Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

TemporalFlux wrote:

Sliders made the list:

https://screenrant.com/most-underapprec … eddit/amp/

Jerry and his twin brother are sure to be proud

One of the funniest things about SLIDERS is how it's constantly mis-remembered as a time travel show or a show about travelling to other planets. SLIDERS is a niche show. SLIDERS is a show beloved by a small number of people. But the premise of SLIDERS really has the potential to go from the niche of this forum to becoming a global mainstream brand if NBCUniversal can see its value.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I don’t know why it occurred to me today, but I was thinking back to something Torme said.  Why did we keep watching and fighting for more Sliders after it became bad television?

The explanation is that we as an audience were almost role playing as Sliders.  No matter how strange or awful the slide was, we kept jumping into the vortex each week hoping that the next slide would bring us back home to the show we used to love.

We sometimes ask why the Sliders kept sliding and didn’t just choose a world to settle down on.  We should know.  We kept sliding ourselves.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I don’t know why it occurred to me today, but I was thinking back to something Torme said.  Why did we keep watching and fighting for more Sliders after it became bad television?

The explanation is that we as an audience were almost role playing as Sliders.  No matter how strange or awful the slide was, we kept jumping into the vortex each week hoping that the next slide would bring us back home to the show we used to love.

We sometimes ask why the Sliders kept sliding and didn’t just choose a world to settle down on.  We should know.  We kept sliding ourselves.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

TemporalFlux wrote:

The explanation is that we as an audience were almost role playing as Sliders.  No matter how strange or awful the slide was, we kept jumping into the vortex each week hoping that the next slide would bring us back home to the show we used to love.

I think this is great analysis, and also why I've made the argument that the show held strong ratings (relatively) for Sci-Fi channel even in S5.   The thing is, because SLIDERS is a new world every week in procedural format, there's ALWAYS the possibility that the show could tap into the potential of its premise and deliver an intriguing, thought-provoking episode.  A serial drama, you can know to "stop" watching at a certain point.  But SLIDERS always had the possibility to deliver.

I do admit though back in the 90s/2000 I was not able to keep up.  When it moved to science channel, I didn't really tune in live to see it (and I am not sure the re-run schedule but not much of that either).  So I myself was not loyal and hardcore but always wanted it to keep going.

I did feel a lot of the magic was lost by season 3.

Sci-Fi channel dropped it because Jerry and Charlie were gone and they felt they had to find new originals that the network could stand on rather than toil in a non-breakout hit that was veering toward descending.

However, for the most part, the extra budget they got by cutting SLIDERS didn't produce a better ROI for  them.  They got a lot of new shows that didn't work.   I understand why they felt they had to move away from it.  They couldn't afford to try to re-invent the show and it was gonna be hard to make the show good when you do a world-of-the-week on the same universal backlot.   And they were not going to be able to bring in some new star actor to the cast, given the tight budget.

I understand why they canceled it -- they needed to focus on bets with upside.  At the same time, I'll also say in the end, the decision didn't pay off.  Sliders -- with its great premise -- was drawing them at least some core of a sci-fi fan base (this is why they acquired it for two seasons originally -- so they could launch new shows off of the audience it would  bring).

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

Another new AI art generator popping up.  Eventually will be useful for sliders fan fic.

https://muse-model.github.io/

The edit feature on an image is particularly interesting.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

when is it going to be available?

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I would say: I don't think anyone should be using AI to recreate Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. I don't agree with the aesthetic of creating a digital pastiche of the actors this way; new SLIDERS content with those characters should either have actors playing the roles (original or recast) or feature writers bringing the characters to life in prose. A simulacrum of Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John is only ever an impression and an imitation rather than a genuine portrayal. Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker in THE MANDALORIAN and THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT may be a technical marvel, but it has absolutely no acting; it's just repurposing Hamill's old audiobooks and animating old photos.

As someone who has spent a lot of time watching Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John, it was never (entirely) about just typing out their lines. It was instead about capturing how they made me feel.

