SLIDE EFFECTS - story by Tracy Tormé, script by ireactions
For anyone who has ever longed for one more slide with Quinn,
Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo - this story is for you.
Quinn Mallory wakes up to find himself home. In fact, it's like
he never left. It's 1995, Wade Welles is working at Doppler
Computers, Professor Arturo is teaching, Rembrandt Brown is
working on his musical career and only Quinn remembers sliding.
Haunted by five years of traumatic memories, Quinn starts to
wonder if he's losing his mind or if something else has gone
This story is set after "The Seer" and based on a plot
by SLIDERS co-creator Tracy Tormé.
Note: To find a properly formatted PDF version of this script,
Google "Scribd," "Sliders" and "Slide Effects."
"This show is flawed. It's entirely a product of the time it was
created. It's concept is great, but it never decided how it wanted
to follow through with it. When we carve through the things
that make the show terrible, we're left with Quinn, Wade,
Rembrandt and Arturo. Eventually, we're left with even less.
But these four people struck on a chemistry that was frankly
magical. It was warm and loving but never alienating. You
could be friends with them if you wanted. And we are friends
with them in a way. We care about them and we want to stay
with them through thick and thin - whether that refers to
what's going on in the show or behind it." - Ian McDuffie, Think of a Roulette Wheel
We open on a distant view of the Milky Way galaxy, majestic
and vast. But a YOU ARE HERE sticker and glimmers of light
against the black of space show we're looking at a giant wall
Our gaze moves along the wall, past the poster. Past a
miniature basketball net mounted to the wall. Past a hockey
jersey, and now we brush past a telescope, featuring an I
BRAKE FOR ASTEROIDS sticker on it. Behind the telescope is a
desk covered with scattered papers. Resting against the desk
is a surfboard. Next to that is a dresser where some dinosaur
models stand, dominating a baseball mitt.
And across from the dresser (and a sea of unwashed laundry
lying on the floor) is a bed. A black cat sits on the bed,
nestled comfortably, sharing the bed with a YOUNG MAN
stretched out on top of the covers, asleep with his glasses
on and a book called HYPERSPACE left open on his chest.
He mumbles in his sleep.
Now... what do we do...
Abruptly, Quinn Mallory sits up with a gasp. The book goes
flying as he reaches out, trying to grab onto something that
Remmy, no! Don't -
Quinn looks around, sees the laundry on the floor, the
dinosaurs on the dresser and his cat, Schrödinger, in front
Where the hell am I?
The cat meows and Quinn lurches back like he's been shocked.
He pulls himself off the bed, staring at the cat, who only
offers another meow of familiarity. Quinn backs into the
dresser, and one of the dinosaurs falls over. He turns.
Picks it up. Lets his fingers skim the surface of the model.
Confirming the reality.
He puts the dinosaur down and walks to a nearby mirror,
hesitantly looking into it.
Mallory (Robert Floyd) stands in the mirror.
Quinn - looking into the mirror and seeing himself. His own
face. His lengthy hair. His gray golf shirt. He takes off his
glasses. He touches his nose and the scar above his lip.
He looks around the room again, suspicious and untrusting.
I don't believe this -
(to the cat)
I don't believe you.
Schrödinger the cat is indifferent. Quinn yanks open his
bedroom door and steps out.
QUINN'S LEGS -
Running down the stairs of his house. Then he abruptly stops.
Quinn touches the bannister of the stairs, the floral
wallpaper. He slows his pace, walking down the stairs, not
knowing what's ahead. He's tense, braced for action. He
reaches the foot of the stairs, makes a right turn, heading
towards the kitchen.
He stops for a moment to look at the chandelier lighting the
front hallway, and stares hard, looking for discrepancies.
Then he keeps moving, stepping into the kitchen with cautious
anxiety. He's stunned by what he sees.
Quinn's mother, Amanda Mallory, stands by the toaster, with
two slices of toast on a plate.
What is this?
Oh, rye. I bought white bread just
in case you didn't like it, but -
How is this possible!? How can you
Mrs. Mallory is taken aback.
She moves towards him, but when Quinn flinches, she stops in
MRS. MALLORY (CONT'D)
Quinn, I'm sorry about last night.
Quinn tries to process the words. But they're meaningless.
You knocked out the power!
(takes a calming breath)
But I shouldn't have told you to
stop working on your father's
Quinn's suspicion, anger and fear begin to fade, as he stares
at his mother, unharmed, untraumatized, loving -
I talk to him too.
She reaches over to a chest of drawers with a flat counter
surface, and picks up a photograph. It shows herself, her
late husband, Michael, and Quinn, standing next to each
MRS. MALLORY (CONT'D)
I just think you could find ways to
keep your father in your heart that
don't involve hundreds of dollars
in electrical repairs.
Quinn says nothing, but his eyes are welling with tears. Mrs.
Mallory moves towards him, and this time, Quinn doesn't
retreat. She gently, but firmly, wraps her arms around him.
(a choking sob)
I'm sorry. I was afraid - I
thought I'd never see you again.
Quinn Mallory, it wasn't our first
fight and it won't be our last.
Quinn holds his mother tight, never wanting to let go.
MRS. MALLORY (CONT'D)
In other news, your friend Wade
called. Soft voice for a man.
Wade - !
He breaks the hug.
Mrs. Mallory releases Quinn, moving back towards her toaster.
Oh, it's a she. She wanted to ask
you if all of those new computers
at Doppler had hard drive failures
or if she'd just been unlucky with
Delight and confusion fight for space across Quinn's face.
He turns, running towards the front door.
Halfway to the front door, Quinn stops. Turns around. And he
moves to the door in the hallway, the door to his basement.
He pulls the door open and runs down the stairs.
INT. QUINN'S BASEMENT. MORNING
Descending, Quinn switches on the lights and anxiously looks
around his workroom. The basement is as it should be. An
astounding scientific laboratory with several shelves,
looking like stereo racks, full of complex wiring, computers,
keyboards, oscilloscopes showing fluctuating wave patterns on
There's an optical table, steel-topped with drilled holes, on
which many refractive mirrors, a laser and an electron
microscope are anchored. A doorless refrigerator is
surrounded by small tanks, connected by multiple wires to a
large stainless steel cylinder.
Several large, metal coils are also situated at various
points of the room. And against one wall is the blackboard,
covered with Quinn's calculations - and a question mark at
the end of the equation.
Quinn moves to the armchair in front of the television and -
My tapes - where are they?
MRS. MALLORY (O.S.)
Quinn looks back to the stairs, at his mother.
MRS. MALLORY (CONT'D)
I didn't mean what I said, but I do
think you should get out of the
house now and then. And if a girl
needs your help with computers -
Quinn nods, and urgently moves towards the stairs.
EXT. MALLORY HOUSE. MORNING
Quinn's blue BMW, with Quinn behind the wheel, backs out of
the driveway. We go to Quinn in the driver's seat, his
expression frantic. He grips the steering wheel, steps hard
on the gas. The car practically leaps down the street.
We jump ahead in time, with Quinn speeding down a street past
An upcoming traffic light goes from green to yellow. Opposite
Quinn's vehicle, a red car is in the left-turn lane ahead of
Quinn. The red car is preparing to make the turn.
Quinn sees the red car about to move into his path. But
Quinn's racing mind won't let him slow down.
As the left-turning car inches into the turn, Quinn slams his
foot on the gas pedal, intending to speed through the yellow
But the left-turning car accelerates as well and finds itself
on a direct collision course with Quinn's BMW.
