Topic: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS is proud (or moderately tolerant enough) to present SLIDERS REBORN, the series finale of SLIDERS.

This six-part series of PDF screenplays features Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo in 2015 - 2016, celebrating the 20th anniversary of SLIDERS and picking up 15 years after the events of "The Seer." With "Regenesis" (6), SLIDERS REBORN is complete and can be read in its entirety at Special thanks go to Slider_Quinn21 for stepping in as editor for the final script.

  • Reprise (1): Whatever happened to Rembrandt Brown?

  • Reunion (2): Twenty years after the first slide, the original quartet must begin their adventures once again.

  • Revelation (3): Five sliders. Three Earths. A search for answers that will lead to Quinn's darkest secret.

  • Reminiscence (4): How can Quinn, Wade and Arturo be alive? How can home be normal? All will be answered here.

  • Revolution (5): Facing death, Quinn is confronted by an old friend from whom he has no secrets.

And now:

Regenesis (6): A city of unwitting Sliders. A detective agency called Sliders Incorporated. And a final stand for the fate of all realities as Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo confront their greatest enemies.

This closing chapter is the long-awaited series finale of SLIDERS and features Maggie Beckett, Colin Mallory, Mallory, Diana Davis, the rock-star vampires, the radioactive slug, the robots, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the breeder parasites, the super-intelligent snakes, the toy-sized cars with laser cannons, the animal human hybrids, the genetically engineered scarab, the underground Morlocks, the dragon and Hurley.

A 144-page screenplay.

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

It was awesome to participate in this.  There's so many references, so many nods, and so much thought put into it.  You can tell how much these characters mean to ireactions and how badly he wants for a happy ending for them.  It isn't exactly Torme's sliders....or Peckinpah's.  There's Dan Harmon and quite a bit of Chuck (a show I haven't seen but could feel nonetheless) and just a ton of himself poured in.

As an editor, there were things that ireactions was willing to change immediately, things he was willing to compromise on, and things he flat-out refused to touch.  All in all, he had a vision that he wanted, and I'm fairly certain he matched that vision up as closely as possible.

All things considered, I think this will go down as one of the grandest and finest pieces of Sliders fanfiction that exists.  Definitely worth your time.

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

I look forward to sitting down and finishing this series once I complete the absolutely insane writing project that I am dealing with (halfway done! Woot!). It sounds great, and if it's anywhere near as good as The X-Files Reborn, it will be well worth my time.

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

I would say that SLIDERS REBORN is a pastiche of DC Comics writer Geoff Johns. I genuinely think that if Johns were obsessed with SLIDERS' minutiae in the way he's obsessed with Superman, Green Lantern and the Flash, this is what he'd do, and I can do a pretty good Geoff Johns impression, mimicking his style for SLIDERS' content and characters. And Johns and Tracy Tormé are extremely similar albeit with key points of difference that lead to different products with similar sensibilities. I don't think the social satire hits the same notes as a Tormé script, but I think the comedic notes are close enough for it to feel like SLIDERS.

Anyway. One SLIDERS fanfic game: coming up with a behind the scenes alternate history to explain how, in some parallel universe, the fanfic was written and filmed. I didn't do this for SLIDERS REBORN when writing it, but I'll try now with this web article from Earth 207 where Geoff Johns explains why he wrote SLIDERS REBORN.

SLIDERS Joins Yahoo's Superheroes
by Jo Caplan, September 14, 2014

DC Comics' Geoff Johns will helm a revival of the cult 90s sci-fi series featuring Jerry O'Connell (CROSSING JORDAN) and John Rhys-Davies (LORD OF THE RINGS).

In addition to featuring a new run of DC Universe television shows, Yahoo will resurrect SLIDERS, a FOX television series about four friends exploring parallel worlds of alternate histories. TITANS and DOOM PATROL producer Geoff Johns will be leading the series.

But why did Yahoo revive a show that aired its last episode in 2000 on the former Sci-Fi Channel? Especially when this show saw creative changes that led to three-quarters of the original cast departing and the final seasons being disowned by the original creators?

"I'm a fan," says Johns. In his office, he opens a cabinet drawer to reveal a wealth of SLIDERS material: a novelization, an episode guide, a set of trading cards, a complete set of the comic books, screenplays that appear to have actors' handwritten notes, seven different DVD box sets, what looks like printouts of internet fan fiction, interspersed with GREEN LANTERN and SUPERMAN comics. "I loved CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS," says Johns, referring to a multiverse-spanning DC comic book crossover, "but SLIDERS made me see parallel universes for how special they are."

A Fan-Led Revival
"SLIDERS is the story of four people who find the gateway to alternate dimensions, but on their first adventure, they lose their way back home. I loved it," says Johns. "The parallel worlds are anything that any writer can imagine. It's a multi-genre platform of infinite storytelling with four distinct and vivid voices conflicting against each other in comedically caustic and loving exchanges."

He credits it as an inspiration. "You don't get GREEN LANTERN REBIRTH without me watching SLIDERS and wanting to do for the Sliders what I did for Hal Jordan." Due to NBCUniversal merging with WB, Yahoo licensing WB's catalog meant that they acquired options on a small selection of NBCUniversal's properties, one of which was SLIDERS.

While SLIDERS had been out of production for 14 years, re-airings on The Hub channel and streaming on Netflix had been a ratings smash hit and the first two seasons, 22 episodes in total, had been re-presented globally as a mini-series.

The latter 66 episodes with all their cast and creative changes and grisly character deaths and clumsy scripts had enjoyed an alternate resurgence in mockingly ironic viewing parties in live and streaming events that were hugely profitable for sponsors such as Subway and Best Buy.

"The show's been cancelled for 14 years, but in the last five, it's found an audience of hundreds of millions who know the show inside out from the characters' middle names to being able to ID each of the animal human hybrids on sight," says Johns.

"When I caught wind of Yahoo inadvertently getting SLIDERS, I asked if we could try tapping into that audience and they said go nuts. I turned in three feature length screenplays, two webisode scripts and one ebook novella under the banner of SLIDERS REBORN." Filming is underway in Vancouver, British Columbia with a planned premiere date of March 22, 2015.

Johns' first instinct had been to hire original series creators Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, but Tormé had disappeared two years previous on an expedition to find UFOs in Burbank and Weiss was occupied with his business in robotics. Johns decided to write the series himself and reached out to the original cast.

John Rhys-Davies, Jerry O'Connell and Sabrina Lloyd
"Quite frankly, I failed to realize that Geoff Johns and Tracy Tormé were two separate individuals until I met Mr. Johns in person," says John Rhys-Davies, who returns to SLIDERS as the wise Professor. "I thought Tracy had somehow rediscovered his youth in the 18 years since our last meeting, but I appreciated Mr. Johns' wish to return SLIDERS to its roots and its infinite possibilities. I was moved by his invitation to join the writing process and act as a coach for all the actors. And I was desperate to wear modern clothing again after playing Peter the Apostle and Eventine in THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES."

Jerry O'Connell was won over by Johns' charisma. "I didn't know about someone replacing Tracy again, but Johns and I had a meeting and he asked me to bring my brother!" O'Connell's brother, Charlie, had starred on the show's fourth season as an addition to the cast who was loathed and despised by message board posting fans.

"Back then, I was a kid who wanted my brother around so that making the show would be fun after [original cast members] John and Sabrina [Lloyd] were gone," says O'Connell. "Charlie and I aren't proud of how that affected the series creatively. But Johns came up with a role for Charlie that he thought the fans would like and that would let me and Charlie be together on set and I loved that crazy man for it."

Charlie will reportedly reprise his role as Colin Mallory and also serve as his brother's on-set photo double, although Johns is vague on details except to indicate that latter-series actors Kari Wuhrer, Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke will also make appearances.

Sabrina Lloyd (SPORTS NIGHT), who played the computer hacker Wade Welles, was hesitant to return. At their first meeting, Johns gave Lloyd a gift -- a handwritten party invitation that she'd photocopied and passed out to cast and crew, inviting them to Rhys-Davies' farewell party after his character was shot and blown up after getting his brain sucked out. "Geoff bought this off a crew member back in the 90s, and he told me that this scrap of paper had been a source of heartbreak for him because he loved and missed our characters so much, but if we came back, then Wade and the Professor would live again. I think he has very thin lines between fiction and reality and that's good for the show."

A Doubting Fandom
However, the SLIDERS fanbase expressed some uncertainty towards this creative appointment, especially after receiving preliminary script treatments and script pages from Yahoo. Matt Hutaff, webmaster of SLIDERS' premiere fan site,, criticizes not only Johns but the original series. "Contrary to fan consensus, [series co-creator] Tracy Tormé wasn't a great writer or showrunner; his leadership was ineffectual. He constantly picked pointless fights with the FOX Network and he had this fixation on dumbass comedy at the expense of plot and story."

Hutaff points to first season installment "The King is Back," a comedy episode of musical numbers spoofing Elvis Presley. "That total waste of time is Tormé in a nutshell and Geoff Johns is just a more innocent Tormé except with shittier world-building skills."

He has doubts regarding Johns' ability to lead SLIDERS creatively. "I think Johns' less interested in finding alternate histories to comment on our society today and more into following Torme's comedy background. I see SLIDERS becoming SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE instead of the sharp sci-fi adventure it should be. SLIDERS' creative successes are thanks to the other writers Tormé hired, but Geoff Johns' writing the whole mini series and his writing is just empty fan service like all of his comic books."

Yahoo recently released brief summaries of SLIDERS REBORN and Hutaff points to the synopsis for the final installment which describes itself as "the long-awaited series finale of SLIDERS and features Maggie Beckett, Colin Mallory, Mallory, Diana Davis, the rock-star vampires, the radioactive slug, the robots, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the toy-sized cars with laser cannons, the animal human hybrids, the genetically engineered scarab, the underground Morlocks, the dragon and Hurley. A 144 minute film."

Hutaff shakes his head in dismay. "How the hell can you fit all that into two hours and 14 minutes? Why does Geoff Johns want to pretend that he likes all those god-awful Season 3 monster movies of SLIDERS? Johns' gimmick is how he's a mad and crazy writer who writes mad and crazy scripts and wants you all to know how mad and crazy he is. SLIDERS REBORN will be a trainwreck of epic proportions."

A Hopeful Stalwart
However, Cleavant Derricks (DREAMGIRLS), returning as Rembrandt and the only actor to star in all five seasons, declared his confidence in Johns. "Geoff practically has a PhD in SLIDERS." At one point, Johns and Derricks enjoyed karaoke and sang all of the original songs written for Derricks' character in the show. "I can see how he writes with a real love for characters and their friendships," says Derricks, "and I'm glad SLIDERS is getting a piece of his action."

Derricks also appreciates Johns' respect for SLIDERS' past. "What he laid out to me was this: even though the show killed off three-quarters of us and my fate's unknown, Johns doesn't want to reboot. He wants to embrace everything from the psychics to the radioactive slug, although we are back to basics with the leads of SLIDERS REBORN being Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, same guys you met in the first episode, 20 years later, all alive and together."

Revive or Reboot?
Johns confesses that this decision to accept SLIDERS' past was a difficult one. "Yahoo suggested a reboot, and one of their execs laid out a great method of keeping all the original actors and having them play older versions of their characters, ones who never went sliding until today."

It was tempting as an entry-level approach to SLIDERS that could reach a new audience. But then Yahoo and Johns reviewed SLIDERS' viewing figures on the Hub, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and concluded that they had already had an audience, one that would appreciate a follow-up rather than a restart.

"My attitude is that everything in all five seasons of SLIDERS happened," says Johns. "Quinn, Wade and Arturo died as we saw. And the dragon and the twisters and the intelligent talking flame along with every minute of every episode as well as the comics -- it's all canon." So how will Johns bring his lead characters back to life and handle a lengthy back catalog of unresolved plots including an alien invasion of the sliders' home Earth?

"I'm not writing SLIDERS REBORN as Season 6 of SLIDERS. It's Season 20," he explains. "It's been 15 years since the show ended on a cliffhanger with everyone dead or probably dead, so onscreen, we'll act like all the resurrections and wrap-ups happened in Seasons 6 to 19 -- which I won't ever have to write!"

However, Johns confirms that one of his webisodes is a short film taking place within minutes of the 2000 finale. "We didn't have the budget to digitally de-age everyone back to their 2000 ages for more than a few shots," Johns says, "so it's four minutes and it doesn't answer all the questions -- or any -- but it gives us a little closure for the old show."

The first full-length film is set in 2015 with all the once-dead sliders alive and well and home on our world -- as opposed to one that's been taken over by invaders. "You can take it that stuff happened in the last decade and a half to bring us all here, and the focus is not on what the sliders were doing in 2000, but what they're doing today and how sliding factors into it."
Fan Concerns
For fans who will demand a full explanation for the resurrections and restorations, however, Johns has written an ebook to be released on the Yahoo website that will provide answers. "There's no way to plausibly hit undo on three dead cast members and an alien-dominated Earth," says Johns, "but a novella was a way to do it artfully and isolate the continuity problems from affecting the main story in the scripts."