Jerry O'Connell is 48 years old but has the impetuous energy of a 10 year old. In my fanfics, wanted to capture Quinn's pensiveness and improvisational spirit first and recreating Jerry's line delivery -- the weighty burden of wisdom matched with the thoughtful thrill of adventure -- that's important, but without the characterization beneath it, it would have been an imitation of Jerry's line deliveries without the heart of Quinn Mallory.

Sabrina has this openness in her presence: openly earnest, openly defiant, and I wanted to render how she made Wade a person who wears her heart on her sleeve in ways that can be very low key but also extremely aggressive when pushed.

Cleavant has this brilliance to his performance where he's playing a kidnap victim who is helpless and traumatized, but Cleavant's comedic sensibilities make Rembrandt's situation funny instead of terrifying and disturbing. I wanted that pinpoint perfect sense of comedy to my version of Rembrandt. Too many well-meaning fanfic writers give Rembrandt vaguely ebonics-based dialogue or have him end every sentence with "girl" or "Q-Ball" without thinking about Cleavant's masterful grasp of tone within a scene.

I guess the Professor is actually quite straightforward: he's verbose and bombastic and egotistical, but it's also important to indicate that the Professor has known terrible suffering and tragedy in his life as well as humiliation and disrespect. His pompous, blustering manner conceals insecurity and a painful sense of failure -- although I didn't do a great job with it because my Professor Arturo is generally the cool old man, a wise sage who has almost no dark side whatsoever. The Professor, to me, is Professor Dumbledore. He is Gandalf. He's Temporal Flux. He's Dad. The perfectly imperfect father.

Ultimately, I think SLIDERS should be more than just animating old photos and sound clips, even as fanfic. It might be a neat proof of concept, but I don't want to see an AI recomposition of the original quartet. I'd rather the actors play them.

I cannot stress enough in the name of Quinn's flannel, Rembrandt's shiny jacket, Wade's sweater and the Professor's bow-tie that the opinions of ireactions do not represent those of SLIDERS.tv.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

ireactions wrote:

I would say: I don't think anyone should be using AI to recreate Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. I don't agree with the aesthetic of creating a digital pastiche of the actors this way; new SLIDERS content with those characters should either have actors playing the roles (original or recast) or feature writers bringing the characters to life in prose. A simulacrum of Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John is only ever an impression and an imitation rather than a genuine portrayal. Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker in THE MANDALORIAN and THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT may be a technical marvel, but it has absolutely no acting; it's just repurposing Hamill's old audiobooks and animating old photos.

As someone who has spent a lot of time watching Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John, it was never (entirely) about just typing out their lines. It was instead about capturing how they made me feel.

Jerry O'Connell is 48 years old but has the impetuous energy of a 10 year old. In my fanfics, wanted to capture Quinn's pensiveness and improvisational spirit first and recreating Jerry's line delivery -- the weighty burden of wisdom matched with the thoughtful thrill of adventure -- that's important, but without the characterization beneath it, it would have been an imitation of Jerry's line deliveries without the heart of Quinn Mallory.

Sabrina has this openness in her presence: openly earnest, openly defiant, and I wanted to render how she made Wade a person who wears her heart on her sleeve in ways that can be very low key but also extremely aggressive when pushed.

Cleavant has this brilliance to his performance where he's playing a kidnap victim who is helpless and traumatized, but Cleavant's comedic sensibilities make Rembrandt's situation funny instead of terrifying and disturbing. I wanted that pinpoint perfect sense of comedy to my version of Rembrandt. Too many well-meaning fanfic writers give Rembrandt vaguely ebonics-based dialogue or have him end every sentence with "girl" or "Q-Ball" without thinking about Cleavant's masterful grasp of tone within a scene.

I guess the Professor is actually quite straightforward: he's verbose and bombastic and egotistical, but it's also important to indicate that the Professor has known terrible suffering and tragedy in his life as well as humiliation and disrespect. His pompous, blustering manner conceals insecurity and a painful sense of failure -- although I didn't do a great job with it because my Professor Arturo is generally the cool old man, a wise sage who has almost no dark side whatsoever. The Professor, to me, is Professor Dumbledore. He is Gandalf. He's Temporal Flux. He's Dad. The perfectly imperfect father.