Quinn yelps and abruptly swings his wheel all the way to the
At the last second, he manages to avoid a nasty crash and the
two cars end up parallel to each other on the side street.
Gasping, Quinn brakes his car, and rolls down his window. He
leans out to the other car, which has stopped. The window is
rolling down too.
Sorry - I -
The other car's window rolls down completely to reveal
PROFESSOR MAXIMILIAN ARTURO's snarling face behind it.
You thoughtless, inconsiderate -
Professor - ? You're alive!
I very nearly wasn't, you
blistering idiot! You clearly have
no business driving a car. Get a
scooter. Ride a bike. Stay off the
Oh my God. It's you. Professor. I
can't believe you're -
I am already coping with my own
shock, please don't add yours to my
burden. I will see you in class,
provided I make it to campus alive!
Arturo's car speeds off, leaving Quinn behind. Quinn leans
back against the driver's seat, breathing hard.
(SOUND FX: The sound of a hand banging on a door.)
A CLOSE UP OF A FRONT DOOR TO A HOUSE
Quinn's fist pounds on the door urgently. It opens.
Wade Welles' hair is tousled and standing on end, her eyes
are bleary, her robe is an unflattering faded blue and her
acne scars are unadorned by makeup.
Quinn? What's going on? Did I give
you my address?
Quinn gazes at Wade wordlessly, drinking in the sight of her.
Wade touches her hair, embarrassed. She rubs her eyes.
I needed to see you.
Don't we have a shift later? I'm
not at my best right now.
You look beautiful.
Wade doesn't know what to make of that, but she doesn't
object, either. It's like Quinn's presence makes her awaken:
her eyes widen. She stops touching her hair.
She returns Quinn's gaze, and doesn't recoil when Quinn
hesitantly reaches out a hand to stroke her cheek.
I... always wanted you to...
Quinn moves closer. He barely believes in this moment. His
hands go to her shoulders, stroking them lovingly. Wade. He
hasn't seen her in so long. He thought she was -
Wade Welles, inside the Kromagg sliding machine, her
expression vacant in the bath of green liquid.
Back to Wade Welles now. Disheveled, alive and well.
Quinn leans forward and so does Wade. His lips brush against
hers, a gentle kiss of longing and regret. She kisses him
back. Quinn moves his mouth to Wade's cheek, wanting his lips
to touch every inch of her skin.
I thought I'd lost you -
Wade abruptly shoves Quinn back, severing the connection. Her
INT. DINING ROOM. DAY
Quinn and Wade sit at the dining room table. Wade's hair is
damp, as though she's run some water through it to get it in
place. A coffee pot and two cups are before them.
That's quite a story.
You think I'm crazy.
I think you had a dream.
The two aren't mutually exclusive.
Wade laughs. Quinn warms at the sound. Wade reaches for a
packet of cards on the table and starts pulling out the
I'm betting you don't believe in
the supernatural. I like to think
it exists whether we believe in it
She begins separating the cards into small stacks.
But I also think that it can be a
way of looking into our own minds.
Converting our thoughts to symbols
and common images.
She turns over a card. The Magician.
You wanted to build a hovercraft
with string theory. It's part of
how you relate to your dad.
You knocked out the fuse box. You
had a fight with your mom.
She smiles. The next card is the Hermit.
Maybe this dream was just your way
of working through some issues.
It's detailed, Wade. And I know
things from my dream that I
couldn't possibly know -
You've got a friend, Sabrina, who's
a Wiccan. You shared a bedroom with
Kelly until you turned 19. When you
were 6, she told you what all your
Christmas presents were before you
Wade weighs this thoughtfully. The next card is the World.
Maybe you overheard me once and
forgot. Who knows?
The next card is the Tower.
Forget about the interdimensional
monkeys or my head being in a box.
Look at the ideas. A journey.
Losing a sense of home and a father
figure. Losing the chance to tell
someone how you feel. This was on
your mind even before the
I'm having trouble remembering what
came before it. Everything seems so
far away, so distant. I wasn't even
in my body.
You don't always have motor
functions when you're dreaming. And
if your dad's work is important,
that'll make it more intense.
I'm sorry. I must be losing my
Wade touches his hand. Holds it.
I'll always help you find it.
Mostly because I can't put up with
Michael Hurley without you to split
But it might be good to talk to a
professional mind finder.
A CLOSE VIEW OF A BUSINESS CARD
It's a card for a psychotherapist named Bruce Whelan.
Wider angle: we see Quinn sitting in a waiting room in a
doctor's office, alone, holding the card that Wade presumably
An office door opens. A woman in a smart suit ushers a
teenager out the door.
I'll see you soon, Rodney.
(pausing to look at Quinn)
You're here for Dr. Whelan?
(as Quinn nods)
He'll be with you in a few minutes.
As the woman returns to her office and her patient leaves,
Quinn shifts in his seat.
Then the door at the entrance to the waiting room opens. A
girl with dirty-blonde hair and a perpetually nervous
expression enters. She takes a seat on the opposite side of
the waiting room from Quinn, not making eye contact.
But Quinn recognizes her. It's -
Gillian Mitchell. The girl from "Gillian of the Spirits." The
girl who sees ghosts and spirits. The girl whom Quinn met on
another world and helped find sanity and confidence.
She nearly jumps out of her chair.
Do I know you?
I've eaten at your diner?
Oh! Okay. Sorry. I don't like
people to know I come here.
She wraps her arms around herself. Quinn's anxiety begins to
Gillian, do you -
At that point, the entry-door to the waiting room opens
again, and someone else walks in.
A man in a needlessly reflective purple suit walks in,
bearing a relentlessly positive expression that clearly masks
REMBRANDT BROWN turns to Quinn.
Ohhhh. This isn't helping. I come
to these sessions to cope with not
being rich and not being famous.
Quinn gapes at Rembrandt.
But I appreciate it. I gotta be
honest, the Topps ain't my fondest
memory. But the Cryin' Man's always
got a special place in his heart
for his fans.
He sits down, oblivious to Quinn's emotions, dismissing him
as being star-struck.
You're a singer. Your name is
Rembrandt Brown. "Cry Like A Man"
was a hit, then you quit the
Spinning Topps, which charted 13
number one hits without you.
You had a stint as a cook in the
Navy, but you can't swim.
Quinn suddenly stops, realizing the incongruity of the
statement. Then, barrelling ahead -
You hate kids. In the last few
months, you've been dating Alesha
Avo. When you were Little Rembrandt
with the Shandells, you grew your
first mustache. Your favourite
shaving cream is Old Spice
sensitive. You bought your Cadillac
in 1979 from a man named Dale
Summers. You thought you were a
Gemini because you misread the
astrology chart and you were
Holy hell! Stalker much?
You're creeping me out. And I ain't
never been a cook for nobody! But
how do you know about Alesha?
Quinn is now uncaring as to how he appears. He turns to
And you - Gillian. You hear
voices. You see things that aren't
How - did my classmates send you
here? Is this some kind of joke?
Quinn gets up and moves towards the door.
I'm not laughing.
He walks out.
INT. QUINN'S BASEMENT. DAY
Quinn descends the stairs into the laboratory, determined and
angry. He wants answers. His cat, Schrödinger, trails behind
MRS. MALLORY (O.S.)
Quinn looks back up the stairs at his mother. She holds a
plate with a sandwich on it.
MRS. MALLORY (CONT'D)
Mr. Hurley called. He said
psychotherapy was no excuse for
absence without notice.
