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Thanks for Remy impression in Episode 25, Cory and Tom!

202 (edited by intangirble 2015-12-08 21:36:30)

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Yeowch, poor Kari. That sounds like a horrible experience and... really just sums up the whole clusterfuck of expectations on women in the media, yeah. :(

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Just sent the boys all the info for an oral history of Kari Wuhrer's breasts. God help them. God help us all.

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Your use of "oral history" is not lost on me.


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I didn't even notice that.

I have no data on whether or not Kari ever traded sex for work. Howard Stern seems sure she did. The crew on SLIDERS had lots of ideas about that, but nothing was ever confirmed. Alan Barnette couldn't stop talking about Kari's breasts, according to various crew members, but we don't know that they had sex. Certainly, I find it doubtful that Kari needed to prostitute herself for the quality of the roles she was getting -- guest-roles, a short-lived series here and there, direct-to-video erotic thrillers.

I just think the biographical details there are illuminating, because there is a person under those leaky bags of salt water and what happened to her was tragic. Selling yourself as a body in the entertainment industry results in a lot of personal problems: intimacy issues, health issues, social disorders. Kari wasn't a talentless bimbo, she just found work as one, and it was really destructive and humiliating in the end.

Kari said in an interview at one point that when she was having sex, she wouldn't want her lovers to touch her breasts because it felt like they weren't touching her. That was one of the saddest and loneliest things I had ever read.

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

206 (edited by intangirble 2015-12-13 20:45:39)

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That is really sad and awful.

And yeah, I'd in no way meant to imply that Kari was trading sex. Just that the wording was (deliberately, I thought) slightly amusing.

But yeah, I have to agree. Like I've said before, I can hardly blame Kari; the pressures of the media and the abuses of the entertainment industry, among other things, are to blame for what she went through, all of which should never have happened.

I don't think there are many - if any - talentless bimbos in the world, really. Just an awful lot of people who want to see them, and people desperate enough or naive enough or lacking in self-esteem enough to fill the role.

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w00t! New podcast! "Net Worth" and "Slide By Wire."

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Loved this week's episode - I was definitely curious to hear the exclusive scoop information on "Net Worth", and you three didn't disappoint! The episode would've been so much better that way, I think we can all agree.

I hope you'll be sharing your script with us all soon. What might have been... as Cory and Tom said, that does seem like such a popular Sliders-fan refrain, doesn't it?

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I was going to post the script today, but Tom and Cory said some things in their podcast that made me change my mind and made me decide to do a major course correction in how I'm going to be handling things.

Basically, they punched all sorts of holes in "Net Worth"'s plot -- holes that remain gaping and glaring even if Quinn-2 and Wade-2 are in the Rick and Joanne roles. So, I thought I'd have a go at fixing them before posting the script. Cory said that the Online/Offline divide made little sense given how fairly cost effective it is to get online; Tom noted that Jack's plan to rob the Ivory Tower makes no sense at all and also wondered how the Onliners' manufacture and maintain anything if everyone's jacked in at all times. I think there are ways to address this -- but it's going to take more time than doing a find and replace on the script.

Probably by the end of this week at the latest. It was very strange how well Colin's dialogue fit the Professor with only a few modifications here and there. There have also been some interesting discussions.

LAURIE: "You're redoing the Mark Sheppard episode of SLIDERS?"
ME: "Yeah. I think the fans will really like it!"
LAURIE: "So you're going to beef up Mark's role, right? In light of how awesome he is on SUPERNATURAL, you have to give him some cool stuff to do."
ME: "Actually -- I've decided to replace his character with Hurley."
LAURIE: "You did what?"
ME: "Yeah -- in Season 1, there's this character who's Quinn's boss at the computer store, and I thought it'd work better if the villain were someone with whom Quinn has a prior -- "
LAURIE: "Get the fuck out of my house."
ME: "What?"
LAURIE: "You've disgraced my family and my destroyed entire belief system! I want you out of here -- I don't want to see you for the rest of the week!"
ME: " -- ?!?! Because I cut Mark Sheppard out of an episode?"
LAURIE: "YES! And because I have exams, but it's mostly the first thing."


WADE: "Don't worry, Quinn says. The densi-whatever-mometer makes the slides safe. I'm telling you, Professor -- one of these days, we'll slide right into a solid object. Oh, terrific -- now I've said it -- "
ARTURO: "My dear Ms. Welles -- I hardly think we need have any fear of such an occurrence. Why, the exotic matter in the vortex can only gain dimensional stability within in an atmosphere. Were the gateway to generate within solid matter, we would be crushed to death before we realized it."

Wade looks relieved.

WADE: "Oh thank God. I'm glad you're here to tell me these things."


MATT: (reading the script excerpt) "Is th... is that 'Net Worth'?"
ME: "Yeah."
MATT: "I would ask why you would do this for such a non-episode, but I already know the answer. You're a loon." (watching the episode) "The opening 3 seconds of CGI indicate what a piece of garbage this episode's going to be!"
ME: "The Sliders Rewatch boys really loved this episode. Which is to say they loved watching it and imagining Quinn-2 and Wade-2 in the story."
MATT: "Hahahaha! This episode is so dumb! 'Giga-encrypted entry key.' And this is the episode that launched the BBoard Beret Wars."
ME: "This is the most interesting story of Season 4. Who cares about the Kromagg invasion of Earth or the Colin spy-plot or the Slidecage or the Slidewave? This is Quinn and Wade in a cyberpunk romantic comedy! This is what actually matters! It just needs some finessing to bring it to life properly. Some extra time and effort."
MATT: "I would absolutely say to not spend more time on 'Net Worth' than Steve Stoliar did."

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Aw, dangit. Well, I'll look forward to the rewrite, in that case! I'm sure the extra time and effort will be well spent.

Seriously. The beauty of Sliders at its best was that it could make fine comedy, drama, and character development out of some pretty silly plots. I'm confident you can give this one the polishing it deserves.

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Another great podcast.  Rick's accent in Net Worth drove me crazy!  Glad someone else noticed that too.

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Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

I'll have the "Net Worth" redux screenplay finished in 3 - 4 days or so.

Compiling behind the scenes info on "Net Worth" was one of the most confusing experiences of my time ever since I declared myself the Sliders Rewatch researcher. Matt says that I went insane on "Mother and Child," but "Net Worth" was just weird. Back in 1999/2000, I angsted to Temporal Flux about how Wade never seemed to be a big priority and how surely she should have come up in conversation during "Net Worth" with the gang talking about old girlfriends. TF said that he'd heard "Net Worth" had originally been a Season 3 script, "Onliners," featuring Quinn and Wade doubles in an Internet fuelled ROMEO AND JULIET love story. An episode with this title had appeared on a largely accurate preliminary list of Season 3 episodes. TF believed the script had been shelved due to John Rhys-Davies' firing. It was retooled into "Net Worth" for Season 4.

When writing the notes for "Net Worth," I was reviewing the script and episode for deleted scenes. And I was struck by how scene after scene, moment after moment -- in fact, even some of the dialogue -- would only make sense if Maggie and Rick and Joanne were actually Wade, Quinn-2 and Wade-2. The most striking moment: when Joanne angsts to Maggie, "He wants to get to know me! There's no me to know!" and Maggie replies with total certainty, "Oh yes there is" despite having met Joanne exactly one scene previous (two in the script). The only way that scene could possibly work is if it's Wade asserting that Wade-2 does have an identity. There were plenty of other scenes with this problem too, and I wrote out a detailed examination of how Sabrina playing Wade-2/Joanne would have added a lot of depth to the story. I wrote up the notes and sent them off.

Matt glanced over my notes and promptly blew them to hell. "You spin a fine tale," said Matt, "but it's all horseshit." Matt had been in touch with Steve Stoliar, writer of "Net Worth." Stoliar said: "It's hard for me to remember the circumstances that led up to each script I've written for various shows, but I don't recall 'Net Worth' starting out as anything else or ending up as anything other than what it was in terms of which season and which characters were focused on."

Matt had also met with Season 3 producer Paul Jackson at one point, and Jackson had listed the scripts that had been reworked post-Arturo: "Sole Survivors," "The Breeder" and "The Other Slide of Darkness" -- and Paul had never heard of "Onliners" or any story like it being set aside due to John Rhys-Davies getting fired.

At this point, it was looking like TF was wrong and there had never been an "Onliners." Except Matt and I both noticed: "Onliners" shows up in Tracy Torme's November 1996 notes on Season 3. "More Quinn and Wade stuff; Onliners comic." However, Torme had no memory of what "Onliners" had been. The fact that he'd considered it as a comic, however, made it expressly clear: whatever "Onliners" had been, it had not been shelved due to John's departure.

The notes were dated November 1996, well before "The Exodus," and Torme had left SLIDERS very early in Season 3. Furthermore, all of Tracy's comic ideas were based on episodes that had been pitched or written but never filmed. Torme must have seen "Onliners" pitched, liked it, known that it wouldn't be filmed, but imagined it having a second life at Acclaim Comics.

Around here, Temporal Flux got back in touch. When we'd talked about "Net Worth" in 1999/2000, he had believed that "Onliners" was a script. Since then, he'd tried to locate a draft but come up empty -- and he believed it was because there was no script to find. "Onliners," TF now thinks, was at most a pitch, possibly written, but more likely pitched in the context of a conversation.

TF does think that Steve Stoliar did pitch "Onliners" Season 3 and I think that's likely; "Onliners" uses a term from "Net Worth" as the title and its concept of an Internet-fuelled ROMEO AND JULIET love story is too similar to "Net Worth" to be unrelated. Also, Stoliar was a personal friend of David Peckinpah's and leveraged that relationship to write "Paradise Lost" for Season 3 and "A Current Affair" for Season 5. Why didn't he remember? It's been over 17 years and Stoliar has written, directed and produced many projects since then. He's forgotten.

Torme would have been present for the "Onliners"' pitch for it to appear in his notes; I would speculate that Torme knew "Onliners" wouldn't make it to air in Season 3 because it didn't have any monsters in it and while Torme liked "Onliners" and would have liked to champion it, he may have been slightly preoccupied with watching his father slowly die and understandably didn't give a crap.

When Season 4 came, Stoliar re-pitched his concept, this time successfully -- but when writing the script, he no longer had the Quinn and Wade pairing to use as an entry point and a mirror within his story.

As Tom put it in the podcast, on some level, it doesn't matter if Sabrina Lloyd were originally meant to play Joanne's role in "Net Worth" or not -- because in either scenario, "Net Worth" has a giant gaping Sabrina Lloyd shaped hole in its story. Rick and Joanne are strangers to the audience; "Net Worth" is burdened with trying to construct a moving romance on the spot. It's a burden that "Net Worth" should not have had to bear.

If Sabrina Lloyd had still been on the show, it would have been insane to create Rick and Joanne and also completely unnecessary. Stoliar would have been able to use Quinn-2 and Wade-2 far more effectively than any original guest-star because the romantic tension and underlying relationship would already be in place, having been established simply via Jerry O'Connell and Sabrina Lloyd having been in many, many, many episodes of SLIDERS together. Stoliar would have been able to take that audience investment for granted rather than needing to earn it and failing to do so.

And it goes back to my overall opinion of SLIDERS; this show was a very carefully designed storytelling engine where each original character played a vital and critical role, and removing any one of them was catastrophic and disastrous and made it very difficult and often impossible to tell SLIDERS stories properly.

Anyway. We'll have "Net Worth: The Quinn and Wade Edition" in 3 - 4 days' time. Stoliar's script was *extremely* short on description; it needs to be added.

213 (edited by intangirble 2015-12-16 19:44:58)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Thank you for all you do for us, ireactions. I'm serious.

Also, I humbly suggest that the theme song for this rewrite should be Roxette's "Almost Unreal". Cheesy yet sincere, roughly of the era, and was originally set to an extremely 90s virtual reality-themed video.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I'm not much of a music person. The only music I've felt compelled to seek out in the last 15 years is Garfunkel and Oates.

I should be asleep, but I got caught up in reading Steve Stoliar's memoirs about his time as Groucho Marx's administrative assistant. It's pretty messed up stuff. It makes you understand the kind of twisted mind that not only wrote "Paradise Lost" but successfully sold it. Interestingly, there's a small portion devoted to how Stoliar responded to Marx's fan mail for him and began engaging in correspondence with a lady pen-pal, Diane, with whom the letters became romantic and lead to a relationship.

Season 4 producer and Season 5 showrunner Bill Dial also makes a few appearances as someone Stoliar worked for as an assistant.

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Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

Once again, I was totally at a loss for what the hell to talk about with "My Brother's Keeper" -- so I gave the boys at Sliders Rewatch a lengthy history of Slide It Yourself. Doug Molitor, the writer of "My Brother's Keeper" went on to act as a judge in this contest hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel where fans could submit story ideas and develop them into beat sheets and scripts with the top three scripts (as chosen by the judges) would receive prizes. It's kind of insane that I had more to share about Slide It Yourself than I did about this actual episode.

I have to go to bed now, but I'll do "The Chasm" notes in the morning and I honestly have no clue what to do for that one, either. I sometimes suspect Tom and Cory can see my desperate scraping of the bottom of the barrel, trying to find something, anything to talk about. Um. Marc Scott Zicree watched all of Kari's movies to try to understand her acting skills! Kari Wuhrer's breasts! Jerry O'Connell's post SLIDERS career and why his movie star career died and a detailed psychoanalysis of why he suddenly got all SLIDERS-fixated last year!

Tom and Cory should feel free to use none of this stuff. The only thing I have on "The Chasm" right now is that a producer on the show publicly urged fans not to watch it.

216 (edited by intangirble 2015-12-19 00:51:06)

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As the episodes get worse, clearly we loop back around to re-deconstructing the earlier episodes. Thoughts on the Pilot, anyone?

Actualy, speaking of the Pilot, that'd be an interesting thing for Tom and Cory to tackle. Not the Pilot itself per se, but the novel that was based on it. It's very faithful to the show for the most part, but with some interesting differences. I actually enjoyed it a lot, in that cheesy 90s tie-in novel way, although I could have done without trigger-happy Wade and descriptions of Alt-turo's sexual dalliances.

There was a review of it on YouTube recently, but it didn't really go into any deconstruction, just gave a synopsis of the story. I was kind of disappointed.

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ireactions wrote:

The only thing I have on "The Chasm" right now is that a producer on the show publicly urged fans not to watch it.

You could always play a game of Where's Waldo and look for the singer from Fastball who was a non-speaking, background extra for a day.  I'm going strictly by memory on this, but I believe it was Miles Zuniga.   He mentioned in an online interview that he did one day on Sliders; but when it came time for day two, he heard that Fastballs's new song "The Way" was taking off on the charts, so he blew off Sliders and just didn't show up for the rest of his time there.

He didn't have any kind words for his brief time on Sliders.  I remember him saying he didn't feel like he was treated well and believed he was basically just walking furniture (Interestingly, JRD once mentioned even he felt the same way).

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I'd like to see this JRD interview. And for that matter, I'm really curious about Jerry's sudden Sliders fixation.

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I dunno. John Rhys-Davies was loving but grumpy and super-critical of the writing in Seasons 1 - 2, describing Torme's writing as formulaic and unimaginative. John was also personally offended everytime the Professor wasn't a pillar of moral integrity, as though he couldn't tell the difference between himself and his character. After Season 3, John completely revised his opinion of Tracy, declaring Tracy had done a nice job. Clearly, John saw what happened after Tracy left and realized what he'd been up against. His complaint about being "walking furniture" was simply that he felt the Professor was there to drop in cutting remarks and not driving the story forward.

Slide It Yourself was just bizarre. TF, you seemed quite happy with how your pitch turned out based on your comments under the beat sheet. I wasn't happy with it at all. I thought your original idea was simple, straightforward and effective -- the sliders encounter a world with a superhero. But the superhero's powers are revealed to be repurposed sliding technology. The hint that the superhero was Quinn but never to be unmasked was perfect. I didn't think your story benefited from the SIY process in which teams of 8 - 10 people were made to work together on producing one and only one story per team. That's a ridiculous arrangement that, to my eyes, results in 8 - 10 stories overlapping and working against each other. But the judge's selection process for the pitches was also indecipherably nonsensical.

My theory about Jerry O'Connell is the theory I have about every actor who makes a bit of a name for themselves. I think every heartthrob Caucasian actor likes to think that one day, they'll find a brilliant role that fully defines their talents and career -- and until then, they'll just pay the bills with this little-known TV show. But then they experience the horrific revelation that this tiny little role they didn't think much of and weren't concerned by will in fact be that career defining role. It happened to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy; Jerry's just has a slight twist on it; he didn't respect the show or care about it, but he saw it as a stepping stone to film roles and he was sure that after SLIDERS, he would be a Tom Cruise level movie star, especially given all the rave reviews he was getting for his SLIDERS performances. He knew that SLIDERS would be useful to the career and cache of Jerry O'Connell, and he expected he'd be bigger than SLIDERS.

After SLIDERS, Jerry did MISSION TO MARS, which was a disappointment that earned only $11 million in profit and Jerry's performance was totally unmemorable. He did TOMCATS, which was a crass sex comedy in which Jerry performed poorly again with no comic timing and no ability to make his character likable. And then he did the film DOWN UNDER, which was a cluster of unfortunate events which saw Jerry nearly fired for being out of shape due to his excessive drinking and then the entire film was reshot to feature a computer generated kangaroo more heavily and left Jerry playing a supporting role to a special effect. After these three flame-outs, Jerry O'Connell could no longer be taken seriously as a movie star and his film career aspirations evapourated. And now, years have passed, Jerry has grown up a bit, quit drinking, reflected heavily, taken some acting classes, gotten married, had children -- and I think now he realizes the truth: SLIDERS was his career defining role and he blew it.

