Cool to hear that Lester Barrie is doing well! I made sure to give him a big scene in SLIDERS REBORN showcasing all of Diggs' peculiarities -- not because I was enamoured with the character, but because Tom and Cory kept talking about him.
So, regarding "Lipschitz Live" and MacArthur Mallory, a character who is inexplicably Colin's stepfather with the same last name: I have no data on this, but I wouldn't be surprised if MacArthur Mallory were originally Michael Mallory to be played by John Walcutt, only for an unexpected unavailability to see the script awkwardly patched. I now await Matt Hutaff to blow this theory out of the water with his Bazooka of Truth. :-)
(You'll find this hilarious next week.)
I loved Tom and Cory theorizing how Will Sasso would have played Gomez Calhoun in "Lipschitz." I imagine he would have been less hostile, more distracted.
Excuse me --
(gesturing at the TV with delight)
Can't you see this is important! Guy's
got a psychic dog!
He laughs incredulously.
I'd like a room --
(not turning from the TV,
We're booked up.
Booked up!? This place is never booked
Big corporate wedding!
Gomez casually jabs a finger towards a sign on the desk, indicating that there's a TV corporate summit here.
Then I'd like to leave a message for
Gomez remains utterly fixed on the television.
D'you have a room?
Not according to you!
Then you can't leave a message.
We're a full service hotel, but only for
guests -- no guests, no service.
He continues to watch the TV.
Later, when Colin approaches Calhoun --
I'd like a --
Gomez holds up a finger, as though asking for a minute. Without turning around, he picks up a piece of paper and hurriedly reads off the sheet.
(reading this prepared statement)
We've got no rooms, no suites, you can't leave
a message and I haven't seen any of your friends.
And then he returns his full attention to the TV. The boredom instantly disappears from his face, replaced with gleeful enthusiasm.
He walks off.
I thought Tom and Cory did a nice job this week. I sent them a bunch of script pages (that I wrote myself) so they'd have a lot of options for doing some Quinn and Rembrandt impressions if they were inclined to do them. They picked a really nice page to perform -- so below are the other ones.
But first -- Tom and Cory wondered why, in "The Dying Fields," the Kromaggs try to kill the sliders when they're counting on the sliders to help reclaim their homeworld. Tom theorizes that after Quinn got to the Slidecage and came back out, the Kromaggs felt that their plan had failed.
I don't think this makes much sense; the Kromaggs already knew about the Slidecage (indicated by Rembrandt's dialogue when under hypnosis in "Slidecage"), meaning someone who worked on the cage must have failed to get back to the homeworld before the doors closed and was captured and interrogated. As for why the Slidecage was set to contain rather than repel -- it was likely made so because the Kromagg Prime Michael Mallory was trying to imprison any soldiers who might otherwise wreak havoc on the multiverse from which he was isolating Kromagg Prime.
My theory would involve putting an additional scene at the end of "The Dying Fields":
EXT. HUMAGG HUNTING GROUNDS - DAY
Quinn nods to Colin -- and Colin raises the timer and triggers the vortex. It splits open the air with its blue and green energy, beckoning to the sliders. But Kryoptus brandishes his rifle --
Nobody move! I'll kill you all --
And Kyra steps forward. She shields the sliders with her body --
She moves towards Kryoptus.
You won't shoot me -- you have
feelings for me -- I can feel them!
And when Kryoptus hesitates, Kyra turns to the sliders.
Maggie doesn't need telling twice. She sprints towards the gateway and leaps. Rembrandt follows --
Quinn, let's go!
With a flash, he's gone too. Colin dives in next and Kryoptus watches. Letting them leave. Kyra smiles with relief, and Quinn watches Kryoptus turn his gaze onto Kyra and only Kyra --
You're right, Kyra -- I can't deny
who I am --
His hand traces her temple. He leans forward, kissing her. And as Kyra kisses him back, Kryoptus unsheathes his knife and STABS Kyra through the heart. She chokes. Her body stiffens with shock. Her eyes focus on nothing --
Kryoptus locks eyes with Kyra, brutally cold as Kyra slumps forward, betrayal in her face --
And Quinn casts a stunned look at Kryoptus and Kyra's body on the ground. Disappointment flashes across Quinn's face -- disappointment and despair -- and then suddenly, there is nothing. Quinn watches Kryoptus yank his bloody knife from Kyra's corpse -- and we can see the blank finality on Quinn's face. The emptiness. Everything he tried to do for Kyra is lost. Change is worthless. It doesn’t exist. Life is cruel and bloody -- there is nothing worth feeling --
Kryoptus raises his rifle to bear on Quinn and Quinn dives out of the line of fire. Leaping into the vortex. Kryoptus fires just in time to miss the gateway as it closes. The burst of energy strikes a nearby structure and Kryoptus stands alone with Kyra's body at his feet.
