My script copy, written by Chris Haddock, is a first draft dated 1/19/89 (the episode debuted on 2/27). Despite it being only a first draft, most of the dialogue in the script matched word for word with what appeared in the final episode. So there aren't too many differences to highlight, but I'll cover a few of them below.
- A few naming differences:
- Challenge Center (instead of Challengers Club).
- Booker and Cynthia Williams (instead of Wilson).
- Karl Erickson as the villain (instead of Larson).
- 8:17 mark -- a quote in the episode (and script) that I must have missed in previous viewings: MacGyver's qualified. He used to work full time at the Challengers Club. ~Booker. Full time? I guess we can add this to MacGyver's pre-series timeline right between timber logging, car racing in Europe, and defusing bombs in Vietnam.
- The script has a scene where MacGyver, Ray, Cynthia, and the Detective examine Booker's rear-ended car and discuss the crack packet found in the front seat. Surprisingly Erickson does not yet come to mind as prime suspect #1.
- In the script, Ray and Rico help MacGyver look for Booker. As in the episode, MacGyver is the one to find his body:
- His jaw clenched, eyes shut tight to shut out the sight he's seen. His head sinks to his chest. He sucks in some air, raises his head up, eyes closed, tears streaking his cheeks. His fist explodes into the wall. He slumps down the wall to his knees.
- MacGyver tells Ray to contact the police. "Just tell 'em they better make it fast." Then when Smiley (one of Erickson's goons) approaches a garbage bin outside the print shop, MacGyver punches him out with the voiceover, "Time to take out the garbage," before dumping him in the bin.
- At the climax of the episode, MacGyver flips the gun into his grip, and trembling with rage, aims it at Erickson.
- "MacGyver -- wait!" ~Ray
- "You don't wanna see this Ray." ~MacGyver
- "Hate's gotta stop somewhere. That's what you said! It's the truth, isn't it? The hate's gotta stop." ~Ray
- MacGyver keeps the gun aimed steady at Erickson. The Detective moves in behind Ray. Freezes.
- Slowly, he lowers the gun to rest it on the desk. MacGyver and Ray stay in position as the Detective takes Erickson and removes him, going past Ray.
- Paul Margolis said that during the filming of Black Rhino, RDA vetoed the idea of having MacGyver shoot the rhino because of the character's anti-gun stance. I wonder if the same thing happened here, because in the final episode MacGyver never points the gun at Larson -- instead he intends to strike him with it. I guess by the time he got to Trail of Doomsday (where he actually fires a gun near someone as part of his undercover act), RDA's "give a @#$% meter" had run out of coins.
- In the script, MacGyver gets Ray a fishing rod (instead of a pool table). The pool table makes a lot more sense.
The last three scripts I've reviewed have been toward the bottom of the barrel, but coming up next in Part 8, I'm happy to say that it's a top 20 episode!