Spoilers for The Gifted premiere episode “Exposed” follow.
The moments occurs during at scene at the mutant underground’s Atlanta hideout. Eclipse (Sean Teale) is talking to Blink (Jamie Chung) and trying to figure out a way to save his girlfriend, the mutant Polaris (Emma Dumont).
It is at that moment that Eclipse receives an unexpected call from Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer). When Eclipse’s phone rings, it plays the instantly recognizable theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series.
The song only plays briefly, but it should be enough to stir up nostalgia for any 1990s X-Men fan.
For those who missed out on this formative cartoon series, X-Men: The Animated Series, known at the time of its airing simply as X-Men, was a cartoon that debuted nearly 25 years ago, on Halloween Day of 1992. The series featured a cast made up primarily of the X-Men’s fan favorite Blue Team, with the notable substitution of Jean Grey and Storm replacing Psylocke.
The series was praised for its complex (for a Saturday morning cartoon) storytelling, including one of the most comics-accurate adaptations of “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” one of the most popular and seminal X-Men stories of all time, to date.
Considering how so many modern X-Men fans came to the franchise, and came to comics in general, after falling in love with X-Men: The Animated Series, it seems fitting that Fox’s new live-action X-Men series should pay tribute to its animated forebear.
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.