Silence. For a moment.
Then a humvee rolls up. General Kronos climbs out with a small squad of Kromagg soldiers. General Kronos walks up to Kryoptus.
The humans killed her?
No. I did.
The General arches an eyebrow.
The humans had turned her.
She was helping them escape.
I had no choice.
And the humans?
Three dead inside. Six more
Three kills. Well done. You surprise
me. Welcome to the Elites.
(flat; stares at Kyra)
Thank you, sir.
General Kronos turns to the Kromagg soldiers.
Move out. We have humans in
Kronos turns back to Kryoptus, indicating Kyra's body.
Dispose of that.
Kronos walks off.
Kryoptus stares at Kyra's face, confusion expanding across his face. He kneels next to her prone, lifeless shape. Kryoptus begins to experience SADNESS, his confused emotions turning to PAIN and ACHING GRIEF.
Kryoptus lifts Kyra's motionless body in his arms and gently carries her off as we --
INT. HUMVEE - DAY
General Kronos sits in the passenger seat of the Humvee. As his driver handles the vehicle and speeds along the path, Kronos reaches for the viewscreen controls in the dashboard before him.
(to the viewscreen)
One-one-three. Connect me to
There's a burst of static from the viewscreen speakers and on the screen itself -- and then on the screen, we can make out the vague figure of a person, cloaked in darkness and shadow.
Your proposal was successful. The
humans have departed, never once
suspecting that they were permitted
We see the figure on the screen shifting within the shadows -- as though bowing.
Their easy escapes from Outposts 161
and 147 followed by the discovery of
their friend's sleeper programming
risked incurring their suspicions.
We can now make out the outline of the figure's garments -- a long, white gown.
Your stratagem has re-established their
certainty that to contend with the Kromaggs
is to court their deaths. And soothed away any
skepticism towards their seeming
competence in defying the Dynasty.
We see the figure on screen raising a pair of hands -- clasping them together in a prayerful gesture of deference.
Such calculated cruelty. Bringing one
of the humans to the brink of death
with a Nobelium weapon. Manuevering
our weakest link in the Humaggs towards
healing the human. And then letting them
leave thinking they'd scarcely survived --
your precision does your masters proud.
We see the figure on the screen parting hands in a serene movement.
You are a rare credit to your kind. Tell
me, child -- how does a mere human
equal the crystalline clarity of the
And then we see the figure learn forward, out of the shadows and into the light.
I know their leader. I know his passions
and his fears.
Kronos nods, contemptuously impressed.
I know his bravado, his groundless
confidence, his arrogance and ego.
I know the strings within his heart,
how to pull and pluck as we see fit --
Kronos regards Mary on the screen as though she's an amusing pet.
Quinn Mallory is our soldier -- and he
shall be the Dynasty's greatest hero.
And Mary stares through the screen, at Kronos, at us --
I feel like that's the only explanation that still upholds the original Season 4 arc. "The Dying Fields" was staged for the sliders' benefit. It wouldn't be the first time.
Tom and Cory did an great job of examining The Scene and noted that Jerry's acting throughout Season 4 is extremely poor. Here's the breakdown I sent Tom and Cory of all the problems with The Scene:
As filmed and aired:
REMBRANDT: (grabbing Quinn's arm) "If Wade is back there, we gotta do something! "
QUINN: (brushing off Remmy's arm and walking off-camera) "I don't know if we have enough time."
Points of concern:
Jerry O'Connell conveys no emotional reaction to learning that Christina knew Wade. Jerry performs a total lack of interest or attention towards Christina despite her knowledge of Wade.
The onscreen dialogue lacks any moment where Quinn questions Christina about Wade; he doesn't seem interested in learning more about Wade's whereabouts or well-being.
When Rembrandt grabs Quinn's arm, declaring they must find Wade, Jerry pulls his arm away and declares, "I don't know if we have enough time" and then walks off-camera -- giving the impression that Quinn feels no empathy or concern for Rembrandt's current state of agony and feels no need to console him.
As Quinn is walking away, Rembrandt shouts after him that he doesn't care if there's not enough time -- and Quinn does not respond and is off-camera, so we see no reaction.
