Episode:  008

Production No.: 40191-008

Airdate: 27 November 1985

Teleplay: Stephen Kandel, James Schmerer, & Douglas Brooks West

Story: Douglas Brooks West

Director: Richard Colla

Nielsen Ratings:  13.1 rating / 21 share / 2nd (48th overall)



While visiting old friends in the out-backs of Wyoming to deliver some geological charts for their oil drilling operation, MacGyver unwittingly finds himself becoming a “Hellfire” fighter as his friend’s oil well explodes into an out of control well fire.

Before they can put the fire out, however, MacGyver and friend Bill, must first find and then transport very unstable dynamite from an old mine site some miles away from their location and over very rough terrain. Even once they achieve that, they still don’t have the equipment needed to get the dynamite into the middle of the fire, so MacGyver must come up with a plan that will allow them to drop the dynamite into the middle of the well fire so it will “blow itself out” without blowing themselves up in the process.



Richard Dean AndersonMacGyver
Cooper HuckabeeBill Farren
Nana VisitorLaura Farren
Rudy RamosPete Torgut



Used gum foil to “by-pass”
blown fuse.

Used wooden board as extra
support to walk across the
broken old floor.

Used old springs, ropes, boards,
and sand on the back of a truck
to safely transport unstable dynamite.

Used spring from a ballpoint
pen to replace the linkage
spring on the truck motor.

Used a thermos to protect
nitroglycerin from heat
while moving it into
position above the fire.

Used old jeep, old fridge, and
pipes to make device for
delivering nitro into the well fire.




  • In an interview actor, Cooper Huckabee said he was the second choice on Henry Winkler’s shortlist for the MacGyver role.
  • This episode is based on the 1952 classic film noir movie “The Wages of Fear” (Le Salaire de la Peur) which is said to be “one of the most suspenseful films ever made.”
  • Although it’s not mentioned in the episode, the TV guide at the time stated this episode as taking place in Wyoming.
  • The “Curies’s Law” MacGyver recites to Pete before straining his broken leg is a real physics law of magnetism.
  • MacGyver and Bill have known each other since they were kids.
  • MacGyver can juggle



  • MacGyver! I don’t hardly recognize you anymore! – Bill
    That’s cos I’m not me anymore. – MacGyver
  • Man of many many, many many, many many talents. – MacGyver
  • This road would definitely be an E ride at Disneyland. – MacGyver
  • Oh right. You always did have good moves. – MacGyver
  • Hey, you wanna live forever? – Bill
    Think’in about. – MacGyver
  • Pure Nitro. Stuff will go off if you sneeze. – Bill
    Let’s try not to sneeze. – MacGyver
  • You scared? – Bill
    You bet. – MacGyver
    Me too. Ain’t it great? – Bill
  • You are crazy! I mean certifiable! – Bill
    Yeah? what does that make you? – MacGyver
  • You can forget about that new truck. I’ll take a dozen of those ball-point pens – Bill
  • It’s ok. – Bill
    I’m sure we’ll know when it’s not. – MacGyver
    Oh boy! You’re a real comfort! – Bill
  • Well, I guess I’m gonna have to entertain a couple of theories a few of my buddies came up with a while ago. Archimedes and Eutocius. You may have heard of them. – MacGyver
  • You’ll fry your tail in there without Bill. Damn it, he’s the best. And so are you. – Laura



  • When Mac is fixing the spring on the truck engine. His hands are quite dirty in the wide-angle shots but nice and clean in the close-up shots.
  • As Mac and Bill walk into the dynamite shack.. you can see a gloved hand move from beside the crates of explosives.
  • If Bill was so badly burned, why doesn’t he have any scars?



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