(lets that sink in)
When did you start seeing a
I didn't. I thought I should, but I
Mrs. Mallory hands Quinn the plate.
(gesturing to the
You won't always find your answers
down here, you know.
Quinn accepts the plate with a smile breaking through his
confusion. Mrs. Mallory leaves and Quinn returns to the
laboratory. He sets the plate down on a table.
He pulls down the lever on one of the breakers to bring power
to the sliding machine. The coils hum with energy and Quinn
rubs his hands together. He moves towards the work table.
His hands snap components and circuits into place. He works
fast and from memory, glancing briefly at drawings only to
remember he doesn't need them.
We're past mid-day and close to evening by the time Quinn has
a timer in his hands.
He flips it open, sets the timer and presses the button.
It sparks in his hands and a wisp of smoke comes from inside.
He drops it with a cry of surprise.
Schrödinger makes a noise of fright and hides behind a table.
The timer makes a whining sound internally and then the
lights go dead. Quinn prods at it with his foot, picks it up
with a pair of tweezers and puts it on his work table. He
snaps it open.
The internals are burnt and scorched.
Baffled, Quinn turns to his chalkboard. The equation is
complete except for after the equals sign. Instead of the
answer, there's only a question mark.
Quinn carefully erases the question mark, and writes in the
missing piece with chalk. Xr12Å/X. He even adds a happy face
at the end.
Then he stops at looks at the equations as a whole.
Hang on. This... doesn't add up
He reviews each part of the chalkboard, every line, every
symbol, every letter, every digit. He pulls out a scientific
calculator from a drawer and redoes every calculation. He
opens various reference books, comparing them to what he
wrote on the board.
And then he reaches over to the chalkboard and draws a line
through the EQUALS SIGN next to the missing piece he just
It used to be right.
Quinn shakes his head in consternation. He gets the plate
with his mother's sandwich on it, and drops into his
armchair. He nibbles at his food, then breaks off a piece and
holds it out to entice his cat. Schrödinger comes to him and
Quinn pets his cat thoughtfully.
I don't understand, Schrödinger.
According to this, sliding isn't
possible. There's no such thing as
alternate dimensions. No unified
Schrödinger meows in response.
But if the math never added up to
begin with, I'd never have built
anything down here at all. What
could have changed?
You're right, Mom. I can't solve
this on my own.
And Quinn comes to a decision.
INT. HOUSE. CLOSE TO DUSK
The doorbell rings. Arturo, still in his suit, sighs and
moves towards it. He opens it to find Quinn.
How do you know where I live?
Professor, I need your help.
What you need is some discipline
and a day planner. Vehicular
manslaughter is one thing. Absence
from my class? That has crossed the
Professor! I need to talk to you.
Which you could have done during
class and office hours. Good night.
Just as Arturo is about to shut the door, Quinn holds up four
pieces of legal-sized paper he's taped together and written
his calculations on.
Oh my God. The unified field
theory. The missing proof. You
Actually, no. That's why I need
INT. KITCHEN. EVENING
Arturo and Quinn have rewritten the calculations on an easel
of chart paper and are studying it intently.
You say you solved this earlier
It was five or six years ago. I
think. It's hard to tell right now.
Yes, yes, your doppelganger from a
parallel universe - I'm sorry. I
hear the words in my own voice, and
I cannot justify breathing them. A
parallel universe. Merely a
mathematical concept for examining
the universe through numbers and
Arturo jabs a finger at the middle of Quinn's calculations.
And according to this, impossible.
And yet you're hearing me out.
Only because Jeopardy was pre
empted tonight, Mr. Mallory.
Because you remember me!
Of course I remember you, you're my
student! You nearly killed me
today! And you nearly destroyed a
car I refurbished with my own
I mean you remember our adventures
together. We were sliders.
Arturo stares at Quinn, his face unreadable.
You saved one Earth by giving them
antibiotics. You saved another by
creating the atom bomb. You ran for
Mayor on another Earth and moved
gender politics ahead by ten years.
(Quinn's voice is
You taught me to be curious and
bold. You were like a father to
Wade, and Rembrandt... he just
Please, Professor, can't you
Arturo doesn't speak. He looks back at the chart paper.
Everything on that paper tells me
you've lost your mind, Mr. Mallory.
He looks at Quinn, and a tremor enters his voice.
But I find myself thinking of you
Arturo shakes his head.
If this is madness, it has the
benefit of being mentally
Quinn nods, disappointed. But this is the best he'll get for
Alright. Let's try something -
Quinn reaches over to the chart paper. Writes in the part of
the equation that Smarter Quinn added for him.
Meretricious. Would that it were
the missing piece that provides
proof of a unified field theory.
But it is not.
That's just it. It was before. So
what would have to change on the
other side of the equals sign to
make it true?
Arturo studies the chart again.
Herbert Van Meer.
Nothing, go on.
Well, as I was saying -
Arturo circles one set of variables and numbers -
Van Meer's theorem formed the basis
of the Podalski proofs when
converted to propositional
calculus. Hence, this specific
subset of the equation.
But if it were the inverse...
Arturo picks up a piece of paper. Rewrites the set of
variables and numbers in the form of a fraction and tapes the
paper over the subset of the calculations on the chart.
It... it works.
And our inequality becomes an
But it doesn't work. How can it not
Because... for some reason, the
very nature of the existence we
know, the reality we presently
... has been altered.
Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I copied it
down wrong -
I'm pleased, boy, that you're
always inclined to test your
theories fully. But no.
Were the proofs inverted, had they
always been inverted - our modern
deductive systems would be
Professor, I know you don't
remember, but we've visited
hundreds of parallel worlds. Any
time something essential changed,
so did everything else.
But not here.
Wherever we are - the theorem was
flipped - and the only measurable
Is to prevent the likelihood of
interdimensional travel, with no
other effect on our field of
knowledge. And that is impossible.
Do you... do you believe me now,
Arturo gives Quinn an appraising gaze.
Then someone bangs on Arturo's front door.
Oh good. Perhaps our new visitor
will have proof that the moon is
made of green cheese.
Arturo ventures to the door. Quinn studies the chart some
more, while we move down the hallway to see Arturo opening
the front door. Two police officers stand on Arturo's front
We go back to the kitchen, in close on Quinn's face.
POLICE OFFICER (O.C.)
Sir? We're looking for a Mr. Quinn
Mallory? His car is parked outside.
Quinn looks up, worried.
Yes, of course - what's this all
POLICE OFFICER (O.C.)
We received complaints that Quinn
Mallory has been harassing two
different people. A Rembrandt Brown
and a Gillian Mitchell. We'll need
to speak with him.
He's in the bathroom. One moment.
Quinn tenses, backs into the kitchen as Arturo returns.
Without waiting for Quinn's response, he shoves Quinn into a
nearby storage closet. Then Arturo carefully opens the back
door in his kitchen. He turns back to the kitchen table and
knocks over one of the chairs.
Arrgghhhhh! Quinn! Stop!
Arturo throws himself down against the oven as the police
officers charge in, guns drawn.
Arturo gestures at the open back door.
That lunatic attacked me and ran!
After him! He could be dangerous!
The police officers burst out the door. Arturo recovers and
pulls open the closet.
Leave your car. Go on foot, north,
and use the cover of the hedges on
Morton. Take the bus to campus. As
you did not attend my class this
morning, you will be present in
class tonight, and I will join you
there in an hour.
