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The adventures of a secret Agent armed with almost infinite scientific resourcefulness.
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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1992   1991   1990   1989   1988   1987   … See all »
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
Richard Dean Anderson ...  MacGyver 139 episodes, 1985-1992
Dana Elcar ...  Pete Thornton / ... 126 episodes, 1985-1992
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Macgyver is a secret agent with a difference. He is quiet, mild mannered, deeply principled and refuses to carry a gun on his missions. Fortunately, the last detail is unimportant when compared to his astounding mind. Drawing on a vast practical knowledge of science, Macgyver is able to make use of any mundane materials around him to create unorthodox solutions to any problem he faces. The enemies of world peace and justice continually learn that underestimating this man is a fatal mistake for their plans. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The right man when things go wrong. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Any time a love interest was added for MacGyver (e.g. Nikki, Kate, Maria), many female fans would write in objecting to the pairing which usually resulted in the actress leaving the show. See more »


Pete: His name is MacGyver. He can fix anything. He could fix a computer with a hairpin and a piece of duct tape.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.78 (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Secret Agent Handyman ! (The Brainchildren of 1985)
1 February 2009 | by elshikh4See all my reviews

This is original; a James Bond for kids, or a boy scout yet in the spaying business. Whatever the definition of it, (MacGyver) was a pure gold from the 1980s.

For being the actor who was unafraid to use his glasses during the audition, showing a lack of pretension that the show makers wanted in their lead-(Richard Dean Anderson) made it to be the title character. And how he portrayed it fine as innocent and intelligent secret agent that became one of the most memorable characters in TV history. We were waiting him, on the Egyptian national TV (channel one), every Wednesday night. Since the opening credits' electronic, nice and catchy tune, we gather craving what kind of scientific tricks he would come up with this round. It is a real cult favorite, and - strangely - the show which I've never met anyone hates!

At first, the episodes were close to the American super spy's adventures. Therefore it was ordinary at one point to watch (MacGyver) landing from a fallen plane, with a beautiful girl, in a hanging-to-a-parachute convertible car. It's the fanciful propaganda however through unique character of unarmed hero where "mind is the ultimate weapon". But this character itself, so its distinct resourcefulness, prevailed eventually as the attraction's core more than any "save the world" kind of Bond plots. Even (Dana Elcar) as (Pete) was having the most childlike face ever been for intelligence boss.

When the Cold War drew to a close in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, (MacGyver) became like a social worker who deals with family issues more than secret agent with ticking bombs, to watch him just saving a troubled kid from killing himself and stuff. At that phase of the show, there were these episodes where the lead traveled into time, by mysterious dreams, to live some different adventures in other lands and times; since his very time became that boring! But these episodes managed to be magnificent as well.

The excellent episodes are many. For instance, I can't forget "Phoenix Under Siege" when (MacGyver) was fighting an evil man in one building in such limited time (pre-Die Hard). Or "Target MacGyver" when he unites with his grandfather to face some evil gunmen in a deserted cowboy city with just simple wiles. Or "Good Knight MacGyver" where he travels into time, to live a hellish night in the age of King Arthur.

Back when the show was on, I remember reading that some people accused it of presenting lies more than scientific facts at times (something got to do with generating electricity by cactus!). But anyway, we just believed the show as a show, a very engaging and entertaining one too. And the important meanings that we've learned from it were: Always be prepared. It takes a lot of study first to be a hero. So many wonders can be made by one Swiss army knife. And yes, brains can beat brawn.

Sure you'll ask: why there are no shows like (MacGyver) anymore? But with whole 7 seasons, the saturation was inevitable. Though, this spirit and these thoughts became old fashion nowadays. I believe that making a show for both kids and grown-ups, that enjoys and teaches them in the same time, turned out to be a lousy idea now in the 2000s, especially with the forensic medicine's too many bloody shows that may originate 3 types of generations later: forensic doctors, serial killers, and serial killers' victims!

Finally, I want to assure a little point of view. I used to list the shows that I watch, and then chronicle them by their production's date. So, if you knew that (Amazing Stories), (Moonlighting), (The Equalizer), (Spenser for Hire), or even (North and South) and (The Colbys) were all products of the same year of (MacGyver)'s start (1985)-then you must admit: that was a happy golden age for TV.

Are the 1980s cool or what?

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Paramount Pictures


USA | Canada



Release Date:

29 September 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

MacGyver See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(139 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (seasons 1-3) (TV version)| Stereo (seasons 4-7) (TV version) (DVD version)| Stereo (season 3) (DVD version)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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