Looking Back at Season Zero (XI) – The Script (Part 2): Earl and David

Every time I dig through my folders, I come across the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m still trying to find new material; putting together all the interesting information. In this series of blog posts, I write about the first draft of the Unaired Pilot script.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines and characters. For daily news and discussions, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come – it just takes time. Sadly, the days never seem to have enough hours… and my blogging isn’t paid.

The Unaired Pilot Script
A short recap: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts hasn’t surfaced so far.

The first draft of the script is dated February 26, 2016. In case the promo cut or the full episode ever get released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists in the upcoming blog posts regarding the script. I don’t want to ruin your fun, after all.

The Portland Beavers (via LogoLynx)

The Location: Portland
The First Draft of the Unaired Pilot is set in Portland. I haven’t figured out why, because the location doesn’t really matter for the storyline. According to Wikipedia, Paul Downs Colaizzo was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia. He studied in New York City and still lives there.

The Unaired Pilot was initially set to film in Portland, so it’s possible that CBS demanded of Colaizzo to make Portland the main location.

The Characters: Earl and David
In this blog post, I will focus on two characters appearing in the first draft of the script. They’re both related to lead character Angus MacGyver. One has a speaking role, while the other is being mentioned only (because he’s already dead).

Yes, it’s Grandpa MacGyver (Earl) and Papa MacGyver (David). Not much is known about them. They only seem to serve the backstory of the lead character. We don’t know what actors would have played them since they were never listed on IMDb and didn’t appear in the teaser trailer or the storyboard excerpts.

As mentioned in my last blog post regarding the script, there must have been heavy rewrites between the first draft and the filming process. It’s possible their scenes were written out or cut in the editing room.

About Earl
Grandpa Earl is in his 60s. He owns a hardware store. I don’t remember a wife or other kids being mentioned. Or any hobbies. And there’s not much personality to discover. Overall, the character stays bland – similarly to Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) who made it to the rebooted version that aired on TV.

I’m not sure how big Grandpa Earl’s role would have been. If he was intended as a recurring characer, then probably only to book-end the episodes and only as long as MacGyver was still living there and/or occasionally visiting in between missions.

We meet Earl at the airport in Portland, when Angus MacGyver returns from his hospital stay after a 5-year-long-stint as a POW (prisoner of war). It’s implied that Earl travelled with Mac back to Portland – but we don’t know what happened in between as the reunion of Mac and Earl wasn’t written into the script. The scene switches to MacGyver’s bedroom. Apparently, Earl never cleared it out.

According to the script, MacGyver lost both his parents while being young, so he moved in with Earl as a kid. He also collected boomerangs (which might have been an Easter Eggs since this fact doesn’t matter as the story progresses).

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

There’s not much information about the place otherwise. In the few BtS photos of the Unaired Pilot, it looks like Mac lives on his own, although the place looks like he might have inherited it from his grandpa.

MacGyver helps Earl in the store one day, and there’s a robbery. Or was it terrorism? Mac was a POW for 5 years, so everyone deems him paranoid and in need of more veteran support group meetings. Mac investigates with Lincoln and his friends, so Earl doesn’t have much scenes overall.

What about Harry?
Original MacGyver fans know that Mac’s grandfather from his mother’s side was named Harry Jackson. Harry became a father-figure to MacGyver after his father and grandmother were killed in a car accident. If you’re interested in Harry, you can find more information here.

Harry Jackson (John Anderson, via MacGyverOnline)

Judging by the Easter Eggs in the Unaired Pilot Script, we have to assume that Paul Downs Colaizzo has at least watched the OG Pilot. Or not? While doing promo for another project back in August 2019, Colaizzo stated in an interview:

I got a phone call in the middle of the night that said, “We need you to move to LA tomorrow and start working on the pilot of ‘MacGyver.’” And when you’re on an overall deal, that’s sort of the agreement, that you work for the studio. I’d never seen an episode of “MacGyver” in my life. I wrote a pilot, though, and at that point, the studio was determined to keep that thing going, and I was along for the ride.

The Playlist, August 22, 2019

In theory, you don’t need to watch any episodes with OG Grandpa Harry to know about Harry. You can read the IMDb synopsis of each episode, check Wikipedia or the extensive character backlog and the forum of MacGyver Online.

Harry MacGyver (Michael O’Keefe, via MacGyverOnline)

So why didn’t Colaizzo use Harry as the name for rebooted MacGyver’s grandpa? Maybe it was a hommage to his own grandpa. Or he felt some liberty since this is presumably the father of Papa MacGyver, not the father of Mama MacGyver (contrary to the OG show).

Also, we don’t know if the name was changed for the script that was used for filming. It’s both possible that they did it during revisions and Showrunner Peter Lenkov took it for his own script, or that he changed the name later; implementing an Easter Egg of his own.

About David
As seen in the script snippets posted here, MacGyver’s dad died during Desert Storm. Little MacGyver was only one year old – raised by his mother until she died in a car crash when he was six.

What about James?
Original MacGyver fans know that Mac’s dad was named James MacGyver. Mac’s dad being a soldier being killed during Desert Storm is quite a difference from the OG storyline, but also of the Reboot storyline that Lenkov implemented.

When SpoilerTV provided character descriptions just before the Upfronts, they already revealed that Lincoln knew MacGyver’s father. This is presented as a plot twist in the script (perfectly placed for a commercial break).

MacGyver will later learn about this, and will be angry with Lincoln about being kept in the dark. (I will come back to this scene in an upcoming blog post about Lincoln.)

Earl and Lincoln
Interestingly, Lincoln enters Earl’s hardware store to check out the crime scene, but Earl isn’t there. Would he have recognized Lincoln from the photo? Have they met before? Maybe that’s backstory stuff that was supposed to touch upon in later episodes.

Both Earl and Lincoln are in the last scene, but don’t acknowledge each other. It’s a bit weird. Maybe I missed something and have to read it again. Maybe I’ll find the missing piece while doing “research” for my next blog post.

Looking Back at Season Zero (X) – The Script (Part 1)

Every time I dig through my folders, I come across material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m still trying to find new material; putting together all the interesting information.

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines. For daily news and to discuss, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come. Problem is that the days never have enough hours…

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Anita Kalathara)

Rebooting the Reboot
A short recap for fans who recently joined the fandom (or have faulty memories): The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken (who sadly died in July 2021 at the age of 56). Production wrapped two weeks before the CBS Upfronts.

