Sliders


Sliders Information

Sliders is an American science fiction television series that was broadcast for five seasons between 1995 and 2000. The series follows a group of travelers as they use a wormhole to "slide" between different parallel universes. The show was created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé. Tormé, Weiss, Leslie Belzberg, John Landis, David Peckinpah, Bill Dial and Alan Barnette served as executive producers at different times of the production. For its first two seasons it was produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California, USA in the last three seasons.

The first three seasons of Sliders were aired by the Fox network. After being canceled by Fox, the series moved to Sci Fi Channel for its final two seasons. The last new episode first aired on December 29, 1999 in the United Kingdom, and was broadcast on Sci Fi Channel on February 4, 2000. Reruns can now been seen on the channel The Hub.

Premise

The show follows a group of people, called "Sliders", as they travel ("sliding") between different Earths in parallel universes via a wormhole-like "vortex", hoping to return safely to their original Earth Prime. The vortex can only be opened at random but preset intervals on each new world, monitored by a countdown clock on a portable timer that they carry; failure to open the vortex in time would strand the Sliders for 29 years in that universe. While waiting for the timer countdown, the group learns about the differences in the alternate Earth from their own, and often become unwillingly involved in events that they must resolve before they can safely leave via the vortex. The travelers have no control over what world they end up in, but continually look for means to find Earth Prime.

Seasons 1 and 2

The pilot introduces the four original Sliders: Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell), a graduate student in physics who discovered and refined the Sliding technology; Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), Quinn's mentor; Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), Quinn's friend; and Rembrandt "Cryin' Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks), a professional singer who is accidentally caught in the first major test of the vortex and is forced to join the others. Their first slide lands them on an Earth that is suffering from a second ice age, and Quinn, against his better judgement, uses the timer to open the vortex prematurely to save the group from an ice tornado bearing down on them. As a result, the sliders lose the ability to return home and must slide from world to world hoping that the next slide is Earth Prime. Many of the episodes in these early seasons focused on Earths that resulted from alternate histories, such as if the British had won the Revolutionary War, or if penicillin had never been discovered. Within the second season, the four encounter a humanoid species called the Kromaggs, who also have sliding technology but use it to ransack other Earths for people and resources.

Season 3

Season 3 saw the Fox Network take more control of the show, moving production from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles (described in the show by a change in the functionality of the timer), and setting a more action-oriented tone to the series, often based on ideas popularized by current films at the time, such as a dinosaur-themed episode inspired by Jurassic Park. During this time, Rhys-Davies expressed no interest in continuing his role, and eventually he was dismissed from the series by Fox. Within the show, Professor Arturo discovers he has acquired a terminal disease; he only informs Quinn but helps him come to terms with the inevitable loss.

While filming the episode "Desert Storm", actor Ken Steadman (Cutter) was killed in a dune buggy accident.

In a transitional episode, "The Exodus", the Sliders arrive on an Earth that is about to be irradiated by a passing pulsar that will destroy the surface of the planet before their next vortex can be opened. They encounter a military operation, led by Colonel Angus Rickman (Roger Daltrey) and Captain Maggie Beckett (Kari Wührer), trying to evacuate a select group of humans using their own sliding technology. Quinn helps Maggie locate a safe Earth, and happen upon Earth Prime; however, Maggie's biology is unable to breathe the air, and Quinn is forced to return her, but now having the coordinates of Earth Prime in this timer. They learn too late that Rickman has been killing others for his own self-sustainment, and after killing Arturo, takes the timer and flees to another world. After aiding in the remaining evacuation, Maggie offers to join Quinn, Wade, and Rembrandt to chase down Rickman using the Sliders' original timer, and recover the one with Earth Prime's coordinates.

In subsequent episodes, the group does catch up with Rickman, killing him and recovering the timer. After obtaining the coordinates, Quinn sends Rembrandt and Wade through a vortex leading back to Earth Prime, opting to stay behind with Maggie. Maggie eventually offers to take a risk on her life returning to Earth Prime, but when she and Quinn open a vortex, they find themselves in yet another alternate Earth.

Tracy Tormé, the original forerunner of the show, quit after this season, citing conflict with the Fox network on the show's direction. One example is the episode "The Exodus" described by Tormé as "one of the worst pieces of television ever produced, and the low point of the entire series". One aspect cited by Tormé was the forgoing of Quinn and Wade's relationship, and, in "The Exodus", Quinn is instead encouraged into a relationship with the wife of a scientist who is helping the sliders. Fox would cancel their run of the show after the third season.