And I think that's why he suddenly regained interest; Quinn Mallory is the only character Jerry has played before or could play again who could be a universally known fantasy icon like Batman, Sherlock Holmes, Doc Brown and Mr. Spock. Quinn Mallory is Jerry's only shot at cultural immortality.

I'll save my second theory for the podcast.

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Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

When rewatching "The Chasm" -- I noticed it has a similar storyline to "New Gods for Old," which was originally a Season 4 episode where the sliders, one-by-one, fall prey to a force that controls their emotional states and minds -- first it's Quinn, then Rembrandt, then Maggie -- and then it's left to Colin to save the sliders. This script was eventually retooled for Season 5, but that chain of events is surprisingly similar to "The Chasm" -- Quinn, then Rembrandt, then Maggie -- and Colin is the only one left.


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Last episode of the year! We discuss "Data World" and "Way Out West"- … 7_47-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

RewatchPodcast wrote:

Last episode of the year! We discuss "Data World" and "Way Out West"- … 7_47-08_00


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Data World is a bad episode.  Way Out West isn't great, but it is fun.

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I've only listened to "Data World"'s segment so far. It's great!

I felt that I didn't have a lot on "Data World," so I gave Tom and Cory the secret history of Kari Wuhrer's breasts. But, to my delight and amazement, the boys mined the deleted scenes material for a ton of insight! Fantastic. Here are the full notes I gave Tom and Cory for this episode.

  • This episode was written by Joel Metzger and directed by Jerry O'Connell.

  • Reading the script, it's clear this was meant to be a parody of video games that was not adequately realized onscreen, although there were plenty of problems with the story even before the budgeting issues.

  • During this episode, Kari Wuhrer, when playing the reconstituted Maggie, grabs her breasts to convey her relief at being in her own body.

  • According to Temporal Flux of the Dimension of Continuity, Cleavant spotted this and mercilessly mocked Kari throughout the filming of his scenes as Maggie-in-Rembrandt's body.

  • During numerous takes, he would come up with different ad-libbed lines to express Maggie's horror at being in Rembrandt's body, including "Eeeeeeeeeeeek! I'm black!" and "Nooooooooooooooooooo!" (grabbing his chest) "Do you know how much these things cost?!!"

  • According to Temporal Flux, Cleavant and Kari did not get along well in Season 3. You can actually see this in "This Slide of Paradise" in the opening teaser; Cleavant is struggling to make it to shore in the water, Kari Wuhrer reaches out to help him and Cleavant knocks her hand away.

  • By Season 4, however, Cleavant and Kari had started to get along much better. You can see more comfort in their physical interaction and Kari laughing with Cleavant. TF is not sure what changed.

  • In 2000, Matt Hutaff of Earth Prime met Cleavant at a CD signing. They talked for several hours.

  • (Matt wishes to inform us that his name is pronounced You-Taff with a silent H).

  • Matt learned that Cleavant was friends with David Peckinpah. Cleavant and his wife and kids would have family evenings with the Peckinpah family.

  • Temporal Flux is of the opinion that this was a business relationship; Cleavant used Peckinpah's influence to achieve his goals as Peckinpah, for all his faults, had a lot of connections.

  • Matt disagrees, feeling that Cleavant simply found something good in Peckinpah to appreciate and befriend. God knows what it was, but he found something. And he did the same with Kari.

  • Therefore, I am inclined to think that Kari was okay with people making fun of her breast implants and that this was something she and Cleavant had between them.

  • However, Kari grabbing her breasts in this episode seems to be a prelude to "Way Out West" where she repeatedly grabs her breasts throughout that episode, as though she's experiencing pain and soreness.

  • Breast augmentations are never a single operation; they are the start of a lifetime of surgical adjustments and upkeep.

  • Breast implants can tear, harden, leak and get infected. Kari, during "Data World" and "Way out West," may have been experiencing increased sensitivity of sensory nerves or a capsular contracture where the implant tightens due to scar tissue hardening. This is treated with medication to soften the scar tissue or surgically removing the tissue.

  • Kari got the surgery in 1989. This was due to the urging of her music producer at the time, Rick Rubin.

  • Rubin, working with her on an album, had less interest in her music than he did in her appearance and image for marketing -- he told her it would be best if her breasts were visible even from behind.

  • Kari eventually dissolved her association with Rubin and music went on the backburner as she pursued acting. Her implants were getting her a lot of acting offers for direct-to-video softcore porn.

  • Kari accepted all these offers because they paid a lot for very short shoots.

  • While there is little data on her surgical situation between 1989 and 2000, it is unlikely -- in fact, it is impossible -- for Kari to not have had various problems that required further medical attention and adjustments. That's simply the nature of this kind of surgery.

  • I believe Kari grew to despise her body and the work she got in exchange for nudity.

  • According to TF: when "The Exodus" was about to film, Maggie Beckett had yet to be cast even when it was the day before filming was to begin.

  • Alan Barnette suddenly burst into the SLIDERS production office, exclaiming, "Check out the tits on this one!" He held up a photo of Kari and she was hired immediately.

  • Crew members informed Temporal Flux that Alan Barnette was constantly commenting on Kari's breasts.

  • Matt recently sent me a box of the Sci-Fi Channel's press files. I found a 1999 interview with Kari Wuhrer.

  • In the 1999 interview, Kari confessed that she was abusive towards Sabrina Lloyd because she was jealous; she was jealous that Sabrina inspired respect for her talent while Kari was simply a masturbatory object to her hirers.

  • In later interviews, Kari confessed that her breasts embarrassed her and when she was with men, she asked them not to touch her there.

  • In 2000, Kari got her implants removed and replaced with smaller sized implants.

  • In 2002, Kari woke up one morning preparing to shoot a sex scene for THE SPIDER's WEB and discovered her right breast implant had encapsulated -- the implant had hardened, pushing her right breast upward and making her nipple point downward. She looked deformed and lopsided.

  • The director and actor were sympathetic and helped her film the scene with the right breast obscured from the camera.

  • Embarrassed, Kari decided there and then that she would get the implants removed.

  • Afterwards, Kari found difficulty acquiring the sex-driven movie roles she'd found before and found work in a soap opera, GENERAL HOSPITAL, in 2006.

  • When she got pregnant and gained weight, GENERAL HOSPITAL fired her. Kari sued them. The case was settled out of court.

  • Meanwhile, Sabrina Lloyd went back to college (Columbia University in New York), adopted a little girl from Uganda, seems to be moving between Rome and Uganda and seems pretty happy.

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Awesome stuff. Is there a copy of that 1999 interview uploaded? I'd never heard that about Kari's jealousy before - suspected it, but not heard it from the horse's mouth.

How goes "Net Worth"?

Re: Rewatch Podcast

ME: "I think it'll be done by -- "
ME: " ............................................................. yeah, you're right."

I don't know what happened this past weekend. I remember finishing the find and replace work and formatting, taking a short break to review "My Brother's Keeper" and "The Chasm" and got totally caught up in re-reading Slide It Yourself. Then I got my mother a new smartphone but had to set it up and suddenly it was Monday. Is that really what I did on the weekend?

Recently, I wrote to Nigel Mitchell, asking if he'd write a Christmas SLIDERS story.

NIGEL: "I don't celebrate Christmas."
ME: "Holy crap. You don't celebrate Christmas? You don't believe in the holidays? That is so weird! Because neither do I. I thought I was the only one in the world."
NIGEL: "There are more of us than you might think."

But I do treat Christmas as a series of statutory holidays during which I do all the stuff I didn't have time to do before such as transcribing articles, writing screenplays and maintaining IT in the home.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

ireactions wrote:

ME: "I think it'll be done by -- "
ME: " ............................................................. yeah, you're right."

In fairness, if I did say this (and there's no reason to assume I didn't - we talk a lot and my memory is terrible), it was probably sandwiched between Ib getting moody over some Canadian Robocop TV show or wondering why a waitress he sees regularly in a diner he frequents would give him a Christmas gift even though they don't say more than 5 words to each other on Friday mornings. smile

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Rewatch Podcast

To be accurate -- that exchange had nothing to do with the "Net Worth" redux. Matt was chastising me for giving release dates for SLIDERS REBORN in advance, especially when I kept blowing them due to professional responsibilities and narrative issues that I needed to bring to Matt to resolve. (ME: "I've made a mistake. I've put the sliders in a situation I can't resolve. If the doomsday clocks are scattered across billions of parallel Earths, while would confiscating three Earths' worth stop the destruction of all reality?" MATT: "Let's think big to small -- can the clocks just be on three Earths?")

Anyway. I've reviewed my weekend activities. I got side-tracked by reading Slide It Yourself. I guess -- I was so short on information for "My Brother's Keeper" that I decided to read all the Slide It Yourself story discussions and beat sheets in order to offer the Sliders Rewatch a full account and I got completely swept away by some of the bizarre exchanges. (REALMKEEPER: "What if Mallory were to meet a double who is still in the wheelchair and Mallory has to confront his former disability?" OTHER POSTER: "That's a great idea! And what if Mallory-2 is evil and trying to steal the timer and he's only faking being crippled?")

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Thoughts on "Mother and Child": Cory talked about how he totally lost interest in this episode at the halfway mark. He didn't care about the Kromagg trying to get the antidote to the virus, he didn't care about the action. And I really understood what he meant. The second Wade was raised and dismissed, it was impossible to stay invested in the episode because it focused on things that could not possibly be more important than Wade. There's also a joking, lighthearted tone to the scenes that is completely at odds with the Wade plot. Rembrandt joking about getting a dog, Quinn joking about a continental breakfast -- these lines desperately needed to be played with bleak despair. Had Jerry played Quinn as emotionally disintegrating after the teaser and the episode built to a crazed, violent outburst, the episode would probably have held the attention by holding Wade in the heart of the story.


Thoughts on "Way Out West" -- I laughed when Cory and Tom said they couldn't quite tell that Colin had been shot in the teaser and they in fact got the impression that Rembrandt had seen Colin get shot and thrown him off the carriage as dead weight. It was also interesting how Cory, Tom and EP.COM's Mike Truman all took issue with Colin's gunslinger skills resolving the story, saying that it was awkward to have Colin declare that violence solves nothing when in this story, violence solves everything. Interesting and odd -- because from what I could tell, Colin's gunplay only resolved a few immediate threats -- he saved Quinn and Rembrandt from being hanged and defended the widow and her daughter.

Tom and Cory observe that Kolitar, merely wounded at the end, could easily return with his gang and that Colin hadn't solved anything. That was precisely the point of Chris Black's story: the plot of forcing people off their land is resolved by Ben Siegel refusing to invest in tyranny and then discovering the land can be purchased for reasonable prices. That is what defeats Kolitar; Kolitar has nothing to fight for now that the land sales have been made fairly and without violence. Colin's gunfight didn't resolve the story; fairness and equality did. That was Kolitar's defeat and his desire to shoot it out with Colin was a primitive desire for violence that would have won him nothing because he'd lost his stake in the land once Ben decided to buy it rather than take it.

The reason I suspect this fell under the radar of Tom, Cory and Mike: the sliders don't actually contribute to fair deals being made; they find out about it after the fact.

I have no real fondness for Colin or Charlie O'Connell -- but I confess that I really like his performance in this episode. I enjoyed his instant cover story to Ben Siegel. I love the quiet, burning rage he plays when facing off against Kolitar. This episode actually makes me feel bad about refusing to include Colin in SLIDERS REBORN, although not bad enough to change my mind about it.


Tom and Cory noted that "Virtual Slide," "Net Worth," "Slide By Wire" and "Data World" are horribly similar in being computer driven worlds. The impression I'm getting -- the story editor had given up on the series. TF revealed that Marc Scott Zicree was hands-off as of "Slidecage" and after "Lipschitz Live" was used as an excuse to destroy the Season 4 arc, I can't imagine Zicree seeing much point in continuing to contribute creatively. The similarity of all these pitches gives me the sense that no one was bothering to vet them or didn't see any reason to try given he'd simply be overruled out of spite.

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

Re: Rewatch Podcast

So, Maggie's singing. I don't get it. When has Maggie ever been portrayed as someone with a penchant for musical performance? Were there a lot of karaoke nights on that military base? Yes, Kari is a singer -- but why is Maggie a singer? And, as Tom and Cory noted, why is Maggie being portrayed as someone who shrinks from a fight in "Data World"? And why was Maggie telling Rembrandt, "You're the man, act like it" in "Lipschitz Live?"

We have with "Way Out West" a script by Chris Black, who seems to be obsessed with Maggie's character. Every script he ever writes for SLIDERS in Seasons 4 - 5 are Maggie centric: "Common Ground" focuses on Maggie and Kromanus, "The Alternateville Horror" lavishes attention on the Maggie-double and Maggie's horrified reaction, "Slide By Wire" is a Maggie episode, "Way Out West" has Maggie in the lead role for half the story. Except -- looking at his work, I must come the the conclusion that Chris Black isn't interested in exploring Maggie. He's interested in giving Kari Wuhrer things to do because he enjoys her work, so she gets to face off against Kromaggs, play double roles and sing.

The end result is that there is no Maggie, there's simply a role where different aspects of Kari's skills are fed into a script. None of it adds up to a coherent character. In-universe, Maggie is a former spy and fighter pilot, but the fact that she's a military agent and soldier only occasionally informs her character. This is a Marine who cowers in a fight, defers to men in conflict, performs skillfully as a lounge singer, goes from having no human resource skills in Season 3 (what kind of spy is so incapable of getting along with people?) to being a random mess of characteristics in Season 4.

The only way to justify any of this onscreen material is if Maggie isn't actually a former spy, soldier and Pilot, but instead a Hollywood MTV hostess turned actress who somehow ended up a slider and has some fighting skills from training for roles but has little real combat experience -- and in "The Exodus," she was just job shadowing for a role but somehow got mixed up with the real Maggie Beckett in the confusion of the pulsar.

Oddly, however -- Chris Black could have sorted this out. I think the key to reconciling all this would be to highlight how Maggie was once a spy. As a female spy, playing the seductress and the harmless female would be essential. The breast implants could be something she did to make it easier to make men dismiss her or to make her more convincing in her various cover roles. The trauma of Steven's death in Season 3 caused a split personality that resolved itself during the time she slid alone with Quinn. The singing? It's from one of the undercover roles she performed on a spy mission. The cowering from fights? The truth is that much of Maggie's work was tricking people out of information; she's been combat trained but she rarely had to fight or kill anyone in the field. Maggie is constantly being written as a skin for Kari Wuhrer the actress; maybe it could've been restructured into Maggie Beckett the espionage agent.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

There is the Espionage angle of Masks and Immersion too.

She was abrasive and Hostile in Exodus because either her Mask was not on eg not in Mission Mode/Mindset while on Home Soil/Back on Base..... OR..... That Maggie was a Mask too! She was on a Mission perhaps where that Personality and Character Traits were her Required Role.
What if she was assigned to get close to Rickman.... Or Dr  Jensen?!

Sliding Tech even if only Theoretical/Prototype is valuable Tech full stop but during a potential Amageddon? Vital National Interest are the words that come to mind.

For ANY Nation!

Which Country did Maggie really serve?

As to her Role itself.... Maybe Psychological Profilers determined that Persona to have the most effect on Jensen or Rickman?

Jensen is Paralysed and so might crave a Strong Woman... Perhaps unhealthily so in a way that veers away from Admiring Strength and towards Masochism.

As to Rickman... Maybe he only respects Women in the Military who try to emulate Machismo etc?

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Las Vegas is only about 270 miles from LA, well within range of the timer.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Tom and Cory were marvelling over how Cleavant Derricks and David Peckinpah were friends when Peckinpah got rid of John and Sabrina and ultimately permitted the show to decay so much that it led to Jerry leaving as well. How is that even possible for these two guys to be friends outside the business relationship that Temporal Flux imagines it was? How can it be that Cleavant and David would get their kids and wives together to hang out?

In DOCTOR WHO: "Vincent and the Doctor," the Doctor at one point remarks, "The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant." I suspect that's Cleavant as well.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

First Sliders episode of the year is in the feed now! We discuss "My Brother's Keeper" and "The Chasm" … 3_51-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Yay! We've missed you!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Sorry for the delay on the "Net Worth" script. I thought I would have a lot of free time during the holidays. I was wrong. And there have been some other changes in my life. I've come to realize that I won't ever be able to do the marathon approach on fanfic anymore, so instead, I just devote 30 minutes to an hour to it when I can each day and it'll get done eventually. Same with REBORN, which will be released in 2016 -- it just won't be January 2016.

I was really not expecting to have so many people request my company during the holidays, and their activities would run really late and the time I thought I'd spend doing nothing but writing, I instead spent sleeping or putting in appearances. It was really nice, but not as productive as I'd hoped.

If you want a progress report -- I am currently thirty per cent finished with the beat sheet for the last SLIDERS REBORN script (doing all my research in advance this time) and for "Net Worth" -- I finished rewriting the scenes in Joanne's apartment where I worked in a new explanation for what a digijob is and why Joanne/Wade-2 wanted to see Rick/Quinn-2 before she got 'cabled' as well as explanations for how this world has food and maintenance and raw materials and manufacturing of technological goods and other items.

The reason I thought I would have this sooner -- originally, I was just going to post my notes on what I thought "Net Worth" might have been, but then thought a script would be more fun and easy to do as it'd just be find and replace. Then Cory and Tom punched so many holes through "Net Worth" and I couldn't bring myself to post the script as-is.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

RewatchPodcast wrote:

First Sliders episode of the year is in the feed now! We discuss "My Brother's Keeper" and "The Chasm" … 3_51-08_00


Re: Rewatch Podcast

Here are my notes on "My Brother's Keeper":

  • In a rare development, all the trivia for this episode comes from me.

  • This episode was written by Doug Molitor.