The Upfronts are a press event where networks present their upcoming TV schedules and rookie shows. They release art work and previews to get the press to write positive reviews so the projects attract a big audience and international buyers.

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Synopsis (via Season Zero)

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been ordered to Series. Deadline added that Showrunner Peter Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise remaining the same; confirming an earlier report by The Hollywood Reporter that the supporting cast was not coming back.

Within a few days, CBS erased all their former tweets, posts, the trailer and official stills regarding the discarded pilot from their social media accounts. The pilot itself or its 20-minute-promo-cut for the Upfronts has never surfaced. Ironically, it has an IMDb-rating of 9.7 stars.

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Eileen Cox Baker)

Note that in case the promo cut or the full episode ever get released, I will omit some of the most spoilery lines and plot twists in the upcoming blog posts regarding the script. I don’t want to ruin your fun *hehe*.

The Unaired Pilot Script
I never got my hands on the final script used for filming. I recently did get my hands on what looks like the first draft of the script, though. It’s dated with February 26, 2016.

(Don’t ask me how I came to it, as I can’t reveal my source. I won’t upload it anywhere or send it out since said source could get into trouble.)

In April 2016, cast member Anita Kalathara (who played Neha) had provided a look at the script title page used during a table read. It was the “Yellow Draft”, dated for March 25 and now listing Brett Mahoney (Empire, Code Black, CSI: Miami) alongside Paul Downs Colaizzo as writers. The title page also carries the red logo that was used for production.

The script title page provided by Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker has 2nd Blue Revisions, dated for April 3. A photo of the script title page by Second Assistant Director Clint Buckner shows 2nd Cherry Revisions, dated for April 12.

Unaired MacGyver Pilot Production Office Sign (via Jennica Schwarzman)

Fun Fact: There is a standard order for script revision colors. According to the WGA West, the standard script revision color sets are:

  • White (unrevised)
  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Goldenrod
  • Buff
  • Salmon
  • Cherry
  • Second Blue Revision
  • Second Pink Revision and so on…

Using Second Cherry Revisions means that in theory, there could have been 16! revisions up to this point; possibly more. Just by judging the teaser trailer alone, the pilot that was filmed has many differences to the first draft (more about that further down). In fact, it seems to be a completely different episode.

Script Title Page for the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Clint Buckner)

The Synopsis
Not much is officially known about the storyline of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot. All we got for promo was a few stills and a teaser trailer. There are a handful of BtS photos and excerpts of the storyboard.

The website Season Zero used to review scripts during Pilot Season. Back in May 2016, they had posted a synopsis and a review online (the site was deleted a few years ago; the company being incorporated into Primetimer). Their verdict:

CBS didn’t like the first version of the script written by NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer R. Scott Gemmill. They could have abandoned the idea. But they comissioned another one instead, by newcomer Paul Downs Colaizzo, who’s under an overall deal with them. My guess: he didn’t really have a choice and did it without any pleasure. And it shows.

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

Fun Fact: The title of the article was “And you thought Scorpion was stupid?”. They later changed the URL to “the-handsome-and-adventurous-version-of-tbbts-sheldon”, but kept the title.

Regarding MacGyver, the author was a bit confused about why the origin story is set in 2015. He cites the dialogue as poor, that there are too many flashbacks from war and that the script is never fun:

Well. Not entirely true. The opening scene kinda is. In a ridiculous way. The way he escapes from prison… It’s clever. And laughable. (…) Spoiler alert: Mac ends the sequence on a hand-made parachute over a giant cliff! That’s one hell of a cliffhanger. But as soon as he returns home, right after the main titles, it’s never fun again.

Season Zero, May 1st, 2016

Of course, we know what Parachute Scene he’s talking about, as this was shown in the teaser trailer and also used in the header for the official Facebook page.

Social Media Header (via MacGyverOnCBS)

While doing promo for another project back in August 2019, Colaizzo admitted in an interview:

MacGyver was a bit of a one-off. It was sort of a jumble of influences, trying to get that show going. It’s not something I really worked on for long, or with passion.

Deadline, August 29, 2019

It’s still not clear to me why CBS was in such a hurry to get the project going; ordering two scripts they weren’t happy with, yet still getting one of them filmed only to drop it and have it re-written and re-filmed again.

Generally, it’s a typical CBS crime drama storyline, peppered with MacGyverisms. A war hero returns home, seeing a threat. No one believes him, but he teams up with some interesting characters and saves a lot of people.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

My Review
As mentioned above, the storyline isn’t anything that blows your mind – but it’s not a total failure. The characters stay a bit bland (similarly to the rebooted version of Patricia Thornton in Season 1), but we don’t know how they would have handled their backstories in follow-up episodes.

There’s some clever MacGyverisms, but I didn’t understand them all (probably due to the language barrier since English isn’t my First Language). But if you take them out, it would be a standard CBS crime show episode; written for any of the current crime dramas on air.

Original MacGyver fans will immediately recognize several Easter Eggs, meaning that Colaizzo must have watched at least the pilot episode (which isn’t saying much, sadly). There aren’t many, though. We have a Phoenix on a messenger bag, for example.

Sadly, there’s no mention at all of a Swiss Army Knife, which is certainly the biggest failures of them all. (There’s talk about paper clips, though.)

BtS Photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Scott Klein)

Yes, there are several flashbacks to Mac’s time as a POW (Prisoner of War), but they didn’t bother me. I could see the flashbacks playing a role in further episodes (similarly to TV-Show Arrow), especially if they had picked up on the storyline of the two soldiers who were taken with Mac.

There’s a hint of MacGyver being whumped (beaten and whipped), so it would be weird if they would have glossed over it (although that’s not unusual for a show on CBS). In the script, Mac goes to veteran support group meetings, an idea that was never incorporated in the rebooted version.

Yes, the Unaired Pilot Script is darker than the pilot we’ve seen on TV. There aren’t many fun quips as seen in the teaser trailer, so they must have added those later to add some levity. (Although I’m not sure if they didn’t backfire; as many OG viewers found rebooted MacGyver to be arrogant and full of himself.)

In general, it feels like the pilot was written in a hurry. The storyline didn’t really stick with me. And it shows that it was a writer who was tasked with it because he was under an overall contract and not because he really wanted to do it.

