Topic: Net Worth: The Quinn and Wade Edition
I'd like to re-present "Net Worth: The Quinn and Wade Edition," a rewritten version of the Season 4 episode of "Net Worth" now featuring the original cast and offering a vision of how "Net Worth" was originally a Season 3 story called "Onliners" that would revisit the Quinn and Wade romance in an internet-fuelled version of ROMEO & JULIET. There has been great confusion surrounding the history of "Net Worth" and whether or not it came out of Season 3.
In 1997, shortly before Season 3 aired, a preliminary list of Season 3 episodes was released online. This list included an episode called "Onliners," but no such episode ever aired. Temporal Flux later explained that his contacts in the SLIDERS production office had told him that "Onliners" would have been an internet-driven version of ROMEO AND JULIET and explore Quinn and Wade's potential romance. It was scrapped when John Rhys-Davies was fired.
TF believed that "Onliners" was retooled into "Net Worth," the internet-driven ROMEO AND JULIET story of Season 4 which would explain many odd aspects of "Net Worth," particularly how the Rick and Joanne guest characters were used in ways that would could only have been effective had they been Quinn and Wade doubles.
At various points in the aired "Net Worth," Rick is referred to as a genius. In the script, he makes references to alternate dimensions without having been introduced to sliding. Joanne displays an obsessive fixation on computers and bonds over the subject with Rick. In one scene, Maggie indicates in-depth knowledge of Joanne despite having only met her one scene previous; a deleted scene has Rick cracking wise to Quinn about talking to himself -- all of which seemed to be artifacts of Quinn-2 and Wade-2, the doubles, being abruptly rewritten into new guest characters and Wade's dialogue assigned to Maggie.
However, in a rare instance of Temporal Flux seeming to be flat out wrong: EarthPrime's Matt Hutaff contacted "Net Worth" writer Steve Stoliar. Stoliar said he had no recollection of "Net Worth" having ever been pitched in Season 3 or having ever featured Quinn and Wade doubles. In addition, Matt had many discussions with a Season 3 producer who also had no memory of any story called "Onliners."
TF himself had never found a script for "Onliners" and wondered if it had been a verbal pitch, something not committed to paper like the plans for Logan St. Clair's return.
It was peculiar, however, that Tracy Torme remembered "Onliners" in his 2009 interview and had once held hopes for producing the unused story as a comic book. Was TF was mistaken? Had "Onliners" had been an unrelated story? Could Steven Stoliar have somehow forgotten "Net Worth"'s origins? The matter seemed destined to remain unresolved, although it's impossible to watch "Net Worth" without feeling that Rick and Joanne's characters have been produced with a search and replace function pasting their names over Quinn-2 and Wade-2.
Later on, however, Matt unearthed a Season 3 progress report dated March 1997 from the SLIDERS production office. This report indicated that (a) "Onliners" had been retitled as "Net Worth" (it's a good pun) and (b) "Net Worth" had indeed been commissioned as a Season 3 script with a production code K1811 -- but cancelled along with "Heat of the Moment," another script (by Tracy Torme!) scrapped because of Davies' departure. This document was written about two to three months after John Rhys-Davies was fired. TF had proven correct. "Net Worth" had been a Season 3 pitch featuring Quinn and Wade.
(Shock! Gasp! Temporal Flux had proven correct on a matter involving SLIDERS? The de facto expert on the series knows his stuff when it comes to the show?)
As a writing exercise, I took Stoliar's Season 4 draft of "Net Worth" and rewrote it into "Net Worth: The Quinn and Wade Edition," featuring the original sliding team in the plot of "Net Worth" with every scene reworked and rewritten but featuring most of Stoliar's dialogue and action. Originally, it was a very speculative piece of writing on what could have been; now it's a speculative piece of writing on what was meant to be.