To Be A Man

Episode:  017

Production No.: 40191-017

Airdate: 05 March 1986

Writer: Don Mankiewicz

Director: Cliff Bole

Nielsen Ratings:  12.6 rating / 19 share / 2nd (47th overall)



Shot down and wounded by the Soviets in Afghanistan, MacGyver is given refuge by an Afghan woman and her son.



Richard Dean AndersonMacGyver
Dana Elcar Pete Thornton
Ajay Naidu… Ahmed
Persis Khambatta… Zia
Sid Haig … Khalil
Allan Kolman … Captain
Michael Shore … Sergeant
Ron Gilbert … Lieutenant
Teresa Bowman … Judy
Ted Pitsis … Technician
Richard L. Duran … Afghan Man



Built hang-glided from pieces of a crashed Satellite

Made a slingshot using a scarf and rock

Turned a butane tank into a projectile by knocking off the nozzle.

Fixed water pump by wrapping material around the plunger to create an airtight seal.

Used rope around a loose pole to pull the poll while hiding in the hay stack to crash the roof on a bad guy.

Poured water into a crack in a rock and then froze it with a fire extinguisher to make it expand and crack the rock more.



  • Richard Dean Anderson’s cast is hidden by his flight suit and a special black glove in the first scenes of episode and then explained as an injury from having been shot in the right shoulder and hand. In reality he broke it during a celebrity skiing tournament.
  • The satellite MacGyver is sent to recover is called ‘Rogallo’
  • Ajay Naidu (who played Ahmed) is not listed in any of the episode credits.
  • MacGyver specifically states, “Lord, I hate heights” as he is about to hang glide off the top of the rock formation.


  • Why [didn’t you kill him]?  -Ahmed
    Because I didn’t have to. That should be reason enough for anybody.  -MacGyver
  • I can just hear old Pete Thornton saying “Why does he always have to wait until the last possible second?” –MacGyver


  • The flames of the candles inside the hut don’t waver at all when people walk past them.
  • When the Afghan and Russian soldier come to search Zia’s hut the Russian’s rifle changes between shots from a Lee-Enfield type bolt-action rifle to a semi-automatic SVT-40 rifle.
  • when the tribesmen are chasing Mac at a gallop across the river on horseback one of the horses stumbles and falls into the river nearly taking the horse and actor behind him down into the river as well.
  • The saddle on the horse MacGyver rides back to Ahmed’s hut changes between shots.
  • MacGyver tells Ahmed that Khalil shot himself after MacGyver knocks him back outside with the ‘butane missile’ but when he rolls Khalil over we can clearly see the piece of the broken pot lodged in his chest is the only cause of death.



Vasquez Rocks
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, CA


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.