021 – A Prisoner of Conscience
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 2 November 2006 - 05:06 PM                                    
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021- A Prisoner of Conscience

Airdate: 30 April 1986
Writer: Stephen Kandel
Director: Cliff Bole
Guest Cast: Elya Baskin as Demetri, Larry Dobkin as Alexander Karsoff, Dana Elcar as Pete Thornton, Marvin Kaplan as the Chess Master, Paul Koslo as Dr. Suvarin, Sharon Maughan, Jane Merrow, Tim Rossovich as the Political Prisoner.

MacGyver and Thornton infiltrate a Soviet mental hospital to rescue a friend who's being held as a political prisoner. But they find getting out isn’t as easy as getting in.






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Astra
Posted on 7 November 2006 - 02:17 PM                                    
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Votes from April 2006

1 - Poor [ 0 ] [0.00%]
2 - Average [ 0 ] [0.00%]
3 - OK [ 1 ] [8.33%]
4 - Good [ 5 ] [41.67%]
5 - Excellent [ 6 ] [50.00%]
Total Votes: 12

Archived comments


QUOTE (MacGyverGod Jan 10 2005 @ 02:48 AM)

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A finally a better episode. Good! Set in Russia, great lenghty speedboat chase scene and a nice infiltration. I vote good.


QUOTE (MacGyver Jan 10 2005 @ 08:56 AM)

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Another great episode. I especially liked seeing MacGyver infiltrate an insane asylum. And I didn't care for that mean warden. Why couldn't he just let the man have his chess board? And the whole bit about gluing the guard's hands to a bucket- that was cool! I definitely remember watching this particular episode as a child and it's one of my favorites.


QUOTE (lemmy357 Jan 12 2005 @ 02:59 AM)

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In my opinion one of the top 5 of season 1....why no poll?


QUOTE (Alex-Wylie Jan 12 2005 @ 11:47 AM)

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A really cool episode!!!

When Mac talks about moon and owls and later plays insane-crazy-wacko.

As well about the scene where Mac is in the straightjacket or actually wounded up in a linen and during the whole talk Pete doesn't even start to help him out and in the end he nearly forgets it. Great!

Also the message is cool! Stand up to your freedom of mind even if they lock you up.

Just cool!

Alex-Wylie


QUOTE (Macsrose Jan 13 2005 @ 01:57 PM)

QUOTE
Okay, I remember Mac saying, "and I also like blood"???!!! 

Mac jumping on bed, yelling, screaming, and there were no women present!!! wink.gif

It was for a good cause, poor Mac taking the beating "yet again" for helping his fellow man.


QUOTE (sonyab Jan 13 2005 @ 04:12 PM)

QUOTE
Awesome episode!! Voted excellent.. I loved how he pretended to be mad at jumped on the bed.. ROFL. Screaming.. Everytime I watch him in that scene I laugh so hard.

QUOTE
Mac jumping on bed, yelling, screaming, and there were no women present!!! wink.gif


Hahahahaha good one ROFL.


QUOTE (Vina Jan 14 2005 @ 02:46 AM)

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LOL As well about the scene where Mac is in the straightjacket or actually wounded up in a linen and during the whole talk Pete doesn't even start to help him out and in the end he nearly forgets it. Great!


Don't know how many people know this, but wrapping a patient like this in sheets soaked in ice cold water was a "treatment" used on violent patients in the primitive days of mental institutions. Mac does mention his body is going numb--probably from the cold!


QUOTE (MacGyverGod Jan 14 2005 @ 07:06 AM)

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Like I said I voted for good.


QUOTE (Sjaop Jan 28 2006 @ 11:17 AM)

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Great ep!
When, nearly in the end when his fellow "nut" holds the gun up and yells
"Power to the people!!" with that enormous sheepily (I can tell!) grin on his face.

Brilliant!


QUOTE (MACGYVERISMYDAD Jan 29 2006 @ 09:43 AM)

QUOTE
i like the part where the one crazy guy hits the hospital worker on the head with his chessboard and it shows it in slow motion. that scene is hillaious. mac jumping up and down on the beds as hillarious also. he says something like "i went for a stroll through the open gate and then he says wolves and owls can see the open gate" something along those lines. you gotta love the workers that are all drugged up at the end and the one worker that lock himself in the closet. i voted excellant. this ep has a lot of funny parts to it.


QUOTE (MacsChick Jan 29 2006 @ 07:05 PM)

QUOTE
Ah, the inspiration for my first fanfic! Cool episode! It has a good message about freedom in the face of oppression, and it's funny, too! I also like the scene where Mac is wrapped in the sheets--his expression is priceless! LOL You can tell he had fun "going nuts," jumping on the bed and screaming! Too funny! Another fave!


