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Pilot
[[Image:Pilot|250px|center]]
Season
1
Episode number
001
First broadcast
29 September 1985
Written by
Directed by
Opening gambit written by
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Opening gambit directed by
{{{gambit_director}}}

A mysterious explosion demolishes an underground lab. Can MacGyver single-handedly rescue the trapped scientists, and stop a deadly chemical leak? (Series Pilot)

SummaryEdit

Opening GambitEdit

The scene begins with a panoramic view of large Central Asian canyons. Hundreds of feet above the ground, MacGyver is scaling a dangerous looking rock face. When he reaches the summit, MacGyver finds the wreckage of an Air Force airplane (USAF 01545), a number of soldiers, and their camp.

MacGyver approaches the camp and subdues one of the soldiers, taking his clothing, gun and his drink of water. Armed with a backpack of supplies and now somewhat disguised, MacGyver moves about the camp and searches the downed plane, taking a flare gun from the cockpit. Finding a survivor suspended in a wooden cage, MacGyver approaches him, asks about "the missile", and after being directed to its tent, he gives the captive his Swiss Army Knife in order to free himself, making a point that he wants the knife back.

MacGyver approaches the guarded missile tent, loosens and removes a stake, and slips underneath the side-flap of the tent. Once inside, MacGyver attempts to access the control panel of the missile. Using a tool kit from his bag, MacGyver unscrews and pries the hatch from the control panel. Using a special tool, MacGyver then removes the missile's circuit boards, which initiates a thirty second countdown on its display. MacGyver clips a wire, but to no avail; the timer is still ticking. MacGyver pulls out a paper clip and inserts it into the mechanism, stopping the timer at 0:01.

After sneaking back out of the tent, MacGyver improvises a "cavalry" by suspending an assault rifle, rigged with a large stick and in the trigger, with rope and a series of large rubber bands, from a tree branch. He then lights a package of matches attached to the top of the rope. When the rope has burned through and the rifle fires, and with the guards thus distracted, MacGyver and the captive flee to other side of the encampment, and encounter a steep cliff. Taking cover behind a rock formation, MacGyver fires a rifle at the oncoming soldiers, then passes the gun to his companion, who provides cover fire.

In the meantime, MacGyver busies himself attaching a parachute and using a rock, he forces the firing end of the flare gun closed. Bear hugging his companion and firing this modified weapon, MacGyver launches the pair off of the ledge, deploys the parachute, and drifts away to safety.

Act OneEdit

MacGyver and his "little brother" are at MacGyver's observatory home. The two are checking out the skies, but decide to go get a bite to eat.

Out in the desert, a State Department vehicle is approaches an isolated facility in Bannon, New Mexico. The car enters a garage attached to what appears to be a radio station (KBEX). Inside the building is a high tech government facility, and a woman named Barbara Spencer welcomes the newly arrived guest, Dr. Sidney Marlow, and takes him 300 feet underground to another level of the facility. There, they encounter Dr. Steubens, and he and Dr. Marlow resume a long-standing game of chess.

Suddenly, with an apology from Dr. Steubens, a large explosion rocks the facility, creating an acid leak on level three.

Cutting back to MacGyver, we find him on the roof of the observatory, watching a helicopter (N230CA) land in the front courtyard. A man named Gantner emerges from the helicopter and enlists MacGyver in the aid of the scientists, and he agrees.

Act TwoEdit

Back at the facility, a frantic staff is trying to make sense of what has happened. While trying to communicate with the two scientists trapped 300 feet below, the signal is lost. MacGyver and Gantner arrive on the scene, and are escorted to a crisis center, where MacGyver is introduced to Dr. Charlie Burke, director of the lab. MacGyver learns that Dr. Steubens is unconscious, and that the leak can only be neutralized with sodium hydroxide. A convoy of tankers carrying sodium hydroxide is approaching, to flood the facility as a last ditch effort to neutralize the leaking acid, which will contaminate a large water supply encompassing Nevada, Texas, and New Mexico, if the situation is not diffused. Needless to say, flooding the facility with sodium hydroxide would also kill anyone still inside, including the two Nobel-nominated scientists.

Now working along with Andy Colson, MacGyver learns that he'll need to bypass an elevator shaft protected by a 10,000 watt CO2 laser. He asks Andy for a cigarette, and takes the entire pack from him. He notes that he carries his own matches. They determine a plan of action and MacGyver, equipped with a two-way radio, enters the wiring duct of the lab through a manhole cover. He kicks out the grate at the end of the duct into the elevator shaft, and the lasers in the shaft destroy the grate.

