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MacGyver: A Prisoner of Conscience

To get a Russian dissident out of a mental hospital, MacGyver has to fake insanity to get in, then get both of them out.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x21
Production Number: 021
Airdate: Wednesday April 30th, 1986

Director: Cliff Bole
Writer: Stephen Kandel

  • Currently 8/10
8/10 (2 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Elya Baskin
As Yuri Demetri
Lawrence Dobkin
As Alexander Karsoff (as Larry Dobkin)
Dana Elcar
As Peter Thornton
Tim Rossovich
As Lopat
Marvin Kaplan
As Chess Master
Paul Koslo
As Dr. Suvarin
Sharon Maughan
As Maria Karsoff
Jane Merrow
As Dr. Natalia Petrovitsh

Co-Guest Stars
Harry Woolf
As Supervisor
Austin Kelly
As Boris
Main Cast
Richard Dean Anderson
As Angus MacGyver


In Russia, MacGyver meets with Pete Thornton, who is surprised that MacGyver is there. MacGyver knows that Pete took a Soviet ID and took off from Russia on his own, and figures he's in trouble. Pete admits that Alexander Karsoff, a Nobel peace prize nominee, died three days ago during an interrogation to find out which American agent he was in contact with. Pete was the agent, but he was working with Karsoff to move letters from political prisoners to their relatives. Pete's learned that the authorities are going to arrest Alexander's daughter Maria and has come to rescue her. MacGyver insists on helping and Pete agrees, but asks MacGyver to wait while he contacts Maria alone. MacGyver agrees, but as soon as Pete has left for Karsoff's nearby cabin, MacGyver goes after him...

Read the full recap
Episode Quotes
MacGyver: All this fun and you wanted to leave me behind.
Pete: Everybody makes mistakes.

MacGyver: I've never been to Leningrad before. I hear it's a real... party town.

Dr. Suvarin: Still having illusions that you're a political prisoner, Demetri?
Yuri Demetri: That's what I am, you bedbug.

Episode References
* Jamming an exhaust pipe with a potato to stall a car
* Blanket cut into strips, rope and life jackets tied to gas cans, to jam a pursuing boat's jet intake
* Tungsten filaments from a light bulb as lock picks
* Caulking compound mixed with a hardening compound to make a glue-like substance, spread on a bucket to trap a man's hands

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
EditorDavid Wages  |  Neil MacDonald
CastingPam Polifroni  |  Joanne Koehler
Line ProducerVin Di Bona
Unit Production ManagerHal Klein
First Assistant DirectorDavid Menteer
Second Assistant DirectorMerri D. Howard  |  Gary Law
MusicDennis McCarthy (2)
Music EditorSteve Danforth
Costume DesignerRudolph Garcia  |  Linda Redmon
Make-upTony Lane
Set DecoratorBryan Thetford
Property MasterPeter McWade
Script SupervisorEdle Bakke
Director of PhotographyFrank Raymond
Story EditorJames Schmerer
Stunt CoordinatorVince Deadrick, Jr.
Sound MixerDean Hodges
Special EffectsGene Grigg
Costume SupervisorThomas Welsh
Main Title ThemeRandy Edelman
Administrative SupervisorDelia Circelli
Warning: MacGyver season 1 episode 21 guide may contain spoilers
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