  • Very interesting man: he was a 1987 JEOPARDY contestant who won four times and competed in the championship for that year.


  • He is also one of the most despised people in SLIDERS fandom, although not for this episode, which was generally considered to be okay.

  • In 1999, Sci-Fi held an online contest: Slide It Yourself. This was a contest where fans could submit ideas for a SLIDERS episode.

  • Ten ideas would be chosen to be developed into a beat sheet and three ideas would be chosen to be developed into a script.

  • The prize for being the best script, as decided by the judges, would be a series finale script autographed by Cleavant Derricks and a leather jacket worn by either Cleavant or Tembi Locke and signed by the star who wore it. SCIFI.COM T-shirts would also be awarded for the top three ideas chosen to be developed into scripts.

  • Doug Molitor would be the one choosing the ideas to be made into beat sheets and the beat sheets to be turned into scripts. His credentials were his extensive TV writing experience and his one episode of SLIDERS. The other judge was someone named Patrice Wright who, from what I can tell, wrote for the Sci-Fi Channel's web content division.

  • The Slide It Yourself contest is considered by SLIDERS fandom to be a complete and utter disaster.

  • The first problem was in Stage 1: pitching brief ideas. There was a lot of blatant plagiarism: Temporal Flux of DoC submitted five ideas and two of them were simply copied by other posters. There was absolutely no moderation done; none of the submissions were held in queue for initial review, so the submissions became a pile of incoherent posts.

  • Molitor and Wright were clearly unable to fully review all these submissions.

  • As a result, of the ten ideas chosen to be made into Stage 2 beat sheets, two were Temporal Flux's ideas but attributed to others. One was stolen wholesale, the other mutilated.

  • Stage 2 made it very clear: Molitor and Wright had exercised poor judgement in several of their choices.

  • Temporal Flux had proposed a superhero story that was misattributed to a plagiarist and a story about the majority of the population being mentally ill that had been copied and altered into a world where the majority of the population had low IQs and anyone with above average intelligence was lobotomized.

  • How a modern civilization of idiots could function, measure intelligence or perform lobotomies was not explained.

  • One pitch was that the sliders encounter a forest fire. That's it.

  • Inexplicably, this bare idea with no sense of characterization or world-building was deemed worthy of being fleshed out.

  • One pitch was about a world where no black people never invented any kind of technology, so this world had no potato chips or light bulbs or blood banks -- which suggests a fundamentally unworkable perspective on technological development.

  • One pitch was about how it was illegal for anyone to not be part of a rock band. It's impossible to think that Molitor and Wright were reviewing these pitches with any thought to quality.

  • That said, there were some neat ideas: one where Rembrandt is living the same day over and over again (derivative but intriguing), one where Rembrandt wakes up to discover time has been rewound to the Pilot (quite good), one where Y2K has crippled all technology and Diana's double is to blame, one where copyright law has run amok, and one where Mallory meets a double who is still in a wheelchair.

  • Actor Robert Floyd made his one and only message board post to say he thought this last one was a cool idea.

  • In Stage 2, each of the 10 ideas had a message board thread where any poster could post on the concepts, offering feedback and ideas. Chaos resulted; the poster who'd originated the idea found themselves deluged by opposing and unrelated story ideas.

  • For example, Temporal Flux, who eventually got credit for his superhero concept, had conceived a story where the sliders visit an Earth where there is a superhero who fights crime.

  • The sliders observe, however, that the superhero's powers are all vortex based; this superhero's superpowers are created through repurposed sliding technology and the sliders, in trying to learn more about the superhero's tech, accidentally get involved in a plot to destroy the hero.

  • The hero's identity would never be revealed, but the story would heavily hint that it was Quinn Mallory under that mask.

  • TF found himself buried in comments from posters suggesting that the superhero story be changed to remove the superhero, have Dr. Geiger in the Quinn role and to turn the story into a Kromagg invasion.

  • Realmkeeper's idea for Mallory meeting a double who is still crippled was buried in bizarre recommendations such as Mallory-2 being an evil villain who was faking his paralysis and planning to take over the world and the idea that Mallory-2 be replaced with Dr. Geiger.

  • Matt Hutaff's idea to have Rembrandt explore what his life would be if he'd never gone sliding was buried in bizarre proposals like a teaser where the sliders see a man fall off a building and find a timer on the corpse and to bring Dr. Geiger into the plot.

  • Once again, there was no moderation on these threads, so the people who'd originated these ideas were not being permitted to lead the development of their ideas and the discussions were impenetrable and totally unproductive in fleshing out these story concepts.

  • For Stage 3, Molitor and Wright selected posters from each thread and assigned them to 10 different teams, one for each idea, with the poster who'd originated the idea serving as the lead writer.

  • This team arrangement made little to no sense for the stronger pitches (Mallory meets a crippled double, the sliders meet a superhero who uses sliding tech to fake his powers, Rembrandt discovers time's been rewound to the Pilot).

  • The people who had originated these pitches were capable of completing their own stories; forcing eight people to write one story would only create an unreadable mess.

  • The team arrangement was also deeply unhelpful for the weaker pitches where the lack of a strong premise meant a lack of strong leadership. The majority of the resulting beat sheets were an incoherent mess.

  • The idea had been that Slide It Yourself would let contestants feel what it was like to write for television. But in television, you rarely have eight to nine people working on a single script and overruling each other; generally, a writer does a draft and may do additional drafts or may see their material rewritten by a story editor or another writer.

  • To be fair, many of the pitch leaders were pleased with the beat sheets. Matt and Temporal Flux were happy with "Legacy" and "Opportunity Cost."

  • But I'd argue that Matt Hutaff and Temporal Flux are perfectly capable of writing stories without having to fight through 7 - 8 people.

  • For Stage 4, three ideas were chosen to be developed into scripts and compete for the first place prize.

  • Quite inexplicably, the ideas chosen for Stage 4 were the one with a world where everyone has a low IQ, the one where black inventors don't exist and so neither do indoor toilets, and the one where anyone not in a rock band is breaking the law -- the three with obvious logical errors and historical impossibilities that are glaring even from a one-sentence summary.

  • It is impossible to discern any meaningful standards of quality from Molitor and Wright regarding their selections for the Stage 4 scripts.

  • I can only speculate that they were not being sufficiently compensated for the time needed to fully review all the beat sheets and discussions, and so chose the story ideas where there was the least in-fighting, even though the in-fighting resulted due to the uncontrolled and poorly organized nature of the contest where strong ideas were being diluted by unrelated concepts.

  • The script set on a world where the vast majority of the population is stupid won first prize.

  • I've never been able to identify any further writing from Patrice Wright or find any credits to her name, which fills me with relief.

  • Doug Molitor went on to write numerous scripts for children's TV shows and one can only hope he never tried to teach screenwriting again as all of his students would have to spend years unlearning his lessons.

  • The entire mess is archived here. … /siy.cgi/1

239 (edited by pilight 2016-01-05 09:38:06)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

So the winner turned into the movie Idiocracy, except with time travellers instead of sliders?  Interesting.

The civilization of idiots idea is hardly a new or original one in sci fi.  Cyril Kornbluth published The Marching Morons in the 1950's.  HG Wells had the Eloi in The Time Machine.  Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men has a number of civilizations suffering a decline due to lost intelligence.  Of course Stapledon also wrote a novel about living flames, so using him as inspiration for Sliders episodes might not be the greatest idea...

Re: Rewatch Podcast

This week we're finishing up our discussion of Sliders season 4 and discuss "Roads Taken" and "Revelations" … 9_48-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Hi. Here are the notes for "Revelations" that I sent Rewatch Podcast.

As for the "Net Worth Redux," I am at the point where Quinn-2 and Wade-2 / Rick and Joanne are talking in person in the Dominion/ Chandler hotel. The majority of the plot holes are fixed except for Jack / Hurley's nonsensical plan for robbing the Magenta Towers.

I could write scripts on my tablet (with a bluetooth keyboard), but Windows 10 is still repatching my computers, so I won't be able to post the podcasts until tomorrow night. My password managers are stored on the PCs and I never commit passwords to memory.

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

Season 4: Luck of the Draw

  • When Marc Scott Zicree interviewed for SLIDERS, he was not entirely sure what he was getting into. He had a passing familiarity with SLIDERS. Most of the junior Season 3 producers had moved on. New writers were needed.

  • USA Networks (which owned Sci-Fi) had a VP who'd liked Zicree's writing on science fiction shows and recommended him to David Peckinpah.

  • Peckinpah hadn't been looking for a talented science fiction writer. As Season 3 showed, Peckinpah was not concerned with scripts he wasn't writing, he saw hiring screenwriters as the equivalent of hiring typists.

  • It was an astonishing stroke of fortune for a writer of Zicree's pedigree and caliber to be interested in SLIDERS and to be approached for a story editor role.

  • According to Temporal Flux of DoC: Zicree, in the interview with Peckinpah, repeated everything Peckinpah said in paraphrased sentences, echoing Peckinpah's views on production and scripts.

  • Peckinpah declared Zicree to be a genius and hired him as the Season 4 executive story editor -- a position that usually entails commissioning scripts, directing or performing rewrites, leading the writer's room,etc..

  • As noted in many interviews, the Season 4 budget was low. The writing staff consisted of David Peckinpah (1. executive producer), Bill Dial (2. co-executive producer), Marc Scott Zicree (3. story editor) and Chris Black (4. producer).

  • Most scripts would come from freelancers and need to be rewritten once submitted.

  • Because the writing staff was so small, the task of rewriting scripts had to be distributed and delegated and Zicree expected he'd take the approach of giving notes to writers on their treatments. When drafts came in, he would again write notes and he expected would distribute the task of rewrites among himself and his colleagues.

Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome

  • Zicree, at this point, began to further familiarize himself with SLIDERS, having long talks with his friend Tracy Torme, rewatching old episodes, reading the Dimension of Continuity articles and deleted scenes, watching Kari Wuhrer's movies.

  • He realized SLIDERS was in trouble: down two original (and essential) cast members, a problematic character in Maggie, the remaining regulars had gone from charming and lively to hostile and miserable.

  • To make matters worse, the leading man had forced his talentless brother into a regular role on the show.

  • According to TF: Marc attempted to make a meal of the mess. He wouldn't try to do the grounded SLIDERS of Season 1 - 2 -- he couldn't anyway. And he wouldn't do the movie ripoffs of Season 3 -- he had no budget for that anymore.

  • Instead, he'd try a more hard-sci-fi and myth approach.

  • He proposed an ambitious story-arc to really raise SLIDERS' profile: the Kromagg invasion of the sliders' home Earth. This way, the damage to the series in losing John Rhys-Davies and Sabrina Lloyd could be expressed and mined for drama. The Colin character could be a Kromagg spy, an altered clone of Quinn created from DNA samples taken in "Invasion."

  • It would be hinted throughout the season, however, that the Earth Prime invasion had been staged to manipulate Quinn into believing a false backstory, a theory all but confirmed by the third episode.

  • The season 4 finale would bring all the subtle clues into a massive climax and a shocking cliffhanger.

  • Looking at the interviews, it would seem that for episodes between the premiere and the finale, Zicree hoped for imaginative and intellectually challenging science fiction drama with more of a fantasy-adventure approach rather than the social commentary of Season 1 - 2, but with a focus on situational character drama rather than action and eye candy (which couldn't be afforded anyway).

The Other Slide of Darkness

  • According to TF: Peckinpah approved of Zicree's Season 4 arc. However, Peckinpah also took the task of writing the season premiere and immediately, the Zicree/Peckinpah relationship began to take a turn for the worse.

  • Peckinpah wrote the Kromaggs as overt soldiers, thugs, interrogators and torturers rather than distant figures acting through human agents -- and he also wrote Sabrina Lloyd out via sending her to a rape camp.

  • Zicree argued against these plot elements, providing Peckinpah with pages and pages of corrective notes and creative suggestions.

  • For example, Peckinpah misunderstood the concept of doubles and wrote a double of Quinn's mother to be played by a different actress.

  • Peckinpah ignored this and "Genesis" was filmed.

  • At this point, Zicree's protests took on the form of modifying his Season 4 plans. He proposed the concept of the Humaggs, suggesting these were the products of the rape camps. He suggested that the vaguely defined superweapon had sterilized the Kromaggs, requiring the camps.

  • Zicree believed that if this plot were present, it would force the episodes to focus on the sliders searching for Wade, giving him opportunities to resolve Wade's fate either via a guest-appearance or an offscreen mention.

  • Zicree was met with resistance and refusal by Peckinpah as well as Bill Dial. Dial had been unable to find work in recent years until his friend Peckinpah hired him for SLIDERS and his loyalty was to Peckinpah.

  • Zicree continued to argue for the Humagg storyline. This led to a rift between him, Peckinpah and Dial, who began to find him obnoxious.

  • Zicree also continued to contribute corrective notes to completed scripts, seeking to distribute the task of rewrites among the producers.

  • Dial refused to address the notes, declaring that all the scripts were adequate as written. Dial regularly refused to discuss stories in writers room meetings, preferring to play Solitaire on a computer.

  • Zicree chastised Dial for his negligence and demanded Dial's full attention. Dial came to despise Zicree and soon, Peckinpah hated Zicree as well.

  • When stories for the middle of the season were being determined, Zicree succeeded in getting two Humagg episodes commissioned due to the lack of alternatives on the table at the time.

  • He was also writing "Slidecage" and an episode of DEEP SPACE NINE.

The Exodus Part 1

  • According to TF: around this period, Peckinpah and Dial decided to drive Zicree off the show. They did this by destroying his Season 4 arc.

  • Zicree's Season 4 arc was building to the revelation that Colin Mallory was an altered-Quinn clone created by Kromaggs.

  • Dial and Peckinpah commissioned "Lipschitz Live," an episode with a Colin-double. They then declared that since a clone couldn't have a double, Zicree's plan for the Season 4 finale would need to be abandoned.

  • They did this despite the fact that they had bought the Season 4 finale story from Zicree already.

  • Zicree completed his work on "Slidecage" and gave up on actively contributing to SLIDERS, simply performing his managerial duties and letting Peckinpah, Dial and Chris Black carry on without Zicree's input.

  • As I look at Season 4, it would seem to me that with no story editor reviewing scripts or overseeing their commissioning, various oddities resulted such as (a) Rembrandt acting like he never met Dr. Jensen in "Slide By Wire" (b) "Virtual Slide," "Net Worth," "Slide By Wire" and "Data World" being the same computer world concept four times over (c) the sliders knowing Kolitar by name in "Way Out West" even though it was never spoken onscreen in "Slidecage" (d) the Kromaggs issuing a kill order on the sliders despite "Common Ground" establishing the sliders were off limits and (e) a truly puzzling Season 4 finale.

  • As articles indicate: the Season 4 budget was small. Only one story bought for Season 4, "God's Country," by David Gerrold, was not filmed.

  • Season 4 could not afford to let anymore purchased stories go unused -- meaning that Zicree's purchased Season 4 finale story had to be scripted -- by someone -- and filmed. No alternatives could be bought.

  • Bill Dial proceeded to take Zicree's story and remove the intended Season 4 arc elements. He then took what was left of the story and stretched it out to fill in the time, either by extending existing scenes to fill more acts than they'd been designed for or writing new scenes that simply reiterated previously stated information.

  • This approach to screenwriting is also predominant in Season 5, in which anything expensive or complicated to film would be removed and the remaining material would be stretched to fill the resulting gaps.

Paradise Lost

  • The original plot for "Revelations" as intended by Marc Scott Zicree was to begin with the sliders relaxing on a world in which Rembrandt would find a novel -- a science fiction novel with a plot that mirrored the human-Kromagg war.

  • What follows is my extrapolation of how the basic story could have gone -- I gave you the vague outline in earlier E-mails. What follows is me (as opposed to Zicree) fleshing out the vague into the more specific. My speculations are in italics. Anything not in italics was a definite story element as communicated by Temporal Flux.

  • The sliders would locate the author, who would help work out the secret of how to bypass the Slidecage.

  • The sliders would then slide back to Kromagg Prime.

  • Dial's script stretched what should have been no more than a teaser and a first act into the very end of the third act.

  • The original idea was that the sliders would land on Kromagg Prime and instantly cause an alert to go off. Their arrival is detected; the human inhabitants believe the sliders are the first of a Kromagg invasion and must be met killed on sight by soldiers who've been preparing for a Kromagg incursion for almost two decades.

  • In fleeing, Quinn is separated from Colin, Maggie and Rembrandt.

  • As Colin, Maggie and Rembrandt evade the soldiers, Quinn searches for his birth parents.

  • As Colin, Maggie and Rembrandt defend themselves, Colin begins to exhibit odd behaviour. He uses lethal force, casually murdering several of the soldiers without Rembrandt and Maggie seeing due to the confusion of the fight. They escape.

  • Colin, Maggie and Rembrandt find a safe place to hide and look up information to find Mr. and Mrs. Mallory.

  • Quinn locates his birth parents. They do not recognize him and believe him to be a Kromagg agent, either compromised or brainwashed. Quinn convinces them to hear him out, producing his microdot and a photograph of Colin, explaining that his foster parent-doubles hid him when his birth parents returned to Earth Prime for him.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Mallory protest: they never left their son with doubles. Their son died in the human-Kromagg war. And they have never heard of anyone named Colin Mallory.

  • We go back to Maggie and Rembrandt: Colin is holding them at gunpoint. They are his hostages; Colin will need them as leverage because if Quinn has found their 'parents,' then he now knows the truth.

  • Quinn and his 'parents' realize: there is no Colin Mallory. Never has been. All the sliders were scanned on arrival; the man known as Colin who came through the vortex is genetically almost identical to Quinn -- a clone with surgical alterations to make him look like a relative.

