Phoenix Under Siege

Episode:  033 (S2.E11)

Production  No.: 40192-033

Airdate: 05 January 1987

Teleplay: Stephen Kronish

Story: John I. Koivula

Director: Gilbert Shilton

Nielsen Ratings: 12.9 rating / 18 share / 3rd (52nd for the week)



When MacGyver and his Grandfather stop by the Foundation to retrieve some hockey tickets, they stumble upon terrorists attempting to detonate a bomb.



Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver
Dana ElcarPete Thornton
John AndersonHarry Jackson
Tricia O’Neil… Victoria James
Richard Lineback… Phillips
Harry Beer… Fred
John Davey… State Trooper
Shawn Donahue… Young MacGyver
Jan Jorden… Celia Jackson (as Harry’s Wife)
Kenneth Lloyd… Security Guard
Warner Loughlin… Susan Murphy
Phil Redrow… James MacGyver



  • Made electromagnet from water faucet, copper wire and a battery.
  • used copper wire and plastic hose rubbed on his shirt to create static shock to unlock broken electronic door look.
  • Used wooden ruler to jam the hammer on hand gun and stop it firing.
  • Used hockey ticket to prevent bomb from detonating.



  • The hockey game Mac and Harry were going to see was an actual game played on Dec. 14th, 1986 (the date shown in this episode) and can be watched here.
  • In the original (pre-HD version) the episode title is misspelled as “Phoenix Under Seige”.



  • When I was about ten, I got my first chemistry set. I’ve been a beaker-and-test-tube nut ever since. My mom said I was gonna come up with a formula that would either improve the world . . . or blow up the house.  ~MacGyver
  • You sure the world needs a drink like this?  ~Harry
  • Don’t be modest. Everybody knows MacGyver’s MacGyver.  ~Victoria
  • MacGyver: Hi, Harry. Rainin’ out?
    Harry: No, I took a walk in a car wash.
  • Harry: Maybe your friend Pete took ’em.
    MacGyver: Nah, he doesn’t like hockey.
    Harry: How can you work for a guy like that?
  • MacGyver: How come you want me to call you “Harry”?
    Harry: That’s my name.
    MacGyver: But you’re my grandpa.
    Harry: Yep. But “Grandpa” is for an old man. Name’s Harry.
  • Harry: Why are they shootin’ at us?
    MacGyver: I guess those tickets are hotter than I thought!
  • MacGyver: Let’s go, Harry.
    Harry: That’s easy for you to say. You’re not runnin’ on my knees!
  • Harry: It’s hell gettin’ old.
    MacGyver: Age is only in the mind, Harry.
    Harry: Well, my mind tells me I’m gettin’ old.
  • MacGyver: When I was a kid, I used to have nightmares, and you used to tell me . . . “Bein’ scared’s a lot worse when you’re all alone.”
    Harry: I was right.
    MacGyver: You’re not alone, Harry. Neither am I . . . It’s just taken us an awful long time to figure that out.
  • Harry: What’s that, a sonic blaster?
    MacGyver: Electric razor. The head guy in the lab gets five o’clock shadow around noon.
  • Harry: Things like this happen to you often?
    MacGyver: Yeah, as a matter of fact, they do.



  • As MacGyver and Harry are driving to the Phoenix Foundation there’s an over head shot showing Harry’s seat is empty.
  • Cotton and wool fabrics do not filter Hydrogen Sulfide so the scarf and jacket would not have helped when Mac and Harry were being gassed in the room.
  • Hydrogen sulfide gas becomes very flammable when mixed with oxygen, so the spark MacGyver makes to unlock the door would have blown them up.
  • After Harry walks into the garbage can, a guy shoots two bullets at them, one hits the corner of the wall the other on the door frame. When they cut back, from MacGyver and Harry, to the guy who shot at them there are two bullet holes on the door frame and no damage to the wall.
  • The terrorist “security guard” flips the switch for Elevator#2 to unlock it, then after he dumps the guard in the elevator box, he returns to the guard’s desk and flips the switch for Elevator#1 to lock it again, even though that switch had never been moved before.
  • An electromagnet powered by DC current would not emit an audible hum the way an AC-powered unit would, so Mac’s battery-operated electromagnet would not make any sound.
  • The female villain shoots the victim with a silenced revolver. Since the cylinder of revolvers is not sealed against the barrel, silencers do not work on revolvers, so the sound would not have been silenced.
  • MacGyver says the fixture he used to make the electromagnet is made of Stainless Steel. Stainless steel is nonmagnetic and cannot be used to make a magnet.



Hardware Apartment
Keystone Building
56 N. Larchmont Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix Foundation
ARCO Center
200 Oceangate
Long Beach, CA
Phoenix Foundation Lobby
ARCO Center
200 Oceangate
Long Beach, CA


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