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Season 3 Episode 11

Kill Zone

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 04, 1988 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

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Episode Summary

When a satellite crashes from orbit and animals start dying from a strange organism attached to it, MacGyver must investigate.

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  • A must see for sci-fi lovers.

    Defenitely one of the darkest and most eerie episodes of the series. Macgyver is sent in to the wilderness to recover an organism which has mutated after falling back to earth. To his horror, Macgyver sees the organism has completely decimated any wildlife in the area. Working against time, as the whole area was ordered to be firestormed, Macgyver narrowly escapes and is able to make it out alive. The organism is brought back to an underground lab in the Phoenix West division where Pete and Mac encounter its creator, Dr. Milhouse. She is the very defention of a "mad scientist", who is able to see only the potential of her work while ignoring it's dangerous faults. The writers do a good job making it known this is here lifetime work, and we can she how it is possible for her to be so blinded by the facts.

    Soon the government orders the organism is to be destroyed, Milhouse reluctantly agrees, and all seems well. Or does it? The final 10 minutes are best not spoiled here but make it one of the better episodes in the season.moreless
  • Different kind of episode but works really well!

    This is not your typical MacGyver episode, it pose a big ethic and moral issue. The scientist works on a culture to speed up harvest and gives vegetation the strength to grow in arrid and dry land as well as frozen land. She hopes this will help people in Africa to solve their malnutrition problem. However the satellite where she put the culture on falls back on earth, it kills all the animal life in the surroundings. MacGyver picks up the rest of the satellite and they found out she put her culture in without nobody noticing. Even though her culture is unstable and had transformed she still wants to continue on her research. Pete decides she has to destroy it for the good of everyone. She doesn't do it and her dog spills the culture and both contract the disease (speed up life at an astonishing rate), a few minutes later she's found dead (as an old woman) so is her dog. It really shows how sometimes scientists go too far to find a solution or a cure, their goal is good but the way to do it isn't.moreless
  • Another olive branch to science fiction junkies, MacGyver scores again with a memorably offbeat installment.

    I've never seen Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain", so I'm not clear on how derivative this episode is in comparison to that book and film. Perhaps I were to see the film or read the book, it would result in me knocking this episode down a notch or two. But being ignorant to the content of Crichton's novel save for word-of-mouth, I choose to keep this episode on a pedestal. The opening scenes with a forest full of dead animals were eerie and mysterious, accentuated the pending napalm strike after MacGyver's tumble. The middle scenes were perhaps a little too slowly paced, but I was intrigued by the intelligent dialogue from Dr. Milhouse as she described her noble motivations for stretching the boundaries of scientific ethics with this organism. Her arrogance was her ultimate downfall, and I appreciated her epiphany moment in the heartbreaking scene where she bid adieu to her dog and came to accept her own pending demise via old age. The grand finale escape from the underground lab was on par with the intensity level of the whole episode, which goes down a classic episode even if it was largely lifted from a 20-year-old novel.

    Ratingswise, MacGyver's first post-football season outing in January 1988 posted a season-high 15.4 rating, setting the stage for a ratings boost in the second half of the third season, desperately needed with the disappointing numbers posted in the season's first half. Particularly helpful to MacGyver's cause was the meltdown of CBS's comedy lineup that would occur in early 1988. "Kate and Allie" dropped significantly from its top-15 heyday while lead-out "Frank's Place" never did catch on, allowing MacGyver a second-place berth in the timeslot for the later months of the season. NBC's "ALF" and "Valerie's Family" still owned the hour though, inexplicably scoring top-20 ratings.moreless
Judith Chapman

Judith Chapman

Dr. Sandra Millhouse

Guest Star

Jay Brazeau

Jay Brazeau


Guest Star

Pamela Martin

Pamela Martin

Nancy Bartlett

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Col. Phelps: When you pulled him out of bed in the middle of the night for this, I wondered if he really knew what he was getting in to.
      Pete: He knew the same things all of us knew. I didn't hold anything back from him.

