Topic: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Marc Scott Zicree just said on a livestream that he's going to release commentary tracks for all of the Sliders episodes he's credited for on his Youtube channel very soon.

If you're interested, you can sub to his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkKt7g … nreBdPhwmQ

I, for one, will be very interested to hear his thoughts on that year.

~SliderNum5

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

very cool.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

I have two sets of thoughts on this.

The first: Zicree is a very interesting person. It is always a pleasure to hear him speak. He imparted wisdom to Temporal Flux that we still receive from time to time (such as how to decode an exit story to determine the circumstances under which an actor left the show).

Dinner: Zicree had a nice dinner with Transmodiar in the early 2000s (I think) under circumstances Transmodiar has declined to share as the result of events Transmodiar would prefer not to divulge. I assume this was when Transmodiar was a volatile firebrand and before Transmodiar became an indulgent, self-effacing goofball. If Transmodiar during this meal was anything like his message board posts of the era, we should be impressed that Zicree didn't put Transmodiar's face through a restaurant window but instead let him grow up into the very sweet and patient man he is today.

(The amount of work Transmodiar put into SLIDERS REBORN was insane. "Indulgent" and "patient" are understating it.)

I'm sure that Zicree's audio commentary on "World Killer" and "Slidecage" (and perhaps "Genesis" and "Revelations"?) will prove enlightening with regards to the craft, structure, pacing, plotting, characterization and visual realization of a TV episode.

Second Thoughts: However, and this leads into my second set of thoughts: Zicree has been less than honest regarding Season 4. In every exchange, he declares that he accomplished everything he set out to do, that he was happy with giving input into nearly every episode of the season, that he was pleased with his work, that he was sorry not to return for Season 4, that Jerry O'Connell was splendid, that Bill Dial was great, that David Peckinpah was lovely and that the only bad thing Zicree has to say about the season is that "The Chasm" was awful.

Courtesy of Temporal Flux, we know full well that all of the above is technically true but misleading. TF has called Zicree a master of tact (or, as I'd call it, a master of lying). TF explained that Zicree communicates very indirectly when expressing dis-satisfaction.

TF's behind the scenes information and the circumstances, interviews and information indicate that Zicree:

  • Won the story editor job through an interview with Peckinpah where Zicree reiterated everything Peckinpah said in a paraphrased repetition that convinced Peckinpah that Zicree was either a genius or a controllable yes-man.

  • Provided David Peckinpah with 10 pages of corrective notes on "Genesis"' portrayal of the Kromaggs and error with a double of Quinn's mother that were summarily ignored (and caused Peckinpah and Dial to view him as an annoying interloper).

  • Pressed for Wade to be written out in a way that wouldn't demand the characters to focus on finding her (rejected).

  • Pushed for Sabrina Lloyd to be hired as a guest-star to rescue Wade and send her off (couldn't be done with Sabrina declared she'd never come back after "Genesis" aired).

  • Argued for Wade's status to be reported upon by a fellow Kromagg prisoner who would assure us that Wade had escaped (rejected).

  • Sought for the Kromagg breeding camps to be explained as a necessity due to the Kromaggs being sterile (grudgingly carried out with 'The Dying Fields').

  • Created the Season 4 arc in which Quinn is tricked into thinking he is Kal-El of Kromagg Prime.

  • Sold "Revelations" as a season finale story where Quinn discovers that the Kromagg Prime backstory is a sham and that he's been used as a pawn to unlock the Slidecage and allow the Kromaggs to retake their former home.

  • Saw his story arc overturned when Peckinpah and Dial, displeased with Zicree's interest in rewriting scripts, reworking stories and doing his job instead of drinking and playing solitaire, declared that "Revelations" would no longer reveal Quinn's backstory as false -- simply to upset Zicree and drive him away.

  • Gave up on Season 4 after "Slidecage" and stopped doing anything beyond the contractual minimum (if not less), presumably turning his attention to his MAGIC TIME project and his ANIMORPHS scripts.

  • Decided not to bother returning for Season 5 and was replaced by (shudder) Keith Damron.

The Spin: But yes. Peckinpah was fun to work for if you didn't care about what you were producing. Bill Dial was indeed great when writing his own scripts: check out the real-time interrogation of the sliders in "Prophets and Loss." Jerry O'Connell put a lot of passion and effort into "World Killer." Zicree did give input into Season 4 scripts; whether his input was integrated is another question entirely. And Zicree did accomplish most of what he wanted with his two scripts of the year ("World Killer" and "Slidecage"). Zicree's impressive ability to focus on the positive, however, doesn't mean the negative ceases to exist.

The Best Liar: Zicree is the kind of liar who lies by telling you only things that are true, his omissions serving to create a false impression even though nothing he said was a lie. And his lies are never to make himself look better. Instead, it's to be merciful to others. As a result of his lies, Zicree:

  • Doesn't get a reputation for speaking poorly of previous employers and being ungrateful.

  • Avoids declaring a negative opinion of someone that is stored in perpetuity when that person might change and grow.

  • Forgives others their trespasses by refusing to dwell on their misdeeds and harm, instead choosing to move forward and allow those who hurt him to one day move on as well.

Alternate Feelings: TF and I are somewhat in 'disagreement' regarding Marc Scott Zicree and Wade. ("Disagreement" is too strong a word.) TF thinks that Zicree didn't have a concrete plan for what to do about Wade beyond creating hope for fans that she was out there and that the SLIDERS might find her. TF actually talked to Zicree, so we should absolutely go with his perspective.

