Season 5 Episode 15

The Treasure of Manco

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 12, 1990 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
56 votes
  • A fiendishly clever and well-produced treasure hunt episode set in the Peruvian Andes suffers a bit from slow pacing.

    MacGyver's adventure episodes suffered from occasional slow pacing, and this episode was perhaps the pinnacle of its pacing issues. That's a minor beef though, as "The Treasure of Manco" featured a solid and original story line and masterful production execution. Subtitles are common in television today, but they seemed downright snazzy in 1990 when this episode was made. The context in which they were introduced, in a brief flashback opening this episode that was set in the Peruvian Andes in 1540, made for a dazzling atmosphere to this episode. And producers deftly maintained that atmosphere throughout the hour, with footage of peasants walking llamas near the roadside and condors flying above the mountains. The conflicting methods (but ultimately overlapping causes) of Enrique and Maria established a solid level of conflict in this episode, even though it was preposterous to try to incorporate MacGyver as being a friend to both of them in college. The ultimate revelation that the treasure of Manco was a silo full of seeds was refreshing and clever, although logistically implausible as those seeds would have rotted centuries ago. Nonetheless, a nicely done adventure episode that would have been a classic if writer Chris Haddock and director Michael Preece could have found some way to kick the pacing up a notch or two.
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