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The "MacGyverisims" shown in the series are all based on scientific fact, but not all of the steps needed to create the experiment were shown. This was done to prevent children who were watching the show from duplicating the experiments themselves and possibly getting injured.
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MacGyver's Swiss Army knife went through a few changes over the early episodes. His first and most often used knife was a "Spartan" model from Victorinox. The knife seen in the opening credits of each episode was a Wenger, as noted by its long keychain.
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Richard Dean Anderson won the role of MacGyver when the casting director noticed he was unafraid to use his glasses during his audition, showing a lack of pretension that the creative team wanted in their lead.
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Dana Elcar's stunt double was Don S. Davis. Davis became "General George Hammond", Richard Dean Anderson's superior officer on "Stargate SG-1 (1997)."
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In the late 1980s, two teenage boys made a bomb in their garage which went off, killing one of them. The surviving boy said they learned how to make the bomb from an episode of the show. However, the show was quickly exonerated after it was discovered no such episode existed.
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When the on-set of glaucoma began robbing Dana Elcar of his sight in real-life, Pete Thornton was given the same condition.
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At the end of the final episode of the series' original run, Richard Dean Anderson did a voice-over telling the audience "Thank you, for seven great seasons". This was omitted during its reruns in syndication. The voice-over is heard on Netflix's streaming of this episode, and on the DVD.
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The first two seasons of the show were shot entirely in the Los Angeles area. However, as an adventure series, ABC was ready to cancel, due to the price of location filming and time spent moving the production crew over a six-day shoot schedule. With threat of cancellation, the producers, including Henry Winkler, decided to send the show to Vancouver, where location moves could be made within an hour. In one day, an episode could move from an ocean scene to a forest scene to a metropolitan scene. It allowed writers to put the character of MacGyver into a faster paced action and adventure series. For season seven, production returned to Los Angeles.
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Dana Elcar appeared as a guest star in the pilot episode. Richard Dean Anderson recommended him to the producers to join the show playing a different character. Elcar joined the series in the eleventh episode as Pete Thornton.
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Several episodes (including the pilot) were directed by Alan Smithee, a pseudonym commonly used by directors who don't want their real names associated with a project.
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Early in the first season, it is implied that MacGyver lives in Griffith Observatory. Later in the season, it is obvious he lives above the Coney Island stand in Venice Beach.
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Throughout the entire run of the series, MacGyver states many times his opposition to using guns because of a childhood event. However, in the pilot, he does in fact fire a gun, an AK-47, and then quickly hands it to the pilot he's rescuing to provide cover fire. He also used a gun pointing it at bad guys in the opening gambit of MacGyver: Target MacGyver (1985). In MacGyver: Strictly Business (1991) he also points and intends to use a gun, but at the time was suffering from amnesia and stops himself.
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In Brazilian broadcasting, the opening theme was the song "Tom Sawyer" from Rush.
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MacGyver's birth date is January 23, 1951. Richard Dean Anderson's birth date is January 23, 1950.
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MacGyver's first name is Angus.
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Richard Dean Anderson said Henry Winkler came up with the idea of MacGyver living on a house boat.
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Although MacGyver's first name is Angus, his grandfather, Harry (John Anderson) always referred to him as "Bud".
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The surname "MacGyver" is of Scottish origin, first found in early times in Dumbarton. The clan motto, "Numquam obliviscar", translates as "I will never forget".
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Credited as Doug Judge, Richard Dean Anderson's future Stargate SG-1 co-star Christopher Judge appears in season five, episode thirteen, "Live and Learn", as a high school student.
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MacGyver's modes of transportation were a Jeep Cherokee Chief, a Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and Jeep Wrangler CJ7. He ended up with his grandfather's (Harry's) 1946 Chevy truck, and after Harry died, he left his 1957 Chevy Nomad to MacGyver as well.
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Back in the 80's, MacGyver was so popular in Thailand that Thai people call the swiss knife, MacGyver's personal tool, "the MacGyver".
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The now very famous Mayim Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit show The Big Bang Theory started her acting career by playing Lisa Woodman in 3 episodes of MacGyver (S5 E4, S5 E19 and S6 E4).
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This show was one of two Paramount-produced network-aired shows from the Blue Mountain era to last into the Paramount Communications era, the other being Cheers (1982).
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MacGyver's favorite sport is hockey. He can be seen throughout the series sporting a Calgary Flames hat.
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In the episode "Harry's Will", Harry leaves his vintage 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon to MacGyver. Henry Winkler played the attorney who handled Harry's will.
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Although his name appeared in the opening credits of the pilot, it was the only appearance Michael Lerner made in the series.
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Several actors who had guest appearances on MacGyver also had guest appearances, recurring roles, or starring roles on Richard Dean Anderson's other long-running TV series, "Stargate SG-1." Several such actors include Don S. Davis, Christopher Judge, Peter Williams, Robin Mossley, Tamsin Kelsey, and Garwin Sanford.
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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.
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In season 1 episode "The Heist" Macgyver breaks his self rule of no alcohol. During the break in of Catlins office Macgyver drinks wine while trying to use sound to open the vault
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The white Nike shoes that Macgyver wears the most in the 3rd and 4th season is called Nike Court Force High Top.
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MacGyver's given name was not revealed until near the end of the show in "Good Knight MacGyver: Part 2". It was originally Stace MacGyver (according to the script for the pilot). Nobody used the name during the pilot. When it slipped out, and became general knowledge to the fans, it was decided to just call him "Mac" or Macgyver" for the duration. The penultimate episode had MacGyver discovering he had a son, and then leaving the Phoenix Foundation to spend time with him. His son revealed that his middle name was the same as MacGyver's first name.
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