Professor, thank you for -
(a loud whisper)
No time, boy! Go!
And as Quinn runs out of Arturo's house, the professor
returns to his seat and takes another look at the
EXT. STREET. EVENING
Pounding the pavement, running down the street. He gasps.
Breathes hard. He sees a phone booth ahead and stops.
QUINN IN A PHONE BOOTH
The receiver to his ear. Quinn speaks quickly.
Please. Meet me there. It's more
important than anything. One hour.
I have to go somewhere else first.
He hangs up and walks towards a nearby bus stop.
INT. BUS. EVENING
Quinn sits aboard the bus, wrapped in his coat, his face taut
and tense. As other passengers walk past him, Quinn averts
his face, looking out the window.
EXT. STREET. EVENING
The bus stops, and Quinn disembarks.
DOWN THE STREET
Quinn is now walking away from the bus, walking urgently, but
he knows where he's going. And ahead of him is a steakhouse
called Baton Orange.
INT. STEAKHOUSE. EVENING
Quinn walks in, shakes his head at a hostess and walks past
into the area of tables. He walks towards one table and sits
down across from REMBRANDT, who is polishing off a steak.
You! You looking for more trouble,
I already called the cops. That
poor girl has enough problems
without you hassling her.
Just hear me out. Aren't you
curious about how I knew you'd be
You're a stalker?
Rembrandt, get real! You've been
singing at weddings and funerals
for almost two decades. Who'd want
to stalk you?
Rembrandt grunts in pain.
We're friends, Rembrandt. We've
known each other for years, you've
Son, most of my friends, I've known
since I was 25. You'd've been an
infant and I don't forget faces.
Well, I haven't forgotten you,
Rembrandt. I haven't forgotten how
you told me about your evening
You always told me - after the
Giants game, after your first
comeback performance, you'd booked
a table at your favourite
steakhouse. You were going to have
a quiet night alone. You didn't
want to forget who you'd been
before you became a big star again.
How - I didn't tell anyone I was
coming here tonight. No one.
You told me lots of things, Remmy.
How you were 17-years-old. Little
Rembrandt and the Shandells. Violet
was your 29-year-old backup singer.
And how you loved her with all your
The only people who know that are
in the grave by now.
Who are you?
Your friend. You must feel that, on
some level. You know I would never
hurt you, Remmy. Look at me,
Rembrandt. Don't search your
memory. Just tell me what you feel
when you look at me.
I feel the need to slap you with
one hand and strangle you with the
other! I feel the need to take up a
steakknife and give you another
scar on your face. I feel -
He stops. Stunned. Stares at Quinn more closely than ever.
Quinn grins. His friend is back.
Rembrandt reaches across the table and grabs Quinn by the
What fine kind of mess have you
gotten us into this time!?
Quinn flails and winces as his left elbow ends up in the
EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS. EVENING
Wade paces back and forth in front of a faculty building, her
breath showing in the cold air. She jumps up and down to keep
Might as well be in Canada.
At a distance, she sees Quinn and Rembrandt approaching. She
squints at Quinn's companion.
Quinn and Rembrandt are still far from Wade.
I remember now - I was driving to
the game - but then your giant
hole in the air sucked me and my
Caddy off into iceland! And I don't
mean the country!
Yes - Yes!
But that's not what happened today.
How can I remember two different
versions of the same day?
They're closer to Wade now.
And who's this little pixie?
Don't call me that, Rembrandt!
Quinn is delighted even as Rembrandt and Wade are astonished.
Wait - wait - I've never seen you
But I know you! I know you! Wade!
How can I -
It seems to be an epidemic, Mister
- Mister Brown.
Arturo has arrived.
Oh no. Another one. You're -
Come on, you can do it, just let
Q-Ball, how many more old friends
do I not remember? This is worse
than the blackout I had in '84.
Let's take the discussion inside,
Mr. Brown. This bracing climate
isn't suited to intellectual
As Arturo unlocks the door to the building -
I hope I don't owe any of you
INT. ARTURO'S CLASSROOM. EVENING
The blackboard shows Quinn's calculations, reproduced in
full, with a circle around the problematic subset. Arturo
holds a yardstick and stands at the front of the class.
Quinn, Wade and Rembrandt sit in seats.
Arturo jabs his stick at the circled section of the
This morning, I considered Mr.
Mallory to be a menace behind the
wheel. This afternoon, I considered
him to be an absent layabout in
need of a wristwatch. This evening,
I found him annoying and intrusive.
How did I not remember you? Did you
always talk this much?
But then Mr. Mallory wrote out his
figures and showed me that there is
something wrong with this world.
Yeah, it's running out of natural
resources, a third of the world
goes without -
Something wrong, Ms. Welles, with
the very nature of reality itself.
Our existence - it cannot be.
He lowers the yardstick.
The last forty years of my life -
the papers I've written - the
theories I've proposed - they
would be fundamentally different
were Van Meer's theorem as we see
it written here.
Something has altered history,
changing nothing but this set of
calculations. To entrap us in a
world where sliders cannot exist.
And we're supposed to just take
your word for it that some
blackboard nonsense shows us the
world isn't real?
Seems real enough.
Yes. It does. But so does what I
He walks towards Wade.
I look at you. I don't know you.
But I know what I feel and I love
you as a daughter.
I look at Quinn. I see a son I
I look at Mr. Brown. I see a
comrade. A man I trust with my
life. A brother.
Mr. Brown, when you look at Quinn -
what do you see?
A smug college kid in dire need of
a good kicking, that's what I see.
Arturo seems disappointed.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I know who
he is. I wouldn't want to kick him
if I didn't.
There we are. We must try to
remember as best we can.
Mr. Brown's memories have begun to
come to the surface thanks to the
presence of familiar faces. Quinn
tells me Wade experienced a sense
of the truth as well.
I look at all of you and... I know
we're all connected somehow.
Mr. Mallory, you must tell your
story again. Tell us of how you
created sliding. Tell us of how we
came to travel with you.
And from there, we go to a montage of scenes. We see Quinn
talking, standing in front of the seated Wade, Rembrandt and
Arturo. Quinn gestures.
The background of the scene fades to clips of "Pilot,"
"Summer of Love" and "Eggheads," showing various chase
We see various shots of the four leaping into the vortex, in
the background while Quinn, in the foreground, continues to
We see scenes from "Luck of the Draw," with Quinn falling
back onto the grass, bloody from a bullet.
We see the gang putting their heads together in "Into the
We see the dinosaur from "In Dino Veritas."
We see the fight between two Arturos in "Post Traumatic Slide
Syndrome," as Quinn mimes some of the punches.
We see Kromaggs firing laser beams at the four as they make a
dash for it in "Invasion."
We see the vortex depositing Quinn and the others in front of
a phone booth in "As Time Goes By."
And as these clips unfold in the background, Quinn narrates
in the foreground. And the others nod, remembering.
We see the four sliding out onto an airplane in the
background, represented through a clip from the third season
premiere, "Rules of the Game."
Quinn gestures to narrate, but then -
Abruptly, the airplane vanishes and we're back in the
classroom, but the room is darker than it was before Quinn
began telling his story.
As you told us about our slides, I
started to remember each one.
As did I.
It was more than that. I felt like
we were reliving it.
Yes. And - and I didn't want to
relive the world of nudists.
A gust of wind can be heard in the background.
And the slide where we first landed
on a plane? Only it turned out not
to be a plane. It was a flight
simulator in an arena filled with
bombs and deathtraps and -
I don't remember that.
