These are the original episode synopses which are listed with the Background Bible document. This document has circulated on the internet and been sold on Ebay. We can’t prove that these are authentic, but it seems reasonable that they could have been first drafts for the episodes. One copy of this document seen on Ebay had an issue date of April 1986, which would have been around the time season 2 was in planning.
Name: Blood Money
STATUS: Never made
MacGyver has to team up with a retired master counterfeiter to locate and capture a ton of very special paper — the key ingredient in a billion-dollar counterfeiting scheme.
He’s opposed by both the very clever criminals behind the counterfeiting scheme — and his retired counterfeiter’s granddaughter, an attorney who distrusts MacGyver, and is desperately trying to conceal her grandfather’s past. MacGyver manages to revive the old man’s lust for living — and convince his granddaughter to accept her own family history.
The story will take us into one of the country’s major money counting houses, a trade show for makers of currency and into the largest banknote printing house in the world.
In the course of “pulling off” this caper, MacGyver will
1) Produce near-perfect counterfeit bills by using Jack Daniels whiskey, cigar ash, rit dye, an orange crate and six paper clips, 2) create a timed firebomb out of match heads and a gum wrapper, 3) Cast a fishing line attached to a nylon cord to build an aerial bridge over a pressure-sensitive floor, and 4) crack a security vault with a ten cent balloon.
The story begins as:
A completely bizarre hijacking takes place in the middle of Los Angeles. A large, shabby grocery truck is hit in a ruthless, brilliantly co-coordinated attack. Streets are blocked with simultaneous maneuvers — the truck’s driver and assistant are seized by masked, heavily-armed men — other men slap concealing exterior panels on the truck, changing its appearance — as the last pair force open the rear — check the contents.
Improbable is the word. A commando raid on Wonderbread? The improbability is compounded as we see what the “grocery truck” is really carrying. Paper. Rolls of paper and observing it all, the man in charge, and an icy criminal entrepreneur, FORREST. As his assault team drives the now-concealed truck away Forrest turns to the man beside him. FLOYD GRUBER. Mid-seventies; everybody’s grandfather, an aging pixie — now clearly tense and frightened. And defiant. He’s old; he’s retired; he will not work with Forrest. Forrest is amused, pats Floyd’s shoulder, and gets into his car — starts off, tosing a word back. Floyd will. Because the payoff is approximately one billion dollars. And the price of refusal — could be fatal…and he’s gone.
On the echo, we see Thornton explaining the heist to MacGyver. The “grocery truck” carried a cargo of unique paper. Made under top security by and for the U.S. Government. For one purpose: to print money. And we see we’re in a counting house, where paper — money is checked, counterfeits exposed, bills stacked, packed, baled, multi-millions of dollars before our eyes. And now a thief has enough official paper to make a billion dollars worth of queer. But, they’ll need plates, an expert engraver. Special techniques. Which is why Tine Corporation was brought in — which is why Thornton turned to MacGyver.
MacGyver tackles the problem in his own way: who would handle the special inks and techniques that the unique paper requires? He runs through dossiers on a vast array of counterfeiters — finally narrows it down to a handful…a couple…one. Floyd Gruber. Industrial chemist: master forger: world-class. And just out of prison, after serving eighteen years hard.
And with that lead, we are into the human elements of our story. Floyd Gruber is the elderly pixie we saw in the opening. An ex-con, now retired. Living with his only kin, his granddaughter, ALEXIS BLAINE, who is in her late twenties, vital, attractive — and a successful attorney, desperately ashamed of her shady grandfather.
Who she loves. In her ambivalent way.
Floyd’s lived with Alexis, in her trendy condo, since he finished his prison term — but he realizes that while she’s responsible toward him, cares about him — she also sees him as a dark shadow on the perfect life she’s made for herself. He wants to return to the living– she wants him tucked away in an old age home.
Not Floyd. Too much pride, too much life in him.
All of which MacGyver picks up on, in a confrontation, with both Floyd and Alexis. She’s fiercely defensive, but MacGyver detects a number of apparently innocent items in Floyd’s room. Put them together in a small counterfeiting operation.
MacGyver manages a private talk with Floyd — and elicits the truth. Floyd is seventy-four and is retired. But for him, counterfeiting is an art form; the thing he does best. He was just doodling — for his own pleasure, doing a few one-dollar bills… then destroying them. Until he got himself locked into heavy trouble. Farrell. He doesn’t know the man, but he’s hard, well connected. He heisted the paper — and now, he demands that Floyd provide perfect plates — or else Alexis will be hit.
The police wouldn’t believe an ex-con and couldn’t protect Alexis if they did.
And worst of all, there’s no plates. It’s a myth, a rumor. Floyd did such beautiful handiwork that he got the reputation of having plates. Now — that reputation has put his and Alexis’ lives into ultimate jeopardy and a challenge MacGyver can’t avoid.
The problem is to (a) winkle out Farrell, and then (b) find the paper without getting killed.
How? Simple. Counterfeit being counterfeiters.
Dodging Alexis’ angry concern, MacGyver and Floyd set up a small moneymaking operation — becoming close as they perfect the process. Floyd is delighted; MacGyver’s the young apprentice he never could find — a natural. Great hands… terrific with the inks… he’s having a wonderful time; we see him come back to life and vigor — as they turn out a bundle of near-perfect counterfeit money.
He then spreads the word on the streets. Floyd Gruber’s famed plates are back in circulation — on a major level. He’s made a deal with out-of-town interests.
Shaken, Farrell has to make contact. And MacGyver handles it as a wheeler-dealer straight out of Toronto’s underworld. He’s cool, laid-back, businesslike and convincing to Farrell… and Farrell buys his line, allowing MacGyver to deftly elicit the key information. Farrell is Vice-President of Madison Banknote, a very legitimate specialty printer: foreign currencies for small nations, stamps, and stock certificates — everything needed to print money. And the stolen paper must be hidden on the premises. Problem is: exactly where? They decide to go in and find out.
This is when Alexis discovers what’s going on — and explodes. Ready to blow all sorts of whistles.
Until she realizes that they have no proof — that her life, and Floyd’s are in this shaky line. That MacGyver’s plan is the only way they have. But she insists on going along.
And so, the caper is in motion. The invasion by stealth and MacGyverism of a top-security, highly-guarded Bank Note printing fortress by a most unlikely trio.
They do it while Madison Banknote is hosting an international Money Show — a vast array of antique, rare, priceless and otherwise money, as well as anti-counterfeit equipment and special printing displays. The place is full of exotic, stylish people and the security is tripled.
They have to create diversions, evade human guards~ and electronic snoopers — locate the paper — and proof of Farrell’s guilt.
In the process, MacGyver is instrumental in forcing a major human development between Alexis and Floyd. He causes her to realize that she’s inherited some of his pirate blood — and that by denying her own family roots, she is condemning her grandfather to a sort of premature death. Now, working together — they pull the caper off… solve the problems… with a sense of triumph.
As a matter of fact, Floyd has a tempting idea: this perfect paper, their techniques, a billion dollars … Tempting, but — no.
Still, a week later, MacGyver and Alexis watch a newly-vivified Floyd, at an art class, working away — a happy man. It’s a life class, the nude model is fetching. Floyd is painting her as the key portrait of a perfect one hundred dollar bill.
The Background Bible also includes synopses for 6 stories:
Blood Money (never made)
Fire Mountain (made as Final Approach, but modified)
Labyrinth (made as The Human Factor)
The Cure (never made)
The Eraser (made, but modified)
The Hard Way (never made)