequence has always been something “holy” that isn’t to be touched upon; especially the Opening Title Theme.

Even people who have never watched a single episode of Original MacGyver recognize the theme. Together with the Opening Title sequences, TV shows can form a memory in people’s minds that they will always associate with that specific show, even if they don’t watch it regularly. Think about Baywatch. It’s basically just people in red swim suits running along the beach and smiling at the camera. Not that exciting, isn’t it? You get used to it after seeing it for more than one season. But still – think about what would have happened if they had changed the music or the opening sequence too much…

So it wasn’t a surprise that after the first hubbubb about Lucas Till’s casting as the main hero had ebbed down, the next questions being discussed were: Will they keep the iconic title music of the Original Show? What will the Opening Credits look like?

Back in April 2016, I wrote following statement in one of the MacGyver Online threads: I wouldn’t mind the old theme back or a variation of it. But I don’t think this will happen; I think they will go with something new… 

I’ve changed my mind a few days later; especially after comparing the original and the rebooted version of the Opening Title Sequence for Hawaii Five-0, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov’s other show.

 

I was convinced the opening theme would be a recognizable reincarnation of the original – in the same way it’s been done for Remakes and Reboots in the past.

Of course, there was the risk of not having an opening sequence at all – because most modern TV shows don’t. The newer CBS shows (e.g. Limitless, Pure Genius, Code Black, Bull) don’t have one, either. But we all agreed that they surely wouldn’t dare to do this with a Reboot of a TV show like MacGyver that had such an iconic Opening Title Theme.

I didn’t think about the scenes themselves that much, to be honest. I just assumed it would be the actors in some action scenes. Probably not MacGyver eating ice cream like in the original, but maybe jumping over things and running from the bad guys, surely? The Original Opening Title Sequence is over a minute long, although there’s only two actors being credited (Richard Dean Anderson and Dana Elcar). So the rebooted sequence would have to be as long as the original one if they had to fit at least 5 people in there?

On September 13, the official MacGyver Reboot Facebook Account by CBS uploaded a video of the Pilot Episode set where the Opening Theme was playing. I liked the music, but it was not really what I had expected.

 

 

For one, it was too short – just about 40 seconds. Second, the part with the Original Theme wasn’t that recognizable. Not at all like the rebooted version of H50 which sounds just like the original version.

Five days later, Peter Lenkov uploaded a video of the orchestra recording it onto Instagram. I was very happy it was still played by a real orchestra and I thought it sounded great, just… not what I had hoped for. It didn’t affect me in the same way as the original theme, but I was ready to accept it.

It’s difficult to judge a theme without the Opening Title Sequence that goes with it. It sounded more dramatic than the original version, as well; so I was curious if the tone for the show had changed. Also, I was happy that it didn’t sound like the promo videos they had made for the premiere of the pilot, because those had featured mainly Hip Hop.

On September 20, Yahoo! TV uploaded a “fanmade” version of the rebooted Title Sequence. It features scenes from the first two episodes plus from the Unaired Pilot Trailer while recreating the Original Main Titles and using the Original Theme. Because people had tweeted about it without sourcing it correctly, many fans (and News Outlets) had assumed it was the real one.

I have to say it’s a well-made version of an Opening Title Sequence for the Reboot – probably one of the best I’ve seen so far!

Fanmade Opening Title Sequence (via Yahoo! TV)

Only a few hours later, Entertainment Weekly finally released the new Title Sequence. This time, it was the real deal. The reactions were – varied. Some loved it, some hated it, some were disappointed.

I don’t remember exactly anymore how I felt about it back then, but I remember that I would have preferred the one by Yahoo! TV. On the other hand, I don’t think you necessarily have to see the characters’ faces in the Opening Title Sequence.

I actually liked that you see MacGyver doing MacGyverisms (even though these are not Lucas Till’s hands which is a missed opportunity). It gives an inkling to new viewers what MacGyver is about.

I’m not sure if the MacGyverisms could have been appointed to the characters in a better way – like cutting up the bullet in the Screenshot below would maybe make more sense if it was George Eads’ name appearing with it (since he’s the gun-wielding sidekick).