As you told it, it all came back to
me, Q-Ball. In living colour,
almost. But not this.
The lights in the classroom flicker.
Which leads us to the next
question. Why did Mr. Mallory
remember past that point, while the
rest of us didn't remember sliding
You said this world was a lie.
Did we just find out where reality
ends and the lie begins?
Is it getting darker in here?
It's like the more we remember -
He looks around at the faded scene: the darkness seems to be
closing in around them.
- the less real everything here
I believe the reality we presently
inhabit is subject to our
perceptions. We are rejecting the
world we see -
The darkness seems to enclose them, until the room is gone,
and the four are simply standing against a black landscape.
And then there's a small amount of light, and Quinn, Wade,
Rembrandt and Arturo find themselves standing in a darkened
room, with five metal tables.
They see themselves - Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo -
each of them are lying on one of the tables. Electrodes are
attached to their heads.
And there is a fifth table, and a figure lies on it, the face
hidden in darkness.
We are within a simulation. Within
our minds. But now we perceive the
truth, although we remain trapped.
How do we get out?
OFFSCREEN VOICE (O.S.)
The figure in darkness on the fifth table sits up. Rises, but
somehow leaves a second version of itself lying on the table.
The figure steps out of darkness, revealing a voluptuous
female figure in a tight green T-shirt, with a contemptuous
expression framed in locks of red hair.
Maggie Beckett smirks at that, and amused hatred burns in her
Perhaps you'd prefer a different
And then Maggie's face glows and blurs, and suddenly, her
form morphs into QUINN MALLORY.
But not the Quinn we know. This Quinn has short hair, his
face is unshaven, and he looks at least three years older.
He's clad in a wifebeater (a sleeveless shirt). His face has
none of Quinn's passion or life, only a cold emptiness that's
then broken by a sneer. He's nothing like our floppy-haired,
You're not Quinn!
I've seen that shapeshifting
You're a Kromagg.
For a moment, the Kromagg-Quinn's face shifts, showing an
inhuman face with a rounded brow, deep-sunken eyes that look
like scars, a pair of slits for a nose, and an ape-like jaw,
set in a rictus of cruelty.
Then the face shifts back to the Kromagg-Quinn's face, but
the expression is unchanged.
But what is a Kromagg but a
His face morphs again. Now he looks like a younger relative
of Quinn's, with long hair and a cold face. Colin Mallory.
A splinter in the soul...
The face changes again. And now it's Mallory (Robert Floyd).
A crack in the glass. A speck in
the ointment. Hiding in plain
sight. Waiting and watching,
gathering every fragment of
darkness within your hearts.
The Kromagg shifts back to the form of the unshaven Quinn in
The sum of all your fears.
The Kromagg smirks with Quinn's face, and the four back away
You've put us all in some kind of
telepathic prison. You're in our
Or maybe you're in mine.
You kidnapped us all, wiped their
memories, made them think they were
home - why?
Because you gave up trying to find
a way back home.
(tapping his temple,
looking at Quinn)
We placed a tracking device within
the miniscule cavity of your human
Quinn shakes. Touches his own head.
And we waited for you to return to
your homeworld. The device would
signal us and we would come for
your Earth and its quantum
Wade gasps. Rembrandt touches her shoulder. Arturo moves
closer to them. But Quinn stands his ground.
But as time passed, your travels
You made no further efforts to
control your journey.
The Kromagg morphs into a dark-skinned woman with wide eyes
and a bob haircut. Diana Davis.
She moves towards Quinn.
And so my mission was given. A
single operative would track you to
your present location. Sedate you.
Bring you to this underground
chamber. Enter your minds and let
you see what you wanted most -
The Kromagg leans right into Quinn's face and morphs into
I was to wake you up after a time.
You wouldn't remember me. But you
would remember what I gave you and
devote yourselves to finding home
The Kromagg shifts again to Quinn - the older, unshaven
Quinn in the wifebeater.
And then we'd take your world.
Quinn locks eyes with his own face.
It worked on them. Didn't work on
me. Why not?
Curious. The tracking device in
your head has a component of exotic
matter found in the folds between
dimensions. Allowing the
transmission of an interdimensional
signal. But it was damaged.
It had been exposed to a rip in
time. It had absorbed a fragment of
Comprehension dawns on Quinn's face.
The rip in time - the rip in the
universe on the world where time
When I looked into your mind, the
tracker interfered. It poured time
itself into your mind. And instead
of what I wanted you to see -
The Kromagg morphs into Colin. Then a red-haired Maggie. Then
Mallory. Then Diana. Then Quinn again.
You saw every quantum possibility.
The possible outcome of every
choice on every world a Quinn
Mallory might potentially visit.
Possible futures - ?
No, you little fool -
Every future. A storm of futures.
Bursts of light appear around the sliders and the Kromagg.
And within the bursts of light, we see moments appear.
Memories. Quinn in a leather jacket and blue T-shirt,
standing in a cemetery ("The Guardian"). Quinn in a dark
area, staring at a beaker holding a flickering flame ("The
Fire Within"). Quinn in a wooded area, crossing swords with
an enemy ("The Prince of Slides"). Quinn dressed as a
Christmas elf in a shopping mall ("Season's Greedings").
Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo look at the real versions
of themselves, lying on the tables, and they turn their
attention to the fifth table. On it, they can now see the
figure. It's a Kromagg.
(spitting out the words)
Everything any double of you could
do, anything any one of you might
ever be - all of it running
through your mind and mine. And me,
forced to endure an infinity of
worlds dominated by your species -
evolutionary deviants and filth.
The Kromagg glares at Quinn.
Intolerable. My consciousness split
in half, inhabited by vermin. I
couldn't stop the storm, but I
could strain it -
(a sadistic smile)
And while you were receiving an
infinity of possibilities, I could
decide which ones you saw.
And I made sure you saw only the
The Kromagg shifts into the form of Dr. Oberon Geiger.
I found the 37 Quinn Mallorys who'd
suffered most. Including a Quinn
who'd lost his teacher. One whose
best friend was taken away. One who
no longer had a body of his own.
One who watched his last companion
slide to his death. I combined
their lives. Added in details from
the minds of your friends. Then I
made you live it out.
And I saw you in your wretched
state and laughed.
The Kromagg becomes Maggie with red hair.
Finally, the tracker burnt out from
the temporal stream and you joined
your friends. But I am still
trapped in this half-life you
And then suddenly, the scene around the gang and the Kromagg
is replaced by the underground floor of a military base.
The sliders find themselves watching a FLASHBACK from "The
Exodus Part 2" unfold before them: they see THEMSELVES from a
third person point of view. In the flashback, Quinn, Wade,
Rembrandt and Arturo are standing together, seemingly frozen
in time as a gunshot bursts from the barrel of a gun.
Our sliders watch as Arturo in the flashback cries out and
Our Arturo covers his mouth in horror as he watches the three
remaining sliders gather around his own body.
The worst of your worlds. And none
of you will ever make it home.
Arturo watches the scene of his own death unfold, sees the
sliders begging him not to die.
You trained your pupil to be a
The scene shifts again: the sliders now watch Quinn and
Rembrandt running over a grassy hill, carrying guns (in
footage from "Dinoslide").
And the gun-toting Quinn sprays gunfire with a look of
psychotic rage on his face. Hungry for blood.