When Hutaff's concerns are raised, Johns welcomes them. "I think the first full-length episode is very faithful to the original series," he says, noting that it is modelled on SLIDERS' pilot episode in terms of setting, dialogue and structure. "Tormé was a comedy guy, I'm exploring my comedy side -- I don't think SLIDERS fans will see a big difference my SLIDERS will be all about the laughs. I think Tormé's humor is actually why a show about four homeless people is so much fun. The second movie has a Tormé's joke-oriented style, but it favors science fiction concepts like the Marc Scott Zicree episodes of Season 4."

In comparing himself with the co-creator, Johns says, "I'm not awesome at social satire or alternate realities, but I hired [veteran SLIDERS writer] Marc Scott Zicree as story editor and he's providing REBORN with its parallel concepts. The first movie has Quinn visiting nine different parallel Earths. The second movie has three alternate realities and the sliders spend about a TV episode's worth of time exploring each one and the third movie has something new for SLIDERS."

Finessing the Finale
And what about Hutaff's reaction to the synopsis for the final installment? "The finale is my tribute to Season 3," says Johns, although he's quick to assure the fans that he is concerned with viewer enjoyment and a quality product. "Season 3 did SLIDERS as genre-pastiches, and the finale story has the sliders walking into a cop show, an espionage thriller, a father-daughter comedy, a psychological drama and a superhero movie -- and I hope it shows how Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo can turn any story into a SLIDERS story. It's the Season 3 playbook with the Season 1 style."

He also hopes to present a new approach to the show's parallel universes in the finale, although he's unspecific as to what it actually is. "I want SLIDERS to evolve. Seasons 1 - 5 were the sliders stumbling around the multiverse, and this is Season 20, so it's about how sliding has become a profession and a career."

Interestingly, the Johns' finale was conceived in the 90s when watching the show. "I wondered where the sliders would end up and I imagined some sort of 20-years-later flash-forward," he explains."And I'm doing it now except it really is 20 years later!" He notes that previous seasons limited some of his options.

"With a finale, you can usually threaten big character deaths or life-destroying changes," says Johns, "but given how the original show killed off three of the original four and wrecked the entire series, it was hard to come up with situations worse than what had already happened. I had to come up with a whole new level of threat."
Johns also does not dispute Hutaff's criticisms of the publicity materials. "You don't put out a synopsis like that without wanting people to think you're crazy and hoping they'll check it out to see how you think you can pull it off!" Johns laughs.

"But that's the show. Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo have lives that are completely insane, but they themselves aren't. After two decades, they're desensitized to craziness. In the face of total madness, they retain reason, rationality, trust, teamwork and friendship. These four knuckleheads can survive anything together. They all died and now they're back. They always come back. They're sliders."


Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

I have received some additional dispatches from Earth 207.

From Earth 207, EP.COM reviews SLIDERS REBORN: "Reprise" and "Reunion"

Reviewer: Matt Hutaff (Earth 207)
SLIDERS is reborn -- as a ludicrous exercise in fan service and chase scenes.

RATING: C (average)

SLIDERS should be dead and buried after losing its original creators and three-quarters of its cast and ending on a cliffhanger. But thanks to studios seeking to extract every last cent of ad revenue they can from old copyrights, we have a Yahoo revival spearheaded by diehard SLIDERS fanboy Geoff Johns subbing for an absent Tracy Tormé. A revival featuring the return of the original cast whose characters were alternatively murdered and mutilated during the five seasons of the classic series.

One would expect REBORN to, by necessity, provide a smooth re-entry into the world of the series and get us back to basics: four friends, parallel worlds, boundless adventure and introduce SLIDERS for both new fans and old. Instead, the first two installments throw the viewer into a minefield of continuity that can only baffle new viewers while offering complicated storytelling choices presented through a painfully simplistic plot.

We start with a mystifying 4-minute teaser, half of which is a replay of "The Seer"'s final moments and then two minutes in which Rembrandt comes out of the vortex to find Quinn, Wade and Arturo waiting for him.

Geoff Johns' script and director Gregory Smith do a nice job of creating a sense of wonder at this miracle of a reunion, heightened by impressive special effects where Cleavant Derricks, Jerry O'Connell, John Rhys-Davies and Sabrina Lloyd are made to look 15 years younger. When Rembrandt looks at his dead friends restored and standing with him, Cleavant sells it beautifully and you can feel his joy and how afraid he is to hope.

But "Reprise" instantly raises questions -- how are the Sliders alive? How'd they find Rembrandt? And how can a low-budgeted Yahoo Screen series maintain the de-aging special effects for all the screentime needed to answer these questions?

One eagerly clicks ahead to "Reunion," the next installment -- which is a 95-minute film that declines to address these concerns and in fact adds even more by taking place 15 years later and in the present day with the Sliders all home on an Earth that's essentially our own world, untouched by Kromaggs and sliding unknown.

The scripting is positively frustrating: on one level, Geoff Johns does a surprisingly capable job of emulating series co-creator Tracy Tormé with his comedic exchanges and lively banter between the Sliders. When they meet up again, they feel like old friends who've been through hell and can instantly pick up where they left off, and Johns has found ways to demonstrate how 20 years have touched the Sliders: Rembrandt's a sound engineer, Wade's a guidance counsellor, the Professor's a sci-fi novelist and Quinn is a one-man Salvation Army operation.

But the dialogue they're all given is a series of joking, comedic references to all five seasons of SLIDERS, referencing not only the horror movie monsters of Season 3 but the fact that Earth was invaded and Wade Welles died. The onscreen material is in blatant contradiction to the dialogue and Johns' script seems to delight in drawing attention to the very issues he's refusing to confront. "Reunion" is made with the view that actors reciting dialogue about TV episodes that aired in the last century is entertaining and meaningful.

What of the plot itself? In a nutshell, the Sliders encounter a teenaged girl, Laurel Hills, who is experiencing bizarre shifts in reality. They decide to investigate and it leads them back into sliding. The mystery's established with strength: Johns and director Glen Winter smoothly convey how Laurel's sanity is fraying in a troubling classroom scene where the history Laurel studied last night isn't the same history in the morning. It's an effective means of motivating the Sliders' reunion and reluctant acceptance that they have to step back into the vortex once again, seeking the source of a mysterious neutrino signal that's ripping reality apart.

But in explaining why the Sliders need to make a brief return to random sliding, Johns drowns his characters in confusing technobabble explanations to outline the rules of sliding which are no different from the rules of the classic series -- unknown destinations, unknown durations. Unusually for a gifted wordsmith, Johns' pseudoscience is an impenetrable fog of nonsense terms.

There's also a shocking level of repetition in "Reunion" with endless chase sequences, some of which are deeply unnecessary. Quinn grocery shopping across the multiverse leads to him being chased by the cops for carrying a controlled substance (peanuts). Later, Quinn brandishing the timer on a technophobic world (same one from "Gillian of the Spirits"?) leads to him being chased by the police and then the other Sliders' reunion with Quinn prompts yet another chase from the police.

As impressive as it is that Johns includes many, many guest-stars from Seasons 1 - 5 in these silly runarounds (I spotted the Poacher and the Ranger from "In Dinos Veritas," Jack from "Net Worth," Amy from "The Chasm," Ryan, the corrupt Lieutenant from "Time Again and World" and Arlo from "Please Press One"), the lack of content and ideas is glaring.

"Reprise" and "Reunion" are ultimately an exercise in fan service, feeding the desire to put Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John in the same room again and have them say ridiculous things that refer to previous episodes of SLIDERS. It's the emotional equivalent of seeing the actors on a panel at a sci-fi convention.

The actors are all fully invested -- Jerry's older Quinn is quick-witted and brilliant yet cynical and world weary; Sabrina presents Wade as a firebrand with a sense of fun; Cleavant's Rembrandt is too comically Season 1 and lacking his latter-era edge but still extremely endearing; and John's Professor is as bombastically commanding as ever. And I realize that satisfies many, but I personally wished for a SLIDERS revival that would tap into something of the original series' imagination and social satire.

Johns creates about nine parallel worlds for this movie and they're all throwaways: a world where Starbucks is a religion and solar panels coat every surface and peanut allergies are common and a huge chunk of action takes place on a technophobic world that we already explored to greater effect back in 1996. SLIDERS in its original incarnation had meaningful things to say. Its episodes were about class divisions, bureaucracy, civil rights, conflict resolution, war and peace, power and the powerless. SLIDERS REBORN at this point is about 99 minutes long.

"Reunion" is beautifully produced with superb Vancouver location filming. There's even filming in San Francisco for Quinn's chase scenes! There's also a stirring score from Tony Morales and first-rate performances in scenes that show a real passion for Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. But as exciting as it must be for Johns to have the original Sliders back, one hopes he'll try putting them in an episode of SLIDERS for the next installment of this mini series.

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

From Earth 207, Think of A Roulette Wheel reviews SLIDERS REBORN: "Reprise" and "Reunion"

When Exactly Did We Become Friends, Q-Ball? ("Reprise" & "Reunion")
By Annie Fish (Earth 207)

Generally, when writing a final SLIDERS blog entry and saying farewell to all my readers, I don't expect to find myself coming back a year later -- heck, less than a year later -- to blog about the latest episode. And yet, five months after I capped my last frame of "The Seer," a bunch of us on were floored to find out that SLIDERS was coming back! On Yahoo Screen! With all the original actors! And all the latter-era actors too! And led by a dude who ISN'T Tracy Tormé but is described as being pretty much like Tormé but geekier and crazier and who did a ton of superhero comics with parallel universes in them that lots of SLIDER-fans are into!

And then this Geoff Johns bro put out that he wasn't going to do a reboot like every sane person would; instead, he was going to pick up right from "The Seer" and then jump 15 years later. This has the potential to come off as either unbelievably shitty fanfic (and I've read a lot of Season 6 fanfics and they're all incoherent and half of them are so bad their writers couldn't finish them). It is a mystery to me how investors and studios could think something as insular as this could work for a mass market audience who may not be familiar with the show.

Except it's a mystery to them too; their take on getting more money out of SLIDERS is that the hundreds of millions of people who watched the show on THE HUB and Netflix and went to Subway and Best Buy sponsored viewing parties of shit like "Paradise Lost" to scream "The cave -- The cave!" at the right moment -- they would be the audience who'd buy digital downloads and blu-ray sets and for whom Starbucks and Dell and other corporate monoliths would place their in-show ads.

So this REBORN thing isn't even meant to reintro SLIDERS on the ground floor -- it's basically designed as fanfic with a budget and the actors.

What's the diff between SLIDERS and fanfic? Well, the fanfic was actually better than most of the show's episodes, sure, but to be blunt, SLIDERS fanfic is about SLIDERS whereas SLIDERS at its best was about Ideas and Philosophies and Society. Often, what it said about these subjects could be tone-deaf and stupid being a 90s show written by white bros in Hollywood, but still.

However, I did watch all 88 episodes and SLIDERS REBORN is clearly being made for me and mine and I can only react to it as me, so okay. Let's react. Let's see "Reprise," a 4-minute websode set right after "The Seer." (Technically, it's all on Yahoo Screen, they're all websodes.)

We start with the last couple minutes of "The Seer" where our man Remmy shoots up with anti-Kromagg goodness and jumps into an unstable vortex and his friends wonder what the hell they do next. We never do find out because we are out of old footage and we jump into the new stuff -- where Remmy comes out of the wormhole in an alley and holy shit -- he's dizzy. He's also a bit blurry; the CG deaging has a weird flitery effect and the camera keeps panning back and forth to obscure shitty effects work a bit. Remmy collapses, maybe because CG facelifts can be draining on the body.

And then three people run into the alley and they're off camera but OH MY GOD it's a guy in FLANNEL and a girl in Wade's coat and a big guy in a SUIT! And you think maybe they're body doubles even as you hear Quinn, Wade and Arturo saying they've found "their Rembrandt."

But then Remmy sits up and you get a clear shot of these three people's faces and it IS Quinn, Wade and Arturo and again -- they're a little blurrily CG facelifted but it IS THEM. How the fuck is this possible? How'd Quinn get split from Mallory? How's Wade not dead or still floating in a Kromagg gumball machine?

The Professor -- well, it's probably the one left behind on the Azure Gate Bridge World, no biggie -- but how the hell are they all together and how did they find Remmy and what is going on? I can't wait to find out! I can't wait to find out! We don't get to find out; the webisode ends right there and the next one -- 95 minutes -- is set in 2015 where all the Sliders are home and home is normal and no one except the Sliders remember the Kromagg invasion and Remmy mentions the radioactive slug and the week he spent on a pirate ship and Quinn says Wade died, so all that happened. I mean, holy shit -- the first scene of "Reunion" has the fucking breeder parasite from "The Breeder"! But all the bad stuff somehow unhappened and SLIDERS REBORN isn't saying why.

It's a problem. It's a huge fucking problem. It should be so distracting. You can't raise these humungous questions -- how can Earth Prime be totally normal with troubled teen girls not knowing anything about a Kromagg invasion in 1998?! -- and then just shrug it off.

