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.
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