Look at him, Professor. With your
death, he became a killer obsessed
Arturo is shocked by the aggressive, murderous Quinn firing
his weapon madly. He shakes his head in denial, but he can't
And the scene shifts again: now our heroes and the Kromagg
are watching a scene of Quinn and Wade in a medical bay.
Quinn screams abuse at Wade (in footage from "The Breeder").
The dialogue is unintelligible, but Quinn is clearly angry
and Wade is clearly hurt.
Not much of a leader without his
Professor. Which means that you
were a failure as a teacher.
Arturo casts a saddened look at Quinn and Quinn turns away.
But the Professor's fate was
nothing compared to poor little
She turns her attention to Wade. And then the Kromagg changes
form again - still Maggie, but with black hair.
Now the scene around everyone shifts again, to a gray and
bleak cell. The sliders watch another scene unfold: in this
flashback, Wade is being hauled out of a cell by Kromaggs,
screaming for Rembrandt (in footage from "Requiem").
In the flashback, Rembrandt sits in his cell, unresponsive,
covering his ears.
(watching the scene)
No. Rembrandt, please, do
The Rembrandt of "Requiem" does nothing as Wade is taken
away. And the Rembrandt watching can't look on. He buries his
head in his hands.
They never missed you, you know.
They never even looked for you.
The scene changes to show Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt
laughing as they come out of a theatre in "World Killer."
You're in a rape camp, and there
your friends are, not a care in
this world or any other.
The scene is altered once more: now it shows a flashback from
"Mother and Child." Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo observe
a scene with Quinn, Rembrandt, Colin Mallory and Maggie
standing on a hilltop.
(grabbing Quinn's arm)
If Wade is back there, we gotta do
Quinn-in-the-flashback shows no reaction beyond indifference,
and pulls his arm from Rembrandt's grasp.
I don't know if we have enough
And Quinn-in-the-flashback walks off without a single glance
behind him. This Quinn walks right past our Wade, and an
agonized Wade looks on, stricken.
She stares at this future Quinn as he turns his back on her
and moves away. She reaches out to him, but he's too far away
now. She turns to our Quinn, accusatory and enraged.
He never loved you. He just felt
guilty about you. But out of sight
- out of mind.
(choking on grief and
Quinn - how could you - no. I
won't believe it.
He won't deny it.
And then Quinn approaches Wade.
You're right. I won't. That is what
Rembrandt and Arturo are stunned.
Because somehow - I must have
known - that whatever was
happening wasn't real.
The Kromagg-in-Maggie's form suddenly steps back, as Quinn
moves forward and faces her.
You're pathetic. Infinite
possibilities in both our minds -
and all you could use it for was
And you got sloppy. You combined my
lives in ways that didn't make
sense. Sliding into the future -
thinking I was home based on one
conversation - Rembrandt in the
Nothing made sense. I stopped
believing in the life you gave me.
(looking at Wade,
Rembrandt and Arturo)
And I ended up in theirs.
With one hand, Quinn grabs Arturo's shoulder. With another,
he grabs Wade's. Wade takes Rembrandt's hand.
We took our memories back from you
and now we'll take the rest.
He glares at the surrounding scene. And from his will,
reality seems to crack. The hillside is gone, replaced by
better memories. Around the sliders, moments of the past
unfold. Among these moments, we see Quinn hugging Wade (from
"Pilot"). Then Quinn and Wade comforting a stricken Rembrandt
(from "The King is Back").
We see Rembrandt and Arturo fishing (from "Luck of the
Draw"). We see Wade wrapped in a blanket, carried warmly in
Quinn's arms (from "Obsession"). Followed by a memory of
Quinn and Wade in front of the Mallory house, kissing (from
"Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome"). We see Quinn shaking the
Professor's hand (in "As Time Goes By").
And we see a vision of Rembrandt and Arturo rushing to meet
Wade and Quinn. Wade hugs Arturo and Arturo lifts her into
the air as he embraces her (from "The Young and the
The scenes fade to reveal the four sliders now. Standing in
the room with five tables, facing the Kromagg.
You're no match for the four of us.
The Kromagg-as-Maggie howls with rage and shifts back into
his natural form.
His hideous teeth bared, he launches himself at Quinn, his
hands ready to tear Quinn to shreds. His cry of fury chills
the bone. His fingertips are within an inch of Quinn's face.
Before the Kromagg can make contact, the scene shifts
slightly, and the Kromagg vanishes.
Only the Kromagg on the fifth table remains, sedated and
Quinn looks to his three friends.
We brought our memories back to us,
we can wake ourselves up too.
Tell yourselves. This isn't real.
We're lying on the table.
This isn't real. We're -
- lying on the table.
This isn't -
Real. We're lying on the table.
This is not -
REMBRANDT SITTING UP
And pulling the cables from his head.
Next to him, Quinn, Wade and Arturo are sitting up as well.
He pulls himself off the table and walks to the fifth table
with the Kromagg lying on it. The others trail behind him.
He's still asleep.
Then suddenly, the Kromagg's form on the table shifts, and
the Kromagg looks like Quinn.
Time to put... a slug on the
The Kromagg shifts again, turning into Maggie.
Get your stinkin' paw off me.
Shifts to Colin.
Oh, this is truly inspired.
Shifts to Diana Davis.
It's one of the predicted
algorithms in the EPR paradox.
Shifts to the form of Mallory.
I'd call that a major fluctuation.
The sliders watch, fascinated, as the Kromagg continues to
switch forms, delivering curious statements in a sleepy
What's wrong with him - what's
wrong with it?
Quinn turns away.
He gave me the worst of all worlds
he could find. Now he's going to
live through all of them. Forever.
Quinn finds the timer on a small table. He flips it open.
Leave him. We need to get to the
surface. The plan was to let us
leave after we woke up. The exit
has to be close and we've only got
15 minutes to the slide.
A tunnel. Right here.
The four of them move through a mouth in the wall, and into a
They start walking up the path. A glimmer of light is visible
at a far distance from where they are. They advance towards
I feel like I was home just a
minute ago. And before that - I
think we were getting dinner?
The timer said we had two weeks.
And we've been unconscious for most
of it. That Kromagg must've used
his telepathy to adjust our bodily
functions, keep us running without
I really don't want the details,
(shaking his head)
I thought we were home for real
this time and I didn't even know
I'd been away. And now we're lost
Remember, Mister Brown, that home
isn't just a place, it can be the
people you're with.
(after a moment's thought)
There are some advantages to this
incident. The tracking device in
Mr. Mallory's head has been
And of the four of us, he's the one
who suffered most. I'd say that's
Rembrandt smiles at that. They keep walking. The light ahead
is getting closer.
Quinn - we just have a day of new
memories. But you have three new
years of sliding in your head.
It's not staying. It's already
beginning to fade away.
I would consider that a gift.
It just scares me. What Quinn
experienced? All of us getting lost
or dying? How do we know that won't
happen as we keep sliding?
Ms. Welles - our captor wanted to
show Quinn the worst his doubles
could experience. And of an
infinite number of Quinns, he only
found 37 suited to his purpose.
Which means the rest have futures
brighter than we can imagine.
And whatever happens, we will face
it together. We should be -
Arturo trips over a stone in the tunnel and falls on his
Quinn's eyes narrow in a calculating way.
Wade and Rembrandt rush to the Professor, but Quinn waves
Give the man some dignity, would
you? We'll meet you at the top.
Wade wants to protest, but then Quinn hands her the timer.
She takes it and turns away, looking back reluctantly.
I can see the light at the end of
the tunnel. We're almost out of
He and Wade set off. Their voices can be heard at a distance.
