The Heist

Episode:  005

Production No.: 40191-007

Airdate:   3 November 1985

Teleplay by: James Schmerer

Story by: Larry Alexander and James Schmerer

Directed by: Alan Smithee

Nielsen Ratings:  14.3 rating / 20 share / 3rd (46th overall)



MacGyver travels to the Virgin Islands to assist a US Senators daughter to recover $60 million worth of diamonds stolen from a famine relief charity by a crooked casino owner. Once there MacGyver decides the best way to get them back is to simply steal them back. So he sets about being invited to see the owner’s private safe by winning big at the casino by way of cheating and having his winnings stored in the safe and then later breaking into the safe while Chris, the senator’s daughter, wreaks havoc in the casino.



Richard Dean AndersonMacGyver
Vernon Wells Jack Catlin
John CarterU.S. Senator Rhodes
Doran ClarkChris Rhodes
Victoria Bass Tiffany
Larry D. Mann… Daniel Sims
Gary Pagett… Croupier
Richard Jamison… Wilson
Christopher Kriesa… Player
Michael Francis Kelly(as Michael F. Kelly)… Thomas
Frank Miller… Pilot
Jacqui Evans… Female Gambler
Diane Adair (as Diane Diefendorf)… Waitress
Lloyd Bremseth… Guard
Patrick Francis Flannery… Nelson
Gavin Buhr (uncredited)… Security Guard



Used paper clip and thread to unzip a woman’s dress to create a diversion.

Used soap powder and a shoe polisher to grind die so they fell on the same numbers.

Used an electrical cord to tie a door shut.

Broke the tops off of gas canisters to rocket-power a drinks cart.

Used magnet from phone so Chris could sabotage the roulette wheel and slot machines in the casino.

Removed the stone from a ring so Chris could mark the casino cards with the sharp points on the ring.

Wired a fuse box to the hands of an alarm clock as a timer to cause a short circuit at the set time.

Used a clothes hanger, mirror, duct tape and string to block a security camera’s view.

Used cigar ash to make a security light beam visible.

Used a fiberoptic tube to bend security light beam.

Used crystal wine glasses to recreate musical tones to open the vault.

Used part of a lamp to funnel diamonds down a drainpipe into the trunk of a waiting car.

Parachuted a car out the back of an airplane.


  • This is the first episode to air without an opening gambit
  • This is the second episode to be directed under the Alan Smithee pseudonym (which is used when the director doesn’t want to be associated with the production)
  • The license plate of the red MG car is T-597S3
  • The footage of the car parachuting out of the plane was taken from an MG car commercial. The full clip is shown at the end of the “Worlds Greatest Stunts” documentary and can be watched here.



  • Your name MacGyver? That’s amazing. So’s mine. MacGyver
  • How can you sleep? – Chris
    Usually it’s no problem. – (groggy) MacGyver
  • What if I were to go in and just, take the diamonds from Catlin? – MacGyver
    My God, you’re a thief. – Chris
  • We fake it. – MacGyver
    Oh great, great. We are in deep trouble – Chris



  • The dice change positions from shot to shot while Mac is “polishing” them.
  • When the car dives out the back of the plane a Cameraman can be seen right behind the car.
  • This episode is supposed to be in the US virgin islands, yet all the scenes of the car in the air have endless desert below.
  • When Mac is opening the safe he tells the bird “It’s an octave too high.” He then drinks some of the wine out of the glass. This would actually raise the octave rather than lower it.
  • When MacGyver puts the first end of the plastic tube into the light beam alarm in Catlin’s office, wouldn’t that have broken the beam of light and set off the alarm?
  • As MacGyver drives the car out of the back of the plane you can see a film camera set up in the car.



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