Max: The Subliminal Credits
The ABC series was the playground of the show's art and graphics crew, who slipped a number of subliminal and surreptitious credits into the productions, as well as a few inside jokes. Here's the ongoing listing.
The First-Season Subliminal Credits
In the ABC pilot episode, ABC.1.1: "Blipverts", the first cut of the opening credits ends with an ad from Network 23 sponsor Zik-Zak: a fast-cut montage of fragmentary images, mostly showing an Asian man's face with various Zik-Zak logos fading in and out, and a bizarre combination of elements such as a bowl of cereal and a spark plug. It is hard to tell how this montage was meant to fit into the story, as it lies between the more formal opening credits and the formal start of the show with the "20 Minutes into the Future" fade-in. It is, however, meant to represent the "blipvert" so crucial to the plot, and may have simply been inserted to show off the work of the editors.
A shortened version of the montage was included in the opening credits of all following episodes.
Observant viewers may have thought they... saw something extra in this blinding slide show. They were right. If the sequence is viewed at slow speed, or frame by frame, names in a simple computer font appear, laid across the other visual elements. They are the names of the graphics crew, who in this era of television did not rate standard credits, and so felt free to add their own. The added names are found in five of the first-season episodes, but the joke (or hack) must have been spoiled during the hiatus, as no second-season episodes contain such inserts.
|Episode||Subliminal Credit Names|
|ABC.1.1: "Blipverts"||Fred Raimondi, Cliff Ralke|
|ABC.1.3: "Body Banks"||Fred Raimondi|
|ABC.1.4: "Security Systems"||Fred Raimondi, Billy Fox|
|ABC.1.5: "War"||Peter Sternlicht|
|ABC.1.6: "Blanks"||Bill Stewart|