MacGyver, or “Mac,” as his friends call him, is a master of improvisation. Using his vast scientific knowledge and unique ability to see items as individual components he can use ordinary objects to get himself and his companions out of trouble.
In his spare time MacGyver can most probably be found at the local skating rink, indulging his passion for ice hockey. Although his childhood dreams of playing professional hockey were shattered in a hockey accident when he was in his teams, he still enjoys playing as much and often as he can. His other hobbies include painting, playing guitar and collecting classic western movies. He also spends time volunteering at the Challengers Club, a local youth center.
One of MacGyver’s more unusual traits is his fear of romantic commitment. This fear, which has stifled many a relationship, stems from his previous experiences of people close and dear to him being killed or dying, such as his father and grandmother being killed in a car accident when he was twelve years old; his mother dying of complications from a stroke while he was on assignment overseas, his fiancée being shot and presumed dead while helping him on assignment. He worries that whoever he becomes close to will die, just like his parents and grandmother did.
Despite his misgivings about commitment, MacGyver remains the eternal optimist believing that everyone can change for the better if given the chance.
In the 2012 comic book series MacGyver’s education history was altered to show that he studied at CalTech instead of Western Tech university.
The comic book also deliberately moved away from Richard Dean Anderson’s likeness in order to begin the process of moving the character forward and be able to use new actors in the role.
In 2016 CBS rebooted MacGyver with Lucas Till playing a younger version of the lead character.
This rebooted MacGyver had a number of alterations to his history; notably that his father had left him when he was young and is still alive running rather than being killed as the original was. It was revealed at the end of season 2 that James MacGyver was the mysterious head of Phoenix Foundation known as ‘Oversight’.
Some other changes include having met Jack Dalton while he was in the Army Bomb Disposal team and living with Wilt Bozer as his room mate.
March 23, 1952
Mission City, Minnesota
Ellen Jackson (maiden name)
FATHER: James MacGyver
Cecilia and Harry Jackson
Richard Dean Anderson
Slip 22, Kigway 1*
Santa Luisa, California 90291
555-8990 (season 7)
American Sign Language (ASL)
a little Mandarin
* This address is still in the process of being confirmed. See here for more details
Raised in Mission City, Minnesota, Angus MacGyver is the only child of Ellen and James MacGyver. Even as a child MacGyver’s improvisation skills were evident as he amused himself with engineering projects such as building an improvised lawn mower for the local police Sargent and his abilities to fix things were widely know throughout the community.
When he was 10 years old his father, James MacGyver and grandmother, Celia Jackson died in a car crash while driving to the local store to pick up some supplies. The car slid off the road in heavy rain into a local creek resulting in both of them drowning. After the accident MacGyver’s grandfather lived with him and his mother and took over the father figure role to MacGyver.
At age 11 Mac and friends Neil, Chuck and Jesse decided to take his fathers handgun out to the woods to have some fun shooting at targets. MacGyver was familiar with using this gun as his father had been teaching him to shoot before his death. Tragedy struck while they were out shooting when Neil decided to shoot at a hawk which had landed in a nearby tree. MacGyver instinctively reacted to stop him from taking the hawks life by moving the gun as he fired. The impact knocked the gun from Neil’s hands and when it it the ground the gun fired shooting Jesse in the chest. MacGyver tried to save Jesse’ life but by the time he was able to get him to help it was too late and Jesse had died from the wound. This was a pivotal even in MacGyver’s life seeding his intense dislike of any type of firearms.
After graduating from high school MacGyver joined the Special Forces Bomb Disposal Teams and was shipped off to Vietnam where he was teamed up with Charlie Robinson. During their tour of duty they completed a total of 51 successful bomb disposals. It was during his time in the bomb squad that his mother passed away. Because he was on assignment, MacGyver wasn’t made aware of her death until he had returned home.
After leaving the Bomb team MacGyver completed his science degree at Western Tech University and then headed off to see the world taking on whatever jobs he could find or found interesting to pay his way including a brief career as a race car driver, but this ended in a serious crash. Other jobs included “Hellfire” oil well firefighting and full time work at the Challengers Club for Boys and Girls and also spent time travelling through Europe with his friends Mike Forrester and Jack Dalton.
While driving Jack Dalton’s cab while he recovered from braking both legs from roller skating off a local pier, MacGyver picked up a women named Sarah. After MacGyver dropped her off at the requested location he noticed an armed man following her into the building. Thinking she was in danger MacGyver followed and disarmed the man who turned out to be DXS agent Pete Thornton. He explained that Sarah was in fact an international assassin and master of disguise named Murdoc who he had been investigating for the last 6 months. Thornton used MacGyver’s cab to follow Murdoc but the chase was a trap which resulted in the cab being blown up by bazookas and the pair narrowly escaping with their lives thanks to MacGyver’s ingenuity. Thornton was impressed by MacGyver’s skills and offered him a casual contract with the DXS.
MacGyver continued to work with Pete and even followed him over to join the Phoenix Foundation where continued to work until he discovered he had an unknown son with ex-girlfriend Kate Molley. Kate was a photographic journalist who had been killed when when their son Sam was a young boy. After he Met Sam he decided to resign from the Phoenix Foundation and he and Sam embarked on a cross-country motorcycle trip so they could get to know each other better.