  • The invasion of Earth Prime, the appearance of Amanda Mallory, the microdot, Colin's convenient location -- all this has been staged by the Kromaggs to give them a way back to Kromagg Prime -- by sliding a Kromagg sleeper agent onto the Kromagg homeworld to shut down the Slidecage from within.

  • Quinn and his 'parents' race for the Slidecage control facility, realizing the truth. They have to stop Colin.

  • It's revealed that the Slidecage can be unlocked with the Mallorys' genetic code -- however, a clone wouldn't be able to access the controls. Nevertheless, Quinn is convinced that if the Kromaggs manipulated them this far, then Colin has some sort of plan for that place and that's where he'd go.

  • Quinn begins to wonder: what else has been a trick? Was the Earth in "Genesis" really his homeworld? Was the invasion real or was what he saw of it staged? What happened to Wade?

  • The Mallorys arrive at the Slidecage facility to find the guards murdered. Colin is inside with Quinn's friends; he orders Quinn to enter alone.

  • Quinn complies, shouting questions to Colin over comm-link -- is the Colin he knows in there under the sleeper programming somewhere? Is anything of the brother he loved real?

  • Colin mocks Quinn, declaring him to be an impulsive, gullible, impotent pawn, powerless and helpless -- completely controlled by the Kromaggs even now that he knows the truth, because Colin holds Maggie and Rembrandt's lives.

  • Quinn confronts Colin, succeeding in trapping him in one of the control center's chambers and rescuing Maggie and Rembrandt. But Colin has triggered a self-destruct sequence for the facility to explode, which will shut down the Slidecage and open the door for the Kromaggs to return.

  • Quinn uses his genetic signature -- the same as his 'father's' -- to shut down the self-destruct. But then he realizes that Colin has tricked him -- the self-destruct sequence was faked; what Colin really made him do was unlock the Slidecage.

  • Colin unlocks his chamber -- Quinn never succeeded in locking him in. Colin congratulates Quinn: Quinn Mallory is the Kromagg Dynasty's greatest hero. He has achieved his mission. Now he can die.

  • Rembrandt and Maggie make it outside the Slidecage facility, finding Mr. and Mrs. Mallory.

  • Then suddenly, in the air above, red vortexes appear and Kromagg manta ships emerge. Filling the sky. The Mallorys, Rembrandt and Maggie look up in horror.

  • Inside the facility, Quinn and Colin battle, Quinn desperately trying to immobilize the man he sees as a brother and Colin the sleeper agent trying to kill Quinn. Brother against 'brother' fighting --

  • And the Kromagg ships descend upon this world in a triumphant homecoming.

  • To be continued in Season 5.

The Last of Eden

  • Dial's awkward rewrite of Zicree's plot involved ripping out most of the critical scenes.

  • The approach of stretching and extending the remains resulted in massive plotholes, obvious filler and nonsensical characterization.

  • Quinn and Colin have developed the means to bypass the Slidecage and have the coordinates for home. As Dial had removed the original outcome and decided on a wrong-Earth plot instead, he was required to provide some explanation for why the sliders make it to a completely different Earth.

  • His explanation was that Isaac Clarke changed the coordinates -- which does not account for why Quinn and Colin wouldn't protest this or why they couldn't simply apply the bypass formula to the correct home coordinates.

  • When all the sliders meet Mr. and Mrs. Mallory, they do not request the anti-Kromagg superweapon to liberate Earth Prime. Instead, it comes up in conversation incidentally. At this point, Quinn declares he will not be leaving Kromagg Prime and gives Rembrandt the timer to liberate Quinn's adopted and Kromagg-dominated Earth alone.

  • Quite inexplicably, Rembrandt is untroubled by Quinn abandoning Earth Prime and its people -- and is then told by Quinn he must go to Dr. Clarke to procure the weapon -- even though it was previously established that the Mallorys created the weapon.

  • This characterization is another "Mother and Child" level disaster of characterization, rendering Quinn as having abandoned his mission to liberate his adopted Earth, being uncaring about the fate of his mother and being indifferent to sending Rembrandt into a Kromagg war zone.

  • This sequence of events also makes no sense: if the sliders now think Clarke has the weapon, why didn't they stick with him instead of approaching the Mallorys?

  • Given that Quinn is the one who chose to search for the superweapon, why is he now uninterested in acquiring and deploying it?

  • Why is this shift in his goals not addressed or remarked upon by Rembrandt? Why is Rembrandt unconcerned that Quinn is abandoning him?

  • The reason these errors are present: writer Bill Dial sought to create a reason for Rembrandt to leave Maggie, Colin and Quinn alone with the Mallorys and needed to send Rembrandt to acquire exposition from Dr. Clarke about why this isn't the correct Kromagg Prime.

  • These measures were  separation and stalling tactics designed to extend an underrunning script as the central plot of the story had been removed.

  • Dr. Clarke's dialogue with Rembrandt is also nonsensical; he claims to have helped the sliders by providing the coordinates, except the sliders already had different coordinates which they inexplicably permitted Clarke to alter.
    Dr. Clarke claims he has evidence to convict the Mallorys for their war crimes, despite the episode clearly indicating that the Mallorys' anti-Kromagg weapon is known to the public with no consequences having come for two decades.

  • Once again, this is Bill Dial attempting to stretch out the remaining fragments of Zicree's story, having thrown out the bulk of the material.

  • Even with these measures -- measures that break the logic of this one episode, that break the character of Quinn Mallory, that break the Season 4 arc -- the episode still runs short.

  • As a result, the final act is devoted to a lengthy, prolonged and content-free chase sequence.

  • The episode ends with the vortex fired off a moving train yet inexplicably keeping pace with the train when it should be a speck in the distance.

  • This rewrite has been performed in a lazy, slapdash, inconsistent fashion -- largely because Bill Dial disliked Zicree and was disinclined to treat Zicree's ideas with respect, particularly when this altered Season 4 finale had been done specifically to spite and demoralize Zicree.

The Exodus, Part 2

  • This was Jerry O'Connell's final episode of SLIDERS.

  • According to TF: Jerry had enjoyed his Season 4 producer role because it allowed him to coast. He could show up late or inebriated without repercussions or consequence.

  • He now wanted to be executive producer of SLIDERS, not for creative reasons, but for more opportunities to coast and an increased salary.

  • Indeed, his writing, directing and producing credits on Season 4 were primarily for financial interest; he never wrote, produced or directed after SLIDERS aside from a token credit on the film FIRST DAUGHTER (written during Season 4) and a TWO AND A HALF MEN Internet parody.

  • Jerry sought the promotion but was not taken seriously by Universal.

  • However, he found a stronger bargaining position when the Sci-Fi Channel missed his contractual deadline for ordering Season 5.

  • Sci-Fi had never intended for Season 5, intending to draw SLIDERS' audience to Sci-Fi's original programming and then abandon SLIDERS.

  • That was the reason for the long period with no new episodes of SLIDERS while shows like FIRST WAVE and WELCOME TO PARADOX and FARSCAPE aired new installments.

  • The plan failed; SLIDERS' Season 4 ratings were too strong for Sci-Fi to cancel it if they could afford to renew -- but by this point, their money was tied up in the original programming. They had to find other avenues of finance.

  • By the time Sci-Fi found the money and renewed, Jerry was no longer obligated to return to the series.
    Jerry offered to return if and only if he were promoted to Executive Producer. Universal refused to promote him. Jerry quit.

  • Jerry offered to do six episodes of Season 5 so long as Charlie starred in all 18.

  • David Peckinpah and Bill Dial refused to hire Charlie for any more episodes than Jerry.

  • Negotiations continued. There were some personnel changes even without Jerry's issues: Peckinpah had been assigned to a different series, TURKS, meaning that while Peckinpah remained in charge of SLIDERS, Bill Dial would become the de-facto lead producer.

  • Dial hired "Virtual Slide" and "Lipschitz Live" writer Keith Damron to replace Marc Scott Zicree as the new Season 5 story editor.

  • Dial and Damron were now faced with having to write Jerry O'Connell out.

  • Dial changed his mind about Zicree's Season 4 finale.

  • He decided he would do the Season 4 finale after all -- as Season 5, episode 5.

  • In Season 5, episode 5, the sliders would land on the real Kromagg Prime, Colin would be exposed as a clone and a traitor, the invasion of Earth Prime would be revealed as a ruse.

  • Colin would be stranded on the real Kromagg Prime. Quinn would open a gateway to the real Earth Prime -- but fail to take Maggie and Rembrandt with him.

  • The next 12 episodes of SLIDERS would feature Maggie and Rembrandt with a new slider, a scientist named Melissa Hunter from the real Earth Prime who had worked with the FBI in recreating Quinn's slide-tech and gotten lost in the multiverse.

  • Jerry's sixth and final episode of Season 5 would be the series finale; Quinn would return to wrap up the show.

  • Then Jerry declared that he would return for no episodes of SLIDERS at all. He and Charlie quit.

  • Jerry declared in a chat session that he didn't want to return for Season 5 due to a budget cut. There was no budget cut; this was a lie.

  • Jerry would later change his story to quitting over a "contractual dispute" without elaborating on this.

  • When directly asked what he wanted to do as Executive Producer, Jerry replied that he thought SLIDERS had become like too "bubble gum" and he wanted it to be more like THE X-FILES -- utterly meaningless.
    Temporal Flux does not believe Jerry had any creative ambitions for SLIDERS whatsoever.

  • As a result of Jerry's departure and his refusal to perform an exit story, the Season 4 Kromagg arc would never be resolved.


  • Charlie O'Connell went on to feature in a season of The Bachelor in which his constant state of intoxication made him realize he was an alcoholic. He sought treatment and, I believe, recovered.

  • Jerry O'Connell felt no regret about leaving SLIDERS.

  • He believed that he would be a Tom Cruise level movie star, having achieved a certain level of fame for SLIDERS, JERRY MAGUIRE and SCREAM 2.

  • His performances won him rave reviews, although they were mostly the John Rhys-Davies coached performances of Seasons 1 - 2.

  • In interviews, he spoke of his numerous female conquests, his superior athleticism in fencing tournaments and generally portrayed himself as a goofy ladies man and teen idol heartthrob.

  • Jerry's opinion was that SLIDERS was a hit because the audience found him attractive, either as an object of desire or as a surrogate figure.

  • Immediately post-SLIDERS, he chose roles that flattered his ego as an attractive male specimen: the young astronaut in MISSION TO MARS, the leading man Lothario of the sex comedy TOMCATS, the leading man of the film DOWN UNDER. Jerry chose roles that were largely about his looks.

  • MISSION TO MARS was a critical failure and Jerry's performance was considered serviceable but bland.

  • TOMCATS was considered to be a masterwork of cinematic incompetence with crass, ugly, sexist humour and Jerry's performance consisted of sneering and mugging for the camera.

  • At this point, Jerry's fan following was largely depleted; the fan sites ceased to be maintained. Jerry had made a grave miscalculation, mistaking SLIDERS fans for Jerry O'Connell fans, something that became clear when TOMCATS bombed.

  • Jerry's appeal in Seasons 1 - 2: he was an attractive young man playing a sensitive, earnest, heartfelt scientist of intelligence and moral integrity. This performance had been achieved through John Rhys-Davies coaching Jerry.

  • Without John to guide him, Jerry's performances had no thought, no detail, no consideration, no characterization -- just vacant blandness or clumsy comedy.

  • Jerry also destroyed his earnest, sincere image after numerous girlfriends revealed that he had drunkenly cheated on them and in interviews where he bragged about random hookups with fans.

  • In a final, desperate bid at the movie star career he craved, Jerry signed to a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

  • For this film, DOWN UNDER, Jerry was keen to film in Australia for this buddy comedy.

  • Jerry was nearly fired off this film.

  • Ever since SLIDERS moved to Los Angeles, Jerry had received many invitations to nightclubs and bars and parties.

  • His star value and attractive appearance drew additional customers, after all. He was drinking heavily until the early mornings. He would stagger home and eat pizza and other takeout foods. By 2002 and shortly before DOWN UNDER was to film, Jerry was flabby and overweight. His performances were Season 4 poor or worse and now he didn't even have his looks.

  • DOWN UNDER producer Bruckheimer threatened to fire Jerry. Jerry agreed to get in shape, hiring a personal trainer to do a complete overhaul of Jerry's diet and lifestyle. Jerry agreed to quit drinking, to quit eating fried and processed foods, and to commit to the regular exercise he'd stopped around late Season 4 of SLIDERS.

  • Jerry got back in shape and found that he enjoyed sobriety. He filmed DOWN UNDER. It bombed with test audiences, although they reacted positively to one scene -- a dream sequence with a computer generated kangaroo.

  • As a result, the entire film was reshot to make the kangaroo the star and renamed KANGAROO JACK. Jerry ended up playing second banana to a cartoonishly rendered marsupial.

  • This was the end of the line for Jerry's movie star career; he could no longer be taken seriously as a bankable leading man and he was also not worth his price when more committed and capable actors with lower paycheques were available and hadn't alienated their fanbase or accumulated so many failures.

  • This crushing failure of ambition actually turned out to be a good thing for Jerry.

  • Needing work, he turned back to the medium he'd thought himself above -- television. He accepted a recurring and then regular role in CROSSING JORDAN with Jill Hennessy and began to rebuild his career as a working class actor who, if not at home, would be on the set or in the gym. He began taking acting classes again.

  • In 2012, in a sadly offline YouTube video, Jerry O'Connell did an interview and spoke extensively about SLIDERS.

  • He said that he often watched the episodes with his children and wife.

  • He kept, in his kitchen, a Season 1 photo of himself with his fellow cast members.

  • He said that John Rhys-Davies had been a mentor and father figure who had sold his car to Jerry. Jerry said he loved SLIDERS and regretted that the cast broke up. He said he would gladly reprise his role as Quinn if given the chance, but that NBCUniversal had no interest in reviving the property. When asked why the show had been so loved, Jerry admitted he didn't really understand it, but he loved the family environment and being with Cleavant, Sabrina and John. He missed them all.

  • In 2014, Tracy Torme received a phone call from Jerry. They had not spoken since Season 3. Jerry expressed his longing to see SLIDERS revived.

  • They made some calls. Cleavant was interested. Sabrina was in Rome and not available. John could not be reached. NBCUniversal was its usual unresponsive self. Jerry reached out to Funny or Die, the website, and performed in a spoof Kickstarter for a SLIDERS movie.

  • Why?

  • I have two theories. My first is that Jerry, now sober, a married man and a father of two, had done some hard thinking about his life and why his movie career never took off and finally figured it out. It's not the actor. It's the character he creates.

  • The key to becoming a movie star is playing an iconic, genre-definitive character who inspires the imagination. Indiana Jones. Spider-Man. Batman. James Bond, Mr. Spock. Dr. House. Superman. Lara Croft. Doctor Who.

  • In his career, Jerry had only ever played one character like that. Quinn Mallory was and remains Jerry's one and only shot at pop culture immortality.

  • My other theory is that Jerry simply missed John, Sabrina and Cleavant -- and with John getting on in years, Jerry longed for a final reunion of all four. He wished to see the sliders reunited. Restored. Reborn.

  • Don't we all?

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Looking forward to you doing season five.  I don't hate it the way some people do.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I've actually started a season 4 rewatch thanks to the rewatch podcast.  It's interesting revisiting the stuff... most of the time when I go and rewatch episodes its from season 1 & 2, and occasionally 3.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

I've actually started a season 4 rewatch thanks to the rewatch podcast.  It's interesting revisiting the stuff... most of the time when I go and rewatch episodes its from season 1 & 2, and occasionally 3.

That's how it was for me too. I liked a lot more of season 4 than I thought I would. And so far, Season 5 is not killing me like i thought it would. I remember not watching it originally except for trace bits here and there. I was not happy with the OConnell's being out and it was my silent protest type of thing. Looking at it now I can appreciate it much differently.

245 (edited by pilight 2016-01-14 07:14:37)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Season five has some of the same problems as season four in terms of inconsistencies in the overall season arc.  Taken individually there are several really good episodes here.  There's a reason the 5th season ratings were good enough to merit renewal.

For the next podcast: The Unstuck Man is probably as good as could be expected for an episode where you're replacing half the cast.  Applied Physics is one of the best episodes of the whole series and by far the best of this season.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I wonder if they're going to retire the Alan Rickman impression now

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Liking the behind the scenes stuff as ever, ireactions.

It's good to hear that Jerry's matured and come down to earth, and it was touching to hear that he keeps a photo of the original cast in his house. I wish that video was still online, too.

I do hope they can get back together one day. Not even to act, necessarily, but just for a reunion, maybe an interview. It would just be nice to think of them reuniting on good terms one last time.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I've been writing up the notes ahead of time for the boys so I can get back to writing scripts. I just wrote up the trivia for a particular episode near the end, and in discussing it, I felt compelled to write up a list and description of The Ten Most Hated People in SLIDERS.

There's also "Cleavant Derricks ****ing hated this episode" and "This was the point where Cleavant lost all hope for SLIDERS and knew it was game over."

Re: Rewatch Podcast

New episode up. We're delving into S5 beginning with "The Unstuck Man" and "Applied Physics"

Re: Rewatch Podcast

pilight wrote:

I wonder if they're going to retire the Alan Rickman impression now

We were actually going to retire the whole Quick Impressions bit for the new season but since the behind the scenes stuff and deleted scenes is on par with how we did season 4, we decided to keep it in!

Alan Rickman lives on for us!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

tom2point0 wrote:
pilight wrote:

I wonder if they're going to retire the Alan Rickman impression now

We were actually going to retire the whole Quick Impressions bit for the new season but since the behind the scenes stuff and deleted scenes is on par with how we did season 4, we decided to keep it in!

Alan Rickman lives on for us!

