- 7 Seasons
The television series MacGyver centers around secret agent Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. Mild-mannered and highly moralistic, MacGyver refuses to carry a weapon. He instead prefers a non-violent approach whenever possible, relying on a vast amount of knowledge from his educational background in science as well as his previous training as a bomb technician. Along with his trusty Swiss Army knife and duct tape, MacGyver utilizes whatever commonplace items at hand for makeshift repairs and to fabricate other useful devices to complete his missions. In the first season of the series, MacGyver works as a field agent and troubleshooter for the fictional government agency called the DXS (Department of External Services) where he was recruited by Pete Thornton, played by Dana Elcar. In the second season, the two begin working for the Phoenix Foundation, a non-profit organization often contracted by government agencies, where Pete is Director of Field Operations. The Phoenix Foundation often collaborates with intelligence agencies and is sub-contracted by police departments because of their expertise in computer technology, applied biosciences, and other innovative technologies. Many episodes of the show address social issues. The Foundation advocates responsible genetic engineering and often goes after corrupt companies involved in potentially harmful research and development. Aside from corrupt research and technology companies, MacGyver and the Phoenix Foundation have several enemies. MacGyver is sometimes sent to other countries to rescue Americans held hostage by drug cartels and even rogue dictators. However, MacGyver's arch nemesis who continually appears throughout the series, is Murdoch, played by Michael Des Barres. Murdoch is a master assassin who belongs to the fraternal assassination order known as Homicide International Trust, or HIT. A creative master of disguise, Murdoch makes multiple attempts to assassinate MacGyver throughout the television series, only to fail at every attempt. The ability of MacGyver's character to assemble multiple devices from every day items has led to the use of the term "MacGyver" to refer to someone's ability to create makeshift devices or repairs.