Slow Death

Episode:  019

Production No.: 40191-019

Airdate: 02 April 1986

Writer: Stephen Kandel

Director: Don Weis

Nielsen Ratings:  17.4 rating / 27 share / 2nd (23rd overall)



MacGyver’s train trip through India is derailed by hijackers seeking revenge on two unidentified Westerners who sold poisonous medicine to their village.



Richard Dean AndersonMacGyver
Warwick Sims… James Grant
Pamela Roylance… Diana Kingman
Kenneth Danziger … Peter Kramer
Anthony De Fonte … Hassan
Alan Fudge … Paul Webster
Carrell Myers … Laura Dillon
Tracy Reed … Andrea Collins
Frances Bergen… Eleanor Kingman
Mark Tymchyshyn … Andy Ellis
Noel De Souza … Batu Das
Tom Simmons … Blade
Thomas H. Middleton … Lyman
Elias Zarou … Badur
Gerald Papasian … Barman



Made a doll from a sock and handkerchief.

Sprayed carbonated water into a bowl of Salt causing it to splash into bad guys eyes.

Spread local moonshine along top of train and set fire to it to stop bad guys from chasing him

Booby-trapped the engine control circuits to overload

Made a high-pitched whistle from a bottle spout to annoy the horses

Made a lie detector from a sphygmomanometer and an alarm clock

Threw boot onto roof of carriage to distract bad guy


  • MacGyver eats a roast lamb sandwich with a glass of milk.
  • Although not specified in the episode, the TV Guide says the episode is in India, however, this article refers more specifically to the hijackers as Bengali peasants. Bengal is the most eastern state of India and boarders Bangladesh.
  • MacGyver gives two versions of his mission in India. While catching the train he says that he intercepted plans for a guerrilla raid, then tells Andrea later that he hijacked proof of an illegal arms-oil deal and if he gets the proof out of the country in time, it could help thwart a little war.
  • Diana’s mother (the dragon) was played by Candice Bergen’s (Murphy Brown) mother.
  • The German episode title is “Halt auf freier Strecke”, meaning “Stopped Between Stations”.



  • if you’re gonna slay a dragon, I know where you can find one.  -MacGyver
  • Another day. A whole ‘nother set of fresh possibilities.  -MacGyver
  • He has a right, but he’s wrong.  -MacGyver
  • We shell be on this misbegotten excuse for a railway for a long dusty ride and if we don’t at least drink together, we shell have to drink separately.  -James Grant
  • I’m a cripple; you’re black; neither is a condition for sympathy.  -James Grant
  • The sight of beauty invariably dizzies me.  -James Grant
    The stink of liquor does the same thing for me Mr. Grant.  -Eleanor Kingman
  • Well, you know that old saying, “Lord, give me the strength to deal with what I can, and endure what I can’t”? Well, I’m enduring.  -MacGyver
  • He is no doubt a thief and a lier, but he is not the man I am looking for.



  • When MacGyver and the Doctor are talking at the train’s bar the bartender changes locations between camera angles.
  • This episode is supposed to be set in India, yet the villagers who stop the train don’t look even close to Indian.


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