Topic: Date of first slide

Even though Sliders didn't air until March of 1995, the date Quinn gives on his home videos in the first episode is about Sep. 27 or so. (It's been a while since I've seen it.)

Quinn doesn't specifically state the year. So do most fans think they all started sliding in 1994 or 1995?

I assumed for a long time that it was '94, because I figured that was around the time that the pilot episode was filmed. But I suppose it's open to interpretation. Also, since the show started in '95, it's probably easier to say that the show started in '95.

I'm curious: What do most people think? '94 or '95?

Sidebar: Quantum Leap, which ran from 1989 to 1993, was set in the "near future;" eventually the writers decided that the date of his first leap was 1995. Even though Sliders came later, if we assume Quinn's first slide to be in 1994, then he actually made his breakthrough before Sam Beckett began traveling in time! big_smile

Re: Date of first slide

It was definitely set up as fall 1994, but since episodes didn't start airing until 1995 and all references in episodes post pilot (no year stated in the pilot) were 1995. I think it's everyone assumes it's1995.

Re: Date of first slide

Earth Prime has it as 27 September 1994

Re: Date of first slide

When Matt interviewed Tracy Torme in 2009, Torme shared his notes for "Slide Effects," an unmade SLIDERS episode in which Quinn wakes up to find time rewound to the Pilot. Torme's notes gave the year as "1994," so as far as he's concerned, the date of the first slide is indeed September 27, 1994.

THE X-FILES, a show that struggled with its continuity right up to 2018, had a pilot episode that explicitly gave the date as March 6, 1993 in onscreen text. All subsequent episodes, however, alter the year of Mulder and Scully's first meeting to be 1994 so that Season 1 retroactively took place over one year instead of 18 months as indicated by the pilot.

Re: Date of first slide

I believe that was the original set up. And oddly enough it is 2 Torme written episodes that contradict each and create the confusion. The pilot shows that Quinn's diary (tapes) are dated in the fall (I believe September) but the next episode "Summer of Love", Rembrandt asks the hippies if the year is 1995.

Re: Date of first slide

A conversation I had when writing SLIDERS REBORN:

ME: "Matt! Matt!! MATT!!! MAAAAAA-AAAATTT!!"

TRANSMODIAR: "What!? What? What? What!?"

ME: "Giant gaping plot hole in the second SLIDERS REBORN script!!!"

TRANSMODIAR: "I told you already -- it's not the second! It's the third! For God's sake, you've got Part Zero, now you've got Part 2B -- it's god damn stupid! Come on. 'Revelation' is the third script."

ME: "Matt! Plot hole! REBORN has a plothole!"

TRANSMODIAR: "REBORN -- right, right -- this would be the story where your explanation for how the original sliders aren't good as dead, dead, dead and probably dead is 60 pages of unreadable technobabble."

ME: "I'm rewriting it! Just give the second draft a chance!"

TRANSMODIAR: "This is also the story where our man Remmy gets his hands on a universal credit card that works in any dimension and also works to unlock any electronic door, right?"

ME: "I'm allowed one unlikely plot device! I'm allowed one!"

TRANSMODIAR: "This is also the story that's going to climax in San Francisco being attacked by dinosaurs, zombies, vampires, robots, animal-human hybrids, super-intelligent snakes and god-damn dragons while purporting to be a scientifically principled story?"

ME: "Those are metaphors for mental illness!"

TRANSMODIAR: "You'd know! Anyway, I'm just wondering which of these gaping chasms of story actually stand out to you as a problem, that's all."

ME: "'Revelation' gives the date of the first slide as March 22, 1995."

TRANSMODIAR: "Yeah, the day the Pilot aired, and we posted Parts 1 and 2 -- not zero and one! -- 20 years to the day it aired."

ME: "But the aired episode gives the date as September 27, 1994!! Except I've already written the entire plot of 'Revelation' to take place around significant historical events in 1995!!!!"

TRANSMODIAR: "Well, I do have two thoughts on this. My first thought is that you could use the corrupted timeline gimmick you've got going in Part 4 to explain why the date changed."

ME: "Oh. Yeah!"

TRANSMODIAR: "My second thought is: WHO FUCKING CARES?!?!"

A dramatization. May not have actually happened.

Re: Date of first slide

I remember back in the old mca netforum days coming up with a half baked idea to explain the time difference between the pilot and summer of love.

For an extended time, they stay on the Michael Mallory world at the end of the pilot trying to figure out how best to return home, and they finally arrive on a solution that requires them to have the least amount of variance as possible from earth prime’s vibrational frequency before they make the attempt.  This means they need to wear the same exact clothes they had on the day they left earth prime.  But Mrs. Mallory has donated some of their old clothes to charity in the time they’ve been there, so now they go on a quest to find them.

It was a bit wacky, but that could have fit with the tone pretty easily; and it would have offered a deeper look at the differences on that world as they find where the clothes ended up.