The Characters
Just before the Upfronts, SpoilerTV had provided character descriptions. They differ from the script I’ve read, so I’m not sure if some stuff was added to be revealed later in the season or if the descriptions are based on a revised script (or even the final draft). They might have been written for the Upfronts; e.g. the press kit that was handed out. I’m not sure about the original source.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

In the script, Lincoln is described as being in his forties, so the age might have been changed after George Eads had been cast. Interestingly, Jack Dalton in the rebooted version is younger than George while at the same time, they used Lucas Till’s real age for Mac. Maybe CBS or Peter Lenkov wanted the age difference smaller to make it a more believable bromance.

The description says that Gunner works as a handy man. In the script, he used to be a coast guard. He now works at Portlife Life Insurance, and boasts about being named the 16th best life insurance broker in Portland by Oregon Magazine. They kept the fact of Gunner dating MacGyver’s ex, so they sure wanted to hold onto the potential love triangle drama.

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

In the script, MacGyver says that specialists Zwickey and O’Neill have been shot. Otherwise, they’re barely mentioned. In the character description, it says that they are still alive and in need of rescue. Also, they seem to be civilians, not fellow EOD Techs anymore. This plot point might have been rewritten as a cliffhanger. Maybe one of them was supposed to come back for revenge (similarly to Episode 3×11: Mac + Fallout + Jack)?

I will touch upon the characters in upcoming blog posts; presumably MacGyver, Lincoln, Gunner, Mickey and Earl. There was also another character named Sipps in the script that wasn’t mentioned in the character descriptions. It’s possible that Sipps and Mickey were fused to one character; played by Addison Timlin in the filmed version.

Having MacGyver’s ex on missions sure would have led to some tension and drama in later episodes. Some baselines of the characters were rewritten and incorporated into The Rising, the pilot written by Peter Lenkov. So that could be another blog post. (So much stuff to write about! Do you even want to read about all that?)

Script versus Trailer
As mentioned above, the scenes in the teaser trailer and the storyboard excerpts differ a lot from the script. There’s also differences in the character descriptions provided by SpoilerTV.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Gunner and Mickey (via SpoilerTV)

In fact, none of the scenes or lines apart from the beggining and the end of the trailer make an appearance in the script at all. There’s no Kresson building, no MacGyver and Lincoln masquerading as lab rats going undercover, no Mac standing in front of the press in the hangar, no Mac tripping a bad guy with a fire house and also no Mac shooting a bow and arrow.

The storyboard excerpts and the official stills made it look like there was some bio weapon involved, but there’s none of that in the script, either. The only line in the script that made it into the trailer is the one at the end, when Mac is asking for bubblegum and a q-tip.

This all indicates that there were indeed heavy rewrites before filming. Even with reading the first draft of the script, we might never know what the Unaired Pilot would have been like if we never get to watch it.

Great, now I’m even more curious to watch it.

Looking Back at Season Zero (IX) – The Official Stills

Every time I dig through my stash of photos, I come across material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

MacGyver-4
Unofficial Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about the Unaired Pilot storylines. For daily news and to discuss, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

Don’t worry, there’s more to come. Problem is that the days never seem to have enough hours…

Official Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS, via NY Times)

Rebooting the Reboot
A short recap for fans who recently joined the fandom: The Unaired Pilot was filmed in April and May of 2016; based on a script written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Von Ancken. Production wrapped two weeks before the CBS Upfronts – the press event for networks to present their TV schedules and rookie shows.

On the 13th of May, Variety confirmed that the Reboot had been ordered to Series by CBS. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the script might be tossed out and that the secondary cast members were unlikely to return. Deadline added that newly-appointed Showrunner Peter Lenkov would write a new script with the general premise of the series remaining the same; confirming that the supporting cast was not coming back.

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

The Promo that disappeared
Just a few days before the CBS Upfronts, we got the first Official Still of Lucas Till and George Eads via NY Times; probably taken during a scene set in MacGyver’s home lab. It’s interesting to note that this photo was used for several articles for the premiere and sometimes still finds its way into online articles.

On May 18, CBS released two new Official Stills. One shows MacGyver doing a MacGyverism. The other one is also available on IMDb and has MacGyver in the lobby of the Kresson Building (presumably the “lair” of the bad guys). If you’re interested: The Kresson Building is not a stage set, but a real building with an impressive lobby; located on 5551 Katella Avenue in Cypress, California.

Official Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

At the Upfronts, the networks traditionally release art work and teaser trailers or featurettes to attract the potential audience and international buyers. According to Deadline, a 20-minute-cut-down of the pilot episode had sparked a lot of interest. Nonetheless, CBS declared the trailer to “promo non grata” and erased all their former tweets, posts and Official Stills concerning promo for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts within a few days.

While the Official Stills are still used in newer articles, the pilot so far has never surfaced. Nevertheless, it has an IMDb-rating of 9.6 stars.

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

Hunting for Treasure
It’s still difficult to find material regarding the Unaired Pilot. I never got my hands on the final script used for filming, and the IMDb page had been wiped (it’s been re-added last year, but is still missing a lot of information regarding cast and crew). Many of the social media accounts have been locked private, closed down for good or deleted old photos.

Back in July 2018, when picking up the research for some more Unaired Pilot stuff to add to new blog posts during hiatus, I stumbled over the first “official” set photos, curtesy of Production Designer John Mott on his website.

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

One is of MacGyver’s home, built on location. We can see Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (Joshua Boone), MacGyver and Mickey (Addison Timlin), plus an unknown character on the left. Sadly, that’s the only photo of this set; which looks very interesting.

The other Still is of MacGyver being kept hostage in an underground lab. Considering the parts of the storyboard I’ve seen, I’m assuming that the villain is holding a bio-weapon.

Secret Lab; built on Location (via John Mott)

The Unofficial Official Stills
Last year, Set Designer John Mott uploaded 6 additional “Unofficial” Stills. One shows MacGyver locked in a cell. Judging by the handful of BtS photos and the teaser trailer, this is our hero during his years as a POW. While parts of the set might have been on stage, some of the scenes were filmed in the “Batman Cave” aka the Bronson Canyon near Griffith Park in LA.

Another one has Mac and Jack (sorry, Lincoln) sitting in a restaurant. I wasn’t able to find out the location, but fun fact: MacGyver is doing some “Fork Art” that is probably a thing that Lucas likes doing (as seen in Episode 1×08: Corkscrew or in a video taken during downtime between promo events in Monte Carlo back in 2017).

