Wikia

MacGyver Wiki

Thief Of Budapest

Talk1
219pages on
this wiki
Thief Of Budapest
Season
1
Episode number
003
First broadcast
13th October 1985
Written by
Directed by
Opening gambit written by
Opening gambit directed by

In Budapest, MacGyver obtains vital microfilmed information hidden inside a watch. But when the watch is stolen, MacGyver has to find the thief: a young gypsy girl.

SummaryEdit

Opening GambitEdit

In the largest tent of a small desert encampment, a man sits in meditation until his attention is called away by a striking white horse who is sharing the tent with him. The horse is owned by a king, and is considered to be one of the most expensive horses in the world. The man walks around the guarded camp, but unbeknownst to him, MacGyver surprises a guard on patrol with a tackle and a punch, leaving him unconscious and taking with him his turban and clothing. MacGyver finds the horse, and applies a saddle with a harness underneath.

Riding the horse out of the tent, MacGyver attracts the attention of the entire camp, and grabbing a shepard's staff from a would-be attacker, MacGyver defends himself and forces his way out of the camp, galloping away into the hills. The men of the camp also take off on horseback and follow him until they reach a beach and surround MacGyver and the horse. The leader of the men charges MacGyver and slices off a significant part of his staff with a sword. As he begins a second charge, MacGyver meets him halfway and uses the staff to knock him from his horse. Without stopping, MacGyver leads his horse into a group of other horses, knocking several men off of their horses and disrupting others. MacGyver takes off at full speed as the leader cries 'kill him!', and his men take off in hot pursuit.

Suddenly, a helicopter appears, flying low and dangling a cable. As it skillfully approaches MacGyver, he clips the cable onto the harness he attached earlier, and MacGyver and horse together are lifted off of the ground and flown away to safety.

Act OneEdit

MacGyver is in Budapest, meeting an intelligence agent named Nikolai Grodsky, who has vital information to pass on. With a road rally in town, MacGyver is happy to be there. Enjoying what looks to be a chocolate ice cream cone, MacGyver watches as a city worker uses a control box to change a nearby traffic light. MacGyver continues to walk about, tossing the cone of the ice cream, and observing one of the rally cars on display on the side of the road. As he views the car's engine, a young girl walks by and bumps into him. MacGyver quickly spins and catches the girl by the arm; she protests, but sure enough, MacGyver finds his Swiss Army Knife in her palm. He then instructs her on some of the finer points of pickpocketing. The girl, Jana, offers herself as a guide, and then offers to sell him a gypsy blessing, but MacGyver convinces her to do it for free. As they go their separate ways, Jana once again steals MacGyver's Swiss Army Knife.

Meanwhile, Grodsky is navigating the city as well, but he is being followed by three individuals performing surveillance from a van who refer to him as a double agent and also know that the information he is carrying concerns the identities of at least a dozen KGB agents in England. MacGyver makes contact with Grodsky, who informs MacGyver that the information is in his watch, and that they will meet at the Cafe Mozart. MacGyver continues on his way, while Grodsky goes in takes another path, only to be tripped up by Jana and a handful of marbles, who palms his watch as she helps him up. At this point, the two individuals have left their van, call out Grodsky's name, and he takes off running, only to be fatally struck down in the street by a large truck.

The three individuals, two Russians and a Hungarian Inspector named Messic, now back in their van, use their footage to locate and identify MacGyver as the man that Grodsky made contact with. However, they also clearly see Jana take the watch, and Messic is ordered to apprehend them both. Not far away, Jana and her family are performing a song and dance for patrons at a local cafe. As Jana passes around a tambourine for donations, MacGyver once again grabs her arm, demands the Swiss Army knife, and Jana takes off running, with MacGyver close behind. When Jana seemingly disappears, MacGyver finds her hiding in a trash can, and retrieves his knife. When he inquires about the watch, however, he learns that the watch is already in the possession of Jana's brother Bruno. A police siren is heard, and MacGyver and Jana run back towards the cafe only to find that Jana's entire family is being apprehended.

Act TwoEdit

In a detention center, an armed guard leads the men of Jana's family out of a building, followed by Messic and one of the Russian agents. Jana's family has not given away the location of the watch, and the men believe that MacGyver is in possession of it. As they enter a police vehicle, Jana sounds a whistle from nearby bushes where she and MacGyver have been hiding, watching the scene. He quickly pulls her out of sight, but her brother Bruno has heard the signal. MacGyver and Jana observe the guards taunting the men.

