Jack Dalton, aviator and best friend to MacGyver on the show, was played by Bruce McGill. The ladies’ man used to give his phone number as JOATMON (562-8666,) which stood for: jack of all trades, master of none. Dalton was the funny guy who’d pop up whenever his buddy was in a situation that needed to be lightened up a bit.
He wasn’t necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed, and he always seemed to be caught up in some type of scheme. Nonetheless, MacGyver appreciated him, and so did the viewers! In 2017, he appeared in the remake of MacGyver, as Detective Greer.
In the same episode that Anderson was filming on which he hurt his back, MacGyver was going after poachers, who were hunting a rhinoceros. The “rhinoceros” was in fact, nothing more than $40,000 worth of effects, but apparently, they did a wonderful job of making it look real.
When it was killed during a scene on the show, viewers called in, concerned about the "poor animal." who was hurt for entertainment purposes. The president of the network at the time, Brandon Stoddard, had it in for the show, and some believe that is why it was aired in the same time slot was as Monday Night Football. Luckily, they managed to do just fine regardless of the bad scheduling.
The Boss and Work Buddy
Elcar played Peter Thornton, MacGyver’s boss and best friend at work. Initially, he appeared in the pilot episode in a completely different role. He played Andy Colson in the very first show but was switched after producers realized he’d make a great Peter. The men worked together at the Department of External Services.
In 1991 he developed glaucoma, and producers decided to work it into the show. The condition was written into the episode titled “Blind Faith.” Elcar played a couple of blind characters after the condition worsened, including a role on The Magic School Bus, and the role of Vladimir in Waiting for Godot. In 2005, the 77-year-old developed a bad case of pneumonia and passed away in the hospital.
It would seem as though MacGyver was basically destined to live the life of a bachelor. After all, he would have to find the perfect woman for him if she were to be traveling around the world risking her life and nearly getting killed every day. Still, that didn’t mean he didn’t try the relationship thing.
In fact, he tried several times! There was the fling he had with Nikki Carpenter from the Phoenix Foundation, but it was quickly written out, as fans didn’t seem to care about him finding love, they just wanted to see the action. If any relationships on the show may have worked out, it would have most likely been between Carpenter, who was played by Elyssa Davalos. She lived a similar lifestyle but wanted to get away from it after her husband was killed. So the meant MacGyver wouldn't be any better for her, so she ended things with him.
Next in Line
Aside from the sultry Phoenix Federation operative, Nikki Carpenter, there were a few other women who came along that seemed as though they may try and make an honest man out of MacGyver. Like the blonde Maria Romberg who was played by Brigitta Stenberg. Unfortunately, Stenberg ended up receiving angry letters from female fans who didn’t want her with their beloved heart-throb.
The actress eventually decided to step back from the show altogether. Anytime writers attempted to show the hero some love, fans were on the phone and writing complaint letters. They made it absolutely clear that they wanted MacGyver to be single.