Season 4

Starting with the fourth season, the show was picked up by the Sci Fi Channel. Lloyd did not opt to return to her role as Wade. Within the fourth season premier episode, Quinn and Maggie, after searching numerous alternate Earths for months, return to what they believe is Earth Prime only to find it overrun with Kromaggs. They soon discover Rembrandt, who reveals that Wade was taken to a Kromagg breeding camp in a parallel Earth, removing her character from the series. Quinn finds his mother who reveals that he was given to her as a baby by his real parents, scientists from a parallel Earth who left him for his own safety while they tried to find a way to repel the Kromaggs from their own world. Quinn's foster mother then reveals that his birth parents returned for him, but she couldn't bear to give him up, so she hid him. She gives Quinn a microchip that contains a message from his birth parents, the coordinates to another dimension where his brother was taken. Quinn is able to rescue Rembrandt, and the two of them slide with Maggie, leaving Earth Prime under the control of the Kromaggs.

The sliders set out now to find Quinn's brother in the hopes that he, too, will have information from their birth parents that will lead them to his home world, and presumably a weapon that can repel the Kromagg invasion of Earth Prime. Quinn, Maggie, and Rembrandt find Colin (Charlie O'Connell), a self-taught scientist/engineer living on a primitive Earth. Colin and Quinn find another microchip that contains the coordinates to their home dimension, but due to a safety precaution created by their parents, the slide cage, they are unable to slide to this dimension. The rest of the season focuses on their quest to find a way past the slide cage and return to their parents.

Season 5

The final season was an unexpected project from the Sci Fi Channel, and with limited time and funding, they were unable to secure Jerry O'Connell for a full season. Without Jerry, they chose not to use his brother Charlie either. In-show this was explained in the fifth season premiere when, during a slide, the personality of Quinn was "merged" with the Quinn of the Earth they were landing on, while Colin was lost to the vortex. This was the result of a failed experiment by Dr. Diana Davis (Tembi Locke). The merged Quinn (Robert Floyd), called "Mallory" by the sliders to distinguish him from the original Quinn, retained the memory and personality of both Quinns. Both Mallory and Diana would join Rembrandt and Maggie in searching for a weapon against the Kromaggs, as well as trying to recover Quinn and Colin.

Episode 11 briefly reunited the Sliders with Wade (actress Sabrina Lloyd performing voice over while actress Maria Stanton stood in as a Wade double), who was trapped in a Kromagg experiment, but able to telepathically communicate with Rembrandt. She is able to give them advice and help them to escape, but at the cost of her own life.

The four sliders eventually find the weapon that Quinn' and Colin's birth parents had developed, though they learn that its use will kill the ecosystem of any Earth it is used on. In one of the last episodes, they attempt to separate Quinn from Mallory, only to find out that it is not possible without killing one of them since they have been merged for too long. In the final episode, the sliders discover a virus that is fatal to Kromaggs only. Rembrandt willingly injects himself with the virus and slides alone back to Earth Prime to fight the Kromaggs, ending the series in a cliffhanger.

Broadcast history

Main article: List of Sliders episodes

Episodes aired out-of-order

The Fox Network aired certain episodes from seasons one and two in a different order than originally scripted to best capitalize on potential ratings-winning episodes, thus causing some continuity errors. For instance, the timer is first set to count down not in the pilot episode, but in "Summer of Love" "? since Fox aired "Fever" right after the pilot episode, though, many viewers were left confused as to why the Sliders suddenly had to leave within a very specific period of time. Similarly, the cliffhanger at the end of "Summer of Love" leads directly into the opening of "Prince of Wails" "? which Fox had actually aired a week earlier.

For Season Two, Fox did not want to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of "Luck of the Draw," preferring to focus instead on brand-new storylines. Thus, in "Time Again and World" (the first episode filmed for Season Two), Arturo makes a brief passing reference to the events of "Luck of the Draw." This missed cliffhanger was particularly significant as the episode had ended with Quinn being shot in the back. Tracy Tormé successfully petitioned for a chance to resolve the cliffhanger, though, which is briefly dealt with in the opening minutes of "Into the Mystic" (the third episode filmed, but the first to air that season) where the life threatening wound is now a flesh wound in his shoulder allowing for a quick recovery. "Time Again and World" ended up airing sixth in the rotation.

"Double Cross" was filmed as the premiere for Season Three. In this episode, the audience learns why the Sliders will now be able to slide anywhere between San Francisco and L.A. However, Fox opted to air "Rules of the Game" first, since it was a more action-oriented episode.