But it's a problem that doesn't matter. It just doesn't seem important when watching the show. We start with Laurel, what studios call an entry-point character, a messed up white girl who drunkenly blunders into Quinns' basement and gets attacked by Maggie's dick monster and then Quinn literally ices the monster with Science. We then switch focus to Quinn -- who is apparently a Slider for Life now as he traipses across nine parallel Earths in a montage set to the Romantics' to pick up breakfast for him and his mom. That's right, at age 44, Quinn Mallory still has breakfast with his mom and their relationship is just as weird as ever -- but the sheer casualness with which Quinn slides and grocery shops adds a really nice twist. This isn't a photocopy of the Pilot, this is a portrait. It's a stencil job, but it's a good one.

We go to Laurel spilling her shit to her guiGeoffce counselor. Her guiGeoffce counselor is Wade. Wade doesn't say one fucking word in her scene -- which I kind of think is a really good turn for a character who spent all of Season 2 screeching and screaming. In a single shot of wordless nothing, Sabrina Lloyd effortlessly conveys to you: she thinks this girl is a fuckup and holy shit, sliding is back in my life oh crap no.

We go to Rembrandt. Rembrandt is a functioning but shell-shocked mess. He's a sound engineer -- which seems to me like Mr. Geoff Johns trying to find something vaguely music related to put Rembrandt in upper middle class. It's fine, and then there's a scene where Rembrandt and his accountant talk about a weird six year gap in Remmy's taxes and Remmy says he got kidnapped and starts running through a list of weird experiences including his time in a mental institution and how he was once on a pirate ship.

It's fan service. It's a shallow overture by an obsessive crazy person reaching out to his audience to say, "Hey, geekboy! I'm one of you! I watched the same shitty TV episodes you did!"

But it's fucking hilarious. I cannot describe how unbelievably funny it is to watch Rembrandt try to explain the events of five seasons of a ridiculous TV show to an accountant, or how weird it is that the accountant's also The Seer.

Then we get into some cross-cutting action as Quinn tries to investigate why the girl in his basement, Laurel, triggered a weird reality shift that brought with it dick monsters and who knows what. Meanwhile, Laurel and Wade visit the Professor, who is a sci-fi novelist writing a series called JUMPERS. Why couldn't they call it TRAVERSERS? I would have liked it to be TRAVERSERS. I'm betting that the average JUMPERS novel is a significantly more enjoyable product than, say, the average episode of SLIDERS.

Anyway. Wade and Laurel tell the Professor that Quinn's back and apparently, IT'S A THING that Quinn has been missing for 14 years. Did they ever call his mom to ask after him? Meanwhile, Quinn is on this technophobic world -- pretty much like "Gillian of the Spirits" -- except the deal is that smartphones are considered military grade hardware and having one is like walking around with a gun on the streets of Canada. It's not very original. It's not imaginative. This Geoff Johns guy is clearly no Tracy Tormé when it comes to world-building.

But it is once again fucking hilarious to see cops flipping out over THE TIMER (once again the dope-ass cellphone albeit with touchscreens) like it's a hand grenade. I am seriously starting to think that SLIDERS REBORN is going to address all of its problems, flaws and failures by being FUCKING HILARIOUS as a strategy.

We have a lengthy sequence where the dope-ass cellphone is RUN OVER BY A VAN and Quinn seems weirdly unbothered by losing that along with all his money. This is a Quinn who can take out two cops and steal their car. This is a Quinn who, when thrown into a wall by Sid (a security guard on this Earth), can send Sid running away with one sentence and who can convince cab drivers to drive him wherever he wants with a few words. Quinn has become fucking Doctor Who in the last 14 years except he's still an isolated, withdrawn and secretive little weirdo whose only real friend is his mother. I'm into this.

Quinn in this alt-world goes to Laurel's house, Wade and Arturo on our world go to Laurel's house with Laurel to take the stupid kid home -- except living in her house is Michael Hurley who insists that Laurel doesn't live there and we have another wonky reality problem matched with vortexes appearing in the front lawn that yank Wade, Arturo and Laurel to see Quinn. The physical mechanics of Arturo getting yanked into a vortex and dragging his two buddies with him is weird, but John Rhys-Davies is an actor of the highest calibre and he totally sells it.

And then Wade and Arturo, reunited with Quinn, have to run from the cops with Laurel  and get caught in a burning building and finally vortex back to Quinn's HQ -- because the vortex will open by itself now to pick Quinn up even if he doesn't have the timer and also he has lots of extra timers now and Quinn's HQ is a storage space facility where he rents out bubble universes to unsuspecting customers and it's named after Richard Feynman and Quinn has reconstructed Quinn's Basement inside one of these bubbles!!!

The idea of Quinn renting storage spaces is unbelievably munGeoffe and therefore very funny. The fact that Quinn spends his days sliding donated medical supplies into Red Cross warehouses and airdropping condoms all over Africa is also very funny. And as Wade, Arturo and Quinn banter with Laurel and explain the weird reality situation and Quinn gives an unbelievably flimsy excuse for why he let his friends think he was dead and as Quinn bitches about how horrible Seasons 4 - 5 were and how the Professor, having quit sliding 18 months in, has no business telling Quinn how to use sliding, something becomes really clear.

SLIDERS REBORN isn't about sliding. It's not about parallel universes. It's about the Sliders -- the original Sliders -- and their weird friendship. It's further underlined when the Professor says the only way to figure out why reality goes so weird around Laurel is to find "the only other person stupid enough" to ever work with Quinn again -- and it's Remmy.

Remmy's reaction to the original Sliders -- slamming the door in their faces, screaming from behind it about how the giant slugs and rock star vampires have left him permanently scarred and saying Quinn once got him pregnant and never taught him how to recharge the timer -- once again, it's a bunch of references to TV episodes from 1997 - 99. Content wise, this isn't exactly the new HUCKLEBERRY FINN and honestly, I don't know if I like Remmy, the man of faith and steady, experienced slider of Season 5, becoming the screaming comic relief he's reverted into.

But it is fucking hilarious and so I excuse it, just as I excuse the moronic repetition in which Quinn gives Remmy a gift -- a replacement Caddy -- only to see it lost again. SLIDERS used to be about exploring parallel worlds, now it's about Cleavant Derricks falling over and screaming in tears as another 1970s Cadillac is yanked into the vortex and never to be seen again. Now it's about Quinn, Wade, Remmy and the Prof and this new girl, Laurel, pacing around Quinn's basement and declaring that they need to follow this wonky reality warping neutrino into the multiverse to find out where it's coming from and shut it down before it eats more Cadillacs and possibly other worlds.

Basically, they will slide randomly -- following the signal -- until they find the world it's coming from. Then they will shut it down, probably by teaming up with the local resistance against a fascist government. That's how it goes.

A thought. Remember in "The Seer" where the TV show version of SLIDERS that Mallory and Diana and Maggie and Remmy watch has a different title? It's not called SLIDERS. It's called THE SLIDERS.

I think that might actually be a better title for SLIDERS REBORN. The final scene is Quinn triggering the vortex and each of the Sliders takes turns sniping at him before jumping into the vortex. This is not a meaningful exploration of parallel culture that makes you think about choices and consequences. This is not an in-depth look into how history could've gone a totally different way.

This is about four people who have known each other for twenty years getting the band back together, sitting around and shooting the shit. This is truly a "Reunion." This isn't about SLIDERS as a concept. This is about THE SLIDERS.

It's shallow. It's goofy. It's a little dumb and extremely silly. But it is FUCKING HILARIOUS and maybe that's all I need from THE SLIDERS.

I have received another item from Earth 207: the transcript of the Sliderscast installment in which Jim Ford and Dan Kurtzke watched and discussed SLIDERS REBORN's third chapter, "Revelation."


Description: It's the end of the world as we know it and the Sliders don't feel fine! In fact, they're so not fine with it that they're going to explore three worlds facing doomsday situations to get to the bottom of why the world is ending and find someone they need to yell at.

JIM: "Hi, everybody! I'm Jim Ford."
DAN: "And I'm Dan Kurtzke!"
JIM: "And this is the Sliderscast where we'll be talking about 'Revelation' -- didn't we already do this episode like a year and a half ago?"
DAN: "Oh, yeah. Did our new showrunner, Geoff Johns, forget someone already used this title at the end of Season 4? Wait, Season 4's finale is called 'RevelationS,' but this time the S gets dropped."
JIM: "Well, it's probably still calling back to the final book in the Bible the same way Season 4 started with 'Genesis' and ended with 'Revelation.'"
DAN: "I can just see Geoff Johns, though, going through the dictionary, looking at words starting with R-E because his gimmick is that every title in this SLIDERS REBORN starts with those letters and just not able to choose a synonym for the word that starts with RE and saying fuck it, I'll just drop the S."
JIM: "With any other showrunner, you'd think that maybe they just forgot about Season 4 the way you wish you could."
DAN: "Yeah, except this one episode alone brings back Elston Diggs, Maggie Beckett, Conrad Bennish Jr., Razor Gillette -- "
JIM: "Razor was somebody they brought back?"
DAN: "He was that bodyguard dude who worked for evil Wade back in Season 2."
JIM: "What!? Really? I didn't even notice."
DAN: "And there's no way a guy who writes a sequel to 'Love Gods' about Quinn Mallory's spawn doesn't remember a previously used title."
JIM: "We'll talk about that, we'll talk about that."

Three Earths
JIM: "So the plot is basically -- "
DAN: "Basically! Yeah right. This movie is really dense."
JIM: "The sliders visit three Earths tracking the neutrino signal that's messing up reality for Laurel on Earth Prime 'cause the signal also destroyed Remmy's house and car and could hit the whole planet and any world in reality. They want to find out where it's coming from and stop it, and tracking the signal has them going across random Earths until they get to the end of the trail. On all three Earths, there are these mysterious clocks counting down to zero from about eight hours -- and the clocks are in perfect sync across all three Earths and people think they're counting down to the end of the world."
DAN: "Isn't this the plot to the DOCTOR WHO episode except SLIDERS has clocks instead of those blue boxes?"

Derivative Geoff
JIM: "The first world is one where the global water supply's been poisoned and even the water in people's bodies can contaminate if it has the toxin and it's a post apocalyptic action movie in a ruined city, basically."
DAN: "Isn't this basically the desert episode of Season 3 and the epidemic episode?"
JIM: "The second Earth's one where the entire population is totally sure doomsday will come when the clocks hit zero and they're all prepping for it."
DAN: "Didn't we already do this in 'Last Days'?"
JIM: "And the third Earth is one where global dimming's hit -- that's where the ozone layer is so polluted that sunlight can't reach the Earth."
DAN: "That seems like kind of a ripoff of all the SLIDERS episodes taking place at night."

Toxic Water
JIM: "So we start on the poisoned water Earth with all the sliders in a grocery store that's empty and the sliders are fumbling around in total darkness and it's a minute of just their voices."
DAN: "Yeah, I was listening and I was wondering if Yahoo Screen was trying to save money by doing SLIDERS the audioplay."
JIM: "They get the windows open, they see someone getting attacked by a bunch of street thugs. Remmy sees this andhe's all Season 1 Remmy, doesn't want to get involved -- "
DAN: "Then he sees it's a double of Maggie and he's like the first to run out there and start kicking ass although he gets outnumbered -- "
JIM: "But these bad guys -- they want the water in Maggie's truck -- and Quinn sees that and he throws the contains of bottled water down a hill, so the bad guys go for that and Quinn jumps into the truck and drives away."
DAN: "He also gets all the sliders in the truck before he drives away."
JIM: "What did you think of Rembrandt?"
DAN: "Well, the thing the writer seems to want to make him the supposedly funny, goofy guy he was in Season 1, but throw in some stuff here and there to say he's also the cool as ice guy who's seen it all and scared of nothing by Season 5 is still in there. It's inconsistent."
JIM: "I thought maybe the idea here was that Rembrandt has reverted to non-sliding civilian mode, but when he sees someone in trouble, the Season 5 Rembrandt comes back out."
DAN: "Stop excusing Geoff Johns for this crap."

Genius as a Plot Device
JIM: "So, Quinn says he knows they can find a World War II bunker that's undiscovered because there's a building missing from this Earth's San Francisco skyline, the Millennial Tower -- "
DAN: "I just Googled that and it's missing from our San Francisco too."
JIM: "Which means the construction workers building that building never found the bomb shelter it was linked it. That's -- I mean, it's really smart. But it's also -- it's sort of a way to move the plot along where Quinn can instantly know something about this world he's never seen before, know a safe place to go."
DAN: "It's a plot contrivance. It's like -- hmmm, I need the character to know something he has no way of knowing; I'll say he's a genius to excuse it."
JIM: "Well, it is meant to show the audience that Quinn is a genius."
DAN: "You know what it felt like? It felt like Geoff Johns listens to our podcast, knows we pick best character of the week and just wanted to rig this episode so that Quinn would win this week, you know? Like, he's just stacking the deck."
JIM: "I love how you think TV gets made based on what we say in these podcasts."