The Opening Title Sequence Shots were done by Picturemill. Sadly, they never shared more than one single collage of BtS shots on Facebook. I hope we get to see some kind of Making-Of one day.

They could have gone the “easy” way and just edit scenes from the Pilot Episode together – but they did something new for it, so I think it could have been promoted as some kind of “Extra” that could have been posted onto YouTube and other social media accounts by CBS.

They also solved the problem of changes in the main cast beforehand – they didn’t need to cut anything new together. They just had to exchange Sandrine Holt’s name – for one or two episodes, the slot stayed “empty” before it was replaced with Meredith Eaton.

Overall, I think they chose some good everyday objects – a battery, a paperclip, a lightbulb and so on. I like the colors as well. The texts appearing are also interesting – although they dropped the descriptions after the first five or six episodes (which I think was a necessary step), it works actually pretty well in the Opening Title Sequence.

Also, they made adjustements for other countries; e.g. in Germany (see below) or France they appear in German or French (while e.g. Italy kept the English descriptions).

One puzzling thing that I’m still wondering about: The “logo” is different. It fits better with the Original Show, but they use a different one for the official social media accounts and on Official Stills.

 

German Opening Title Screenshot

On Premiere Day (September 23rd), SlashFilm released an interview with Peter Lenkov and James Wan. The interview – done at the TCAs back on August 11 – also featured questions about the Theme Song:

Are you able to use the theme song in an age where they’ve cut theme songs out of shows entirely?
Lenkov: One of the big things in television these days is there’s no main title sequence anymore. One of the things that I was really adamant about doing the show, and they signed off on it, was doing a main title sequence and actually having a theme song. Incorporate some of the original theme from the original show and a little bit of a new theme. So it’s a combination of the two but I didn’t want to do the show without a main title sequence. I feel like this show needs that. Very much like that original show.

On Hawaii Five-0 you got the theme song down to 30 seconds. Similar thing for MacGyver?
Lenkov: I think right now it’s 21 seconds. It keeps getting shorter every time we do a redo, but I’ll tell you one thing. That’s a big battle to win, to be able to do a main title sequence and a theme song these days. That’s not something network television does anymore.
Wan: Because it eats up ad space?
Lenkov: Yeah and they feel like maybe it’s a little retro but I like that.
Wan: It sets the tone.

That sure sounds like we should be happy we got a Theme Song and an Opening Title Sequence at all, huh?

So… what’s coming for Season 2? I’ve been wondering today if they might change the Opening Title Sequence, but I doubt they will.

It’s not like CBS will grant us more time for the Opening Title if Peter Lenkov already had to fight to even have one. There will be more recurring characters next season, but there’s enough space left to fit in more actors’ names.

So far, it’s 33 days left until the premiere of Season 2 but there’s no indication that Picturemill or Composer Keith Power are working on something new. On the other hand, there’s been no promo so far.

We will know soon enough.

BtS of the Opening Title Sequence (via Picturemill)

MacGyver Reboot Update #36

Filming for Season 2 started about six weeks ago. The Season 2 Premiere will be in six weeks. I guess that means Halftime! Also, puppies have been taking over the set!

BtS of Season 2 (via Lucas Till)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Season 2 News
Filming for Season 2 started about six weeks ago. During the last few days, the rate of pictures and videos being uploaded has flared up again. It’s so much I can’t even put it all into this Update, but it looks like we’ll get a car accident, explosions, a Halloween Episode, a plane crash and Mac crawling through tunnels!

I had hoped for a bigger budget for this season and I think CBS believed in the success of the Reboot; giving them the means to step up the quality of the production.

Cast and Crew are filming in many different locations. Because we still don’t know much about the storylines yet, it’s sometimes difficult to attribute the pictures to the right episode. According to the Casting Calls, we will join “Team Phoenix” to Paris and other interesting locations.

About MacGyver’s grandfather
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted a very interesting picture on August 9. It’s a shot of Episode 2×04 (X-Ray + Penny) and shows “Young Mac and grandfather”, the grandfather fiddling with an SAK. Funny thing: We can’t see the grandfather’s face.