MacGyver takes out several cigarettes, and lights one with a laser beam. Choking, he lights two other cigarettes himself, and blowing the smoke into the shaft, illuminates the laser beams. Breaking a pair of binoculars taken from his bag, he uses the lens to reflect a beam back at the system's control box, blowing it up and terminating the lasers.

Act ThreeEdit

Dropping down to another level, MacGyver finds himself in a smoky, debris filled set of corridors. As he makes his way to the bio lab, MacGyver discovers that the path he is travelling is completely blocked by debris. Using a fire hose with the nozzle cut off, MacGyver positions the knotted end of the hose under a steel girder blocking his path. As the hose fills, it lifts the girder, allowing MacGyver to push it out of the way and rescue a room full of scientists. One of these scientists is Barbara Spencer, and after hearing MacGyver say that the scientists are still alive, she offers to show MacGyver the way to the lab the two are trapped in.

The pair descend a long ladder to a lower level, and continue to make their way to the lab. Approaching a double metal door with smoke pouring out of the cracks, MacGyver suspects it may be a containing a large fire and touches a stick to the door. It immediatly catches fire. Spencer mentions "the gas chamber", a series of airlocks around a common lab that work with sensitive gases, and the two set off to find it. On the way, they encounter a broken candy machine, and MacGyver takes several chocolate bars from the floor. Then, the two are nearly trapped as the airlocks unexpectedly begin to close.

In the lab with the two trapped scientists. Steubens has regained consciousness, and Marlow is attending to him.

Outside, military officals are informed that the tankers filled with sodium hydroxide are arriving at the complex, and plan to begin flooding the complex in fifty five minutes.

Since the airlocks have closed, MacGyver and Spencer must travel through a gas-filled laboratory littered with the corpses of unlucky scientists. MacGyver obtains the location of the vaccuum controls in the lab, but he must first go through the gas to get to them. Fashioning gas masks out his flannel shirt, the two prepare to enter the laboratory, and Spencer gives MacGyver a kiss and thanks him. The controls for the vaccuum are not working, so MacGyver rips out the panel and hotwires the system, venting the gas. In the control room, Burke and Gantner learn that an underground missile will be fired at the base to neutralize any threat of contamination, but in the rush to escape the gas, the two-way radio has been left behind.

Act FourEdit

Coming across a sulfuric acid tank with a dangerous leak, MacGyver proposes that they seal the crack in the tank with the chocolate bars he had collected, stating that "To you they're milk chocolate. To sulfuric acid, it's lactose and sucrose, C12H22O11, disaccharides. The acid will react with the sugar to form an elemental carbon and a thick gummy residue." Spencer stands on MacGyver's shoulders and feeds the bars into the crack, sealing it.

With nine minutes and thirty seconds to the missile launch, MacGyver and Spencer continue making their way to the lab, only to find that the explosion has blocked the only access into the lab. Using a room to room intercom, they make contact with the scientists. With only six minutes left, MacGyver decides to blow a hole through the rubble to get to them, and goes about making a bomb, collecting a few grams of sodium metal, a cold capsule, a quart-sized glass jar with stopper and water. He empties the capsule and then puts some sodium metal into it, as upstairs, crews arrive with the flooding equipment.

With just over five minutes to go, MacGyver prepares his bomb. As the capsule dissolves in the jar of water, the chemical reaction creates an explosion, and MacGyver enters the lab, only to have a gun pulled on him by Dr. Steubens. As Spencer enters the room, MacGyver correctly unravels Stubens' plot behind the bombing. It turns out that Stubens' work had allowed for the creation of a superweapon that would self destruct the ozone layer. He admits to having planted the bomb to destroy himself and Dr. Marlow, the only other leading expert in the field, in an attempt to destroy the possibility of such a dangerous weapon being created. In an attempt to save Marlow, Spencer is shot in the abdomen.

With under two minutes until missile launch and the flooding of the site, MacGyver uses the master light circuitry to transmit a morse code signal to the crisis center, convincing them to abort the launch of the missile and flooding. With a second kiss, Spencer is wheeled away on a stretcher, smiling.

Finally, back at MacGyver's place, MacGyver and his 'little brother' shoot some hoops and have fun.

Memorable QuotesEdit

  • As the two men are free-falling from the side of a cliff:

Man MacGyver has just rescued: "What are we doing?"

MacGyver: "I'll tell you later!"

  • In regards to saving the scientists:

Gant: "They calculate the chances of anyone getting through to Marlow and Steubens is...well, it's not great."

MacGyver: "Well give me not great on a scale of one to ten."

Gant: "Minus three."

  • Before leaving the crisis center:

Andy: "You know it's going to take a lot more than you can carry in that knapsack to get you through all this."

MacGyver: "Well the bag's not for what I take, Colson, it's for what I find along the way."