Darkness Falls
JIM: "'Reunion' was pretty lightweight and basically written like a sitcom, but 'Revelation' gets dark in this first segment. Like, Quinn says the sliders need to abandon Maggie to probably dehydrate and die in this San Francisco where people in California are basically quarantined to contain the teslanium contamination."
DAN: "The whole teslanium backstory about how it was a special kind of environmentally friendly fuel that turned out to be toxic to humans and impossible to filter out of water -- this was pretty good. I wouldn't have imagined a sitcom writer who does movie parodies and shit to come up with something like this."
JIM: "Yeah, he didn't. He said in an interview that he hired the Season 4 story editor, Marc Scott Zicree, to come up with all the alt-histories for him."
DAN: "So let me get this straight -- this Geoff Johns guy wants to do SLIDERS. He lives and breathes SLIDERS. But he needs to pay somebody else to come up with parallel Earths for a show about the multiverse?"
JIM: "That would be the case."
DAN: "Then why the fuck did he want to bring back SLIDERS? That's what I want revealed by 'Revelation'!"
JIM: "Still, no matter who came up with the idea, it's good and it creates a really tough situation where the sliders are mad at Quinn for saying they can't help Maggie and need to focus on investigating these weird clocks and following the neutrino signal. This is really serious and deadly."
DAN: "Yeah, it was weird -- in Season 1 and 2, Quinn is constantly getting involved in other people's business; now he's become even more of a callous prick than he was in Season 4."
JIM: "Well now -- the sliders tear Quinn a new one and Quinn comes up with a plan to turn Maggie's truck into a zero-point energy vehicle that won't need any fuel that she can use to get away."
DAN: "That made no sense whatsoever."

Genius as a Plot Device
DAN: "Like, how the hell can clock batteries fuel a van? A van that runs on gas? Like, they throw some technobabble about how it's impossible but the magic batteries make it possible."
JIM: "I think the explanation for how clock batteries can fuel a van is that Quinn Mallory is a genius."
DAN: "Again! The story goes in a bullshit direction and the script says no, it makes sense because Quinn is smarter than you. I just want to say right here that when you cheat this way with a character, you are disqualified from being best character of the week."
JIM: "Yeah, Quinn Mallory hasn't won character of the week in the entire run of the show and I don't see that changing now. But -- I mean, I did kind of like it. And they justified it by saying his idea is based on how the timer had a self-regenerating power chip which in itself is a reference to a deleted scene from the Pilot."
DAN: "I get it, Geoff Johns, you really like SLIDERS. But you really liking SLIDERS does not mean you know how to write for SLIDERS."
JIM: "Have you ever felt anyone knew how to write for SLIDERS?"
DAN: "No!"

Quinn and His Creepiness
JIM: "Anyway, Quinn and Laurel go out to this watchmaker's shop near the bunker to get some tools they need and some stuff happens between them."
DAN: "Yeah. Some stuff. Stuff."
JIM: "First, Quinn reveals that he was only partially interested in helping Maggie; he came out to the watchmaker's shop to take apart the weird clocks and learn more about them and Laurel acts like he's a monster for not caring about Maggie."
DAN: "That was weird. Like, he did help Maggie. It just wasn't his top priority. But I guess Laurel also finds it weird that he's lying to his friends and he has some secret agenda. Throughout this whole episode, Quinn is all shifty and clearly upset about something and for some reason, only Laurel calls him on it. Like, nobody else thinks that Quinn is hiding something. It's like the writers just really like this new girl and want her deal to be she sees through Quinn despite only knowing him for less than a day."
JIM: "And then there's that weird scene where Laurel slips and Quinn catches her and holds her in his arms and stares into her eyes and it's just -- you wonder -- what?"
DAN: "Does Quinn want to fuck Laurel is what I was wondering; I mean, the actress that plays Laurel -- she's 19 but looks 12 and Jerry O'Connell is very obviously in his forties even if he's in shape."
JIM: "Honestly, Jerry doesn't play it that way. He plays it like he's looking at Laurel through a microscope, he's not being flirty at all. It was more like a doctor examining a patient and seeing something amazing -- but scientifically amazing as opposed to romantically amazing."
DAN: "And right there and then, Laurel says she's gay like the movie wants to let us know quicklike that this isn't a romance between them."
JIM: "But even raising it makes it this hilariously distracting red herring from Laurel's true identity."

Escape on Two Fronts
JIM: "And then the bad guys storm both the watchmaker's shop AND the bunker. So the two groups are trying to escape. Laurel has this insane ninja action sequence where she beats up five bad guys who want to harvest her organs, because this world has a thriving market on uncontaminated organs."
DAN: "It scared the shit out of me. This was good. I mean, Laurel's so tiny and then suddenly she's literally crushing one guy's head with a table. And bringing a bookshelf down on another. And smashing this guy's face in with a plank."
JIM: "I think this is the first extended fight scene in SLIDERS that was actually in any way well choreographed. The gunfights and fistfights in Season 3 are adequate but not really all that gripping; Season 4's fight scenes are like jogging videos in slow motion."
DAN: "But here -- Laurel's fight scene is so intense. And the actress totally sells that she's a fighter and then it's like -- she has no idea how she did that and Quinn steps into the room and he's amazed to find her standing over three big dudes lying dead or knocked out."
JIM: "I don't think the movie is saying Laurel killed someone; it treats it like Batman taking down muggers. There's no trauma over her first kill or anything and Quinn never talks about it and you feel like he would."
DAN: "Yeah. Jerry and this actress -- Taissa Farmiga? They have this really weird relationship where Quinn has these little moments of approval where Laurel says that something moves the plot along and he smiles at her and she treats him like -- like he's a fictional character she read about and now gets to meet for real and she critiques him. I liked that because Quinn is SO terrible and she says what I'm thinking about him."
JIM: "I actually found that kind of a pain. It's so common -- the wise child who's wise because she's an adolescent being written by an adult. Well, Laurel's actually pretty immature -- but she just understands Quinn. She can read him like a book. I kept thinking, there is no reason why Quinn and Laurel are so in sync so suddenly, it hasn't even been 24 hours."
DAN: "Except it turns out THERE IS A REASON! DUNH DUNH DUNHHHH!!!!"

The Death of Maggie Beckett
JIM: "So, the bunker gets flooded, the sliders and Maggie try to escape, but Maggie drowns and Rembrandt is heartbroken."
DAN: "It was almost like watching shipper fanfic tragedy where Remmy loses his true love Maggie forever."
JIM: "To me, it was more like -- Rembrandt getting so upset over Maggie dying when he barely even  knew this Maggie is actually to show how screwed up he is after becoming the last surviving Slider. Because we don't really know what happened to Maggie and Mallory and Diana, but the Professor said in "Reunion" that there are no more sliders except them. And Quinn says Maggie is gone."

End of the World Party
JIM: "So, the Sliders move onto the next world in the trail and it's a world where the weird doomsday clocks have also appeared and their countdown speeding up during various world disasters has made the global population think they're counting down to the end of the world."
DAN: "Okay, this world -- it's definitely not as well thought out as the first one and in fact, it's kind of lazy. It's basically saying that this world's history as the same as ours -- had the same terrorist attacks and and food contaminations and heatwaves and natural disasters -- but this world's culture panicked over them a lot more where a few hot dogs with listeria led to a nationwide food shortage, where deaths get massively overreported and the people are basically counting down with the clocks to the end in a few hours' time."
JIM: "Well -- I'm actually not sure. This end of the world party is unbelievably sedate; people in this shopping mall are just sharing free food, painting, writing -- basically doing all the low-key stuff they maybe didn't have time to do before. Building model battleships, mastering magic tricks -- "
DAN: "If my world was ending, I would be downing shots and you'd be stuffing your face with brownies and it'd be more like the 'Last Days' situation where people are going nuts."
JIM: "But the thing is, there's a couple lines of dialogue about how the sliders have landed in an arts and culture zone and there's plenty of orgies and keggers -- they're just happening somewhere else. So, what we're seeing doesn't necessarily represent the whole world -- just this little piece of it."
DAN: "That strikes me as an unbelievable copout. Hey, I can't write a whole world! So I'm just going to write one shopping mall and let you fill in the blanks of the outside world yourself! I don't think this Geoff Johns knows how to write SLIDERS."

The Motionless Picture
JIM: "In your view, who does know how to write for SLIDERS?"
DAN: "No one. But what's really annoying is, the Sliders find out -- oh, the clocks from the previous Earth are on this one too! That's weird! And while Rembrandt runs off on some side adventure, the Sliders decide to confront the mystery head on -- by sitting around and talking about things! Like, seriously -- this is the middle of the story and it's just the actors wandering around in a food court talking about the plot. This is SLIDERS as a major motion picture."
JIM: "Rembrandt gets some action going."
DAN: "Yeah, it's like Rembrandt saw where the story was going and said, fuck this, nothing important's going to happen in this shopping mall, and I just saw a double of Maggie Beckett, so I'm going to go with her and hope to God it's less boring than hanging out with Quinn and Wade and the Professor and the new girl."

Rembrandt's Adventure
DAN: "Okay, so Rembrandt runs into another Maggie Beckett, this one's a spy who's investigating the doomsday clocks and she's tracked whoever scattered them across this world to this Millennial Tower building on the 75th floor. And when Rembrandt helps her fight off some goons, she sizes him up with a look and can instantly tell that Rembrandt's a former espionage agent oblique slash soldier oblique slash undercover operative -- "
JIM: "It's a nice way for Rembrandt and this Maggie to instantly team up and work together on breaking into this heavily guarded building with its own private army stationed throughout every floor and Maggie wants them to fight and shoot their way to see the doomsday clock mastermind, but Rembrandt convinces her that they can instead disguise themselves as air conditioning repairman. They get caught but use this -- this sonic taser trap that I can't even explain -- to take out all the guards. They get to the 75th floor and meet the doomsday clock boss and it's Conrad Bennish Jr."
DAN: "Except Bennish isn't the man in charge; someone named Jameson Hall set him up to keep the clocks prominent in society with money and media plans and Bennish has no idea who this Hall guy even is and just gave him this universal credit card with unlimited funds that also unlocks any electronic lock."
JIM: "Anyway, Rembrandt and Maggie have to flee the building because Bennish triggers a ton of killer drones to come kill them all and Remmy and Maggie use a window washer platform to escape because, I dunno, the writer had a flashback to 'Lipschitz Live.' Maggie and Rembrandt accept that they've failed and Remmy goes back to the mall to rejoin his friends and they slide out."

Narrative Substitution
JIM: "So, what do we make of this whole segment?"
DAN: "It's like -- it's almost like Geoff Johns wrote all these action sequences of Remmy and Maggie fighting up this building to get to Conrad Bennish Jr. and then he didn't have the money to do all the gunplay and explosions -- like, Bennish has a drone force and we never even get to see it! Everytime we're supposed to get a cool action sequence, we don't get one."
JIM: "I think that's actually the point. It's this gimmick that Geoff Johns likes to do called narrative substitution, where he sets you up to expect one kind of story -- in this case, an action flick -- but then it turns out to be an episode of GET SMART or something where our spies use trickery and ideas. I think the deal here is that Maggie was living in a blood and guts action shootout and Rembrandt's presence shifts her into a different genre."
DAN: "It doesn't scan that way to me at all, but at least it gets Rembrandt back to being his Season 5 self instead of the Season 1 version that REBORN turned him back into. But given that Remmy's plot was supposed to add some thrills to an otherwise super-boring segment where the Sliders wander around a shopping mall talking."
JIM: "It's kind of weird that Remmy gets going on finding the truth about the doomsday clocks but he doesn't come back with any new information whatsoever."

JIM: "So, back at the mall, the group splits into Quinn and Arturo taking apart the clocks and Wade and Laurel looking at art exhibits and performances in the mall. Arturo figures out -- the clocks are all a single clock, but they've somehow been mapped to multiple locations in reality; and the clocks are also receiving the reality warping neutrino signal and relaying it. Meanwhile, Wade and Laurel see all these people writing all the novels and painting all the paintings and learning all the magic tricks they never had time to learn but now want to master before the world ends."
DAN: "Jesus Christ, this is the end of the world and it's boring! And these people -- they act like the end of the world is just some sort of weird thought experiment rather than something that'll actually happen, and they're sure that when the doomsday clocks hit zero, they all die somehow -- they don't even know how or why."
JIM: "Well, I think the conversation between Quinn and Arturo touches on that, where Quinn says that his world -- our world, really, is facing the end of the world too with heavy pollution, ozone layer damage, financial crisis, epidemics. And there's a neat moment where Quinn says he's been fighting to keep our world from blowing itself up and he feels like he's losing. It's cool. Quinn's dealing with the same stuff we deal with in real life."
DAN: "Again -- Geoff Johns got the original Sliders, the OG team, back together! He got Sabrina Lloyd out of retirement! He got Jerry O'Connell to wear flannel again! And this is what he does with them -- he has them wandering around having boring conversations! That's the coolest thing he could think of for Quinn and Wade and Rembrandt and Arturo! They sit around talking!"
JIM: "To be honest, I think that's the point here. SLIDERS REBORN's focus is basically on the characters and their relationships and the entire story is told with the emphasis on these characters. And I think it's a fair choice; these characters are what make the show special -- "
DAN: "No they're not! SLIDERS' characters suck! Wade's a whiny crybaby, Rembrandt's a screeching coward, Quinn is the lead character and he's never won character of the week. Of the four of them, the Professor's the only one worth a damn and he's annoying too! So if SLIDERS REBORN exists just to have these four morons hang out and shoot the shit, SLIDERS REBORN should be re-aborted."
JIM: "So, what you're saying is that it doesn't work for you that Geoff Johns wrote a SLIDERS story focusing on the Sliders."
DAN: "Damn straight."

