Topic: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

Since I am new here, I thought I would post a little about myself as an icebreaker and give others the opportunity to share their history with the show. I have posted on the old IMDB forums and current Moviechat boards but there doesn´t seem to be much traffic on the Sliders board so I went looking for a Sliders forum and found this place was relatively active.

I watched the show when it originally aired as a young teen and was fascinated by the premise but I was never a die hard fan, it was very hit and miss, and especially once they got to season 3 as I´m sure many of you are aware.
In the early 2000s, while home from college, I managed to see a re-run of "Luck of the Draw" on cable and thought it was a great episode. In the late 2000s, a housemate I was living with had the DVDs so I watched a couple and realised how much I enjoyed the show so I ended up buying them. Every couple of years, I seem to revisit them, as I am now but I´m always disappointed in not having anyone to discuss the show with so here I am. smile

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

In my case, I was a big fan of Jerry O'Connell in the TV show MY SECRET IDENTITY in which O'Connell plays a young boy who gains superstrength, invulnerability, superspeed and flight, effectively playing Clark Kent with the serial numbers filed off.

When I heard he was on SLIDERS, I was very intrigued by the athletic and brainy character he played. Quinn Mallory as of Season 2 and by "The Guardian" was everything I wanted to be, everything that I thought a man should be. I loved Quinn Mallory and I thought Jerry was amazing.

I was deeply confused and upset in later years when Jerry O'Connell's performance changed and I was dismayed by the quality of his acting in his post-SLIDERS projects where his performances were lazy and clumsy.

Over time, I came to realize that Jerry alone didn't make up Quinn's performance: there was also the craft of John Rhys-Davies as Jerry's unofficial acting coach, the guidance that Jerry received from Tracy Torme, the writing from talents like Jon Povill and Steve Brown, the excellent leadership from directors Adam Nimoy and Richard Compton, and the reason Jerry's Quinn-performance changed is because a lot of these important elements to Quinn and to the show faded out of the series.

Thankfully, Jerry regained the talent he seemed to lose in the post-SLIDERS years; if anything, he's now putting too much effort into his performances such as his hypercommitted, somewhat overpassionate performance in CARTER.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

Thanks for the reply. Admittedly, I have not seen much of Jerry´s work, post-Sliders besides Jerry Maguire and Can´t Hardly Wait. Not exactly huge roles.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

He is ghastly in MISSION TO MARS, awful in TOMCATS, and horrifyingly inept in KANGAROO JACK. After KANGAROO JACK in 2003, I never wanted to see Jerry O'Connell again and I never wanted to see Jerry play Quinn Mallory again; I dreaded what Jerry might to do the character with his witless, thoughtless, artless non-acting.

Jerry would later say in an interview that he had been drinking and partying too much in the later years of SLIDERS and during the post-SLIDERS period, staying out too late, not exercising, and he confessed that his alcohol and eating habits during KANGAROO JACK nearly got him fired off the movie for being out of shape at which point Jerry started taking health and fitness seriously. I assume this is why his acting rebounded afterwards; a good night's sleep and a lot of green vegetables will make anyone feel like a superhero.

I never saw CROSSING JORDAN, but his guest-appearances got really good reviews and he got promoted from recurring to becoming the male lead next to lead actress Jill Hennessy, solely on the strength of his performances. That is an astonishing achievement for a recurring guest-star, so whatever Jerry did on CROSSING JORDAN, he did it extremely well.

I saw Jerry again when he guest-starred in a 2008 episode of SAMANTHA WHO where he was excellent; he plays a sweet and handsome would-be boyfriend of Samantha, but then Samantha remembers that this potential-boyfriend mugged her a few years ago. Jerry did a very good job of playing the character with ambiguity so that you weren't entirely sure if he were reformed or not; he'd clearly read the script instead of just his lines, something he seemed to have trouble doing in Season 4 of SLIDERS.

