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In the opening credits to House, the visual imagery used seems pretty reasonable - lots of medical images, a shot of the hospital, and a shot of House's team.

But at 0:19, just as Jennifer Morrison's name is shown, the image of a river with what appears to be two watercraft travelling down it is shown.

This seems out of place given the rest of the imagery in the credits. Does anybody know what the relevance of this scene is supposed to be?

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This seems out of place given the rest of the imagery in the credits. Does anybody know what the relevance of this scene is supposed to be?

There is no relevance, other than the shot was a replacement.

From an interview with co-showrunner Katie Jacobs:

Q: "Are the opening credits images in “House” visual metaphors for the roles the characters represent in the show?"

A: "Initially when you do a title sequence you are trying to separate yourself out from every other show. You look to establish a unique visual brand along with a distinct sound. The shots in our sequence don’t have any “specific” meaning, but I do like the fact that in the last shot, David Shore’s name is where the head would be on a body. He is the brains of the show. Some images we initially wanted to use included a shot of a cane and one of a bottle of Vicodin. The network was not on board with those two choices and requested that we replace them. As a result the image with Jennifer Morrison’s name became the shot of rowers on a river — we needed another shot." (source)

So, it would seem that Morrison's name was originally to be shown along side a cane and/or a bottle of Vicodin,

but, because the network wasn't too approving of such an opening image, they had to change it. And, although the river shot does stick out when contrasted with the few previous images/animations, the very first shot of the show's opening is an aerial view of the hospital, so, at least there's some consistency..

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    Along the lines of your last sentence, I always thought the craft on the water were shells rowed by the Princeton University crew team, as a tie-in to the setting of Princeton, NJ. Rowing at Princeton dates back over 150 years and it's commonly associated with the school. – Todd Wilcox May 11 '18 at 21:10
  • @ToddWilcox Well, really, the aerial shot of the hospital at the beginning isn't even a hospital.. it's of a few random buildings on Princeton Uni.'s campus. So, their decision to use Carnagie River as alternative could definitely be considered as an additional tribute to Princeton U., and of Princeton, NJ in general. And yes, reading from some web pages, it appears that the river is privately owned, and is home to the U.S. Olypmic rowing team (and is also used by Princeton's row team). Go figure..! – Charles May 11 '18 at 21:28
  • If I were to associate that imagery to anything, it would be the bloodstream, as a great many maladies in the show are somehow pathogens migrating via the bloodstream. I realize that's kind of stretching it, but that's just me. – Bill Hileman Dec 14 '18 at 19:08

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