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

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

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

RDA as Original MacGyver (1985-1988)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen vs Public Appearance (2007)

Back to MacGyver.

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

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

RDA as Original MacGyver (1989-1991)

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

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

Promo Material for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (2016)

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

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

Lucas Till in Monster Trucks (Official Still, 2016)

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

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

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

 

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

MacGyver Reboot Update #31

We have an official date: Season 2 of the MacGyver Reboot will premiere on Friday, September 29.

via Lucas Till

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

 

Season 2 Premiere
On the first of June, CBS announced the premiere dates of the Fall Season. As expected, the MacGyver Reboot will have its premiere for Season 2 on Friday, September 29 – along with Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods.

Corus Upfronts
On June 8, Lucas Till attended the Corus Upfront Press Event in Toronto to promote the upcoming Season 2. He gave interviews and also attended the Sales Dinner where he posed for selfies, sporting his new haircut.

In a video interview with ET Canada, Lucas revealed he has just approved the Gag Reel for MacGyver (presumably for the Season 1 DVD). He joked about getting punished for doing a good job and talked about having no free weekends for 9 months. He revealed that there will be a “Casino Episode” next season and brought up the MacGyverisms of Episode 1×05: The Heist (the casino episode of the original show).

Corus Upfront Press Event (via Corus Entertainment)

Many Reboot fans have mentioned on social media that they miss the voice-overs. Lucas confirmed my suspicions about this to ET Canada: They cut down on the voice-overs for the same reasons as the original show. I always liked the voice-overs, but I can understand that they just take up too much time in the already tight schedule. Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson stated in several interviews being very happy about finally dropping the voice-overs, and it sounds like it was Lucas who suggested dropping them as well.

Lucas stated that he had signed up for an action-comedy and that viewers don’t want to see too much drama on a Friday night. This might explain the serious lack of “Mac-whump!” and why there always seems to be this need to bring in more jokes (which are not necessary in my opinion).

Corus Upfront Sales Dinner (via Corus Entertainment)

In the interview on stage, Lucas stated that he really enjoyed physics as a kid and that the tries to understand what he’s actually talking about in the show. He also revealed that the scariest stunt they did was for the Opening Gambit of Episode 1×03 (Awl).

Reruns
There is a rerun of Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass) tonight. The other scheduled reruns so far are Episode 16 (Hook) on June 16, Episode 7 (Can Opener) on Thursday, June 22 and the Crossover Episode 18 (Flashlight) on June 23. (I’m not sure why there’s no rerun of Episode 17…)

The reruns continue to garner good ratings while winning the 8pm time slot. Episode 13 (Large Blade) made 4.47 million live viewers with a rating of 0.5 in the 18-49 Demo group. The rerun of Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) had 4.20 million live viewers (along with 0.5 in Demo). These numbers are a bit lower than for previous reruns, but are still strong considering the season.

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (screenshot)

What are cast and crew up to?
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov spent Memorial Day with Family and Friends, e.g. Meredith Eaton. Next week, he will attend the Monte Carlo Television Festival with Lucas Till who can’t wait to get his boss into trouble.

On May 26, Lucas posted a picture of a Season 2 SAK on Instagram. It’s a much smaller version of the one for Season 1 that cast and crew got for Christmas. On May 27, Lucas was seen at Hollywood Burbank Airport where he posed for a selfie with a fan. As mentioned above, Lucas attended the Corus Upfront Press Event in Toronto on June 8.

As you remember, Lucas and George Eads got to travel to Hawaii for the crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0 while Justin Hires and Tristin Mays stayed back in Atlanta to film their scenes. While Tristin Mays recently travelled to Hawaii for a holiday, it was Justin’s turn last week. He’s already back at work doing stand-up comedy and editing videos; promising to upload a new BtS video of the LA Wrap Party this weekend.

LA Wrap Party (via Justin Hires)

David Dastmalchian was busy welcoming daughter Penelope into this world. Looks like “Murdoc” won’t get much sleep for the next few weeks. (Meaning months. Think years.)

Script Writer Brian Durkin is also busy. On June 6, he was doing research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for his next MacGyver script. Writer Nancy Kiu cited Andrew Klein being the “Shakespeare of the Robot Revolution”. Looks like we’re getting more robot scenes, yay. (Uhm. No yay from me, though.)

MacGyver around the world
The Reboot is or has been airing in several countries by now. The premiere for Italy (Rai2) took place on June 6. On the same day, there was a premium preview in Japan with several of the voice dubbing actors attending.

