Our Recreation of the Most Influential Scene in Television History
The ‘80s became “The ‘80s” when Phil Collins’s ‘In the Air Tonight’ played as the backdrop to two cops driving quietly through a dark Miami night, streetlights reflecting off the hood of their black Ferrari. That scene, in the first episode of Miami Vice, is one of the most influential moments in television history.
That scene set the stage for a new breed of story-telling: images without dialogue and episodes without clear narrative, making music drive the plotline.
This technique of overlaying music over climactic scenes became a hallmark of the show – noted for allowing music and visual effects to tell the story – and was so influential that it is now common practice in film and television.
With only the song audible, and all background sound removed, the scene takes on a dramatic and dream-like quality, becoming the trademark of the MTV audience – ‘more interested in images, emotions and energy than plot and character and words’ (TIME magazine).
Because of its flashy visuals, dedication to the latest European fashions, and heavy integration of the latest pop songs, Miami Vice was not only one of the most influential moments in TV history, but one of the most influential movements in pop culture.
And this scene, which we recreated above, is the one that started it all.
‘Miami Vice was the first show to look really new and different since colour TV was invented.’ (People)
On set at the ‘Pack of Lies’ shoot