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A one man A-Team
on 16 December 2010
This brings back some great memories, as soon as the memorable theme tune by Randy Edelman kicks in you know you're due 40 minutes of mostly light-hearted escapist fun. Refusing to carry a gun MacGyver works his way through all 7 seasons and 2 TV movies. Carrying not much more than a Swiss Army knife and duct tape and utilising all sorts of everyday chemicals Richard Dean Anderson manages to construct all manner of contraptions and instruments from a hang-glider, hot-air balloon, mortars and Breechers Bouy type rigs to escape from tight spots as the bad guys close in on him.
I've finished the first 2 series and have just started on series 3 and it is even better than I remembered. Starting off as a lone troubleshooter for hire working all across the globe; when the series started in 1985 there was still a major divide between Western and Eastern Europe so understandably a large portion of the early years are spent breaking in and out of Communist camps/prisons etc.
Part way through series 1 MacGyver stops working alone and we are introduced to the Phoenix Foundation and MacGyver's friend, and soon to be boss, Pete Thornton (Dana Elcar) who is with him throughout the rest of the series. Reading up on the show it was a nice touch when Elcar began to lose his sight through glaucoma that his character was given the same medical condition. It's details like this that would have made commentaries or cast interviews an invaluable addition.
Even without that though we get 39 discs containing all 139 episodes and the two made for TV movies filmed after the series had been cancelled.
There's a few supporting cast members who made return visits including Teri Hatcher as the dizzy Penny Parker, MacGyvers dubious friend Jack Dalton and an arch nemesis Murdoc who is forever seemingly escaping from the jaws of death.
In the main it's good light hearted fun, almost always carrying the message that good wins out, although it's not without the odd tragedy on route and as the series goes on the environmental message gets stronger, season 5's rhino poaching episode is particularly moving.
You can see echoes of MacGyver's laid back style surfacing later when Anderson starred as Colonel Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1.
In the main it's fun for all ages and highly recommended.