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MacGyver Season 1 Life Skills

Like I need an excuse to rewatch my Macgyver boxsets I thought this time around I'd document the examples life skills that are taught in each episode, because you'll never know when you'll need to escape from a coffin in a jetski!

Episode 1: Pilot

  • If a timer on a missile start to tick down and cutting the red wire doesn't stop it, an opened out paper clip can be used to short circuit the timer. 
  • If there are too many guards in the area tie a machine gun to the branch of a tree with a weighty branch held up over the trigger. A book of matches lit on that rope will act as a timer and when the rope is burnt, the weighty branch will drop on the trigger of the machine gun causing it to fire and distract the guards. 
  • Crushing the barrel of a flare gun will cause it to act as rocket thruster when fired. 
  • Exhaling the smoke from several lit cigarettes will allow you to see laser protection systems. 
  • A mirror from a smashed open pair of binoculars will allow you to redirect laser beams and destroy the protection system that relies on it. 
  • Steel girders that are impeding your progress can be moved out of the way by wrapping it with a knotted firehose and running the water through it. 
  • A torn up jacket tied around the mouth can act as an emergency gas mask. 
  • Bars of chocolate can be used to seal cracks in leaking chemical tanks. 
  • Scraping sodium and storing it in a cold capsule then dropping that into a sealed bottle will give you a bomb with a timer; burying it with sand will allow you to direct the blast. 
  • Use the master light panel to message in morse code back to people elsewhere in the building.

Episode 2: The Golden Triangle

  • A briefcase can be stolen using a magnet attached to a crane. 
  • To buy yourself some time when escaping from a car crusher, remove the back seat and roll into the boot 
  • A flare placed under a wheel will act as an explosive. 
  • Attaching the detonator to an inflating dinghy will act as a timer. 
  • A flare makes an impromptu rocket launcher. 
  • Force jeeps off the road by throwing snakes into them. 
  • A row of machine guns tied to a tree in the middle of the road can take out the tyres on a convoy when the tree is moved out of the way. 
  • A tree tied to ropes can be used to force jeeps off the road. 
  • A gas trap can be made from connecting a jeep exhaust to a hidden network of pipes. 
  • Bring down a helicopter by attaching a winch to one of its skids. 

Episode 3: Thief of Budapest

  • A crook makes a great jousting weapon. 
  • A horse can be airlifted by hooking the helicopter winch under the front of its saddle. 
  • Sandwich light bulbs between 2 planks to cause a truck to stop allowing you to sneak in the back. 
  • Salt, sugar, and petrol, mixed and drained through a cloth creates dynamite with a timer. 
  • Block pursuing enemies by fastening razor wire to a digger and driving it across their path. 
  • Coffee powder is inflammable if thrown in the air and exposed to a flame. 
  • Make a magnifying glass from a looped paper clip dipped in wine. 
  • Disrupt traffic light timers by wedging pieces of card into the timing mechanism. 
  • A radio connected to a police radio tied to balloons will block the police channel. 


Episode 4: The Gauntlet

  • Window latches can be lifted by squeezing a knife blade into the opening and sliding upwards. 
  • Slide a piece of paper under a locked door to catch the key when it's pushed out. 
  • A rolled up map makes a great blow gun. 
  • A metal bar wrapped up in the map makes a great sneaky weapon with which to hit someone. 
  • A rolled out map makes a fast way of sliding down a sand dune. 
  • If escaping by hot air balloon and it suffers a bullet hole, seal the hole by taping the map to it.. 
  • A plastic camera strap can be used to lift an electric fence out of the way. 
  • Plug a camera flash timer unit into plastique to build a bomb. 
  • Firecrackers taped to the inside of a church bell will fool enemies into thinking they're being shot at. 
  • Winching cars together will prevent them from being used to pursue you. 
  • Repositioning a rear view mirror and a compact mirror into a periscope will allow you to drive a bus from the floor of the vehicle. 
  • A jeep with a failing engine can be used to create a smoke screen. 
  • Sneak downhill to the border by rolling steel drums full of explosive materials first before making your own way down in a wooden barrel. 


Episode 5: The Heist

  • Thread from a tuxedo tied to a paper clip hooked to a woman's dress makes it undo if you step on it as she walks off. 
  • A shoe buffer can be used to shave the corners off dice allowing you to win at craps. Secrete the original dice in your drink. 
  • Hoover cord can secure a fire exit door. 
  • Pressurised cannisters if broken can be use to propel a wheeled bar at pursuing bad guys. 
  • A magnet from a rotary phone placed in a shoe can be used to mess with a roulette wheel. 
  • A bent ring can be used to mark a playing card. 
  • An alarm clock with wire tired to the hands hooked to a fusebox can disable slot machines at 2.10 when the hands meet. 
  • A mirror from a compact taped to a bent coat hanger and hung over a security camera can give the impression of interference to those watching it. Tying it all to string can allow it to be quickly removed. 
  • See invisible laser security beams by sprinkling cigar ash over the area. 
  • Redirect the laser beams by running it through a length of fibre clear rubber piping. 
  • To discover how to open a vault door, release the pet bird from its cage to set the alarms off, this'll bring the owner up who will show you how to get in. 
  • A tone-operated lock can be reopened by filling glasses to different heights and rubbing them with your finger. 
  • The tone can be checked with a pet mynah bird that is familiar with the sound. 
  • Recovered diamonds can be removed from a room by pouring them down the rain pipes, an additional piece of guttering can divert them into the boot of a getaway car. 
  • Attach parachutes to a car to escape from an aircraft. 