I didn't see him for another four years; he was in MOCKINGBIRD LANE, the pilot for a MUNSTERS reboot that didn't get picked up. Again, he put in a good performance, this time as a thoughtful and somewhat aggressively normal father in a family of monsters. He appeared in THE BIG BANG THEORY in 2018 and was perfect as the blue collar brother to the uptight Sheldon Cooper. In both projects, Jerry made specific, memorable acting choices as opposed to his work in MISSION TO MARS, TOMCATS and KANGAROO JACK where he seemed to have only memorized his own dialogue and given it no further effort.

He was in the 2018 - 2019 CARTER series where he played a manic manchild and while the character was a little grating and Jerry was over the top, it was a performance fuelled by an adoring love for his character. He did a good job. He's also done good work on voicing his character in STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS where I don't always recognize his voice; he disappears into that role.

I don't relentlessly follow Jerry's career any more, but Jerry is an excellent actor once again. I'd love to see him reprise his role as Quinn Mallory.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

I´d be on board with JOC playing Quinn again if they brought closure to the original characters, Im not particularly interested in seeing a completely new reboot of Sliders with a new cast.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

My personal preference would be what I did with SLIDERS REBORN, but that's completely insane and unmarketable.

My compromise: I would like to see a new pilot with Temporal Flux's 2000-era idea for a redux. It starts with the original Pilot scene: Quinn says he thinks he knocked out the power.

Cut to 2023: Quinn Mallory (O'Connell) is a burnt out 48 year old tax accountant who lost his passion for science after a blackout in 1994 that knocked out power to all of San Francisco for two days. He was never able to recreate the apparition he saw in his basement in 1994 and assumes that he imagined it, he never got anti-gravity to work, and he simply gave up. Quinn is now divorced, he hates his job and he wishes he were dead.

Wade Welles (Sabrina Lloyd) is a daydreamer who lost her enthusiasm for computer engineering after a failed startup that ended in her filing a sexual harassment lawsuit and getting arrested for fraud (accounts differ on the validity of the charges). Wade now spends her days writing tedious smartphone reviews, she's also Quinn's ex-wife, she hates her life and she wishes she were dead.

Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) is a coffee bar owner who failed to hang onto his 15 minutes of fame during that period when he was a soul singer. Running a jazz themed coffee house today, Rembrandt is content but only truly comes alive on open mic nights.

Professor Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) is a genius who failed to gain recognition for his brilliance and has been drummed out of nearly every university in the state for being a bombastic ass; he now makes a living writing high school study guides for struggling science students and he hates this world and wishes he were dead.

Due to a combination of lethargy and laziness, both Wade and Arturo find themselves at Quinn's tax shingle to get their tax returns done. Wade is stunned that Quinn is on the verge of having his job replaced by a self-serve tax return app.

WADE: "Quinn! What... what happened to you?"
QUINN: "I -- I -- I -- I dunno."
WADE: "I just don't understand it; you had that one day where you told Hurley to stuff it, quit your job, asked me out -- and ever since then, it's like you made a jump but can't stick the landing."
QUINN: "I don't... I don't remember asking you out. Sometimes, it feels like that was someone else."

Arturo is enraged that Quinn abandoned science, saying Quinn was a brilliant student and now files tax returns.

ARTURO: "You could have changed the entire field of quantum mechanics, but then you abandoned your pursuits to fill out forms!"

Quinn's phone rings. He answers it, then drops the receiver and goes limp.

ARTURO: "What the devil is the matter with you now?"
QUINN: "My mom had a heart attack. She's dead."
ARTURO: " ........................................... but upon further consideration, Mr. Mallory, perhaps I'm being too hard on you."

Wade and Arturo assist Quinn in a blur of funeral arrangements. Weeks later, Quinn is clearing out the old Mallory house. In his basement, he discovers that his mother left his old lab intact, never touching his failed experiments in anti-gravity. Quinn reviews some of his old VHS journals and finds a tape he doesn't recognize. He plays it in an old, creaky VCR. Quinn is shocked by what appears to be a message from someone who looks like him but isn't him, offering suggestions on how to modify his anti-gravity equipment. Quinn makes the adjustments, compiling hardware that was left behind by this strange doppelganger for him, parts of a retrofitted Motorola flip phone that form a timing device with a countdown clock. Quinn activates this machine.

