Topic: Kari Wuhrer Q&A Interview

Done a quick Q&A with Kari about Sliders. Didn't ask for a lot, because I didn't want to take up too much of her time but here it is:
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Re: Kari Wuhrer Q&A Interview

What a pleasant interview! Thank you for sharing this. I'm sorry that Kari didn't get a chance to direct an episode in Season 5 as hoped. As for her wish to rework Maggie's character -- honestly, given how Maggie's personality was incoherent, they could have done worse than put her in Kari's hands. (I recall the purple hair was for Season 5.)

I don't think any of her hairstyles ever looked "stupid". The bright red hair of Season 3 was very distinct; the dark black hair of Season 4 was subdued; the dark red hair of Season 5 was a midpoint. It does speak to how the creators of the show didn't have a very clear image of Maggie since they didn't identify aspects of her appearance as signature elements to be maintained.

Looking at other characters: the Doctor on DOCTOR WHO, beginning with the fourth Doctor, was consciously styled in hair and clothing to be recognizable at any distance and angle (the hat and the long scarf); Clark Kent is distinct in his suit and glasses; MacGyver stands out with his long hair. Maggie was never given a signature style; it seems Kari wanted to give the character something to stand out.

Maybe it's too on the nose, but probably, the signature style for Maggie should have reflected her military background in some way: a camouflage pattern in pants or jacket, or always some hint of militaristic green.

Re: Kari Wuhrer Q&A Interview

ireactions wrote:

Maybe it's too on the nose, but probably, the signature style for Maggie should have reflected her military background in some way: a camouflage pattern in pants or jacket, or always some hint of militaristic green.

I see why they didn’t. People really didn’t buy the military aspects of Maggie. On top of that, no one was that interested in the added military background from Rembrandt. I’m also going to go out on limb and say the season 4 writers didn’t see much action.

MSZ said in some interview (perhaps the one with Torme?) that Kari wasn’t the best actor, but he did study her earlier work and realized that she did have strengths they could lean into. He thought the best bet at turning the character around was to follow that bliss. I’m sure they also asked for her input as well with this revamp and it’s why she ended up having carte blanche on her own hair. I was never bothered by it. Hair/location/budgetary changes are what define the different eras of “Sliders” for me anyways.

Kari mentioned that she was going through a period of self-discovery during seasons 4 and 5. I would’ve loved if they used that as some jump off point for character development. Sliding from place to place and seeing all sorts of other versions of yourself could definitely make one question their own identity/sanity. What if season 4 opened with Quinn having to deal with sliding with an unstable partner in Maggie? What if her mental instability was some kind of a shield that block the Kromagg mind interference.

Now I’m just re-writing season 4 27 (jesus, 27?) years after the fact. Carry on.


Re: Kari Wuhrer Q&A Interview

I agree that people didn't buy the military aspects of Maggie, but that is the character. She's a military officer. She's a fighter pilot. She's an intelligence agent. She was a spy. It's ultimately the only framework for the character beyond "played by Kari Wuhrer", so it's the place to start, and it should inform her characterization in the way Captain America being a soldier informs that character's clothing, dialogue and mannerisms.

Marc Scott Zicree did a lot of work on the Maggie character and he identified that Wuhrer was much more endearing as a lighter presence rather than a harsh one. But while he was on SLIDERS, he also worked Maggie's military background and strategy skills into her characterization a bit more. I also liked how Chris Black delved into Maggie's military family background while also leveraging Kari's musical skills and had her sing. Ultimately, the military origins are the best starting point for Maggie when it comes to trying to define the character -- and aesthetically, that should have been at least subtly reflected in the character's fashion.

And the purple hair and punk rock look that Kari wanted for Maggie -- well, Maggie was a spy. The story could be that she had to assume the look and role in an undercover mission during a slide... and something about it spoke to her and she stuck to it. But again, that's playing to Kari's interest in music, and the way a character looks should speak to the character's life and background and formative experiences. And for Captain Margaret Allison Beckett, that is her service in the armed forces.

Re: Kari Wuhrer Q&A Interview

fantastic interview