Alright. This will be my last post in this thread.
I'm entitled to my opinion. And my opinion is that Fix Fics with no storytelling, characterization, world-building or ideas beyond hitting the Undo button on Sliders 3 - 5 are awful.
These Season 6 stories have no meaningful parallel Earths (because they're tied up in knots trying to resurrect the dead three times over), no relatable characters (because even if the original cast come back, they've been warped and twisted beyond recognition; a Wade who's been a prisoner for twenty years will be a mess), no meaningful themes to explore (because sticking Quinn, revealing the Wade in "Requiem" wasn't Wade, bringing back the original Professor, etc., are all separate stories awkwardly hammered into a single tale) and they have no new ideas.
These Season 6 plots are ostensibly setting forth to bring the sliders back. They don't even succeed at doing that; the sliders they recover are too traumatized and damaged to be sliders.
These stories just suck by any measurable standard: no characterization, convenient plot devices piled on top of each other in rapid succession to resurrect mutilated versions of the original cast with whom new viewers wouldn't be acquainted. Pointless. Which is why Matt was so very much against SLIDERS REBORN taking the route that it did.
SLIDERS REBORN is a Season 6 sort of story. That's not one of its strengths. The prequel, "Reprise," opens like every Season 6 story, has Rembrandt coming out of the vortex in "The Seer" to find the original sliders waiting for him. It's two pages, it sets up the expectation that the subsequent pages will be all about undoing the plot aspects of Seasons 3 - 5. There'll be a Kromagg war, explanations for how the sliders can be back, big revelations about Seasons 3 - 5 being some sort of conspiracy or setup. Season 6 is coming.
The second installment, however, immediately pivots away from any sort of Season 6 story. It's set in 2015. Fifteen years after "The Seer," with whatever Season 6 material that happened taking place in the time gap. The story doesn't focus on any of that, instead, focusing on what Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are doing in the present day. The audience was set up for a Season 6 story, instead, they're getting Season 20.
This is a Steven Moffat style technique that blogger Philip Sandifer calls "narrative substitution." The audience is made to think they are in one kind of story -- a Kromagg War epic -- only to find they are in a completely different story entirely. Rest asssured, I'm not in any way a writer on the level of Moffat or Sandifer; this was just me writing instinctively, often creating a messy narrative, and relying on Matt and Nigel Mitchell to help me trim and tidy it afterwards, so all this is after-the-fact analysis.
But this is the resulting approach of looking at Season 6 and noting: the actors are too old to pick up where they left off. Too much time has passed; if you have Rembrandt rescuing Wade in 2015 with the idea that she's been in a Kromagg cell for 17 years, you've delivered resolution that's so ridiculously late as to be totally useless. And what is the point of all these twisted, convoluted Season 6 plot gymnastics? Pilight says it's to bring "closure," but what closure is there from seeing a traumatized and battered Wade Welles in 2015? If the end goal is to have Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo back onscreen -- then just put them back onscreen immediately and let the convoluted stuff stay off camera.
So, by the end of "Reunion," we have a Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo who made it home in 2001 and have been living normal lives for 14 years. We have a Quinn who kept sliding during all that time. And then we go into "Revelations," which at first seems to be a Season 1 - 2 type of story -- the sliders wander into trouble on unknown worlds.
However, this turns out to be another narrative substitution -- because the climax reveals that the multiverse is broken and that while the sliders were given happy endings and homecomings, the end result was the same as most Season 6 stories. This is not a new adventure in a new series for the sliders. It turns out to be their final adventure. The series finale.
The result was what Philip Sandifer calls a "narrative collapse" -- a situation where it's no longer possible to continue using the series platform for continued installments because the story has come to an endpoint. And that's where all Season 6 stories -- including mine -- inevitably bring SLIDERS -- to a narrative collapse where the series is no longer suited to new adventures.
The tangled backstory of Seasons 3 - 5 warped the characters before dispatching them. The time gap of 2015 and the idea that the sliders, in their mutilated state, have somehow been alive the whole time, only makes their fates more grotesque and horrific. So, when you do Season 6 style stories, you not only produce incomprehensible material, you're presenting characters who are played out and no longer suited to being characters in SLIDERS.
SLIDERS requires that the regular cast be relatable people from 'our' world; a Quinn who's been in quantum limbo since 1999, a Wade who's spent over a decade in a Kromagg jail, an Arturo who's adopted the Azure Gate Bridge world as his own and a Season 5 Rembrandt -- these people aren't audience identification points anymore; they're aliens.
SLIDERS REBORN just barely dodges this bullet -- the characters are revived, but it's established that there was the 'original' timeline in which the sliders had Torme style adventures for four years, and then there's the 'altered' timeline which is the version that aired on TV.
But the end result is still suffering from the same problem as most Season 6s -- unrelatable characters. In this case, the characters would be difficult to relate to because after 20 years of sliding, Quinn's mastery of the technology should make him functionally invincible, far too powerful and no longer suited to being presented as a fallible and vulnerable hero.
In order to get one more story out of this setup, it then becomes necessary to come up with an explanation for why Quinn *doesn't* have total mastery of sliding -- but then it means that once Quinn does get control of sliding, the series is complete. So, SLIDERS REBORN, despite finding ways to side-step all the issues of Season 6, is nevertheless a story about concluding SLIDERS rather than reviving it for a new series and a new round of adventures.
Season 6 -- and SLIDERS REBORN -- are effectively a dead end for continuing development. There's no point in reviving SLIDERS for the twenty-first century just to end it -- that would not be a revival.
Alright. I've said enough.