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Trivia / Sliders

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  • Artist Disillusionment: Tracey Torme had to deal with a whole ton of Executive Meddling, and according to the fan site Earth, he hated what the show turned into. Go to the pages about the double episode "Exodus", and read the part about what he thought of it, you'll see.
  • California Doubling: The early seasons were filmed in Vancouver.
  • The Cast Showoff: Cleavant Derricks has a beautiful singing voice, which is showcased in several episodes. Justified, in that Rembrandt was a professional musician on Earth Prime. This was used to expose Rembrandt as a fraud in "The Prince of Slides," where an alternate version of Rembrandt was royalty and tone-deaf.
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  • Channel Hop: FOX to Sci-Fi.
  • Creative Differences:
    • Tracy Tormé reportedly fought tooth and nail for much of the first two seasons. He ultimately left partway into Season 3 because of both this trope and to take care of his ailing father. He was interested in returning for Season 4, but cited this trope in regards to working with David Peckinpah (a holdover from Season 3).
    • John Rhys-Davies was noted for always complaining during his time with the show. This always rankled the writing staff, but it got ugly during Season 3 when a new writing staff came in. This ultimately led to Rhys-Davies being fired over his criticism. Cleavant Derricks recalled the firing of his cast-mate in an interview, implying the creative differences also led to the very unprofessional announcement of his firing. (Rhys-Davies had been fired casually in public in front of the rest of the cast and crew.)
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Tracy Tormé was vocal in his criticism of the way things were going before he finally left, but all of that was nothing compared to when he saw the "Exodus" two-parter. Quote found on Earth Prime:
    "I will unabashedly tell you I thought it was one of the worst pieces of television ever produced, and the low point of the entire series. If you look at it, there are signs of the lack of caring, lack of thinking; lack of everything. There are giant logic holes, scenes that don’t edit together well, poor production values, poor performances, poor writing; it was an absolute utter embarrassment. It goes way beyond either of the shows I took my name off on Star Trek."
    • As of The New '10s, John Rhys-Davies doesn't have many nice things to say about the show. He mentioned he did enjoy the premise at first, but less and less so as time went on, as scripts became weaker and weaker. During an interview in 2014, he mentioned his regret of the wasted potential behind the concept, as well as being floored after walking on the writers watching the movie Species and selecting scenes they could pillage for the show.
  • Development Hell: A movie has been discussed since 1999-2000.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Jerry O'Connell helmed five episodes - "Stoker," "Slidecage," "Lipschitz Live!," "Data World" and "Roads Taken."
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The main reason why the show lost its politically- and philosophically-charged plotlines, in favor of "Movie Rip-Off of the Week." Oh, and also "Hire My Brother."
    • In a fun subversion, though, Tormé was once able to pull this trope off to his advantage. His bosses were completely opposed to "Invasion," but Tormé so wanted to do it that he went over their heads to their boss (John Matoian). Matoian liked the story, so he overruled the people that had been overruling Tormé. Oh, and unsurprisingly, "Invasion" became an instant fan-favorite.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Real Life example. Guest star Ken Steadman was killed on-set when he flipped a dune buggy.
  • Follow the Leader: In Season 3, the series started following any leader that presented itself, with episodes that were little more than cheap ripoffs of the movies Twister, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Tremors, Jurassic Park, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: The series stuck it out for its second and third seasons on FOX's Friday night schedule. Most of Season 4 aired Monday nights on Sci-Fi, though the last six episodes premiered on Fridays to air along with Farscape and First Wave as part of a new channel line-up. Ratings were actually good despite this move and stayed that way throughout the fifth season.
  • Killed by Request: Most of the main cast had this. May have been what lead to Arturo dying from a "terminal illness", and is certainly responsible for Quinn changing his appearance (new actor).
  • Making Use of the Twin: In real life, Cleavant's brother Clinton was used in "The King is Back," "Greatfellas," and "The Prince of Slides" to play an alternate Rembrandt.