"The Last of Eden" was filmed before John Rhys-Davies (Prof. Arturo) left the show. However, Fox chose to air the episode for the first time on March 28, a full month after Arturo had been written off the show, requiring a new opening scene be added to frame the story as a flashback.

When the show began airing in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel, Sci Fi restored the original filmed order for Season One. However, when the DVDs were released, Universal used the aired order for Season One and the subsequent seasons.

Cast

Main article: List of Sliders actors

Main cast

  • Quinn Mallory (seasons 1"4), played by Jerry O'Connell
  • Wade Kathleen Welles (seasons 1"3, voice of Wade in "Requiem", S5e11), played by Sabrina Lloyd
  • Rembrandt Lee "Crying Man" Brown (seasons 1"5), played by Cleavant Derricks
  • Professor Maximillian P. Arturo (seasons 1"3), played by John Rhys-Davies
  • Maggie Beckett (seasons 3"5), played by Kari Wührer
  • Colin Mallory (season 4), played by Charlie O'Connell
  • Quinn Mallory (2) a.k.a. Mallory (season 5), played by Robert Floyd
  • Diana Davis (season 5), played by Tembi Locke

Recurring guest stars

Main article: Recurring characters of Sliders
  • Colonel Angus Rickman, played by Roger Daltrey ("The Exodus" parts 1 and 2 (S3e16"17)) and Neil Dickson (episodes "The Other Slide of Darkness", "Dinoslide", "Stoker" and "This Slide of Paradise" (S3e21, S3e23"25))
  • Elston Diggs, played by Lester Barrie (episodes "Double Cross", "The Dream Masters", "Desert Storm", "Dragonslide", "Murder Most Foul", and "The Breeder" (S3e2, S3e5"7, S3e13, S3e19))
  • Doctor Oberon Geiger, played by Peter Jurasik (episodes "The Unstuck Man", "Applied Physics", and "Eye of the Storm" (S5e1"2, S5e17))

Production

Entering into the fifth season, the production team knew that the series was not being renewed and had saved money from the budget of each season five episode for use in a last climactic battle for the season finale. The money was instead used for the penultimate episode, "Eye of the Storm", while the last episode ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. Insiders have suggested why this happened. The producers were concerned that the Sci Fi Channel had lost interest in the show after they ceased supplying corrective notes for the episodes and it was believed they did not even bother reading the scripts. One strict rule that the Sci Fi Channel had was that a gun couldn't be pointed at a person's head. To test if the scripts were read, the executive producer, Bill Dial, presented a script that featured a character getting his head shot completely off which was ignored. Dial then presented the script for the final episode cliffhanger which was also ignored. Some claim this was done to encourage fans to push for a sixth season but members of the production team claim that the decision was personal.

Changing cast

Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt Brown) is the only cast member to stay with the series throughout its entire run, while Derricks and Linda Henning (Mrs. Mallory) are the only actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the series. Derricks' identical twin brother, Clinton Derricks-Carroll, occasionally appeared on the show, in the episodes "The King Is Back", "Greatfellas", and "The Prince of Slides", when there was a need for Rembrandt and his double to interact.

John Rhys-Davies was the first star of the series to leave, officially due to creative differences, although different stories circulate about the reasons behind it. While Rhys-Davies was an outspoken critic of the writers, Fox supported him while Peckinpah was the only one who wanted him out. Some sources suggest that he was fired for insulting a Fox executive at a party who was later promoted to a high level position with control of programming, including Sliders, while other sources claim that he was fired in order to bring in Kari Wührer, who it was felt would increase the shows ratings with teenage boys and young men.

When Sabrina Lloyd (Wade Welles) left at the end of season three a spokesperson for her agency said "no comment at this time" and stated that it was her decision not to return. A source came forward claiming Lloyd was fired because she was jealous of Kari Wührer (Maggie Beckett). Universal and Lloyd's agent both refused to comment and the rumour spread. Much later it was revealed that Lloyd and Wührer did not get along due to Wührer's ego and some comments she had made about Lloyd's engagement to a crew member. As Peckinpah wanted to return to the 3 male/1 female dynamic, it was decided Lloyd was no longer required after she asked for a raise. As a result of public pressure to elaborate on what happened to Wade after she disappeared, the producers asked Lloyd to guest star in one season five episode that was to focus entirely on Wade (without the rest of the cast). Lloyd requested $40,000 to appear, the same salary per episode that Derricks was receiving and $20,000 more than Wührer, and the idea was scrapped. However, the episode she was to appear in, Requiem, was "fine tuned" to answer this question without her. Lloyd did provide audio for the episode.