Christina then establishes that Wade has already been moved off-world -- yet Jerry inexplicably had Quinn walk away from Rembrandt after "I don't know if we have enough time," indicating that if Quinn knew Wade wasn't on this world anymore, he had no intention of giving Rembrandt this information -- or that if Quinn didn't know this information, he wasn't interested in finding out anything more from Christina. The ambiguity here is clearly not intentional; something has been severely miscommunicated.
Cleavant Derricks plays Rembrandt in agony when hearing about Wade. Jerry O'Connell, in contrast, plays the same scene with nothing. It's impossible to discern Quinn's state of mind or motivations from Jerry's acting because Jerry is providing no information whatsoever. Jerry's same approach to acting is present in "Slidecage" when Quinn thinks Maggie is dead and Jerry takes a scene of Quinn breaking down and plays it with near-total neutrality.
In a later scene, Quinn threatens a Kromagg with death and demands the location of Wade Welles -- which is completely at odds with Jerry performing Quinn as indifferent about Wade in the earlier scene.
And let's look at the actual script:
REMBRANDT: "If Wade's in that camp, we've got to do something!"
QUINN: "We don't have much time -- "
So first, we have Jerry changing his line. It was scripted as a risk assessment; but Jerry changed it into a refusal. It's unlikely this was on purpose; SLIDERS hasn't worried about actors delivering lines as written since Season 3. Jerry delivered an approximation of what was on paper -- but to disastrous results, turning it from Quinn acknowledging danger to Quinn shrinking from danger.
Also: the way The Scene is blocked is bizarre: why does the director have the lead character of the show declare he's not going to try to save his friend from a rape camp? Why is Jerry made to practically dive off-camera after delivering his line? Why wouldn't the director make sure to keep Jerry and Cleavant in the same frame for this critical scene? The script does not contain any of this behaviour from Quinn. The script actually contains very little scene direction, leaving it completely open to the actors how they want to play the scene.
My theory is that Jerry was drunk on set the day they filmed this. The Scene goes out of its way to get Jerry out of shot as quick as it can -- suggesting to me that Jerry was not fit to be on camera that day. Because Jerry isn't on camera when Rembrandt protests leaving without Wade, it makes it feel like Quinn doesn't care about Wade.
So, here's the direction I would have given for The Scene.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
If Wade's in that camp,
we've got to do something!
Quinn nods in agreement. He starts towards the path to the camp. Rembrandt is right next to him. Ready for war.
We don't have much time --
I don't care. We're going down
It's too late for that!
Quinn and Rembrandt freeze in place. Staring at Christina in dismay.
She's gone. The Maggs shipped
out all the other prisoners yesterday
to make way for new arrivals. Wade
was with them --
Quinn's face fills with agony. Something inside him breaks. Rembrandt is forlorn, lost, helpless...
And then with subsequent scenes -- I think this episode should have been played as Quinn Mallory's descent into madness after meeting Christina. Here's a re-directed version of the scene where Quinn questions the Kromagg soldier -- again, no changes to the script dialogue, only the direction.
EXT. ROAD - DAY
The Kromagg soldiers from the Humvee are unconscious, except one. A young soldier.
Could we go to my world?
Only if I knew the coordinates --
They would be in the
Kromagg central data bank!
Everyone looks at the conscious Kromagg -- and Quinn storms over to him. Hauling him to his feet. Grabbing him by the collar -- and then slamming him into the side of the Humvee. The Kromagg's head bashes into the glass and Quinn's face suddenly shows a cruel satisfaction.
(nearly spitting into
the Kromagg's face)
Okay -- ! Here's the deal!!
He leans in. The Kromagg shrinks, terrified by this furious human.
You help us. Or you die!
And Quinn's voice lingers on the threat -- on some level, he's hoping the Kromagg will give him an excuse. Maggie watches this, troubled by Quinn's anger -- but she joins in, moving her Kromagg gun to the Kromagg's head.
Category too difficult for you?
I'll help --
Quinn shoves the Kromagg towards the Humvee computer, making sure that the Kromagg bangs into the door by the shoulder. His face is sadistically contemptuous.
THE KROMAGG SOLIDER at the computer keyboard. Quinn leans over to BARK IN THE KROMAGG'S ear --
Bring up the prisoner files!
What are we looking for?
Pull up anything on Christina
Griffin and Wade Welles -- !
It's only with the mention of Wade's name that Quinn's angry tone softens.
I'll need their ID numbers -- we don't
keep their human names on file --
I don't know Wade's -- but mine's Jay
Kay one one two five --
(watching the Kromagg type)
Now cross reference! To her
(typing, suddenly astonished
by the report on Christina's
File says the last of our battalions withdrew
six months ago -- !?