This led to speculations if we would ever get to see his face in the episode or not. If it’s told from Young MacGyver’s point of view, I think it’s actually possible we won’t; at least not for now.

Episode 2×04: X-Ray + Penny (via Peter Lenkov)

It’s interesting to note that the actor does remind people of Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson. Lenkov had hinted that he wanted RDA to play the grandfather – but we already know that RDA had declined when they approached him over a year ago. I’m curious if Lenkov left a “backdoor” open by witholding the viewers from seeing the grandfather’s face – just in case RDA reconsiders his opinion one day.

On a recent event appearance (London Comic Con, I think), RDA said that he had an acting project in the pipeline, but that it was too early to talk about it. People have been speculating for a while now if he will come back as Jeff Webber on General Hospital or as MacGyver’s father or grandfather in the Reboot. We’ll see. I’m down with anything that RDA appears in because I think he’s not really done with acting yet.

Otherwise, Peter Lenkov has been oddly quiet. He posted a few videos of him editing Hawaii Five-0 and a picture of Meredith Eaton as Matty.

Someone will get hurt (Mac!Whump)
On August 8, Lucas Till uploaded a picture of MacGyver that FanFiction Writers would probably label as “Mac!Whump”.

FunFact: Whump is a term to describe “physical and/or mental abuse laid on a character in a story” and is often used by Stargate FanFiction authors.

The Original Show was basically a Whump!Fest. I doubt a real-life MacGyver would have made it for seven years without suffering from permanent brain damage and extensive injuries requiring skin grafts. (If you want to refresh your memory, you can visit Nicholas Sweedo’s Shot Chart or the Injuries-Thread on MacGyver Online.)

The Reboot is rather tame compared to the Original,  so I’m curious what this scene will be. (If you want to refresh your memory about the Reboot!Whump in Season 1, you can visit an overview here.)

BtS of Season 2 (via Lucas Till)

MacGyver getting whumped with no consequences was actually the reason why RDA wanted to give his Stargate-Character Jack O’Neill a permanent scar. This is an excerpt of an interview from 2003 (via RDAs Official Website):

From: CAZASIMPSON (Caron)
I have a question that’s been bugging me for a while. How did you get that scar across your eyebrow?

Richard Dean Anderson:
It’s part of what we established in the character.  […]  It was one of those elements of movies and television that has always driven me crazy. Like MacGyver, for instance, if we showed him naked at any point, he would be nothing but one big scar, because he was always getting cut or ripped or shot or whatever, beat up, bruised, and yet by the end of the series, he didn’t have a mark on him. It was one of those things. So, I can’t remember the episode, but I got hit in the eye or slugged or something, and we established a big bandage and the whole thing, and I told Jan [Newman, make-up artist], you know, this would leave a mark. Let’s run with this. Let’s keep it in there as part of what defines O’Neill.

Lucas’ picture hints at Mac!Whump, but bears a strikingly similarity to the Opening Gambit of Episode 1×12 (Screwdriver) where Jack was the one getting whumped; being interrogated by a terrorist while under the influence of a truth serum.

BtS of Season 2 (via Meredith Eaton)

On Lucas’ birthday (August 10), Meredith Eaton posted posted a short video of Matty pushing the wheelchair MacGyver is sitting in. This fits the hospital scene picture that Lenkov had posted on July 31st. George Eads took advantage of the wheelchair during filming breaks as well (seen in an Instagram Live Story video by Justin Hires).

Someone will get hurt (Jack!Whump)
There was a sighting of George Eads on set this weekend. They filmed a scene involving an overturned military vehicle and a “big boom”. It’s safe to say that Jack will get whumped in this episode.

Key Grip Steven Serna and his grip co-workers (e.g. Cam Everson) posted several pictures and Instagram Live Stories of the filming process. At one point, the filming had to take a break due to a demonstration regarding recent events in Charlottesville. A few days later, they filmed additional scenes in the studio.

The crew had quite some fun with the Jack Dummy.

