In Review: MacGyver – The Rising

"Mac" MacGyver and Jack Dalton, special agents for the Department of External Services (DXS)

Synopsis: In ‘The Rising’ Angus “Mac” MacGyver and Jack Dalton, special agents for the Department of External Services (DXS), join forces to recover a missing bioweapon that has the ability to destroy hundreds of thousands of people with one single drop.

Review: The new MacGyver reboot gets off to a fairly promising start with this fast paced espionage story in which Mac and his team have to go after a bio weapon, which is manufactured from a 30.000 year old virus.

The opening segment sees Mac, Jack Dalton and Thornton at a party in which Mac has to steal the virus from a safe. Which seems easy enough given that Mac uses his hacking skills in order to trick the safe, which has a palm sensor into opening using one of a few Macgyverisms, which we see throughout this opening story.

What they don’t count on is the fact that their analyst Nikki (Tracy Spiridakos) is also Mac’s girlfriend has broke bad and set up on her own with help from hired muscle John Kendrick (Vinnie Jones).

‘The Rising’ is a fairly promising beginning to this rebooted series, which of course features a younger MacGyver than the one we got to know in the late 80s and early 90s.  Tracy Spiridakos is pretty good as the villain of the piece and the twist reveal of her role in the scheme is executed pretty well.

George Eads might take a bit of getting used to as Jack Dalton, but thus far he is managing to conjure up some of the goofy things, which were so likeable about the original version of the character, which was played by the fantastic Bruce McGill.

Lucas Till in the titular role does a fairly good job of walking that line between making the character your own, but also respecting the work that Richard Dean Anderson did with the original. In other words. It is fairly obvious that Till has done some home work because his portrayal is fairly respectful of the characters origins, but also updated for a newer audience. I love that this new take has taken the third person breaking of the 4th wall from the classic show. In which MacGyver Narrates a little about what he is doing when hacking bombs or Palm Scanners. The modern addition of pop up words letting us know ingredients worked well as well.

The addition of computer hacker Riley Davies (Tristin Mays) to the team looks like it could be an interesting one in the weeks to come. Especially given that the chemistry between her Eads and Till was slowly unwinding into something that was quite liable.

Finally MacGyver’s Boss Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) will likely take some time to grow on the die hard classic series fans who loved Dana Elcar as her predecessor Pete Thornton, but I suspect most people will accept her given a bit of time.

This first episode concludes with Nikki escaping custody, which makes me wonder if she is going to be the new Murdock, who was a regular villain in the classic show. If so she’ll need to lift her game a hell of a lot.

We also see the disbanding of DSX and the formation of The Phoenix Foundation as the team enjoy a victory meal.

To sum up. As reboots go. This isn’t to bad. But I suspect it could go either way with regards to whether or not it survives beyond a single season. It has the fun of the classic series and the chemistry between the actors is relatively good, but the question is. In this age of edgier television. Can this show survive or will it just feel like to much of a 90s throwback for most viewers.

As a hardcore fan of the classic MacGyver series. I didn’t hate this new version. Which is a promising start. Hopefully ‘The Rising’ delivers us a strong start for this modern take on an iconic hero.


MacGyver - The Rising
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
2 Comments on this post.
  • Michael Copeland (@Michael55931449)
    26 September 2016 at 12:23 am -

    The new show has possibilities but this first episode needed a little help i give it a 8 out of 10 will continue to watch

    • Ian Cullen
      26 September 2016 at 11:04 am -

      I’m with you on this. The show was pretty good for a remake, but like a lot of people. I prefer the original. But it will not take away from any enjoyment that I have of this new take.

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