Eighties television was way too important to me. I admit this shamelessly and without an iota of regret. And Angus MacGyver was a huge contributor to my addiction. MacGyver, the series, ran from 1985 to 1992, and made special ops, dated haircuts, and science seem cool.
The Next MacGyver Crowdsourcing Competition
When I read, back in March, that there was a crowdsourcing competition to invent the Next MacGyver, I had every intention of entering. I read and re-read the rules and even tucked a blurb into a blog post as a fun alternative to churning out the same boring assignments over and over.
The operative words here are “had every intention.” In reality, my Next MacGyver file is still saved to my desktop — yet another unfinished tribute to a grand notion.
Luckily though, tons of other inventive minds — ones that are actually capable of finishing the majority of projects they begin — followed through and entered. Twelve of them were selected as finalists, and I should say, after reading their synopses, I’m sort of glad my sad little file is still saved to my desktop. Procrastination can be a superior way to save face.
The Next MacGyver Will be Female
The Next MacGyver will be female. This was one of the rules going in. And while I’ll be the first one to encourage young girls to pursue careers in science and math, this threw me initially. There was really only one reason I was addicted to MacGyver back in high school, and it began with Richard Dean and ended with Anderson. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of using chocolate bars to stop an acid leak was pretty darn useful, but it was MacGyver’s shy smile and his soft spot for kids that made him irresistible.
Next MacGyver Finalists Chosen
But unlike myself, the 12 finalists weren’t a bit hung up on the thought of a female MacGyver, and their pitches are fascinating — each and every one. On July 28, five winners will be selected from the 12. They’ll each receive a $5,000 award and the opportunity to work with a real television producer and an engineer to create a final draft for their show.
The finalists are listed here, along with their pitches and concept art, and they make riveting reads.
According to the Next MacGyver website, only 4.5 percent of American students pursue degrees in engineering — a sad comparison to other countries — and this competition was designed to increase that number by making science seem cool.
And no one ever did cool science better than Angus MacGyver.