MacGyver Gets First ‘Original Series’ Guest

This week’s ‘MacGyver’ will mark the first guest appearance of an ‘original series’ actor. 

Elya Baskin, who played Russian defector Yuri Demetri in the original MacGyver series, appears this week as a Russian bomb programmer whom MacGyver must help to shut down a Soviet-era warhead in Moscow.

Elya has become somewhat of a “go-to” actor whenever a Russian is needed in a TV-episode or a major movie production due to his ancestry and accent. He’s best known for his roles in the films Air Force One, October Sky and Thirteen Days and the TV show True Blue but is credited with over 90 appearances in both movie and television throughout his career.

He made two appearances on the original MacGyver show, firstly as a Russian political prisoner known only as Demetri in a first season episode and again in the second season as defector Yuri Demetri. 

It’s not known if the choice of Elya was intentional or coincidental at this stage but if there are more original guests planned to appear in coming episodes it can only help boost the show’s ratings which have taken a slight drop since it’s record-breaking debut. Although still well in front for its 8 pm timeslot, it’s no longer winning the nights ratings; now coming in second to Producer, Peter Lenkov’s, other hit show, Hawaii-Five-0.


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