Global Dimming
DAN: "So, the third Earth is one that's so badly polluted that sunlight no longer penetrates the outer atmosphere of the planet Earth, and because this is SLIDERS REBORN, naturally, all this is conveyed through the Sliders sitting around a coffee shop."
JIM: "That's literally true. The timer says the neutrino signal originates from this Earth, so they just need to wait for the timer to provide an exact location. They wait it out in a coffee shop and Quinn looks around and can instantly tell from the lack of milk, cream, sugar and non-artificial coffee that this world's suffering from global dimming because crops like sugar and grazing animals like dairy are no longer available."
DAN: "It's completely ridiculous! Nobody can sort out an alternate history just like that; in the old show, the sliders had to meet exposition extras, read almanacs, watch the news, hit up libraries -- "
JIM: "Okay, hold on, hold on. It's been established that Quinn's been sliding for 20 years straight, so maybe after two decades, maybe he's gotten good at being a Slider. Quinn's a genius and -- "
DAN: "Quinn's genius is just an excuse for the laziness in the writing. This is a writer saying he doesn't want to spend more than one scene explaining this parallel Earth's history, so he'll just have Quinn magically know everything and I don't buy it, I don't buy it because Quinn's too much of a jackass to ever be this cool."
JIM: "Alright. Moving on. The gang find out that the signal's originating from the 75th floor of the Millennial Tower on this Earth, and they go there and they're confronted with a Quinn-double and it's the Quinn-double from the Pilot."

Smarter Quinn
DAN: "So, once again, we have a huge moment -- Quinn confronting the very Quinn who's responsible for the doomsday clocks, who gave Quinn the secret of sliding and started this whole crazy journey -- and it's just 10 minutes of Jerry O'Connell monologing at Jerry O'Connell. Seriously -- there is NOTHING to this movie besides people standing around talking!"
JIM: "Well, sure. But it's livened up with some holographic images to serve as visual aids."
DAN: "Oh, big deal. It's a glorified PowerPoint. Anyway, the deal is this: the multiverse is completely fucked. It's dying. The Season 4 - 5 Human-Kromagg War that took up two years of the show, that was unfinished, that hasn't been spoken of once in REBORN -- it's left reality damaged and dying and the multiverse doesn't split properly anymore and all Earths have identical histories up to the day of the first slide. It's so random."
JIM: "Uh, they mentioned the Kromagg invasion in 'Reunion' and said it was erased by some kind of 'cosmic reset.'"
DAN: "Yeah, so first, the show is saying the Kromagg arc was, in the grand scheme of things, no big deal, but then it pins this new SLIDERS era as being the result of the Kromagg arc."
JIM: "Yeah, I think that's the point? It sets you up to think that the past can just be forgotten, and then not only does the past come back to haunt the Sliders, it's been around them all along."
DAN: "It's just a really weird way to write a story, Jim! Setting you up for action sequences only to not give them. Doomsday is coming, you expect panic and stuff happening -- but it's just people sitting around talking about it. You expect we're ignoring Seasons 3 - 5 aside from joking about them; but then it turns out we're in a sequel to all those plots. The whole story is just Jerry O'Connell and the old gang onscreen -- "
JIM: "So, you'd like a story that's more predictable -- the actors should never be onscreen... ?"

Doomsday Pre-Empted
DAN: "Anyway, Smarter Quinn has this plot to use the doomsday clocks to destroy reality, but Quinn plot devices his way into stopping it and all the characters tell him how smart he must be when it's just the writer giving him and only him an unlimited supply of plot devices."
JIM: "The solution Quinn has to stop Smarter Quinn from destroying the multiverse by merging all the separated doomsday clocks into a single item, ripping them out of reality, breaking cause and effect, and creating an interdimensional black hole that can be crunched down and restarted -- "
DAN: "Like, that's just 'As Time Goes By''s hole in reality from having changed the future and the Combine experiment from Season 5. So derivative!"
JIM: "I think it actually makes the plan more plausible because it's based in concepts the show's introduced before -- "
DAN: "Yeah, that's the lame part! Why not make a new concept?"
JIM: "Uh, okay. The Sliders stop Smarter Quinn from using the clocks through -- um, it involves them splitting into three groups, all three building three sliding machines and hijacking Smarter Quinn's neutrino stream to move the clocks somewhere out of Smarter Quinn's reach without damaging reality, so reality is saved. But still, you know, broken."
DAN: "I hated that, that was so stupid."
JIM: "I can see you hating the idea that Quinn had all the equipment ready before they even slid because he guessed they'd need it based on what the threat could be -- "
DAN: "No, that's fine. I'm even fine with Wade and Rembrandt being able to assemble a sliding machine based on the Professor phoning in instructions. I hate that they saved the multiverse."
JIM: "What?!"
DAN: "I liked what Smarter Quinn said about how the multiverse is damaged and all the realities within the multiverse are broken and totally beyond saving and it'd be best to put it out of its misery and restart with a new multiverse. I think he was totally right and the show should have had him succeed."
JIM: "I don't think it was ever really an option that the Sliders wouldn't save the day along with all of reality?"
DAN: "I don't want the Sliders saving reality. They shouldn't be doing that."

Collating Complaints
JIM: "Okay, let me get this straight. In the podcast up to this point, you've complained about Quinn being a genius whose smarts move the plot forward. You find the story too unpredictable and you don't like any story elements that remind you even a little of past SLIDERS episodes."
DAN: "Yeah, I remember saying that, it was like half an hour ago."
JIM: "You also have a problem with the Sliders saving all of reality because -- "
DAN: "Because they shouldn't! Their reality sucks! It turned the Kromaggs from badasses into shitty Klingon ripoffs! It has two seasons stuck in that stupid hotel set! The reality of this TV show should totally be obliterated and struck from existence and anyone who tries to save it is stupid!"
JIM: "And also, you think it's a problem whenever Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and the Professor are onscreen because you prefer not to see them -- "
DAN: "Yeah, that's right."
JIM: "So, your problem with SLIDERS REBORN is that you don't like watching SLIDERS and you will hate this show just because it exists."
DAN: "Yes."
JIM: " ..................................... "
DAN: "We were done, Jim! We were finished with SLIDERSCAST! We moved on! And then this STUPID mini-series got written and filmed! We were just starting Season 2 of STARGATE for STARGATECAST -- and then we had to stop it to do SLIDERS REBORN! God damn it! I was finally free! And then it comes back to life! And Walter's only in 'Reunion' and only for half a minute -- that was the only thing I had going for me with SLIDERS! I can't do this anymore, Jim! I can't do anymore of these podcasts, I can't watch anymore of this show when I don't even have Walter-appearances to keep me invested!"

JIM: "Hey, I just saw the synopsis for Episode 6 of this show. It has a list of returning guest-stars -- and actor Gary Jones as Michael Hurley is on the list; we'll get to see Walter again! He's coming back for the last one!"
DAN: "What?!"
JIM: "Yes! Looks like Hurley's got a big role, too."
DAN: " .............................. god-damn SLIDERS! Let's pick the character of the week."

Character of the Week
JIM: "So, even though all the characters got pretty equal screentime in this movie --
DAN: "Yeah, the movie was just wall to wall Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo talking and talking."
JIM: "It does seem like Quinn had the most to actually do -- he finds the bunker, he takes apart the doomsday clocks, although the Professor realizes they're all the same clock. Quinn also comes up with the plan that saves all of reality which counts as an achievement even if you don't like it."
DAN: "Well, Jim, on the surface, it sure looks like Quinn wins character of the week, which I don't think he ever did in Season 1 to Season 5. Except it's because of Quinn that reality's damaged -- he fucked up rebuilding the multiverse and put it back together a mess -- which means he's basically the villain of the story."
JIM: "Yeah, there is that."
DAN: "So, Quinn Mallory continues to not be character of the week. And Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo -- they were basically around to be funny, they don't do anything."
JIM: "So, it looks like we're left with Laurel Hills, the daughter Quinn had with Jane Hills in 'Love Gods,' who is actually the one to save the multiverse at the end using all the smarts that Quinn gave her and some of the stuff he taught her."
DAN: "Yeah, there's this huge moment where Quinn says that Laurel has his eyes -- which is why he was staring at her face so weird in the watchmaker's shop!"
JIM: "So, given that Laurel saved all of reality and is the reason they're all sliding again, she should be the character of the week."
DAN: "I love Laurel. My favorite thing about her is that she wasn't in the original SLIDERS."

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

On Earth 207, Temporal Flux investigates the production history of "Reminiscence":

Whither Marc Scott Zicree in SLIDERS REBORN?
By Temporal Flux (Earth 207)

One of the names that stood out most to me in SLIDERS REBORN's creative lineup was Marc Scott Zicree, an undervalued and very well-reviewed Season 4 producer who wrote two strong scripts but was marginalized early on in Season 4. Zicree has an Executive Consultant credit on REBORN; every script is credited to Geoff Johns and Geoff Johns alone -- so I've been very interested to look into what exactly Zicree did. Johns says that Zicree came up with all of REBORN's alt-histories.

Zicree would not have been my first choice for a world-builder. I found both "World Killer" and "Slidecage" focused too much on the science fiction aspects of SLIDERS -- the technology and its applications -- instead of the social commentary and comedic satire. And watching "Reunion" and "Revelation," the alt-histories feel more like a backdrop for the characters rather than meaningful constructs that Johns and Zicree actually wanted to explore.

Zicree has no writing credits on REBORN -- yet, a series of emails between Geoff Johns, Robert K. Weiss and Zicree would suggest that he did actually write something for REBORN -- specifically the "Reminiscence" novella that explain how Quinn, Wade and Arturo are alive, why Earth Prime is back to normal and what happened to the Kromaggs.

Due to privacy concerns, I won't post the memos, but I will share extracts. In an email dated June 12, 2014, Johns wrote to Zicree and Weiss, expressing concerns about Wade Welles. "I don't want the Wade in REBORN to be a rape victim and I want that Season 4 plot expunged," writes Johns, "but I also feel uncomfortable saying that rape victims should forget what happened to them and act like it didn't."

Zicree responded with suggestions: Wade in REBORN could be a double or the events of Season 4 and "Requiem" could have featured a clone or an alternate. Johns declined both options and Zicree agreed, saying, "I can see from a marketing standpoint why you want the Wade of REBORN to be the same character from the Pilot, but that may obligate you to deal with developments you'd prefer to reject."

At this point, Weiss encouraged Johns to remove Wade's rape camp storyline from continuity. "Wade Welles was designed with a specific purpose -- she was to express delight towards the thrills of sliding," wrote Weiss. "As distasteful as it is to declare that women should expunge being raped from their memories, Wade is not a woman; she is not a real person. She is a fictional construct and she should peform her function, and that which interferes with her function should be omitted from her specifications as we rebuild her in this project."

Later, Weiss had to focus on his robotics firm and communications were now between Johns and Zicree where they discuss different options for how to resurrect the original Sliders and undo the events of Seasons 3 - 5. Zicree reiterated an earlier suggestion: a reboot with the original actors playing versions of the Sliders who never went sliding. "This gets everything back to basics, although I know you want it to be the same people from the Pilot and not doubles," Zicree wrote, "so here's how that could work." Zicree suggested a series of short webisodes in which Quinn Mallory in 2001 (Jerry in makeup) describes how he has been forced to reset time with a Kromagg reality warping weapon that will rip the concept of sliding out of reality, giving everyone the lives they'd live if sliding had never been created.

Johns replied, "I love your idea, but it just doesn't suit the scripts I want to write." This email is dated June 17.

The first draft "Reunion" submitted to NBCUniversal and Yahoo is dated June 23, and there is an email from Johns to Zicree dated June 22 saying, "This is the script for the first movie that I sent sent upstairs; can you figure out how we go from 'The Seer' to the situation in the script and communicate that in a short websode or something?"

The next communication is from Zicree to Johns, an email, responding: "I just read the 'Reunion' script and I'd like to clarify: you want a short webisode that will establish that some time in the last 15 years: Quinn was split from Mallory, the Kromagg invasion was undone, Wade has no memory of the Kromagg invasion but remembers the pre-'Genesis' events but doesn't remember the Season 3 monsters. Arturo says he slid for 18 months, so this is the original left behind in Season 2. The Kromagg Prime story for Quinn has been overturned and Earth Prime is simply our world. However, while Wade seems to remember an idealized version of sliding without the excesses of Season 3 and her arc in Seasons 4 - 5, Rembrandt remembers the TV version of events and the script indicates that Quinn remembers Wade's version of events. Also, there are only the four sliders left meaning all the latter-era characters and Kromaggs are gone -- and Quinn has some dark secret. Am I missing anything?"

Johns replied, "I think Quinn should remember both the TV version of SLIDERS and the idealized version of SLIDERS." Johns also provided a summary of Quinn's secret as exposed in "Revelation."