Ultimately, I think SLIDERS should be more than just animating old photos and sound clips, even as fanfic. It might be a neat proof of concept, but I don't want to see an AI recomposition of the original quartet. I'd rather the actors play them.

I cannot stress enough in the name of Quinn's flannel, Rembrandt's shiny jacket, Wade's sweater and the Professor's bow-tie that the opinions of ireactions do not represent those of SLIDERS.tv.

I love how you described each character of sliders.  You really should write the definitive SLIDERS book about the series...

And understand and respect your POV on this.   However, I would argue that technology could provide a great sandbox for finding the right creative approach for fan-fic sliders  work.  You iterate.   It isn't capital intensive (theoretically).  And you correct mistakes and have a real working model  (prototype) to "see" what your last draft is, so you can improve it each time.

It goes without saying that if that working  with the actors again was  a possibility, by anyone, well that  is overwhelmingly the preferred option.  But short of that --  let's face it, it's not really a possibility anymore -- we are left with either the status quo or  new ways to "imagine" it actually happening.

But I understand it might be sacrilege to some.  I prefer to think of it as the creative universe that keeps giving.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I think that AI has its place as an assistant. When writing my fanfics, I had a lot of help: Transmodiar helped me better understand the screenplay format. Nigel Mitchell came up with all the alt-world concepts. Slider_Quinn21 made my last script readable, something I struggled with due to the densely layered plot.

I think it'd be great to use AI to determine if the writing is sufficiently visual, to accumulate scene description details for a human writer to select, to offer dialogue suggestions drawing on machine-learning to review every line of dialogue ever spoken by Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John in any production to create a reference base of their specific vocal mannerisms.

As it stands, any 'writing' from AI is just pulling words from pre-existing content, using thesaurus-algorithms to paraphrase the nouns and verbs and adjectives, rearranging the clauses by assigning importance to any sentences with key words relevant to the query, and presenting a mismash of semi-random content that has been given a bit of polish to somewhat hold it together. An AI episode of SLIDERS would just be inserting the character-names into a STAR TREK or STARGATE screenplay, moving around the language and replacing and paraphrasing names and descriptions.

AI stands for artificial intelligence, but as it stands, it's not really that intelligent. I'd call it assistive iteration; it's not creating, it's just repeating, recombining and repackaging content from different sources, and all those sources were first written by a human. AI is a useful tool to algorithmically review your own writing to determine if your writing is clear, readable, consistent, meets formatting requirements and to gather research, but as a writer, AI basically the Season 3 staff of SLIDERS ripping off popular movies.

If you look on some of the AI-generated plots for SLIDERS on Reddit, the stories are obviously just LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, STARGATE and STAR TREK synopses that have been randomly recombined.

https://www.reddit.com/r/SLIDERS/commen … r_sliders/

70 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2023-01-14 11:44:51)

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

ireactions wrote:

I think that AI has its place as an assistant. When writing my fanfics, I had a lot of help: Transmodiar helped me better understand the screenplay format. Nigel Mitchell came up with all the alt-world concepts. Slider_Quinn21 made my last script readable, something I struggled with due to the densely layered plot.

I think it'd be great to use AI to determine if the writing is sufficiently visual, to accumulate scene description details for a human writer to select, to offer dialogue suggestions drawing on machine-learning to review every line of dialogue ever spoken by Jerry, Sabrina, Cleavant and John in any production to create a reference base of their specific vocal mannerisms.

As it stands, any 'writing' from AI is just pulling words from pre-existing content, using thesaurus-algorithms to paraphrase the nouns and verbs and adjectives, rearranging the clauses by assigning importance to any sentences with key words relevant to the query, and presenting a mismash of semi-random content that has been given a bit of polish to somewhat hold it together. An AI episode of SLIDERS would just be inserting the character-names into a STAR TREK or STARGATE screenplay, moving around the language and replacing and paraphrasing names and descriptions.