  • McLeaned: The series was notorious for this. When Sabrina Lloyd wanted to leave the show, they stuck Wade in a Kromagg breeding camp, then brought her back briefly as a brain in a jar. When Jerry O'Connell wanted out, they had Quinn merge with an alternate-reality version of himself which erased his personality. When John Rhys-Davies... well, you get the picture. Getting out of the show was almost as bad as staying in. Rhys-Davies was reportedly disgusted with the direction the show was taking, but he didn't want to leave, nor did he ever express total opposition to coming back. His departure was as much because the production staff (as led by David Peckinpah) loathed Rhys-Davies for his constant criticism. Rhys-Davies' story (he was credited as co-author) was greatly altered from its original version to the point where it's barely recognizable. While not naming names, Rhys-Davies did not ever want to work with a certain executive producer ever again and it was Peckinpah that stayed with the show until its end.
  • Old Shame: Writer Paul Jackson has very little positive to say about his last episode, "Slither."
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Quinn's mother was played by a different actress in Season 2 due to Linda Henning moving to Los Angeles. When the series moved production to LA, though, the original actress was called back up.
    • Quinn's father was played by three different guest actors over the first four seasons.
    • Brain-tissue-harvesting Evil Brit Col. Rickman was played by Roger Daltrey in his first appearance, "The Exodus" two-parter. Daltrey was reportedly unavailable to continue on for the rest of the season, so Neil Dickson was cast for remaining appearances. The change was explained a la The Nth Doctor.
    • The Recurring Character of Gomez Calhoun, who works the desk at the hotel throughout the series, is played by Will Sasso in the first two seasons, and played by Israel Juarbe in Seasons 4 and 5.
    • In a subversion, Maggie Beckett looks visibly different in the Season 4 premiere, but it's actually still Kari Whurer, just with brown hair.
  • Out of Order: The first six or seven episodes were screened in a slightly screwy order, and even released on DVD in the same way. As it was a highly episodic show, it didn't matter too much, but there were some odd moments such as the sliders starting an episode dressed weirdly on a flooding world, only to end the following episode the same way, or setting the portal device to a randomised timer after they'd already been using it that way for weeks.
    • This actually worked in the show's favor in Season 2: Fox originally wouldn't let the show resolve the previous season's Cliffhanger ending, but Tracy Torme was able to lobby Fox to allow it (although, even then, the resolution seemed almost an afterthought, since it actually was). The resolution was included as part of the 3rd episode to be filmed... and 1st to be shown.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Charlie O'Connell as Colin Mallory.
    • Mel Tormé As Himself in "Greatfellas."
    • In the same episode, Tracy Tormé's wife appears as a bridesmaid.
    • Any time Rembrandt met one of his doubles, they didn't have to resort to fancy camera tricks, as one or the other Rembrandt would be played by Cleavant Derricks' twin brother Clinton.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Plots and elements of the comic book series eventually found their way onto the TV series, though it's hard to say how much of this was on purpose or just a coincidence. Narcotia to Season 4's "Just Say Yes" is considered a given though, as the former was written by Jerry O'Connell (who was a producer in Season 4).
  • Recycled Script: The movie ripoffs in Season 3 are the most cited examples among fans. The Acclaim series of comic books are notable for putting forth stories and concepts that were later utilized on the show, or vice versa:
    • The two-part story "Armada" introduces the Zercurians, a race of two-dimensional beings sliding from world-to-world to raze all life. This mirrors the later introduction of the Kromaggs, whose premiere episode is near-identical.
    • "Ultimatum" deals with a religious conspiracy, which was later explored in the fourth season episode "Prophets and Loss."
    • "Narcotica," written by star Jerry O'Connell, mirrors the later drug-themed episode "Just Say Yes."
    • "Blood and Splendor" utilizes the common first-season formula of a parallel Earth ruled by a tyrant, only to be overthrown once the Sliders fall in with a group of revolutionaries.