As mentioned in my last update, other countries mostly don’t translate the episode titles literally. In Germany, the episode titles are “Die Wiedergeburt” (Rebirth) for 1×01 (The Rising), “Alias” for 1×02 (Metal Saw), “Golden Boy” for 1×03 (Awl), „Kalter Krieg“ (Cold War) for 1×04 (Wire Cutter), “Der Todeszug” (Death Train) for 1×05 (Tootphick) and “Der Geist” (The Ghost) for 1×06 (Wrench).

Japan Premium Preview on June 6 (via Twitter)

It’s a well known annoyance that translated titles for TV shows usually reveal too much of the plot. Italy follows France in this tradition with “Vecchie fiamme” (Old Flames) for 1×02 and “Morte apparente” (Apparent Death) for 1×03.

My favorite is still the French Episode Title for 1×03, though: “Tête à claques”. This is the French equivalent of the name that Jack Dalton uses for Ralph at the beginning of the episode: “Punch Face”.

The Vault: Phoenix Foundation Wall Panel
Since I laid eyes on one of the Phoenix Foundation Wall Panels for the first time, I’ve been intrigued by the design. I found it very interesting, but also kind of odd because it seemed too intricate compared to the rest of the set designs. I didn’t realize the Wall Tiles are an Easter Egg until recently, when I randomly came across an article about set design in movies. I’ve never seen the movie (shame on me), but the Wall Tiles are the same as the ones used in the original Blade Runner (1982) with Harrison Ford.

Episode 1×17: Ruler (screenshot)

Apparently, the style of the tiles is based on Ennis House in LA which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed primarily of interlocking pre-cast concrete blocks. Besides for “Blade Runner”, the very unique Ennis House was used for productions such as Twin Peaks, Karate Kid III or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Well. Who says you only learn about science while watching MacGyver.

MacGyver Reboot Update #30

As predicted, Season 2 of the MacGyver Reboot will continue to air on Fridays this Fall. The competition for the Friday ratings has changed, though.

LA Wrap Party (via Justin Hires)

CBS Upfronts
On May 17, CBS presented their 2017-2018 TV schedule. As predicted, their Fridays Line-Up hasn’t changed and the “Holy Trinity” (MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods) stays intact. The competition has changed, though; e.g. because Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing has been cancelled. MacGyver will share its airtime with Once Upon A Time (ABC), Blindspot (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW).

Blindspot used to air on Wednesdays. The show earned on average 4.89 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 1.03) per episode which is less than MacGyver (7.73 live viewers, Demo 1.08). But like the Reboot, Blindspot also serves a lot of action scenes.

Once Upon A Time used to air on Sundays. In its 6th Season, the show managed on average 3.15 million live viewers (with a 18-49 Demo of 0.93) per episode. The show will undergo a complete overhaul for next season with the consequence of losing six series regulars; looking for a “younger” and “fresher” audience. The show was renewed due to its fierce and loyal fanbase, but we’ll see if the fans will stay without their main heroes that made the audience fall in love with the show in the first place. Also, considering they’re targeting a younger audience by using younger actors, moving the show to Friday might not help to get bigger ratings.

Friday Schedule 2017-2018 (via TV-Recaps-Reviews)

Reruns
There is a rerun of Episode 13 (Large Blade) today. The other scheduled reruns so far are Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) on June 2, Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass) on June 9 and Episode 16 (Hook) on June 16.

What are cast and crew up to?
This Monday, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov has been back on the Paramount Studios lot. With roughly a month left until production moves to Atlanta to get ready for filming, it’s save to say that there are scripts to finish, locations to scout, sets to design and build and casting calls to send out soon.

Lucas Till was also seen at the Paramount Studios lot on May 24, possibly for the LA Screenings that had prepared a pool and palm trees for a screening of the new Baywatch movie.

Lucas Till posing for a selfie (via Felipe Duque)

Justin Hires is already excited for next season. He posted several pictures of MacGyver Episodes and also a new picture with Lucas Till at the LA Wrap Party. George Eads was seen at a restaurant and posed for a picture. Interestingly, we can’t clearly see what’s going on with his hair, but it looks like he has shaved off Jack Dalton’s “Fauxhawk” for hiatus.

MacGyver around the world
The Reboot is or has been airing in several countries by now. The premiere for Italy is set for June 13 (Rai2). For the premiere in Japan, there will be a premiere event on June 6 which the dubbing actors for MacGyver (Mamoru Miyano) and Jack (Hiroshi Tsuchida) will attend.

While the English episode titles are named after tools on an SAK, other countries don’t even try to literally translate them. In Germany, the pilot episode (The Rising) is titled “Die Wiedergeburt” (Rebirth), episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Alias” (which doesn’t make much sense to me).