As the police vehicles leave the facility and the main gate is closed once again, MacGyver uses a pair of binoculars to survey the scene. A supply truck is due to arrive at five o'clock, but as Jana notes, it is searched before it leaves the compound. As the supply truck approaches, MacGyver creates a "lightbulb sandwich" near a pile of scrap by wedging a board with mounted light bulbs between two planks of wood, and securing the whole thing with a strips of rubber tied in knots. He also ties a thin wire to the contraption, and gives it to Jana, who hides behind a bush and pulls the contraption under the truck's tires as it passes by on its way to the gate.

When the driver stops to inspect the truck, MacGyver quickly runs out and stows away in the back of the truck, gaining access to the complex. Inside the truck, MacGyver finds a uniform and bottles labelled CuKor (sugar) and So (salt) by matchlight. When the truck comes to a stop, MacGyver, wearing a prisoner's uniform and carrying a mop and pail, calmly exits the truck as men begin to unload it. He walks away to an abandoned work table and uses a small tin cup to collect some battery acid. Taking this and moving on to a more secluded table, MacGyver removes the salt and sugar as well as a bottle of weed killer (with a picture of an ant crossed out, not any sort of plant) from the pail and begins to prepare a modified version of dynamite. He dumps out most of the salt and opens the sugar, nearly refilling the salt canister. After that, he adds a splash of weed killer. He then places the canister into the pail and covers the whole pail with a cloth taken from his back pocket. Although it is not shown directly, he then puts a handful of what must be sugar on the cloth and pours battery acid over it. A chemical reaction begins, and MacGyver calmly walks away from the bomb.

MacGyver appraoches Jana's family members, who are putting up the frame of a building. Changing his clothing to that of a guard, MacGyver uses a distraction caused by the men to approach a front loader and its operator, and take his safety vest. MacGyver then slides over a coil of barbed wire with his foot, and wraps one end of it around a nearby auger screw. He then uses a wrench to loosen the nut securing the steering wheel of the front loader to its steering column. As the cloth on the pail continues its chemical reaction, MacGyver starts the front loader and breaks the key off in the ignition. The bomb explodes, and as chaos ensues in the camp, Jana's family overpowers a nearby guard and runs while MacGyver puts the front loader into drive. As the front loader takes off on its own, it pulls the auger screw, and with it, the barbed wire.

MacGyver gets in the supply truck and brings it around, dodging both the uncontrollable front loader and scattered gunfire. He picks up Jana's family members as the barbed wire coil is stretched out by the front loader, cutting the truck off from the guards. MacGyver speeds out of the complex to the sound of heavier gunfire, stopping quickly to pick up Jana from outside the gate. Inside the truck, MacGyver inquires about the location of the missing watch, only to find out it has been sold.

Act ThreeEdit

MacGyver enters a smoky bar, looking for Reena, the woman who bought the watch from Bruno. After asking around the bar, MacGyver raises suspicion. The situation becomes heated, and MacGyver ends up on the wrong side of the bar, where he grabs a handful of brown powder and creates a small flash of fire by tossing it in the air with a lit match. After this, Reena, a young gypsy woman, appears on the balcony of the second floor and implores MacGyver to come and join her.

Upstairs, Reena offers MacGyver a drink, which he takes but does not sip, noting he doesn't care for alcohol. He spots the watch on a chain around Reena's neck, and while trying to explain to her its importance, Reena dips a fingertip in her drink and places it on MacGyver's lips before kissing him, performing 'gypsy magic' on him. When she asks about the information the watch contains, MacGyver takes one of her bobby pins, bends it, and creates a magnifying glass by dipping the curved end into the drink and collecting the liquid in the same manner children blow bubbles. With the magnifying glass, a list of Russian names can be seen written on the face of the watch. As the two try to reach an agreement on proper payment, a whistle blows below, and Messic and the Russian enter the bar. Reena quickly gives MacGyver the watch, and he climbs out a window and scrambles down the roof to Bruno in a waiting taxi cab.

