So the MacGyver reboot has been getting universally panned. As I’ve noted in the past, I’m not particularly surprised since it always seemed like a strange idea to launch the show in fall after making major changes to the pilot. Why they didn’t hold it for midseason or even next fall is beyond me.
As it turned out the pilot actually got very good ratings, but that really doesn’t mean all that much. I mean, it’s better than having a small audience, but the real question is how much of the audience will still be around in a month or later. Only time will tell on that, but I just discovered that the show made one choice that could really alienate a lot of the fanbase.
For some reason, I had just assumed that the supporting character s in the show were new creations, with Angus MacGyver being the only one to make the jump from the old show to the reboot. But the supporting characters are also taken from the original series, though not always as carbon copies of themselves. The boss character for example, has been given the Starbuck treatment, going from male to female, which in this case has also come with a name change, from Pete to Patricia.
But what really shocks me is that Nikki Carpenter is also taken from the original show. If you haven’t watched the pilot, Nikki is MacGyver’s girlfriend who is seemingly killed during the opening mission, only to turn up alive and evil later on in the episode. Even if I had known that the reboot was taking multiple characters from the original show, I would have assumed that a character who was either killed or revealed to be a traitor was an original creation, not a character that the established audience already had a connection too.
Now, since I am not very familiar with the original show, I guess it’s possible that Nikki was generally a disliked character who TPTB figure the audience will readily accept turning traitor. But the one reaction to the character twist that I’ve seen was one of shock and anger that the reboot did this to Nikki. Another possibility is that TPOTB figure most of the audience they are looking to attract are like me, and only have a very vague concept of anything about the original show, and will thus not care about Nikki being made into a villain. But still, why risk alienating those who are familiar with the original show and have an attachment to the characters? It’s not like the new Star Trek or Star Wars movies would turn Uhura or Han Solo evil!
Now, it is possible that they will try to claim later that Nikki was actually just going undercover and is really good, but she seemed very ready to put people, including her team, at significant risk, so that would be a hard sell. They could also say that this Nikki is actually Murdoc (MacGyver’s enemy from the original show), and she stole the identity of the real Nikki, which would solve a lot of these issues.