  • On using chocolate bars to seal a sulfuric acid leak:

MacGyver: "Oh, and Spencer...?"

Spencer: "Yeah, make sure it melts in the acid and not in my hand, right?"

MacGyver: "Yeah."

  • On making a spur-of-the-moment bomb:

Spencer: "Blow an opening? With what? Don't tell me you know how to make a bomb out of a stick of chewing gum!"

MacGyver: "Why, you got some?"

MacGyverismsEdit

A complete list of problems solved by MacGyver is also available.
  • MacGyver pulls out a paper clip and inserts it into the missile mechanism, stopping the timer at 0:01.
  • MacGyver improvises a "cavalry" by suspending an assault rifle, rigged with a large stick through the trigger, with rope and a series of large rubber bands, from a tree branch. He then lights a package of matches attached to the top of the rope. When the rope has burned through and the rifle fires, and with the guards thus distracted, MacGyver and the captive flee .
  • MacGyver busies himself attaching a parachute and using a rock, he forces the firing end of the flare gun closed. Bear hugging his companion and firing this modified weapon, MacGyver launches the pair off of the ledge, deploys the parachute, and drifts away to safety.
  • MacGyver takes out several cigarettes, and lights one with a laser beam. Choking, he lights two other cigarettes himself, and blowing the smoke into the shaft, illuminates the laser beams. Breaking a pair of binoculars taken from his bag, he uses the lens to reflect a beam back at the system's control box, blowing it up and terminating the lasers.
  • Using a fire hose with the nozzle cut off, MacGyver positions the knotted end of the hose under a steel girder blocking his path. As the hose fills, it lifts the girder, allowing MacGyver to push it out of the way and rescue a room full of scientists.
  • Coming across a sulfuric acid tank with a dangerous leak, MacGyver proposes that they seal the crack in the tank with the chocolate bars he had collected. Spencer stands on MacGyver's shoulders and feeds the bars into the crack, sealing it.
  • MacGyver decides to blow a hole through the rubble to get to them, and goes about making a bomb, collecting a few grams of sodium metal, a cold capsule, a quart-sized glass jar with stopper and water. He empties the capsule and then puts some sodium metal into it, and then lets the capsule dissolve into the water, creating a chemical reaction and resulting explosion.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • Throughout MacGyver's rescue attempt, a timer is occasionally superimposed over the bottom left corner of the screen, counting down the time until missile launch and the destruction of the facility.
  • This was the first and only time one would see MacGyver use a gun and actually shoot it at someone.

BloopersEdit

  • When MacGyver blows a hole through the rubble to get to Marlow and Steubens, the hole is small and jagged on MacGyver's side, but larger, smoother, and more rectangular on the scientists' side.

Cast & CreditsEdit

Starring Edit

A complete list of Cast & Credits is also available.
Actor Character
Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver
Michael Lerner Gantner

Guest StarsEdit

Actor Character
Michael Fairman Gen. Relkwin
Dana Elcar Andy Colson
Paul Stewart Dr. Carl Steubens
Michael C. Gwynne Dr. Charlie Burke
Shavar Ross MacGyver's "little brother"
Darlanne Fluegel Barbara Spencer

Co-StarringEdit

Actor Character
Olaf Pooley Dr. Sidney Marlow
Charles Lanyer Major Dennis
Lawrence Casey Colonel Keel
Al White "Sergeant"

FeaturingEdit

Actor Character
Charles Bouvier Technician #1
Michael Johnson Captain Taylor
Jerry de Wilde "Jerry"
JoAnna Linn "Mary"
Howard Schechter Technician #2
Larry Watson Technician #3

Other Credited CrewEdit

Credited Name Position
Mel Efros Supervising Producer
Vin Di Bona Producer
Henry Winkler
John Rich
Producers
Randy Edelman Music
Vicki Rosenberg
Helen Mossler
Casting
Tak Fujimoto Director of Photography
Daniel Lomino Art Director
Jerry Young
Donald R. Rode
Anthony Redman
Film Editors
Robert Hargrove Unit Production Manager
David Menteer First Assistant Director
Merri Howard-Gorrin Second Assistant Director
John M. Dwyer
Charles Graffeo
Set Decorators
Tommy Welsh Wardrobe Supervisor
Ben Nye, Jr. Make-Up
Lola M. Kemp Hair Stylist
Chuck Dolan Special Effects
Joyce King Script Supervisor
Steve Danforth Music Editor
Jack Woods Sound Editor
Jacques Nosco Sound Mixer
Robert O. Richards Property Master
Vince Deadrick, Jr. Stunt Coordinator
Laser Media, Inc. Special Laser Effects
Glen Glenn Recording
Freeze Frame Titles & Opticals
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