In France, the episode titles are either funny or outrageous. Episode 1×02 (Metal Saw) is called “Sauvez la femme” (literally translated: “Rescue the woman”). Episode 1×11 (Scissors) is titled “Joyeux Noël” (Merry Christmas) while Episode 1×14 (Fish Scaler) reveales the plot since it’s titled “Agent double” (Double Agent).

Episode 1×13: Large Blade (via SpoilerTV)

The Vault: New/Old interview with George Eads
There were times when the promo load was so intense that I couldn’t catch all of it. I recently stumbled over an old interview with George Eads that was published in September 2016, a day before the premiere of the pilot episode.

Again, I’m amazed how often he gets away with revealing stuff in interviews; e.g. the entire plot for Episode 1×05 (Toothpick), that “pretty hefty bottles of wine” are consumed while rehearsing with Lucas Till and that they both get “a vitamin bag IV, amino shots and B12 shots” on the weekends. He also talked about the differences between filming scenes for MacGyver and CSI, about the bond with Lucas and about some of the issues with the Unaired Pilot.

Here’s an interesting excerpt regarding the original actors:

When they see the pilot and see we’ve hit the mark, we’ll have a lot more of them come around. I think that’s when we can ask Richard Dean Anderson. We’ll have to wait and see how the kid does before he does anything. It will be cool to have MacGyver play MacGyver. It would be almost like ‘Back to the Future.” We brush by the real Jack Dalton and MacGyver in a case. That might be interesting.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

(via Lauren Leigh)

He revealed that they reshot some scenes for Episode 1×03 (Awl). Comparing Jack Dalton with his CSI-character Nick Stokes, Eads said:

It’s completely different. There is still that bravery issue, that no fear issue that Nick had. But this character has severe PTSD. He’s a death dealer. He’s ex Special Forces, been in all kinds of secret ops. He kills without a conscience. He’s kind of the epitome of courage but when you have those screws loose, he’s the type of guy Mac has to turn around and say, ‘Stop! Calm down! We’re not just running in there like that!’  […]  So [Mac’s] teaching Jack how to get his temper and emotions in check because there’s nothing Jack likes better than to fight and kill someone who deserves it. He’s just a loose cannon, a damn wild man.

(George Eads, via RadioTVTalk, September 2016)

It’s funny how I absolutely can’t see rebooted Jack Dalton in this, considering they were already filming Episode 5 when this interview took place. It feels like he’s talking about his Unaired-Pilot-character Lincoln. Also, I always felt that Jack does all the emotional work for MacGyver, not the other way around.

MacGyver Reboot Update #24

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on March 3, 2017. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Only four Episodes left on Season 1. Are you sad about the impending Finale? Don’t be, because a great villain of the original show will make an appearance!

Episode 1×18: Flashlight (via SpoilerTV)

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

 

Gearing up for the Finale
Yesterday evening I’ve written following part as my introduction for this update:

It’s been oddly quiet on social media recently. It might just be the calm before the next cycle of promo (for the crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0) hits us like an earthquake.

(See what I did there? Haha.)

Well, it’s already started. Just a few hours ago, Entertainment Weekly released the first promo trailer for Episode 18 (Flashlight).

Otherwise, it IS more quiet than usual; probably because Cast and Crew are busy with scouting, filming and editing while Executive Producer Peter Lenkov is preparing to produce another TV show this Summer (does this man ever sleep?).

Production should wrap up around mid-March. Justin Hires already sent out his invitation for a MacGyver Wrap Party Comedy Show on March 18.

For the last four episodes, there seem to be good things (and characters) waiting on the horizon. Lenkov himself revealed some interesting tidbits; e.g. that the Finale will explain some more about Cairo. On another (and kinda disappointing) note, we’ll get an episode less than expected because Episode 21 (Cigar Cutter) will be the Season Finale. Fans of the original show can rejoyce, though because none other than Dr. Zito will show up! I’m really curious who they’ve cast for this role.

BtS of Episode 1×19: Compass (via Shannon Thomas)

Working on Episodes 18, 19 and 20
We haven’t seen many pictures of the filming process of Episodes 19 (title still unknown) and 20 (Hole Puncher), despite production filming outside several times (e.g. at Grant Park, at Morehouse College posing for MIT and at East Lake Golf Club) during the last two weeks. The few pics of the main cast so far are of Lucas Till and George Eads; George rendering fans starstruck and posing on what looks like a hospital set. Justin Hires shared a short video of the Golf Set, both him and Tristin Mays wearing golf gear. Hopefully, they’re not looking for another Malaysian doctor to help with on-the-fly-surgery.