Whoa, it's the voice of the DEAD!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

The Unstuck Man

  • This information comes from Temporal Flux of DoC and Robert Floyd, who played Mallory (I interviewed him last year for Earth Prime).

  • You can look at my notes on "Revelations" regarding the original plans for writing Jerry out of the series until Jerry refused to appear at all (they were going to do the original "Revelations" plot for episode 5, but end with Quinn escaping Kromagg Prime back home (to the Earth in the Pilot, not the one in "Genesis" but failing to take Rembrandt and Maggie).

  • Quinn would return for the series finale.

  • After Jerry severed all ties with the show, production decided to use old footage of Jerry and Charlie from Season 4 and have them 'morph' into Kromaggs to suggest they'd been replaced at some unspecified point in the previous season.

  • Jerry caught wind of this and blocked Season 5 from using his image or voice.

  • At this point, Keith Damron came up with the idea of Quinn regenerating into a different actor while still being the same character. He stole this regeneration concept from DOCTOR WHO.

  • A casting search located Robert Floyd, who'd been in numerous stageplays and guest-shows and was a classically trained Shakespearean actor (although his studies at the Royal Academy in England were curtailed due to a death in the family and a return to the States to be there for his loved ones).

  • Floyd bore some resemblance to Jerry and was hired on that basis. Looking at the Season 5 production, I get the sense he was not hired for his acting talent even though he was an incredibly gifted and devoted performer who had refined his craft magnificently with extensive training and experience.

  • According to Robert Floyd, the production was *extremely* unclear on whether he was playing Quinn Mallory in a different body or if he was playing a different character who could access Quinn's memories or if he was playing a merged version where both personalities had melded into a new persona. The script pages were contradictory.

  • (These contradictory pieces of information were also passed onto the Season 5 freelance writers who wrote most of Season 5's cripts, resulting in a seriously schizophrenic depiction of Mallory for Season 5, but we'll get into that later.)

  • Mr. Floyd (or Rob, as he prefers to be called -- you pick!) had to decide for himself what he wanted to do, so he proceeded to get plenty of Jerry O'Connell episodes on VHS and watch them. He hired an acting coach, John Kirby, to work out how to approach the character.

  • First, Rob worked out how to imitate Jerry's voice and body language; the delivery, the intonations, the accent, the pitch, the diction, the posture, the expressions, the movements, the motions.

  • Then, Rob and Mr. Kirby would review the scripts and pick out individual moments, deciding which parts were Quinn and which parts were 'Mallory.'

  • According to the scripts, although this was never definitively decided, the feeling was that Robert Floyd's Quinn Mallory was a fraternal double of the original Quinn: one of his parents had been a different person from the one that the original Quinn had had.

  • None of this was decided by the production, although a cut line of dialogue from "The Unstuck Man" indicates that Rob's Quinn had Michael Mallory for a father, meaning his mother must have been a different woman.

  • Originally, this episode would have Rembrandt and Mallory agreeing that Mallory would be called "Michael" (his father's name) to differentiate him from Quinn, but this was cut and dropped (although it remains in numerous draft scripts).

  • Rob's feeling was that by the mid-point of the story, Mallory is in control of the body, but Quinn's thoughts, memories and wishes are now informing and guiding his behaviour. That's why, when confronting Geiger, Rob uses Jerry's intonations and body language but doesn't imitate the voice.

  • Rob was very excited about playing Mallory and felt that Mallory would ideally be a character with a constant identity crisis, constantly making the audience guess whether it was Jerry's Quinn or Rob's Quinn talking, and occasionally melding together if in agreement.

  • Rob wanted his Quinn to be the cunning, self-absorbed, practical criminal while Jerry's Quinn would be a moral and idealistic scientist and both would conflict.

  • His only concern: he didn't want to only imitate Jerry, but he was cool with doing that so long as it was one part of an identity crisis.

  • That way, he wouldn't be copying Jerry, he would be paying tribute to "a great actor and the guy who really built the show."

  • Again, this didn't really work out, but you have to admire Rob's devotion and commitment to the role.

  • By that, I mean the opening scene with the body doubles for Jerry and Charlie: they used an unknown voice in production to voice Quinn saying, "Go! Go!"'

  • This doesn't make any sense: why didn't they have Rob impersonate the voice?

  • The answer: there isn't an answer. Rob wasn't called in to record the line and wasn't aware that someone else had performed it; he would have been happy to do it, but nobody asked him to.

  • The truth, according to TF: production didn't seem to expect that Rob to be doing a Jerry O'Connell impression, they were unaware of Rob being a gifted mimic and impressionist.

  • They simply noticed he looked a bit like Jerry.

  • The production, specifically Bill Dial, was also angry at Jerry for leaving SLIDERS under bad terms and not particularly keen on paying tribute to someone he was angry at.

  • Production certainly noticed that Rob could do Jerry's voice, but they didn't bother to change their recording plans and simply went ahead with using an unknown voice -- maybe a sound technician's? -- for the "Go! Go!"


  • According to TF: Conrad Bennish Jr. was supposed to be in this episode, playing the doomsday preacher and five additional episodes.

  • Keith Damron, script editor for Season 5, said that Temporal Flux was mistaken / lying / wrong,

  • According to Matt Hutaff, who interviewed Tracy in 2009: prior to Season 5, Bill Dial contacted Tracy Torme and asked: what would Torme like to see in Season 5?

  • Torme said Bennish. Dial agreed. Torme later heard from the actor, Jason Gaffney, saying that plans were in place to fly him out from Vancouver to LA to perform in six episodes.

  • Then suddenly, the deal was cancelled and production was denying this ever happened.

  • Temporal Flux suspects that David Peckinpah simply saw a chance to sabotage something Torme wanted by blocking Gaffney's hiring.

Applied Physics

  • According to Rob: At this point, production still wasn't sure about how Mallory would turn out, and Rob decided to play this episode as Mallory in control of the body but constantly struck with Quinn's memories, which he considered a betrayal of his own body and retriggered the trauma of having once been crippled and unable to use his legs, only this time, it was his whole body.

  • Rob had hopes for this arc: perhaps Mallory would come to appreciate having Quinn's memories. Rob wanted them to share the body as distinct personalities.

  • This episode features Tembi Locke, who had a career playing recurring and single guest roles before SLIDERS. SLIDERS appears to be her first guest role.

  • According to Temporal Flux: The original conception for Dr. Diana Davis: she joined the sliders to betray them.

  • She was secretly looking for a way to help Geiger regain a hold in the multiverse.

  • She wasn't necessarily evil, just trying to save her mentor -- it was unclear how much of an enemy she'd be, but there was no plan to remove her from the series, so she and the sliders would have found a way to stick together.

  • This plan was abruptly aborted halfway into the writing of this episode.

  • The reason: the majority of the scripts for Season 5 were from freelancers and production found it too annoying to try to work in a multi-episode plot among freelance writers who would be working separate from the main writing staff (Chris Black, Keith Damron, Bill Dial) and the other freelancers.

  • This setup is unusual for American TV: usually, shows have a huge writing staff, but Season 5's budget kept them at three people plus David Peckinpah, who, at this time, was busy executive producing TURKS.

  • This is also the reason why the Mallory identity crisis would be abandoned.

  • The production couldn't keep it straight whether Mallory was a merged personality of both Jerry and Rob in a new persona, Rob with Jerry's memories, Jerry in Rob's body -- so the freelance writers got conflicting notes and instructions.

  • Some were told to write Michael' (as he was still being called) as a generic male lead, others were told to script him as a scientist some were asked to write him as a criminal.

  • Production would have to rewrite the scripts afterwards to make it consistent.

  • After all the headaches with this, the multi-episode plot for Diana was dropped as well.

  • "Applied Physics" is one of the most popular episodes of Season 5.

  • Chris Black studied past episodes extensively to write it, wanting to really mine Jerry's departure for emotion and had to rewatch episodes to choose clips that didn't include Jerry (as he'd blocked the use of his image).

  • During the writing of this episode, Bill Dial noticed that the Sci-Fi Channel was not sending him notes on scripts and not reviewing their cuts of the episodes.

  • TF points to this episode: note how the Kromagg's gun is aimed at Mallory's chest. Standards and practices for Sci-Fi at the time did not allow firearms to be aimed at heads.

  • Dial sent Sci-Fi pages where a character's head gets blown off.
    Sci-Fi sent no response, indicating they weren't reading the scripts.

  • This made Bill Dial very unhappy with dire consequences for SLIDERS to follow.

253 (edited by RewatchPodcast 2016-01-25 02:44:53)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

New episode up! Continuing with season 5 we discuss "Strangers and Comrades" and "The Great Work" … 8_51-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux, Keith Damron and Robert Floyd

Strangers and Comrades Trivia

•  This episode was written by Keith Damron, story editor for season 5.
•  He was always going to write episode 3 of Season 5.
•  Originally, the third episode of Season 5 was going to focus on Rembrandt.
•  On a Victorian-steampunk era world, Rembrandt would be caught up in an inventor's dream of exploring space.
•  He would be tempted to leave Maggie, Mallory and Diana, continuing the exploration of how without Jerry O'Connell, the show would collapse and have to be rebuilt.
•  Damron says this was too expensive, so he offered a trench warfare idea instead.
•  I do not believe Damron's claims that the story was rejected on cost grounds. The trench warfare story with tanks and gunfire and explosions would have been just as costly.
•  Likely, it was felt that Victorian steampunk costumes, sets and props were complicated while explosions are easier. Less thought. Less effort.
•  This episode also declares the Season 4 quest for the Kromagg Prime superweapon to be over.
•  Damron, in a chat, said that he pushed to end the Season 4 arc this way so that the sliders would not have to address this plot in every episode and could focus solely on single episode adventures.
•  It was felt that with the ongoing quest to stick Colin and split the Quinns, searching for Kromagg Prime was one ongoing plot too many.
•  For whatever reason, this episode fails to explain why the sliders haven't slid to Kromagg Prime with the Slidecage-bypassing equations.
•  Or why they didn't try using a Slidewave or the virus in "Mother and Child" or try stealing the weapon in "Revelations" even if it was from the wrong Earth.
•  This episode was written during a period when it was still undecided if Mallory would be a composite of Jerry and Rob, Jerry's mind in Rob's body or Rob with access to Jerry's memories, with the freelance writers getting conflicting notes.
•  According to Rob, the writers were extremely undecided on who Mallory would be during this stage.
•  As a result, Rob was scripted generically with the possibility of adding in Jerry-moments that were not added in.

The Great Work Trivia

•  We have our first freelance script of the season from writer Robert Masello.
•  Masello's original idea  for this episode: the sliders encounter an interdimensional library that is protecting information and history from the Kromaggs.
•  However, with "Strangers and Comrades" having Kromaggs, Dial and Damron decided to alter the story.
•  They made the futuristic interdimensional library a primitive island monastery with only the knowledge of this single world.
•  They removed the Kromaggs.
•  Dial and Damron heavily rewrote the story to make it as cheap and easy to film as possible.
•  If you look at this story, you can see all the problems of "Revelations," the Season 4 finale that was also scripted by Bill Dial off somebody else's story.
•  The action sequences and myth-arc relevant scenes have been removed.
•  The page count is then padded by stretching out existing scenes and adding new scenes with the new dialogue consisting largely of characters reiterating information that was already established.
•  This was Bill Dial's approach to running SLIDERS in Season 5, an approach that Damron followed in his own rewrites.
•  Several Season 5 episodes feature this overstretched, repetitive rewrite style, especially in "Please Press One," "The Java Jive," "Requiem," "Map of the Mind," "To Catch a Slider," "Dust" and "Eye of the Storm."
•  Other alterations: Masello told by production to write Mallory as a melded personality of both Rob and Jerry.
•  The script originally had Mallory using Quinn's scientific knowledge in performing the data-to-crystal transfer.
•  This was removed as Dial and Damron lost interest in the Mallory-identity crisis (for reasons to be further explored in the next episode's notes).
•  Matt Hutaff felt that "Strangers and Comrades," ideally, should have been the Victorian steampunk episode and "The Great Work" should have had the Kromaggs attacking the interdimensional library -- with the library's technology and information used to wrap up the Season 4 arc in some way.
•  Instead, "The Great Work" is simply overstretched fragments of a fractured story.
•  This attitude to scripting really disappointed actor Robert Floyd, who found it obnoxious to repeat already established information.
•  Floyd would meet with Bill Dial constantly, voicing his concerns about the repetitive scripts.
•  Floyd: "At least once a week, I would go in to see him. He would always have time and he would always work with me. We would go to lunch and he was a really special guy, a really loving guy who absolutely adored the show. He was so smart. But I felt like the producers and the writers were so under the gun to produce the show that they just didn’t have the answers."
•  The fans referred to episodes like "The Great Work" on the Bboard as suffering from "Season 5 Sabotage."
•  According to Temporal Flux, Bill Dial would systematically take great ideas like an interdimensional library and apply his bizarre scripting approach to rewrite them into unwatchable tedium.
•  Why was Bill Dial treating his own show in such a shabby manner for Season 5, especially when his nemesis, Marc Scott Zicree, had quit?
•  My theory: Bill Dial had dependent personality disorder.
•  He was overly dependent upon the encouragement and praise of others.
•  Before Season 5, Dial contacted Tracy Torme and Dial seemed hell-bent on impressing Torme, showering Torme in his plans for Season 5 with Jerry in six episodes.
•  Dial attempted to present Marc Scott Zicree's Season 4 finale story as Dial's own Season 5, Episode 5 story.
•  He wanted Torme to like him and was taking credit for Zicree's stories.
•  When the Sci-Fi Channel cut off contact with SLIDERS, Dial became depressed.
•  Temporal Flux provides a clear account of the Sci-Fi Channel's indifference to the show.
•  Sci-Fi had renewed SLIDERS for Season 5, but renewed too late to keep Jerry O'Connell.
•  Unable to rescind the renewal, they were now obligated to air a Season 5 they assumed would fail.
•  They stopped reading scripts or reviewing episodes.
•  They gave up on SLIDERS and I think this made Dial so angry and unhappy that he simply couldn't bring his A-game to the show, an A-game he'd shown in "Prophets and Loss" and "Asylum."
•  In contrast, Torme would have thrived under an indifferent network.
•  Torme would have loved to make SLIDERS with no network executives weighing in on his stories.
•  Dial, in contrast, felt abandoned and his writing in Season 5 reflects this unhappy state.
•  My thinking is that someone with such a poor sense of self maybe shouldn't be working in managerial positions.

255 (edited by pilight 2016-01-25 09:00:02)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Oh God, that nonsense about "This isn't Earth".  Look, Diana was mistaken.  Either the fact of being in hyperspace or the buffer that's keeping them from sliding out is affecting her readings.  That's the simplest and most logical explanation.

ETA: Hey, they read my email which says pretty much the same thing!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

The whole thing with Diana experiencing combat stress makes me really wish they'd been able to continue the Kromagg war plot with Wade on the team.

We know Rembrandt got captured by the Kromaggs and it made him want violent revenge. We also know that Wade is a gun-hating pacifist, and Rembrandt is, at least if you take season 3 seriously, an ex-military officer. Rembrandt's response is about what you'd expect. But what would Wade's response have been to having to fight in a war?

On the one hand, like I said, Wade hates violence and warfare. She's a hippie at heart, and she was always very critical of Maggie's military persona and trigger-happiness. We're pretty sure she's never seen combat, and would probably find it very distressing.

On the other hand, we've seen that it's possible for an alternate Wade to be a military commander. How would being in a Kromagg camp change our Wade's feelings? Would she hold onto her pacifism, or would the trauma stir her to fight? Or would it be a mix of the two - a deep hatred of the Kromaggs and desire to see them wiped out combined with an utter inability to handle the harshness of war?

And how would this changed Wade play off Rembrandt's sudden thirst for vengeance? By the time season 3 ends, we're seeing a Wade and Rembrandt who have become very close friends - possibly even closer than Wade and Quinn at this point. How would Wade react to one of her best friends turning vengeful? How would Rembrandt react if Wade was reluctant to fight?

So much missed opportunity for character development...

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Okay. I've finished off all the trivia notes for Season 5, the Feature Film that Never Was and the 2009 Series Finale That Never Was. I just need to rewatch two more episodes ("To Catch a Slider" and "The Seer") for deleted scenes and then all my research for the Rewatch Podcast is done.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

This weeks episode is up for "New Gods for Old" and "Please Press One"

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I love coffee and I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me

All respect to the Ink Spots.  That's where the title comes from.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux, Keith Damron and Robert Floyd

New Gods for Old Trivia
•    According to TF: This script was originally called "God's Country," written for Season 4 with all the sliders getting infected by nanites except Colin.
•    It wasn't filmed in Season 4, but rewritten and filmed for Season 5.
•    It was written by David Gerrold, a prolific science fiction writer who is famous for the Tribbles episode of STAR TREK and the time travel novel, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF. It was a truly seminal novel about how -- oh, wait, you know this one. Never mind.
•    After two episodes where the Jerry/Rob identity crisis for Mallory was ignored, "New Gods for Old" uses the nanites to definitively declare that Jerry has been erased.
•    According to TF: Part of this was due to Dial's unwillingness to put any effort into showing Jerry O'Connell any respect in the series due to his anger towards Jerry for leaving the show.
•    The other part: Damron and Dial were having trouble managing the freelance writers.
•    They had given conflicting notes to the freelancers: some had been told to write Mallory with the name "Michael," while others had been told to use "Quinn-2" or "Quinn" or "Mallory."
•    Some had been told that the character was a Jerry/Rob blend, others had been told it was Jerry in Rob's body, others had been told it was Rob with a secondary set of memories from Jerry.
•    With all these contradictions and Dial's hostility towards Jerry O'Connell, the decision was made to just give up on the identity crisis arc. Dealing with it was interfering with Dial's preference for playing Solitaire during writers room meetings.
•    As a result: the scripts for "Strangers and Comrades" had no Quinn-moments added and "The Great Work" had all the Quinn-moments removed.
•    "New Gods for Old" declared that Quinn was gone now.
•    Robert Floyd was deeply disappointed by this episode.
•    Robert Floyd also loves this episode.
•    He called it an episode that had "Great writing with a great concept!" The ruminations on free will, self-harm, self-determination, collective thought -- he adored it.
•    And then, with the ending, Floyd said, "There was an emptiness. It took some cards off the table -- the one thing I wish we could have kept more than anything."
•    He was very disappointed that Quinn was gone.
•    On the Bboard, fans speculated that Floyd had asked the producers to end the merging plot so he wouldn't have to imitate Jerry.
•    Floyd flat out denies this. "I loved having them both; it was more fun to play as an actor."
•    He said he had gotten pretty good at his Jerry impression and could have kept it up for a whole season, although his preference was to do two minds in conflict so that imitating Jerry would be one part of a complex identity crisis.
•    Floyd approached Bill Dial and according to Floyd, Dial said that he felt "New Gods for Old" was one of Season 5's best scripts and he didn't want to change a thing about it.
•    Dial's statement is in stark contradiction to confirmed facts: "New Gods for Old" was a Season 4 purchase that had seen four different drafts.
•    Which leaves us with only one explanation from TF: Dial didn't want to rewrite all the freelance scripts to be consistent in featuring the dual personalities.
•    It was too much work. Solitaire was calling.