Zicree's email response came two days later with a set of bullet points describing an original timeline of events in which the Sliders had four years of adventures with brief descriptions of their journey that seem to make liberal use of unused story ideas from Tracy Tormé. The bullet points also declare that the events of "The Unstuck Man" took place in this original timeline and ripped Quinn and all his doubles out of reality, warping the multiverse into an altered timeline that's what we saw on FOX and Sci-Fi. Zicree then provided a conclusion in his bullets where the Arturo left behind restores an original timeline version of Wade and Quinn, but Quinn, having experienced the travel agency device in "Applied Physics," remembers both the corrupted timeline and the original.

Zicree's material also proposes a reality warping weapon that resets reality, explaining that the reset removed the Kromaggs, Maggie, Colin and Diana from the the multiverse.

"I don't see this as a websode, but maybe you could turn it into an ebook for the website," Zicree's June 30 email to Johns says. "I leave it to you how many oddities in SLIDERS' episodes are the result of the Combine experiment corruption."

After this email, Johns submitted to Yahoo Screen and NBCUniversal a draft of the "Reminiscence" novella, dated July 3 and with Zicree's bullet points related in the body of the text with some Johnsesque additions where FOX's out of order episode airings and the Season 3 monsters were the product of corrupted realities. One wonders why Johns didn't credit Zicree as a co-writer for coming up with the means by which the Sliders were reborn.

It's a question answered in a later email from Zicree saying, "I'm happy to come up with ideas for you to mine, but the truth is that SLIDERS REBORN in no way reflects my vision for the series. And that's not a knock against you; I wouldn't have you write the stories I'd write anymore than you'd want me to write the stories you'd write. Consultancy is precisely the credit I've earned in our deliberations."

Johns wrote back back, "Just trying to dodge the fan rage that'll be coming down upon us when this foolhardy twentieth anniversary series crashes and burns, huh? Can't blame you. Cannot blame you."

Personally, while I don't mind the events of "Reminiscence," there is a certain sense that the story has been written with a calculatedly result-oriented approach where rather than letting a story unfold naturally, it was written according to Geoff Johns' continuity dictates. "Reminiscence" was written after "Reunion" and written to bridge "The Seer" and "Reunion," meaning that the resulting bridge zigs and zags haphazardly in order to reach its destination.

Interestingly, "Reprise," the four minute short that shows Rembrandt reunited with the original Sliders, has a first draft dated June 20 -- meaning that "Reunion" was written first, then "Reminiscence" to justify it; then "Reprise" was written in an effort to smooth out the transition between "The Seer" and "Reunion." "Reprise" was filmed on the last day of REBORN's production -- likely because Cleavant had to shave his mustache to film it.

Re: SLIDERS REBORN: EP.COM presents the series finale of SLIDERS

From Earth 207: EP.COM interviews Robert Floyd on SLIDERS REBORN

As Jerry O'Connell's replacement in Season 5, Robert Floyd (or Rob as he likes to be called) played the new Quinn Mallory in the final season and played him well. But even when the show returned in 2015, Rob didn't expect to return and was astonished when the request came for him to play a hallucination of Mallory in a 45-minute SLIDERS film, "Revolution," in which he would share the screen with Jerry O'Connell. In this exclusive interview, Rob shares his experience with REBORN.

Rob, hi! I can't believe we're having this conversation!

I can't believe it either. I left the acting business 15 years ago; I never expected I'd come back to SLIDERS and I never expected there would be a 46 minute short film focused on Mallory and Quinn interacting together. Who'd want it? Who'd watch it? Who'd write it? Apparently, someone would.

How'd the offer to return to SLIDERS come about?

Well, ever since I left acting, I've been running a cocktail business that designs cocktails and events and we also have regular shows called COCKTAIL THEATER. Yahoo hired us to cater a bunch of publicity events for SLIDERS REBORN and that led to my manager -- and my wife -- getting a call asking if I'd consider doing four days of filming for REBORN. And the chance to revisit a really amazing job and a great time in my life was too good to pass up.

How'd you approach your role in REBORN?

My first appearance is just a little cameo in "Revelation."

With my full appearance in "Revolution," I wanted to balance it between my Jerry O'Connell impression and my Season 5 character because Mallory in "Revolution" is a hallucination and I think part of him is Mallory and part of him is Quinn's survival instinct.

What're the challenges of playing a hallucination?

I'd say the tough part is making sure that even though you're technically an aspect of another character's mind, you still need to differentiate yourself from the other character in the scene. So, when Jerry's fixed in one place, I'm wandering around the room. When Jerry's focused, I'm more distractable, when Jerry's commanding, I'm awkward and when Jerry's in a weakened state, I have to be stronger. I'm whatever Quinn can't be at that moment.

What was it like working with Jerry?

I was a little nervous because there was a chance he saw me as a scab after he left the show, but John Rhys-Davies was there and he encouraged us to treat it like a really neat acting challenge where we're both playing different aspects of the same character and "Revolution" is actually Quinn talking to himself the entire time.

I asked Jerry if he would mind working out what he wants Quinn to be in each segment so I could be the opposite. Jerry asked if we could just improv it. John rolled up the script, whacked him in the head with it and Jerry suddenly wanted to go through the pages with me.

The main thing John wanted me to highlight and that I tried to play is that I am Quinn's survival instinct, his desire to live, whereas Quinn has lost hope and fallen badly into depression. It was helpful having John around because he's a SLIDERS junkie and I honestly don't know the show as well as I'd like to; I studied Jerry's acting in old episodes, but I was too busy to watch it fully when I was doing Season 5 or since then.

So, when you're performing Mallory referring to all the past episodes --

I wanted to make sure that it didn't feel like I was just rattling off a shopping list, and so I asked John to give me the lowdown on what I was talking about when I was referring to the CDC and the Kromaggs and Edulearn. The Chief Oracle I knew because I'd watched that one to get Jerry's voice and mannerisms. The Zercurvians -- even John didn't know that one, and Geoff Johns lent me his copy of the comic book to explain that!

I wanted to make sure I came off as though I knew what I was saying even if I didn't.

Why did Mallory need to come back to SLIDERS?

Hunnnh. Honestly -- I have no idea. I would've been happy just to be the caterer.

Geoff Johns said that because he was hiring Tembi, Kari and Charlie, it felt wrong to leave me out. But the thing is -- I would have been okay. I worked on SLIDERS for one year over a decade ago; I loved it, I missed it, I let it go. But I got the sense that Geoff never really let it go.

The amount of thought he put into justifying the scenes between the two Quinns is just unnerving -- a virtual reality afterlife machine that uses a hallucinogen that undiluted is explosive in order to create a dream state that's the subject's ideal existence -- it is a crazy amount of strain to get me and Jerry together.

I got the sense that Geoff has this conflict where he loves the original Sliders -- the first four people -- but he also wanted to reconcile the second-gen actors with the first generation and that hiring me was acting out this internal psychodrama where he could finally make some sort of compromise between these two conflicting versions of SLIDERS.

I also heard that you also worked on the series finale?

Johns asked me to do a few extra days of filming after "Revolution." My role was -- well, the finale of this mini series had Jerry O'Connell fighting his double. Most of the dialogue scenes where Jerry talks to Jerry -- that was actually Jerry working with his brother and his brother would be his body double. But for the fight scenes -- Johns asked me to step in for Charlie. More specifically, Johns asked me to perform all the scenes where Jerry's double is beating him up.

I'd done some boxing, so I knew how to mime punches and make it look like I've hit someone without actually hitting them. But Johns had me go full-method on this where every time Jerry O'Connell's getting hit in the face, that's my fist doing the hitting. He had us switch roles and so any time a Quinn has the upper hand in a fight scene, it's me playing that Quinn.

It was like -- it was like Johns was just really keen on seeing me punch Jerry O'Connell in the face over and over and over again. That's where I started to get the sense that he was acting out some deep-seated psychological issue that only this mini series could resolve.

How did Jerry handle this?

He seemed pretty pissed off, but then John was on set as his acting coach and standing there yelling at him, saying, "Quinn is losing! You must sell your defeat to the viewer! You must convince them you are losing!" and Jerry would grit his teeth and tell me to swing again. So, my main memories of SLIDERS REBORN consist of beating up its series lead knowing that my face would be digitally replaced with his in the final product.

And how did things wrap up for you with SLIDERS?

Well, I catered the launch party. I always like to be in the trenches with my staff, so I was behind the bar serving drinks and taking requests, and I was really happy to present cocktails called the Quinn, the Ms. Welles, the Cryin' Man and the Professor. Sabrina Lloyd is a really good tipper.

I was trying to avoid Jerry as much as possible because I felt so bad and at one point, I hid in a supply room to get away from him, but then Jerry came into the supply room and hid with me -- he said Tom Cruise had shown up to the party and he was scared of him and I think we mended any problems between us.

I still don't really understand why I was there -- I'm reasonably sure that Mallory is absolutely nobody's favorite character -- but I was glad to be there if only to bring one man's crazy some peace of mind.

One of my favourite websites is, which provided that elaborate and detailed essay that Slider_Quinn21 liked about how the visual style of BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN seemed at odds with its own script. And now from Earth 207 is their dissection of two installments of SLIDERS REBORN! :-D Most definitely a mixed review.

SLIDERS REBORN: "Reminiscence" - Review by, Earth 207
As the title of "Reminiscence" suggests, writer Geoff Johns positions this ebook novella as a means of revisiting the entire history of SLIDERS from its production in 1994, its delayed premiere in 1995, its cancellation in 2000 and the vaguely defined events of 2001 to which "Reprise," "Reunion" and "Revelation" have only alluded.

Attempting to sum up five seasons of a television show as well as an untelevised, offscreen sixth season of events is a challenging decision, especially as Johns seeks to offer an alternative version of Seasons 1 - 5 that is contradictory to what fans will remember.

As with a lot of the big creative decisions concerning SLIDERS REBORN, there is a sense that SLIDERS REBORN is a little too beholden to what came before, too rooted in continuity, too dedicated to revisiting the iconography of the series. Writing a novella positioned as a summary to an alternate version of the TV show only emphasizes this unease.

And, yet, in spite of these legitimate concerns, "Reminiscence" works reasonably well. It is indulgent and obsessive, but it is also rich, earnest and enlightening. In keeping with the spirit of SLIDERS having had several contradictory and mutually exclusive approaches to its premise, it feels like "Reminiscence" is a reflection on SLIDERS REBORN itself.

Memory and history are major themes of SLIDERS, particularly the gulf between them. This is true on both a personal and a cultural level. Over the course of SLIDERS REBORN, the Sliders have engaged with a parallel world that reported and characterized the events of our world with a greater emphasis on fear, paranoia and doomsday. In the original run of the series, Quinn Mallory was forced to consider that his perfect memory of his father obscured the flaws and failings of the actual human being.

Similarly, the larger arc of the fourth season of the show found Quinn unearthing a secret history of war, abuse and betrayal that overturned Quinn (and the fans') accepted view of SLIDERS continuity and history. REBORN is doing the same except where the fourth season was hostile and dismissive to Quinn and the fans, REBORN is reverently respectful.

SLIDERS is a fundamentally postmodern show, one that frequently explores the rewriting of history, albeit often in a fashion done for episodic convenience and creative shortsightedness rather than any meaningful onscreen intent. But appropriately enough, Geoff Johns incorporates this theme of history and memory into "Reminiscence."

Johns is not only interested in the concepts of history and memory, but in particular about how those elements can be applied to the show itself. Featuring Quinn being questioned by a psychiatrist who is incredulous at Quinn's account of sliding, "Reminiscence" has a tricky relationship with nostalgia. Quinn provides the history of sliding and that history is a version of SLIDERS where Quinn enjoyed four years of wonderful adventures with Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo; a vision of the show that doesn't have supernatural monsters of the Professor being killed or the invasion of the Sliders' home Earth.

Within "Reminiscence," the reader is invited to see the REBORN cast not as the original Sliders but as reproductions resulting from earlier versions that were saved before the show went wrong, almost like backup files on a computer system. Quinn explains that this happier version of events were the 'original' timeline and that the version of events seen onscreen are a 'corrupted' timeline resulting from the reality warping events of "The Unstuck Man."

Memory and continuity are inexorably linked, whether at a personal or institutional level. Identity is largely defined by what a person remembers, a continuity of self. Most pointedly, Johns reflects on REBORN as a parallel path for SLIDERS where, at the end of "Reminiscence," having presented this alternate history, Johns reveals that the Quinn Mallory at the centre of the story is an impostor. He is not the “real” or “authentic” Quinn Mallory.

He is an imitation and a copy, a knock-off version of the real thing, desperately trying to figure out his place in the grand scheme of things. And furthermore, the Quinn whom this impostor pretends to be is also not the Quinn Mallory we know from the TV series, but the 'original' from a version of SLIDERS that no fan ever saw on onscreen.

In many ways, this plays as a potent metaphor for SLIDERS REBORN, a revival series that is reverent to the past while outright dismissing the specific character deaths and latter-era plotlines that fans largely deride, alternatively embracing and repudiating the past. SLIDERS REBORN basks in this discontinuity.