Re: Date of first slide

I'd guess two worlds having different calendars would be very common.  Counting from different years, starting on different days, months having different names, maybe even years that are slightly different lengths.  Remmy is lucky they didn't tell him it was the 43rd day of Maktag in the year 2366.

Re: Date of first slide

While the Pilot's date is fairly assured, most of the series following that gets really muddled.  Into The Mystic still makes no sense with the whole OJ stuff.

Re: Date of first slide

Lots of good thoughts, everyone!

It sounds like there isn't a whole lot of consensus, but I'll go with Torme's dating of 1994 for the pilot, even if he forgot by the time he filmed "Summer of Love." (I like TF's retcon for that.)

Thanks to everyone for their insights and humorous comments!

Re: Date of first slide

I don't think Torme forgot. I think when writing Summer of Love, he knew it'd air in 1995.

Re: Date of first slide

Fair enough. I thought from the other comments that people were implying Torme forgot.

Re: Date of first slide

There's another curious contradiction in Torme's scripts: Quinn Mallory's childhood. I've always found it fascinating.

The Pilot says that Michael's died during Quinn's teens. The family photograph in the Mallory kitchen shows Jerry posed with Linda Henning and Tom Butler. But "The Guardian" declares that the death of Quinn's father at age 10 (and caused Quinn to become socially isolated and racked with guilt over how his final words to his dad were spoken in anger). This is a massive discrepancy. Michael Mallory's death was originally a sad event in Quinn's late adolescence. But Torme subsequently presents it as a traumatic event in Quinn's pre-teen years.

I don't think it's a mistake and I don't think Torme forgot. I think it's a deliberate retcon on Torme's part to reconcile Quinn Mallory being an awkward, isolated nerd who is played by the charismatic Jerry O'Connell. In the original Pilot script, Quinn is shown to be terrified of asking his attractive neighbour, Stephanie, out on a date, and when he summons the courage to do so, he is mocked for his efforts.

The script was clearly written before Jerry was cast and it's hard to imagine Jerry performing such scenes. It seems like Stephanie was cast and the scenes were shot, and Torme clearly had some fixation on this character as she appeared in his notes for his unofficially official series finale screenplay that he never completed. The scenes were cut from the Pilot, but even then, there was a discrepancy between Quinn being scripted as an awkward geek who was a slightly toned down Steve Urkel and Jerry's performance where he plays Quinn with glowing confidence.

Torme decided to revise Michael Mallory's role in Quinn's life, making him a life defining trauma. Torme also wrote in an explanation for Jerry's athleticism being at odds with Quinn's shyness; he skipped several grades and was physically smaller than the classmates who bullied him. I think the inconsistency regarding Michael between the Pilot and "The Guardian" is really the creator noting the inconsistency between Quinn's actor and Quinn's character. The retcon merges Jerry and Quinn into a unified whole.

Matt Hutaff completely disagrees with all of the above and thinks the backstory was always the backstory and that Jerry played Quinn in the Pilot photo because otherwise, you wouldn't recognize Quinn in the photo.

Re: Date of first slide

Never found the footage, but Stephanie scenes were filmed for the pilot.  She was played by then Melanie Pearson (now Melanie Bradshaw).

Re: Date of first slide

It's interesting that CHUCK, which is sort of like QUINN MALLORY: THE SERIES, had a similar situation: the original Pilot script for CHUCK had our geek hero, Chuck, also crushing on his next-door neighbour, Kayla Hart (Natalie Martinez). Kayla was to be a wild, free-spirited music lover and Chuck, a Best Buy computer technician with extremely low self-esteem after getting kicked out of his engineering program at Stanford, would be so awkward around Kayla that he couldn't even say hello to her at an audible volume. However, shortly before filming, writers Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak felt that CHUCK's leading lady was plainly Yvonne Strahovski's Sarah and that they would never be able to fully capitalize on Martinez in the show as anything but a temporary guest-star. They also felt that giving Chuck too many love interests would be deeply implausible for such a damaged and isolated character, so they cut Kayla Hart from the script and released the actress.

Schwartz and Fedak have, as far as I know, never attempted to write Kayla Hart fanfic. In contrast, the Stephanie character seems highly significant to Torme. I have absolutely no idea why; the character never appeared onscreen, never showed up in a later episode, was never (to my knowledge) repurposed into another character.

In Torme's (unfinished) notes for the PDF screenplay he wanted to write as an officially unofficial series finale, the opening is set shortly after "The Guardian" where, due to Logan St. Clair's modifications in "Double Cross," the timer begins malfunctioning. Slide windows are getting shorter and shorter; the sliders regroup on an Earth where the super-continent Pangea never disassembled and they are welcomed to a family meal by Stephanie and her husband. Torme's details concluded here, but the plot to follow was that Quinn would rig the timer to send the sliders backwards through the interdimension, revisiting past Earths, seeing the outcome of their interference in previous episodes, and hopefully getting home before the timer burnt out.

