MacGyver (v) To act in an extremely resourceful manner. To utilize everyday items in unconventional ways to achieve a difficult task. I predict it will not be long before you can open your trusty copy of Webster’s and find this character has officially entered our lexicon. There is little doubt but that it is an unofficial part of it now. Crossing over from the realm of pop culture and into our language is a phenomenal achievement for a television show.
I came to the MacGyver party rather late. Like …veryone else on the planet I was certainly aware of the show and the clever abilities of the lead character. Still, with so many other shows to watch, I never saw a complete episode. Then came Stargate SG-1. This was another series I at first avoided. I thought the original film was OK but nothing I’d care to see week in and week out. One day while my wife was taking our neighbor’s dog to the vet I was bored and sat down to an episode on Showtime. I was hooked, not only on the series, but the characters, along with their alter ego actors. Richard Dean Anderson I found most compelling. I must admit to confusing him at first with the Richard Anderson of The Six Million Dollar Man fame (Oscar). Finally I sat down to some MacGyver on DVD. It didn’t hurt that MacGyver’s boss bears no small resemblance to O’Neil’s commanding officer, played by Don S. Davis. I would later learn that Davis has filled in for Dana Elcar on a few occasions as a double.
Richard Dean Anderson really is MacGyver. OK, maybe he’s not quite so handy with a paperclip and matchbook, but his own acting ability and charm make MacGyver more enjoyable than the formula that has become so renowned. They share the love of hockey. Anderson was slated to be a hockey star before injuring both legs. Both men hail from the wilds of Minnesota. The two also share an environmental crusade. These traits also coincidentally apply to Jack O’Neil. The quasimilitary nature of The Phoenix Foundation, MacGyver’s employer, allows the show to have the action without so much of the “hut hut” of other military films and shows. By season 5 everything you need to know has already been established. Now you can sit back and enjoy the rather entertaining ride.
Season 5 introduced quite a few fantastic elements to the already established formula. In the two part season premiere, “The Legend of the Holy Rose,” MacGyver is engaged in an Indiana Jones adventure tied to the Holy Grail. In other episodes MacGyver travels in time and encounters alternate versions of folks he knows. All in all it was a fresh looking season with some cool new elements that never seemed to go over the top.
Each episode of MacGyver is presented in its original full frame broadcast ratio. The picture is marginally better than earlier years. It still leaves plenty of room for improvement. There is often considerable grain. Print wear is also far too evident at times. Colors and contrast are average and about what you might expect from a pre-HD television show..
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is again about what you’d expect from a television series. Dialogue is usually clear, and really there isn’t much else you need to have. The score sometimes gets a little loud, and even occasionally distorts. The explosions and gunfire frequently found in this show are represented fine if not in the modern dynamic fashion we are becoming used to. Expect a little better than you see it now in reruns.
Zip.Package is exactly the same as first 4 seasons. You’ll get slim cases in a box.
What’s not to love about MacGyver? I’ve been told it’s a guy thing, but I disagree. More than one woman I know has remarked they considered Anderson quite a looker. I can’t really speak to his hotness factor, but I can tell you the coolness quotient is high enough to make this work. The only drawback that I can see is that perhaps more care should have been taken in remastering the audio and video. With the show running in syndication many folks might just opt to dub them if they don’t have anything extra to warrant spending $30 on the box sets. Anderson has delivered quite a few years of quality television and apparently “proud of it”.