Episode:  011

Production No.: 40191-012

Airdate: 15 January 1986

Writer: James Schmerer

Director: Cliff Bole

Nielsen Ratings:  15.9 rating / 23 share / 2nd (34th overall)



After arriving back from an East German mission to retrieve a list of information for the DXS, MacGyver and Pete are ambushed by East German agents. Pete is wounded and MacGyver is kidnapped and injected with a serum which will kill him in 6 hours time unless he tells his captures where he hid the stolen list in return for which they will give him the antidote. MacGyver promptly escapes from them and as the serum begins to take its painful and hallucinogenic hold on him, is helped by Lisa Allen, a run-away he’d helped earlier to catch a fish at the docks.



Richard Dean AndersonMacGyver
Dana Elcar Pete Thornton
Tammy Lauren… Lisa Allen
Robert O’Reilly … Curt Neilson
J.P. Bumstead… Barrett
Michael Mancini … Crisp
Tommy Lamey … Polk
J. Michael Flynn … Carlyle
Kimberley Pistone … Amy
Richard McGregor … Ron



Used gum wrapper as a fishing tackle.

Used gum wrapper as a fishing tackle.

Used belt buckle as a screwdriver.

Piped water down belt into an electrical outlet to short it out.

Cot springs & cot used to ram the door open.

Set up an old TV tube and car batteries on chairs behind the door to overload as the door opens.

Hung fire hose out the window to make bad guys think he had escaped out the window.

Used old nail to open the car tire valve and let the air out.

Set fire to a piece of rope hanging under the smoke alarm to set alarm off as a distraction.

Dropped water bottles onto a board leaning against a wall of barrels which made the barrels fall onto the bad guys.

Hit an iron bar on a fire hydrant to magnetize the bar.

Used long magnet to pick up a metal capsule of antidote from the water drain.


  • MacGyver arrives in the San Pedro harbor on a ship called the Gemstone
  • This is the first episode where we see MacGyver working for Pete Thornton.
  • This episode is the first time we hear about the “bonus” MacGyver gets for completing assignments.
  • MacGyver’s “bonus” for this episode was a government scholarship for Lisa.
  • There has been some debate over the years as to whether Neilson refers to Pete as Thornton or Colton (Colton was the character Dana Elcar played in the pilot episode ) However if you listen carefully you can hear the name Thornton, but the actors fake German-like accent does make it easy to mishear what is being said. Also later in the episode, MacGyver calls him Pete Thornton so it’s very unlikely they would get the name wrong for one scene.



  • “It’s a known fact that eighty decibels of rushing water is one of the most pleasing sounds known to mankind. On the other hand, ten and a half days at sea is enough water for anybody.” – MacGyver
  • You know, seaweed’s not considered to be the best lure for fishing. – MacGyver
  • My grandfather use to say “You just gotta think like a fish.” – MacGyver
    “Yeah but does it work?” – Lisa
    “Ultimately it’s up to the fish I think”. – MacGyver
  • “The East Germans are just a little bit hot over this one” – Pete
    “Nice to know my works appreciated.” – MacGyver
    “I don’t believe it. You are an officer of the law. I can tell.” – MacGyver
  • Hey, look guys . . . I’ve got this thing about needles . . . Here’s an idea: why don’t you just try dripping water on my forehead? The old rubber hose and bright light trick? – MacGyver
    The list. – Nielson
    Hypnotism – it’s been known to work – MacGyver
  • Bein’ told when you’re gonna die kinda puts a little pressure on you. – MacGyver
  • One time, when I was a kid, I built a slingshot out of a couple of broken hockey sticks and an old inner tube. And you know, no matter how hard I practiced I just could never miss . . my neighbor’s window. – MacGyver
  • I got school books; I’m gonna get a diploma. I’m gonna make something of myself . . . I don’t know exactly what.  – Lisa
    How about success?  – MacGyver
  • I hope you know what you’re doing. – Lisa
    Me too. – MacGyver
  • Like the magician said: a little misdirection never hurt. – MacGyver



  • The alarm reset button is on the top in one scene and on the bottom in the next scene.
  • The bundle of money being counted by the bad guys is blank on one side
  • As Mac falls after being hit by the bad policeman, his eyes are red, the same as they are when he’s drugged. Then in the next scene, they are clear again. (the scene is a cut from a later scene when Mac falls and is found by Lisa)
  • At the beginning, the two Germans say “Colson is here personally for the pick up” referring to Pete Thornton. Colson was the character Dana Elca played in the pilot episode.
  • Pete is shot in his left arm; however, later he is shown with his right arm in a sling



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