Bill Farren and MacGyver have known each other since they were kids. They both share similar personalities with optimistic outlooks, fearlessness, and a love for adventure and danger. Bill grew up to become a hell fighter and earned a reputation for being one of the best, traveling the world with his team to put out oil well fires. MacGyver had worked with him for a while helping to rig the explosives which Bill would then use to blow out the well fire. The last time they had seen each other was in Sumatra.
Bill gave up his hell-fighting career after a devastating accident which killed three of his team members and left him in a burns ward for three months caused his wife, Laura, to give him an ultimatum of choosing either his career or his marriage. Even though he always said that he “would rather be burned than bored”, he chose his marriage and he and Laura moved to Wyoming to start their own wildcat drilling operation with their partner, Pete Torgut.
Even though they had sunk all their money and savings into the land and derrick, Bill was confident they would strike it rich until their dreams went up in flames as a smashed light bulb ignited escaping gas and caused the well to explode into a hellfire. With no way to get a fire crew to put it out in less than 2 months and the lease on their land due to expire in 2 weeks, Bill and MacGyver had no option but to try to put the fire out themselves.
Actor Cooper Huckabee was the second choice on Henry Winkler’s shortlist for the MacGyver role.