Note: the following synopsis contains spoilers. Only read this first section if you know have happens in season four.
I shall first give a bit of the background of the show for any readers who are a bit interested in the background of the show. The show debuted in the fall of 1985 during an era of non-violent and very-feel good nature type television shows. Even though a show like Macgyver did follow this standard 80’s television show rule, the show manages to distance itself from the standard cop sh…w/soap opera show solely because of the lead character Macgyer. Instead of using brute force to overcome his adversaries, Macgyver simply stops and takes a moment to use his head to decide what to do next. Since Macgyer he has an astounding mind (most specifically in the science field), he is able to always get the upper edge over his foes with his ability to make easy use of any of the materials surrounding him to create solutions to the numerous problems he encounters. While I must say this is a bit different from your average show, this routine does get a bit tiring after awhile.
The Fourth Season sees Macgyver reunite with his old friend Penny (Desperate Housewives’ Teri Hatcher). This season is definitely action-packed with Macgyver rescuing this person and saving that person. The season boasts quite the exemplary list of guest stars. We have the aforementioned Teri Hatcher, but we also get Cuba Gooding Jr., Jason Priestly and G. Gordon Liddy. With guest support like this and episodes that remind me of the classic television shows, Macgyer Season Four holds up pretty well despite a few silly areas (Hey, weren’t all the shows we use to love, a bit silly in retrospect)? For those of you wondering if this series holds up on DVD, let me tell you the show does bring back memories of a more innocent and simple time, where on television, no one gets brutally killed and the hero, with his or her moral authority, always triumphs over all adversaries. The conservative media watchdog, Parents Television Council would have been proud. In the end, despite a bit of cheesiness, Macgyver Season Four is a delight for fans of the series and anyone looking for a trip down the road of the days of old.
The Fourth Season of Macgyver consists of nineteen episodes spread across five DVD’s:
- Disc 1: The Secret of Parker House, Blood Brothers, The Outsiders, On a Wing and a Prayer
- Disc 2: Collision Course, The Survivors, Deadly Dreams, Ma Dalton
- Disc 3: Cleo Rocks, Fraternity of Thieves, The Battle of Tommy Glordano, The Challenge
- Disc 4: The Runners, Gold Rush, The Invisible Killer, Brainwashed
- Disc 5: Easy Target, Renegade, Unfinished Business
Macgyver is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1:33:1 which covers the entire screen of a non-widescreen television. The biggest let down here is that while the image quality is acceptable considering the source, the image varies a lot especially from scene to scene. Color wise, we get colors that are so fresh and so vibrant at times that they look like they are jumping out at us, but at other times the colors seem a bit out of place. Since this is a low-budget television show, the original print, which is unfortunate, shows its age and we receive many instances of dirt and a lot of blemishes. A big shame here on Paramounts’ part for not trying to clean up the image a bit!
The 2.0 stereo audio track we are given is acceptable for the job it is doing. Since this is a not like the current television shows we have with 5.1 Surround Sound, nearly all of the audio originates from the center speaker, which results is a very limited soundstage (what do we expect from an old tv show though)? On the bright side, the dialogue comes off extremely clear and the music is catchy and entertaining. This results in this track coming off a pretty good considering the age of the show.
According to the back of this set, a Special Feature we get is Full-Screen Format.I am not joking, there are NO Special Features on this set.
Macgyver – Season Four brings back many memories of catching the re-airings of this show when I was younger. The Fourth Season arrives with decent picture and above-average audio. The biggest shame here is the absolute lack of special features (a common ground for Paramount TV DVD releases). I do not even need to bother recommending this show to fans of the series as they probably have made up there mind already. For all of you non-fans, I would recommend giving this show a rental if you want to take a look at how far TV entertainment has come.