I don't understand. Ireaction, you make it sound like your father died. I mean I love Sliders and it sucked when the Professor was killed off, but was like what you describing. If it was then his would be an incredible thing wouldn't it?
If it comes back at all, it would be great. If the original characters (and actors, ala X-Files) it would be Amazing!
Recently, I was visiting my niece and yelped at the sight of a book lying on the floor. She asked me what was wrong and I pointed a shaking finger at the man on the book cover. "He killed Dad!" I shrieked. My niece picked up the book. It was an autobiography of Roger Daltrey (Colonel Rickman v1.0). "You know he's just an actor, right?" my niece said gently.
I sheepishly asked to borrow it and read it and Mr. Daltrey is a very pleasant and funny soul and no, he didn't kill my father (who is still alive) and the Professor isn't my dad. I have an unusually personal connection to SLIDERS and the Professor's death was *like* the death of a parent. I realize that this connection is neither sensible nor sane, but it wouldn't be any more sensible or sane to deny it.
I was 10 years old when SLIDERS first aired and I was excited to see my fantasy figure hero from MY SECRET IDENTITY playing a boy genius. Quinn was everything I would have wanted to be: scientifically literate, physically capable and daringly adventurous. He also seemed at ease with women without being inappropriately flirtatious (until "Dragonslide" when he fell in love with an unconscious woman).
My father wasn't around when I was a kid. My mother regularly told me that her divorce was my fault and regularly shriek at me that Dad left because I forgot my homework at home or didn't make the track team. It didn't really matter what I did or didn't do; Mum was always going to find some excuse to blame me for the failure of her marriage and beat me and hold knives to my throat and starve me and destroy my schoolwork. The only relief I had was BOY MEETS WORLD for the comfort of a familial setting and SLIDERS because it presented a father figure.
The Professor was wise, amusing, bombastic, grandiose and seemingly all-knowing while also arrogant, cowardly, egotistical and insecure. He was a real person, wonderful but human. Wade was a delight, Rembrandt was hilarious and the sliders were my friends. This is the most pathetic thing I've ever said about myself, but not as pathetic as it would be to lie about it.
When I was 13, my mother took to randomly ripping the cable out of the television because she wasn't happy with my piano playing. She also threw me down the stairs. I barely managed to reconnect the TV in time to catch the second half of "The Exodus Part II" and for my trouble, I saw the Professor get his brain sucked out. Then Colonel Rickman shot him and Arturo's corpse was left on a planet that exploded. I felt like I'd watched my father die.
Anyway. My father and I have a pretty close relationship these days with weekly Friday phone calls and I find that my mother's invective towards me was largely a self-portrait where my grandparents weren't speaking to her and my father had fled her, not me.
But from age 13 - 26, I never really grasped that. The Professor's death was a horrific incident that left me forever shaken and unsure. In 2000, after SLIDERS was cancelled, I had a conversation with Tracy Torme where I described how much the Professor had meant to me and Tracy apologized for what happened, explaining that he had not been in a position to choose his successor on Season 3 and that he'd needed to spend time with his ailing father. "I'm sorry you lost your dad," said Tracy, taking my grief dead seriously when a less sensitive person would have rolled his eyes and moved on. "I lost my dad too."
I asked him what he would do if he had one last episode of SLIDERS. He said he would open a new season with Quinn waking up to find time rewound to the Pilot. Wade, Rembrandt and the Professor would be alive with only Quinn having any memory of sliding. The scenario would be revealed as a Kromagg trick along with any episodes after "The Guardian." It was a pleasant dream.
Over time, I found other shows -- I fell in love with DOCTOR WHO when DOCTOR WHO had been cancelled and obsessed over the Eighth Doctor novels which carved out their own place in a defunct TV show. I loved William Shatner's STAR TREK novels which resurrected Kirk after GENERATIONS. I found ways to placate and avoid the hole that the Professor's death left in my life, but sometimes, I found myself staring right into it.