    • "Deadly Secrets" sees Wade enter a world where she died in infancy and interacts with her parallel parents in a consumerist-driven world, much like Season 3's "Season's Greedings." This story also introduces the plot point of Arturo's terminal illness, which was revealed differently in the show.
  • Recycled Set:
    • A common complaint of later seasons, as diminishing budgets meant heavily re-using the standing sets (such as the Chandler Hotel).
    • "Slidecage" re-uses the futuristic standing sets from the short-lived Timecop TV series, which had been cancelled shortly into Season 4's filming. Writer Marc Scott Zicree has stated he wrote the episode to make use of the great sets that were going to be torn down.
  • Screwed by the Network: From the very get-go, FOX (and later Sci-Fi) tried their best to screw with the show, and mostly succeeded by the end of its run. Tracy Torme was in a constant battle against FOX executives, including producer David Peckinpah, who deliberately forced out John Rhys-Davies after the latter allegedly insulted him at the show's launch party. FOX and Torme squabbled over everything from the serialized nature of the show to executive oversight, the show was cancelled at the end of its first season (only to be brought back by a massive fan campaign), and the move to Sci-Fi only made things worse. Torme quit in frustration, and Peckinpath made things worse by causing everyone to get screwed over on-set - actress Sabrina Lloyd was humiliated at points and essentially forced out when they brought in new cast member Kari Wührer, actors Jerry and Charlie O'Connor were locked in ongoing negotiations with the network over what they perceived to be unfair treatment, Peckinpath himself was demoted out of spite by FOX and the whole situation spiraled out of hand. By the time it limped to the end of its fifth season (a wonder despite the executive meddling), the network used the first opportunity it had to scuttle it and claimed that the actors were let go because of salary issues.
  • Series Hiatus: Following the Pilot's completion, FOX ordered a full season. However, the network proved unsatisfied with the initial episodes and ordered a hiatus after "Luck of the Draw" for a Retool. FOX always intended to bring Sliders back to finish out the order, but there was no room on the Fall schedule—leading to almost a year-long wait in-between Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Teasing Creator: For years, Tormé remained purposefully vague over which Arturo slid in "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome." It was only until about 2010 when he finally laid it out.
  • Technology Marches On : Those computers. Oh, the Pentium chip...
  • Troubled Production: And how. This exemplifies the former Sci-Fi Channel's penchant for production problems, along with hubris and arrogance on the cast's part, despite it being the channel's top-rated program at the time. Simply put, everyone on the cast or crew got screwed over at one time or another:
    • The first two seasons were fraught with behind-the-scenes battles between the Fox network and the production team. Fox wanted more episodes that had a greater emphasis on action and less continuity (so they could show them in any order they wanted), even putting the show on hiatus after the ninth episode of season 1. The production crew responded by forcing a cliffhanger at the end of said episode, to Fox's dismay. Later on, Fox canceled the series at the end of season 2, and it was only saved by a massive fan campaign.
    • Fox brass continually hounded co-creator Tracy Torm&eacute throughout his tenure on the show. They tried to derail his plan to resolve the first-season cliffhanger, his input in season three was ignored by the production team when the series moved primary filming to Los Angeles, and he eventually left the show at the end of the third season.
    • John Rhys-Davies' controversial death in "Exodus" (via having his brains sucked out, being shot and then left to die on an exploding planet) was caused by behind-the-scenes issues. Rhys-Davies allegedly insulted the wife of network executive Peter Roth (while drunk) at a party hosted by Fox brass when the series first began. Later on, when Roth was promoted and gained control of the series, he used this leverage to convince the studio to fire the actor (via the release of his episode contract). Season 3 executive producer David Peckinpah also hated Rhys-Davies for constantly criticizing scripts and gave him the fate he endured in the episode.