The fact that there will be a rerun of the Murdoc-Episode tonight (1×08: Corkscrew) gives Peter Lenkov some more time for the editing process on the crossover episode (1×18: Flashlight). Thanks to his Instagram Live Story on March 2, we finally know where that cute dog will show up.

Premieres of Episodes 16 and 17
Ratings have been falling. Episode 16 (Hook) had 7.24 million viewers (along with a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo group). Last week’s episode (Ruler) even earned the lowest ratings of the entire season so far (6.93 million viewers), but did better in the very important 18-49 demo group (1.1).

BtS of Episode 1×17: Ruler (via Deborah Mace)

Both times, the Hashtag #MacGyver has been trending again while the writers engaged in live tweetings. For the premiere of Episode 16, “Billy Colton” Lance Gross joined the writer’s office.

So far, we haven’t heard anything official about a possible season renewal, and while the crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0 will most likely get good ratings, it’s probably more important that the remaining three episodes manage to pull high numbers.

While many think a season renewal is a given, it’s interesting to note that both Lucas and George (who’s never on social media anymore) have urged people to watch the newest episodes to rise the numbers.

Lucas, Justin, the Stand-Ins and crew members along with the Colton-Cast posted many never-seen-before BtS pics (e.g. of the location scouting) and videos (e.g. of the blue-van-kaboom) to make us curious about the newest episodes. There was a LOT going on on social media during the premieres, so I was a bit surprised about the lower ratings.

BtS Episode 1×17: Ruler (via Tristin Mays / CBS)

Stills and Sneak Peeks
As for the last episodes, there was no new preview trailer for Episodes 16 or 17. We got stills and sneak peeks for Episode 17 (Ruler), though and stills and the above-mentioned preview trailer for Episode 18 (Flashlight).

Crossover Interviews and Other Promo
Several outlets have visited Lucas and George on set of the crossover episode. The Insider played lazy and let the two guys interview each other. ET Canada pretended to be disappointed about the set visit. No beaches, palm trees or guys with their shirts off – I guess they had a point.

On February 22, CBS Watch! Magazine released the BtS video of their photoshoot with Lucas and George. The interview with Justin Hires is also available to read on the website now.

Technical Advisor Rhett Allain posted some more learning videos; e.g. about “How to use Magnets like Mac“.

BtS of Poster Promo Shoot (via Nick Tortorici)

This week, some pictures have surfaced from the Poster Promo Shoot. In case you ever wondered why I’ve never posted a picture of the official poster (besides the wall painting on Hotel Figueroa) in any of my updates: I hate it. It’s so overly photoshopped and makes Lucas look like a snotty, smirking, bratty jerk. So it was a nice surprise to see a “real” BtS picture of Lucas hanging with that parachute (looks so much better!) and to know the crew also had a lot of fun doing this shoot.

aTVfest Appearance
As mentioned in my last update, Lucas, Tristin and Justin had made an appearance at aTVfest on February 4, attending a Q&A Panel along with Peter Lenkov and Jeff Downer. If you want to check it out, you can watch the full panel over here.

The most interesting part for me was Peter Lenkov talking about the role he had intended Richard Dean Anderson to play (starts at Minute 22). For fans of the original show, it’s not that much of a surprise (although it’s not the most obvious of the most likely choices, either).

aTVfest (via Tristin Mays)

Lenkov also revealed that the character of Bozer initially really had been planned as the comedic relief and unsuspecting roommate-slash-best friend, but talking to Justin Hires had made him revise the character and integrate him into the Phoenix Foundation.

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has been looking for a lot of Extras the last few weeks; e.g. for college students, business people, men with military or tactical experience, Asian golfers, reporters, LAPD, Baseball fans, agents, techs, a waiter and a waitress, patrons and for a “Caucasian looking Brunette woman” for a still photo shoot that will be playing the wife of an actor.

Interesting to note: Sandrine Holt was listed for Episode 19 on IMDb, but her credit has mysteriously disappeared. I really hope she’s coming back this season because her storyline has never been wrapped up to my satisfaction (and it probably never will as long as they keep her being a traitor). Her usual Stand-In (Briana Lamb) has been back on set, so I’m really hoping.

Episode 1×19: Compass (via Anthony Kountz)

Also, another Original MacGyver alumn has been seen on set: François Chau who played the character “Chi” in Episode 7×05 (The Coltons). I have to admit I don’t really remember his role, but I’ve seen him in several episodes of “Lost”.

As mentioned above, Dr. Zito will make an appearance in the Season Finale. Two villains for the finale seems a bit much, but there’s a chance we’ll get to see Murdoc an episode sooner because David Dastmalchian has been in Atlanta recently.