In 2005, DOCTOR WHO was revived and one of the first novels for the new show was "The Stealer of Dreams" by Steve Lyons in which the Doctor and friends visit a planet where fiction is illegal and those who traffic in art are institutionalized and lobotomized. This stirring, beautiful novel was everything that "Map of the Mind" wasn't and when reading it, I wept for SLIDERS. The wound had never healed. For a time, I could ignore it, but it always came back.
In 2009, Tracy did the EP.COM interview and mentioned his story idea. EP.COM asked me to write essays and reviews. In 2011, I wrote his story idea up as the "Slide Effects" script and I felt a little better at offering a vision of how we could step back from Seasons 3 - 5. But it wasn't enough -- it was an idea of how we could have done Season 6 in 2000, but we were 11 years removed and all the actors had aged.
Later on, I became enamoured with the TV series COMMUNITY which is about a study group of misfits at a community college. As an exercise, I would take COMMUNITY scripts, do a find-and-replace to put the cast of SLIDERS into COMMUNITY screenplays and was astonished at how true and heartfelt results would seem.
REMBRANDT: (looking at Arturo's plate) "That's a lot of pasta for no veggies."
ARTURO: "You're not in charge of what I eat!"
REMBRANDT: "That's true. Wade?"
Wade steps in front of Arturo and glares at him and his pasta-covered plate. Arturo takes a fearful step back to the cafeteria counter.
ARTURO: (to the server) "And some damn broccoli!"
There was something so vivid, so distinct, so full of life in these transposed script pages. Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo gained vivid definition on paper as scripted sitcom characters and I longed to see them written so in full-fledged adventures.
I was also spending a lot of time in psychotherapy and it became apparent that SLIDERS was a potent metaphor for my childhood trauma and abuse. Meanwhile, THE X-FILES had returned in comic books continuing their mythology at the present day with THE X-FILES: SEASON 10 with Mulder and Scully reopening the X-Files in 2013. I wanted SLIDERS to have a similar product. "Slide Effects" had proven that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo could come alive in the screenplay format, THE X-FILES comics had demonstrated how to pick up on a long-removed cliffhanger and go back to basics despite an extensive catalog of unresolved plots.
And I realized that if I avoided looking into the gaping hole in my heart left by the Professor's death, I would never mend it. It would never heal.
From 2015 - 2016, I wrote a six part series of SLIDERS REBORN screenplays with the original sliders 15 years after the events of "The Seer." My therapist described these scripts as the equivalent of a doctoral thesis. The first two scripts were posted on EarthPrime.com on March 22, 2015, twenty years to the day that Quinn's first adventure aired on FOX. "You finally did it," I crowed to myself. "This is YOUR show now." My sister, visiting that week, overheard me, knew what I was talking about and remarked, "Doesn't that just tell you how nobody else wanted it?"
I posted the final script on December 27, 2016 and felt complete and fulfilled. SLIDERS now had a series finale that was respectful and inclusive of every season of SLIDERS and my childhood torment was at an end. I was the researcher for REWATCH PODCAST when they were covering SLIDERS -- my role was to send them bullet-point emails documenting everything Temporal Flux had ever shared with this community about SLIDERS which they would mention in their podcasts. For LOIS AND CLARK, I read all the teleplays and sent them deleted scenes.
But after SLIDERS REBORN was complete and as the LOIS AND CLARK rewatch was winding down, I sent The Rewatch Podcast an email telling them I felt it was time to step away from covering other people's creations. "Everything in my life has been a reaction to the death of Professor Arturo," I wrote without a hint of irony although I knew Tom and Cory would laugh. I explained that it was time to move forward, try creating work of my own, and let SLIDERS be something to remember fondly rather than keep it in my present.
And I guess that's part of why SLIDERS returning to NBC or Netflix or Apple or whatever would be difficult for me. SLIDERS REBORN was very much about confronting my childhood trauma. I resolved SLIDERS, I put it aside, and I revisit it largely in terms of turning each and every conversation about other TV shows back to SLIDERS on this message board (and only this message board).
If we see Quinn and the Professor onscreen again played by Jerry and John, then SLIDERS is very much in the present and future and that could be a little uncomfortable for me. But I shouldn't be selfish. A true fan of SLIDERS would want SLIDERS to be bigger than any one person's experience of it.