Please Press One Trivia
•    This episode was considered by Keith Damron to be William Bigelow paying homage to Season 1 episodes where the sliders encounter and defeat a dystopian regime.
•    Throughout Season 5, the production had a standing refusal against buying any stories they considered formulaic and declared their desire to avoid stories with the sliders teaming up with the local resistance.
•    (This also led to refusing broad alternate history concepts like a world where Nazis won WWII or where the South won the Civil War.)
•    However, Damron thought it would be great to do a story about the customer service experience from hell.
•    Interestingly, the episode's script is full of references to THE PRISONER, and around the time Season 5 of SLIDERS was filming, THE PRISONER star Patrick McGoohan was directing a COLUMBO TV movie on the stage next door to the Chandler.
•    Damron was deeply disappointed by the 'scoop' that abducts Maggie and the 'mini-scoop' that chases her around later.
•    The 'scoop' was meant to be a frightening truck with a mechanical claw to capture Maggie, and from reading the script's allusions to THE PRISONER, it's meant to be a Rover-esque horror.
•    (This might not make much sense to you if you're unfamiliar with THE PRISONER.)
•    Instead, one was a generic black van and the other was like a remote controlled car.
•    The claw was replaced with a tractor beam.
•    Damron added the scenes where Rembrandt reprimands Mallory for knowing how to steal a car in order to pad out the running length of the episode.
•    Arlo was originally a high tech rebel hacker teenager.
•    Damron rewrote the character into a disgruntled Data Universal employee.
•    With only three guest-stars and generic hallways, "Please Press One" is one of the cheapest episodes of Season 5, made due to determined penny pinching.
•    At this point, it was definitively known that Season 5 would be the final season of SLIDERS.
•    With no support from the Sci-Fi Channel and Sci-Fi having committed their future funding to THE INVISIBLE MAN and FIRST WAVE, they'd allocated nothing for SLIDERS.
•    Production knew this, and were therefore making plans.
•    The economics of Season 5 allowed the producers to make episodes for less than the $700,000 - $850,000 per episode, then move the saved funds to a subsequent episode.
•    This would be done on several episodes to come in order to set aside money for an epic series finale.
•    This epic series finale would never be filmed.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Maybe, now that it's at this point in the series, I should continue watching from where I left off...


Someday, maybe, but not today.

Author, artist, sci-fi nerd, rebel against the world, and self-proclaimed eccentric.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

ME: "I'm stuck on this part of the 'Net Worth' Redux script. I've finished everything else, I've fixed all the other plot problems in the story, except -- I can't figure out how Quinn is supposed to survive getting shot at with a bazooka that brings the hotel crashing down around him. I'm really starting to lose hope that I can come up with a solution."

MATT: "Why do they have to fire a bazooka? Is that set in stone? Couldn't the Rovers or whatever the fuck they are called have pirated a piece of tech from the Onliners? Some pulse technology that knocks everyone out without damaging the building?"

ME: "But the bazooka!"

MATT: "I mean, you're trying to reverse engineer a solution to a problem that is fundamentally stupid. So just change the problem to something less stupid. That whole scene is tard-level dumb, you should come up with a completely different scenario. Barring that, change the nature of the weapon and be done with it."

ME: "I didn't want to see it that way, I guess. I wanted to see it as an impossible situation, which Quinn tends to thrive on."

MATT: "Quinn doesn't thrive on that stuff."

ME: "What!?"

MATT: "He is adaptable at BEST. Quinn is not MacGyver. He is not going to engineer a solution out of getting hit by a bazooka."

ME: "MacGyver?"

MATT: "Have you never seen MACGYVER?"

ME: "Is that a TV show?"

MATT: "Are... are you fucking with me right now?"

[ME: "I've heard it used as a verb."

MATT: "I am gobsmacked."]

ME: "I'm reading the Wikipedia entry on MACGYVER now. But I always thought the best way to handle Quinn was to put the character in insane, impossible, no-win situations. And then come up with some absurd, implausible, nonsensical contrivance that allows him to succeed while using his genius to dismiss any plot problems that may result."

MATT: "See, and that's a problem that was perpetuated by the writers. Each member of the team had a particular skillset. Quinn was the enthusiastic genius. Arturo was the realist, the skeptic. Rembrandt was the street-smart voice. Literally, the voice. And Wade was the devil-may-care element of playful chaos. As time went on more and more things were subsumed by Quinn because he was easiest to write for -- he was the lead, after all. So he became the hacker, the sweet-talker, the fucking lockpick master. But if you are looking at a basics approach, Quinn should be totally out of his element when staring down a bazooka."

ME: "This Wikpedia page on MACGYVER is really inspiring. This reads like the greatest TV show ever made, Matt. 'The clever solutions MacGyver implemented to seemingly unsolvable problems – often in life-or-death situations requiring him to improvise complex devices in a matter of minutes – were a major attraction of the show, which was praised for generating interest in the applied sciences, particularly engineering, and for providing entertaining storylines.' This is totally what Quinn should be!"   

MATT: "I'm telling you -- Rembrandt needs to take center stage for a moment. Arturo needs to be a disbelieving boob."

ME: "Matt, MacGyver is the perfect model for Quinn Mallory! Quinn is going to beat that bazooka even if it kills me. MacGyver will lead the way!"

MATT: "God help us."

Re: Rewatch Podcast

I like how you edit out my amazing use of the word "gobsmacked" in our private conversation but manage to keep in my numerous "fucks" and casual mention of "tard-level dumb." smile

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Okay, I added "gobsmacked" back in.

In other news, I have sent Sliders Rewatch all the deleted scenes and trivia for Season 5 now -- just hit send on an E-mail containing all the notes for "To Catch a Slider," "Dust," "Eye of the Storm," "The Seer," the feature film (never made), and the 2009 series finale outlined by Tracy Torme (never made). While I know a lot about SLIDERS thanks to Temporal Flux, I know far, far less about LOIS AND CLARK, so I suspect this marks the conclusion of my contributions to the Rewatch Podcast unless they want a guest. Looking forward to hearing what they do next!

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

A Current Affair Trivia
•    Information here is from Keith Damron.
•    This episode was written by the infamous Steve Stoliar, personal friend of David Peckinpah, former personal assistant to Groucho Marx and writer of Paradise Lost," largely considered upon its air date to be the worst episode of SLIDERS ever made.
•    He also wrote Season 4's "Net Worth," largely infamous for reportedly being a Sabrina Lloyd story without Sabrina Lloyd.
•    Stoliar pitched SLIDERS does the Lewinsky story.
•    It was wildly popular with Dial, Peckinpah and Black, but not Damron.
•    Keith Damron thought it was unlikely Universal would approve this story.
•    It was approved.
•    The script came in.
•    Damron, busy with other episodes, had absolutely no time -- none whatsoever -- to rewrite the script, and it was filmed almost entirely as written.
•    Unlike "Paradise Lost" (written according to production's preferences for monster movies and hacked up before and during filming) and "Net Worth" (crippled), this episode is genuinely representative of Steve Stoliar's skills as a writer.
•    Stoliar pitches a  simple, straightforward concept.
•    There's some weaknesses on display such as Rembrandt, Diana and Mallory's inability to realize why Maggie was disguised and some absurdities like the gang entering a room with the President despite holding a device that's counting down.
•    But there's also tremendous effort at world-building and an effort to define all the characters and make them more than their plot functions.
•    Paradoxically, there's also their reduction to plot functions: Bobby Hawks is appalled by the idea of faking a story, but ultimately goes along with it because the episode needed to wrap up.
•    There's effective, good-natured humour without the marked mean spiritedness of other SLIDERS stories from this era.
•    This episode had no script editor working on it.
•    Steve Stoliar is a decent writer. Not a master of the format, but he's decent.
•    SLIDERS blogger Ian McDuffie remarked that script-editor Keith Damron was arguably the worst writer to ever work on SLIDERS, but that "Sometimes, we are blessed with his days off."
•    Bobby Hawks is a pastiche of Matt Drudge.
•    President Jeffrey Williams is a pastiche of Bill Clinton, right down to the hand gestures.
•    Production did not have enough extras for the final press conference, so the extras were filmed in four separate shots and the shots were them combined into a single shot.
•    This episode, for scenes not filmed in the Chandler, uses a leftover set from the COLUMBO TV movie, "Ashes to Ashes."
•    (Does it really look so different from the Chandler that it made a difference?)
•    Oddly, that COLUMBO TV movie was directed by Patrick McGoohan, whose writing, acting and directing on THE PRISONER were homaged in the script for "Please Press One."
•    McGoohan stumbled into Keith Damron's office one day when looking for the bathroom, disappointing Damron, who wanted to pitch a PRISONER reboot -- and I admit that a Damron-PRISONER couldn't have been any worse than the actual reboot.

The Java Jive Trivia
•    The information regarding this episode is from Matt Hutaff of Earth Prime dot com and Season 5 script editor Keith Damron.
•    This is the first episode of SLIDERS with a Rembrandt double that doesn't feature Clinton Derricks Carroll.  (Error: I mistakenly thought Clinton was in "The Alternateville Horror." He isn't.)
•    This episode was written by Janét Saunders, David Peckinpah's assistant since Season 3.
•    They had a good relationship and Janét pitched him this episode for Season 5 and also another to come.
•    Janét had explored the Universal Backlot and found locations that could be used in this story.
•    In the original story, there was a lot of Depression-era gangster action with the story opening with Rembrandt rescuing Angie from the Dropper Daddy's Gang who just killed her boyfriend.
•    Angie was not a manager at the Velvet Slipper, merely a singer who helps Rembrandt get a job as a bass player.
•    Prohibition on alcohol never ended in this version; there was nothing about caffeine being illegal, and Angie's boyfriend was informing on some alcohol producing gangsters.
•    Angie would get kidnapped and the sliders would try to rescue her and fail, but succeed in bringing down the gangsters.
•    It was meant to be a showcase for Rembrandt and Cleavant's singing.
•    The original title of the pitch was "Black and Bluesey" and can be seen in the Odds and Ends at EP.COM.
•    Damron and Dial decided that caffeine would be illegal to add more of an alt-world flavour, which I think was a good idea.
•    However, the final product was impaired due to lifeless direction and a low music budget.
•    Music composer Danny Lux was too busy with scoring SLIDERS and THE PRACTICE and ALLY MCBEAL.
•    Bill Dial turned to songwriter friend Peter Andrews to write "He Must be Dreaming."
•    The filming of this episode was a popular event; even the hands-off Sci-Fi executives came to set to watch the musical performances.
•    According to Temporal Flux: Dial and Damron needed to make this episode another low-cost effort in order to redirect the money to the epic and expensive series finale.
•    This was, upon airing, considered to be one of the worst episodes of SLIDERS ever made.
•    But then, SLIDERS managed to make some more that were even worse.

Return of Maggie Beckett
•    Information here is from Temporal Flux and Keith Damron.
This is another episode by Chris Black ("Common Ground," "The Alternateville Horror," "Slide By Wire," "Way Out West" and "Applied Physics."
•    As with all Black episodes, there is a strong fascination with Maggie and Kari Wuhrer.
•    Chris Black wanted to address the role of Maggie's father in her life and Dial and Peckinpah were happy to let him do what he liked.
•    However, the prop department negligently got Maggie's last name wrong.
•    There is no real story behind this, but it speaks to how the production really didn't care about what the hell they were doing even if writers here and there did.
•    The character of the General in this episode is meant to be Tom Beckett from QUANTUM LEAP -- albeit unofficially.
•    Originally, the title for this episode was "Waiting for Beckett," but the title didn't clear the legal department for some reason. It was a reference to the Samuel Beckett play, WAITING FOR GODOT.
•    In Seasons 4 to 5, numerous space stories had been pitched, especially with the sliders landing in a spacecraft seconds before it launches.
•    Most of these stories were rejected until Chris Black pitched this one.
•    Damron and Black were then put in competition, both to create a space-based pitch that Dial and Peckinpah would agree to buy.
•    Damron pitched a sliders-land-in-a-launching spaceship story where the sliders accidentally take the spaceship with them to another world with an overpopulation crisis and the sliders have to decide whether to hand over the spaceship or withhold it -- because without the spaceship, they can't slide off this world.
•    Chris Black pitched something far simpler and his pitch was bought.
Damron good-naturedly declared it to be his favourite episode of Season 5.
•    This is the most popular episode of Season 5 among the fan base.

Easy Slider
•    Information below is from Temporal Flux of Dimension of Continuity.
•    This story was pitched because David Peckinpah's obsession with motorcycles was well-known to the staff, especially his assistant and the writer of this episode, Janét Saunders.
•    She thought he would insist on buying it.
•    Peckinpah was not in a lead role for Season 5, but he was technically still the boss.
•    The original pitch featured Kari Wuhrer heavily and was a Maggie love story.
•    However, Peckinpah's distance from the show meant he wasn't pushing for this episode to be made and it was on the verge of being rejected.
•    Then his mistress -- no, not his wife -- mentioned that a motorcycle episode could offer the chance for her to do some stuntwork.
•    Peckinpah commissioned the episode for this reason, although his stated reason was that he liked the costuming opportunities for Kari. "I see Kari in tight leather -- go with it!"
•    This Kari costume never happened due to rewrites.
•    According to Temporal Flux: When Cleavant Derricks heard about Peckinpah commissioning an episode to suit his girlfriend, he lost all hope for SLIDERS.
•    Cleavant realized that the show was not about making a series, it was just Peckinpah and Dial screwing around and with Sci-Fi unlikely to renew for another season after O'Connell's departure made them lose all faith, this was most definitely the end.
•    The other reason Cleavant was sure no renewal was coming: he knew Sci-Fi had committed their budget elsewhere for the next season of TV; they'd set nothing side for a sixth season of SLIDERS.
•    Robert Floyd, in contrast, was sure there would be a Season 6 -- the ratings were excellent, he noted. Sci-Fi would have to be insane to cancel their highest rated series.
•    Surely, Rob felt, given SLIDERS' first-place position on Sci-Fi, they would find the money somewhere.
•    Never in the history of SLIDERS has anyone ever been so very, very wrong.
•    This episode is also infamous for another reason: before Season 5, there was a prominent SLIDERS side run by a man with the handle of "The Expert."
•    The Expert had a lot of behind the scenes information on SLIDERS, frequently revealing plots of future episodes (although he would't ruin them). He had contacts in production.
•    Before Season 5, the Expert posted a ton of information on what was coming with episode plots such as Conrad Bennish Jr. returning, Colin getting blown up, etc..
•    Temporal Flux also revealed the plan for Bennish to return for Season 5.
•    The Expert also revealed that one planned episode for Season 5 was "Sleepless in San Francisco," a Maggie love story and various details of this story.
•    In a chat, Season 5 script editor Keith Damron declared that the Expert and Temporal Flux had made up all their claims and that none of these events would take place in the show.
•    Keith Damron said there was no "Sleepless in San Francisco" story.
•    Shortly after this, the Expert took down his site.
•    Fans theorize that these leaks were a sting operation to identify the Expert's contact, and he took down his site to protect his source.
•    The Expert's episode capsules remain online at and Temporal Flux purchased most of the Expert's SLIDERS materials.
•    I would also add that TF's reveals and exposes would, in time, come to equal if not dwarf the Expert's output.
•    Temporal Flux insisted that Jason Gaffney (who played Bennish) had been booked for appearances only for this to be abruptly cancelled and that the Expert's reports had not been wrong -- although, as with any TV show, some stories might not make it to air as initially planned (and reported on by the Expert).
•    Keith Damron maintained in chats that TF and the Expert were liars and had fabricated "Sleepless in San Francisco" and the Bennish arc.
•    This left a nasty impression on SLIDERS fandom. The Expert and TF are beloved figures of fandom.
•    Keith Damron, in contrast, was seen as the mediocre writer of "Lipschitz Live" and considered to have little to no credibility when put against the Expert or TF.
•    It's amusing that someone employed by the show was seen as an untrustworthy charlatan.
•    Meanwhile, fan figures of no official standing were seen as definitive authorities on the series.
•    Keith Damron was seen as attacking Temporal Flux and the Expert, and by extension, attacking the SLIDERS fan base who were the only reason Damron had a job in Seasons 4 - 5.
•    SLIDERS would never have made it to Season 3 or 4 or 5 without that devoted and campaigning audience.
•    Later on, Matt Hutaff was able to get his hands on a pitch for "Easy Slider." The original version as pitched.
•    This original pitch was exactly in line with the Expert's information on "Sleepless in San Francisco," the pitch Damron claimed didn't exist, the pitch Damron claimed that TF and the Expert had fabricated.
•    It was a rough version of what would become "Easy Slider" with the aired episode having made it Mallory's love story instead of Maggie's.
•    Matt was also able to get Tracy Torme to definitively confirm that Bennish had been scheduled for Season 5.
•    This made it blatantly clear that Damron, for whatever reason, had been lying and had done so with great malice towards the Expert and Temporal Flux as well as the fans, seeking to portray the fan experts as liars.
•    For this reason, moreso than his bad scripts and bad editing, Keith Damron is the second most hated man in SLIDERS.