Episode 6: Trumbo's World

  • Bamboo wedged under a door can be used to lift it off its hinges. 
  • A shower pipe placed over a furnace will cause the shower to run hot and create a distraction. 
  • Climbing rope soaked in paraffin when set alight will prevent bad guys using the same rope to chase after you. 
  • Wire strung across a river will cause pursuing dinghies to burst.
  • Gripping coins in a crocodile clip connected to a car battery creates a spark welder. 
  • A woman can be freed from under a boat by tying rope around it an overhead support and using a pole to twist the rope and lift the boat up. 
  • Fertiliser plus cellulite from plant bark, stirred with acid creates nitro manite. 
  • Boiling latex and pouring over it over some cloth and letting it set will allow you tailor ant-resistant armour. 


Episode 7: Last Stand

  • Magnesium from a racing bike, filed down, and added to rusted iron stored within a pipe, makes an acetylene torch when ignited with a flare. 
  • Fertiliser added to a rag wrapped in lighter fluid and wrapped in newspaper makes a bomb. A water cannon can be used to remove pursuing motorcycle riders from their bike. 
  • Melting ice from a lightbulb left to freeze will cause the lock from a freezer to expand and open. 
  • A bomb attached to a radio controlled plane will make a distraction. 


Episode 8: Hellfire

  • A foil gum wrapper can be used to circumvent a blow fuse temporarily. 
  • Filling a trailer with sand and making a platform from suspension springs will allow you to transport volatile dynamite easily. 
  • Stretching a spring from a ballpoint pen can be used as a replacement for a Lincoln spring in a van engine. 
  • A refrigerator can be used as a heat shield. 
  • Pipes can be laid as railtracks for a car with it's tyres missing. 


Episode 9: The Prodigal

  • A paper clip can be used to hotwire the ignition on a car. 
  • Create a smoke screen effect to confuse bad guys by passing sawdust through a hoover and sliding blocks of wood onto a circular saw to catapult them. 
  • Remove bolts from a tyre to prevent cars pursuing you. 
  • Fizzy drink and space dust pored on dry ice creates a fake smoke effect. Add that to a ventilation system will trigger people to set off the fire alarm. 
  • Cause a car to stall by draining the water out of it. Then pulling up alongside in a pickup truck will allow you to hijack the car covertly. 
  • A wooden baton tied to string can be used to trip bad guys up as they descend a staircase 
  • Cleaning fluid and mothballs stuffed in a sock and dropped down a telescope cylinder creates a rocket launcher. Some cable and a metal spike fired from it will create a harpoon.
  •  Pulleys can then be attached to create a zipline. 


Episode 10: Target MacGyver

  • A bag of ice in a metal tray, with a stack of pans on top can act as a distraction if the ice is melted. 
  • Cooking oil spread across the floor will cause pursuing bad guys to slip. 
  • A hosepipe can be used to trip pursuing enemies. 
  • A sun-lounger can be used to pin 2 fallen bad guys to the ground. 
  • Tell if someone has been in your house by dusting your doormat and shining a UV light on it. Reeds stuck into a piece of bark will fool bad guys that you're trying to snorkel away. 
  • Plants from the Uteka family is highly toxic and makes good poison for a dart gun, which can be made from a reed. 
  • A sharp rock can be used as an axe to chop branches off a tree, which can then be dropped onto a jeep as it passes underneath. 
  • A jacket full of twigs makes a decoy human, which can be thrown at a jeep to distract it. 
  • Pine pitch collected in a tin can makes an impromptu land mine. 
  • Pine cones covered in pine pitch and ignited makes an explosive grenade. 
  • Grain dust can be made into a bomb by making it into spontaneous combust. 
  • Saw through a porch support so that it can be made to collapse on the bad guys. 
  • Pine nuts dropped into flame in a steel drum sound like gun shots. 


Episode 11: Nightmares

  • A folded gum wrapper attached to a fishing hook makes a great lure. 
  • Bedsprings removed from the frame, strung together then reattached to the bed and a door and pulled back can create a giant slingshot. 
  • A beltstrap fastened to a sink outlet and redirected into a power socket, can create a short circuit which will alert bad guys. 
  • A car battery and old TV screen tied together with jump cables but not touching, set up near a door will be made to touch when the door opens causing the screen to explode; a transistor radio can be used to bring the bad guys towards it. 
  • A fire-hose wound out and thrown out of window gives bad guys a false impression that you've escaped. 
  • A deflating tyre can get a bad guys attention. 
  • Kicking the door open from the inside into them will knock them out. 
  • Water bottles tied with rope can be lifted into the ceiling and dropped onto warehouse stock and onto bad guys. 
  • The bad guys attention can be got by setting off a smoke alarm. 
  • Striking a metal pole against a fire hydrant will cause it to become magnetic allowing you to retrieve a metal capsule from a drain. 


