It may have been a long time since last you thought about the animated tv series Reboot. And there are a number of good reasons for that. I mean, the graphics, compared to now, are pretty awful. It was a pretty silly show that kind of skewed a lot of computer lingo to try and make things sound cool. It’s from the 90s, so I guess we’re a little more grown up now (at least physically).
But you know, there are some good reasons to look back on this strange show that somehow managed to last for seven years (even though it only had four seasons). There are a lot of things that you may have missed or just were never made aware of back in the day. Some of those things haven’t come to light until recently.
Did you know there was supposed to be a film trilogy? That the show was meant to end with a musical finale? That the creators were a bit more naughty than you might have thought? That over 30 video games were referenced during the course of the show? Or that Reboot was meant to have its own reboot!? There are a lot of surprisingly interesting things about this once very interesting show. So let’s hack into the mainframe and get ready for the download.
15. It Was The Very First Fully CG TV Series
It’s crazy to think that this show really was the first, full-length, completely computer-generated TV show ever! The show aired in 1994. To put that into perspective, people were crying about the end of grunge because of Kurt Cobain‘s death in ’94. But since the show aired then, that means it was being made in ’93. That’s crazy! No one had ever seen anything like this before. The cost of the equipment to do the CGI was so great that the network and the creators had to commit to at least one full season to make it worthwhile. And while it was a strange show with some glaring issues, it made a pretty big splash. If you look at the animation now, it’s nothing compared to what we have today. But Reboot helped to shape the computer-generated worlds we see in games and movies every day now.
14. ABC Had Very Harsh Censorship Rules
For the first two seasons of the show, the ABC network had a very strict censorship policy with the creators. Which is pretty unfortunate considering how dark the show ends up getting. Imagine if the show could have started off with that dark side to it. The story could have been way more interesting. But that doesn’t mean that the creators didn’t have a little fun messing with the ABC executives. After all, the relationship between Hexadecimal and Megabyte is a little awkward and gross when you consider that they’re brother and sister. And there are other, more subtle ways that the creators got their digs at the network. You’ll notice a big shift, though, after watching the first two seasons. Finally free to get a little more gritty, the third and fourth seasons take the show down a much darker path.
13. Gigabyte Was The Original Villain
Some people don’t know this, but Gigabyte was the original villain in the world of Mainframe. And there’s no real reason why anyone would know this because it was never actually mentioned in the show. You see, Hexadecimal and Megabyte are the villains you are very aware of throughout the show, and they eventually do merge to become Gigabyte, but there’s no suggestion that that was their original state to begin with. It wasn’t until Gavin Blair, co-creator of the show, came out to tell everyone that was the case. Why did he come out to say so? Because he realized that no one would get it from watching the series. That’s kind of a big error if you can watch a show and not get anything of the backstory of the two main villains.
12. The Whole Show Happens In Just One Week
“ReBoot establishes early on that time passes differently within the incoming games that invade Mainframe compared to Mainframe itself. Conversely, time passes differently outside of Mainframe (AKA: The Real World), with everything going on inside the computer only being ‘active’ during certain times, ” says Daniel Kurland of Screen Rant. And he’s not wrong. It’s very good of the creators to dig into the notion that everything that happens in the show happens at a completely different rate than real life. It’s basically like saying that all of the episodes of the show only happen because we tune in to watch. We “turn on our computers and play”, and the show happens. By that sort of time play, the entire show basically takes place over the course of only one week.
11. There Was Supposed To Be A Film Trilogy
In case you didn’t know, Reboot was canceled after only three seasons. Three years after that, season four came out in a series of lengthy episodes that were essentially films of their own. However, after season four ended, hardcore fans of the show still hadn’t had enough. They begged for a return. So Mainframe Animation announced that they would be working on a Reboot trilogy. The announcement was made back in 2008. And as late as 2011, the president of Rainmaker Animation (Mainframe had been bought out) was still telling people that the trilogy was on and in the works. But that changed come 2012, when the announcement came that the studio was no longer looking at making the trilogy. They pissed a lot of people off with those false promises.
10. The Creators Used Naughty Content To Get Back At The Network
Some of you may have noticed a few times in the show where Hexadecimal was more than a little inappropriate. Besides the fact that she looks like she’s really into BDSM, she’s always been very creepily seductive in her mannerisms and speech patterns. Even with Megabyte… and they’re supposed to be brother and sister. It’s like a creepy Game of Thrones thing going on between them. Many people have suggested that this bizarre relationship was due to censorship restrictions placed on the creators by the network. What better way to get back at the network than to add a little bit of BDSM and sibling sensuality? I’ll be honest, I think it’s a little odd to do just to get under the skin of the network, but it certainly made for some crazy villains.
9. They Make Over 30 Video Game References
There are some pretty crazy video game and film references that occur in Reboot. One of the most notable film ones is the Evil Dead episode that has all manner of undead creatures (and for some reason, Elvira). But there have been a bunch of other references as well. Mortal Kombat, Pokemon, Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, Dragon Ball Z, Diablo, and the list goes on and on. There’s one thing that Reboot was definitely good for, and that’s being able to keep up with the times and trends out there in the nerd world. The show did take place inside of a computer, after all. The fact that this show made nerd culture so accepted may very well be a big part of the reason that geekdom is such a popular thing now. It definitely didn’t use to be.