BtS of Season 2 (via Brandon Smith)

They also had a dummy that could be the one for Lucas, so maybe both heroes will get whumped. I don’t think this action sequence is related to the hospital scene, though.

Halloween, Underground Tunnels and Plane Crashes
Lucas Till shared on August 17 how he deals with the heat in Atlanta. It sure helped that Henry Winkler had sponsored an Ice Cream Truck for Cast and Crew. How cool is that? It might be Summer in Atlanta, but as Justin Hires revealed, they just started filming the Halloween Episode.

There have been Casting Calls for pilots. They filmed some more scenes at an airport this week, and apparently the crew cracked the pilot center window of an airplane (presumably an old C-141) by accident while filming a plane crash. Well, I guess it’s better to have broken windows than broken bones on set. (There have been accidents on movie sets in recent weeks that didn’t end well.)

According to Justin Hires and other BtS pictures by Anne-Marie, Cast and Crew are filming in the “Jungle” today. It’s possible this location is related to the plane crash.

On August 10, Lucas Till posted a BtS picture of MacGyver standing in front of an elevator shaft. Considering he’s wearing a suit, it’s probably related to the Casino Episode (2×02: Roulette Wheel). Lucas shared another picture on August 15 that shows him wearing an insane head piece: He’s wearing a camera to film scenes from MacGyver’s point of view.

BtS of Season 2 (via Lucas Till)

I suspect this will be used to film in a narrow space. On the same day, there were pictures of the set with the crew standing around an open manhole. If you’ve seen one of the Original MacGyver Movies, you know what can happen when MacGyver goes underground…

On August 11, Justin Hires shared a BtS picture of Bozer, warning all criminals not to underestimate “Team Phoenix”. He posted another BtS picture of Bozer wearing the same shirt, standing in front of Jack’s car.

Jack’s car will get whumped, too. There were BtS pictures on August that revealed the car will be involved in an accident in an upcoming episode. Jack will be devastated.

There might be a little whump for Riley as well: Brittney Joy caught the crew filming in front of her appartement in Downtown Atlanta on August 5. She posted several videos of the process; filmed directly from above through the window. At one point, it looks likey Tristin Mays’ character Riley gets stuffed into the trunk of a car.

Dogs on Set
Besides Production Office Dog Clover (6 months) and Wardrobe Protection Dog Maggie, there’s Einstein. He’s everybody’s darling and has his own Instagram page with over 100 followers after just a week. Also, he’s Clover’s Cousin!

Einstein on the MacGyver Reboot Set

I wouldn’t mind if they involved one of the dogs in the production. The Original show had many storylines involving animals, and so far we haven’t seen any of that besides in the Crossover Episode (where Bozer rescues the little dog).

Cast and Character News
As with Season 1, the Extras have apparently been advised to keep quiet for now. There were only a few posts that revealed people being part of an episode; e.g. Carl Kenndy, Tev Lanier, Tyrus SmashDanny Boushebel (Episode 2×01) or Meagan.

About six weeks ago, we got some exclusive spoilers by Moviehole about the storyline of Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE) and about the two new recurring female characters. There are still no official cast announcements or press releases yet.

Since Isabel Lucas still seems to be filming with the main cast while Karolina Wydra isn’t on set anymore, I’m assuming that Karolina will play Olivia Cage while Isabel plays intel extraction specialist Agent Carmen. We got another glimpse of Carmen by a picture via George Eads. Isabel Lucas herself posted an Instagram Live Story picture that has her dressed with a gun holder like Jack.

There is a chance that Karolina’s character Cage will be a recurring villain. Also, it’s interesting to note that she had apparently dyed her hair blonde just before filming started. She dyed it back to brunette this week.

BtS of Season 2 (via Steven Serna)

Central Casting Georgia has been looking for many Extras, e.g. for Stand-Ins, Techs and Agents, Doctors and Nurses, Photo Doubles for featured roles, Men and Women (to portray Europeans) with their own bikes, for small European type cars, LA Café Patrons, Middle Eastern Soldiers, for kids ages 10-11 for a fun Halloween Scene and for Men with Military or Tactical Experience.

