RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote: ireactions wrote:
X-FILES got there first, premiering in 1993. SLIDERS didn't make it to air until 1995.
Was the online community significant?
Certainly ours was the first to save a show.
SLIDERS has a place in history, but I don't think it has anything to do with being the first online community (it wasn't) or the first fan community to save a show.
THE X-FILES' debut in 1993 led to a high level of Usenet newsgroup activity and they created what I think is the first online fanfic archive (Gossamer). The first X-FILES Usenet group was formed in December 1993 and the fanfic newsgroup was created in May 1994, leading to mailing lists for story sharing, editing and distribution. SLIDERS wouldn't debut until March 22, 1995.
I guess SLIDERS fans were the first 'online' group to save a show, but I'm not sure the online factor is actually that significant. SLIDERS may have organized online, but their battle to get SLIDERS to a third year was successful via letters by post, faxes and phone calls. Emails, while meaningful, are easily dismissed. STAR TREK was also renewed for a third season due to fan communities mobilizing through mail and phone calls.
I think SLIDERS' place in history is not based in SLIDERS fans being the first to save a show (they weren't) or being the first to gather online (they weren't). I think instead, SLIDERS fans are significant because SLIDERS fans took over roles that would usually be tasked to people who actually worked on the show.
SLIDERS has a truly peculiar situation: fans with no official status are regarded are the authorities of the show. In contrast, the official creators who worked on the show for the bulk of its episodes are regarded with mistrust, suspicion and derision.
When we want behind the scenes information on SLIDERS, we barely look to the show's creator much (because he left before all the crazy stuff happened) and we don't look to interviews with producers David Peckinpah and Bill Dial. We are skeptical and suspicious of the official accounts published by story editor Keith Damron. Instead, we turn to some guy who was buying SLIDERS trading cards and props off eBay from crew members, a guy who would converse with these sellers and then corroborate the anecdotes from multiple sources and then share his findings online (Temporal Flux).
When we want SLIDERS merchandise, we don't waste our time looking to the studio or its licensors: we've had to make our own DVD upscales and cases and replica props.
When we want SLIDERS episode guides, we don't look to the officially published guide, a book so thin and inaccurate that it still has interviews with former cast members talking about how they never want to leave the show that they'd left by the time the book saw print. We go online to the fan guides.
When we look at SLIDERS fan pages describing the properties of interdimensional travel and the pseudoscience of the series, we note that the official creators of the show were so lazy that for their series bible, they simply copied the fan pages rather than do their own work on their own series.
When we want tie-in storytelling, we don't waste our time on the poor to middling Acclaim comic books. Instead, we turn to the novellas written by Nigel Mitchell, Mike Truman, Jules Reynolds, YA novelist Maureen Johnson.
When we look to who is maintaining the legacy and memory of SLIDERS, we look to fan fiction: Tracy Torme's unused reset story, "Slide Effects", is screenplay, and there's also the SLIDERS REBORN twentieth anniversary fan fiction. We look to podcasters who reviewed every episode of the show and ended their time on SLIDERS with reviewing "Slide Effects" and the twentieth anniversary special.
SLIDERS is the show where the creators put so little effort into the show and the studio had so little interest in monetizing the fans that the fans had to do everything short of filming the episodes themselves. That is SLIDERS' place in history.