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MacGyver: Season Five - More of the Same
Written: Mar 31, 2012 (Updated Jun 7, 2012)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:you know what to expect
Cons:no remastering of the print, no DVD extras
The Bottom Line: If you like the series this far, you'll probably like this season. No reason to purchase DVDs since there is nothing beyond just the episodes themselves to see.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
There were several problems facing MacGyver in the fifth season (1989-1990). The first was that the Berlin Wall had come down and relations between the United States and the former Soviet Union were on their way to “normalizing.” With that area of the world in a huge upheaval with former Soviet states declaring their independence, it wasn’t an area to set too many stories as everything could have changed by the time the story aired. The second problem was tiredness of the plot.
The first problem, the series writers didn’t seem to have too many problems with. There were but scant few stories that they needed to set in that area of the world. With MacGyver’s propensity for helping others wherever he could find them, he found enough people in need wherever he went. The second problem, though, was hit or miss throughout the season. I suppose watching the episodes the way they were aired, one week at a time, rather than a marathon on the discs helps keep the theme fresh. Watching it straight through on DVD even only four at a time starts to wear thin.
Richard Dean Anderson is back as the title character. He’s still working for the Phoenix Foundation, a think tank of sorts who seems to get hired on for all sorts of different jobs the government can’t or won’t touch for one reason or another. Not all of his stories involve the work he does for the Phoenix Foundation. MacGyver seems to have a knack for landing in trouble, or having past friends who turn to him when they need help. Dana Elcar is also back as MacGyver’s boss, Pete Thornton. Making appearances this season are series regulars Jack Dalton (portrayed by Bruce McGill), Murdoc (portrayed by Michael des Barres) and Penny Parker (portrayed by Teri Hatcher).
The season starts with a two-part episode in which MacGyver is shanghaied on his houseboat to help an old friend go after an artifact she believes to be the Holy Grail. In Thailand, he must stop a gang that’s stealing supplies for a hospital there as well as reunite an old friend with the son he never knew he had. An old friend believes her twin sister is trying to kill her, and draws MacGyver into the middle of their dispute.
Politically, MacGyver handles an attempted assassination attempt where he is mistaken for the shooter. The “child” he sponsored in China arrives on his doorstep complete with information surrounding the Tianamen Square massacre that someone doesn’t want getting out. A Nazi art treasure takes MacGyver into the world of concentration camp survivors who are trying to get justice.
Murdoc comes back and wants MacGyver’s help with helping his sister escape from the people who are holding her; the same people he used to work for in the assassination cartel. Murdoc also makes an appearance in an episode that’s a dream sequence in the old west where many of MacGyver’s friends are prominent characters in the town.
Finally, MacGyver gets to say goodbye to his Grandfather as well as his parents ina rather poignant but far-reaching episode.
There were the highlights of the season. The rest seemed to be a lot of the same where MacGyver finds himself immersed in a problem that he must work his way out of. MacGyver is something of the antithesis to the A-Team. I can’t say he was non-violent; it’s more to the point that he wouldn’t carry a gun and must come up with other ways to foil those bad guys. Otherwise, the themes are quite the same. Someone needs help and MacGyver is more than willing to throw himself into the mix. It’s interesting to see what he comes up with, usually with just the things that are around him. Sometimes it’s a bit too convenient that he finds these things, but most of the time it’s just a lot of fun.
The DVD release is pretty lacking. Not only are there no special features on the discs, but the print isn’t all that great. I don’t believe anything was done to clean up the print before it was slapped on DVD. I’ve seen Doctor Who episodes that are much older than this season that look way better because there was some remastering done and the print was cleaned up.
Fans of MacGyver will likely be happy with the fifth season, no matter what. As someone who didn’t watch the series the first time around, I found it to be a bit tedious and tired. I would have thought some commentary and featurettes might have livened up the DVD a bit and there definitely should be some remastering. This is what we have, though. I see no reason to purchase the discs over viewing them online through whatever outlet you might have since there are no extras. If you’ve enjoyed the series this far, I am sure you’ll be happy with this season. There’s just little reason to actually invest in the DVDs.
The Legend of the Holy Rose (Part 1)
The Legend of the Holy Rose (Part 2)
The Black Corsage
Children of Light
The Ten Percent Solution
Two Times Trouble
Live and Learn
The Treasure of Manco
The Lost Amadeus
Hearts of Steel
Rush to Judgement
My MacGyver reviews:
Season One ~ Season Two ~ Season Three ~ Season Four ~ Season Five
© 2012 Patti Aliventi
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