AI stands for artificial intelligence, but as it stands, it's not really that intelligent. I'd call it assistive iteration; it's not creating, it's just repeating, recombining and repackaging content from different sources, and all those sources were first written by a human. AI is a useful tool to algorithmically review your own writing to determine if your writing is clear, readable, consistent, meets formatting requirements and to gather research, but as a writer, AI basically the Season 3 staff of SLIDERS ripping off popular movies.

If you look on some of the AI-generated plots for SLIDERS on Reddit, the stories are obviously just LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, STARGATE and STAR TREK synopses that have been randomly recombined.

https://www.reddit.com/r/SLIDERS/commen … r_sliders/

I'm not advocating for AI writing, as I agree with your position.

I will say that it's interesting technology that a "dumb" computer can summarize all of the human writing it has collected and provide something comprehensive and decent.

I'll also say chatGDP allows you to say, "Play a text-based game around the tv show SLIDERS (1995)" and it's a decent little thing that we don't otherwise have through official software releases.


My points though largely revolve around bringing characters to life, based on the scripts humans provide it.  That's what I think is potentially exciting about the future.  To be able to play in the SLIDERS playground in a more visual way, via our own scripting.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I only watched The Return of Maggie Beckett in full for the first time a few days ago.  Wow I was super impressed.  Chris Black really was a star -- I would have loved had he been part of the early writing staff as well.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

ireactions is right... everything is built from, and on top of everything else. Kinda like legos.

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

ireactions just made me think of something.

Did anyone ever write a fanfic where they land on a world where Quinn *did* invent anti-gravity?  Its funny that Quinn seems to be the most ubiquitous slider, but he never really even did what he was trying to do.  So did we ever write something where Quinn actually achieved his goal?

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

On EarthPrime.com, the EARTH 211 episode guide fanfic posited a parallel Earth where FOX supported SLIDERS, the ratings were huge, Tracy Torme stayed with the show for all six seasons, there were no cast changes, and Season 4 had an episode called "AntiGrav":

AntiGrav: This lighthearted episode shows the results of Quinn's experimentation had it actually gone as planned – a world where antivgravity has created a society in the clouds, with flying cars and buildings. Quinn's double shunned his celebrity and went into hiding, prompting him to re-emerge when his double starts taking a lot of the credit.

https://web.archive.org/web/20030719094 … eason4.asp

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

Okay, I think that's essentially what I'd do. smile

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

When they did encounter a world with anti-grav technology, in Season's Greedings, Quinn displayed no interest in it

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

I guess the end-scene of "This Slide of Paradise" also had anti-gravity technology and would we consider the Kromagg manta ships anti-grav as well?

Re: Thoughts on Sliders in Random

It's funny. Earth 211 triggers this hungry, gnawing, painful longing in me, this desire for all of these beautiful synopses to be made into whole scripts. Earth 211 is the true SLIDERS. The SLIDERS we have on our world is a collapsed, broken version of the real SLIDERS.

There are stories in E211 from Transmodiar, Recall317, Nigel Mitchell, Jules Reynolds and others. It all makes me want so badly to find Quinn's timer and slide to this beautiful world where SLIDERS thrived and flourished and FOX polished it like a gem and made it the crowning jewel of their network and Universal stood by Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo for six wonderful seasons of wonder, terror, action, humour, inventiveness, imagination, creativity and SLIDERS truly was that series that never, ever ran out of ideas.

As much as I love what I came up with in SLIDERS REBORN and all the splendid contributions that Transmodiar, Nigel, Slider_Quinn21, Jim Ford of SLIDERSCAST and Informant made to turn the real world version of SLIDERS into a story with a restoration of the original sliders and a closing (but not final) adventure and a happy ending, and as much as I love Tracy Torme's "Slide Effects" story, these fanfics were salves and bandages.

A full-fledged version of Earth 211 is what I would really, really, really want.

I wonder if Steven Moffat (DOCTOR WHO) would ever be inclined to pitch a SLIDERS reboot.