There was also a Casting Call named “Paris”, looking for European Patrons and cars. Another interesting Casting Call was made on August 6, when Central Casting Georgia was looking for five Stand-Ins. They provided pictures what the Stand-Ins should look like. One of these was for Kate Bond (who played Phoenix Tech Lil Morgan in Episodes 1×20 and 1×21), one for a boy and another one for a certain person we all should recognize.

Casting Call for Stand-In (via Central Casting Georgia)

This is pretty exciting, I’ll say. David Dastmalchian being in Atlanta last week wasn’t a secret, but I assumed he wouldn’t have time for doing anything else than filming for the new Antman movie.

Reruns
There is no rerun today. On September 1st, you can catch a rerun of Episode 1×20 (Hole Puncher).

The rerun of Episode 1×10 (Pliers) on August 11 managed to get 3.75 million live viewers (with 0.5 in the important demo group of 19-49 year-old viewers) and won the 8pm time-slot again.

MacGyver in Germany – Ratings
Two episodes of the Reboot aired in Germany on Mondays, 8.15 pm and 9.15 pm on channel Sat.1. Despite predictions on social media and the constant negative reviews, the show earned good ratings. The two episodes this week (that also marked the Season Finale) earned the lowest ratings so far, though.

Episode 17 on August 7 earned 770’000 live viewers with a market share of 9.4% within the important demo group of 14-49 years (which is a market share of 6.3% in total viewers, meaning 1.7 million viewers older than age 3). The Crossover Episode even managed 940’000 live viewers (with a market share of 10.5% in demo). The Crossover also helped the following episode of Hawaii Five-0 (that aired at 22.15 pm) with ratings, reaching a market share of 10.8% in demo. (This was first time since April that H50 reached the desired market share of more than 10%.)

BtS of Season 2 (via LJ Gregg)

On August 14, Episode 20 had 620’000 live viewers with a market share of 7.6% in its demo group (which is a market share of 5.3% in total viewers, meaning 1.42 million). The Season Finale (1×21) only earned 700’000 live viewers (with a market share of 5.6% in demo). On one hand, there was a soccer game going on at the same time. On the other hand, Sat.1 neglected their promo duties, constantly promoting “Promi Big Brother” (the equivalent of Celebrity Big Brother). The only tweet and post about the final episodes was made just 30 minutes before the episode aired.

MacGyver in Germany – Skipping Episodes
It’s a bit sad that Germany skipped 3 Episodes in total (Episodes 11, 16 and 19). Sat.1 claims “program-planning reasons” due to the premiere dates for new episodes of NCIS and Bull. They promise to air the remaining episodes next year with Season 2, but the consequence of witholding these episodes means that they’re also not available on streaming platforms yet. It’s also not clear to me what this might mean for the DVD release.

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.

MacGyver Reboot Update #33

Production has started on Season 2. Yesterday, cast and crew started filming in Atlanta under the watchful eyes of Clover, the new Production Office Dog.

Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via Lucas Till)

(Major Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about storylines in Season 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Season 2 News
On June 27, Starrynight Productions revealed that the production office for Season 2 is open. Some crew members (e.g. Andrew Arcieri) posted pictures while setting up the lights or tech-scouting last week. Overall, pictures were harder to find then back when they had started production on Season 1. On July 3, Lucas Till presented us Clover, the new Production Office Dog. He also posted a short video on Instagram Live Stories. So far, she doesn’t seem too excited to be there.

Lucas and Production Office Dog Clover (via Lucas Till)

Filming for Season 2 started on Thursday, July 6. The title for the first episode is “DIY or DIE”, the phrase being mentioned by MacGyver while MacGyvering the parachute in the Pilot Episode. Lucas soon posted the first picture from set which shows Team Phoenix in a car (that Jack is driving, of course). A few hours later, Justin Hires posted a different picture of the same scene. He also posted some videos via Instagram and stated that he had imagined a different look for Bozer, but that the studio had made him cut his hair.

Cast, Crew and Character News
Bobby Roth revealed that he will direct an episode in September. He has already directed Episode 1×05 (Toothpick) for Season 1.