MacGyver Reboot Update #10

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on September 6, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Less than three weeks until the Premiere! Filming continues while the promo cycle goes on. The huge wall paintings ad is finished and garners lots of attention. Also, we got more preview trailers!

via Lucas Till

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

Working on Episodes 3, 4 and 5
Filming continued for Episodes 3 and 4 and they already started on Episode 5 (called “Toothpick“), directed by Bobby Roth (Revenge, Agents of Shield). On September 4, he shared a picture of him with Tristin Mays on set.

Several extras shared pictures of themselves in military gear; e.g. Derek Bosworth or Thomas Murphy. Stills Photographer Erika Doss revealed her own dresscode.

Extra Mark Stevens granted us another glimpse of the interior set with New MacGyver’s home. Hopefully, it’s not as dark as “Bunker City” like this picture that Lucas Till shared on September 1.

Location Scout Gonzo Rey showed a picture of him sitting on a “throne” on set – in fact, several of the cast and crew took turns to pose with the prop (apparently an old shroud from a commercial jet engine). Maybe they tried to distract us from the Russian nuclear bomb in the Lifecycle Building Center? Good thing the bomb is constantly guarded by May. 

via lbc_atlanta

Executive Producer Peter Lenkov didn’t share as many pictures recently – it seems he was busy editing Episode 2 and cutting the scenes with Amy Acker. On August 30, he posted a picture of “a man and his old school bomb”. On September 6, he shared two other pictures from set; one of them titled “train”.

On the other hand, George Eads finally discovered Instagram. He shared a picture of him between takes and granted us a look at the “War Wagon” (presumably from Episode 2). We also got a picture of him posing in front of the headstone of “Jack S. Dalton Sr.” and one with Extra Sonia Rockwell.

Let the Promo continue: Wall Painting
Mando shared a picture of the finished Wall Painting ad on Hotel Figueroa in LA. The Mural garnered quite some attention on social media; being posted from different angles.

via canyoncitysigns

Let the Promo continue: Preview Trailers
On August 29, Hot Bench released a preview video with new scenes. I have to say that while it looks nice at first, I don’t like it. I have to assume that it was put together by someone at CBS who doesn’t know the original show at all. I don’t know what audience they try to reach with this – I guess a younger one that likes this kind of music, but if the reboot is anything like this preview, it won’t work that way…

TV Promo 360 released another “inofficial” preview that explains the use and meaning of the verb “MacGyver” (=using limited resources to escape an impossible situation). If you want to see the other promo videos (that I posted about in the last update) in a better quality, you can check out SpoilerTV.

On September 1, we got a combo-video-promo for MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 – MacGyver and McGarrett (or Mac and M(a)c, back to back) on Fridays.

via Mohamad M. Ali

Additionally, we also got a short video interview (probably from the TCAs) with George Eads and Lucas Till. George jokes about how his body is too old for all the action scenes and both say again that they would really like to have Richard Dean Anderson on the show.

Let the Promo continue: MacGyver on “Big Brother”
I didn’t know “Big Brother” is still a thing (since I can’t stand these type of shows and don’t keep up with them). Apparently, they had some MacGyver-themed contest going on and got Pizza afterwards – Pizza in interesting-looking Pizza Boxes. CBS is sure promoting the hell out of this reboot.

There will also be a special premiere screening at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Georgia on September 11. The invitation is made by the Georgia Departement of Defense, and John Till (Lucas Till’s father who’s a lieutenant colonel) will hold a meet and greet along with some of the cast and directors of the show.

via Twitter

Cast and Crew News
Central Casting Georgia has again made several casting calls; e.g. for a new hand double for MacGyver. We all know about Original MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson and his tendency to cut up his hands with the SAK on set. (He recently told the story of how he got the injury on Episode 2×10 (Three for the Road) at Armageddon Expo New Zealand in March – check the video at the 19-Minute-Mark if you want to hear the gory details.) Did New MacGyver’s old hand double already get into trouble? 

I guess it’s more likely that because they’re filming two or more episodes at the same time, they needed more hand doubles for the close-up scenes. Nonetheless, the casting call gave us another close look at the watch that New MacGyver is wearing. Looks good!

