Season 1 Episode 8


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 27, 1985 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
92 votes
  • Wages of Fear (1953)

    I'm guessing the writer attended a movie festival and saw the Wages of Fear (a movie about the tense fear of 2 men transporting explosives in a truck across a long and bumpy road) and decided to write that into an episode.

    The only thing that saves this is that since it's so old I know that the fire and the rest of the stunts were probably real and not CGI.

    Otherwise, the terrible acting from all the supporting characters made this the most painful episode yet.
  • Lame, lame

    As much as I like MacGyver, this episode was bad, bad, bad. Poor acting, directing, and editing, not to mention the script and technical failures.
  • Lightbulb....

    Theres no way that the would string lights like that near a real oil rig...

    So dumb.... besides that it was
  • Mac visits some old friends who are drilling for oil, but an out of control well fire puts the whole place in danger. Mac must use all of his resources to save the day. A decent enough plot, but this one didn't pull me in as much as some episodes...

    'Hellfire' is actually a pretty good first season episode of 'MacGyver', and I quite like the plot. But for some reason (maybe I just wasn't in the mood when I came to watch it on DVD), it just didn't pull me in as much as some of the other episodes do.

    I can't put my finger on it exactly. Nana Visitor is every bit as annoying as she would often go on to be in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine', and the rest of the guest cast (well, all two of them) don't exactly give career-defining performances either.

    There are some great plot moments, securing boxes of dynamite from rickety old hut at an abandoned strip mine et al; and plot-wise at least, there is nothing really wrong with the episode.

    ...But parts of it – such as Mac and Bill's embarrassing fight near the climax over who will perform the daredevil attempt to stop the out of control fire – are pretty hard to watch and take seriously. I dunno, was it down to the director not having his finger on the pulse with this one? Something just felt to be slightly off.
    Part of the blame (if that's not too harsh) certainly has to go to the guest cast, as to be honest I couldn't really care what happened to them; and I just didn't find Mac and Bill's "pals from the old days who have seen many adventures" routine that believable.

    This isn't really a bad episode at all, but I just feel that it could have been a classic. But for its good points, including some suspenseful moments, I'll give it a slightly generous 8 out of 10.
  • Well made.

    There are plenty of possibilities for Macgyver to deal with, the writers can always come up with good stories. Each episode is always fun to watch. I really enjoyed watching this episode. This time, the enemy are TNT dynamites. It's a nasty thing that explode, but to an expert like macgyver, he uses it as a tool to solve a complicated problem. He always come up with something, he does it again in this episode. This is one cool episode, at the end you'll be satisfied, it's really entertaining, fun to watch, it's a perfect show for a family to see.
  • Great pyrotechnics and an original storyline help this episode overcome its flaws.

    Struggling ABC tested out MacGyver on Wednesday night (which would be its new night two months later) in late November 1985 with this episode. Despite earning my dubious honor of worst-acted MacGyver episode of all-time (Bill was over-the-top....and MacGyver acted out of character in an effort to keep up with him), the original premise, awesome pyrotechnics, and white-knuckle suspense saved this episode and help make for a very enjoyable hour. Granted, the premise of an abandoned strip mine leaving shelves full of dynamite after its closure is hokey even by MacGyver standards, but the outstanding execution of the suspenseful dynamite retrieval scenes should help just about anybody suspend their disbelief. It's too bad the writers and producers had fleshed out the character a little better in the early first season because a little more polish could have elevated this episode to one of the series' all-time best. As it stands, it was still an excellent hour and pivotal in that it helped MacGyver move to Wednesday nights, the timeslot that would save the series from being a one-season wonder.
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