REMBRANDT (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Too bad our trip here got
interrupted. For a world where you
go to jail for talking out loud,
the music was really good.
Might be for the best. I don't
think the Professor could've made
it two weeks without hearing the
sound of his own voice.
As Wade and Rembrandt's voices fade away, Quinn helps the
Professor up. He watches Wade and Rembrandt pass out of
A moment to catch my breath, if you
please. Thank you, my -
And then Quinn slams Arturo against the wall of the tunnel.
Before Arturo can call out, Quinn slaps a hand over Arturo's
mouth, silencing him.
Quinn puts a knee into Arturo's stomach. Arturo chokes and
Quinn lets him drop to the ground.
- what - ?
That Kromagg was feeding details
from your minds into mine. And in
my mind, he added this little
factoid - he said that Rembrandt
had been in the Navy. Where would
he get an idea like that? Remmy
can't even swim.
Arturo is breathing hard, trying to recover, not responding.
(leaning down to Arturo)
He'd get that detail from someone
who came from a world where his
Rembrandt actually was in the Navy.
(a cold whisper)
From you. You're not our Professor.
You're the double.
Quinn grabs Arturo by the shirt. Hauls him up.
That Kromagg tried to steal our
lives, but you stole the
Quinn, I'm sorry - I never thought
Shut up and listen.
And he whispers angrily in Arturo's ear.
I saw the future, Maximilian. I
remember all of it. I've seen what
happens without you.
This team needs its Professor
Arturo. And now that's you.
Quinn releases Arturo.
Wade and Rembrandt. They can never
know. Do you understand me?
Arturo is shaken. Frightened. But he holds up his hands in a
placating manner, and nods.
The Professor left you big shoes to
(giving Arturo a moment)
Go on. They're waiting for us.
Arturo, shamed and grateful, begins moving up the tunnel.
Quinn stands still for a moment, glancing back one last time
at the chamber he's leaving behind.
EXT. HILLSIDE. MORNING
It's a beautiful morning. The hillside overlooks a bay of
water that stretches out to the horizon. Wade and Rembrandt
admire the sunrise, whispering, chuckling. They bask in the
Arturo emerges from the cave and joins them. Wade runs to
him, brushing dirt from his clothes like he's a boy, and he
smiles, letting her. Rembrandt looks on and grins.
Quinn comes from the cave, calm and serene. He looks at his
friends, happy, united, together once more. Having never been
Wade raises the timer. She presses the button and triggers
the vortex, and its silver and blue light flashes across
I've never been so happy to see
Oh, please. You say that every
Rembrandt laughs and dives into the vortex. Wade gives Quinn
a smile and then skip-jumps after Rembrandt, disappearing in
a flash of light.
Arturo casts an uncertain expression at Quinn. Quinn inclines
his head towards the vortex, urging him on, and Arturo hurls
himself into the void, vanishing.
And as Quinn himself runs towards the gateway -
And he leaps...
ONLY THE BEGINNING
Some thoughts from a mysterious fan of SLIDERS, Slider_Quinn21, whose musings touched many of the words within this script.
SLIDERS is a truly unique show. The premise is amazing. People who I talk to who don't like the show agree that the premise was great. The "What If" facet of SLIDERS is fascinating to a lot of other people. Everyone dreams of what could've happened if things were different. That's what made Quinn make that first slide. Even without SLIDERS, the "what if" question continues to circulate throughout television and movies.
SLIDERS survived multiple cancellations. What other shows can claim that? SLIDERS survived cast change after cast change after cast change after cast change. What other show can claim to keep good ratings after losing 75 per cent of its original cast, including two fan favorites? When you all watched the pilot, would you think that Rembrandt would be the one to survive if someone had to? Rembrandt, the comic relief?
SLIDERS has spawned several websites and fanfiction. How many shows have entire sites like the Otherworlds, filled with Fanfiction? How many shows have sites like or The Dimension of Continuity that break down every facet of the show? While searching for websites for SEVEN DAYS, I realized how lucky we are.
We have stuck with the show through the good, the bad, and the really bad. Many of us despise most of the show. How many shows can claim to keep a stable fanbase when most of the fanbase only really like about 20 of the episodes?
It really shows the power of fans. This is a show the network really didn't want. FOX cancelled it every single year, and it was saved every year. Sci-Fi Channel took advantage of the fans and tried to cancel it to no avail. Even with no actors, no budget, and no interest, a sixth season almost happened.
The fans kept a show on the air for five years that should've been on for 20 episodes. Probably less. And all because of how it started.
If there had been four different characters, played by four different actors, the show might not have been as special. There was something about Jerry's Quinn, who seemed both amazingly confident and extremely shy. You see him act so proud and energetic in the basement and so shy and out-of-place everywhere else. He brought a lot of humanity to Quinn, which makes his later performances so sad.
There's something about Sabrina as Wade. She's beautiful, but she plays that "girl next door that no one notices" so well. It was endearing, and her relationship with Quinn was so real. She wasn't a bombshell, and he wasn't dashing. But they were both attractive, and they seemed to have real chemistry.
Arturo was exactly the way he needed to be played. He's mystified by what he's able to see, proud that he's a part of it, but seemingly jealous at the same time. He played the patriarch of the group, stern when he needed to be but loving at other times. If not for John Rhys-Davies, the show wouldn't have been half the show it was. Which explains the immediate drop off as soon as he left, in both acting performances and story quality. I don't think John would've accepted some of the crap that came out in season four or five. In fact, I'm surprised he put up with as much as he did in season three.
And Cleavant. Not only was he great for the show, he was great for the fans. He stayed when he was on a sinking ship, and he's always said he did it for the fans. Imagine a season five with Maggie, Mallory, Diana, and someone else, it would've been a disaster. Rembrandt brought soul and humanity to the series, and his performance never dropped. You cheered for him, even when the story quality died.
Those four people made SLIDERS great. But I think their story is done. Whether it's unfair or not, SLIDERS is more muddled than STAR TREK ever was.
We saw the worst death in television to the most beloved character. We saw another beloved character get sent to a breeding camp, forgotten, and then turned into the fortune teller machine from BIG. We saw the star of the show turn into a jackass and put his talentless brother in a main role, and then we saw him abandon the show and the fans.
The goal in Seasons 1 - 3 was to get home. Did they get home? The goal in Season 4 was to find Kromagg Prime and Quinn's parents? Did they do this? The goal in Season 5 was to separate Mallory and find Colin? Did they do this? So, in retrospect, nothing that SLIDERS set out to do was accomplished. Countless threads were left untied. We never found out what happened to Bennish or Logan or the Professor or Wade or even Colin. And to make things worse, we were denied a resolution. The show ended on a cliffhanger twice and we will never get a resolution to "The Seer."
Surgery could be done to remove all the tumors, but it would probably end up killing the patient. It's probably best to just amputate that segment of SLIDERS and move on.
If they ever end up doing a SLIDERS: THE NEXT GENERATION with new characters, I'd like to see some sort of comic book to tie up loose ends. Kinda like how STAR TREK (2009) released a comic tying the TNG-era movies to the new universe. But I just don't know how you'd do it. You can split Mallory and save Quinn. You can reveal that the Kromagg Prime stuff was a trick. You can do a "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" reveal and 'save' the original Arturo. But what about Wade? It'd be a mess just to get everyone back on the same page, let alone give any proper closure to anyone.