A vortex opens and sweeps him off to a parallel world. At the age of 48, Quinn Mallory finally becomes a slider. After his first brief visit to a parallel Earth, Quinn's timer brings him back to the basement and Quinn finally understands: it must have been a double who asked Wade out on a date, quit his job, and made several leaps forward in Quinn's life that always made Quinn feel like he was chasing himself and never catching up. Quinn finds more tapes left behind by this double, describing the concept of sliding, the mechanism of the timer.

Quinn calls Arturo and Wade, urgently wanting them to see his discovery. Arturo throws aside his latest study guide and dives into his car, eager for a distraction. Wade, worried about her ex-husband, hurries so quickly out of the jazz themed coffee bar where she types her articles that she forgets her laptop. The coffee bar owner, Rembrandt, finds it at the table.

Quinn, waiting for his former professor and ex-wife, watches a video segment where his double cautions Quinn about a hardware limitation in the timer. "This is important. No matter what happens during a slide, under no circumstances can you ever -- " the VHS player suddenly goes dead from dust and degradation.

Arturo arrives. Wade pulls up moments later, briefly answering a phone call telling Rembrandt she appreciates his offer to drop her laptop off at the Mallory house since it's on his way. She tells Rembrandt she's going to owe him a sizable tip for bringing her laptop.

Quinn shows Wade and Arturo into the basement, showing them the sliding machine, showing them the vortex. Wade is delighted. Arturo is humbled. Wade wants to explore. Arturo is unsure. Quinn is eager to escape his dead-end job and failures and grief over his mother and eagerly activates the vortex. He worries that it lacks the power to transport three people. He increases the power output. The vortex expands to swallow Quinn, Wade and Arturo -- and then it rips through the house and catches Rembrandt who has just arrived holding Wade's laptop.

The sliders land on a world where they face an impending tidal wave and Quinn is forced to trigger the timer early, losing his home coordinates, leaving the timer damaged and only able to track the next window of opportunity for random sliding, leaving Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo nomads amidst the interdimension...

And the adventure begins again.

(They will never do this, they'll just reboot. But this would be a dream come true.)

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

Tomcats was going to stink whether he gave his best effort or not.  Jerry was in way too many unsalvageable films in the early 2000's.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

pilight wrote:

Tomcats was going to stink whether he gave his best effort or not.  Jerry was in way too many unsalvageable films in the early 2000's.

That is unacceptable. I expect better from Jerry O'Connell. I demand better from Jerry O'Connell.

John Rhys-Davies, despite his 1997 interviews post-"Exodus" saying he only wanted to be associated with well-produced, quality work, has actually done a ton of garbage projects from this god-awful NOBLE HOUSE mini-series with Pierce Brosnan to... whatever the hell is NEVER SAY NEVER MIND: THE SWEDISH BIKINI TEAM. John doesn't get to claim he stands for quality after staring in BLOODSPORT III and CYBORG COP movie and GRIZZLY II: REVENGE and various voicemails he's recorded for people (for a fee).

But. John has never half-assed his work. John has never put it anything less than his best effort. Whether it's a brief appearance in the INDIANA JONES footage for a theme park ride, guest-starring on VOYAGER or direct to cable trash like APOCALYPSE POMPEII, John commits to giving a wholehearted performance. John somehow ended up in ANACONDA: PART 4: ANACONDAS: TRAIL OF BLOOD (actual title); this was the direct to bargain bin sequel to Kari Wuhrer's ANACONDA (haha). Despite the tables having turned with John now coming after Kari Wuhrer (haha), John still gave 110 per cent. If ANACONDA: PART 4: ANACONDAS: TRAIL OF BLOOD turned out terribly, it wasn't due to any lack of effort on John's part.