8. The Lost Musical Finale
Originally there were meant to be 13 episodes in the fourth and final season, but there only ended up being eight. So, the show never ended up getting the epic ending that the creators had planned to give it. Reboot was always up for getting into some musical escapades. The best was probably the amazing guitar duel between Bob and Megabyte. It was one of those hilarious times where Megabyte shows up, has a good time, doesn’t try to hurt anyone, and walks away with a smile on his face. Well, the way the show was planned to end might have entailed the very same thing. There was meant to be an epic, musical extravaganza, but it would never end up happening. And since the film trilogy seems like it will never happen either, all we can do is enjoy the good ol’ days.
7. All Characters Were Originally Binomes
Yeah, you know those annoying little citizens of Mainframe that Bob, Dot, and Enzo always had to run around to protect and keep from getting crushed by a virus or a hack or whatever else came their way? The binomes. They were the original character concept. That’s how everyone was going to look. I would hope that the villains would remain the same (imagine how sillier the show would be if Megabyte was a binome), but there it is. That was the original design concept for all of the characters. Then, it seems that they figured audiences would relate more if they made the main characters (and villains) humanoid. And considering the cult following that this show has, I would say the creators made a good call.
6. The Reboot…Reboot
That’s right, in spite of the failed film trilogy and the final season of the show being cut short, it seems that people just can’t get enough of Reboot. And it also seems that the creators just can’t get enough of teasing people with putting out more of the show. However, Reboot: The Guardian Code is actually something that looks like it will happen. It was announced in 2013, but then there was silence for two years until a Canadian broadcasting company ordered a 26 episode season. It was just to test the waters, of course, but it was ordered. This was in 2015. So, now we’re almost three years on from that, but I imagine doing a revamped version of Reboot with new graphics will take just as long as the new Final Fantasy VII remake.
5. They Ended The Series With A Webcomic
You may or may not recall that Reboot ended with a real cliffhanger at the close of season four. Partly because the season was cut short and partly because they intended to make a series of films to complete the story. But since none of this happened, a group of hardcore fans came together and began working on a webcomic to tie together all of the loose ends of the show. And credit must be given where credit is due; they did a pretty damned good job. That being said, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, to be fair to all of these crazy fans, they did a much better job finishing the story than the creators of the show did. You know, because the creators of the show never actually finished the story. But that’s not their fault entirely…
4. Feathers McGraw Makes An Appearance
Meet Feathers McGraw, for those of you who have never bothered to watch any Wallace and Gromit. First of all, shame on you. But if you haven’t seen the show, let me introduce the villain of one of the films, Feathers McGraw. This penguin character has five cameo appearances in Reboot. We’re unsure just why he’s there, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the creators had a lot of love for the works of Aardman Animation (the studio that brought us Wallace And Gromit). The homage is kind of fun when watching the show. You spend the rest of your time not paying attention to the story, but wondering if you’ll see Feathers in this shot or that. Whatever the reason for the cameo, it just adds that much more depth to the reference humor the show did so well.
3. The X-Files Crossover
So, first off, there was never really an official X-Files crossover. Mulder and Scully never appeared on the show. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an X-Files episode that featured Gillian Anderson voicing CGI agent Data Nully. It seems that the crossover episode was a bit too much for David Duchovny though, as he did not come on the show to voice the other agent, Fax Modem. Either way, the two iconic characters appear as a pair of binome agents ready to find the truth that’s out there! Reboot does the perfect spoof of both characters, with Modem being a huge conspiracy theorist with a dark past, while Nully does everything she can to keep Modem grounded in reality and science (which is even funnier because they’re CGI characters living in a computer).
2. The Unaired Binome Spinoff
I can’t even begin to imagine how the creators of Reboot thought that this could be a worthwhile thing to do. The binomes were such secondary and annoying characters to begin with; creating a show simply based on their lives would have to be either very funny or very tragic, and would likely only appeal to a much younger demographic. And that’s exactly what the show concept was for — that younger demographic. The spinoff was meant to be an educational show for pre-schoolers. It would use the whole concept of living in a computer to teach kids about technology as well as social responsibility and the like. You won’t be able to find much info on the show, but it’s easy enough to find some concept artwork for the series.
1. The Show Was Meant To Be Slapstick
Reboot is a funny show. It certainly has its moments. If you go back and watch it now it’s even funnier because you start to wonder how you could ever have sat through the whole thing. But the original concept of the show was meant to be far funnier. It was meant to be entirely slapstick. The animation style was totally different. Bob’s name was Chip. Megabyte spoke like a New York mob boss, Dot was a bimbo waitress. Hack and Slash were merged into one character called Hacker. The show would have been very different. It’s hard to imagine all of the ups and downs that the original series would have had trying to make some slapstick, computer-generated comedy. So I guess it’s a pretty damn good thing that the creators thought better of it and what direction to take the show in.
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