We also got some new exclusive spoilers about the storyline of Episode 2×01 (set in Istanbul, Turkey) and about new recurring characters. According to Moviehole, there will be not one, but TWO new female characters: Olivia Cage and an intel extraction specialist named Agent Carmen. While Olivia Cage is a “woman to be reckoned with and someone we will get to know well”, Agent Carmen has been described as “late twenties, fierce, focused and utterly fascinating”. Sounds like new love interests for our guys – and a potential for conflict as well since Agent Carmen is ex-CIA and has history with Matty.

Episode 2×01: DIY or DIE (via Justin Hires)

So far, there’s only one character role listed on IMDb. Marco Sanchez will play the role of “Mr. Diaz”, the father of a missing soldier that was believed to have been killed in action two years ago, but was actually kidnapped by terrorists. There is an audition tape for this role that was posted by Roberto Montesinos. He obviously didn’t get the part, but still decided to upload the audition for his portfolio.

It won’t be long until new cast members will be announced officially. If you remember, at the beginning of Season 1 it was Justin Hires that had hinted at Tristin Mays being part of the cast when he posted a picture of her with Lucas and himself exactly a year ago today. The official statement about Tristin being part of the show was released more than two weeks later (on July 27).

BtS of Season 1 (July 2016, via Justin Hires)

Of course, most fans want to know who will play MacGyver’s father. In a video interview for ET Canada at the press junket in Amsterdam, Lucas stated that he would love for James Remar (Dexter, Django Unchained) to play his dad because he would be “such a good bad guy”. (Remar has been in 2 of Lucas’ projects: X-Men: First Class and All Superheroes must die). Lucas mentioned that most people would expect Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver’s father, but that he couldn’t imagine RDA in this role because he should be the good guy (and therefore the grandfather) MacGyver has a good relationship with.

Central Casting Georgia has been looking for many Extras, e.g. for kids and adults (military, patrons, guards) to portray middle easteners, for Caucasian lab techs, for hospital nurses and doctors and for cars from the 1950s to 1980s.

MacGyver Promo in Europe
In June, Lucas Till had been on Promo Tour across Europe. Every now and then, we get new articles, interviews and pictures of the press junkets in Amsterdam, Monte Carlo or Madrid; of the CBS Squad enjoying European food or of Lucas meeting his fansFotogramas posted a new picture of Lucas with Robert Patrick during the press junket in Amsterdam.

Robert Patrick and Lucas Till for the CBS Press Junket in Amsterdam (via Fotogramas)

According to an interview written down by the Swiss Boulevard Newspaper Blick, Lucas enjoys not only playing videogames, but also fishingm – and wants to buy a houseboat one day. (Sadly, Blick forgot to point out the connection to the Original Show, totally missing out on a statement that was probably meant as a joke.) Because a houseboat is a bit costly and more time-consuming to take care of, Lucas honored Original MacGyver by buying a Jeep instead.

Reruns
Today, there will be a rerun of the Pilot Episode (The Rising). Next week, you can catch a rerun of Episode 2 (Metal Saw). After a short break, there will be a rerun of Episode 6 (Wrench) on July 28.

Lucas taking time for fans in Madrid (via Brianna Bri)

The Friday reruns continue to earn good ratings. The rerun of Episode 7 (Can Opener) aired on a Thursday, but still managed to get 2.92 million live viewers (with a rating of 0.5 in the 18-49 Demo group). The rerun of Episode 16 (Hook) on the next day garnered 4.23 million live viewers (with 0.6 in demo). A week later, the rerun of Episode 19 (Compass) had 4.07 million live viewers (with the usual 0.5 rating in demo).

I still think it’s funny how CBS handles the reruns; seemingly airing them in more or less random order. (I’m not sure if this is usually done like this in the US.)

What are cast and crew up to?
After Madrid, Lucas had joined Wilmer Valderrama for a visit to London before he returned back to Atlanta to spend some time with his family. His mother Dana posted some pictures of Lucas spending time with his brother Nick and gearing up for MacGyver.

