Production No.: 40191-001
Airdate: 29 September 1985
Director: Jerrold Freedman (as Alan Smithee)
Writer: Thackary Pallo
Nielsen Ratings: 10.9 rating / 17 share / 3rd (54th overall)
MacGyver is sent to retrieve the firing mechanism of a captured missile being held at the crash site of a downed US fighter plane in Central Asia. As he infiltrates the camp, MacGyver finds the plane’s pilot is alive and being held captive, presenting an unexpected second objective.
MacGyver is recruited as a last hope to save two Nobel candidate scientists trapped by a mysterious explosion in a top-secret underground research facility before the whole complex is flooded with sodium hydroxide to neutralize an acid leak caused by the explosion.
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
- Mac rips up his green flannel shirt to use as a gas mask, but at the end of the episode, he’s wearing it again.
- White long sleeve shirt changes appearance a little while after Mac rips up his green shirt.
- Why didn’t the laser burn through the mirror?
- That fire hose would not be able to lift the weight of the beam.
- The Helicopter MacGyver arrives at the lab in was one of the 2 helicopters used to make the Blue Thunder movie.
- While walking through the ruins of the underground lab, Mac is whistling a tune called “The Streets of Laredo.”
- This is the only episode that has MacGyver living in the observatory.
- This is the only episode in which we see MacGyver’s “little brother” Reggie.
- Dana Elcar appears in this episode as Andy Colson. He returns in later episodes as Pete Thornton.
- In some of the promotional information for MacGyver, his first name was shown to be Stace, but it was cut from the pilot episode before the premier. Later, his first name is revealed in Good Knight MacGyver part 2, and is mentioned again in The Stringer.
- Lee David Zlotoff’s original script was for a 90-minute pilot episode. This was shortened to fit into a one hour slot.
- The director, Alan Smithee, is a cover name for a director that doesn’t want his/her name associated with the finished work.
- Jerry Freedman decided to use the pseudonym Alan Smithee because he was unhappy with the shortened final cut of the episode and felt the whole experience had been marred with constant fighting against the production team and didn’t want to be associated with the project.
- Mythbusters disproved the sodium metal macgyverism in this episode.
- Mythbusters confirmed that chocolate will indeed clog a sulfuric acid leak as seen in this episode.
- In the Italian version of this episode, the name of Andy Colson, the character played by Dana Elcar, has been changed to Pete Thornton.
- When asked about the “MacGyver shooting a gun” scene from this episode at the 1998 William S. Paley Television Festival, both Michael Greenburg and John Rich thought it had been cut out and John Rich seemed embarrassed that it hadn’t been.
- I do wish I’d known you had a cold before I kissed you. – MacGyver
- I thought you had to be real normal to be somebody’s Big Brother. I mean, this ain’t a normal place to live. This is weird. – Reggie
People a lot taller than yourself have said the exact same thing. – MacGyver
- That 10 hours can’t be getting any longer. – MacGyver
- You Colson? – MacGyver
That’s right; you must be the screwball. – Andy Colson
- Well, the bag’s not for what I take, Colson. It’s for what I find along the way. – MacGyver
- What are you doing? – Gantner
Praying my back doesn’t give out. – MacGyver
- Don’t tell me you know how to make a bomb out of chewing gum. – Spencer
Why you got some? – MacGyver
- That was dumb Spencer. Very, very dumb! – MacGyver
Yeah, it also hurts like hell. – Spencer
- A phenomenal shot by a short kid! – MacGyver
- When MacGyver throws his knife to the pilot in the wooden cage. A guidewire is visible in the shot just before the knife lands in the branch.