Episode 12: Deathlock

  • Escape from East Germany by pretending to be dead and carried over a bridge in a coffin which also contains a jet-ski. 
  • Check your exit isn't being covered by a sentry gun by pushing a suit of armour into its path. 
  • Turning on all the electric devices at once including attaching a metal bowl to a blender, can block radio waves and hidden cameras. 
  • A motor from a food mixer fastened to a food cart with an armour headpiece on the top makes a decoy to attract the sentry guns positions. 
  • Mixing cleaning chemicals into a metal dish will create a smoke screen. 
  • Use random debris to for a bad guy to walk a chosen path and use some to block his path to alert you. 
  • A mirror can be used as a periscope to see around corners. 
  • Attach wiring to an fuse board and make a water tank into a water cannon to blast the bad guy onto the circuitry causing him to be electrocuted. 


Episode 13: Flame's End

  • Escape from a reactor drainage room by speeding up the door release mechanism by putting an electrical blast into the quartz. 
  • Removing a barrel from a revolver turns into into a useful tool top open valves. 


Episode 14: Countdown

  • Untangle a net to create a rappelling line. 
  • Cut the end off a neon tube and seal it, this can be used to remove phosphorous from a vacuum bomb. 
  • Add milk to a bakery pipette and top with oven cleaner. 
  • This can be used to neutralise acid based bombs. 


Episode 15: The Enemy Within

  • If your car gets shot and the pipe containing the brake fluid is leaking, redirect the fluid from the steering into it. 
  • If an assassin is in the area who wears glasses, they can be shattered by firing an ultrasound laser at them. 
  • A couple of props from a science fair, a mirrored disk and a spiral design ashtray can be turned into a hypnosis machine. 
  • A microphone cable, sheet of rubber and two metal candlesticks can be used to resuscitate a heart attack victim. 


Episode 16: Every Time She Smiles

  • A metal coast stand can be used as a battering ram. 
  • Bending a coathanger into a figure 8 shape and fastening it to a bench on one side and a moving carousel on the other will break through the cell in which you're in next door. 
  • A bent earring can be turned into a lockpick to escape from handcuffs. 
  • Dizzy bad guys by having them pursue yo onto a carousel and then turning it up and then tipping a box of brass rings into the mechanism to cause it to suddenly stop throwing the bad guys forward. 
  • A deep cooking pot, some rat poison, some soap flakes and tile cleaner creates a chemical explosion. 
  • Lard covered with newspaper sprinkled with oven cleaner creates a chemical timer if put under a flow of gas. 
  •  Mixing diesel into water and spraying that behind you will cause pursuing cars to skid. 


Episode 17: To Be A Man

  • Scaffolding, plastic sheeting and gaffer tape can be put together to create a hang-glider. 
  • Striking the end of a Butane canister will turn it into a rocket that can be fired at bad guys. 
  • Fix a water pump by attaching a piece of rubber twisted into a cone into the mechanism. 
  • A fire extinguisher sprayed into a rock crack with another rock wedged in it will split the rock and cause it to block a road 


Episode 18: Ugly Duckling

  • High frequency sounds played at volume can disorientate bad guys. 
  • Attach jump cables and a battery to cell bars to warm them up then freeze them with aerosol sprays to break them 
  • Electrolytes from a cactus can charge up a battery. 
  • Bending metal into hoops and attaching to radios will all you to listen in on bad guys through telemetry. 
  • A parabolic mirror can be used to reflect the sun through a binocular to create a light cannon that can be used to fire a shotgun remotely. 


Episode 19: Slow Death

  • A napkin folded around a rolled up sock, then drawn on becomes a doll for a bored child. 
  • A soda syphon sprayed onto a dish of salt will bounce it into the bad guys eyes allowing you to knock him out. 
  • Local moonshine can be set alight to prevent bad guys pursuing. 
  • Passing an electric current through a starter lever will prevent hijackers from starting your train. 
  • A bottle spout can be pinched to create a whistle that horses can hear. A sphygmomanometer, armband for taking blood pressure and an electrical buzzer can be put together to make a lie detector. 


Episode 20: The Escape

  • Paper mache wrapped around a football and a little wire holding some lit paper can be used to create a hot air balloon. 
  • Soak clothes in liquid PCP and you have a walking bomb A bucket filled with liquid PCP wired to an electrical connection will create a bomb. 
  • A melting ice block holding one end of the wire up can act as a timer. 
  • A cassette recorder tied to a ceiling fan striking a spatula can be played over a PA to trick bad guys into believing a helicopter is coming to attack.
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