Organizations in MacGyver
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Department of External Services
The DXS is a U.S. intelligence agency where MacGyver and Peter Thornton are employed during the first season. It is revealed that MacGyver had been working there since 1979, when he was recruited by Pete. At the beginning of Season 2, both of them leave for the Phoenix Foundation, but DXS agents still reappear throughout the series, sometimes as allies and sometimes as antagonists. While in their employ, MacGyver was usually sent overseas to rescue Americans in danger, locate or destroy sensitive equipment, or ordinary intelligence-gathering operations; however, other sections of the DXS are much more susceptible to corruption and have been seen trying to kidnap foreign heads of state or interfering with democratic elections, among other things.
A non-profit think tank and government contractor which employs Peter Thornton (as Director of Field Operations) and MacGyver (as field agent and "troubleshooter") in Seasons 2 through 7. It often cooperates with government agencies, particularly the police or intelligence community (since as MacGyver puts it, "we don't have to cut through as much red tape"). However it also does a great deal of work on its own; environmental surveys and clean-up operations, anti-drug initiatives, social programs, etc. The Phoenix Foundation is described as a "corporate white knight," an entity which is trusted and respected by the general public for its integrity. One of the organization's main aims during the 1980s and early 1990s was the expansion and furthering of new technologies within the United States, such as computer applications and systems, applied biosciences, and other socially responsible uses of technology.
An important aspect of operations for the Phoenix Foundation was sub-contracting to Police departments for crime scene investigation and forensic research. Services delivered include scan and backup of sensitive documents and other information, associative database face recognition with graphical interfaces for criminal identification, fingerprint dermatoglyph. Less often, Phoenix would also take on contracts from the military or the intelligence community, as in "The Human Factor" where they tested a new Artificial Intelligence computer for the Defense Department, or "Legend of the Holy Rose" where they rescued a journalist being held hostage by the Medellin Cartel.
The Foundation also funded school science laboratories, often as a means of recycling servicable yet antiquated laboratory equipment, again to the advantage of the Foundation tax-wise, and to the aforementioned poorly-financed school's science programs.
The Phoenix Foundation was an early proponent of responsible genetic engineering, going so far as to shut down programs of a number of different scientists in their employ where research and development work had resulted or could potentially result in harm outside of the laboratory. The Foundation had equal scruples when dealing with other projects, always erring on the side of caution and wary of causing harm. In most cases field operatives were instrumental, and in the period of his employment, MacGyver was perhaps the greatest.
Homicide International Trust
Appropriately shorthanded to "HIT," they are an international fraternity of assassins, employing killers from around the world to carry out their contracts. Murdoc was employed by them until he tried to retire; the organization reacted by putting a hit on him, forcing him to ask for MacGyver's help in order to save himself and his sister. He later tries to rejoin their ranks, and is rejected when he tries and fails to kill MacGyver (again).
A Boys & Girls Club that provides shelter for inner-city kids in need of help (recovering drug addicts, former prostitutes, orphans). It was founded by Booker and Cynthia Wilson, and is now run solely by Cynthia (after her husband was killed by a neighborhood racist). MacGyver is often involved with them and will sometimes use his connections in the Phoenix Foundation to secure funding or other forms of help.
- "Partners". MacGyver. Season 2. Episode 18. American Broadcasting Company.
- "Early Retirement". MacGyver. Season 3. Episode 12. American Broadcasting Company.
- "Blind Faith". MacGyver. Season 6. Episode 17. American Broadcasting Company.
- "Legend of the Holy Rose". MacGyver. Season 5. Episode 1. American Broadcasting Company.
- "Easy Target". MacGyver. Season 4. Episode 17. American Broadcasting Company.