Re: Sliders DVD Releases (Universal, Mill Creek, SD blu-ray, Restoration)
All interesting observations.
As it happens, just a few days ago, I had a dream in which I was taking in an upscale of SLIDERS and Season 1 was looking great.
I continue to believe that the technology will continuously improve until we can get a better approximation of how Season 1 looked when it was shot on film.
I have lost all hope that SLIDERS audience is big enough to justify a re-scan of the negative and re-edit (through automatic, imagine-matching means) because even at a very low cost at $15k per episode, the market is just not there with SLIDERS fans. Yes, there is passion around it but so many fans are not attached to the series the way we all are here. The type of people who would shell out $50 to $100 for an s1 blu-ray are limited in number. Five years ago we had a better chance but every year, people care less and less. For those who would, I feel like we have a much deeper relationship with the show and characters, in a way that connects us to a feeling we get from it, that was built into us 25 years ago.
If I ever came into money (which I won't, but if I did...) I would consider partnering with a blu-ray company myself, pay for a license to re-release it on blu-ray and do a new scan through that means. I guess we could always keep pushing Turbine, to push Universal. I just don't think Turbine could sell enough units to cover the costs in any case.
Now if Universal valued the old show, and wanted to bring it back with the older characters, maybe they'd consider it but not now. Peacock at this point is a giant failure of a business. They are not going to be able to do many originals and rely on premium subscription revenue. There's only so many streaming platforms people are willing to subscribe to and Peacock is like in 4th or 5th place.
Regarding Topaz, I continue to also wonder about if the Gaia algorithm would yield better results for some of the content. I also, if I ever get into time (to not have to constantly deal with economic worry), will one day try to embark on a project to edit these things from different material. With the Wide Shots using a difference algorithm / source than the close ups. Although, I think the water color wideshots are pretty tolerable at living room distance. I guess I'm at a point where I feel like the closer we can bring SLIDERS back to looking "new" and crisp, the closer we are to having it back again, as if it were fully in our lives the way it was 25 years ago. I know for me, it is definitely a series that gave me so much comfort when it aired... it was an escape, it was great characters that worked together to get out of the situations they were in as a team, it tapped into the possibilities of how our world could look, it had the young physics student that felt a little bit like us, it had the wise, at times sardonic, professor who brought elder, leader feel but had his own imperfections.
I don't know, but I definitely dream of us getting one day a true HD version of this great show, particularly the early material. Already, the samples of the past topaz work has allowed me to re-live the series again, see it "new", see it not as a fuzzy, dated memory, but to re-witness it again. It has helped me profoundly enjoy the series in a way I otherwise would not have. When we first watched this series, on our 4:3 tube tvs, it looked great. There was no compression, the colors were there, and those tvs were a lot more forgiving. It's helped bring it back to that experience. That's part of the challenge as well now. Our newer TVs are bigger pictures, more lines of resolution, etc etc. And we're dealing with a poorly archived S1 and to a similar but lesser degree S2.