An actor prepares (via Dana Brady Till)

While filming for Season 2 started on July 6 in Atlanta, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov was in Hawaii to prepare for Season 8 of Hawaii Five-0. It’s possible that after the unexpected exit of two main cast members (Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim who had been in the Crossover Episode 1×18), Lenkov will need to spend some more time on site in Hawaii this season. Sadly, the reasons and speculations surrounding the exits of Park and Dae Kim make it unlikely that we will see them on MacGyver next season and might diminish the chance of another crossover with H50 – but who knows.

MacGyver in Germany – Ratings
Two episodes of the Reboot air in Germany on Mondays, 8.15 pm on Sat.1. Against predictions on social media and the constant negative reviews, the show continues to earn good ratings. On Premiere Day, the first two episodes had garnered 2.10 and 1.99 million live viewers (with a market share of 12.9% and 10.9% within the important demo group of 14-49 years). The hashtag #MacGyver trended on Twitter for over an hour.

(via moviepilot)

As expected, the ratings dropped for the second week. Episode 3 earned 710’000 live viewers with a market share of 9% within demo (which is a market share of 6.2% in total viewers, consisting of 1.63 million). Interestingly, Episode 4 fared better with 880’000 live viewers (with a market share of 9.7% in demo). It’s possible that the hot weather lately works in favor of the second episode that airs around 9.15 pm.

I never cared about German ratings before and don’t know much about them, to be honest – so any conclusion done by myself needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Apparently, the cable networks aspire a market share in demo of at least 10% for prime time which isn’t achieved that easily, resulting in TV shows often being moved to later airtimes after only two or three episodes. The networks are not very patient with new shows, either – if they don’t get high enough ratings within the first few weeks, they will be rescheduled (which usually doesn’t help the ratings either).

This exact fate happened to Justin’s other series Rush Hour that premiered on the same day as MacGyver – the market shares of 7.2% and 5.9% for the first two episodes (airing at 22pm) resulted in the show being “banned” to midnight. The time slot has been filled with the newest Season of Hawaii Five-0, the other show that is executive produced by Peter Lenkov. Sadly, the change was so sudden that many viewers were caught unaware; either missing out on the premiere of H50 or stating their anger on social media, believing Rush Hour had already been cancelled.

Sat.1 Teaser Promo on Facebook (Screenshot)

Therefore, it’s not that surprising that due to the sudden change in schedule, the premiere of H50 on July 3rd didn’t have that good ratings (720’000 live viewers with a market share of 9.3%) as it could have had. It actually had less viewers than MacGyver. For comparison, Episodes 5 and 6 of the Reboot managed 750’000 resp. 960’000 live viewers this week (with a market share in the advertising-relevant demo group of 9% resp. 10.5%). Interestingly, the show hasn’t been trending on Twitter since the premiere, but while people keep lamenting on social media that Sat.1 should cancel the show, the network keeps promoting it with video clips and pictures (which they usually don’t do for such a long time period). It will be interesting to see if the ratings for MacGyver and H50 will influence each other as they did in the US.

MacGyver in Germany – Episode Titles
I’m still not that happy with the German episode titles. They’re not really as bad and spoilery as they could be, but it’s still a bit disappointing.

Sat.1 Teaser Promo on Facebook (Screenshot)

The next episode titles that are already known:
1×07 (Can Opener): Befreiungskünstler (Escape Artist)
1×08 (Corkscrew): Codename: S-218
1×09 (Chisel): Die Hand Gottes (The Hand of God)
1×10 (Pliers): Gespenster der Vergangenheit (Ghosts of the Past)
1×11 (Scissors): Schnee in Kalifornien (Snow in California)
1×12 (Screwdriver): Chrysalis
1×13 (Large Blade): Camping in Kasachstan
1×14 (Fish Scaler): Auf der Flucht (On the Run)
1×15 (Magnifying Glass): Zodiac-Mörder (Zodiac Murderer)

Interestingly, it appears that they won’t air the Christmas Episode (1×11) – although the episode has already been dubbed into German and they don’t have any problems airing the Halloween Episode (1×08) next week. It’s possible that they’re not airing all episodes at once; taking a break and/or airing 1×11 around Christmas time as a Special Event.