ReBoot Episode 22 (2_22) (code 9507)


This episode description is longer than the others in order to cater to the cross-over audience - the X-Files fans.

Gillian Anderson is a fan of ReBoot

She was seen wearing a ReBoot cap while vacationing in Rome.

From the TV listings

Gillian Anderson of "The X-Files" guests as the voice of CGI agent Data Nully in the computer-generated animated show "ReBoot," (it used to be shown Saturday mornings on ABC).

In the episode, titled "Trust No One," the Binomes and Sprites of Mainframe are being terrorized by an energy-siphoning "mouse". Two CGI agents, Fax Modem and Data Nully, who specialize in cases known at the ASCII (ask-ee) Files, are called in to solve the puzzle.

    From the New York Daily News for Friday, December 29, 1995
    'X-Files' voice joins 'Reboot' visuals
    by David Bianculli

	    Before there was "Toy Story", there was "Reboot" --
	the ABC Saturday-morning series, now in its second season,
	that boasts fully computer-generated visuals and effects
	and is unlike anything else on TV.
	    This Saturday morning, "Reboot" offers viewers a
	special kick; a "guest vocalist" appearance by Gillian
	Anderson, co-star of Fox's "The X-Files".
	    "Reboot" is set inside a computer, in a high-tech
	place called Mainframe.  It tells of the adventures of city
	hero Bob, best friend Dot Matrix, and little boy Enzo.  In
	Saturday's new "Reboot", written by Mark Leiren-Young, Dot
	is missing, and there's some sort of serial attacker on
	the loose -- so serious that two "outside agents" are sent
	into the Mainframe.
	    Instead of David Duchovny's Fox Mulder and Gillian
	Anderson's Dana Scully from the FBI -- the protagonists of
	"The X-Files" -- "Reboot" gives us Fax Modem and Data
	Nully.  Their computerized body shapes are like three
	boxes stacked on top of one another; the top box includes
	one eye, the middle box includes the lips, and ABC leaves
	the rest to our collective imagination.
	    And while the person supplying the voice of Fax Modem
	sounds more like Steven Wright than Duchovny (in reality,
	it's neither), Anderson provides her own voice for this
	    This makes for a very surreal multisensory experience,
	because the voice is unsettlingly familiar.  Data Nully
	may be a blockhead (and a blockbody), but her green eye
	shadow looks just right, and her computer-generated lips,
	richly red and almost 3-D in their roundness, fullness and
	relative largeness, manage to look unmistakably Gillian
	Anderson-ish (the red hair atop the top block doesn't
	    To paraphrase a famous phrase: those lips, that eye ...
	    No sooner do Data and Fax swoop in to investigate
	things in Mainframe than Fax suspects a massive conspiracy
	involving beings from outside their known world.  Bob,
	listening politely but skeptically to Fax Modem's theory,
	turns to Data Nully and asks sarcastically, "Excuse me,
	but is your partner completely random?"
	    "Not completely", Data says.  And it sounds as though
	Anderson, in real life in the safety and secrecy of some
	isolated sound booth, had a lot of fun saying it.
	    X-File this week's "Reboot" episode as something worth
	watching, at least if you're an "X-Files" fan.  The
	script is funny, and the guest appearance is a good stunt
	-- but the "Reboot" visuals are what will most likely make
	your want to return.


"ReBoot" is created in Vancouver, Canada, as is "X-Files". ReBoot is shown in prime-time by YTV (the network for young people in Canada) and is shown as a Saturday morning cartoon by ABC in the US. The show is 100% CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and tells the story of the sprites that live in a typical personal computer.

The city is called Mainframe. Most of the inhabitants are binomes: Ones are three cubes with arms, legs, a mouth, and a single eye. Zeros are walking spheres. In addition to the binomes are the Numerals (such as Five, Seven and Nine) and data sprites (Dot, Enzo, Bob, Phong, Mouse, Frisket). One particularly successful data sprite is Dot Matrix, the owner of Dot's Diner. She has a younger brother Enzo, and has close ties with Phong (the ancient one, the mayor who lives in the Principal Office). Dot and Enzo have green skin, their friend Bob has blue skin. Bob is a Guardian; he comes from the Supercomputer and wears a multipurpose tool "Glitch" on his wrist. As opening sequence says, his mission is to protect and defend. Every once in a while the User downloads a game. When a game cube lands, the inhabitants of Mainframe tap the diamond shaped icon on their chest in order to "reboot" as a character in the game.

In the previous episode, Mainframe had been attacked by a mysterious black multitentacled creature that absorbed energy. Mouse, a female hacker, showed up right after the distress call went out. Dot hates Mouse for having almost deleting her brother and for flirting with Bob. Dot and Mouse cooperated long enough to lasso a "tear in the interface" -- a swirling green and white ball of energy -- and throw it at the black thing. That solved the immediate crisis, but eldrich creature went into hiding. Mouse had been prepared and tried tracking it.

