Q: You played Jack Dalton on the original “MacGyver,” but since George Eads now plays him. you have a new character in the reboot’s Dec. 15 episode. What’s he like?
A: He’s a pretty good, pretty honest procedural cop, and thought the best thing I could do was to build a real world that the “MacGyver” world could bump into. I thought, “Let’s make this as real as any real cop show I’ve ever done.”
There’s a very good scene where my character believes MacGyver (played by Lucas Till) is a serial bomber, and I’m trying to get him to spill the beans. He won’t tell me who he is, and he can’t, because he works for the double-secret-probation Phoenix Foundation. I just pound away (with the interrogation), but I’m genuinely concerned for this highly intelligent kid who has an abnormal obsession with explosives.
Q: How did you become involved in “MacGyver” originally?
A: I wasn’t doing any TV to speak of, and when they called me to do it, I said, ‘I don’t think so.” But Charlie Correll – who was the director of photography on “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (in which McGill played musical-throat-playing motorcyclist D-Day) – was directing it, and he called and said, ‘”What are you doing? Get on a plane and get out here! It doesn’t matter; you die at the end of the episode, so you don’t have to worry about making a commitment.”
That was interesting, so I did it. And then I went back to my theater and movie life, and my agent called and said, ‘”They’d like you to do another ‘MacGyver.’” I said, “What part?” And he said, “Oh, same part.” And I said, “But that character died.” Well, he didn’t die on camera; he heroically saved MacGyver by flying his airplane over the horizon, and then there was one of those poor-man’s (largely unseen) explosions. And my agent said, “If Bobby Ewing can come back in the shower … .”