As they speed away, Jana pops up in the back seat and expresses a strong desire to go back to America with MacGyver. MacGyver tells Bruno to get mechanic's overalls for the entire family, in hopes that some of the rally cars will help them all cross the border. MacGyver and the family arrive downtown where the cars are preparing for the race. They split up, and MacGyver is shielded by two brothers as he tampers with the traffic lights, while Jana helps herself to a woman's police radio. MacGyver uses his Swiss Army Knife to cut thin strips of a credit card, and wedges them into the timing gears of the street light control system. Meanwhile, Messic and the Russian enter their car once again and drive towards the starting point of the race. As they pull up, MacGyver and the family drive three cars off of the top level of a car carrier, and they speed off with Messic, and another vehicle in pursuit, with backup on the way.

Act FourEdit

The chase continues, with MacGyver and Jana in the lead car and two cruisers and two motorcycles in pursuit. As they approach the traffic light MacGyver rigged, all of the lights go red, and traffic comes to a dead stop, allowing MacGyver and the family to gain a lead, but the motorcycle policemen are able to weave through the traffic and quickly end up back on their tail. One motorcycle crashes through a brick wall while the cars whip around a fountain and continue on their way, descending at least one long flight of stairs and speeding through pedestrian malls and large sidewalks. The second motorcycle skids out while attempting to make a turn on a slick tiled surface at high speed, and the three cars continue speeding away, driving through an outdoor cafe, where two of the brothers snatch a freshly roasted chicken.

Suddenly, the path ahead is blocked by Messic's car. Making a quick turn, MacGyver is forced down a small sidewalk and down another staircase that leads to several underground parking garages. In an instant, the cars have seemingly driven to the top of the garage, and speed to the edge of the roof, making a smooth flight and landing onto the adjacent roof. Whereas MacGyver and the family are driving three minis, the police car is too large to make the jump safely, stopping just in time. In the lead car, MacGyver has Jana duct tape the stolen police radio and a transistor radio together. They drive down the stairs of St. Ivan's church, and use the two radios to block out all police radio with music by attaching them to a bunch of floating balloons and letting them drift away, before speeding off again, with Messic still right behind. They drive into a car dealership and hide their cars among the other minis while Messic drives my, before doubling back and racing for the border.

They speed across the edge of a dam and over a footbridge that proves to be too small for the police car, sending them off the edge and into the water. They speed through the dam's construction tunnels, but the grate at the end is pulled down before the police car reaches the end, finally bringing the police car to a halt. MacGyver and the family speed over the botder into Austria, where they are safe from Messic and the Russians, who appear moments later.

Act FiveEdit

MacGyver descends from the guard tower and happily informs the family that there is paperwork to be processed, but that they are 'on their way'. Jana and MacGyver say goodbye, MacGyver giving Jana his Swiss Army Knife, and Jana giving him the medallion hanging around her neck. MacGyver picks her up in a spinning hug, and they freeze frame with smiles.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Reena: What are you offering, MacGyver?
MacGyver: Reena, I don't have a lot of cash on me, do you take plastic?
Reena: I don't deal in credit.

Jana: MacGyver, so you owe us for helping you, right?
MacGyver: Jana...
Jana: It's only that we like you, MacGyver. We want to go with you.
MacGyver: Where?
Jana: America, America.
MacGyver: Right, right.
Jana: The U-S-of-A... Clint Eastwood... Coca-Cola.
MacGyver: Jana...
Jana: Girls just wanna have fun... Please?

