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MacGyver: The Escape

Sara Ashford approaches MacGyver and asks for his help freeing her brother Brian from a foreign prison. Mac gets himself arrested and infiltrates the prison, and helps Brian to escape, but discovers everything isn't what it appears.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x20
Production Number: 020
Airdate: Wednesday April 16th, 1986

Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Stephen Kandel

  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (2 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Kristina Wayborn
As Sara Ashford
Paul Verdier
As François
John de Lancie
As Brian Ashford
Vic Polizos
As Commandant

Co-Guest Stars
Jeanne Hepple
As Sister Ann
Gary Krakower
As Warder
Eric Fleeks
As First Officer
Main Cast
Richard Dean Anderson
As Angus MacGyver


In North Africa, MacGyver is leading disaster relief efforts and playing soccer with the local kids at a mission after helping Sister Ann repair the church organ. A truck pulls up with a surprise delivery of supplies. As MacGyver unloads, Sara Ashford arrives with a clothing donation. Sister Ann explains that Sara needs a flavor: she needs MacGyver to break her brother Brian, a medical missionary, out of prison. He was bringing in valuable military supplies, and hid them so the government couldn't take them. MacGyver agrees to help and then picks a fight with local police harassing an elderly peddler. They quickly arrest him and take him to the military prison...

Read the full recap
Episode Quotes
MacGyver: Sometimes, when they're after you… when you're just about surrounded… you realize just how seriously North African kids take soccer.

Commandant: You assaulted two police officers?
MacGyver: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

François: Relax. He gives that same speech to every foreigner who comes in here. It's only eighty percent true.
MacGyver: That's comforting.

MacGyver: I don't plan to be here that long.
François: Escape? Every new man talks about escape. Nobody succeeds.
MacGyver: Well, maybe it's about time I expanded the realm of possibilities around here.

François: You can look, but you can't touch. That little tint of blue which prisoners call the sky.
MacGyver: You may be right, François, but they can only lock me up, not my mind.

Episode References
* A soccer ball as the base to make a paper mache sphere around it. Cotton balls soaked in olive oil, fastened to wires underneath, provide lift, raising the sphere into the air to act as a signal.
* Paring knife to adjust stereo speakers.
* The sound of a rubber spatula taped against a ceiling fan, recorded to use to simulate helicopter propeller blade noise.
* PCP placed in a jacket pocket, then dosed with alcohol to make an explosive with fuse.
* Ice in a metal basin, with an electrical wire attached to it just above the lip of the basin. As the ice melts, the wire makes contact, closing an electrical circuit and setting off an explosive.
* Gunpowder from a grenade to make a fuse to set off the other grenades.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorLee David Zlotoff
Executive ProducerHenry Winkler  |  John Rich (1)  |  John Mantley
Supervising ProducerStephen Downing
ProducerHal Klein
Co-ProducerStephen Kandel
Associate ProducerSteven Milkis
Production DesignerStan Jolley
EditorPamela Malouf-Cundy
CastingPam Polifroni  |  Joanne Koehler
Line ProducerVin Di Bona
Unit Production ManagerHal Klein
First Assistant DirectorRobin Chamberlin
Second Assistant DirectorGary Law  |  Merri D. Howard
MusicDennis McCarthy (2)
Music EditorSteve Danforth
Costume DesignerRudolph Garcia  |  Linda Redmon
Make-upTony Lane
Set DecoratorBryan Thetford
Property MasterMichael Casey (1)
Script SupervisorEdle Bakke
Director of PhotographyFrank Raymond
Story EditorJames Schmerer
Stunt CoordinatorVince Deadrick, Jr.
Sound MixerDean Hodges
Special EffectsGene Grigg
Executive Story EditorFred McKnight
Costume SupervisorThomas Welsh
Main Title ThemeRandy Edelman
Administrative SupervisorDelia Circelli
Warning: MacGyver season 1 episode 20 guide may contain spoilers
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