Topic: SLIDERS (2013): Why did it fail?

Every night, just before I fall asleep, the last thought that crosses my mind is this: why did SLIDERS (2013) fail?

In case you don't recall, SLIDERS (2013) was a 2013 reboot script for SLIDERS where Slider_Quinn21, Informant, Temporal Flux, Chaser9 and myself were ruminating on what a rebooted SLIDERS would be in the 21st century and I proposed taking all their musings and writing it into scripts. I wrote the first script, "You Can't Go Home Again": http://freepdfhosting.com/ab3f9e4b78.pdf

After that, the project stalled. I've always wondered why.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote half of the pilot outline to establish Quinn's life and creation of sliding on Earth Prime and then left the project for a screenwriting competition, promising to return. He didn't. Where'd he go?

Informant provided the second half of the pilot outline in which Quinn and friends land on a world where the War on Terror dominated America. I merged their ideas and incorporated Temporal Flux's origin story for Wade and Chaser9's reboot idea for Rembrandt. I posted the script online and received dead silence in response. Why didn't Informant read it and comment?

Chaser9 said his well for SLIDERS was dry. TemporalFlux confessed that he wasn't too enthused about fan fiction these days and had a lot of stuff going on in real life. But what about Slider_Quinn21 and Informant?

With Informant, I guessed that our decidedly opposing political views made collaborating in screenwriting understandably untenable. His second half of the outline was clearly a rant against Obamacare which I didn't agree with but also didn't change -- because I felt it was a reasonable parallel Earth concept. But I suspect my presentation (in the combined outline which he did read) rankled with him. But it is only a suspicion that has never been confirmed by the individual himself.

With Slider_Quinn21 -- I wonder if he was enthusiastic about posting random SLIDERS reboot ideas in a message board but not so enthusiastic about actually producing 4 - 6 screenplays and putting in all that work into a fan fiction project. But that is only a supposition that has never been verified by the person in question.

Another massive mystery as to why SLIDERS (2013) quietly imploded is me. RussianCabbieLotteryFan wondered why I, the most obsessive fan on this Bboard, couldn't scrape together the scripts.

I attempted to carry on; Temporal Flux even granted me the use of his comic book pitches in an attempt to populate SLIDERS (2013). But I couldn't get it together. I had a bunch of ideas: Episode 2 would be a series of 'shorts,' 5 - 8 pages of script each where the sliders get to grips with sliding and learn how to get money, food and shelter. Episode 3 would be a rewrite of "Please Press One" where the sliders encounter an artificial intelligence trying to steal sliding. Episode 4 would be TF's story where the sliders meet a Quinn-double, a serial killer who'd been luring sliders and murdering Arturo-doubles for sliding technology.

It didn't work out. I didn't have the plotting skills to execute TF's clever ideas at the time. The outlines were an incoherent mess and TF (probably) had neither the time nor the inclination to clean them up. But I think the REAL reason I never got my act together on SLIDERS (2013): I didn't want to do it.

Looking at the 2013 script, it is very obvious: what I want is to write Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd, Cleavant Derricks and John Rhys-Davies making obsessive references to Seasons 1 - 5 of SLIDERS. The writing is clearly focused on writing a pastiche of the original actors even though they'd be too old to play the 2013 characters. My wish was not to do any sort of reboot, but a sequel featuring the Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo we met in 1995, at their present-day ages, sliding again in the 21st century. This led to SLIDERS REBORN where Quinn and Wade are in their 40s and Rembrandt and the Professor are in their 60s and 70s. In 2015, I began writing again and this time, I had a vision of SLIDERS that had a clear beginning, middle and end.

SLIDERS REBORN required tremendous effort from Nigel Mitchell (who came up with the parallel world ideas), Transmodiar (who reviewed the plot outlines) and Slider_Quinn21 (who reviewed script pages and caught typos). But unlike SLIDERS (2013), however, nobody was required to create material but rather asked to finesse existing content. I'd tell Nigel I wanted an alt-history where all water on Earth had been contaminated, lay out the plot, and Nigel would provide the exposition. I told Transmodiar I wanted to create a situation where the multiverse was collapsing and then a scenario where Quinn would save all worlds and Transmodiar provided a solution. I wrote pages where road salt was sold in San Francisco and Slider_Quinn21 corrected this.

Recently, I asked Transmodiar if he was sure we shouldn't work together as screenwriting partners. "You say that like we haven't!" he exclaimed. "The amount of time I put into SLIDERS REBORN was insane." I conceded that it was our magnum opus and we should let it stand. And because Slider_Quinn21 reviewed the REBORN script pages and was present and reliable for SLIDERS REBORN, I excused him for his disappearance during SLIDERS (2013).

Looking back, SLIDERS (2013)'s failure was a good thing. I'm happier with SLIDERS REBORN. But even so... WTF, Slider_Quinn21 and Informant? What happened?

Re: SLIDERS (2013): Why did it fail?

In 2013, I was working on Freedom/Hate, which was a whole future universe, with an alternate history that was filled with complicated characters and in-world politics. That series was not following the path that I originally planned, and was becoming something new that I was trying very hard to keep a handle on. At the same time, I was working on writing another book (which I still haven't released, but hope to soon, when I have time to edit it). So quite simply, I had to put my own original work ahead of group fanfic. As it was, my head was about to explode.


But another reason is, The X-Files. We all have ideas for how Sliders should be remade at some point, and we could all probably create a version of the show that would be interesting in our own ways. However, a series needs one driving voice and a bunch of other people falling in line to make that voice as good as it can be. I'm not sure that all of our ideas worked well together as one single voice. I really don't remember much about the ideas that I had for Sliders, but if they were political, I can see frustration being an issue for everyone involved.