When production moved to Los Angeles, the recurring characters were dropped due to the expense of flying them from Vancouver to Los Angeles for filming. Bartender Elston Diggs was brought in as a recurring character for six episodes but Peckinpah eventually rejected the concept. Logan St. Clair was created to be a recurring character, which is evident in the episode's dialogue, but only appeared once. Fox did not believe she was "sexy" enough and requested she not appear again.

Jerry and Charlie O'Connell left the series to pursue film careers, or because Jerry wanted to become an executive producer on the series. The brothers leaving the show disaffected many fans and Tracy Tormé was asked what could be done to win them back. This resulted in an unsuccessful effort to bring back some popular previously recurring characters. The producers negotiated with John Novak (Ross J. Kelly, the ambulance-chasing lawyer), Alex Bruhanski (Pavel Kurlienko, the taxi driver) and Lester Barrie (Elston Diggs the waiter at the Chandler Hotel) for their return in season five. Zoe McLellan (Logan St. Clair) was scheduled to appear again and Jason Gaffney (Conrad Bennish, Jr) from season one was confirmed for four episodes including the season finale. However, none of these guest stars appeared. Why Bennish didn't appear in the fifth season is one of the biggest behind-the-scenes mysteries of the show.

Changing staff

The series co-creator, Tracy Tormé, has often been critical of the direction the series took in the third season. David Peckinpah was brought onto the series in the third season (around the time when Tracy Tormé started to criticize the show). Peckinpah has been criticized by fans of the show, who argue that his involvement caused the show to "jump the shark", despite new executive producer Marc Scott Zicree's decision to restore Tracy Tormé's original "alternate history" premise for the series in season 4.

Connection to other works

There has been speculation that Sliders was inspired by George R.R. Martin's 1992 ABC pilot Doorways, in which the main cast were fugitives fleeing through parallel worlds, while carrying a device that tells them where and when the next Doorway opens. Although six additional scripts after the pilot film were completed, Doorways never went to series, as ABC decided to launch Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman instead in the fall of 1993. At the time of Sliders' launch, Evelyn C. Leeper noted the similarities to Doorways, and in response to rumors that Sliders creator Tracy Tormé applied for a writing position on the show, Martin clarified in a 1995 post on GEnie that it was Tormé's agent that inquired about the position, and Tormé has denied any connection between the two.

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1 and 2 and seasons 1-4 in Regions 4. The fifth and final season was released in Region 1 on January 17, 2012, over 3 years since the release of season 4.

DVD Name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The First and Second Seasons 23 August 3, 2004 December 27, 2004 May 2, 2005
The Third Season 25 July 19, 2005 October 31, 2005 February 8, 2006
The Fourth Season 22 March 25, 2008 May 19, 2008 June 4, 2008
The Fifth Season 18 January 17, 2012 March 13, 2009 (Germany)
On August 23, 2007, Netflix Instant View started providing all five seasons of Sliders available for streaming. Two season 1 episodes ("Last Days", and "The Weaker Sex") are missing with a note in their place stating that the DVD is required to view the episode. The first episode, "Pilot", is available both as one combined episode, and as two separate parts, "Pilot Part 1" and "Pilot Part 2". All episodes of the remaining seasons (2-5) are available for streaming.

On March 12, 2008, Universal Studios added Sliders season one to their free online viewing service, Hulu. Season two was added on May 8, 2009, and season three was added on July 2, 2009.

In late 2008, season five and eventually all five seasons were made available through iTunes TV Shows store.

Sliders in other media

Sliders-branded works

  • The pilot episode of Sliders was novelized by science-fiction writer Brad Linaweaver, and was released in the spring of 1996, one year after the series originally premiered. Linaweaver's novelization incorporates several deleted scenes from the original pilot episode production script, along with Linaweaver's own additions to the plot.
  • Linaweaver also later compiled an episodic guide to the show, Sliders: The Classic Episodes, which contained information only on Seasons One through Three.
  • Dennis McCarthy produced a Sliders soundtrack with complete scores to both the episodes from the first season he scored, which included the pilot. As of late 2010, no other scoring from the series' other composers has been released.
  • Sliders was also spun off into a comic book series published by Acclaim Comics. This comics series had no direct input from series creators Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, but Tracy Tormé did pass along several notes detailing stories that went unproduced. Series star Jerry O'Connell also personally authored one special issue of this comic series. While advertised and solicited for advance order, the final Sliders comic, titled Get a Life, never made it to store shelves; but artist Rags Morales completed art for 14 pages of the comic before production was stopped.
  • Sliders trading cards were also produced.

