Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (1084)

  • Colson: The only way to get down to the first level is through the elevator, and we can't even open the doors up here. The whole shaft is protected by laser. MacGyver: Infra-red or gas discharge? Colson: Gas. CO2, 10,000 watts. MacGyver: You take your elevator shafts pretty seriously.

  • MacGyver: The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way.

  • Gantner: They calculate the chances of anyone getting through to Marlow and Stubens is... well, it's not great. MacGyver: Well, give me "not great" on a scale of one to ten. Gantner: Minus three.

  • Barbara: I'd kiss you, MacGyver, but I've got this cold. MacGyver: So what's a little cold between friends, huh?

  • Barbara: Don't tell me you know how to make a bomb out of a stick of chewing gum? MacGyver: Why, you got some?

  • MacGyver: My mom used to make a great broiled chicken. One of my favorites. Funny, I'm starting to feel real sympathetic towards them chickens.

  • MacGyver: Herpetologists will tell you everyone has an inner fear of snakes—including herpetologists.

  • MacGyver: The thing about a junkyard is, the treasure you find is liable to be something another fellow lost.

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Notes (424)

  • The helicopter that flys MacGyver and Gant to the New Mexico desert is "The Special", the advanced military helicopter which was the star of Columbia Pictures' 1983 film Blue Thunder.

  • A scene which would have given MacGyver the first name of Stace was cut before broadcast.

  • The original script for the pilot was written by Lee David Zlotoff for a 90-minute slot. Thackary Pallor re-wrote it for 60 minutes.

  • Michael Learner is listed in the opening credits just after Richard Dean Anderson, suggesting his role was intended as a permanent one. His character, Ed Gantner, fills the role that Dana Elcar takes on semi-regularly in Season 1 and full-time afterward.

  • The scenes at MacGyver's home were filmed at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

  • The German episode title is "Explosion unter Tage", meaning "Underground Explosion".

  • Appearing here in an unrelated role, guest Dana Elcar goes on to play the recurring role of Pete Thornton later this season, which becomes a starring role in the second season.

  • Many transmitted versions of this episode credit the director as Alan Smithee – which is a cover name for a director who does not wish for his/her name to be associated with the finished work, often because the film or episode was heavily recut. The actual director was Jerrold Freedman.

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Trivia (122)

  • In the pilot episode, MacGyver's aversion to using guns isn't yet established. When the Mongolian soldiers open fire on him, he returns fire with an assault rifle before handing off the gun to the rescued prisoner.

  • Milk chocolate stops a sulfuric acid leak. This MacGyverism has been confirmed to work by the Mythbusters.

  • MacGyver captures the three bad guys at the end of the opening gambit. However, there is a fourth man: the one who obligingly drove the forklift and dumped MacGyver into the compactor. He's not seen again. In fact, MacGyver "borrows" the forklift less than a minute later and doesn't encounter the unseen forklift driver who is willing to kill people.

  • In the opening gambit, MacGyver suspends the bad guys in mid-air inside their car, using a forklift. He then goes to make a call and the driver has a clear shot at him out the driver's side window. Fortunately for MacGyver, the driver forgets to use the gun he was firing at MacGyver a few minutes earlier.

  • When a guard checks on MacGyver, who's tied on a rack, MacGyver's belt is on his pants. Then MacGyver knocks the guard out and the belt is still visible. However, when he gets off the rack, he is no longer wearing his belt, and it's being used to hold another guard up against a tree. MacGyver then goes over and gets his belt and puts it through the empty pant loops.

  • Due to use of clips from the movie The Italian Job during the car chase sequence, some goofs are created: When Yanna's brother in the white car grabs the chicken, in the shot immediately following four men can be seen in the white car, two in the front and two in the back. In all previous and subsequent shots, only two men are in the car, both in the front seats; street signs can be seen in Italian, though the episode takes place in Budapest; license plates flip-flop between those used in Italy and Hungary.

  • The stunt double who does MacGyver's slide down the roof to evade the police at the bar has noticeably darker hair than Richard Dean Anderson.

  • During the car chase scene, a man wearing blue coveralls reaches out of the left window of the car and grabs a chicken, but a closeup shows that he was sitting on the right and had grabbed the chicken on the same side.

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Allusions (20)

  • Quayle's use of the phrase, "A hit, MacGyver, a palpable hit," paraphrases Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, a line by Osric during the duel between Hamlet and Laertes. The true line is "A hit, a very palpable hit."

  • Professor Willis, in dying, quotes, "just not so deep as a well, but so wide as a church-door, but 'tis enough," from Romeo and Juliet, Scene 1, as Mercutio lies dying in Romeo's arms.

  • The ending, with the team driving away in a van after a successful con while the camera does a 360° lateral rotation, references the ending of many episodes of Mission: Impossible which ended in the same manner.

  • The title of this episode is borrowed from Robert Frost poem of the same name.

  • Guy quotes Shakespeare's, "All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players," from As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7, as spoken by Jaques. The full quote is "All the world's a stage / And all the men and women merely players; / They have their exits and their entrances, / And one man in his time plays many parts, / His acts being seven ages." and refers to the seven "ages" of man, from childhood to old age.

  • Guy comments, "If there is any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again." He's quoting Quaker missionary Stephen Grellet (1773-1855), who is attributed to have spoken these words in The Lamp Vol. XXVI.

  • Guy comments, "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety," quoting from Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, Act 2, Scene 2, and referring to Cleopatra herself. The line is spoken by Enobarbus, Anthony's lieutenant, and in full reads: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety: other women cloy / The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies."

  • Guy comments, "Doubt that the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt my love," quoting from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, where Polonius reads a letter from Hamlet to Ophelia.

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