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 show. 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 hurt). 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.
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 alt.tv.x-files. The full text of Gillian's lines are reproduced here for those that requested it.]
Jackie Hughes <email@example.com> (Doll Artisan) has a page with screen shots from the show.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron McMillan)
Date: Tue Jan 02 23:27:42 PST 1996
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'...
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.]
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.
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.
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.
Next time, on Reboot: All the security vehicles (police cars) are lined up waiting for battle with the Web.