Re: SLIDERS (2013): Why did it fail?

I always felt Sliders was one of the toughest franchises to write it for.  At least if you were to try to hold to Tracy Torme's vision for the show.  Frankly a good chuck of season 3 was literally BAD fan fiction.  Torme had the characters visit different Earths.  Some had slight differences, others had clearly obvious ones.  Regardless, the best Sliders episodes often were the ones where the crazy worlds forced the team to take on roles or even personas they never expected to.  In a sense, they became actors.  Those were so entertaining.  Also good were the ones where they were forced to examine choices they made, better or worse, that their double may have done differently.  I felt those were the strength of the show, and of Torme's guidance.  Often the Sci-Fi seasons would come close, simply for budgetary reasons.  I guess my point is that too often over the years, Sliders fanfics have focused too much energy into the worlds, the politics, and whatnot.  Does that make for good fanfic?  Maybe not, but it would (if ever rebooted) make for good television.

Re: SLIDERS (2013): Why did it fail?

Time to get real....

I don't remember this project at all.  I don't remember any ideas I had, I don't remember communicating about it.  I vaguely remember the idea, and I totally remember flaking out on it.  But that's really about it.  I remember the project I abandoned it for (which my friend and I completed but were unable to sell), but that's about it.

With Slider_Quinn21 -- I wonder if he was enthusiastic about posting random SLIDERS reboot ideas in a message board but not so enthusiastic about actually producing 4 - 6 screenplays and putting in all that work into a fan fiction project. But that is only a supposition that has never been verified by the person in question.

This is accurate, and not just with Sliders scripts.  I have a number of ideas for novels/screenplays/etc that I think would make wonderful stories.  Since I wrote my second novel YEARS ago, I've started 2-3 of with varying degrees of completion, but I haven't had the energy or passion to get any of them anywhere near a completed first draft.  I get very excited in the idea phase, but I haven't had the time or energy to do much after that.  The longest and most successful stretch of time I've spent writing was when I had the flu and was isolated and unable to get out of bed for a few days.  I got a few chapters written, and that was all.

It's a place I've been in for a while.  Even as I think about it, I think "Yeah, that's really a great idea.  So is that!  I should be writing some of these thoughts down" and know I'm not going to actually get anything on paper.  I was able to edit and self-publish the better of the two novels that I wrote with no intention of ever making a dollar on it.  I just wanted something to get out there into the world on the off chance that anyone would ever want to read it.  And, for the record, I'm not telling you what it's called or anything about it.  It's my little secret.

These might all be ideas that I do when I'm retired or when I have more free time.  And maybe then I can do more Sliders fanfic.  But until then, I'm just an idea guy. smile

Re: SLIDERS (2013): Why did it fail?

ireactions wrote:

Long-winded, rambling, hilariously obsessive, mildly antagonistic rant against Slider_Quinn21 and Informant for refusing to devote the entirety of their lives to a fan fiction project for a TV show in the 1990s and demanding that they answer for their sensible lack of interest

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I don't remember this project at all.

lol

(Thought I'd save Transmodiar the trouble.)

Grizzlor wrote:

I always felt Sliders was one of the toughest franchises to write it for.  At least if you were to try to hold to Tracy Torme's vision for the show.  Frankly a good chuck of season 3 was literally BAD fan fiction.  Torme had the characters visit different Earths.  Some had slight differences, others had clearly obvious ones.  Regardless, the best Sliders episodes often were the ones where the crazy worlds forced the team to take on roles or even personas they never expected to.  In a sense, they became actors.  Those were so entertaining.  Also good were the ones where they were forced to examine choices they made, better or worse, that their double may have done differently.  I felt those were the strength of the show, and of Torme's guidance.  Often the Sci-Fi seasons would come close, simply for budgetary reasons.  I guess my point is that too often over the years, Sliders fanfics have focused too much energy into the worlds, the politics, and whatnot.  Does that make for good fanfic?  Maybe not, but it would (if ever rebooted) make for good television.

I don't think I entirely understand what you are saying, but I am hazarding a guess: you are saying that it was the characters that made SLIDERS fun and the way the parallel worlds put them into one insane situation after another that messed with their identities and morals and convictions -- and SLIDERS was at its best less about the world-building and the alternate histories.

If that's what you are saying -- it's interesting because I disagree, but I don't have the ability to produce material in opposition to your opinions. Alternate histories and world-building, to me, are essential to SLIDERS. To me, a good SLIDERS writer will look at SLIDERS' five seasons and have ideas for a world where energy instead of gold is the dominant currency, where human speech is seen as archaic compared to writing, where the War on Terror never ended, where government spy agencies bought social media, where environmental legislation wound technology backwards to the 30s, where 3D printing made all copyright laws unenforceable.

And to me, a bad SLIDERS writer will look at SLIDERS and come up with a storyline to split the Quinns, resurrect Wade, retrieve the Professor from the Azure Gate Bridge world, finish off the Kromagg Prime arc as per Marc Scott Zicree's original specifications, bring back Logan St. Clair, revisit the FBI agents, etc..

And finally, there are the mediocre SLIDERS writers. The middling ones. The ones who aren't very good at any of the world-building and can see the unresolved plots as a mess that even a resurrected Ernest Hemingway would fail to construct into something readable -- but who have a loving, sincere adoration for the actors and the characters they played and seek to summon the presence of the performers to the page and write script pages so vivid that you can hear Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John saying every single line. Such writers, if particularly obsessed, will then hire a good SLIDERS writer for the princely sum of eighty dollars American to come up with the alt-histories.

Anyway. I'd like to think you're right, Grizzlor, because it would validate the life I've lived, but I personally think you're wrong.