There is a jarring and disorientated quality to the narrative, a recurring sense that Quinn Mallory, whether real or impersonated, is lost within his own memories. Quinn tries to navigate his history using familiar markers from the continuity of the television series; the quartet of Seasons 1 - 2, the scant alternate histories from Season 3, the reunion of "Reprise."

Even the novella's frame of reference is subversive. There are a number of clear inconsistencies and incongruities within "Reminiscence." The date of the first slide is given as March 22, 1995 when the date in the actual Pilot episode was September 27, 1994. Quinn describes his memories of the TV version of Seasons 3 - 5 as something he merely witnessed when the flashback machine of "Applied Physics" was put to use, but he was shown to have memories of the Professor's death and Wade's loss in "The Unstuck Man."

Quinn also describes the constant reuse of sets in Season 5, saying that after the Geiger experiment, reality was "shrinking," but the reused sets of the cave and the hotel were actually present as early as Season 3. This discontinuity seems to be the point of the exercise. There is a sense that the Quinn-impostor is trying to stitch together his own continuity and identity from distorted fragments.

This state of discontinuity also applies to the SLIDERS as a whole. After all, the mythology of SLIDERS was not entirely airtight. There are numerous points in each season which the show struggled and failed to present a consistent narrative: consider the difference in Rembrandt's characterization between "Luck of the Draw" and "Into the Mystic" or try to reconcile the Kromaggs' xenophobia towards humans as a divergent evolutionary path with Season 4 declaring humans and Kromaggs once shared the same Earth.

"All of this was wrong. It was like someone had taken my life and infected it with madness and horror and turned it into a nightmare,” reflects Quinn at one point. It seems like an honest reflection of the challenges of trying to build a coherent story from the plot points scattered across SLIDERS.

Johns even gets to riff a little bit on the core themes of Season 4. In many ways, the Kromagg Prime arc was a rendition of the “great man” theory of history with Quinn rewritten into a pivotal figure in an interdimensional war chosen for a vital purpose as an extraordinary individual meant to shape the course of history. "Reminiscence" in turn declares that Quinn is so integral to all existence that erasing him and his doubles from the multiverse in "The Unstuck Man" caused reality to collapse and created the corrupted timeline.

At the same time, there is a sense that "Reminiscence" and SLIDERS REBORN as a whole are just a little bit too obsessed with continuity. It opens with a quick run-through of Seasons 1 - 2. The psychiatrist is Rembrandt's therapist from "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome." Quinn describes his confusion in observing memories of Seasons 1 - 5 in which alternate histories had been replaced with monster movies and events took place in the wrong order. The doctor even describes the Quinn-double of the Pilot as "Smarter." It's cute. A little too cute.

The best episodes of SLIDERS stood on their own two feet. They obviously tied into the rich history and continuity of the real world, referencing the Vietnam War and the sexual revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall, but they worked independently as explorations of history alongside more intimate stories of personal failure and success whether in survival or overthrowing a dystopian regime. SLIDERS' finest hours could be watched and enjoyed by just about anybody with a minimal introduction. As much as certain episodes referenced earlier ones, the best had an arc of their own.

"Reminiscence" and REBORN lack that sense of coherence. They do not really work outside the overlapping context of the five season run of SLIDERS and the particulars of SLIDERS REBORN.

To be fair, this seems to be the point. "Reminiscence" is very much engaging with the continuity and canon of SLIDERS in particular rather than making any broad sweeping statements about American culture or society. On those terms, it works very well. Although the character’s plight is ridiculous on paper, Johns manages to cultivate a sense of tragedy around the false Quinn Mallory while delivering exposition for how the dead Sliders came back to life and found a home untouched by Kromaggs.

It is a thoughtful and clever story that feels like the novella is working through its own crisis of identity as the multiverse reconfigures around it.

SLIDERS REBORN: "Regenesis" - Review by, Earth 207

With "Regenesis," it all comes to an end. The grand epic story that Geoff Johns built across a webisode, two feature length films and a TV length episode comes to a close in this final movie. Given the default length of a TV season being 22 episodes, "Regenesis" cannot help but feel somewhat truncated even as a 144 minute installment, but with the previous episode being devoted to a Season 5 character, there was the sense that SLIDERS REBORN was winding down rather than ratcheting up.

In some ways, "Regenesis" suffers from being overly ambitious. Johns reintroduced the Season 3 monsters in the teaser of "Reunion," but they feel like they crowd out what is otherwise a straightforward confrontation with Quinn Mallory facing off against Quinn Mallory. It is in some ways disappointing that the finale builds to a Marvel Cinematic Universe showdown of superheroes fighting monsters instead of a more personal and grounded conclusion.

And yet, in spite of that, there is something oddly charming about "Regenesis." This long-delayed series finale to SLIDERS may be a compromised spin on whatever ending original creators Tormé and Weiss envisioned for SLIDERS. Likely, they planned for a finale that would present SLIDERS as a satirical science fiction dramedy and never imagined the series would instead climax in a superhero film pastiche with the Season 3 monsters as invading aliens and the Quinn-double of the Pilot as the central antagonist. But there is also a sense of incorporation, of joyfully accepting all variations on SLIDERS with every single Slider who ever appeared in the opening titles receiving a role in this story.

The shadow of Seasons 3 - 5 hangs over SLIDERS REBORN. At times, REBORN undercuts and belies three seasons of death and destruction for SLIDERS in defiant fashion. At other times, the bleak dissolution of the SLIDERS concept in Seasons 3 - 5 haunts REBORN until a direct confrontation is required. Despite "Reprise" instantly dismissing the deaths of Quinn, Wade and the Professor with sentiment over reason, there was no logistical way REBORN could ignore these unpleasant plot developments.

There is a sense of wistfulness to "Regenesis." The film ends almost as SLIDERS began in the Pilot episode; the Sliders preparing for a new adventure. All that is really accomplished is restoring to SLIDERS and its cast what they should have had in the first place and for the whole of their series: each other and the infinite wonder and adventure of the multiverse. "Regenesis" seeks to make an event out of returning to a status quo that should never have been lost in the first place, and the fact that this is even necessary for SLIDERS results in "Regenesis" acknowledging that plans change and realities shift, especially for the Sliders.

Throughout the series, Quinn-2, the damaged and volatile enemy of our heroes, seems to express his disdain and frustration towards SLIDERS having taken many wrong turns that have left it beyond repair with REBORN a temporary salve rather than a true resurrection. "This home, your world, your family, your friends -- none of this is real!" Quinn-2 howls at our Quinn, dismissing REBORN and the entire multiverse of this series as a shabby fragment of the original version of reality.

There's also the fact that we live in an era of constant reboots with new actors playing old roles in new productions that supplant the old ones. SLIDERS REBORN's existence with SLIDERS' original cast and continuity is a peculiarity, an outlier resulting from one creator's obsessive nature and a contractual anomaly stemming from Yahoo accidentally accessing NBCUniversal's back catalog of licenses. No sensible business under sensible circumstances would ever revive SLIDERS in this manner.

Geoff Johns seems to realize that any new SLIDERS in the future will almost certainly be a new continuity with new actors that will cast off the 1995 series and this revival in favour of a new beginning.

Given how important continuity has been to Johns, it makes sense that Johns labours to ensure that REBORN can be integrated into the continuity of any future SLIDERS reboot even if that reboot will directly contradict REBORN and the original series. In fact, it could be argued that the bulk of REBORN is simply building to a final sequence in which a restored multiverse of infinite Earths is shown to contain all realities including any future SLIDERS series or film that will not acknowledge REBORN at all.

There is undoubtedly a great deal of indulgence to all of this. After all, continuity is not generally an exciting topic of itself. It could reasonably be argued that a fixation on continuity for the sake of continuity is a large part of what makes SLIDERS REBORN so inaccessible to wider audiences. If everything is intertextual and self-referential, than REBORN risks having no distinct value of its own. Its tale becomes a curiosity more than a narrative, a collection of trivia rather than an exciting adventure.

REBORN certainly seems a little preoccupied with its own place in the larger context of SLIDERS. However, this anxiety feels somewhat justified as Johns' entire purpose has been to tell new adventures of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo taking place after their separations and deaths in the original series. The mechanics of REBORN are fascinating with Johns perfectly integrating a number of concepts that draw from SLIDERS' parallel universe concept and fitting comfortably within the framework of the series.

Johns also accepts something that original creators Torme and Weiss would likely reject -- the idea that pastiche and genre parodies are central to the SLIDERS storytelling engine with alternate universes being so vast and numerous that any variations on SLIDERS' concept, even supernatural and paranormal monsters, can be contained within the series.

In integrating these unloved and much-maligned concepts from Seasons 3, SLIDERS REBORN becomes a celebration of endless diversity and reminds us that there is a vast multiverse of possible SLIDERS stories unfolding on parallel and simultaneous tracks and REBORN -- as well as a future reboot -- will only be two such possibilities of infinitely more.

There is something quite heartwarming in all of this with REBORN gracefully accepting its place as a footnote that a future reboot will render out of continuity. The near-closing scenes have Quinn-2 describing the events of this story as "Extra chapters in a story we all know ended a long time ago," a delightfully wry and self-aware line as the Sliders are left in a future of their own determination, permitted a last bow before they leave the stage.

One of my other favourite blogs is Tardis Eruditorum at -- and I've occasionally wondered what it'd be like if Elizabeth Sandifer had blogged about SLIDERS instead of DOCTOR WHO and what the blog covering my stuff would be like. It'd probably be like this:

Reality Can Be Rewritten 4 (SLIDERS REBORN), Posted by: Elizabeth Sandifer

SLIDERS REBORN -- probably the single least readable thing I'll cover on this blog -- is an unlicensed series of screenplays by Ibrahim Ng published as a fan endeavor in 2015. Not unreadable due to content but size: it's 436 pages of script and also a 6,500 word novella. The provenance of it is interesting -- series co-creator Tracy Torme pitched a story (but not *this* story) to, to be published as a PDF format screenplay, but it was never completed.

Separately, the Canadian writer Ibrahim Ng pitched a story to the same website about Quinn Mallory in 2015, to be published as a PDF format screenplay, but couldn't complete it due to what Ng termed writer's block. However, the webmaster shared Torme's story ideas with Ng and Ng was inspired to complete Torme's story, but his adaptation process changed the material so much that it isn't at all Torme's story anymore.

Let's get one thing out of the way -- these are extremely dense scripts. On top of that, the plot elevates fanwank to a profound art, relying heavily not only on Seasons 1 - 2 but with heavy references to scads of continuity errors in Seasons 3 - 5. This is not in and of itself a problem, except that it seems to be the entire point of this story --  to try to fit absolutely as many existing pieces of SLIDERS together as is possible.

I'll attempt something resembling a summary of the plot. In 2015, all the sliders are alive and well and home on their Earth of origin which is uninvaded by Kromaggs. Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are living normal lives. Quinn is still sliding. But when reality starts breaking down around a teenaged girl named Laurel, the gang reunite and slide off into the multiverse to investigate. They find that across three Earths, millions of digital clocks have been distributed, all identical and counting down in perfect sync to what many believe is doomsday.

The clocks turn out to be a plot from Smarter Quinn from the Pilot to collapse reality and create a new multiverse as this one is damaged due to the reality warping weapon that ended the Kromagg war between Season 5 and this story in which Quinn had to choose a single branching point as a starting position for new parallel worlds and chose the day of the first slide.

As a result, the current multiverse is damaged with the inability to split off and create new branching paths, something Quinn-2 intends to fix destructively Quinn-2 attempts to destroy the multiverse; the sliders try to stop him, the result is that the multiverse is saved but San Francisco is now merged with over 1,000 parallel versions of itself leading to another confrontation and Laurel is Quinn's daughter from "Love Gods" and what is this I don't even.

Despite this, underneath the hood is the thing that distinguished the Pilot episode from, say, clumsy knockoffs of the Pilot like David Peckinpah's "Genesis."  For all the flaws, this is striving to be a story about characters. It's the final and definitive redemption of Quinn Mallory where Quinn earns a meaningful conclusion to otherwise aborted mess that is the SLIDERS saga. SLIDERS REBORN itself is an absolute mess, but it's a mess driven entirely by scene after scene after scene of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo bantering, cracking wise, and bouncing off each other.

Let's look at the plot. It's absurdly over the top, yes. But nevertheless there is something irritatingly, compellingly... cool about it. I mean, look, I'd be lying if I didn't say that there was something kind of intriguingly awesome about the entire basic idea of this story. How could I possibly say otherwise?

I must be at least a half million words into a massive exegesis of everything involved in SLIDERS. Like I'm going to pretend taking SLIDERS apart and putting it back together stops being interesting or valid just because it has a plot.

One can't even easily mount the main distinction I've sought to make over the past in terms of continuity about the difference between a unitary SLIDERS explanation and playing around with possibilities. SLIDERS REBORN tries to lay down precisely why episodes aired in the wrong order on the FOX Network, why characters like Ryan and Henry disappeared, why the hotel set of Season 5 became such a fixture and how all the sliders can be alive.

