Richard Dean Anderson
One of the fondest memories of my early teens was getting together with my friends at school in the morning and trying to duplicate whatever crazy stuff MacGyver had done the night before using little more than duct tape and paper clips. Naturally, we were never able to actually do it since the schoolyard was noticeably lacking in sulfur or dry ice but the hours spent discussing whether or not it was actually possible to stop a devastating acid leak with a chocolate bar at least had the effect of stimulating our minds to some form of scientific thought. Years later, having now either wasted or lost all that scientific thought on a series of Homer Simpson-esque get-rich-quick schemes, the opportunity to join Mac on his adventures once more came calling and the call was too strong to resist.
Watching MacGyver again confirmed a thought I had been running through my head since the first time I saw him defeat an entire army using nothing more than string, a bamboo tube and some mystery powder. That thought is simple: Angus MacGyver is the greatest man in modern history. "Why so?" you may ask... The answer is simple: despite the relatively dodgy production values, despite the lack of a funny sidekick or a hot chiquita and despite the fact that Richard Dean Anderson is a skinny dude with bad hair and not a muscular Hawaiian P.I. with a Ferrari and a mustache, there isn't one episode of MacGyver that I watched after all these years that didn't ring a bell! The show was just remarkable in the way it was able to engrave little bits of each eppy in your mind for years and years. It felt like I'd watched them the day before!
The first season featured no one but Anderson as Dana Elcar only joined the regular cast the year after as Pete (although Elcar does appear as another character in the original pilot episode). A better choice than Anderson could never have been made as his boyish grin and sense of humor added a bit of levity to the series while he kept quite believable the fact that he could know all these weird things. While a couple of the episodes went a bit too far in what Mac was able to accomplish using what amounts to residue, most were quite well balanced. If you remember MacGyver as fondly as I do, this is a must-have. If you don't, there's no need to worry: the clothes may be a little passť but as a whole, the show aged tremendously well with some of the problems faced by Mac still current in some way or another. A very satisfying - and terribly addictive - watch.