The sliders are amazed. Christina is hopeful.
My parents! They could be
(to the Kromagg, dangerously)
Read off the slide coordinates!
(as the Kromagg points to the screen
and mutters digits, Quinn programs the timer)
Got it --
Now for Wade!
But without her ID number --
Quinn throws his hand into the Kromagg's head and smashes the soldier's forehead into the doorframe of the Humvee.
We'll do it the hard way!
The Kromagg soldier winces with pain -- and Quinn furiously pushes the Kromagg at the computer.
Pull up records as fast as
Maggie is stunned at Quinn's behaviour. She looks to Rembrandt with concern, as does Colin, but Rembrandt has eyes only for the computer as the fearful Kromagg follows Quinn's orders --
(to the Kromagg)
When we see her picture, we'll
stop you --
The Kromagg tenses at the threat in the words. But then, from the radio --
Unit Four! This is Base. What are
you doing? Those are classified files!
And then on the computer, an error message shows. Quinn seizes the Kromagg by the back of his collar --
What's the matter!?
(reading off the screen)
Network error! 807! Please notify system
Quinn pushes the Kromagg against the computer. Panicked. Desperate.
Try it again!!
The Kromagg urgently types away. But the error message doesn't clear --
I don't like this -- they could be onto us,
sending other units --
Quinn nods grimly --
Then Quinn suddenly yanks the Kromagg from the Humvee computer and throws him to the ground. He looms over the Kromagg solider -- and throws a kick into the soldier's face. The Kromagg's hands raise just in time to brunt the force of the kick -- but then Quinn kicks the Kromagg in the STOMACH -- in the HEAD --
And then Maggie grabs him by the shoulder. Quinn spins around. A moment of shock, but then his face becomes stoic and he steps away from the fallen Kromagg, moving back towards the Humvee --
Colin! Maggie! Everybody on board!
We're getting out of here.
And he moves towards the driver's seat, this loss of control abruptly buried.
Tom and Cory didn't understand: why does the Kromagg soldier follow Quinn's instructions to pull up prisoner files? The only way to make this scene work is for Quinn to be absolutely terrifying, so enraged, so out of control that no sane person would be able to refuse him anything.
Jerry failed to play this scene correctly or apply any additional characterization to the words, resulting in a massive plot hole. One might say that that's the writer's fault -- but it's an actor's job to make the material come alive.
A subsequent scene also has a strange moment where a Kromagg says of the sliders:
We were ordered not to detain them, but
things have changed. They are now
considered to be extremely dangerous
and to be taken down by whatever means
Why do the Kromaggs suddenly want the sliders dead? And if there's now a kill-order on the sliders, why doesn't Korindos shoot them all at the end?
The answer I suggest: in "Mother and Child," the sliders went to Outpost 71 -- Christina's world on which a deadly anti-Kromagg virus was released into the atmosphere. Travel to Outpost 71 is a Kromagg capital crime as the Kromaggs are trying to contain the virus. The sliders going to Outpost 71 overrode the protective order and called for their deaths.
As far as the Dynasty's concerned, the chance of reclaiming Kromagg Prime isn't worth the risk of the sliders getting the virus.
This is clearly not the writer's intention. If it were, the line would be adjusted to: "We were ordered not to detain them, but they have travelled to Outpost 71. The protective order is countermanded; they are now considered to be extremely dangerous and to be taken down by whatever means necessary."
It explains why Korindos doesn't shoot all the sliders the second he has the antidote and the baby. If the Dynasty has a cure for the anti-Kromagg virus, then Outpost 71 will no longer under Kromagg quarantine and the Kromagg Prime plot is back in play. Korindos is risking execution by travelling to Outpost 71; he can get away with it by producing the antidote, but the Dynasty won't excuse Korindos for torpedoing their intentions to use Quinn as their unwitting agent if the antidote eliminates the risk. Tom's explanation is fine for a scene here and there, but my explanation covers everything -- because I'm an obsessive lunatic and Tom is comparatively normal.
Anyway. With the above revisions, we now have an episode entering dangerous territory; the sliders have no protection from Kromaggs on Outpost 71, Quinn is emotionally self-destructing -- and I would end Quinn's character arc in "Mother and Child" with the following sequence -- again, this is taken from the script, no dialogue altered, just the direction for the actors:
EXT. BACKYWARD - DAY
Korindos, holding the baby and the laser gun, backs into the yard. The sliders, Jonathan and Christina follow, held at bay by the gun.