1) David Peckinpah
2) Keith Damron, hated for his 'outreach' to SLIDERS fans and also for his Year 5 Journal where every bad Season 5 decision is documented.
3) Bill Dial, hated for the Season 5 finale and Season 5 in general as well as sabotaging Season 4.
4) Jerry O'Connell, hated for abandoning the show and lying about why, claiming that there was a Season 5 budget cut (there wasn't).
5) Kari Wuhrer, hated for abusing Sabrina Lloyd.
6) Peter Roth, hated as the FOX executive who demanded John Rhys-Davies be fired
7) Robert Greenblatt, hated as the FOX President who declared the Season 3 monster episodes to be superior to Seasons 1 - 2.
8) Steve Stoliar, hated for writing "Paradise Lost."
9) William Bigelow, hated for writing "The Chasm."
10) Doug Molitor for the Slide it Yourself fiasco.

•    The story original "Easy Slider" pitch is here:
•    There exists the possibility that Damron, as an staff member, was obligated to say what he was told to say by his employers.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Tom and Cory remarked, when talking about "Please Press One," that they didn't get why Mallory is described in Bboard posts and newsgroup posts as a "con man" character. There is little to indicate this onscreen. This was something Robert Floyd and Bill Dial talked about in interviews; how Jerry's Quinn was a scientist and Rob's Quinn would be a street-smart criminal. Onscreen, this doesn't really play out and it's a massive misconception and misunderstanding. Jerry's Quinn was perfectly street-smart in his own way. As early as "Prince of Wails," he convinces an armed resistance to consider him an ally. Quinn could also be arrogant and self-absorbed, so the idea that Quinn was some sort of Steve Urkel geek while Rob's Quinn could be the muscle is just baffling. I'm not really sure how to make the identity crisis work in terms of what we saw onscreen.

My suggestion would be to present Mallory as a genius just like Quinn -- except Mallory's genius is myopically focused on money and little else; his grasp of mathematics extends only as far as finances and is useless for sliding and science, and with a running joke that the sliders would never consider Mallory's moneymaking scam artist skills to be admirable or even recognize it as intelligence.

One thing I have been trying to do for SLIDERS REBORN is create a role for Robert Floyd. A role where he could play Mallory and be interesting without having to impersonate Jerry -- in fact, they'd be onscreen together in a buddy cop sort of way. But I've been unable to figure out Mallory's character. It's a bit embarrassing -- "Slide Effects" was me selecting what I liked about SLIDERS and dismissing all the rest, while SLIDERS REBORN has me trying to embrace every facet of the series -- but Mallory and Colin are two characters I just can't figure out.

I don't care about Colin in the slightest, but I feel really bad about Mallory's exclusion, because Rob *really* engaged with SLIDERS. It is the worst reviewed season, described by the series creator as the worst year of the show with the production team creatively disengaging from the show and documenting their disinterest online. But Rob did his very best with the material and he paid tribute to Jerry O'Connell and Quinn Mallory and he honoured them -- which makes me feel bad that I have yet to find a way to return the favour in my anniversary special.

266 (edited by pilight 2016-02-06 23:09:19)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

It's hard to get a grip on Mallory because he was written so inconsistently.  The people actually running the show couldn't decide who he was, I don't know how we're supposed to.

267 (edited by RewatchPodcast 2016-02-08 18:43:30)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

We're really on the home stretch for the Sliders Rewatch. We all love Sliders but we hope you'll stick with us as we get into Lois & Clark after this!!! But, our latest episode is live now where we discuss "A Current Affair" and "The Java Jive" … 0_36-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

In a hilarious note, the boys erroneously refer to "Paradise Lost" as the episode with animal human hybrids -- but later, they agree that "A Current Affair" wasn't as bad as the "worm crap" episode! But all things being equal, Tom notes a mistake in my notes -- I thought Clinton Derricks Carroll was in "The Alternateville Horror"! I can't remember why I thought this. Maybe I thought I saw Clinton in "Alternateville" in the wideshot with all the doubles?

This is the first time in recorded history that I have made a mistake. Now I know how the rest of you must feel.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Oh man, it's gonna be sad when y'all are done with Sliders!

Maybe you could review some of Sabrina Lloyd's stuff for us before you have to jump? I know one of you (can't remember who) went through her filmography a while back. That said, I know you do have plans for the sendoff...

270 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-02-09 13:15:46)

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ireactions wrote:

Okay, I added "gobsmacked" back in.

In other news, I have sent Sliders Rewatch all the deleted scenes and trivia for Season 5 now -- just hit send on an E-mail containing all the notes for "To Catch a Slider," "Dust," "Eye of the Storm," "The Seer," the feature film (never made), and the 2009 series finale outlined by Tracy Torme (never made). While I know a lot about SLIDERS thanks to Temporal Flux, I know far, far less about LOIS AND CLARK, so I suspect this marks the conclusion of my contributions to the Rewatch Podcast unless they want a guest. Looking forward to hearing what they do next!

Your Sliderscast "episode" was so great, I hope we get more of those from you.

The Rewatch guys have done an incredible job. And thankfully, Sliderscast is back again and are terrific as well.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Wow, getting a bit teary eyed thinking about wrapping up our Sliders discussions! You guys have been so great and we couldn't ask for a better group of listeners who love the show as much (or even more) as us. Well, here is episode 39 in which we discuss "The Return of Maggie Beckett" and "Easy Sliders." … 1_15-08_00

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All good things must end... but you guys've been amazing. And still will be amazing, I'm sure, going forward.

Thank you in advance, for being there with us through all of it, again.

273 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-02-17 08:48:17)

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RewatchPodcast wrote:

Wow, getting a bit teary eyed thinking about wrapping up our Sliders discussions! You guys have been so great and we couldn't ask for a better group of listeners who love the show as much (or even more) as us. Well, here is episode 39 in which we discuss "The Return of Maggie Beckett" and "Easy Sliders." … 1_15-08_00

It would be great if you did some interviews with people involved in the show.  Writers, producers, actors, etc. Comics folks.

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What's next?

Requiem.  Well, points for trying to resolve the Wade mess.  In my head canon she escaped from the Maggs shortly after this episode.

Map of the Mind.  Interesting world concept gets underutilized.  Seems like this episode should have a profound long term effect on Diana, but it actually has almost none.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

The new podcast is up! When doing the graphics for EP.COM, I couldn't bear to use any screencaps from "Requiem" or "Map of the Mind," so I used something else.

Behind the Scenes Information Courtesy of Temporal Flux

Requiem Trivia
•   The following information is from Temporal Flux of DoC and also Michael Reaves, writer of this episode.
•   For much of Season 4, Marc Scott Zicree had pleaded for the chance to write Sabrina Lloyd out properly -- either through learning she'd escaped the Kromagg rape camp offscreen or having Sabrina Lloyd guest-star.
•   This, along with other arguments, eventually had David Peckinpah and Bill Dial engineer Zicree being ousted from the show.
•   However, given fan enquiries, Dial decided to resolve the Wade plot. He expected it to be done with a guest-star claiming they'd met Wade and she was alive and well.
•   Writer Michael Reaves, a freelancer, pitched a story for Season 5: Rembrandt becomes telepathically entangled with a woman from another dimension.
•   Dial and Damron decided to have Reaves adapt this plot to resolve Wade's arc by revealing that Wade had been surgically mutilated and turned into a computer. Reaves wrote the script and made the best he could of it.
•   Quite inexplicably, Bill Dial had this script altered from Wade definitively dying to Wade being somehow still alive.
•   Reaves said that Dial attributed this instruction as coming from the Sci-Fi Channel.
•   That cannot be true: the Sci-Fi Channel was completely hands off for SLIDERS in Season 5, much to Dial's fury.
•   The directive could only have come from Dial and Damron.
•   Reaves felt this was pointless: everyone except Robert Floyd knew Season 5 was the end.
•   Dial and Damron declined to allocate the budget necessary for the script -- the cryogenic pods holding Wade's body, the fleet of Kromagg manta ships -- and hacked up the script in their usual fashion.
•   Anything expensive or complicated to film was cut.
•   The remnants were stretched out to fill the space.
•   Then they contacted Sabrina Lloyd's agent and requested that Sabrina return to play a rape victim turned mutilated corpse who'd been stuffed into a computer.
•   ....................................................
•   Sabrina, after SLIDERS, had found an excellent role on an ABC sitcom written by Aaron Sorkin.
•   Sabrina had heard about Wade's fate in "Genesis" and been repulsed.
•   She had not ruled out doing guest-appearances until she'd heard about "Genesis."
•   Shortly afterwards, she declared she would never return to the series.
•   On an interesting note -- at this point, Kari Wuhrer had paid Sabrina a visit some time during the filming of Season 5.
•   Kari apologized to Sabrina for verbally abusing her and explained herself: Sabrina had been seen as an actress, Kari as a blow-up doll.
•   Kari had been jealous and was now very ashamed and regretful.
•   Sabrina had accepted Kari's apology.
•   However, Sabrina would not accept this role in "Requiem" for less than $40,000 -- Cleavant Derricks' salary per episode.
•   This is functionally a refusal from Sabrina, declaring that she would only return to this series if paid as the lead actor.
•   Production refused to pay her rate and were prepared to go ahead with the script using a body double and a soundalike.
•   Cleavant contacted Sabrina Lloyd and pleaded for her to do the voiceover.
•   Sabrina consented to do one day of audio recording.
•   The episode was filmed.
•   Shortly after this episode aired, Michael Reaves visited the SLIDERS message board to offer a public apology to the fans for this monstrosity.
•   This episode was so bad that Matt Hutaff, when reviewing it, was compelled to redesign to allow for a new rating lower than F.
•   Matt, in his analysis, is exasperated by the behaviour of the timer: "Invasion" establishes that the timer can only open an exit gateway on the world where it opened an entry gateway.
•   Yet, "Requiem" has the sliders back in the garden world at the start of this episode -- a world that the timer had exited from and never re-entered.
•   As a result, the sliders should be stranded, yet this does not appear to be the case.
•   Cleavant Derricks fucking hates this episode and you can tell.

Map of the Mind Trivia
•   Information from this is from The Expert, Keith Damron and Robert Masello.
•   This is another story pitched and bought from writer Robert Masello ("The Great Work").
•   This story was also highlighted by the fans of an example of "Season 5 Sabotage," their term for great ideas that would be rendered in inefficient and counter-intuitive scripting.
•   Robert Masello sold the story of a world where artists and creators of fiction are considered to be insane and institutionalized as delusional liars.
•   His plot had two of the sliders (Rembrandt and one of the others, unclear who) stuck in the asylum while the other two tried to break them out.
•   (Robert Masello doesn't remember much about this script aside from knowing it was wholly rewritten.)
•   Rembrandt was to be imprisoned due to this world having outlawed music.
•   The story was rewritten entirely by Keith Damron.
•   There was originally greater emphasis on the guest-stars, the inhabitants of the asylum.
•   Keith Damron removed the majority of this material.
•   Originally, there were no science fiction technology elements, just a situation in this asylum setting.
•   Keith Damron decided to rewrite the script to feature high tech neural remapping in which artists and creative people are lobotomized.
•   He also decided that Mallory and Diana would be in the asylum instead of Rembrandt.
•   To further extend this rewrite, and due to the rewritten plot running short, Damron introduced the idea that Diana being remapped would grant her telekinetic powers.
•   The plot of Diana developing telekinetic powers was added to the story at a late stage due to the script running short due to Damron having removed the scenes focusing on guest-stars.
•   Further evidence of the script running short is Rembrandt telling Diana about how they repaired her mind, which was seen onscreen mere minutes previous.
•   Robert Floyd expressed tremendous exasperation with these script pages being so repetitive.
•   Bill Dial told Floyd that these scripts were due to freelance writers not being up to standard.
•   Floyd offered the view that Dial was so under the gun to produce the show that he couldn't do the rewrites. This can't be correct; this is script editor Damron's script from Masello's story.
•   I believe Floyd was fooled.
•   Dial had a reputation for being an angry, vindictive man towards writers who gave him trouble (Marc Scott Zicree), but he either treated actors differently or he just really liked Robert Floyd.
•   I think Dial liked Floyd so much that he told Floyd whatever it took to make it feel like Dial agreed with him but was powerless to do anything about it.
•   The truth is, Dial preferred computer games over working on scripts.
•   On a more uplifting note -- six years after "Map of the Mind" aired, a DOCTOR WHO novel was released. THE STEALER OF DREAMS, by Steve Lyons.
•   In this story, the sliders -- I'm sorry, I mean the Doctor and friends -- land on a world where fiction is illegal.
•   In this tale, Quinn and Arturo investigate the police officers cracking down on illegal fiction creators, Wade falls in with a fiction-creating rebel and then Wade starts to go insane and become incapable of separating fact and fantasy and believing sliding to be a delusion, while Rembrandt is institutionalized for being an artist.
•   No, sorry -- I meant the Doctor investigates the police, Rose falls in with a rebel and starts to go insane and Captain Jack is institutionalized.
•   Rembrandt/Captain Jack discover that the mental institution is filled with insane, delusional people who can't tell fact from fiction, while outside, Rose/Wade is beginning to suffer the same as she explores a world without imagination, without creativity, devoid of hope and dreams.
•   The sliders -- no, the Doctor and friends -- sorry, sorry -- discover that there are pollutants causing mass hallucinations and psychotic outbursts which led to the criminalization of fiction.
•   Quinn and Arturo -- I mean, the Doctor -- devise a cure and expose the police management as all suffering from hallucinatory psychosis and in need of treatment.
•   A few months later, the gang revisit this world to find that the population is healing and beginning to write and draw and create again.
•   I read this novel and wept for SLIDERS.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Sorry for the silence on the actual podcasts themselves, I've been a bit burnt out after compiling all the trivia. I agreed with Cory and Tom on pretty much everything in this season, especially Maggie forgetting how to fight in "A Current Affair" and the pathetic mini-scoop in "Please Press One." However, I strongly disagreed with them regarding "The Return of Maggie Beckett" and the original draft of "Requiem."

The Return of Maggie Beckett
I don't think the scenes of Maggie and the General are padding at all -- they show two people with a pre-existing relationship, a relationship they are trying to insist they don't have, only to fall back into that. The General wants to be an interrogator, not a father. Maggie wants to be a prisoner, not a daughter. But they keep relating to each other as they know each other. Why doesn't Maggie just say she's from a parallel universe? Because she is insanely and horrifically overwrought at how the legend of Margaret Allison Beckett highlights the General as a loving and devoted father when she damn well knows he was nothing of the kind -- she's angry and enraged and she is engaging with the history of this Maggie Beckett to demand answers.

While I despise Bill Dial and Keith Damron's repetitive filler, that is because all it does is repeat the same information for no reason. With "The Return of Maggie Beckett," it's about creating an uncomfortable space with two people who both know each other extremely well and don't know each other at all, and the irony is that this would be true even if Maggie were talking to her actual father.

The fact that Tom has seen lots of hardass generals in other TV shows is -- honestly, I can't even see that as a legitimate criticism. A hardass general was precisely what this story needed for Maggie; there is no drama if the General is a perfect father figure. That's just personal taste. Of course, that's the Rewatch Podcast, and naturally, one expects their tastes to permeate the podcast, but I don't see that as a fair critique of a story.

Regardless, it's kind of cool that Tom and Cory are looking at the episode through this lens of whether there is padding, because it's a lens I gave them, along with the question of whether or not characters get introduced by name. I certainly can't tell them not to apply it as they see fit. :-)

As for the original script for "Requiem," first, I think we have to give Michael Reaves a pass on the general storyline (Wade is now a rape victim turned into a computer) and on points of continuity like Diana knowing the ins and outs of Kromagg computers. He was a freelance writer! He assumed there'd be a few previous Kromagg episodes (as opposed to one) and naturally, that sort of thing would be adjusted as rewrites took place. That said, he does make one massive error in his script; he has Rembrandt claim that Colin, Quinn and Maggie rescued him in "Genesis." The pointless DNA scan Tom notes is also an error, but not one that condemns the script.

I do not believe there is such a thing as a bad storyline. It's all about execution -- and Mr. Reaves' execution is superb, heartfelt and emotional. The basic idea -- Wade is now a computer -- has been met with universal contempt from SLIDERS fans, but I think Reaves takes his marching orders and pulls them off magnificently.

We begin with a brilliant teaser -- shifting from an idyllic world to a horrific battlefield where Rembrandt has a vision of Wade Welles. Trauma upon trauma and then a desperate plea from Wade -- and the fans -- find her. Find her before it's too late. It's ridiculous that this becomes a priority in Season 5, Episode 11 when it hasn't for the last THIRTY TWO episodes, but that's not Reaves' fault, and he has Michael note how the task of finding Wade is as impossible as ever with "a gazillion Earths" out there.

Then we get to a Kromagg prison camp and Rembrandt is forced to confront both his trauma and ours -- losing Wade, feeling helpless, seeing Wade treated as less than worthless and taken away. The grief and anger is palpable, re-triggered by the setting and then Wade's voice suggests some potential salvation -- only for the sliders to see a massive fleet of Kromagg ships. Wade's voice guides them through the facility, but she's a ghostly voice, a distant figure -- just out of reach to us -- and then we finally get to her.