In Temporal Flux's view, Torme's writing has often represented different aspects of his life and obsessions. Rembrandt was a representation of Torme's love for his father's music. Bennish represented what was the dominant counterculture in Torme's youth, the hippie. The Kromaggs seem to emerge from Torme's fixation on UFOs and spaceships. So what does Stephanie represent to Torme and what is her significance? Is she an insert for Torme's wife? (I dunno.)

Re: Date of first slide

ireactions wrote:

Matt Hutaff completely disagrees with all of the above and thinks the backstory was always the backstory and that Jerry played Quinn in the Pilot photo because otherwise, you wouldn't recognize Quinn in the photo.

I kept reading your theory, waiting for you to add my own comments back into the mix. I was not disappointed. smile

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Date of first slide

I would divide SLIDERS diehard fans into two quadrants. The first is the Transmodiar sort who views SLIDERS through the lens of the TV producer and views SLIDERS in terms of practical elements. Torme, writing the Pilot, needed some background characters to fill out Quinn's graduate studies class and used stock characters and ethnicities: a snarky Asian (Wing), an anxiety-ridden mess (Montague), a token girl (Nan) and a stoner (Bennish). To attribute any greater meaning to any of that is absurd.

Then you have the fan historian, Temporal Flux, who views SLIDERS as an archeology and cultural humanities project. The pilot script, from this perspective, reflects Tracy Torme's life and obsessions: UFOs, hippies, Cold War paranoia, a talented but troubled teacher (Arturo might be a fond, rose-tinted remembrance of Gene Roddenberry), a boss who is ignorant and full of himself (Hurley is based on Maurice Hurley of STAR TREK), and Quinn's messiness and wearing the same clothes for weeks reflect how Torme surrounded himself in his office with empty pizza boxes and takeout containers as he hunched over his word processor and cranked out pages.

And then, well off the map and far away from any common frame of reference is ME. I was a viewer who was enthralled and then repulsed by the later seasons and came to view SLIDERS as a traumatic event of lifelong repercussions who drifted from SLIDERS to DOCTOR WHO, always watching the Doctor step into his TARDIS with longing and regret, listening to River Song declare, "Next stop: everywhere" and wishing to hear Rembrandt say those words and inhabit Steven Moffat scripts. And at the time, I was reading comic books and the horrors there were so much worse than SLIDERS.

I saw Batman's back broken and then he got vaporized. and I watched Green Arrow, Superman, Blue Beetle, Captain America and Iron Man die. I saw the Flash melt into nothing and later, Green Lantern went insane, murdered his friends and teammates and incinerated himself in the sun. I saw Professor Xavier keep an enslaved prisoner in his basement, watched Cyclops abandon his wife and son to take up with an old girlfriend. I read a comic where Wolverine was revealed to be descended from a line of magic wolves.

They all died and they all came back; Batman and Captain America turned out to have been dislodged and unstuck in time. Green Arrow was restored with temporal energies, Superman was in a coma, Blue Beetle's death was unwritten with time travel, Green Lantern's consciousness was retrieved from the afterlife and restored to a rejuvenated body which was purged of the yellow light energy fear entity that had possessed him and driven him to murder and all his teammates were shown to have been alive in stasis all along. The Professor was revealed to have been trying to free his prisoner all along, Cyclops' mind had been affected by a demon and that wolfman Wolverine concept was exposed as a false memory implant. They were all mutilated and murdered and they all came back and I wanted SLIDERS to see some of that action and I see SLIDERS through the lens of the superhero.

And, to me, Quinn Mallory's morphing backstory is oddly reminiscent of Captain America's origin story and formative years: his WWII adventures, due to numerous retcons and flashbacks, have characterized him as a hardened soldier who only ever fought supervillains who was actively overseas while sticking to defending US borders while never taking a single life in combat while regularly firing guns and dropping bombs on Nazis and being a virulently racist bigot who protested Japanese internment camps whose sidekick was a teen hero named Bucky who was actually a 21-year-old sniper who died before the end of WWII while actually having been captured and frozen and kept young and alive to the modern day.

The Pilot shifting from 1994 to 1995 is much like the floating timeline of a comic book where Iron Man originally fought Communists and was injured in Vietnam but has continually been updated to the current day.

The Season 4 Kromagg arc also reminds me of a peculiar late-70s retcon where a flashback showed that Captain America was driven to join the army after his brother died at Pearl Harbor, a retcon that added a nasty tone of vengeance to Cap that made him more like the Dirty Harry style heroes of the 70s than the purehearted hero he'd been before and a retcon that was subsequently undone by a later writer. Even by the loose standards of continuity in 90s TV shows, Quinn Mallory's fractured life is very reminiscent of a superhero comic -- which I rather like because then maybe he could come back the way superheroes always do.