QUOTE (Tony Apr 19 2006 @ 10:12 AM)

QUOTE
I liked this ep, I didnt like Mac geting hit on the head

There was no need for it. The only good thing was when Pete started to unwrap him he was bare chested

Toni



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Posted on 31 August 2007 - 02:53 AM                                    
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Something kept distracting me throughout this episode.

This episode was suppose to take place somewhere in Russia. So were Pete and MacGyver suppose to be speaking Russian the whole time they where in the hospital? and wouldn't the doctors have noticed they where speaking with an accent? Would they not have picked up that they where both Americans?

Which leads to the next question.. Would Russia even allow Americans into one of their "mental asylums" in the late 80's? From what I remember of world politics at that time, the answer would be no.



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Posted on 31 August 2007 - 03:42 AM                                    
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I like this epsiode, really liked it. The English is always an issue in TV shows, I suppose it's justy part of "suspending belief" to enjoy - and understand the story. But yes, it's unlikely the Russians would have allowed Americans into a facility back then, prolly even now lol. Didn't Pete say they were from somewhere else? And Mac didn't really speak when they admitted him.



 
                                                                     
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Lothithil
Posted on 31 August 2007 - 06:10 AM                                    
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I think it is the fault of our TV programming that some people think that they can travel anywhere in the world and speak only their native tongue... and be understood if they speak slowly and loudly enough. happy.gif

Strange to me, also, that the makers of 'MacGyver' so blithely skip over the language factor in the early episodes, but in latter eps (Ghost Ship, Lost Love, Ten Percent Solution, etc) Mac confesses having only limited knowledge of Russian, Chinese, German.

It's like they forgot that in the first season he appeared fluent in Russian, Romainian or whatever language they speak in Budapest, (Thief of Budapest), various countries in the Middle East, Mexico, South America, ad infinitum.

I can't argue too hard for or against it, because I realize that in order to make the show run a smooth hour, you have to be able to vault the language barrier in a single leap. But I adore the humanity and charm that it gives MacGyver when he tried to learn a little of every languge. laugh.gif



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Posted on 31 August 2007 - 12:11 PM                                    
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I seem to recall that, at least in the 70's and 80's, if someone on screen was in an exotic locale and speaking English with anything that remotely resembled the local accent, the viewer was expected to assume that they were speaking the local language. Fluently. (Unless it was the BBC, where the upper class of every country, in every age, including ancient Rome, spoke English with an upper-class accent, while the lower classes spoke with Cockney or rural British accents.)

They may still do it for all I know; I'm hopelessly out of touch with TV, and mostly out of touch with movies. But the standard now seems to be to use the actual language and use subtitles. (Even Klingon. laugh.gif )

The first time I remember ever seeing a Russian character actually speak Russian on screen was the movie version of The Hunt for Red October, and the transition from Russian to English-serving-as-Russian was a masterpiece of a moment – turning the language on the common word Armageddon, as if in a moment of common threat the audience had learned to listen in fluent Russian. The transition back was pretty good too.

Getting back to MacGyver, he could have managed in the first season with only limited knowledge of, for example, Hungarian, Arabic, Farsi, etc., since in most of the Spy-vs-Spy episodes he’s recognised as an American and operates as one. But this episode simply won’t work unless both Mac and Pete are fully fluent in Russian – and can speak it without an American accent. Anything else and they’d be shot. unsure.gif In fact, without fluent Russian, neither of them would be operating covertly in the USSR, not if the DXS wanted them back intact. Mac doesn't speak when he's admitted, but he does talk afterwards, and not just with the patients.

Discontinuity excuse? Russian language training was common enough at the time for anyone who had to deal with the USSR, but it's a really, really tough language. Maybe Mac's Russian got rusty. (Without having seen most of the later episodes, I'm guessing at plausibility here.) I had a fascinating talk with one acquaintance who spent three years in West Berlin in the 60's eavesdropping on Russian and German broadcasts, and today remembers only enough German to read a menu and only enough Russian to swear effectively at computer mishaps.

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Posted on 2 December 2007 - 09:02 PM                                    
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I really liked this episode. The writing was strong and moved the story forward. It also shows the partnering with Pete and Mac and how they trust each other and work together.

I loved the expression on Mac's face when he was wrapped up in the bedsheet like a mummy. He is completely stuck until Pete shows up to help him out. Pete can't resist having a little fun at Mac's expense. biggrin.gif

I agree that it is not likely that Mac and Pete would have been permitted into a Soviet mental institution. It is more likely that htey both would have been taken into custody in the institution as political prisoners, however, the story wouldn't have worked.