REBORN resurrects the original cast and hits undo on much of Seasons 3 - 5, but it also goes out of its way to leave other stories, even Seasons 3 - 5, in place. This isn't some horrific land grab to collapse the possibilities of SLIDERS. It's the exact sort of thing that one opposes those land grabs in order to allow -- some fans expounding their pet theories. So is there any basis to object to this beyond being unreadable to any but the most SLIDERS-fixated?

One possibility, at least, is based on the contested nature of the epic. Epics, especially within sci-fi/fantasy, are a common trope that's been plaguing SLIDERS since "The Exodus Part 2." I'm certainly not going to criticize epics in the general case, but there is something troubling about the idea that they're the pinnacle of the genre. By their very nature they imply unity and singular vision. That infuriating belief in absolute, fixed truth.

To some extent, this is a conflict embedded in the very fabric of SLIDERS. SLIDERS' debut came in a period where America was coming to terms with the fact that post-Vietnam it was becoming a supporting player in global affairs instead of a superpower. In 1995 that was a difficult proposition, not least because America still had an awful lot of empire. But fundamentally, SLIDERS was science fiction coming from the perspective of a country that was giving up the idea that it had a singular vision of the world.

But that anti-imperialism, in SLIDERS, always contrasted interestingly with the fact that SLIDERS' central character was an obvious heir to the same Victorian tradition that oversaw the height of the British Empire. Quinn Mallory, as we've said before, is ultimately the Victorian inventor rebranded as the American whiz-kid. He is at once of the imperial past and rebelling against it, an attempt to salvage a secret history of the American era that provided a way forward.

This is a tradition that still exists in SLIDERS. The whole "the little people are the most important people" ethos that runs through "Gillian of the Spirits" and "The Young and the Relentless" comes directly from this aspect of the show's history. Quinn Mallory, to start at least, was interesting not because he was a pivotal figure in an interdimensional war but because he was a college kid who couldn't control his sliding machine. He was consciously designed as the opposite of the traditional "great man" of history -- indeed, under the Professor's tutelege, Quinn became a figure who had clearly chosen to rebel against greatness in favor of the mercurial.

And to some extent we can just set this up as a tension that plagues SLIDERS. It constantly gets pulled towards epics when what it does best is something else. No, more than that -- when its soul, its original concept, is a reaction against epics. It's worth looking, though, at the sort of epic that a SLIDERS epic tends to be.

SLIDERS' epics hinge on the fact that sliding, normally an exploratory, open concept, is curtailed to one sort of plot (a fugitive hunt or a war). It's a narrative collapse -- a story that appears to threaten the end of SLIDERS and REBORN is no different, threatening the end of the multiverse and of sliding. This is the first type of epic SLIDERS ever did. I mean, it faked and blustered its way to an epic with "Invasion," but its first real epic was "The Exodus" where the whole point turned out to be that taking SLIDERS and adding an epic chase after a psychopathic serial killer was absolutely horrible.

Put another way, SLIDERS epics can and do work, but when they work by threatening a narrative collapse. Or, as with "The Guardian," they work by wedding the epic structure (a new rebel facing his enemies) to something profoundly non-epic (the rebel is a bullied boy and his enemies are schoolchildren) -- and relishing in the tension this creates.

So what's the Ibrahim Ng epic? Let's look at him as a whole. One of his most steadfast assertions, which carries through virtually everything he says about or in SLIDERS -- and I’ve read virtually all of it -- is that he is not a science fiction person and doesn't like science fiction all that much. This claim must come off strangely to anybody who is not Ibrahim Ng, since reading his material it’s self-evident that he is, in fact, a science fiction person.

Surely only a science fiction person would ever come up with the premise of "Revelation," in which a rogue slider attempts to collapse all realities using a clock counting down to doomsday that's been mapped to 18 billion points in space-time across three parallel Earths. I mean, a merged San Francisco that's a bustling metropolis of overlapping parallel realities played as an infinite wonderland of boundless possibilities -- that's something only a sci-fi person could ever come up with.

Certainly his audience is overwhelmingly comprised of sci-fi people. I mean, this goes without saying, yes? Someone whose writing credits exist entirely in spin-off media of a sci-fi show (with one web series fanfic) is clearly and self-evidently a sci-fi person, right? Well, sort of right.

See, the real point Ng is making when he says he’s not a sci-fi person and SLIDERS isn’t a sci-fi show is that in his view SLIDERS is a actually a situation comedy series in the tradition of M*A*S*H, COMMUNITY and THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Which, again, he’s not wrong. The logic of SLIDERS is, as we’ve said before, is not that of a STAR TREK series that Seasons 4 -- 5 so lazily cloned. SLIDERS as conceived is really a traditional Rod Serling anthology of eccentric spaces and portals to other worlds.

That’s not the only tradition SLIDERS comes out of, of course -- it also owes a lot to STAR WARS and FLASH GORDON and any sci-fi property that features individuals in strange worlds revolting against the establishment. But in essence it’s always been science fiction with the attitude of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the comedy of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

And yet something about Ng’s point rankles. Less because of the very savvy point that SLIDERS is not a straightforward science fiction show is somehow incorrect, but because of his claim that SLIDERS is not for sci-fi people but rather for situation comedy fans -- viewers who would want to see dorky genius Quinn oblivious to Wade's interest while labouring under the Professor's harsh tutelage and stumbling over Rembrandt who's there for no reason.

SLIDERS REBORN caters entirely to an audience that wants to see Professor Arturo struggling to eat seaweed salad and Rembrandt blundering through a spy story parody. Look through Ng's forum postings: you'll find endless ranting about his horror and exasperation with fanfic that resurrects each dead slider and resolves each unfinished plot point by point through science fiction means. Ng protests that the people are the point of SLIDERS, not the sci-fi. He also rails against fans who think these fanfics are a worthwhile starting point for a new TV series as the average viewer wouldn't understand them. But wait. We’re conflating two things here -- science fiction and sci-fi people.

At the heart of this is a complex interplay between the idea of science fiction as an iconography and as a genre. Because science fiction as a genre -- i.e. as a narrative structure with a given set of conventions -- is actually a relatively narrow thing that existed in the early-to-mid 20th century. And it’s a weird little beast based on problem-solving and manipulation of ideas. The only time SLIDERS really fixates on this is in the nadir of the series mythology in Season 4 with the Kromagg Prime arc.

As we’ve observed before, since STAR WARS, science fiction has really been a set of images and ideas. If it’s not too much to look ahead, let’s think about "As Time Goes By" especially as it’s the episode most similar to SLIDERS REBORN. One of the most interesting things about that episode was the way in which the three Earths in the story swung back and forth between being an emotional love story in sci-fi terms and being a series of chase scenes and action sequences, and the way in which these styles were used as a source of tension.

The latter is what sci-fi usually is these days. In contrast, sci-fi people think that sci-fi is about the particulars -- that the mark of a good sci-fi story is the nature of the idea. And that’s just not the way it works, except in marginal cult shows that cater to those sorts of people. (This hermeneutic also explains all the detailed contrivances that fans conceive to resurrect Colin from being unstuck and split Quinn from Mallory.)

And the thing is, for all that Ng rails against sci-fi people in favour of sitcom antics, Ng blatantly is a sci-fi person. In all of his work, it’s the sci-fi concepts that ultimately justify his ridiculous action sequences where the SLIDERS topple a dragon with aspirin in bulk and defeat killer robots with golf balls from Doppler Computers (which has become the Costco of SLIDERS). Which, fine. I mean, I’m not going to knock it, being, by any reasonable definition, a bit of a sci-fi person myself.

But it remains the case: Ibrahim Ng clearly cares about sci-fi and has no interest in *only* writing about four old friends hanging out. He often joked that SLIDERS should be rebooted with the sliders running a hamburger joint, a joke that's actually present in the final chapters. But in the end, Ng didn't write the sliders as a fast food workplace comedy; he dived straight into science fiction and depends on it totally to justify otherwise unjustifiable sitcom scenes. His dependency on sci-fi comes through in every review, every novel, everything.

So why does he declare that he doesn't like science fiction and isn't a sci-fi person? Well, mainly because he isn’t quite one. Yes, he’s got all the trappings, but he prefers situation comedy. What we have is a writer who acts like a sci-fi person in every significant sense, except that he happens to be really attracted to sitcom conversations *about* sci-fi situations. And he’s attracted to them in a very fundamental, abiding sense such that he builds vast metaphorical labyrinths (a city of sliders and infinite parallel worlds made up of SLIDERS stories!) to justify scenes where the Professor and Quinn sit in a shopping mall talking about doomsday scenarios.

This is, in a nutshell, what reading SLIDERS REBORN is like. It’s not that the scripts don’t have good ideas. The idea that the multiverse is dying because Quinn instinctively used a machine for rebuilding reality to save his friends at the expense of all else based on choosing one single decision point from which all other realities would unfold is… compelling. The means by which Quinn ultimately saves all reality has a certain crisp logic that would make a lawyer weep with joy. The way in which Ng incorporates the Season 3 monsters into the more scientific bent he prefers for SLIDERS is beautiful as is his open acknowledgement that the 'science' of SLIDERS is really the science of stories. All the little moments shine.

And this, in the end, is the problem with SLIDERS REBORN. It's not an epic; it's a series of little moments, sketches with the sliders, welded to an epic plot. And so SLIDERS REBORN isn't falling into either epic shape. It's a story of little scenes, not big ones, that tries to explain everything. And it has a certain arrogance: even as REBORN goes out of its way not to erase any other stories, it still tacitly demands that it be allowed to serve as the key that interprets them. It's exactly the sort of sci-fi epic that SLIDERS resists.

The theory SLIDERS REBORN advances is ultimately not about SLIDERS at all and entirely about *the* sliders, the four characters as played by four actors whom Ng clearly loves (despite his frustration with Jerry O'Connell, the rendition of Quinn is flattering). Paradoxically, the conclusion culminates in a sea of computer generated monsters attacking a city -- a story that ultimately goes against the aesthetics of SLIDERS while admittedly retaining the ethics of SLIDERS. And, of course, it’s unfilmable.

Ng has fallen into the trap of believing that CGI is free, and so writes a script with jaw-dropping visual excesses that are almost as bad as "Dinoslide" infamously knocking the back end of Season 3 badly off budget. And the plot is SLIDERS by Numbers in a way that not even David Peckinpah scripts usually manage. But the biggest problem isn’t any of that. It’s that there’s nothing to it beyond the characters bantering.

Ibrahim Ng, by all appearances, seems to think that the heart and soul of SLIDERS is nothing more Wade sniping at Arturo, Rembrandt's pratfalls, Quinn's incompetent brilliance and a vaguely anti-authoritarian bent. There are no character arcs here. Ng’s script ultimately thinks having chatter is sufficient, and doesn’t care about piddly little things like drama.

And the result is a vision of SLIDERS that is simply inaccessible and unreadable to anyone who isn't already a massive fan of SLIDERS, a startling failure given Ng's persistent claims that SLIDERS' return must be an entry-level, ground floor product. It's a very strange situation that despite this, SLIDERS REBORN is actually inaccessible not only to a casual audience, but to many fans who may not have a detailed recall of every episode.

And so it’s tempting to throw Ng onto the same pile as far too many people on message boards who genuinely believe that the secret to SLIDERS’ future success is to somehow film a direct follow-up to "The Seer" with an onscreen resolution to every unfinished plot in Seasons 1 -5. Because SLIDERS REBORN is really no different in its desires; despite Ng protesting endlessly that it would be absurd to complete the Colin spy plot in 2015, he's done precisely that except he's done it with a throwaway joke and a comedy voiceover from Charlie O'Connell and had the sense to let those resolutions happen 'off camera.' Ng's focus ensures that nearly every scene features Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo front and center and he pushes his obvious continuity fixation into wisecracks rather than an all-consuming focus.

SLIDERS REBORN is a project I have more than a small measure of sympathy for. One that was not so much misguided as too weird and too difficult to work with for massive success. This doesn’t erase its value -- the fact of the matter is SLIDERS REBORN is a delightfully niche product and a lovely read. So is "Slide Effects" and his rewrite of "Net Worth" and his attempt at a 2013 reboot. Really, you’re cheating yourself if you don’t read his stuff -- I can’t imagine many people who like SLIDERS who wouldn’t love Ng’s work.

And this is where we’ll leave him -- if only because he's concluded his SLIDERS writing. He doesn’t want to be part of SLIDERS’ story anymore, having resigned from the REWATCH PODCAST and chosen to end his run on SLIDERS with the REBORN finale. So we’ll leave him out of it from here. But let’s be clear. We are not leaving him in any sort of failure or ignominy. No, no.

Ibrahim Ng gets the proper send-off; the farewell to one of SLIDERS’ oddest minds. Because he had a vision of SLIDERS that still fascinates, even if it does not consistently appeal. Because there was never anyone like him before, and will never be again. Because, in his own way, he seemed to love all aspects of SLIDERS from Henry the Dog to the super-intelligent snakes well beyond anyone else who ever wrote for SLIDERS. And because even though he’s staggeringly, epically incapable of presenting a vision of SLIDERS that would appeal to a 21st century audience, even in his inability, he remains impeccably fascinating.

So farewell, Ibrahim Ng. You were SLIDERS’ greatest crazy person.