SLIDERS (2020) - Season 1
Corey Fogelmanis as Quinn Mallory (he plays intelligence well)
Isabel May as Wade Welles (she has this geek girl energy that reminds me of my niece)
Keith David as Rembrandt Brown (great voice)
and Victor Garber as the Professor (wise and older)
Executive Producers: Jerry O'Connell and John Rhys-Davies (figureheads)
Story Editor: Scott Smith Miller (that's right, I want the imagination behind "Eggheads" on staff to do nothing but conceive and detail alt-histories, but I don't want him writing scripts, have you read "Raging Quinn"? Jesus.)
Script Editors: Marc Scott Zicree and Megan Ganz (to rewrite shooting scripts to be filmable and coherent)
Consultants: Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss (I don't know if they're available or willing to run a modern day TV production)
Veto Rights: Transmodiar (if he says something's "ridiculous," it is to be stricken from the story, no negotiation, no redrafting)
Special thanks to George R. R. Martin (clearly one of SLIDERS' biggest fans)
1.1 - "Doorway" (story by Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss, script by... me? Temporal Flux?)
Wade Welles is a tech support worker who failed to find direction in life. Rembrandt Brown is a former superstar who failed to hang onto his 15 minutes of fame. Professor Arturo is a genius who failed to find recognition for his brilliance. And Quinn Mallory is a grad student who failed to create anti-gravity but discovered a gateway to parallel worlds instead...
On Quinn's second slide, he brings his co-worker (Wade) and his academically disgruntled professor (Arturo). The gateway accidentally ensnares Rembrandt and the episode ends on a cliffhanger with the sliders facing down a nuclear missile with 50 minutes left on the timer. Dedicated with love and respect to George R. R. Martin who I'm sure is very excited about a SLIDERS revival.
1.2 - "Gaming the Throne" (to be written by Slider_Quinn21)
I assigned this story to Slider_Quinn21 because he still owes me the second half of a SLIDERS pilot. Cough it up, Rob!
Triggering the vortex to escape the missile fries the timer, creating the 29.7 risk should they miss the window and random sliding. The sliders land on an Earth where the Russians have co-opted the American government and the resistance is viewed as absurd conspirators alongside flat earthers, birthers, 9-11 truthers and anti-vaxxers. Dedicated with great fondness to George R. R. Martin who I'm sure cannot be more thrilled about SLIDERS coming back.
My niece points out that Slider_Quinn21 served as the script editor on SLIDERS REBORN after I fired Transmodiar and Nigel Mitchell, shortly after they quit -- and that I should really let it go that Slider_Quinn21 never delivered on the SLIDERS (2013) pilot.
1.3 - "The Feasting Crows" (to be written by Informant)
The sliders visit an Earth where all health care is free, but participants are required to take part in medical experiments with side effects that range from mild to deadly. When Quinn gets his wisdom teeth removed, he balks at the price of testing an experimental vaccine that might leave him paralyzed.
The sliders are hunted by bounty hunters looking to settle the bill. Initially, all the sliders abandon Quinn at his instruction to keep them safe as he blames himself for their predicament. But by the end, they return to save him and slide out together.
I assigned this story to Informant so he could rant about Obamacare in a fictional context. Dedicated with warm admiration to George R. R. Martin who I'm sure is overjoyed to know SLIDERS is producing new episodes.
1.4 - "Songs of Stars" (story by Tracy Torme and Chaser9)
On this Earth, Rembrandt's double is a deranged and egotistical celebrity and Remmy is forced to confront his past, realizing that his career went south in the 90s when he went onstage crying after a breakup and was branded "The Crying Man" for his performance. Remmy was humiliated and went into musical hibernation and when he came out, his career had dried up.
His double, in contrast, embraced the nickname, became a superstar and went mad with fame and power. Feeling affirmed in both his art and his life's choices, Rembrandt goes from being irritated with sliding to being grateful for the experience.
The revised backstory for Rembrandt here was created by Chaser9.
Dedicated with adoring appreciation to George R. R. Martin who I'm sure is deeply moved by these titles that pay tribute to books he's written.
1.5 - "Fourth Wall" (story by Transmodiar, lifted from his fanfic)
The sliders visit an Earth where freedom of the press has been suppressed by decades of anti-communist paranoia and Wade falls in with an underground newspaper and rediscovers her passion for computers and journalism. (I ran out of George R. R. Martin titles to copy.)
1.6 - "Please Press One" (story by Keith Damron)
On a world of fully automated retail experiences, Quinn and Arturo seek components to upgrade the timer but run afoul of an artificial intelligence seeking to ensnare the sliders and take their technology. Meanwhile, Wade and Rembrandt encounter a former retail engineer looking to blow up the shopping mall after being denied a refund on a broken chair.
(Does it scare you as much as it scares me that Keith Damron teaches screenwriting? Hope to God his students are slow learners.)