    • Col. Phelps: Why him, Pete? Why MacGyver?
      Pete: Because he has the scientific knowledge and knows how to move fast through rough country. Aside from that he's the best person I know to deal with... whatever it is he's going to deal with out there. And he volunteered. Wouldn't have it any other way.

    • Col. Phelps: What's he doing?
      Pete: Well, he put the torch on it before to melt the casement material so it'd fill in the hole. Now freezing it locks it tight. Right?
      MacGyver: That's pretty good, Pete.

    • Pete: That's the problem. She doesn't stop. She won't give up.
      MacGyver: Yeah, well, she gave up this time.
      (They stop and look at each other.)
      Pete: What?
      MacGyver: She gave up way too easily.

    • MacGyver: One thing happened here: you saw what was possible. It might take a little longer, but the world's going to hear from you again.
      Dr. Millhouse: You can be sure of it.

    • MacGyver: The things you're trying to do… I think they're good things.
      Dr. Millhouse: Thank you. But I've decided to go into a different direction. I'm going to develop an organism that eats red tape.

    • Dr. Millhouse: One… giant step backwards for mankind. Now, why don't you two go back to where you came from and get the hell out of my lab.

    • Dr. Millhouse: If you'd watched a child starve to death, or seen old people living on dog food, you might understand what I'm trying to do here.
      MacGyver: An end to world hunger; that's it, huh? You know, you're not the only one who wants to see that happen.

    • Dr. Millhouse: Have you ever seen hunger, MacGyver?
      MacGyver: Yes, ma'am, I have. I've also seen what an out-of-control experiment can do.

    • MacGyver: Look, Doctor… no one is saying your work isn't valid; I'm a big fan of experimentation. But there comes a time when you have to acknowledge a right and a wrong way of doing things.

    • Dr. Millhouse: I suppose you think I'm a crackpot, too.
      MacGyver: No, I think you're a dedicated scientist - who's gone too far.

    • Col. Phelps: I just got the pathologists' report on those dead sheep.
      Pete: And?
      Dr. Millhouse: (reading) Arterial blockage, brain malfunction, rapid and sudden muscle deterioration… my god.
      Pete: Well, what does that mean?
      MacGyver: They died of old age.
      Col. Phelps: Washington wants to discuss its disposition.
      Dr. Millhouse: Oh, great. I guess this means we run scared and kill it before we have a chance to understand what it means.

    • Dr. Millhouse: This is so far away from the organism I sent up, we could be dealing with an entirely new form of life here.

    • MacGyver: I saw animals dropped dead on the spot. They didn't get sick, they didn't run off and hide - they just died. Hundreds of them.

    • Pete: MacGyver, this is Dr. Millhouse.
      Dr. Millhouse: Dragon Lady, as I'm sure you've been told.

    • Dr. Millhouse: All I sent up was a simple mixture of synthetic growth accelerators - nothing. And it came back something else. Something I've never seen before.
      MacGyver: Whatever it is, it's killing things.

    • Dr. Millhouse: It was essential to my work, Pete.
      Pete: But you had no clearance! But as usual, Dr. Millhouse knows best, right? The same stunt you pulled with that Dutch elm tree disease two years ago. Haven't you learned anything since then?
      Dr. Millhouse: Yes. I've learned that progress will not wait for a bunch of bureaucrats to get off their duffs to make a decision.

    • Col. Phelps: And Sandra Millhouse feels she can handle all the testing procedures by herself?
      Pete: Listen, that young lady thinks she can run the world. What are a few tests on a little superbug?

    • MacGyver: You can tell your Dr. Millhouse that bug she put in the satellite kills more than just sheep.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode title is "Gefahr aus dem Weltall, meaning "Danger from the Universe". The French episode title is "Ultime expérience", meaning "Ultimate Experience". The Italian episode title is "La morte caduta dal cielo", meaning "Death Falls from the Sky".