Season 3 Episode 4

Ghost Ship

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 19, 1987 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
73 votes
  • Bigfoot?

    I didn't actually remember a lot of this episode until I watched it again and it was entertaining. I have to admit that the Bigfoot - Sasquatch scared me a little bit when he breaks that glass near the beginning. But I assumed there had to be an explanation for the creature and then you have it in the end. But meanwhile they scared that poor girl and killed someone in the way.

    I like how the show had to give the audience a message about nature. It's subtle in this one but still. Pete sure has a lot of faith in MacGyver. And it was nice to Mac make a girl talk and trust him so he could protect her.

    Perfect ending for me would've been not making us believe there was the possibility of a Bigfoot. Or another fake recording.
  • Mac gets sent on a surveying mission but ends up meeting Bigfoot.

    LMAO. This might be the most ridiculous plot this show ever had Macgyver meets Bigfoot!!. That's about it.

    This is a guilty pleasure type of episode normally I would rate these type of episode on any show low but here I had fun watching this so it's hard not to like this episode even though the writers look like they were up drinking a few beers writings this episode.

    Mac is sent on a surveying mission and ends meeting Bigfoot. He also stumbles upon on Ghost Ship. The bulk of this episode had Mac dodging Bigfoot while trying to figure what happened to the crew.

    This episode moves fairly quickly and has a lot of action. The costume and actor playing Bigfoot was fairly realistic until you find out the "twist" ending which doesn't quite make sense but oh well.

    The story about the crew's disappearence made a lot more sense. However, like I said, it's hard to not like this episode especially an episode incorporating the Bigfoot Legend.
  • A suspenseful and clever merging of the Pacific Northwest's "Bigfoot" legend and a Alaskan wilderness theme makes for a memorably usual outing that would prove transitional to a darker-edged style the series would soon embark upon.

    It didn't take long for MacGyver writers to take full advantage of Pacific Northwest's regional folklore after their move to Vancouver in 1987. In this case, the legendary Sasquatch was wryly injected into an episode about an abandoned oil tanker in the Alaskan wilderness. "Ghost Ship" was likely written with Halloween in mind, but ABC was wise to air this memorable episode the week of the 1987 World Series where it would get maximum advertising exposure and help boost the audience of a series that was not performing well in the early weeks of its third season. Hats off to scribe Stephen Kandel for turning what could have been a jump-the-shark premise for the series and turning out a story of impeccable craftsmanship. Granted, the suspense level slows down considerably after MacGyver and Karin escape from the ship, but the ensuing campsite visit by the trappers, light show via welding equipment, and altercation with oil thieves on the Alaskan pipeline were well told enough to make the episode a genuinely impressive hour of storytelling. This was also a perfect episode to introduce the darker musical scores of Ken Harrison, whose compositions fit the third season's slightly edgier tone (compared to more lighthearted second season) very well.
  • Good episode.

    This is another good episode of Macgyver. I like this one party because of the Bigfoot story in it. It keeps you guessing for awhile weather there really is a Bigfoot or not.

    Here's the plot:

    Macgyver is heading for the Alaska wilderness to map out territory (that will used for a wildlife reserve) for the Phoenix Foundation. His goal is to place five electronic markers that will broadcast satellite signals back to the P.F. base,and that will give them sort of a "boundary" so that they will know what land to use.

    Mac places his first marker,and is off to a good start. But then,he sees something strange in the woods: a Totem Poll and skeleton. He thinks it is probably just an old Indian warning put there years ago,and moves on. But then,after awhile,Mac runs upon something even more strange: an oil tanker ship sitting at the edge of a lake/bay. He knows he should be moving on with his assignment,but like he says-"One of my problems is that I can never leave a puzzle alone". So he then finds an old rowboat,patches it's holes with a plastic bag from his gear,and creates an oar using a tree branch and another plastic bag. He's now ready to go out,and see if anyone's on the ship.

