In a world full of automatic weapons, he was a peaceful detour, choosing not to carry a gun. Instead, he used his physics-trained noggin to get himself out of sticky situations creatively.
The program started in 1985 on American television network ABC and ran for seven seasons until its end in 1992. However, MacGyver lived on in syndication and achieved a kind of cult status with fans old and new.
The Atlantic summed it up perfectly in a piece by writer Megan Garber titled, Mullet Over: The Lonely Brilliance of MacGyver.
“MacGyver is, to be clear, a pure delight to watch today, and only partially because of Richard Dean Anderson’s epic man-mullet. It is exceptionally cheesy. It is occasionally riveting. It is the 1980s, incarnate. It is like putting on a 45-minute-long pair of legwarmers.”
The character of secret agent Angus MacGyver, played by actor Richard Dean Anderson was a scientist and veteran of the US Army where he served as a Bomb Team Technician during the Vietnam War. He worked for a fictional government organisation called the Department of External Services. MacGyver was also a genius who possessed an extensive knowledge of the physical sciences. With this ability, he was able to create anything out of everyday objects.
Tied up with plastic ties and thrown in a room with a wall heater? No problem – In one such episode, Mac (as he was known) disassembled the heater with his bound hands, pulled a hot wire filament from the heater and melted off the zip ties, escaping and taking down the bad guys in the process. What a man. See the clip below.
The iconic series gave way a host of pop culture references in shows like The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live and even became a well-known verb. To ‘MacGyver’ meant ‘to do the impossible.’
Today, MacGyver lives on in the recent 2016 reboot on US network, CBS.
The original Mac, Richard Dean Anderson moved on to star as Colonel Jack O’Neill in Sci-Fi classic Stargate: SG-1. He wasn’t too happy about the remake of his show, he explained why in a quote from his website.
“I’m not considering being a part of a project that has overlooked the insanely LOYAL FANS of the original character and has proceeded without considering how and why they all became and STAYED loyal fans…”
Either way, we’re happy this legend is living on. Pardon us while we go purchase a Swiss Army knife. Never know when you’ll need it.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.