Lucas Till and George Eads in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

The other Stills via John Mott look like screenshots also seen in the Teaser Trailer. One scene is taken of Lincoln and Mac infiltrating a lab, the other one during MacGyver’s escape from the cave in Afghanistan. A third one has MacGyver in front of the press, probably talking about his rescue.

The scene was shot in a hangar, and we have seen a few BtS photos by Extras.

Unofficial Still of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via John Mott)

While Still Photographer Ron P. Jaffe does have a website with Stills of his work (e.g. CBS shows Code Black or NCIS), he hasn’t uploaded any Stills of the Unaired Pilot. But who knows. Maybe one day, someone else working on this pilot stumbles over some photos sitting on a computer or phone and posts them on the internet.

The Best of the Best (IV) – Top 5 Blog Posts in 2020

Maybe you joined the fandom recently? So you might enjoy to check out “older” stuff about the Reboot?

Hereby, I present you my Top 5 Blog Posts 2020 – a short write-up of the 5 blog posts with the most hits at the end of last year. Maybe this post will make you curious to check out the full post in case you missed it back when I had originally posted it?

Lucas Till on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Micahveli Shakur)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Seasons 1 and 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

I have done a few of these before. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2017 (all about “deleted” scenes in the pilot script), you can check it out here. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2018, you can check it out there. The one for 2019 can be found here. Though I have to admit if you’ve already read the one from last year, there’s not much news for you.

 

Rank 5 (612 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

In this blog post, I wrote about the origins of the Unaired Reboot Pilot. There’s mentions of another Unaired Pilot (Young MacGyver with Supernatural star Jared Padalecki in the lead role; playing MacGyver’s nephew Clay), a script that wasn’t used, a (heavily revised) script that was used for a pilot that never aired and the reboot of the Reboot… As you can see, there’s been a lot going on with this project.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Lincoln (via SpoilerTV)

Rebooting a Pilot is not unusual for Pilot Season. The character descriptions alone might be worthy of their own blog post. Too bad we might never get to watch this pilot that shall not be named… but I think they had made the right decision to change, switch and tweak things (even though I’m not all okay with what they did with it).

ICYMI: A few months ago, they re-added the Unaired Pilot as “Episode 0” on IMDb. I’m curious if it gets deleted again or not.

 

Rank 4 (634 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (IV) – The Unaired Pilot: BtS photos Part 2

I had amassed quite a bit of material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot over time which led to several blog posts. In this one, I took another opportunity to present some of the BtS photos – for example Lucas Till and George Eads during a costume fitting as MacGyver and Lincoln (before he became Jack Dalton).

Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (via Eileen Cox Baker)

It’s not easy to find more BtS material online. Part of the problem is that they had wiped the original entry on IMDb and that some social media accounts of cast and crew members (e.g. assistants) went private.

I’m not sure what the policy is about posting BtS material of unaired projects, but people seem to be pretty hesitant – and so many years later, it’s too much work to scroll through 4 years of posts on their social media accounts.

 

Rank 3 (790 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

It wasn’t much, but the Unaired Pilot had gotten some promo material: Three Official Stills, a trailer and social media headers. That’s what I wrote about in this post.

Because CBS decided to reboot the Reboot with a different main cast and a different showrunner, they declared the promotional material to “promo non grata” right after the Upfronts in May 2016. The same day, they erased all their former tweets, posts and previously released promo material for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

Promo Poster at the LA TV Screenings (via Peter Lenkov)

Well, it’s the internet after all, so they couldn’t erase it completely. Some media outlets still use the old logo and the old stills. What once was posted online, has a tendency to come back. I still hope that some day, we’ll see more of it – without having to go search for it for as many hours as I did back then when I still had the patience.

 

Rank 2 (909 Hits): You can google it (Part 2): About Samantha/Olivia Cage

A lot of readers find my blog by using search engines. I wrote a couple of blog posts about what search terms led to people click on one of my blog posts. Interestingly, a lot of those clicks were due to Isabel Lucas and her character of Samantha Cage (formerly known as Olivia Cage) who was introduced in Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE).

Isabel Lucas on set of Episode 3×05: Skull + Electromagnet (via Robert Maxfield)

Cage was an underdeveloped character that divided the fandom. Yet, even many of the viewers who didn’t like her too much were rather disappointed when and how she got written out of the show in the middle of Season 2; mainly since all of the “secrets” surrounding her character sort of vanished as well and were never resolved.

Some of her traits were incorporated into the character of Desi Nguyen (who had her first appearence in Episode 3×15), but people still occasionally ask about Samantha Cage on social media.

I haven’t written yet a review about Cage, but if you want to know more about her and what people actually typed into Google only to find my blog, you can find the post here.

 

Rank 1 (1229 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

The “Winner” of 2020 is the same post that was on Rank 1 in 2018 and 2019 as well. When people talk about Original MacGyver, they often mention his glorious hair. There was a lot of “hair drama” surrounding the Reboot. So in this blog post – my first non-update-blog-post back in 2017, actually – I wrote about MacGyver’s hair. And apparently people keep googling for it; finding my blog post.

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

I’ve been planning to write Part 2 (and probably even 3) since forever, but that still might take a while. Real Life responsibilities, a ton of Reboot Update Posts last year and other stuff, you know.

 

Runner-up posts to give you the Top Ten at the end of 2020:

The Best of the Best (III) – Top 5 Blog Posts in 2019

Maybe you joined the fandom recently? So you might enjoy to check out “older” stuff about the Reboot?

Hereby, I present you my Top 5 Blog Posts 2019 – a short write-up of the 5 blog posts with the most hits at the end of last year. And I added a few photos in between so it’s all the more fun for you – and maybe a way to get you to check out the full post in case you missed it back when I had originally posted it?

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

(Minor Spoiler Alert: You might get spoilered about characters and storylines in Seasons 1 and 2 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2017 (all about “deleted” scenes in the pilot script), you can check it out here. If you missed the post about the Top 5 Blog Posts in 2018, you can check it out there.

 

Rank 5 (408 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (IV) – The Unaired Pilot: BtS photos Part 2

I had amassed quite a bit of material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot over time which led to several blog posts. In this one, I took another opportunity to present some of the BtS photos – for example Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (before he became Jack Dalton in Episode 1×01: The Rising) during a costume fitting.

Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (via Eileen Cox Baker)

 

Rank 4 (434 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (I) – The Unaired Pilot: Origins

In this blog post, I wrote about the origins of the Unaired Reboot Pilot. There’s mentions of another unaired pilot (Young MacGyver with Supernatural star Jared Padalecki), a script that wasn’t used, a script that was used for a pilot that never aired and the reboot of the Reboot… As you can see, there’s been a lot going on with this project.

Unaired Pilot Character Description for Angus MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

On the other hand, this is not all that exceptional for pilot season. The character descriptions alone are worthy of their own blog post. Too bad we might never get to see this pilot that never aired… but I think they had made the right decision to change, switch and tweak things (even though I’m not all okay with what they did with it).

 

Rank 3 (537 Hits): Looking Back at Season Zero (II) – The Unaired Pilot: Promo

It wasn’t much, but the Unaired Pilot had gotten some promo material as well. Three Official Stills, a trailer and social media headers. That’s what I wrote about in this post.

Because CBS decided to reboot the Reboot with a different main cast and a different showrunner, they declared the promotional material to “promo non grata” right after the Upfronts in May 2016. The same day, they erased all their former tweets, posts and previously released promo material for the discarded pilot from their social media accounts.

Promo Poster at the LA TV Screenings (via Peter Lenkov)

Well, it’s the internet after all, so they couldn’t erase it completely. Some media outlets still use the old logo and the old stills. What once was posted online, has a tendency to come back again. I still hope that some day, we’ll see more of it.

 

Rank 2 (643 Hits): You can google it (Part 2): About Samantha/Olivia Cage

A lot of people find my blog by using search engines. I wrote a couple of blog posts about what search terms led to people click on one of my blog posts. Interestingly, a lot of those clicks were due to Isabel Lucas and her character of Samantha Cage (formerly known as Olivia Cage) who was introduced in Episode 2×01 (DIY or DIE).

BtS of Episode 2×05: Skull + Electromagnet (via Isabel Lucas)

Cage was an underdeveloped character that divided the fandom. Yet, even many of the viewers that didn’t like her too much were rather disappointed when she got written out of the show in the middle of Season 2 since all of the “secrets” surrounding her character sort of vanished as well and were never resolved.

I haven’t written yet a review about Samantha Cage, but if you want to know more about her and what people actually typed into Google only to find my blog, you can find the post here.

 

Rank 1 (705 Hits): Looking Back at Season 1 (I) – The Hair (Part 1)

The “Winner” of 2019 is the same post that was on Rank 1 in 2018 as well. When people talk about Original MacGyver, they often mention his glorious hair. There was a lot of “hair drama” surrounding the Reboot. So in this blog post – my first non-update-blog-post back in 2017, actually – I wrote about MacGyver’s hair. And apparently people keep googling for it; finding my blog post.

Lucas Till in June and July 2016

I’m still planning to write Part 2 (and probably even 3) in the near furture, but that might take a while. Real Life responsibilities and stuff, you know.

 

Runner-up posts to give you the Top Ten of 2019:

Looking Back at Season Zero (VIII) – The Storyboard Part 4

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

 

 

(Note: If there’s no link to the material I’m writing about, that means either the social media account has been set to private or been disabled or that the material has been deleted.)

 

Recap of the latest Unaired Pilot Storyboard Post
A storyboard is a graphic representation of how film material will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations representing each shot. Think of it as sort of a comic book version of a script.

The storyboard for the Unaired Pilot was created by Storyboard Artist Aaron Sowd. The latest storyboard post ended with MacGyver drawing his improvised bow, aiming high in direction of Keith fleeing the scene.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

If you think this scene feels familiar, then that’s probably because you might have seen it in the Teaser Trailer for the Unaired Pilot. In the Teaser, we see a slightly bloody-faced Lucas Till for maybe half a second doing the heroic shot. Then the camera switches to show him in profile when he lets go of the arrow.

In the storyboard, we switch to Keith fleeing in his car before Mac lets go of the arrow.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Aaron Sowd notes unter the drawing that Keith fumbles with his keys so Mac has time to build his contraption. I’m still not sure how this would have looked in the finished scene. I think Keith is either the slowest villain ever or he parked his car 2 miles away.

Finally, Keith manages to speed off in his car. We see the getaway from different angles, and Aaron added close ups of the tires or of Keith’s foot stomping on the gas pedal.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Mac finally draws his bow; shooting the arrow high and up over the 2nd floor bridge. Aaron suggests that the camera tracks and tilts to follow the trajectory of the arrow.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The close-up shows the arrow landing right in front of the SUV and exploding. We also got to see that in the Teaser Trailer.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The explosion lifts the car, flipping it over so it lands on the roof.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The scene was filmed in an abandoned shopping mall (Hawthorne Plaza). On April 4, Clint Buckner had uploaded a BtS photo that shows the flipped over vehicle.

BtS photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Clint Buckner)

The storyboard shows the car being damaged by fire and/or smoke. In a BtS photo by Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker, we actually see MacGyver standing in front of the car; flames licking at the SUV.

The camera pans in and we see the car door with a cracked window opening.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Many fans of the Original Show hadn’t been pleased by the Teaser Trailer; stating that MacGyver shouldn’t kill people – even if they are bad guys. What we didn’t see in the Teaser was that Keith is not dead, just a bit inconvenienced.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

We see Keith crawling out of the car while Mac approaches the scene. Keith draws his gun but of course, Mac is already there to stop him.

BtS photo of Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Eileen Cox Baker)

All Mac has to do is to stomp on Keith’s hand so he gives it up, then kicking it away in true OG MacGyver fashion.

In Baker’s photo, there’s no gun visible anymore, but Mac is holding the cannister. So maybe in the filmed version, Keith had been holding onto the cannister while trying to crawl away, not onto a gun.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

After Mac kicks the gun away, Keith mutters something about Mac’s father being proud of him. I’m assuming it was meant ironically. It’s not sure if Mac already was aware that Keith and his father know each other or if this was some kind of a plot twist reveal that would have come handy in later episodes.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The camera pans in on MacGyver for another “hero shot”. I don’t know if this would have been the last scene of the pilot or if there was an after-scene with Lincoln (played by George Eads) and Mac’s friends (e.g. best friend and roommate Gunner).

It’s possible that the episode would have ended similar to the reshot pilot; like the team deciding to join the clandestined organization set up by Lincoln’s sister (played by Michelle Krusiec).