Casting Calls also included American Militia Separatists, Moroccan Pedestrians, German Commuters, Japanese Board Members, German Cars, a Caucasian Male in his Late 20’s-40’s with a neatly trimmed beard, German and African looking Men and Women to work in a train depot and a Caucasian Female with a 3 or 4 year old daughter.

via Central Casting Georgia / MacGyver Online

The Press Release for the Pilot Episode revealed that Tracy Spiridakos will play Nikki Carpenter. We already disscussed the possibility of Nikki Carpenter appearing in the Reboot (especially now that we know Penny Parker will also be back); but because I always assumed that Tracy will play the “Big Bad” betraying MacGyver, I never made the connection before. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Somehow, I can’t imagine Original Nikki Carpenter being a “Big Bad”; at least not on purpose.

Sharing Filming Locations
It was revealed that shooting will continue at Atlanta City Hall on Wednesday, September 7 – it’s the same location where the new Spiderman-Movie was being filmed today. The scenes will involve simulated gunfire. More Action!

MacGyver Reboot Update #5

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 1st, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Last week, they finished filming the pilot episode and started production on the next one. Also, we got some more promo and lots and lots of set pictures!

via CBS


(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post pics that are too revealing, but you probably will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Another Shooting Day in “Hotlanta”
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov announced on Instagram on July 25 that he was back in Atlanta to resume filming of the pilot episode. He was greeted with “Welcome back to Hotlanta!”. 

We had already heard at ComicCon that Lucas Till had been a real trooper while shooting for the pilot episode on a hot tarmac in his leather jacket without complaining. It seemed the weather conditions were still quite challenging while the crew was filming downtown. Lenkov posted a picture of his “sweating jeans” while Lucas shared a picture of George Eads wearing a so-called “cold scarf”. It’s unclear if Vinnie Jones – who had tweeted being back on set earlier – had also gotten one of those. On the same day, stuntman Aden Stay shared a picture from the set right before getting ready for action.

Bypassers were excited to see the production going on; e.g. while filming near Cafe Lucia or at the Georgian Terrace Hotel

Get a Taste of the Action
On July 26, CBS released a “Sneak Peak” (sic!) of the pilot episode with comments by Peter Lenkov, Lucas Till, George Eads and Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. We can taste the action alright; e.g. MacGyver chasing after an airplane, fighting bad guys and getting ready to do some MacGyverisms. Shortly after, they added a 10-second-TV-ad for the premiere. They made a modern version of the title in front of an explosion, and it looks surprisingly good (although us “old” fans still wonder about getting the old theme along the new opening credits).

On the same day, we got several promo stills for the Pilot Episode by SpoilerTV.

The Iconic Shot
Every MacGyver Fan knows the iconic picture of MacGyver shouldering a missile – and maybe even non-fans do (this is probably one of the most often used stills of the original show). Peter Lenkov shared a very interesting picture on July 26 of himself on the interior set, shouldering a white missile with a red nose while wearing sunglasses. Even more interestingly, he later deleted the picture. Did Lenkov give too much away about what the team had in mind for the next promo shot? 

It’s no secret: What you post on social media will make the rounds, even if you try to make it disappear. The cat was already out of the bag, so maybe that’s the reason that only two days later, several other crew and cast members posted pictures of themselves or of Lucas with the prop; e.g. Producer Michael Clear, Justin Hires or Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni. Peter Lenkov posted a short video where we get to see Lucas on the monitor, carrying the missile trough the forest (jungle?). His t-shirt indicates that MacGyver went to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Interior Sets
We got lots of new pictures of the interior sets for the rest of the week. Justin Hires announced his first day working on set on July 26. Lucas Till posted a picture of Justin and one of George Eads plucking at a guitar. Justin in turn had posted several videos on his Facebook Account. Lenkov showed us Lucas getting touched up by the MakeUp Departement before sharing several pictures of (presumably) MacGyver’s home; e.g. the living room, the fridge and the work area.

It’s fun to see pictures even though you’re not really sure what to make of it; e.g. of MacGyver with a Robot Hand or of Wilt Bozer making waffles. Also, the crew shot some scenes in “Siberia“. Must be pretty funny; filming in full winter gear inside a studio in Hotlanta under bright lights (ahem). 

Cast and Crew News
Several Extras shared their involvement in the reboot; Katy Harrington (hotel guest), Jonathan Fritschi, Kevin Pinkney or Gary Sonny Alfano (drug dealer). StandIn James Grabowski revealed with his call sheet of the pilot episode that this was going to be an “open-flame-kind-of-hot-day” on set.

On the same day the crew was filming in “Siberia”, a husky was at the studio. It’s unclear for now if the dog will be part of this scene or not.

On July 27, MacGyver CBS officially introduced Tristin Mays as the character of computer hacker Riley Davis. On the same day, Lucas Till shared a picture of him with his Stunt Double Chris Brewster.

