MacGyver (1985–1992)
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MacGyver is kidnapped by enemy agents to retrieve sensitive information he stole from them. To get him to talk, they inject MacGyver with a hallucinogenic drug that will kill him in six hours, unless an antidote they have is administered.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Lisa Allen
Curt Neilson
J.P. Bumstead ...
Barrett (as J. P. Bumstead)
Michael Mancini ...
Crisp (as Mike Mancini)
Kimberley Pistone ...
Richard McGregor ...


MacGyver has some very important information that enemy agents want. They know that MacGyver hid it and that he will never voluntarily tell them where it is. So, they inject him with a narcotic drug that will kill him in six hours unless he can steal the anecdote before his time runs out. Written by Lindsay Duke

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Release Date:

15 January 1986 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First direct mention of MacGyver working for Pete Thornton at DXS, which is some Federal agency. See more »


Mac, with Lisa, unreels a fire hose across a hallway through a doorway and out a window to make the men looking for them think they left the building. The hose stretches across the hall at the level of Mac's lower chest. After the men enter the room and fall for the deception, they leave and turn left down the clear hallway, Mac and Lisa come out of hiding, leave the room and turn right down the hallway and continue as if nothing is in the way. They should have had to duck under the still stretched out fire hose. See more »


[first lines]
MacGyver: [voice-over narration] It's a known fact that 80 decibels of rushing water is one of the most pleasing sounds known to mankind. On the other hand, ten and a half days at sea is enough water for anybody.
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MacGyver Theme
Written by Randy Edelman
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User Reviews

13 August 2008 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

OK, the bad guys say that MacGyver is a "genuine patriot" and "stubborn", but that there are many methods to make him talk. Because it is Neilson's favorite method, Mac is injected with a serum that "was specifically designed for" him. Wow! Quite a miraculous achievement in 1986! First, it will cause "disorientation, double vision, hallucinations". Then, MacGyver's mind will clear "in roughly three hours". Nothing special so far, it is believable that the men know what amount of the serum to give to a man of MacGyver's size and weight for his mind to clear in said time. Then comes the clichéd "the pain will become excruciating" part. Why is the pain *always* "excruciating"? Is there no other word in English language? And, the injection has a "side effect" – it will kill MacGyver. But it can be stopped with an antidote. That has to be taken within six hours of the injection. So, what exactly is so specific about this serum's design? Does it work only on MacGyver? Neilson's statement makes no sense. Neither does the "pain will become excruciating" part – a "genuine patriot" will not give in to pain. Besides, MacGyver must have gone through pain tolerance training. Why on earth are they not using some kind of truth serum? Why don't they tie him? The answer is simple: because then Mac would not be able to escape and there would be not enough of a story for a full episode. It's great to see Mac disoriented, being mistaken for a drunk, scrambling for his life, but the setup is waaay too stupid. Well, back to Neilson. Man, is he hammy. He makes pretentious monologues and his reasoning is flawed: "He's out there. Someone has seen him. Find that someone." Oh-kay... he has like what, three henchmen? How are they going to accomplish that? Even if they start driving in ever-increasing circles starting from where Mac escaped from, stopping every person they see and asking if anyone has seen Mac, success would still depend on one unlikely thing: that they run into someone who has both seen Mac and does cross their path or has stayed on the same spot since seeing Mac. Very unlikely. Somehow, they manage to run into Lisa's friends, even though we saw them on the move through the suburbs when they encountered Mac and see them in the harbor when Neilson's men question them. And exactly why do Lisa's friends help out Neilson's men without being coerced? Makes no sense. In the real world, they would give them the finger. Well, Mac and Lisa escape and then Mac, whose time is running out, decides to take on Neilson and his men, who apparently have given up the search. Even though Mac's supposed to be in "excruciating" pain, the serum apparently makes him only sweat and look mildly uncomfortable. In the end, Neilson has no hope of escaping, so he decides to throw the impact-proof antidote case to the sewer, because he is a sadist. Why does he not open it and throw away the capsule, to be sure? Well, because he is a fool, which by this point has been clearly established. At least the writers keep the character consistent. So, Mac gets the antidote with 2½ minutes to spare. So amazingly accurate was the design of the serum that Mac did not die even 3 minutes earlier and equally amazing is the antidote, which takes effect immediately. In conclusion: Mac's improvisation skills are put to good use, but the potentially good central idea is poorly handled.

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