The hair. While '80s and '90s fashion might be in right now, all you have to do is take a look around the trendiest cafes and bars to know the mullet is not. New MacGyver knows it too. Thank god.
He was always the kind of hero who used brains instead of bullets, and this hasn’t changed. You won’t find guns in his holster, just his trusty paperclips.
New MacGyver is better at fisticuffs. Old MacGyver tried, but often resorted to throwing sand in an opponent’s eyes, or tripping them over with nearby furniture. Which brings us to our next point…
Improvise! No MacGyver is a MacGyver if he doesn’t take seemingly useless stuff and use it to get himself out of at least five or six challenging situations per episode. From jamming the radio communications of a security firm with a handmade electromagnet, to setting off a fire alarm using tin foil – when it comes to improvisation, new MacGyver delivers.
No MacGyver can improvise if he doesn’t know his science. Thankfully new Mac has ‘12 first place science fair trophies, two years at MIT, and three years diffusing bombs for the military’ so, you know, he knows his chemistry, engineering, and the kinds of things you can do with soot, plaster dust, muriatic acid.
Spies work for agencies and new MacGyver continues to work for The Department of External Services, and the Phoenix Foundation. He also still works for a Thornton, only an attractive woman named Patricia, instead of a bald middle-aged guy named Pete.
But where old MacGyver was a loner, new MacGyver works as part of an ensemble. Joining him on his missions are former CIA agent Jack Dalton (George Eads, CSI) and Riley Davis (Tristin Mays, Alias), a computer hacker.
He also faces personal challenges. Old MacGyver just saved the world with stuff he found in garbage bins; he never tried to save a relationship, or his own soul.
The technology has changed, and MacGyver with it. While old MacGyver once re-wired a car phone the size of a house brick, new MacGyver wears reading glasses that are actually a high-tech computer and knows his way around an Android.
Last but not least – all MacGyvers need a Swiss Army Knife.