    Once he gets out to the ship though,the mystery deepens. It appears no one's is on board. There's only signs that someone had been there. (i.e.: newspapers,coffee cups,etc). But now Mac notices the strangest thing of all: There are giant,muddy handprints on things,and they're over twice the size of his own hand. Something's definitely wrong here. He looks around the ship some more,before going to the upper deck,where he goes inside the ship's control room. He sees a fairly new cup of coffee still sitting there,and just as he reaches for it; a huge,furry arm smashes through the window beside him. A now freaked out Mac runs out of the control room,and bars the door behind him. What to do next? He heads to the lower deck again,but he hears something. Could the thing have gotten down there already? Mac grabs a wrench off a table,and is about the hit whatever's there with it. But then,to his surprise,it's not the creature at all. It's only a young girl. (around 13 years old). She tries to run,but Mac stops her. He's knows the creature will get her if she runs. But just as he's stopping her,the creature breaks through the door Mac had barred. Mac now has to crank another door closed before it gets to them. And he does,but barely. Mac and the girl then make a run for it back to the top deck of the ship. The creature is hot on their tails,so there's only one thing left to do: Jump. They both jump down into the water,and manage to escape...for now.

    Once they get back to shore,Mac tries to find out just who this girl is. But she won't talk to him,or say anything at all. She tries to run for a second time,but Mac again stops her because he knows she can't navigate miles and miles of wilderness by herself. She then reluctantly follows him as they head back into the woods. That night,Mac is still trying to find out who she is: she hasn't said a word all day. Finally,after trying to talk to her in several languages,he finally finds out which language she speaks (he can tell by the reaction on her face): Russian. She then finally speaks to him (though it ends up she can speak English too),and tells him her name is Karin Graff. It seems she was on the ship because she and her cousin sneaked aboard in Russia,so she could come visit her father who works in Juno,Alaska. She says once they landed in Alaska,that the creature had come aboard,and killed everyone,including her cousin. All of this is now a bigger mystery then ever. What exactly is this creature? Mac and Karin don't have to wait long to find out: three men come into their camp. One of the men introduces himself,and the other two are his brother and uncle. They say they were checking their animal traps,and wondered if they could warm up by Mac's campfire. Mac agrees,and then they begin to talk. Mac finds out from them that-according to the local legend-the creature is Sasquatch (AKA:Bigfoot). Then men then decide to stay at the camp for the night for safety.

    The next morning,when Mac wakes up,only he and Karin are there,with no sign of their new friends from the night before. Karin fears that Bigfoot got them,and Mac is starting to wonder himself. With no answers,Mac and Karin head out again to try and find some help. Mac thinks they've found help when they see some men later that day that appear to be working on the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. But before Mac calls out to them,Karin stops him. She says that the men are the ship's crew that were supposedly killed by Bigfoot. Mac then figures out what they're up to: They're not working on the pipeline,they've hacked into it,and are pumping oil into the ship. Mac then thinks up a plan: While the men are gone for a few minutes,he activates three of his markers,and tosses them into the pipeline (During this,he leaves Karin up on a hill,where he thinks she'll be safe).

    At the P.F. base,Pete Thorton notices on his monitor that three of Mac's markers have just gone off. He knows this is a call for help,and he immediately sends for a chopper to go help him.

    When Macgyver returns to the hill,Karin is gone. The men have captured her. As one of them is marching her back to the ship,Mac uses his fishing poll to slap the man in the face,and he then proceeds to knock him out. He and Karin are safe for a minute,until they suddenly have another problem. Old Bigfoot is back,and he's ready to attack. He throws Macgyver around for a couple of minutes until Mac is finally able to get up on his back. Bigfoot throws him off,but Mac grabs his "face". A mask then pulls off to reveal it's only a guy in a bigfoot suit. He tries to charge for Macgyver,but Mac is able to knock him out using a tree branch. The last of the 3 crew members from the ship tries to close in on Mac,but he never gets a chance. Pete has arrived with the chopper,and the pilot knocks him out with the landing gear. All's well that ends well.

    The epilogue features Mac back at the P.F. base,where he's about to go back out into the woods,to complete his original assignment. Karin leaves to go visit her father in Juno,and Pete shows Mac what the bad guys used to make the Bigfoot noises: a tape recorded wired to a PA system. But then,they hear another Bigfoot noise: But this one is coming from the woods,not from the tape recorder. And,it sounds more realistic. Could the legend of Sasquatch be true after all? One can only guess.

    Thanks for reading!