    • Jerry O'Connell was originally planned to star in several episodes of the fifth season, but held up production for months while he tried to negotiate for an Executive Producer credit. While the network had already given him more perks than any of the other cast members, O'Connell wouldn't budge, and after hearing that his brother Charlie wouldn't be able to appear in all 18 episodes (as Charlie's character, Colin, was contingent on Jerry's character, Quinn), the brothers walked away from the table. Things got worse when the production team attempted to figure out a way to explain Quinn and Colin's absence from the show - Jerry wouldn't give up the use of his image or voice from the prior seasons, meaning that the producers had to make do with a pair of stunt doubles and a voice that is clearly not O'Connell's.
    • Kari Wührer's presence on the show in the third season caused massive friction between herself and Sabrina Lloyd. During a script-reading, Wuhrer made snide comments about Lloyd's engagement to one of the crew members, which caused Lloyd to break down and cry in her trailer, thus holding up production for hours. David Peckinpah (who first approached Wuhrer to star on the show) used this incident to spread lies about Sabrina costing the network money, and eventually told her point-blank that he would support Wuhrer and not her (prompting her to leave the series). Even worse, Peckinpah later twisted the knife by condemning Lloyd's character, Wade, to being raped in a Kromagg breeding camp - the only reason it didn't come off looking even worse is because the production staff led a Writer Revolt to change the plot to something more meaningful (via the introduction of the Humaggs).
    • Peckinpah took a lesser role in Season 5 because he had accepted a concurrent job as executive producer with another Universal Studios production called Turks. However, he often visited the Sliders set and ended up influencing the direction of the fifth season just as much as the previous ones.
    • While renewal rumors were still up in the air at the end of season five, Sci-Fi discovered that they didn't have the cash necessary to pay the actors' contracts for another season, and when fans emailed the company asking for information, Sci-Fi representatives emailed back that the show was cancelled because the actors wouldn't sign back on, conveniently ignoring the monetary issue.
  • What Could Have Been: Oh, so many possible examples, which may be appropriate given the premise.
    • The major arc of Season 4 had a far different ending in mind. Originally, the team was supposed to make it to Kromagg Prime, where it would be revealed that Colin was unknowingly The Mole, an altered clone of Quinn created by the Kromaggs. The Sliders' Season 4 quest would have been a Kromagg deception to re-conquer their home Earth, with it also being revealed that Earth Prime had never been conquered at all. The Kromagg plot was hinted at several times, but the plot was largely dropped due to resistance from David Peckinpah. With the final resolution aborted, the arc was altered and the related loose ends fizzled.
    • Tracy Tormé intended Ryan to be apart of the team for a few Season 2 episodes, creating a love triangle with Quinn and Wade.
    • John Rhys-Davies was contracted for the entire third season and would've stayed if not for the behind-the-scene bitnerness. Scripts for "Sole Survivors," "The Other Slide of Darkness" and "The Breeder" were being worked out before his departure. A script for "Sole Survivors" with Arturo is available here.
    • Logan St. Clair was intended as a recurring nemesis.
    • "In Dino Veritas" was conceived as a mere Bottle Episode, but Jerry O'Connell was allowed to film his part in Jerry Maguire and the special effects proved to be more elaborate than at first thought.
    • Production intended to bring back Bennish for Season 5, but the cost of flying Jason Gaffney in and out of Canada was deemed too large.
    • ABC was contemplating a version of this show called "Doorways" before a shuffling of upper management caused its main champions to jump ship (and, evidently, end up at FOX). The guy developing the pilot for them? George R. R. Martin. (source: here)
    • Even after it was a given that Jerry O'Connell wouldn't be back as a regular for Season 5, he was willing to return for guest appearances to allow Quinn to be written out effectively. Reportedly, the deal was for six episodes, but a sticking point for Jerry was Charlie. It boiled down to Jerry wanting his brother in for all of Season 5 and production refusing - so the deal fell apart.