[Portions of the CGI agent's dialog were obtained from The full text of Gillian's lines are reproduced here for those that requested it.]

Jackie Hughes <> (Doll Artisan) has a page with screen shots from the show.

From: (Ron McMillan)
Date: Tue Jan 02 23:27:42 PST 1996
Newsgroups: alt.cartoon.reboot

Inside scoop - They did ask him, but David Duchovny did not WANT to do the voice over; he said it's a 'kids' show and he dinnae wanna. SO they got a guy who could do the voice, and so what if they 'overplayed' it a bit, eh? It's not like they did it 'on purpose'...


This was shown on ABC on 30-Dec-95 and 11-May-96.
It was show on YTV (in Canada) on 25-Jan-96 and 29-Mar-96.
Special guest appearance
Gillian Anderson as Data Nully
Scott McNeill as Fax Modem
Garry Chalk as Turbo This is the third part of a four-part story:
  1. "Nullzilla"
  2. "Gigabyte"
  3. "Trust No One"
  4. "Web World Wars"


The title is not displayed at first - instead, the opening is more like an episode of the "X-Files" with low-level lighting and weird camera angles. In the alley behind Al's Diner on Level 31, Al's waiter is seen emptying the trash ("Garbage in, garbage out") and Al is, as usual, off screen when he yells "what?". Then the point of view becomes that of "Predator 2" - something evil is hiding amongst the pipes. The waiter screams, then is dragged off. Cut to the title, "TRUST NO ONE", (black letters outlined in flourescent green on a black background).

Mouse (the woman with flaming red hair, filigreed lilac skin, white top, and black tights) sashays into Dot's Diner where Bob is having an energy shake. The cops are eating donuts when a One reports that Al's waiter has been abducted. Enzo bursts in, and tells Bob that his sister, Dot, is also missing. Miss Brodie, a teacher Zero, confirms the story. (Enzo's friend is AndrAIa, an AI game sprite.)

Bob goes to Al's "Wait and Eat" Diner on Level 31. This is where the low lifes of Mainframe hang out. A waiter with an attitude skates past. Al himself is not much help, he just says "what?". A pair of Ones notice Bob's interrogation; a man with a squinty eye, wearing a disheveled black suit and a pretty redhead wearing a blue pantsuit. [Because Ones don't have noses, the guy does not look as cute as David Duchovny, but Gillian Anderson's mouth and hair are well rendered.]

You ask a lot of questions, Guardian.
Who are you?
CGI Special Agent, Fax Modem.
CGI Special Agent, Data Nully. We couldn't help overhearing you. You're looking for a missing person?
Yeah, Dot Matrix is missing. Do you know anything about it?
There's been a rash of disappearances in Mainframe.
Phong sent us to investigate the most recent disappearance, Al's waiter.
We should talk.
Mike the TV is doing an on-the-scene report. Mouse is trailing them, and making a report to someone else.
I can't accept that. Mouse is an old friend.
Bob, you've got to be reasonable on this. All evidence points to Mouse. We have eyewitnesses that will testify to her being on or near the scene of each abduction.
Tell him your theory, Modem.
(very dramatic) Her *fangs*.
Yeah? So? She's got fangs!
I suspect she's a Web-creature.
What! Oh, now *this* is ridiculous. These aren't theories. These are--delusions!
Listen...(foreboding music starts)...when I was just a little node, I saw my sister taken by a strange creature. It had fangs... just like Mouse.
Excuse me. But is your partner *completely* random??
(in a tired voice) Not--completely. (gives sidelong glance at Fax)
OK, why didn't it take you too, then.
I don't know. I was reading comic bytes in bed. When I peeked out from under the covers I saw something hovering over my sister. Then I pointed my flashlight at it, and a moment later, it, and my sister were gone. I'll never forget the noise it made.
I don't want to seem insensitive, but next you'll be telling me that you've see the User.
There is no User. That's just induced mass psychosis engineered by the Guardians.
What?!? But what about the games?
Sent by the Guardians to promote the User myth.
Another conspiracy theory, Modem?
One of many...
So, let me get this straight. There's a web-creature, posing as Mouse, loose in Mainframe, abducting sprites. For what purpose?
I haven't worked that out yet.
OK. And Guardians are control freaks, willing to sacrifice the very people they've been sworn to protect by dropping games on them.
That's right.
Tell me - did Phong interview you personally for this job? Didn't think so.
Look, this isn't getting us anywhere. What we need is a plan, not theories.
You ... remind me of someone.
Mike the TV finishes up an interview on the scene of the latest abduction. [A picture of the Five is on a milk carton.] When he turns around, Mike's camera crew is gone. He starts to run, then the shadow of a multi-tentacled creature overtakes him. Mike is heard falling, then a flickering white light shines out. The creature screeches, then its shadow is seen running away. Cut back to the diner, where Fax is holding is head, wincing.
Are you alright, Modem?
(in pain) That's it ... that's the noise the creature made.
Quick, outside! Now!
(they find)
Mouse bending over the unconcious TV, which has flickering "snow" instead of a face.
Hold it, CGI! (The agents pull out some large handguns.)
hiss (as she bares her fangs).
Mouse, what are you doing?
It's not what you think. Bob, you've got to let me go.
You know I can't do that.
Mouse gets to her feet, then glances behind the agents. They follow her stare, and are dumbfounded when Mouse pulls a katana sword from her boot and slices their guns in half.
Don't make me do this, Mouse.
Trust me. (She kisses him, and runs off while Bob is dazed.)
Glitch: tracer (Glitch sends out a dot which embeds itself in Mouse's boot.) You two look after Mike; I'm going after her. (Bob jumps on his zipboard and speeds away.)
(taps on Mike's glass until he wakes up.) Are you OK?
Ooo! It bit me!
Calm down.
It was the light. The light I tell you! The light saved me. (babbles)
Just like your sister, Modem.
Wait here. I've to get something from the CPU.
I can't think straight. I can take it. Tell me the truth. Tell me the camera was rolling.
(shakes head)