 

(This was the last storyboard post for now since I don’t have more material. If you’ve already read my posts, you can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot.)

Looking Back at Season Zero (VII) – The Storyboard Part 3

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

 

(Note: If there’s no link to the material I’m writing about, that means either the social media account has been set to private or been disabled or that the material has been deleted.)

 

Recap of the latest Unaired Pilot Storyboard Post
A storyboard is a graphic representation of how film material will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations representing each shot. Think of it as sort of a comic book version of a script.

The storyboard for the Unaired Pilot was created by Storyboard Artist Aaron Sowd. In the excerpt from scene 49, we got to see MacGyver escaping from duct tape bindings and hunting down the bad guys (Redwood and Keith).

While Redwood falls over the edge after being stunned by a MacGyverism, Mac runs to the escalator to catch up with Keith.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

If you think this scene looks familiar, then that’s probably because you might have seen it in the Teaser Trailer for the Unaired Pilot.

The Escalator
MacGyver slides down “between” the two escalators that are standing still since they’re not in use anymore. I’m not sure what location the villain’s dungeon was supposed to be in the original script or the storyboard, but the scene was filmed in the empty Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Mall.

(Fun Fact: Justin Hires filmed at the same location for the Pilot Episode of “Rush Hour”, another CBS show that was cancelled after their initial run of 13 episodes.)

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Aaron Sowd envisioned to show MacGyver sliding down from different perspectives. In the Teaser Trailer, we see it only from one direction, with Mac rolling over at the bottom after gaining a lot of speed. Note that in the Trailer, he’s holding unto a pipe which he isn’t holding (yet) in the storyboard.

Screenshot of Lucas Till in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer

After the slide shot, the storyboard cuts to Keith running towards his car with Mac running after him. Mac then stops and hunkers down, being in pain (I’m not sure why since I don’t have the full storyboard).

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Mac did take a beating before, so maybe he’s holding his ribs. So he notices he still has the vial in his pocket. Perfect opportunity for another MacGyverism!

According to the storyboard, the vial contains red mercury. Wikipedia says:

Red mercury is a substance of uncertain composition purportedly used in the creation of nuclear bombs, as well as a variety of unrelated weapons systems. It is considered a hoax and the existence of such a substance has not been documented. Samples of “red mercury” obtained from arrested would-be terrorists invariably consisted of nothing more than various red dyes or powders. It has been suggested these may have been sold as part of a campaign intended to flush out potential nuclear smugglers.

When Mac looks at the vial, we can see pipes in the background.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Bow and Arrow
As Aaron Sowd notes, the following shots could be a series of quick cuts in montage style or being intercut with Keith fleeing to heighten the tension.

They can’t keep Keith running several minutes so MacGyver has enough time to build his new MacGyverism – either Keith’s car would have to be very far away, Keith is the slowest runner ever or MacGyver builds his MacGyverism within 20 seconds.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

I’m assuming in the finished version it was the latter and I’m pretty curious how this scene turned out on screen. They might have used a split-screen-technique similar to the one they used very often in the first Season of the Reboot.

So MacGyver takes one of the PVC pipes; wrapping the wire around it on one end. Then he bends the pipe so he can wrap the other end of the wire around the other end of the pipe; building a bow.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Then we see a close-up of MacGyver picking up a smaller pipe to build an arrow.

Sadly, the vial doesn’t fit into or onto the smaller pipe. Mac is not amused.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

In fact, he’s very frustrated – until he remembers the duct tape bindings and the pieces of duct tape that he had taped onto his leg earlier for whatever reason (knowing MacGyver, maybe to avoid littering) after he had freed himself.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

So he duct tapes the vial on top of the smaller pipe and there goes the red mercury tip for his arrow.

Aimed to shoot
So bow and arrow ready, Mac draws the bow, ready to shoot – hopefully, Keith hasn’t fleed the building yet. I like Aaron noting “heroic shot” on the last drawing; a bit like a modern Robin Hood.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Interestingly, in the Trailer, we see (a slightly bloody-faced) Lucas Till only very briefly in the heroic shot.

Then the camera switches to show him in profile when he lets go of the arrow.

Screenshot of Lucas Till in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer

As you can see, Mac aims high. You’ll soon find out why – in my next blog post.

 

(More Storyboard Info coming soon. You can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot.)

Looking Back at Season Zero (VI) – The Storyboard Part 2

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

 

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

(Note: If there’s no link to the material I’m writing about, that means either the social media account has been set to private or been disabled or that the material has been deleted.)

 

Recap of the latest Unaired Pilot Storyboard Post
A storyboard is a graphic representation of how film material will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations representing each shot. Think of it as sort of a comic book version of a script.

The storyboard for the Unaired Pilot was created by Storyboard Artist Aaron Sowd. In the excerpt from scenes 31-33, we got to see MacGyver scouting the Kresson building.

Mac gets caught
The next Storyboard scene available is No. 49. A lot must have happened in between, because we get to see MacGyver (Lucas Till) tied to a chair and being unconscious. Apparently, he got caught, and Lincoln (George Eads) is nowhere to be seen.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

While Mac comes to and tries to escape the duct tape bindings, some chemist named “Jaws” is working in the same room. According to archived cast lists, Jaws was played by Torrey Vogel, who has a lot of stunt credits.

Since Jaws is occupied with his vials, Mac tries to cut the bindings by snapping off a clamp on the pipe between the chair and the duct-taped wrists. As you can see, Aaron Sowd sketched the same scene twice, but with a different focus.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Between his attempts of getting rid of the bindings, Mac gets punched and pistol-whipped by a bad guy named “Redwood”. Judging by the Storyboard notes, it looks like we didn’t get to meet Redwood earlier, but he might be important later.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Later, some guy labelled “Kieth” (must be a spelling error) comes in, carrying a high tech cooler containing two cannisters. Without having read the script or seen the Unaired Pilot, we can assume that this is bad stuff inside those cannisters; probably a bio-weapon like in the rebooted Pilot (Episode 1×01: The Rising).

In the Storyboard, we see Jaws opening the cooler and taking out a small vial from one of the cannisters.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

While these scenes look like they’re set in a sterile-white lab room in the Kresson building, it wasn’t as squeaky clean in the Unaired Pilot. We actually have a set photo by John Mott that reveals this scene happens in some dark underground lab that is much more fitting for a bad guys lair.