We find "a glowing translucent container. In this high-tech sarcophagus, bathed in nutrient fluid, comatose and intubated, is the body of Wade Wells. Electrodes snake from her shaved head to monitoring apparatus." Wade has been mutilated, stripped bare, reduced to a biological component in the Kromagg war machine. The alien invasion has twisted our show -- and Wade -- into this abomination.

Rembrandt's horror and grief are agonizingly scripted -- the helplessness, the fury. It's an awful decision from the producers, but Reaves sells the maddening rage, letting Rembrandt express the fans' anger towards the situation  -- and then Wade's fate seems dwarfed by the larger scale of the Kromagg fleet about to conquer Kromagg Prime and then the multiverse. Wade's body, her personality, her spirit -- all of it's been erased by this awful beyond awful Kromagg invasion plot.

And then Rembrandt gets her back. His love for her reaches Wade inside her pod and she reawakens. She overrides the Kromagg's control of their fleet. The Kromaggs reduced her to a cog in a spaceship, but the sliders' love for each other has trumped that. From trauma and horror has come transformation as Rembrandt and Wade's love for each other allows her to become an inviolable force that can save everyone.

Wade releases Rembrandt from his grief and loss, telling him the Kromaggs killed her a long time ago, giving him and us closure -- and then she destroys the Kromagg fleet and herself. Wade saved us all -- and now she's gone forever. And Rembrandt stands on a roof, looking down at the people walking about, none of them knowing that they owe their lives to Wade Kathleen Welles. Reaves has no choice but to make Wade into this, but he gives her an ending and he offers the fans and Rembrandt a small measure of peace.

And Michael urges Rembrandt to believe in the multiverse, in infinite possibilities, that he and Wade are linked and some version of Wade out there may exist and he will see her again someday.

The aired version of "Requiem" makes cursory, fumbling, muddled attempts to present any of the above. Had Reaves' script been executed properly -- I can't imagine any SLIDERS fan being happy with it in that only the return of the original cast would have made them happy. But it would have been a moving, emotional and forceful episode and a tribute to Wade and the sliders.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

ireactions wrote:

•   Shortly after this episode aired, Michael Reaves visited the SLIDERS message board to offer a public apology to the fans for this monstrosity.

I wish I had been around at the time to see this. I remember watching this abortion of an episode in shock that they could actually do what they did.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

This was his post:

He later sent Matt the original script for "Requiem," which I maintain is a very good piece of work.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Thanks for that. At least he attempted to reach out to fans and explain things. I hated it so much - I've not watched it since it was aired, and I don't ever plan to.

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Am I the only one who thought a DNA scanner was a perfectly feasible thing for the Kromaggs to have, given the setup?

I'm only going off the podcast here - like everyone else here, one watch of "Requiem" is enough for me for a lifetime - but what if the Kromaggs are searching for genetic anomalies? Errors in the code, abnormalities that might express themselves in a future Humagg? Your DNA isn't just your species, it's also your genetic makeup, and it's extremely plausible that the Kromaggs want to screen out anything that might cause weakness in future generations.

(Standard disclaimer: Requiem is still awful and irredeemable. I like a lot of episodes of Sliders that many people hate. I think "The Breeder" was an awesome deconstruction of what Sliders had become: Maggie as monster and invasive succubus, death all around. "Sole Survivors" is, I think, the best damn episode in season 3. Even "State of the ART" had some good stuff. "Requiem" is like a festering wound on the series.

I'm glad people wanted to resolve Wade's story. I hate that this was what they ended up with.)

Re: Rewatch Podcast

New ep for "A Thousand Deaths" and "Heavy Metal." ENJOY! … 5_20-08_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

RewatchPodcast wrote:

New ep for "A Thousand Deaths" and "Heavy Metal." ENJOY! … 5_20-08_00

Cool! Thanks!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

For next time...

To Catch A Slider is goofy fun.  The look on Maggie's face when Remmy tells them the timer they've been using isn't Quinn's original is priceless.  Apparently that never came up in her previous two years of sliding.

Dust is the worst episode of Season 5, even worse than Requiem.  Rembrandt in particular is out of character.  The Sliders know what Bigelow is digging up is meaningless, a hotel rather than a sacred tomb.  They know the "guardian" is just a aluminum siding salesman, not an important historical figure or a supernatural protector of the Chandler.  They know the Packers religion is based on lies and misunderstandings.  And yet, despite knowing that there is no real meaning for either side, Rembrandt is insistent on leading the Packers into a potentially deadly confrontation with Bigelow and his team over nothing.  The Rembrandt I know would have been trying to talk the Packers down from using violence against Bigelow, to defuse the situation.  He would have told them the God they seek is in their hearts and minds, not a hole in the ground.  He would have never encouraged them to threaten someone like Bigelow, who hasn't hurt anyone and is just trying to learn about his world's past.  It's an atrocity of mischaracterization that destroys whatever credibility the show had left.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

intangirble wrote:

Am I the only one who thought a DNA scanner was a perfectly feasible thing for the Kromaggs to have, given the setup?

I'm only going off the podcast here - like everyone else here, one watch of "Requiem" is enough for me for a lifetime - but what if the Kromaggs are searching for genetic anomalies? Errors in the code, abnormalities that might express themselves in a future Humagg? Your DNA isn't just your species, it's also your genetic makeup, and it's extremely plausible that the Kromaggs want to screen out anything that might cause weakness in future generations.

(Standard disclaimer: Requiem is still awful and irredeemable. I like a lot of episodes of Sliders that many people hate. I think "The Breeder" was an awesome deconstruction of what Sliders had become: Maggie as monster and invasive succubus, death all around. "Sole Survivors" is, I think, the best damn episode in season 3. Even "State of the ART" had some good stuff. "Requiem" is like a festering wound on the series.

I'm glad people wanted to resolve Wade's story. I hate that this was what they ended up with.)

I too quite liked Sole Survivors. smile
I felt that Infected Quinn's behaviour and use of intellect etc was one of the few times in Season Three where he was in Character as his Season 1 & 2 Characterisation.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Send to last episode is up. This week we discuss "To Catch a Slider" and "Dust." … 1_09-08_00

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Boys, I just watched that segment of "To Catch a Slider" where Rembrandt says "Farm Boy" -- except he doesn't. He clearly says "Fog Boy." He started calling Mallory that in "The Unstuck Man."

What was the other episode where he said "Farm Boy"? Maybe he said "Fog Boy" in that episode too.

I dunno how Tom and Cory think they can make a podcast about "The Seer" upbeat. "The Seer" left me so traumatized I had to get my cable disconnected and I didn't dare watch television for years, terrified I'd fall in love with characters only to see them mutilated and replaced one by one. *shudders*

I think what I shall miss most is doing the banner images for each podcast. You will not believe the weird crap you have to do to stretch a screencap to 800 x 300.

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Check 33:59 on Heavy Metal. Captions say Farm Boy on Netflix but I bet it's a mistake and he does say fog boy. The enunciation is probably what screwed up the caption writer maybe? I dunno how those things work. And relistening to the clip from To Catch A Slider I can defiantly hear it clearer now and yep it does say Fog, but the captions again say Fatm! 11:59 in that episode on Netflix. Wtf caption writers?

Re: Rewatch Podcast

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I have a friend who works in closed captioning and he works off what he hears as opposed to what's in the scripts.

I guess the boys could take things in a more positive direction by talking about all the would-be SLIDERS revivals that never were. The Feature Film That Never Was. Tracy Torme's Series Finale. Jerry O'Connell's redemption as he made an effort to restore the original cast only to fail miserably.

But wouldn't all these ultimately be disappointments because they didn't happen and all we were left with "The Seer"?

God. This is so depressing. I'm going to call Laurie.

ringringring ringringring

ME: "Laurie! I'm sad!"
LAURIE: "Is this about that fucking TV show?"
ME: "The Sliders Rewatch podcast is ending! And it's going to end on a down note! How can it not!?"
LAURIE: "Haven't you watched lots of TV shows that were all about bad situations with no way out and no hope at all and then things either turned around or were conveyed in a fashion that made you okay with it?"
ME: "Unless there's a nineteenth episode of SLIDERS I missed because I was obsessing over your problems, it's not going to happen."
LAURIE: " ... It's been sixteen years. Why are you not over this yet?"
ME: "The sliders were my friends, Laurie. My favourites. That's why I made you one of them in a fanfic. A fanfic in which you made TV Tropes!"
LAURIE: "That was super-flattering. Are the podcasters seriously saying their last SLIDERS podcast is going to be a death march?"
ME: "No. They say they'll find an upbeat note."
LAURIE: "Well, trust them. If they weren't good, you wouldn't spend so much time writing up factoids for them."

Re: Rewatch Podcast

You know, I'm really excited to see Tom and Cory take on LOIS AND CLARK. It was an early adopter of the superhero soap opera format and, like any prototype, it had impressive advances matched with critical design failures and poor implementation of good ideas. But it was a frontrunner. You didn't get to THE FLASH and ARROW and AVENGERS without LOIS AND CLARK making the first stumble along the trail its descendants blazed.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Make sure that it is WELL noted in the first L&C rewatch that it basically led to Sliders being made! Otherwise we might all be over at "" complaining about how the accent on the fourth person to play Cat isn't as authentic as the second actress'. smile

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Oh man oh man. It's almost here. Our last episode of the Rewatch Podcast featuring Sliders! I can assure you, especially you iReactions, you can rest easy. It's going to be a great last episode for us, despite the obvious sadness of the ending of the series proper. We had a great discussion and in the end, you are getting a super sized podcast when it releases tomorrow sometime.

Two hours, Twenty-nine minutes, and 30 seconds.

It's almost like we didn't want to say goodbye! But I promise you we aren't just rambling, rather we had so much to say, especially about our special bonus material. I can't wait for you all to hear it!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

tom2point0 wrote:

Oh man oh man. It's almost here. Our last episode of the Rewatch Podcast featuring Sliders! I can assure you, especially you iReactions, you can rest easy. It's going to be a great last episode for us, despite the obvious sadness of the ending of the series proper. We had a great discussion and in the end, you are getting a super sized podcast when it releases tomorrow sometime.

Two hours, Twenty-nine minutes, and 30 seconds.

It's almost like we didn't want to say goodbye! But I promise you we aren't just rambling, rather we had so much to say, especially about our special bonus material. I can't wait for you all to hear it!

Can't wait to hear it! You guys were awesome in covering Sliders.  The bonus material sounds intriguing!

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And here we are again, standing at the edge of infinity, looking into the darkest abyss. A place where there is no mercy, no escape, no hope and no way out -- but for some reason, there are rock star vampires and amusement parks that feed on negative emotions and toy cars with laser cannons. A place where even Marc Scott Zicree lost the will to go on after "The Chasm." Truly, this is the darkest timeline.

I can't remember if LOIS & CLARK got this bad. Let's find out! :-D

Re: Rewatch Podcast

Here it is! Our discussion of the final 2 episodes of Sliders "Eye of the Storm" and "The Seer." And as promised, a little something extra at the end to take us out with a smile on our faces. Thanks to all of you for listening, we've had a blast! We hope you join us for our next big rewatch for Lois & Clark starting in just a couple of weeks. … 9_03-07_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast

To answer one question from the podcast -- seen in "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" in the office of Rembrandt's therapist:


Re: Rewatch Podcast

ireactions wrote:

To answer one question from the podcast -- seen in "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" in the office of Rembrandt's therapist:


Awesome! We guessed right!

Re: Rewatch Podcast

RewatchPodcast wrote:

Here it is! Our discussion of the final 2 episodes of Sliders "Eye of the Storm" and "The Seer." And as promised, a little something extra at the end to take us out with a smile on our faces. Thanks to all of you for listening, we've had a blast! We hope you join us for our next big rewatch for Lois & Clark starting in just a couple of weeks. … 9_03-07_00

A big thanks to you guys for this podcast.  I wish it could somehow be on the blu-ray (if there is one) as audio commentary or bonus material.

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Hey, who's the voice of Wade?


It was very touching for "Slide Effects" to be treated as a *real* episode of SLIDERS. Matt and I recently had a conversation where I chastised him for his 2009 Tracy Torme interview announcing a SLIDERS project that never took place. Matt replied that "Slide Effects" was, albeit unintentionally, the SLIDERS project because without the interview, "Slide Effects" wouldn't have been written and that whether by design or accident, "Slide Effects" is the series finale of SLIDERS.


I was particularly struck by the music Tom and Cory used during their dramatic readings -- it really captured the eerie sense of unreality behind the scenes.


I totally agree with Cory that the Professor's first scene in the story is very forced and unnatural. Of all the random people with whom Quinn could get in a car accident, it happens to be the Professor? How the hell does that happen? It happens, as Tom observes, because Torme said this was to be a one-episode story and I limited myself to 46-pages (46 minutes). Tom wonders where the commercials would go. I have no idea whatsoever. I needed the Professor back as soon as possible and I felt he should be yelling.


The idea that Rembrandt told Quinn there was a steakhouse he had planned to eat at after the game is indeed, as Cory states, a retcon never once established on the show. Whaddya gonna do, right? I figure you can justify it  by adding in other details that were established onscreen.


Cory, quite reasonably, describes the explanation for Seasons 3 - 5 as "cumbersome." The idea that Seasons 3 - 5 are the amalgamated experiences of 37 Quinn-doubles combined and streamed into Quinn's head as a telepathic simulation to torment him, resulting from a completely DIFFERENT simulation meant to be a simulation of Earth Prime -- Tom struggles to wrap his mouth around that explanation and audibly loses steam halfway in.

Oddly, Torme's explanation is very simple -- the Earth Prime situation is revealed to be a Kromagg trick along with Seasons 3 - 5. Yet, the details visibly strain to justify why the Kromaggs would do any of this. Torme didn't come up with a motive.

I settled on, "The illusion of Earth Prime is meant to psychologically motivate them to find home -- but we got Seasons 3 - 5 because there was a GLITCH."  Still, it's hard to explain why the Kromagg felt the need to deliberately subject Quinn to Seasons 3 - 5 outside the plot requiring that he do so and a vague sense of sadism.

Then comes the need to declare that Seasons 3 - 5 happened, just to a *different* set of Quinns -- and the result is the Kromagg going Full Diggs to lay out the Earth Prime simulation, the glitch, and me trying to liven it up by having the Kromagg take on the forms of different Season 3 - 5 characters. So what we have here is a situation where the general overview appears acceptable -- Seasons 3 - 5 were a Kromagg trick -- but when we get into the details, it becomes quite convoluted.

I imagine Torme would have side-stepped all that simply by focusing on the Earth Prime situation and barely referring to the episodes after his departure, making the confrontation more about the Kromaggs tempting the sliders with a permanent illusion of home because even if they got home for real, the Kromaggs would destroy it. But that just wasn't where my interest was -- I wanted to do Forrest Gump style scenes of the original sliders inserted into "Mother and Child" and directly repudiate The Scene. As a result, "Slide Effects" took a turn into metatextual fan writing.


Tom and Cory note that the Care Bears style conclusion seems similar to "The Dream Masters" -- which is hilarious, because I have never seen it. I've also never seen "Electric Twister Acid Test" or "Easy Slider" and no force on Earth can make me watch them. The only reason I noticed the similarities myself is because screencaps were present in Ian McDuffie's episode blog.


Cory said he was confused by where the room was that the sliders wake up in -- it's meant to be just a cave, which I thought I established with the Kromagg referring to "an underground chamber," but I guess an extra INT. CAVE would have helped.

I appreciated the boys reacting to the final scene and the shock. I just did that because I didn't want it to be a uniformly happy ending -- it needed a touch of darkness so that Seasons 3 - 5 have some emotional impact.

I think the reason "Slide Effects" manages to transcend its issues, however, is because, as Cory and Tom note, it is focused entirely on Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. Splitting the Quinns, Kromagg Prime, sticking Colin -- all that's labelled as the concerns of different sets of sliders. Torme's plot was splendid and it's a shame it wasn't the premiere for the Sci-Fi Channel years. I was very pleased that Cory noted that the happiest ending for SLIDERS is one where they're having wonderful adventures together.


I look forward to the boys getting into SLIDERS REBORN when it's done. REBORN has an alternate explanation for the sliders' resurrections and I suspect it's just as cumbersome, but it served my ends. "Slide Effects" is a vision of SLIDERS being filmed in 2000; REBORN is a vision of SLIDERS being filmed in 2015 with the conceit that SLIDERS was an X-FILES-level hit that just never got revived until last year.


There was some other behind the scenes stuff, but I think I shall post that when Cory and Tom start the LOIS & CLARK rewatch. And I shall be following along and responding to every single episode and watching two episodes with them every week! I have no behind the scenes info on LOIS & CLARK (unless you want scandalous rumours about Dean Cain's lovelife), but I love superheroes and will be thrilled to revisit the 90s with our podcasters.

Re: Rewatch Podcast

ireactions wrote:

Hey, who's the voice of Wade?


An error that we didn't credit the voice of the lovely leading lady of MY life, Jane. We needed someone to do Wade's part, as it didn't seem right to include scenes without her too. We toyed with the idea of using Garageband's voice transformer to pitch my voice up huger and make it into a female, but Cory asked if Jane would be game and she was hesitant because she's not actor but wanted to help.

And so, after a late night gathering with some friends, I coached her through her lines at about 1 in the morning, then edited them together over the next few HOURS as GarageBand was being buggy for some odd reason, and then sent it to Cory who combined it with the episode proper and released it! The time crunch is why we failed to properly recognize her but don't worry... I'll make it up to her in my own special way. wink