The story did give an idea of how cruel mental instituions could be and how petty bureaucrats use others to hold onto what little power they have. The doctor taking the chess set did it because he could. He was doing nothing more than exercising his power over people he viewed as beneath him. He also used it as a means to demonstrate to MacGyver and Pete who was in charge. It was nice to see him wrapped in a straight jacket, receiving a little of his own "medicine" at the end.



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Posted on 4 December 2007 - 06:18 PM                                    
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This is a great episode! I remember seeing this one when it first aired. MacGyver infiltrates an insane asylum- that's fun! And I felt really sorry for the dude with the chess board. It was kinda nice seeing retribution taken against the mean wardens at the end. There's also a neat point where MacGyver tells Pete, "You got problems- I got problems." That shows again how seriously MacGyver takes friendships- and how he's always willing to go to the wire for a friend.




 
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The True MacGyver
Posted on 26 March 2008 - 11:59 AM                                    
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Mac infiltrating the one place he genuinely doesn't belong-priceless. His impersonation of a person with one tool short of an SAK is hilarious. The MacGyver Slap (as I've christened it) is a trademark Mac overpowered takedown. Here is a video of it if you don't remember it.






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Posted on 26 August 2008 - 02:17 AM                                    
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It's just occurred to me that the boat chase scene was a James Bond rip off from the movie Live and Let Die.




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androgyny
Posted on 27 August 2008 - 09:20 PM                                    
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I thought this was a very exciting episode. Mac pretending to be nuts, bonzo, crazy, 2 fries short of a happy meal, wacko! laugh.gif



 
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Posted on 24 March 2009 - 06:04 PM                                    
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QUOTE (androgyny @ 28 August 2008 - 01:20 PM)
I thought this was a very exciting episode. Mac pretending to be nuts, bonzo, crazy, 2 fries short of a happy meal, wacko!  laugh.gif

roller.gif



 
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Posted on 25 March 2009 - 09:23 AM                                    
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QUOTE (dinoman @ 25 March 2009 - 02:04 PM)
QUOTE (androgyny @ 28 August 2008 - 01:20 PM)
I thought this was a very exciting episode. Mac pretending to be nuts, bonzo, crazy, 2 fries short of a happy meal, wacko!  laugh.gif

roller.gif

roller.gif Yeah, I also liked that red-head who acted crazy and the big dude w/the mustache. nasty.gif

Is that red-head the same guy as in "Soft Touch" or am I just really mixed up? doh.gif



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Posted on 25 April 2009 - 07:04 AM                                    
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Loved the part where MacGyver jumping up and down on the bed acting all crazy happy_dance.gif



 
                                                                     
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  Posted on 6 May 2009 - 11:16 PM                                    
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I like this one alot. Mac did well in this one. He kinda fit in. harhar.gif I always watch this when i need to laugh roller.gif



 
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Posted on 17 June 2010 - 04:40 PM                                    
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i thought this was a great episode, i really did enjoy it alot.



 
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Makedde
Posted on 5 March 2011 - 08:28 PM                                    
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The most amusing part about this episode was when Mac made the guards hand stick to that bucket - who wouldn't want to do that to their enemies?

I vote it as being good. It wasn't perfect, but still highly entertaining.



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Posted on 5 March 2011 - 10:17 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Makedde @ 6 March 2011 - 05:31 PM)
The most amusing part about this episode was when Mac made the guards hand stick to that bucket

laugh.gif yeah, although the way that guy put his hands on the bucket seems very un-natural to me. I would have thought most people would have grabbed the broom handle to take it off the bucket rather than placing both hands on either side of the bucket like that. hmm.bmp




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Posted on 30 May 2011 - 10:32 AM                                    
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Anyone know which locations were used in the beginning for the "Russian Countryside"?

British Columbia?



 
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Posted on 30 May 2011 - 10:31 PM                                    
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No it wont be BC. Filming in Canada was only done in seasons 3 - 6. Season 1, 2 and 7 were in relatively close proximity to LA.




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Posted on 16 August 2012 - 02:21 PM                                    
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I think this is one of those episodes you have to watch with a large grain of salt. Or maybe a whole pack. tongue.gif

Some of you have already debated the language issues, and yes, I was wondering about that too. In American movies, and especially movies from the 80's and before, I just naturally assume that people are talking in their native language whenever they have a heavy accent. (Then again, in Star Trek, we have the Universal Translator... very practical indeed. laugh.gif )
However--with Pete and Mac, it's difficult to know--did they even speak Russian at all? They must have, to be able to infiltrate the hospital the way they did. But then again... no, no matter what, it still doesn't make sense.

And the guards, the wardens and the doctors must be so totally, incredibly stupid anyways. Of course, Mac and Pete are both smart, and all the action must take place within 47 minutes or so... but... nope. Way to implausible, really.