Team MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Fans had already recognized her on a picture provided by Peter Lenkov. On July 28, TVLine confirmed that Amy Acker is guest-starring on the second episode. She will play a CIA operative working undercover in Caracas who got kidnapped. Of course, we can expect Mac and Jack to get her out; maybe even get the girl AND the missile.

To the disappointment of many fans (myself included), it doesn’t look like Richard Dean Anderson will be part of the reboot. In a statement through his website on July 25, RDA said that he’s “(…) not considering being a part of a project that has overlooked the insanely LOYAL FANS of the original character and has proceeded without considering how and why they all became and STAYED loyal fans…(…)“. We will see if he still feels that way after the first few episodes have aired. From what I’ve seen of the production and heard and read of the panel and interview roundtables at ComicCon, it seems like this time around the crew actually tries to honor the original show.

Working on Episode 1×02
On July 27, Peter Lenkov informed via Instagram that they have started production on Episode 1×02 before wrapping the pilot episode on July 28. According to SpoilerTV, the second episode is called “Metal Saw”. An important tool on MacGyver’s SAK, maybe? 

The locations look pretty interesting. Also, Lenkov showed us how MacGyver would bulletproof a car. If I was sitting in this car, I would feel safer already. Maybe.

There are quite some more episodes to film until December and the crew was in for another night shoot on July 29. But they still have fun on set between takes. Tracy Spiridakos showed us what happens when you forget your phone at a table full of stunt men.

MacGyver Reboot Update #4

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on July 24, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

The MacGyver Reboot has been filming the pilot episode for its second week – and stopped by for a visit at the ComicCon in San Diego!

via Instagram

 

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pics, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get spoilered by reading my posts or clicking on the links provided!)

 

Aloha from Set
During the second week of shooting, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov and several crew members continued to grant us a look inside the production. On July 18, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe posted a video of a stuntman climbing on a military truck driving along the highway with a helicopter following behind the truck. Pretty cool!

On the same day, Lenkov posted several pictures of George Eads in full military gear, looking like a sniper trying to take out the bad guys. Lenkov included a picture with “Aloha” written on the rifle; therefore sending a “little love letter” to his crew filming Hawaii Five-0. On the same day, he posted a short video of Lucas Till as MacGyver cutting some wires while wearing a protection suit. Looks like he just saved the day again by defusing another bomb!

Peter Lenkov introduced us to “Team MacGyver” by posting a picture with Lucas Till (MacGyver), George Eads (Jack Dalton), Sandrine Holt (Patricia Thornton) and Tristin Mays (Riley Davis). Composer Keith Power has started scoring – and apparently needs lots of coffee while doing it.

via Peter Lenkov

 

Tanks, Helicopters and Bikini Babes
On July 19, we got several pictures of a tank on set. A tank that soon got invaded by bikini-clad women in heels while carrying weapons. Hmm. SkyDroneCinema called it a “hot hot day on set” while Lenkov asks the same question that fans have been asking on the MacGyver Online Forums and on the MacGyver Online Facebook Page: “What does this have to do with #macgyver???”

Chris Payne Gilbert sure had fun with this scene, as did George’s StandIn Mikey Leo and model Teresita Vicente (although she later deleted her Instagram picture stating she had been shooting Ninjas all day with a machine gun while wearing a bathing suit). While some fans were as happy as Lucas and George snagging Ninja-Shooting Bikini Babe India Batson for a picture, others were either confused or disappointed; stating that “Baywatch With Tanks” wasn’t the image the show should be going for. I’m still guessing at what this scene should be. Opening Gambit? Weird Dream? Fantasy? Music Video for the Soundtrack? We’ll see in September.

On the same day, Lenkov posted pictures of a helicopter on set while SkyDroneCinema shared a video back from the Estate Party Night Shoot at the Swan House in which we get to know New MacGyver’s fighting style.

via Peter Lenkov

 

MacGyver at Comic Con: Multitool and fun ride
CBS had announced before that they would hand out a new version of the “MacGyver Multitool” and that fans would have the chance to take free rides in electric cars. Lucas and George got to enjoy a ride while doing interviews. It didn’t take long for visitors at Comic Con San Diego to share pictures of their paperclip, most of them complimenting the advertizing.

Interestingly, the MacGyver logo on the electric cars and on the shirts of the Multitool-Promo-Crew is different: The SAK is gone. In the meantime, it has also disappeared from the logos on the official social media accounts. Let’s hope it doesn’t get replaced by a paperclip somehow, because I really liked the old logo. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed about the change – partly because THIS is the only tool MacGyver really needs, but mostly because being from Switzerland, I was always very proud of a Swiss product so prominently featured in the most favorite TV show of my childhood. Thanks to MacGyver, until my former male classmates had to join the military service at the age of 18 I believed that the official SAK at that time was red (it was actually silver until 2008; now they’re handing out a very different model in green).

