Like James Bond--but without the high-tech gadgets--Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) is one of those rare beings who can avert any crisis without mussing a hair. (The rest of us should be so lucky.) In the pilot alone, the secret agent dismantles a missile using a paper clip and fashions a rocket thruster out of a pistol. Is there anything MacGyver can't do? As the first season of ABC's long-running adventure series proves, the answer is a resounding no. MacGyver's secret: the everyday items he "finds along the way," like matches or gum wrappers, and the ingenuity to put them to a myriad of uses (a background in physics and chemistry doesn't hurt). Unlike Alias
' Sidney Bristow, he isn't a multi-linguist, a martial artist, or a master of disguises. Wits are MacGyver's weapon of choice.
Produced by Henry Winkler (Arrested Development), The Complete First Season includes all 22 episodes from 1985-1986 (alas, there are no extras). MacGyver is joined by Phoenix Foundation director of operations Pete Thornton (Dana Elcar), who is introduced in "Nightmares." Also, his grandfather, Harry Jackson (John Anderson), makes his first appearance in "Target MacGyver," while friend Penny Parker (Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives) makes hers in "Every Time She Smiles" (they will appear more frequently in future seasons). Other notable guest stars include Joan Chen (The Last Emperor) in "The Golden Triangle," Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) in "Hellfire," and John De Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation) in "The Escape."
MacGyver ran for seven seasons and was followed by two made-for-TV movies in 1994, Lost Treasure of Atlantis and Trail to Doomsday). In 1997, after a short-lived series for UPN (1995's Legend), Anderson landed the lead in an even longer-running series, Stargate SG-1, based on the sci-fi extravaganza with Kurt Russell. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Angus MacGyver is a secret agent who refuses to carry a gun with him, but fortunately never needs one. Drawing on a vast practical knowledge of science, MacGyver is able to make use of anything around him to create solutions to any problem he faces. Underestimating MacGyver is a major mistake made by his enemies and always results in the destruction of their plans