Judge David Johnson has no clue how Murdoc survived that fall.
Our reviews of Fan Favorites: The Best of MacGyver (published March 4th, 2012), MacGyver: The Complete First Season (published February 23rd, 2005), MacGyver: The Complete Second Season (published July 6th, 2005), MacGyver: The Complete Fourth Season (published December 6th, 2005), MacGyver: The Complete Fifth Season (published March 14th, 2006), MacGyver: The Complete Sixth Season (published June 28th, 2006), MacGyver: The Complete Final Season (published November 24th, 2006), and MacGyver: The TV Movies (published June 18th, 2010) are also available.
Saving the day is all in a day's work.
Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG-1), the most famous Boy Scout in television history, is back to thwart terrorist plots, mutated intergalactic organisms, trained killers, psycho rednecks, smarmy physics students, and Bigfoot.
Facts of the Case
MacGyver works for the Phoenix Foundation, a ubiquitous organization that the federal government apparently contracts to do everything. MacGyver's best friend Pete Thornton (Dana Elcar) runs the Foundation and is constantly sending MacGyver to tackle the missions nobody else can.
Each of the 20 episodes of Season Three finds MacGyver, along with a handful of regular guest stars, defusing everything from hockey grudge matches to nuclear threats. With his Swiss army knife in hand and a bottle of Clorox within reach, MacGyver boldly and confidently goes forth to do battle. And he has only one thing to say: Screw you, Mr. Wizard.
The 20 episodes are spread among six discs, arranged in the order that they originally aired in 1987. (Episodes will be rated with the "MacGyver-Household-Items-Turned-Into-Crazy-Inventions System"—the cooler the invention, the better the episode; for this review, we will be using a hammer, some sewing needles, nine red thumbtacks, a bottle of seltzer water, an old Kit Kat wrapper, a faded poster of Bananarama, and a deflated volleyball.)
• "Lost Love (Part 2)"
• "Back From the Dead"
• "Ghost Ship"
• "Jack in the Box"
• "The Widowmaker"
• "Blow Out"
• "Kill Zone"
• "Early Retirement"
• "The Odd Triple"
• "The Negotiator"
• "The Spoilers"
• "Rock the Cradle"
• "The Endangered"
• "Murderer's Sky"
So there you have it, all 20 episodes from MacGyver's third go-round. Overall, I enjoyed this season more than the previous one. The set certainly has its share of cheeseball shows, but the good ones are really good.
Richard Dean Anderson is as likable as always. Seriously, MacGyver is a flawless human (no wonder my wife was obsessed with him), mullet and all. What is so engaging about his character is Anderson's complete lack of pretension in his role. When MacGyver gets into fistfights, he throws wild punches that spin him out of control, after which he quickly nurses his hand. He's not Jet Li, but then again, can Jet Li fashion a rock façade out of paper, opium, and duct tape? Probably not.
Dana Elcar's Pete Thornton is just as easygoing, though as far as I can tell, his main schtick is to forcefully state the obvious: "THAT MEANS HE'S STILL LOOSE!" or "MACGYVER, THAT'S A BOMB!" or "I ENJOY A CHEF'S SALAD FROM TIME TO TIME!" As you can probably piece together from my episode capsules, I'm no fan of Jack Dalton. Bruce McGill is a great character actor, but his Dalton sucks. He's over-the-top stupid, and while it's clear that the writers wanted to fashion a foil for MacGyver, I don't think McGill was the right choice. For that reason, there are too many Dalton-centric episodes on this set for my taste.
In my review of Season Two I noted that MacGyver as a series hadn't aged well. This season, however, has softened me up, and the best compliment I can afford it is this: Seeing these episodes again was not like urinating on my childhood. Still, for fans only. Or parents looking for an utterly harmless adventure series for their little ones.
As is the norm for these sets, we get a bare-bones release from Paramount. Episodes are offered in their original fullscreen aspect ratio, and the video quality is adequate. Detailing is rather fuzzy, but that's to be expected for a nearly 20-year-old series. A potent enough Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix provides the sound, with little fanfare. Not an extra to be found, however, and that makes MacGyver grumpy.
A better experience than the disappointing, disillusioning second season, MacGyver: The Complete Third Season still sports a houseboat-ful of cheesy moments, but there is enough old-school fun here, bolstered by the hard-to-dislike Richard Dean Anderson, to keep the set roaming the street.
The accused is handed back to the Phoenix Foundation.
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