The series revolved around Angus MacGyver (known to his friends as MacGyver or "Mac") who favors brain over brawn in order to solve desperate problems. MacGyver's main asset is his practical application of scientific knowledge and inventive use of common items—along with his ever-present Swiss Army knife and duct tape. The clever solutions MacGyver implemented to seemingly intractable problems—often in life-or-death situations requiring him to improvise complex devices in a matter of minutes—were a major attraction of the show, which was praised for generating interest in the applied sciences, and particularly engineering, as well as providing entertaining story lines.

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