Secret Lab; built on Location (via John Mott)

The Explosion
Of course, Mac finally manages to escape his bindings (once the bad guys have done their talking and “interrogating”. Here’s how it goes.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

He noticed earlier that the pipe behind him very conveniently follows along the ceiling and over the lab table. Also, the pipe is dripping and ends directly over some kind of powder that will go boom when mixed with water. So by rocking back and forward on his chair, he can move the pipe he’s tied to and get it to drip more water.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

All Mac has to do is to wait until the water drops onto the powder underneath so he can rip his bindings when the bad guys are distracted by the explosion. As you can see, Aaron Sowd suggests to show the fall of the waterdrops in slow-motion.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The “big explosion of light” knocks Jaws out. After ripping the tape, Mac slaps the ripped tape from his wrists onto his leg, grabs the vial and puts it in his shirt pocket as he runs to the escalator.

The Fight
Of course, MacGyver just getting away would have been too easy. So he gets stopped by Redwood, and there is a fight scene with Mac getting kicked around from different angles. Whump galore!

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Mac gets kicked again and barrel-rolls into a wall of graffiti; knocking over a pile of spray paint cans and finding other things he can use for his next MacGyverism.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

He grabs one of the paint cans and a nail. As Redwood drags him away, Mac inserts the nail into the can, throwing it ahead like a grenade.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

The camera follows the arc of the can in a close up. The paint can explodes in front of Redwood, and he stumbles and falls backwards. Too bad that they weren’t on the ground floor.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

While Redwood falls over the edge, Mac runs to the escalator. So I guess Byebye Redwood, at least for now (because baddies always show up twice, right?).

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

 

(More Storyboard Info coming soon. You can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot.)

Looking Back at Season Zero (V) – The Storyboard Part 1

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed previous posts about the Unaired Pilot, here’s a quick overview:

 

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

(Note: If there’s no link to the material I’m writing about, that means either the social media account has been set to private or been disabled or that the material has been deleted.)

 

What’s a Storyboard?
First, a short introduction into storyboards with the help of this nice article by Vyond. In short, a storyboard is a graphic representation of how your film material will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations or pictures representing each shot, with notes about what’s going on in the scene and what’s being said in the script during that shot. Think of it as sort of a comic book version of a script.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Storyboarding helps directors, producers and cinematographers to visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. It might have an influence on location scouting and budget planning.

According to Wikipedia, the form of the storyboarding process used today was developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s.

The Unaired Pilot Storyboard
So far, I haven’t been able to find the Unaired MacGyver Pilot Script. (If you have it, feel free to share it with me *lol*.) But the available excerpts of the storyboard, along with the Teaser Trailer, should give us some pointers about the storyline.

The storyboard for the Unaired Pilot was created by Storyboard Artist Aaron Sowd. He made storyboards for movie projects like “Point Break” (2015) or “Fantastic Four” (2015) and for TV shows like “Fear the Walking Dead” (19 episodes so far), “Zoo” (1 episode) or “Scorpion” (1 episode).

Official Still of the Unaired Pilot (Ron P. Jaffe/CBS)

The Unaired Pilot Storyboard – The Kresson Building
In the excerpt from scenes 31-33, we see MacGyver (Lucas Till) enter the Kresson building. Apparently, Aaron already knew they would be filming in the empty office building on 5551 East Katella Blvd in Cypress (California) since he used photos of the real location in his storyboard. He also added additional information to the drawings, e.g. WS (for “Wide Shot” – if you’re interested in Storyboard Shorthand, you can find a PDF document here.)

The entry hall can be seen in the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer and also in one of the three Official Stills with Lucas Till. According to Jeremy Schonwald, it used to be a toy company’s headquarters and is mainly used as a filming location now.

BtS photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Jeremy Schonwald)

They put a “K” symbolizing the company’s logo onto the atrium floor. If you’re interested in this location (it’s a pretty impressive entry hall), you can find 171 pictures of the interior, including offices and bathrooms (and find the contact address to rent the property) here.

MacGyver entering the Kresson building (Screenshot of the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer)

The Unaired Pilot Storyboard – Meeting Niles
Inside Kresson, Mac checks in to meet with Niles Cardon. We don’t have much information about Niles – but looking through the available excerpts of the storyboard, he seems to turn out as a bad guy. According to archived cast lists, Niles was played by Sunil Malhotra.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

Niles shows MacGyver his workplace while Mac secretly checks out the security protocol and the position of the cameras – probably to come back for another, not-so-friendly visit. Again, Aaron uses Storyboard Shorthand for more information (CU: Close-Up, OTS: Over the shoulder),

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

As you can see, Aaron often creates the same scene twice because usually, scenes of people walking and talking are filmed several times, using different camera positions and therefore different lighting. The storyboard also helps to plan about camera positions and distances in advance.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

If the camera is positioned behind an actor, this means different use of lighting and the help of a Photo Double (additionally to the Stand-In), so it’s good to add it into the storyboard.

Mac noticing the office supplies might be important for a later scene, so with the help of the storyboard, the director can already plan how she/he wants to highlight the items (e.g. first being blurry before getting into focus, zooming out or zooming in).

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

In the Teaser Trailer, we can see MacGyver and Lincoln (George Eads) lift prints off Niles’ business card to open a secure area door. So it’s possible that during the first visit, Mac mentally filed away what he could need for entering that room with Lincoln on another day. It’s most likely the camera focused on the items during Mac’s first visit long enough so that the audience would have been able to recognize the items later; imagining in advance what Mac might use them for.

MacGyver preparing to take fingerprints (Screenshot of the Unaired Pilot Teaser Trailer)

While some storyboard artists work with color as well, Aaron uses black and white, but highlights items or people in grey. This scene probably revealse the door to the room MacGyver wants to enter on his own.

Unaired Pilot Storyboard (via Aaron Sowd)

 

(More Storyboard Info coming soon. You can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot.)

Looking Back at Season Zero (IV) – The Unaired Pilot: BtS photos Part 2

Every time I dig through my stash of MacGyver-Reboot-related folders, I stumble over material about the Unaired MacGyver Reboot Pilot, filmed in Spring 2016. I’m trying to put all the necessary information together for interested readers – especially since many of you accidentally landed on my blog after looking for information about it by using search engines.

