MacGyver: Season 1, Episode 17

To Be a Man (26 Feb. 1986)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

While on a rescue mission in Soviet Afghanistan, MacGyver is shot and wounded. An Afghan woman and her son risk their lives to give refuge to MacGyver. A wounded MacGyver must now outwit the Russian Army to complete his mission.



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Episode cast overview:
Allan Kolman ...
Michael Shore ...
Teresa Bowman ...
Ted Pitsis ...
Richard L. Duran ...
Afghan Man (as Richard Duran)


While on a rescue mission in Soviet Afghanistan, MacGyver is shot and wounded. An Afghan woman and her son risk their lives to give refuge to MacGyver. A wounded MacGyver must now outwit the Russian Army to complete his mission.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

26 February 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Soviet sergeant is driving a jeep, following Afghan militia man, the Afghan is carrying Enfield No 4 bolt action rifle. When he dismounts to search cabin he has Tokarev Semi-Automatic rifle and when he enters into cabin in search of Khalil he has again Bolt action Enfield No 4 on his hands. See more »


Captain: [glaring at the sergeant] If it was not for my need of non-commissioned officers, I would have you shot.
[the captain starts circling the sergeant]
Captain: One man, one single wounded man, and you lose your vehicle...
[the captain stops]
Captain: ...your weapons and the man!
[the captain steps directly in front of the sergeant]
Captain: You are going back on patrol!
Sergeant: Yes, sir!
Captain: Take the tank, and if you find the American, you'll only lose your rank and six months' pay.
Sergeant: But, sir...
See more »

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User Reviews

Mac vs. Bad Guys in Another Country
12 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews


MacGyver flies into Afghanistan to retrieve sensitive data from a crashed spy satellite. The invading Russians, and Afghani people pursue him. A promising start, but soon things start to fall apart.

Many of MacGyver's little inventions in hard spot, have been believable, even if a little shaky, but with Afghans scaling up the side of a mountain, not far from Mac somehow MacGyver has loads of time to transform broken parts of the satellite into a glider. One shot: Afghans comin'! Next shot, screwing parts together. Next shot: they're getting closer! Now he's duct taping parts. Next shot: they're coming even closer (despite being a short distance)! Now he's cutting the cloth. He seems to have seemingly endless time, even while being bombed in that spot from the Russians. There's enough time to re-build a Chevy from the ground up, paint it, and then polish it. It's actually kind of hilarious. The coffin/jet ski from an earlier episode,e was FAR more buyable (and really friggin' cool).

Now. We've seen a young Afghan boy and his mildy attractive Afghan mother, so taking into account previous plots, should we assume: A) Mac doesn't meet them. B) Mac befriends the young boy and ends up in some romantic fashion with the mother. What do you think? A wounded Mac ends up in her house. Now, if you had to guess, how long would you say it takes before the romance with isolated Islamic woman, in a country for even having him there could get her killed, begins? If you said before nightfall, you answered correctly!

Hinted promise turns into waning hope, then quickly into basic barely offensive formulaic plotting. Many great shows from that era had formulaic plots, but this was ridiculous.

The research was barely evident, showing in the writing. The Afghans and their culture and how they act, is presented more like Americans in rags, merely dressing the bad guys up in different attire as opposed to an America-based episode. The acting, especially on the part of the Russian characters, is wooden and flat; in fact, the Russians offer nothing to the plot other than a second threat.

And the falling large rock that not only bounces off a jeep, doesn't even dent it, and then somehow causes an explosion in the jeep, is real B-grade film material. Terrible.

Even the score, by Dennis McCarthy, doesn't add anything special, though in one cue you can hear some precursors to his work on "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

If you're just dying to see more MacGyver, then this is for you, if you want to avoid crummy episodes, this should be a contender for your Skip List.

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