Bob tells Phong that they're dealing with a web-creature, but that it's not Mouse. Mouse uses her wrist communicator to tell someone named Turbo that they have confirmation of the web-creature but continues on to free the Mainframers. She slides down an elevator shaft. At the bottom, there is more evidence of the creature shedding its skin. She walks past a trash can, and the cliche happens - a small animal jumps out and runs away. (Instead of a cat yowling, it is a Null, a brightly colored slug.) She looks up and sees several bodies encased in cocoons, arranged in neat rows. Drawing her sword, Mouse advances until she gets to Dot and frees the woman.

After the other abductees are freed (including a Nine and a clown), Mouse stays behind to get physical evidence that the web-creature exists. The web-creature arrives. It has jaws bigger than a person, and a near infinite number of small spheres that make up its arms. One of them grabs Dot. Fax and Data show up, and use their incredibly bright flashlights to immobilize the creature. It drops Dot, and Bob catches her.

You were right. It can't stand the strong light.
(in a somewhat smarmy voice) I'm sure there's a *very* scientific reason for it.
But...we don't know what it is!

Mouse continues transmitting to Turbo, an imposing man wearing a Guardian's suit. There are other Guardians around him, half in shadow. One of them states that creature is Class M, with portal-forming abilities. [We have never seen any Guardian other than Bob. Is this a cabal, or some sort of Star Chamber?]

Mouse explains that she has been working for Turbo (that's why she was in the neighborhood when the distress call went out) and that she's just called in the cavalry. Bob informs her that the Guardian protocol for discovering a web-creature is to destroy it and everything around it.

Turbo and the others in the high command release the codes that will trigger an explosion. Turbo asks the others to leave, "I'd like to be alone - Bob and I go way back." When they are gone, Turbo turns the virtual hourglass over again - this gives Bob a little more time.

Hurry, Bob. We're running low. We don't have much time.
(uses Glitch to determine that Mouse's communicator is the bomb.)
Guardian, we can't hold it for much longer. (Their flashlights go out just as security team brings up more spotlights.)
The innocent bystanders of Mainframe are shown: Momma binome and her baby binome, a bunch of binomes on a sidewalk, and the penguin in front of a Zip-Board refueling station. Bob zooms off in an attempt to get the device out of Mainframe.

It goes off in a big explosion, and tears a hole in the sky. The swirling in the hole becomes eight small tears, and then one giant tear. The glowing green and white ball of plasma illuminates Mainframe like a carbon-arc lamp. The light is strong enough to reach the lower levels. The web-creature appears to gain energy from its spectrum, and smashes a hole through several layers of concrete to the surface.

Bob barely escapes the blast. When Phong tells him that the web-creature has escaped, Bob is most distraught. "It's a Class-M! It can use the tear energy to form a portal to the Web!" The web spore merges with the tear and the portal is formed. It is a sphere as big as Mainframe filled with radially-symmetric tendrils.

It just broke free.
We couldn't stop it.
You see, Nully--the Web *is* out there.
No, Modem--it's here.
This is it, Phong. Prepare for war.

Next time, on Reboot: All the security vehicles (police cars) are lined up waiting for battle with the Web.


Some of the character's names are computer puns. This is explained on Joe Smith's Characters page.

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