John would have been ashamed of Jerry for hacking it out in TOMCATS if he ever saw it; Jerry took the money and ran whereas John takes the money and plants his feet to do nothing less than his very, very best.

Slider_Quinn21 once said it hurt him how little the creators on SLIDERS cared in Season 5. "I know SLIDERS was dying and they would all need new jobs, but didn't anyone working on SLIDERS want to get a new job based on their work on the show? Wouldn't future employers ask SLIDERS-writers why they never resolved any plots, why they ended of a cliffhanger, or why the overall product is very, very average? If I ever got a chance to work on a show, even something like HART OF DIXIE, I'd put my whole heart into it because maybe someone like JJ Abrams or Kevin Feige would end up seeing something that I wrote and put me on one of their shows."

I could say similar things for our Mr. O'Connell: wouldn't future producers, directors and casting agents look at Jerry's reel and ask him why he clearly hadn't bothered to read the script beyond his lines? Or why he looked bored, tired and hungover when his character was supposed to be happy, frightened or sad? Or why he wasn't adding any character perspective or emotional progression to his lines? Or why he wasn't bothering to perform reactions to the other actors? It's okay to be defeated by circumstances, but we mustn't ever capitulate to laziness.

It looks like Jerry took a hard look at himself after KANGAROO JACK and something changed; he seemed to find the Davies-spirit inside him again. I never saw him on CROSSING JORDAN, but the showrunner saw his guest-appearances and made him a regular, so Jerry clearly put in the effort and enthusiasm and it won over his boss on that show.

There's no way Jerry thought MOCKINGBIRD LANE was going anywhere except to a putting a small dent in his mortgage for doing a pilot that was definitely not going to series, but he took the job and gave it his full level of preparation, consideration and effort unlike, say, his lax performance in "Slidecage".

There's no way Jerry thought CARTER was going to do very much for his career at 10 episodes a year (20 in total, cancelled on soft cliffhanger), but he took the money and gave back his whole heart in a committed and passionate performance that is in some ways terrible but not due to laziness or disinterest but rather the fact that the material is mediocre and Jerry loves the writing more than the writing loves him back. This is a true actor. This is what I expect.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

My family and I didn't have cable back in 1995. So we'd watch the X-Files, etc. and saw a commercial promo for the Pilot. I was 8 years old at the time and enjoyed it from the very first airing at that age. At the end of season 3 we still didn't have cable when it moved to the Scifi Channel. I don't remember when I picked up season 4 and 5, after we had gotten it.
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Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

I remember seeing your name on IMDB, thanks for the reply.

11 (edited by QuinnSlidr 2022-10-02 17:15:03)

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

I was a fan of the show since the beginning and was part of the original message boards. I watched the pilot and every episode their first time around on FOX. Since VHS was the medium at the time, I had all episodes up to the end of season 3 stored in pristine condition on VHS tape. Every single decision Torme` made for Sliders was just gold.

Then the changes to the show happened in season 3. Torme` was gone. Then JRD. You couldn't force me to watch Kari Wuhrst even if you tried. To me, JRD carried the show and was one of my favorite characters and his character's death just sucked. Once he was gone, it was no longer Sliders. Although I tolerated it, it just wasn't the same. I hated the network for their decisions and bastardizing the show for the 18-45 hyper-sexualized market, but, there we were. I stuck around for Jerry and Cleavant, though, so long as they remained part of the show.

Sliders (and JRD) did not deserve that. Sliders deserved the full treatment that Stargate SG-1 got. I always wonder and wish what would have happened had Sliders and Tracy Torme` been given the full budget and awesomeness that Stargate SG-1 got from the beginning?

If I ever had my way, Kari and any mention of Kari would be wiped from Sliders existence permanently and JRD restored. She would be a tiny little blip in one episode mentioning her character's untimely death a few episodes back, or an occurrence in a nightmare or something.

Re: How did you become a fan of Sliders?

I don't recall how I first discovered Sliders.  It was during season one but after the pilot.