 

via CBS Watch! Magazine
MacGyver at Comic Con: Panel and Roundtable Interviews
Besides Lucas Till and George Eads, both Peter Lenkov and James Wan attended the panel and did several interview rounds.

Watching the 30-minutes-panel, the team seems to work very well together and the chemistry between Till and Eads is great (they already turned the people behind the Keysmash Blog Twitter Account into shippers). If you’re interested in the video, you can check it out here. (Sadly, the additional two short video clips they showed have not been made public yet.)

Especially Peter Lenkov and James Wan managed to ease a lot of the worries weighing on us fans. Wan acknowledged that MacGyver is “such a different hero from what we see on TV these days” and stated that they want to retain that spirit of a great role model blessed with intelligence and humanity.

Lenkov promised to include lots of Easter Eggs for fans of the old show. He revealed hoping to involve cast members of the original version and reaching out to Richard Dean Anderson. This admission led to dozens of online articles popping up even before the panel ended; e.g. by Variety, Deadline or the Hollywood Reporter. While it is still unclear what kind of role they would offer to him, an appearance of RDA sure would draw in many fans still wary of a reboot.

While the producers want to honor the legacy and won’t turn Angus MacGyver into some kind of Jason Bourne or James Bond, Lenkov also said that they will update some of the techniques, meaning different shooting styles and editing techniques. Additionally, MacGyver won’t be a “lone wolf” anymore but more of a team player (which has become a standard in almost every modern tv show, but I’m still not sure if this is always a good thing).

via Hollywood Reporter

In the Roundtable Interview posted by Seat42F, Lucas Till admitted having catched some reruns in his youth, but not being an avid fan back then. He’s currently on Season 2 for research purposes. George Eads stated feeling the pressure and the tiring shooting schedule, but also feeling very proud being part of this project. Seat42F shared another Roundtable Interview with Lenkov and Wan, where Lenkov confirmed that they would keep the Opening Gambits. Regarding the challenges about setting the reboot into 2016, Wan and Lenkov stated that while today’s world is very much digital and so many problems are solved with computers,MacGyver still thinks in analog ways. Wan always liked that MacGyver only turned to violence as a last resort; and while the show is set “in a modern world that is so violent“, he wants the hero to keep using his brain for creative problem solving.

In the press junket interview posted by sandwichjohnfilms, Lenkov promised that we will see why Lucas Till is the perfect MacGyver. Lenkov is aware that people are very sceptical of this reboot and wants to retain the soul of the old show while introducing it to a new audience. For Wan, it doesn’t matter what type of film he’s making (action, horror or comedy; low-budget or blockbuster), because for him it’s all about the characters and if the chemistry is right, then “the action and the set-pieces are just the cream on the cake that makes it all the more tastier“.

In a video interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lucas Till repeated his earlier statement in the panel that he would be okay wearing a mullet in the next season.

via CBS

The article by USA Today confirms that the show will keep the voice-overs. During a video interview with ET Online, Lucas had joked about his stunt guy sitting on the sidelines – and he already paid the price for it, as the article reveals: Till (…) has persuaded producers to let him perform a number of MacGyver’s tricky stunts. He sports a band-aid on his finger from a cut suffered grabbing the side of a serving tray at the end of a complicated kick-and-catch move. Let’s hope he realizes that having a stunt person is actually a good thing, no matter how much fun it is to do the stunts yourself – otherwise, RDA might explain (and show) it to him.

Cast and Crew News
During last week, Central Casting Georgia has made several casting calls; e.g. for Ninjas, Korean workers and soldiers, Caracas guards or Asian hackers. They’re also looking for old cars and mopeds and for a hand double – judging by the provided picture, probably for Lucas Till.

Singer George Lott announced on July 19 that he will have a featured cameo role in the show – maybe even for the episode called “Baywatch with Tanks”?

Peter Lenkov shared the information that it’s only 5 more days with James Wan until moving forward onto the next episode. So far, we don’t know yet its title or its director – but the casting calls indicate an Asian setting. Brian Durkin is back on the studio lot writing new episodes, so there will be more casting calls soon.

Back Home
Several times, Peter Lenkov had already posted pictures of the Griffith Observatory back in LA – MacGyver’s home in the original pilot. The speculations and hopes of many fans turned out to be true when Pilot Episode Director James Wan posted a picture on July 23 of the crew shooting at Griffith Park in front of the observatory. New MacGyver is definitely going back to his roots.