CBS is running a reboot of one monumental series from 80s! MacGyver 2016, a remake of the original show which ran from 1985 to 1992, doesn’t look too good, if reviews are to be believed.
The previous MacGyver series was about a hero who, unlike the likes of James Bond or Batman, used his scientific knowledge to invent things and get out of trouble and save the day.
IGN describes the original MacGyver as, “A serviceable adventure series that was able to distinguish itself at the time, and rise up out of the pack of other action shows of the era, thanks to its unique science-bent hero. Richard Dean Anderson’s cerebral crusader, Angus MacGyver, was memorable enough to keep the nostalgia fires burning for decades.”
The original version can be watched online on sites such as Potlucker, TV.com and Sidereel.
MacGyver 2016 vs Original MacGyver
Rotten Tomato shares key differences for the two versions.
Playing the part of Angus MacGyver this year is X-Men movie vet, Lucas Till, who is younger than the previous MacGyver played by Richard Dean Anderson. There is also a change in the era since the present version deals with a more modern and advanced technology base.
First up, MacGyver 2016 is not as tech savvy but still is quite inventive mechanically and still scientific in general. That’s why MacGyver 2016 episode 1 in this season he asks for the help of Riley (Tristan Mays), who they bail out of jail.
The production also shares that this year’s MacGyver is lighter and less serious.
“We know he’s a fun character and we just kind of go along with it. I think that is so unique in a world of so many superheroes and in a world of James Bond and Jason Bourne and all that, it’s so cool to have a guy like this that is almost like a throwback Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones-esque character in a lot of ways. The only thing missing from him I would say is the hat and the whip,” shares 2016 director James Wan.
Jack Dalton is back as the muscle man (and gun man) of the reboot. Like the original, MacGyver still has a distaste for guns that’s why he needs Dalton. But in the new version, however, the chemistry between Dalton and MacGyver seems to be better—friendlier.
Pete Thorton is now Patricia Thorton, and her role like her predecessor remains the same. Sadrine Holt plays Patricia and she shares that her character is the serious one.
“They are young blood, and I sort of see my character as sort of old school, Black Ops trained, the boss that just is in the field sometimes and kind of tries to keep things from being derailed, which doesn’t work all the time. Maybe even sort of like the parent, the voice of reason.”
Wilt Bozer, played by Justine Hires also becomes a regular in the show whereas he was only seen in eight episodes of the original version. His role, according to Hires brings normalcy to MacGyver’s world.
“I don’t know what he does. I think I bring a little heart and humor to the show. I give Mac some type of normalcy. He goes out and solves these crazy missions, and then when he comes home, I bring some type of just normalcy. He gets to be around a regular human being. So that’s what I bring to the show.”
MacGyver 2016 Review: The Verdict
MacGyver 2016 also came with more action and bigger stunts but IGN is not convinced. In their review, the website shared their disappointment saying, “It’s just a flat, glossy front-loaded spectacle that values quips and quirks over drama. It’s spray cheese on saltines. The pilot episode (written by Hawaii Five-0’s Peter Lenkov and directed by Furious 7’s James Wan) may be filled chases and fights and all sorts of ticking time-bomb action, but there’s nothing underneath.”
They also shared that unless MacGyver gains certain vulnerabilities, all the other cast members might just look like his fans club.
However, they added too that the show can still improve given that they give the storyline more attention and add character to MacGyver’s role.
MacGyver 2016 premieres Friday night, September 23 at 8 p.m. on CBS.