1.7- "Map of the Mind" (story by Robert Masello with Steve Lyons)
The sliders visit an America where fiction is illegal. Rembrandt is imprisoned for singing, the Professor and Quinn go undercover with the police while Wade falls in with the local resistance and starts to suffer from delusions. The sliders discover that pulp and paper on this continent have been contaminated with a psychoactive substance that causes hallucinations and the Professor conceives a cure, cures Wade and shares the formula before they leave.
1.8 - "Birthright" (story by Transmodiar, lifted from his life and fanfic)
In a US where all citizens are evaluated by a social credit program at all times, the Professor encounters a double of the son he neglected back home. Meanwhile, Wade becomes obsessed with using the social credit system to track down a mugger who once robbed and traumatized her.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Quinn and Rembrandt run afoul of the credit system after being accused of flashing a female janitor who walked into the restroom when they were using the urinals.
1.9 - "Shadowed" (by Temporal Flux)
In a world of constant reality TV, the sliders are followed everywhere by documentarians making a reality show version of SLIDERS and much trouble ensues when... when... when I can bring to mind what TF's plot was for this concept, I can't remember. Anyway. The reality TV episode!
1.10 - "Footprints" (to be written by Robert K. Weiss)
In a once robot-operated San Francisco where all digital data has been corrupted and left the machines inoperable, an enterprising police detective attempts to find the sliders who are responsible for this situation. It turns out that the sliders left this world weeks ago and they did what they did to prevent a city-destroying flood that would have been caused by a malfunctioning dam.
I assigned this one to Weiss because he seems to like robots.
1.11 - "Invasion" (story by Nigel Michell)
The sliders visit a world that is ruled by the Kromaggs, an interdimensional race of neo Nazis who are an alternate evolutionary path of humans. (Yes, we're using the Season 4 costumes and makeup.) Our heroes encounter fearful civillians in thrall to their distant rulers, terrified that anyone they know could be a shapeshifting Kromagg.
However, further investigation reveals that this empire is a ruse crafted by a slider who left the world a long time ago. The sliders liberate this Earth while wondering who this slider was and if the Kromaggs really exist and commenting on how terrible the makeup was.
I assigned this story to Nigel because he wrote two great Kromagg stories: Mary's life's story and one where the late Season 3 sliders encounter a Kromagg dominated Earth and Maggie is determined to raise a resistance.
1.12 - "Heavy Metal" (story by Chris Black)
The sliders visit a world where the means to extract aluminium from bauxite were never created and air travel is non-existent. Landing aboard a seafaring ship that's taking them out of the timer's geographical limits, the sliders must race the timer to get back into the city before it's too late. It becomes clear that the limitations of the timer will leave the sliders dead or stranded unless the problems are addressed.
1.13 - "The Great Works" (story by Temporal Flux)
The sliders land in a vast and largely vacated library on a world where all copyright laws have failed and ceased. They find a Quinn-double who has been developing sliding in this patent-free world and may offer the means to reach home.
However, this double reveals that our Quinn deliberately got the sliders lost and has been using them in a twisted psych and engineering experiment to map parallel histories and perfect his invention, deliberately putting them in one deadly situation after another to gradually eliminate witnesses.
The sliders turn on Quinn and Quinn flees the library. The sliders accept this new Quinn-2 as their friend, but later, the Professor finds the Kromagg makeup and prosthetics. Wade analyzes a photo of a Kromagg from "Invasion" and digitally removes the prosthetics to reveal Quinn-2's face as the slider who created the Kromagg ruse in "Invasion."
Our Quinn returns to discover that the library's garden is full of dead bodies -- bodies of Quinn-doubles with Quinn-2 stealing his counterparts' knowledge and information and, in this instance, framing his alternate for Quinn-2's sociopathy. And Rembrandt finds medical records indicating that Quinn-2, when he had his wisdom teeth removed in his teens, experienced brain swelling that has led to his current psychopathy.
Quinn-2 defends his actions, declaring that every Quinn-double he encountered was a reckless, random slider with a malfunctioning timer that would inevitably get him killed, that the multiverse is full of horrors, and that our Quinn is the only one he's ever met who was additionally stupid in bringing friends, that he put them on a nightmare journey and that only Quinn-2 deserves to have them.
But Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo protest: they have rediscovered their talents and skills in the course of sliding. They miss home, but they are proud to be sliders and Quinn is their friend.
In the final confrontation, Quinn-2 is caught in a vortex that will leave him permanently between dimensions. The sliders use Quinn-2's stolen hardware to upgrade the timer to allow it to track wormholes, store and target previous coordinates, and they slide off with renewed trust in each other, increased control of their travels and a home base in this library.
This entire season is dedicated to George R. R. Martin whose ranting about DOORWAYS and its superiority to SLIDERS even decades later has regularly gotten SLIDERS back in the press and into the public eye.