Trying to ignore these facts, this episode *does* however have lots of humor and funny moments. Naturally, I loved watching Mac "losing his mind", jumping around on the beds, and the "I also drink blood" comment was priceless. laugh.gif
...not to mention Pete's face when he saw Mac wrapped up in that sheet! roller.gif

This episode is one of the few from season one featuring a young, beautiful woman that Mac *doesn't* kiss in the end! Impressive. rolleyes.gif

It could have been better... but it could also have been worse. I'll give it a "Good", but a weak "Good."



 
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Scwilson
Posted on 7 August 2013 - 08:38 PM                                    
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MacG.gif The episode was one of the best of the season, infiltrating a Asylum in the Soviet Union to rescue a friend showed Mac's resourcefulness in a jam. I liked to see Pete get out of the office on occasion it was a nice change for his character.



 
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Posted on 1 June 2014 - 08:39 AM                                    
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Mac looked bit playful when he suddenly catched the chessboard and started jump from the bed to another laugh.gif



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Posted on 5 June 2015 - 07:39 AM                                    
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I have to change my vote to just good. There is too many holes in the story line, things that are not explained clearly enough. Mac breaks out during the distuption and is missing forever. The large big guy (gets put in a straight jack and threatened with a needle for breaking out. Mac come sauntering back in saying he went for a stroll and gets no punishment at all. HEck the one guard saw him in ward 0. Does wards K and 0 not talk to each other or what? That guard that saw mac in ward 0 breaking into that guys cell, should have told everyone else, mac was the one that probably broke the guy out of his cell.

Then they hide the guy behind a curtain divider. The guards wouldn't ever look there for him or what? Also was Pete supposed to drop the drugs on purpose or was it an accident? They make it seem like he did it on purpose, however I don't see how it would of benifited their plan.

Pete is able to go in an unwrap Mac from his punishment of being wrapped up? I thought the guy told Pete he wasn't able to really do anything while he was there except of observing his patient?

Finally when the crazies escape at the end, you see noone from ward K except for Yuri Dimitri or Beef. I guess they were so crazy they just decided to stay?

Overall I like this episode, it is entertaining but I find myself questioning these things when I watch it.

On a side note, the guy that drinks blood, what other episodes was he in? I think he was in the baseball cards one and maybe another? He also may have been in knight rider. Usually he plays a villian or side kick to a villian



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Your burning hot MacGyver... And so is Pete! ! (Murdoc)
Does anyone have a knife?? Yes...it has lots of different blades (Macgyver music plays while mac examines the knief) ...I know
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Elizabeth MacGyver
Posted on 5 June 2015 - 10:48 AM                                    
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I love this episode!



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Barry Rowland
Posted on 10 September 2015 - 08:00 PM                                    
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I do, too! It's really neat watching this again, knowing how history would turn out now. biggrin.gif



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MiracleMac
Posted on 11 September 2015 - 06:19 AM                                    
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QUOTE (MACGYVERISMYDAD @ 5 June 2015 - 07:39 AM)
On a side note, the guy that drinks blood, what other episodes was he in? I think he was in the baseball cards one and maybe another? He also may have been in knight rider. Usually he plays a villian or side kick to a villian

Yep, he was in the baseball episode Squeeze Play and also in episode Friends visiting in Mac's party, he was acting Kate Connely's new husband, Kate Connely from Gauntlet episode.



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Mr Duct Tape
Posted on 29 November 2015 - 02:53 AM                                    
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the concept of the episode is interesting, but by near the end it goes a little bit lame.


but the for the most part is good.



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DashboardOnFire
Posted on 18 July 2016 - 11:38 PM                                    
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They didn't show the episodes in correct order in Germany and I think I only saw this episode much later (probably after season 3 or 4). It always stuck with me as a kid. I loved crazy MacGyver and the feeling of danger lurking around every corner. I was offended by how the patients (mentally ill or not) were treated.

Being a psychologist who worked in different psychiatric wards in Switzerland, I still wonder if psych wards in other countries really (or still) look like directly out of the "cuckoo's nest"?



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MacGyverGod
Posted on 19 July 2016 - 01:04 AM                                    
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This was 1986 with an obvious nod to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and in Russia. I think it depends on how far they are in medicine. If psych wards are still doing things like they did 30 or 40 years ago, they didn't evolve but I think it also depends how heavy the cases are. Maybe the hospital we saw in the episode is not a bad one, there was just this silly doctor who thinks it's right to torment the patients. And somebody had to be the bad guy.

I think in most of the West health care is pretty alright, in less developed countries... I wouldn't now. Maybe that was the point of the episode as well, after all it was in Russia and I don't think the relations were that good that time.



I think the poison that was used was applied to this knife, passed to the mutton when it was cut and then activated by the wine. - MacGyver.
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