On Season 4
I think the difference between SLIDERS and any normal television series is the sheer number of different people that were in charge along the way. SLIDERS changed producers, executive producers, showrunners, and networks. Outside of Cleavant, I don't think anyone that was with the show for episode one was with the show for episode 88. So there was no one there to guide the show from point A to point Z. And there was no consistency for any of the characters.
There were so many emotional issues that they could've run with, but they ignored almost everything. It ran on a "oh well" system, like a sitcom, where nothing ever carries over into the next episode. Quinn never deals with the death of his mentor, the capture/rape of his best friend, or the destruction of his homeworld (adopted or not). Rembrandt never really deals with Wade's abduction or the invasion of Earth Prime. Maggie never deals with the destruction of her world, the death of her husband, or the relief of killing Rickman.
And while the show didn't have to turn into GILMORE GIRLS and have everyone discuss their feelings, it could've easily addressed some of these major concerns. Because, while the third season was insane, it did set up a lot of potential drama in season four. And on a new network, they had a chance to have a completely clean slate... something that most shows don't get a chance to do.
Think about how SLIDERS would be done in today's world, and where it could've gone creatively. You start season four with the following:
Quinn has lost his mentor, and his quest for revenge never really allowed him to mourn. With no Arturo, Quinn has been forced to take up definitive leadership in the role. Quinn has seen several versions of himself, most of them having invented sliding. Earth Prime has been taken over by Kromaggs, completely altering the sliders' original goals. Quinn finds out that he's a central figure in the war between humans and Kromaggs. Wade has been captured and taken away by the Kromaggs. Rembrandt has been living in a prison camp. Maggie is forced to bond in a group now that her own quest for revenge is over. She also didn't mourn the loss of her husband. Or, consequently, her entire world.
Given the writers of SLIDERS season four, most of that wasn't considered. But put the writers of FRINGE on that? Or SUPERNATURAL? Or LOST? Or one of the other brilliant genre shows today? And I think you have a lot to work with.
Consider Quinn. Here he is, having travelled around the multiverse for three years. It's started to be fun, and he's starting to learn that he (Quinn Mallory) is important on several worlds. Creating sliding wasn't unique to himself on one world - he's important on a lot of worlds. Written correctly, Quinn could've easily developed a god complex - he's really special. Throw in the whole Kromagg Prime arc, and it becomes even easier to tip him over the edge. As far as the shift in his character goes, it's not necessarily out of the blue that he'd go from nerdy science geek to superhero. He was already athletic (he was a high school quarterback), and he was already heroic. Sliding had trained him on weapons of all kinds.
Then there's the whole shift in focus. Sliding was originally about exploration. Getting lost in the multiverse changed that, and the quest became to get home. Then it became about getting Rickman.
But finding Earth Prime invaded changed all that. Now it isn't about finding home or science or exploration. It's about survival. And, if they decide to go that direction, it would become about liberation. Which would, of course, require a superhero.
And they could've easily gone with the "Kromagg Spy" plan. They want to destroy Quinn, and they come up with this plan. They see a guy who's already convinced that he's important, and they play to that. Make him think he's supremely important. Fill the void of his own mentor with his own ego. Build him up...and when he's at his most vulnerable, destroy him.
You also have Maggie moving in to Wade's spot. She'd fill the void in Quinn's... er... heart... but she wouldn't fill the hole in Rembrandt's. And it'd be a completely different dynamic in the group. That, plus Rembrandt's experience as a POW, would probably make the Cryin' Man darker. Losing Arturo, Wade, and the loveable Rembrandt would completely change that the way the group functions. Throw in a more action-oriented leader Quinn and a militaristic Maggie, and the group would start to function in a more military-oriented way.
Then, there's Colin. Make him a Kromagg Spy, but I like the idea that it's subliminal or subconscious. Because I do actually like the idea of Colin, coming from an "Amish" world as a Slider. It's a big enough moment of excitement to have our sliders seeing alternate worlds, but the wonder and amazement that Colin would have experienced would've been monumental. I think it could've been fascinating.
And much like Castiel/Jimmy from SUPERNATURAL, it could've been an interesting subplot to have the "Colin" personality trapped when the "Kromagg Spy" personality emerges. Could he be saved?
There was so much that they could've done. They could've done just about anything with this premise. If they wanted to do a one-man show with Jerry, they could've. If they wanted to turn the show on it's ear, they could've. But what they did, instead, was make a cheap copy of the first couple of seasons.
The casting stuff was bad, but it was salvageable. The budget was low, but it isn't the kind of show that demands a lot of spending. And even some of the story ideas (Kromaggs as a primary villain, Earth Prime invaded, Quinn from another Earth) could be worked with. It could've worked, despite all of that. And they just dropped the ball. It's just a shame.
On a SLIDERS feature film
If we got a SLIDERS movie, I think reboot is the only way to go. As many fans as there are of SLIDERS still, I think our opinions are all but irrelevant to the discussion. I don't think anything from the show would be referenced. Nothing. Pretend, as you easily can with this premise, that the TV show and the movie are different sets of sliders. Quinn Mallory discovers sliding, and he and friends go on a journey. Anything outside of that would boggle things up way too much.
If you want, do a reboot with new actors. If you want the original actors, it could still work. You just write Quinn as a scientist-at-heart that lost track of time and grew up before he could make his scientific breakthrough. Make Wade his wife. Arturo and Rembrandt could just as easily be 15 years older than they were when the show premiered without changing much of anything.
This isn't the same situation as STAR TREK, where they had to fill in the gaps to the show's fans. They could show, very early, that this isn't Quinn from the TV show. This is an entirely new Quinn Mallory, and the premise allows this to be no big deal. And if they wanted, like STAR TREK (2009) did, they can release a comic book to provide an in-canon explanation to explain what happened to the TV show characters.
But, at the end of the day, I don't think the fans are worried about Mallory or Diana or Maggie. I don't even think they're worried about Rembrandt. Give us a new movie, and I think we'll be fine.
The execution for SLIDERS was awful for a large majority of the show. Even the sacred first season isn't void of major issues, and it's less than ten episodes long. It's the idea that kept the show going for five years, and it is what should be able to bring the show back in some form. SLIDERS doesn't have the fan base of STAR TREK, but it also wouldn't require the kind of budget that either of those franchises requires. You can make a SLIDERS movie on very small percentage of the budget of a Trek movie. If done correctly, it wouldn't require much CGI, and none of the actors would demand a high salary. If you reboot with younger actors, you might even make it cheaper.
On new characters or recasting?
Is SLIDERS simply the original four people? If so, why does Maggie (49 episodes) appear in more episodes over the course of the series than Arturo (41)? Is SLIDERS only the first 41 episodes, and is the second half of the series simply a spinoff with the same name?
Or is SLIDERS simply a group of people going from one parallel universe to another? The show survived without all but one of the original characters. I realize it wasn't great survival, but it did survive. And, at times, it was able to tell a good story or two, even without Quinn or Wade or Arturo.
If a SLIDERS movie came out with all-new actors and all-new characters, I think it would still be SLIDERS. It would probably, at least to me, still be SLIDERS without many references to the original series. If they followed the path of Tommy, Professor Knight, Jack, and Jill... if the story works, I think it would be easily accepted as part of the canon. In the same way that STAR TREK fans accepted Picard and Sisko after Kirk sailed into the sunset.
Because, like STAR TREK, SLIDERS has a simple goal. Trek explored the stars. SLIDERS explores parallel universes where anything is possible. And as much as I like the original four characters, I think I love the premise so much more.