    • After Sci-Fi picked up the series for a fourth season, Tracy Tormé made a play to return as executive producer. (Fellow co-creator Robert K. Weiss was also interested in getting back in the game.) This didn't happen because the studio was contractually obligated to keeping David Peckinpah onboard. Tormé couldn't stand the thought of working with Peckinpah again and couldn't convince the higher-ups to remove him. This interview features some ideas Tormé had in mind for Season 4, as well as other parts of the show's run.
    • The idea was thrown around of revealing that Maggie's biological parents were Colonel Rickman and her universe's version of Wade (this would have meant Maggie's universe was in the future compared to ours).
    • There was a proposed episode that would have shown what happened to Wade after she was taken to a Kromagg breeding camp without Sabrina Lloyd having to return to the show, via the gang coming upon a device that made them experience past events from the perspective of other people. Maggie would have been Wade, Diana would have been Mrs. Mallory, Mallory would have been a Humagg soldier in love with Wade, and Rembrandt would have been a sympathetic Kromagg scientist.
    • Fox wanted to renew the series for a fourth season but it would just feature Quinn and Maggie alone. This is why season three ended on the cliffhanger where Rembrandt and Wade slide back home with Quinn and Maggie following but ending up in a different dimension. This plan ended when Sci Fi decided to pick up the show.
    • Originally, the monks' library in "The Great Work" was going to have a wider scope. Instead of simply preserving the history of their world, the monks would be storing the knowledge of numerous worlds throughout the multiverse. The villains were going to be the Kromaggs, who wanted the data for themselves. Things were scaled down because the writers didn't want too many guest characters to have sliding, which they felt would lessen the uniqueness of the main group's adventures. And since that aspect was dropped, the Kromaggs were replaced with generic vikings.
    • "New Gods for Old" was based on a Season 4 pitch. The general idea (nanotech that repairs the body but causes loss of individuality) was the same, but there were three different versions: Quinn is infected first, with Rembrandt and Maggie following; only Colin is infected; only Rembrandt is infected. The whole idea was eventually dropped as the season wore on, but the writing team resurrected it for Season 5 as a Mallory story.
    • Héctor Elizondo and David Ogden Stiers were considered for the role of Arturo.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Sliders Wiki.
  • Word of God:
    • The creator has gone on record stating that the world mentioned in You Can't Go Home Again was actually the group's homeworld. He has also stated that the plot from Season 4 with Quin being from an alternate Earth was up until the season finale going to turn out to be a hoax by the Kromaggs. This concept was abandoned when the Season 4 story editor was driven off the show and the intended master reveal of Colin turning on the group due to his status as a sleeper-agent-modified-clone-of-Quinn and wormholes opening with dozens of Kromagg ships pouring onto Earth Prime due to Quinn opening the Slidecage was no longer feasible to film. Several fanfics have taken this original plot and run with it.
    • It's also been stated that the wrong Arturo slid and that there were several hints placed that showed this. Confirmed by Tormé himself, after over a decade of keeping silent on the matter, he considers the "Wrong-Arturo" from Earth Double Prime to have been the one who slid with the regular Sliders, thus the reason for the horrified "Oh my God" from the Arturo left behind. This website compiled some very compelling clues years before Torme admitted the truth that, whilst far too long to post here, are incredibly compelling. To summarize, there was a lot of work involved in setting up the swap, to the point where it was very likely going to be a future story arc if Torme and Davis hadn't been fired.
    • If he hadn't left the show, Rhys-Davies probably wouldn't have been available for The Lord of the Rings.
  • Written by Cast Member: John Rhys-Davies has story credit on "The Exodus, Part 1" (the episode where Arturo is killed off), though note that he had no input into the script. His original story bore very little resemblance in details and execution to the finished product. Played straight with "Way Out West," where the story originated from Jerry O'Connell (who by then was a producer).
  • You Look Familiar: Charlie O'Connell appeared in two episodes ("As Time Goes By" and "Dragonslide") in two bit roles before being added as a regular cast member in Season 4.


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