But personally, as someone who has watched a ton of Zicree teleplays on CAPTAIN POWER, BABYLON 5, REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, JAMES BOND. JR., DEEP SPACE NINE and MANTIS, I find myself not aligned with TF on this front. I feel that Zicree writes very purposefully; he understands the medium of TV, that every story element is an expense and an effort for a rushed production whether it's live action or animation. Any detail Zicree presents is there to serve his story, whatever that might be.

What was the Plan? I can't see Zicree wanting the sliders to know that Wade was out there or claiming that Wade's absence wouldn't take center stage unless he had a purpose for that story element, a goal in mind for it, and a plan to make it happen.

My supposition is that Zicree simply intended for Wade to be missing, presumed leading the resistance, in "Genesis" or sliding alone with a stolen Kromagg timer -- and the rape camp element caught him off guard and was likely a point of contention in his 10 pages of corrective notes.

Likely, in Zicree's mind: if Sabrina Lloyd could return as a guest-star to portray Wade as a resistance leader or a solo slider, fantastic. If not, guest-characters could tell sliders that they'd met Wade and that she was doing fine, an idea clearly floated in the writer's room as it was released to the fans as part of the Season 5 sting operation of a stream of rumours to identify the Expert's source.

Buried Deep: I could be wrong about Zicree's plan and purpose, but I feel it safe to think he had one. I don't think TF is wrong in any of his information; I just think there is more to Wade in Season 4 than what TF has discovered (or chosen to share). That additional information may be lodged deep in Zicree's consciousness, unspoken and unvoiced, buried so deep under professional goodwill and personal charm that Zicree may be functionally incapable of offering it.

I may be wrong about this. I have no factual basis for any of this. It is a feeling. An extremely personal one and in no way an objective, unquestionable truth. Those who seek such truths should go to Temporal Flux.

The Commentaries: I could be wrong, but I feel that Zicree will continue to be less-than-candid when it comes to the troubled circumstances behind the production. I don't think he's going to touch on David Peckinpah's drug addiction, Jerry's alcoholism, the resistance to his editing scripts, Bill Dial's dependent personality disorder, Bill Dial's fixation on Solitaire, the casting of Charlie O'Connell, the infamous Scene in "Mother and Child" or the way Zicree was spitefully barred from completing his story arc.

Zicree is not going to talk about rape camps (or write about them). Zicree has cultivated a very specific online persona: Zicree is Garfield. Zicree is instant cinnamon oatmeal. Zicree is inoffensive gentleness. Zicree is an almond milk milkshake with sugarless sweetener. Zicree only courts controversy within his script pages.

I think Zicree will continue to offer his insights on the craft of writing but touch only not at all on the circumstances of Season 4. Like a healthy adult, Zicree shrugged off SLIDERS' failures and moved on with his life. He didn't spend two years of his life writing fan fiction screenplays for SLIDERS.

And maybe that's for the best.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

I welcome them!  Wow!  When I spoke to him last year, he really had a wealth of great stories and ideas and really a great listen.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

The Marc Scott Zicree stuff is fascinating to read.  One because I wasn't sure who you were talking about (outside of knowing the name) and second because I knew *exactly* who you were talking about because I've been watching his commentary on Discovery and the Orville on YouTube a lot, recently.  I'll be fascinated to listen to his commentaries.

He seems like a really nice, genuine person who really enjoys science fiction and writing good stories when he's on YouTube.  It could be partially an act (he uses essentially every video as a way to sell his show Space Command - literally), but I couldn't say for sure.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Anyways... Marc Scott Zicree is going to be doing commentaries.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Zicree's participation on the Twilight Zone DVD/BD commentaries are quite often praised as being very insightful. To my recollection this is the first time he is doing commentaries to his own stuff and besides the commentary on the pilot by Weiss and Torme, it's only other time someone will have done ANY for Sliders.

So I'm very interested to hear these.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

ireactions wrote:

Dinner: Zicree had a nice dinner with Transmodiar in the early 2000s (I think) under circumstances Transmodiar has declined to share as the result of events Transmodiar would prefer not to divulge. I assume this was when Transmodiar was a volatile firebrand and before Transmodiar became an indulgent, self-effacing goofball. If Transmodiar during this meal was anything like his message board posts of the era, we should be impressed that Zicree didn't put Transmodiar's face through a restaurant window but instead let him grow up into the very sweet and patient man he is today.

That was literally 19 years ago today. I was charming and inoffensive and he and his wife gave me a copy of his Twilight Zone Companion. I think that's when I was able to report back that he enjoyed working with JOC and hoped to secure his participating in a Magic Time TV series that never materialized.

As fate would have it, I'm having dinner with him again tomorrow night. I will be sure to pass along any and all theories you feel merit his attention. (I actually won't. smile)

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

I'd like to apologize for my tangents. I felt they were related to the topic at hand, but if JWSlider and Grizzlor disagree, then I trust their judgement and have moved the posts to the Random Thoughts thread. And I encourage all of you to go there and exercise your Temporal Flux given right to call me an annoying weirdo. I support that. Love you all.

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Ha, I like your tangents.  #VoteIreactionsTangents2020

Moderator's Note: Please see the Random Thoughts thread for ireactions' response

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Were some of the comments in this thread deleted? Why?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Marc Scott Zicree Commentaries coming

Transmodiar wrote:

Were some of the comments in this thread deleted? Why?

I didn't delete them. I moved them to Random Thoughts because if SliderNum5, JWSlider3 and Grizzlor feel my tangents are distracting from a sensible discussion of Marc Scott Zicree, then I felt I had to defer to them. It is no trouble to post my tangents in a different thread and it will make others here happier.