MacGyverismsEdit

A complete list of problems solved by MacGyver is also available.
  • While fleeing on horseback, a helicopter appears, flying low and dangling a cable. As it skillfully approaches MacGyver, he clips the cable onto the harness he attached earlier, and MacGyver and horse together are lifted off of the ground and flown away to safety.
  • MacGyver creates a "lightbulb sandwich" near a pile of scrap by wedging a board with mounted light bulbs between two planks of wood, and securing the whole thing with a strips of rubber tied in knots. He also ties a thin wire to the contraption, and gives it to Jana, who hides behind a bush and pulls the contraption under the truck's tires as it passes by on its way to the gate. When the driver stops to inspect the truck, MacGyver quickly runs out and stows away in the back of the truck, gaining access to the complex.
  • MacGyver creates a modified version of dynamite: He dumps out most of a canister salt and nearly refills it to the top with sugar. He then adds a splash of weed killer. After that, he places the canister into a pail and covers the whole pail with a cloth taken from his back pocket. Although it is not shown directly, he then puts a handful of what must be sugar on the cloth and pours battery acid over it. A chemical reaction begins, and later explodes.
  • MacGyver slides over a coil of barbed wire with his foot, and wraps one end of it around an auger screw. He then uses a wrench to loosen the nut securing the steering wheel of the front loader to its steering column. MacGyver starts the front loader and breaks the key off in the ignition. He puts the front loader into drive, and as the front loader takes off on its own, it pulls the auger screw, and with it, the barbed wire, which is stretched out by the front loader, cutting the truck off from the guards.
  • In the bar, MacGyver grabs a handful of brown powder and creates a small flash of fire by tossing it in the air with a lit match.
  • MacGyver creates a magnifying glass by taking a bobby pin, bending it, and dipping the curved end into a drink, collecting the liquid in the same manner children blow bubbles.
  • MacGyver uses his Swiss Army Knife to cut thin strips of a credit card, and wedges them into the timing gears of the street light control system, which causes all the lights to go red at once, halting traffic.
  • MacGyver blocks out police radio transmissions by having Jana duct tape the stolen police radio and a transistor radio together. They attach them to a bunch of floating balloons and letting them drift away, getting them high enough to disrupt all the police radios in a one-mile radius.
  • MacGyver does a lot of impressive driving in this episode, including driving off the top level of a car carrier, jumping a roof, driving down multiple flights of stairs, driving along the edge of a dam, over a footbridge, and through a very small, round tunnel. He also manages to hide the getaway cars while driving through a car dealership.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This is the first time in the series that MacGyver uses duct tape.
  • All of the scenes of this episode of the minis racing the cops are lifted from the 1969 movie The Italian Job.
  • The voice of Kelly McClain (who plays the character of Jana) was replaced in the final cut. The reason for this is not known or apparent.

BloopersEdit

  • At the beginning when the helicopter passes back the horses at the end of that shot you can see a person stand near a car in the left side of the screen.
  • When creating his recipe for dynamite, MacGyver says that he's using sugar, salt, and weed killer. The can he pours the weed killer from, however, has a picture of an ant with a large black X marked over it, implying it's actually some form of insecticide.
  • One of the guards at the Hungarian prison camp exclaims "Mitä taas?" which is Finnish for "it happens again?". Finnish and Hungarian are remotely related languages.
  • Because most of the footage of the minis is from the 1969 movie The Italian Job, when they are seen crossing the weir, they clearly have British license plates, even though they were first shown with Hungarian license plates.

Cast & CreditsEdit

A complete list of Cast & Credits is also available.

Starring Edit

Actor Character
Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver

Guest StarsEdit

Actor Character
Michael Constantine Jan Messic
Bruce Abbott Nikolaj Kosov
Kelly McClain Jana
Sue Kiel Reena

Co-StarringEdit

Actor Character
Sid Haig Khan
Robert Hallak Bruno
E.M. Margolese Alex
John Prudhont Peter
Charles Raymond Stephan

FeaturingEdit

Actor Character
Jim Gosa Grosz
T. Lee Griffin Lanko
Magda Harout "Woman"
Nicholas Kadi Grodsky
Charles Joseph Martin Cernik

Other Credited CrewEdit

Credited Name Position
Terry Nation
Stephen Downing
Writers - Opening Gambit
Lee H. Katzin Director - Opening Gambit
Stephen Downing Supervising Producer
Jerry Ludwig Executive Producer
Terry Nation Producer
Vin Di Bona Line Producer
Lee David Zlotoff Creator
Joe Viola Writer
John Patterson Director
Henry Winkler
John Rich
Executive Producers
Judy Burns Co-Producer
Steven Milkis Associate Producer
Stephen Kandel Executive Story Consultant
Randy Edelman Theme
Randy Edelman
Mike Melvoin
Music
Pam Polifroni Casting
Joanne Koehler Casting Associate
Jules Brenner Director of Photography
Stan Jolley Production Designer
Grant Johnson Editor
David Menteer Unit Production Manager
Robin Chamberlin First Assistant Director
Gary Law Second Assistant Director
Bonnie Dermer Set Decorator
Tommy Welsh Wardrobe Supervisor
Rudolph Garcia Men's Costumer
Shirlene Williams Women's Costumer
Dee Manges Make-Up Artist
Lynn Del Kail Hair Stylist
Kathy Barrett Script Supervisor
Billy Myatt Special Effects
Dean Hodges Sound Mixer
Steve Danforth Music Editor
T.A.V. Sound Sound Editing
Rosa Gonzalez Assistant to Mr. Milkis
Buddy Joe Hooker Stunt Coordinator
Michael Casey Property Master
Modern Videofilm Video Post-Production
Glen Glenn Sound Recording

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki