'MacGyver' On CBS Vs. The Original TV Show: The Reboot Is Staying True To Its Roots

For decades, the name "MacGyver" called to mind a 1985 TV series about a mullet-having dude that managed to use just a few household objects to disarm bombs, escape kidnapping, and get out of any situation, no matter how unlikely. Now, MacGyver is being rebooted and reset in 2016, where most of the titular character's '80s problems could be solved by using a cellphone and a Swiss Army Knife. So how similar will MacGyver be to the original TV series? Fortunately, the creative team behind CBS' remake is aware that the show requires a new approach in the irony-laden twenty-first century, though they've stuck with some key elements that make the idea unique. 

Even before the series' premiere, it was clear that this version of MacGyver was going to be different. Since 1985, the police procedural took over television, and now the genre has a bunch of established tropes and traditions that will infiltrate any procedural show. And, of course, the idea of "MacGyver-ing" your way out of a situation was thoroughly spoofed, parodied, and mocked in the intervening years, most memorably in the Saturday Night Live sketches and movie MacGruber, starring Will Forte as a pathetically unlucky take on the handy everyman. But, while MacGruber made the idea of turning three bobby pins and a gum wrapper into a radio hilarious, this new series will attempt to make it cool again. Here's the biggest ways the series will change and tribute the original. 

They Wanted The Original McGyver To Be Involved

According to an interview with Slashfilm, the creators of MacGyver 2016 wanted to honor the original series, so original MacGyver Harry Dean Anderson was written a role in the reboot. Ultimately, though, Anderson declined to be apart of the series, according to The Mirror.

No More Mullet

All you have to do is look at he new MacGyver to know that it's 2016. Not so much because his hair is great, but it's embarrassing in a totally modern way. In 30 years, you'll be able to look back on this version of MacGyver and remember exactly what was embarrassing about the 2010s. 

They're Aware Of The Jokes

While the series isn't comedic, according to the Slashfilm interview, the cast and crew are fans of and aware of MacGruber and how silly the character has become over the years, and it was even mentioned frequently on the set. "We try to keep it light and acknowledge that right away," star George Eads said, "Because, when I first read the pilot, the first 10 pages, seriously, I was kind of laughing because I was imagining it being MacGruber really, not MacGyver, but I like to laugh."

MacGyver Still Isn't Into Guns

As Deadline reported, the character would do just about anything in the original series, but like Batman, he was against the use of guns. It seems like  — give or take a rocket launcher — that the new MacGyver is the same way, though executive producer Peter Lenkov told Deadline, "if he needs a gun, he'll build one."

They Gave Him A Team

Now that reliable telecommunication exists, there can be a whole team on the phone with MacGyver while he's trapped with nothing but a paperclip to get him out of a jam or sneak through a locked door. 

He's Got A First Name Now

The original MacGyver series kept the titular hero's name a secret until the very end, while it's a little harder to keep a single moniker in the Information Age, the new version of the character embraces his first name: Angus. And as Lucas Till told Deadline, "They say it all the time on the show." But he acknowledged, "Angus is a pretty crappy name."

The new MacGyver will combine some of the old with plenty of new. Some things couldn't help but be updated, like the fashion, but others were kept the same as a tribute to the original. 

Image: Annette Brown/CBS (5); Giphy (2)

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