Allusions and references by others

  • After the changes of the DC Comics event mini-series Zero Hour, the artistic design of time travel was changed and first introduced in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 number 74. During the issue, Superboy comments that this new artistic design of time travel is similar to the tunnel effect on Sliders. This new artistic design for time travel has been used by DC Comics from the 1995 debut through to its last appearance in 2005 in the Teen Titans/Legion Special.
  • In the December 19, 1996 FoxTrot strip by Bill Amend, Frosty the Snowman condemns Paige for watching Sliders instead of his own Christmas television special.
  • In 1997, the Desktop Images production company released a training video on the subject of Organic Modeling and Animation hosted by David Lombardi. This how-to video gave a special behind the scenes look at the special effects process used on the Sliders season three episodes Paradise Lost and Dinoslide.
  • Marvel's Exiles features several Marvel characters who have been pulled from their own realities to fix problems in alternate ones. Series creator Judd Winick has stated that Sliders was part of the inspiration for the series.
  • Released February, 2005, Marvel Knights 4 issue 15 features the Human Torch fondly remembering Sliders as the fantastic team prepares to embark on a time travel mission.
  • The September 14, 2007 issue of online comic VG Cats (#243: Bizzaro!) features Leo mentioning Sliders, followed by a scene in a parallel universe into which the original line-up (Rembrandt, Arturo, Quinn and Wade) slide. The Timer states they are there for three years.
  • The September 27, 2009 premiere of the Family Guy episode Road to the Multiverse featured a Brian and Stewie adventure inspired by Sliders.

International Broadcast

  • Argentina (El Trece (Argentina), Studio Universal (Latin America))
  • Australia (Network Ten)
  • Austria (Pro 7)
  • Belgium ("?én (canceled after first series), Acht, La Deux)
  • Brazil (TV Cultura (dubbed in Portuguese))
  • Bulgaria (AXN Sci Fi, Diema 2)
  • Canada (Space, Ztélé (dubbed in French))
  • Colombia (Canal Caracol)
  • Czech Republic (AXN Sci-Fi)
  • Denmark (Danmarks Radio, TV2)
  • Finland (TV2, TVTV!), MTV3 Scifi)
  • France (M6, France 4)
  • Germany (ProSieben, Syfy), Fox Channel)
  • Greece (Skai TV)
  • Guatemala (BBC Entertainment)
  • Hong Kong (ATV World)
  • Hungary (AXN Sci Fi, RTL Klub, TV2)
  • Iceland (RÚV)
  • India (BBC Entertainment)
  • Indonesia (Global TV (Indonesia) (was played at 05:30 am,Replaced the Chalkzone), RCTI (was played 15:30 pm)
  • Republic of Ireland (TV3)
  • Israel (yes stars Action HD, BBC Entertainment, Yes SCI FI)
  • Italy (Rai 4 and Jimmy, Rai 1 (classic series)), La7, Bonsai TV (IPTV channel))
  • Japan (NHK BS2,LaLa TV)
  • Malaysia (Astro Network, TV9)
  • Mexico (BBC Entertainment, Televisión Mexiquense)
  • Mongolia (MovieBox)
  • The Netherlands (Syfy Universal)
  • New Zealand (Prime, UKTV)
  • Norway (NRK)
  • Philippines (ABC 5)
  • Poland (BBC Entertainment, BBC HD)
  • Portugal (SIC Radical, BBC Entertainment, SyFy)
  • Romania (TVR, AXN Sci Fi)
  • Russia (STS TV, Syfy Universal)
  • Singapore (BBC Entertainment)
  • Slovenia (RTV Slovenia)
  • South Africa (BBC Entertainment)
  • South Korea (KBS2 (dubbed in Korean), Fox and BBC Entertainment (subtitled in Korean))
  • Spain
    • Dubbed in Spanish: TVE2 (original airing) Sci Fi Channel and Boing (reruns) and Telemadrid (Madrid)
    • Dubbed in Catalan: TV3 and 3XL
    • Dubbed in Basque: ETB 1
  • Sweden (BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, TV4 Science fiction, Kanal 9, TV4 Guld)
  • Switzerland (Pro 7)
  • Taiwan (CTS)
  • Thailand (Channel 7)
  • Turkey (Cine5, CNBC-e, e2)
  • Ukraine (ICTV (in 2008), QTV (in 2010))
  • UAE (Dubai 33)
  • USA (Fox Channel}
  • Vietnam (VBC)



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sliders" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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