If you missed Part 1 (about the Unaired Pilot’s Origins), you can read it here. If you want to read Part 2 (about the Unaired Pilot’s promo material), you can find it there. The post with the first part of BtS photos is to be found here.

BtS Photo of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Scott Klein)

(Note: If there’s no link to the photos I’m writing about, that means either the account has been set to private / been disabled or the photo/video has been deleted from social media.)

 

Hiding in Plain Sight
Of course, we were mostly interested in what “New MacGyver” would look like. Since we knew that Lucas Till had been sporting long hair before they started filming, there were different opinions if he would (or should) wear something similar to Original MacGyver’s mullet or not.

We never got to see a photo of Lucas on set while the filming process was still going on – although he had been in a short Twitter video uploaded by Hope Ayiyi, hiding in plain sight: While many assumed the guy at the podium was either Lucas or his look-alike-Stand-In, it turned out that Lucas had been sitting right next to it.

Lucas Till on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot (via Hope Hundredz) 

(I hadn’t realized before watching some of Lucas’ promo duties for X-Men: Apocalypse a few weeks later that he had still been sporting long hair during filming. All the other photos in this blog post have been found or uploaded online AFTER the Official Stills and the Teaser Trailer had been released.)

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Hope Ayiyi)

In a BtS photo (uploaded by Hope Ayiyi on the same day), you can see Lucas in character at the podium. This scene was also briefly featured in the Teaser Trailer. There had been some tweets on that day of Extras being cast as reporters, but they never provided any photos, holding up the no-photos-order for Pilot Season.

The Characters
Until a few weeks ago, I’ve never been able to find BtS photos of the other cast members in costume on set. We do have semi-official studio photos of the guys in costume, though – curtesy of Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker and her website.

Lucas Till and George Eads as MacGyver and Lincoln (via Eileen Cox Baker)

There’s both Lucas and George as MacGyver and Lincoln (before his character’s transformation into Jack Dalton in the rebooted Pilot), but also one of Joshua Boone as Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (before the character’s transformation into Wilt Bozer).

Joshua Boone as Hunter (via Eileen Cox Baker)

Interestingly, in both this studio photo and the official portrait used for promo at the LA screenings, Lucas Till keeps his long hair “hidden” in a ponytail, contrary to the Teaser Trailer and the Official Stills.

Also, Unaired Pilot MacGyver’s costume and stance reminds Original fans of “Comic MacGyver”, a drawing of MacGyver that had been released by Lee David Zlotoff’s before the MacGyver Comics came out (and is still used as an icon on Zlotoff’s social media accounts). The drawing resembles RDA’s MacGyver, contrary to the drawings done for the comics. It is possible that the Costume Designer had taken some inspiration from this early version.

Comic MacGyver vs. New MacGyver (via MacGyverOnline)

Sadly, I couldn’t find anything about the costumes for the female characters. Either someone else took care of their costumes or Eileen Cox Baker didn’t put them up on her website. There is also a photo of the Rebels (or the Mazari, according to the storyline description by SpoilerTV) in costume.

The Mazari (via Eileen Cox Baker)

The clothes look good, but the beards are not very convincing.

The Sets
We’ve seen some BtS photos of the locations used for the Teaser Trailer that was released just before the Upfronts in May 2016. A few weeks ago – when picking up the research again for Unaired Pilot stuff – I finally stumbled over the first “official” set photos, curtesy of Production Designer John Mott.

Mac’s Home; built on Location (via John Mott)

One is of MacGyver’s home, built on location. We can see Mac’s friend and roommate Hunter (Joshua Boone), MacGyver and Mickey (Addison Timlin), plus an unknown character on the left. Interestingly, this home looks very different from the one used for the new pilot directed by James Wan (1×01: The Rising). MacGyver’s home used for the rebooted pilot is cluttered with stuff as well, but this one has more of an “antique” and old-fashioned feel to it; a bit like for Indiana Jones.

MacGyver’s home (via Meghan Lyvers)

It’s possible that MacGyver’s home had belonged to his father or grandfather. It doesn’t seem that plausible why MacGyver and Hunter (both in their mid-twenties) would live in such a place otherwise.

Meghan Lyvers had provided another photo of MacGyver’s home on Instagram back in April 2016. In the background, you can see the chemistry supplies that were also featured in one of the Official Stills.

Secret Lab; built on Location (via John Mott)

The other photo by John Mott is of MacGyver kept hostage in a secret lab. The container being held by the villain reminds me of the one used for the rebooted Pilot Episode. Judged by this photo and the parts of the storyboard I’ve seen, I’m assuming that there might have been a bio-weapon as well in the storyline for the Unaired Pilot.

Lucas on Location
There’s only a handful of photos of Lucas Till on location, but let’s take a look at them. There’s one of Lucas with Executive Producer James Wan, Producer Michael Clear and other crew members during a night shoot; provided by Adam Michna.

Jeanette Francis, Lucas Till, James Wan, Michael Clear, Adam Michna on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Adam Michna)

There’s another one of Lucas posing with Micahveli Shakur. (Since the complete cast and crew list is nowhere to be found, I don’t know what his job on set was.)

Lucas Till on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Micahveli Shakur)

Another BtS photo shows Lucas with his Stunt Double Peter Wallack. This scene was part of the Teaser Trailer as well, when MacGyver escapes from the Mazari’s hiding place.

Peter Wallack and Lucas Till on set of the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Peter Wallack)

Another photo was taken during the scene filmed at the abandoned shopping mall (Hawthorne Plaza). It can be found in the gallery of Costume Designer Eileen Cox Baker’s IMDb site. Interestingly, it looks like the bad guy driving the car survived the explosive arrow that had been MacGyvered to stop him. (It had been one of the major complaints by Original MacGyver fans about the Teaser Trailer that it looked like New MacGyver had killed someone.)

Lucas Till in the Unaired MacGyver Pilot 2016 (via Eileen Cox Baker)

The End
Production wrapped on May 5, only two weeks before the CBS Upfronts. (The Upfronts are events where the networks announce their TV schedule for Fall and provide more info about their new TV shows to the press.)

For now, it looks that visual material of the Unaired Pilot is still kept under wraps. Let’s hope that people involved in this project will provide us with more photos and videos one day.

 

(You can also check the MacGyverOnline forum for more BtS photos, promo material and info about the Unaired Pilot or visit the MacGyverOnline Facebook page for photos.)