Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sliders is a science fiction television series that ran from 1995–2000, across five seasons. The series focuses on a group of people travelling between alternate worlds ("sliding"), trying to find their way back to the world they started out from.
The first three seasons of Sliders were shown by the Fox Network. It was cancelled after the first season, which was broadcast from March to May 1995, but was brought back for a second season from March to July 1996. A third season was broadcast from September 1996 to May 1997. The Sci Fi channel produced the fourth (June 1998 to April 1999) and fifth (from June 1999) seasons, but cancelled it in February 2000.
In the UK, the BBC showed the first three seasons from September 1996 to January 1999. The episodes were (confusingly) shown out of order. No episodes have been repeated and the fourth and fifth seasons were not aired. The Sci Fi channel has also shown Sliders, possibly including the fourth and fifth seasons.
The show was produced by Tracy Torme , who is the son of singer Mel Torme.
The young physicist Quinn Mallory developed a device called a "timer" capable of opening vortices to alternate universes. On a trial run with his friend Wade Welles and his professor Maximillian Arturo (and the singer Rembrandt Brown, who accidentally came along for the ride) the timer was damaged, leaving them unable to control when the vortices would open or which world they would lead to. The format for the series was thus established: each episode begins with the protagonists arriving in a new world with some difference from the world they started out in (penicillin was never discovered, the USA is part of the Soviet Union, women oppress men, etc.); while waiting for the next vortex to open, they get into some kind of trouble, get separated from the timer, and have to get back to the device in time to travel through the door into the next world.
The fourth season re-introduced the Kromaggs from season two, where they made a brief appearance in the episode Invasion. The Kromaggs are a species using sliding technology to travel from world to world, conquering and enslaving humans. On the world they are from, Cro-Magnon man and the Neanderthals did not become extinct, but instead evolved together into a unique species distinct from modern humans. Arturo is killed by an insane colonel and Maggie Beckett, a U.S. Marine captain from the colonel's world, joins the Sliders. At the start of the fourth season, Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade find their way home, but it has been taken over by the Kromaggs. (Maggie's world was destroyed by an exploding pulsar.) Wade is captured by the Kromaggs and is not seen again until very late in the series when she has been turned by the Kromaggs into a computer capable of predicting the future and tracking wormholes.
Meanwhile, Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt try to find a weapon against the Kromaggs. Quinn discovers that he's really from another Earth, where he's the son of reality-hopping anti-Kromagg resistance fighters. Quinn also learns he has a brother, Colin, on another (technologically-backward) parallel earth who joins them. At the beginning of the fifth season Colin is lost between dimensions. Quinn melds with his double on a parallel earth, Mallory, who joins Rembrandt, Maggie, and scientist Dr Diana Davis. They discover that the resistance's weapon against the Kromaggs is fatal to human beings. At the end of the last episode, Rembrandt slides alone with a virus in his blood to fight the Kromaggs on his world.
Sliders-esque stories abound in comics, TV series and science fiction books, one of which is the Hypertime plotline running in DC Comics' 2nd Superboy series (issues 60–65), where Superboy hops between Elseworld, Realworld and Possible 'Realities' in a fashion akin to Sliders. Sliders also has similarities to Marvel's Exiles title, which features several Marvel characters who have been pulled from their own realities to fix problems in alternate ones. The series also shares some similarities with Quantum Leap, and some fans have speculated about a link between the character of Maggie Beckett and Quantum Leap protagonist Sam Beckett .
The nature of the show changed during the seasons. Most fans tend to prefer the first two seasons, which focused on alternate histories and alternate social norms, and disliked the third season, which had an action-oriented focus and did not focus much on alternate histories. The third season is compared to movie rip-offs by many fans, and this can be seen by episodes which emulate the films Twister (Electric Twister Acid Test), Tremors (Paradise Lost), Dragonheart (Dragonslide), Lost World (Dinoslide), and The Island of Dr. Moreau (This Slide of Paradise).
The fourth and fifth seasons focus mostly on fighting the Kromaggs and some fans say this is where it jumped the shark.
- Quinn Mallory, played by Jerry O'Connell (to episode "Revelations" end of Season 4)
- Wade Welles, played by Sabrina Lloyd (to episode "This Slide of Paradise" end of Season 3, but in the episode "Requiem" (S5e11) her voice is heard)
- Rembrandt Brown, played by Cleavant Derricks
- Professor Maximillian Arturo, played by John Rhys-Davies (to episode "The Exodus part 2" (S3e17), but appeared in the episode "The Last of Eden" (S3e20))
- Maggie Beckett, played by Kari Wuhrer (from "The Exodus part 1" (S3e16))
- Colin Mallory, played by Charlie O'Connell (Jerry O'Connell's actual brother) (from episode "Oh Brother, Where Are Thou?" (S4e6) to episode "Revelations" end of Season 4)
- Quinn Mallory (2) a.k.a. Mallory, played by Robert Floyd (from episode "The Unstuck Man" Season 5)
- Diana Davis, played by Tembi Locke (from episode "The Unstuck Man" Season 5)
- Colonel Angus Rickman, played by Roger Daltrey ("The Exodus " parts 1 and 2 (S2e16–17)) and Neil Dickson (episodes "The Other Slide of Darkness ", "Dinoslide ", "Stoker " and "This Slide of Paradise" (S3e21, S3e23–25))
- Elston Diggs, played by Lester Barrie (episodes "Double Cross", "The Dream Masters ", "Desert Storm ", "Dragonslide ", "Murder Most Foul ", and "The Breeder" (S3e2, S3e5–7, S3e13, S3e19))
- Doctor Oberon Geiger, played by Peter Jurasik (episodes "The Unstuck Man", "Applied Physics ", and "Eye of the Storm" (S5e1–2, S5e17))
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