Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Whether or not one thinks that MacGyver was the best TV adventure hero to come down the pike, one cannot dispute that he was one of the most inventive and resourceful. Played by Richard Dean Anderson, MacGyver (we never knew he had a first name -- "Angus" -- until the series' last season!) was a former Special Ops agent who worked as a troubleshooter for the Phoenix Foundation, a private concern devoted to capturing evildoers and righting wrongs. Seldom resorting to fisticuffs or any other sort of violence, MacGyver preferred to reason his way out his various and sundry predicaments. Using his awesome backlog of scientific knowhow -- not to mention his ever-present Swiss Army Knife and roll of duct tape -- MacGyver was able to fashion a bomb out of an ordinary cold capsule, a lock pick out of a broken light bulb, a paper clip as a blocking device on a "killer" computer, a kitchen fan to stave off a helicopter attack...and he was able to do all of this in the same amount of time that it would take a normal person to blink! Peter Thornton (Dana Elcar) was MacGyver's contact man at the Foundation, a job he was able to do with utmost efficiency even as he began losing his sight in later episodes (just as actor Elcar himself was going progressively blind). Aiding and abetting MacGyver from time to time were fellow Phoenix operative (and the hero's sometimes love interest) Nikki Carpenter (Elyssa Davalos), his reckless pilot buddy Jack Dalton (Bruce McGill), and teenager Lisa ( Mayim Balik), a reformed "runaway." Occasionally complicating and interfering with MacGyver's life and work, albeit in a well-meaning fashion, was kooky artist Penny Parker (Teri Hatcher). And on the flip side, there was the sinister Murdoc (Michael Des Barres), a surly hit man who adopted all manner of disguises, and who seemed to live only to put MacGyver out of existence. Though generally MacGyver was escapist fare, the series tackled a number of serious social issues, ranging from racism to the environment. And in the final episode, MacGyver was surprised to learn that he had a son named Sam Malloy (Dalton James), who was eager and willing to join his dad on all future adventures. Debuted September 29, 1985, on ABC, MacGyver lasted seven seasons, ending its run on August 8, 1992. Two made-for-TV movies based on the series aired in 1994.
ingenuity, secret-agent, think-tank