Korindos hits a switch on his belt. Activating a VORTEX that opens behinds him. He starts backing towards the open vortex --
We see Quinn's watching this with icy fury, his mouth tight, his fists clenched --
But it's JONATHAN who CHARGES at Korindos. Korindos FIRES the laser pistol -- Jonathan takes a hit in the chest and KEEPS GOING. Korindos tries to leap into the vortex, but Jonathan GRABS Korindos BY HIS BIOHAZARD SUIT and pulls him back. Korindos SHOOTS Jonathan again, but Jonathan grips the suit tight, his body shielding the sliders from Korindos' gun --
And the sliders RUSH forward. All of them tag-teaming Korindos. Quinn grabs Korindos by the shoulder. Rembrandt grabs Korindos' gun-arm. Colin wrests the gun from Korindos' hand. Maggie GRABS CHRISTINA'S BABY and pulls the child away --
And then Quinn pounces on Korindos. His face is crazed with rage -- he shoves a knee straight into Korindos' stomach. Korindos gags --
Quinn grabs Korindos by the suit, then forces him backwards, farther from the sliders. He KICKS Korindos' legs out from under him. The Kromagg falls. And a split-second after Korindos' back has hit the ground, Quinn drops right on top of him, pinning the Kromagg. The disarmed commander looks up at Quinn from within his helmet. Smug even in defeat.
You can't win.
Even lying flat on his back, Korindos expresses dismissive contempt.
You must know that --
And then Quinn's face shows DEMENTED HATRED --
(spitting out the words)
No! I don't know that! You see --
Quinn raises his arms, wrapping one hand around a fist and swings down STRAIGHT INTO KORINDOS' throat.
I'm only human -- !!!
And then whatever he says next is lost in howling fury. It's impossible to make out Quinn's words -- it could be noise, it could be Wade's name -- he SHRIEKS with uncontrolled anger as he drives his fists into the fallen Kromagg over and over again -- you can't tell if he's shouting or crying --
From a distance, Maggie is pressing the baby into Christina's arms and then looks at Quinn's frenzied assault. She's horrified. Rembrandt and Colin are stunned but frozen --
And we go back to Quinn. He strikes Korindos in the throat once more and then stops for a moment. Seething. Shaking.
Inside the suit, Korindos has coughed up enough blood to smear the helmet visor. He's beaten and helpless. But Quinn looks down at this Kromagg, seeing Christina's rapist, Wade's captor --
And then Quinn notes the breathing hose in the front of the suit. Protecting Korindos from the lethal virus in the air of this Earth. And Quinn reaches for the hose, grips it and PULLS. The hose is TIGHTLY inserted, it resists Quinn's hand -- Korindos' mouth forms a plea for mercy --
And Quinn TEARS THE HOSE from the suit.
Korindos' face tightens into a rictus of agony. His body seizes. Convulses. From inside the suit, there's the sound of choked inhalation as Korindos struggles to breathe air that's poisoning him. And Quinn watches as Korindos unleashes a terrible, shuddering, gagging noise and is silent and still.
Quinn looks away -- looking backwards, looking at Rembrandt, at Maggie, at Colin and Christina. Horror and regret in his eyes, his body still shaking with rage -- and the sliders look at Quinn with sadness and pity.
And then Jonathan lets out a gasp. Christina runs to her fallen father, holding her child in his arms. Jonathan's eyes show the life fading from him. He looks at his daughter and grandson one last time.
Take good care of him.
Oh, Daddy --
Don't cry, love. Don't cry...
Christina holds the baby up so Jonathan can see him.
He has a name now. Jonathan.
But Jonathan is gone.
And Christina weeps over her father's body while Quinn remains on top of the helpless, disarmed and defeated soldier he just murdered in a fit of rage.
EXT. GRIFFIN HOUSE
Colin, Maggie and Rembrandt come out of the house. Christina and the baby are with them. Quinn is standing on the grass, gazing off into the distance. Blank and lost. He can hear them coming behind him.
Quinn, not looking at Christina, addresses her.
You know, there's no guarantee
where we'll go. We could slide
right into a Kromagg war or
some other madness --
He trails off on the last word. Madness.
There's nothing for me here.
(indicating her child)
Or for him.
Quinn finally turns. He looks at the child. The infant born from an act of violence and violation. And he looks at Christina. She cradles the child, gentle and caring. She was raped. But now she's here. Alive. Intact. Kind and loving.
There's a flicker of hope in Quinn's face. For himself. For Wade. He nods to Christina. He will take her to a new world and a new beginning.