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YMMV / Sliders

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  • Complete Monster:
    • Dr. Darren Morton, from season 1's "Fever", is a scientist responsible for releasing a deadly plague on to his world. Dr. Morton secretly inflected this world's version of Quinn Mallory with a virus he designed, giving him a clean bill of health and letting him infect millions of people with this virus. Dr. Morton's reason for releasing this plague is to kill off the poor, with the poor being left to die in the streets or sent to concentration camps, while the rich live in comfortable. The agency Dr. Morton runs, the California Health Commission, is given emergency powers to deal with this situation, effectively turning California into a police state. Dr. Morton manages to capture the original Quinn Mallory and experiments him to see if he has any of the virus left in his system. When another scientist helps Mallory escape, Dr. Morton has her shot.
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    • Master Cardoza and his chief lieutenant Gerald Thomas, from season 3's "The Dream Masters", uncovered the power to master dreams themselves and turn San Francisco in their horrific kingdom. Cardoza, believing in ruling through fear, brutally suppresses dissent with anyone who proves a problem tortured and destroyed. Gerald is a vicious sadist who murders a man by mental torture just for bumping into him, and when he pursues heroine Wade to no avail, he attempts to torment and destroy her with her worst fears. It is revealed that Gerald and Cardoza, along with their followers, also throw those who oppose them into irreparable comas, and then attempt to kill the Sliders team to keep their stranglehold on San Francisco, believing their powers allow them to do all they want.
    • Governor Schick, from season 4's "Californa Reich", is the governor of California frequently likened to Adolf Hitler by the Sliders. In a world without World War II, Schick rises to power blaming minorities for crime and restricts their rights, even having them interned. Not satisfied with this, Schick has them lobotomized and mutilated to make them into android slaves on a grand scale, even children not exempt from his policies. Schick, planning to ride a wave of bigotry to the Presidency and enact his policies there, is one of the most sickening enemies the Sliders have ever faced.
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  • Critical Research Failure: The American Revolution resulted in the invention of Democracy... Though in context in the episode, democracy wasn't "invented" by America, but its widespread adoption and popularity was inspired by the American Revolution. There was similarly no French Revolution, etc, etc, and the world of that episode is said to be run by a "handful of monarchies." The natives' being unfamiliar with the concept can be explained by its rarity and lack of popular support.
  • Designated Hero: Quinn Mallory may be well-intentioned, but that hasn't stopped him from causing unforgiveable mass destruction. In the episode "As Time Goes By", he destroys an entire universe. In the episode "Dinoslide", he and the others return to a world they previously visited, only to find that a virus they inadvertently carried over has wiped out the native population who had no immunity to it. And he was the one who accidentally led the Kromagg's to Earth Prime, resulting in its destruction. For all this, on several occasions in Season 3 and 4 he was willing to settle down on certain Earth's, leaving his friend's (who are only in this situation because of him) to fend for themselves, and also did not seem to concerned with finding Wade or saving Earth Prime in Season 4, being more interested in finding his home planet.
    • Part of the problem is Quinn's ability to both dive headlong into danger without thinking through the consequences of his actions and his frequent failure to adapt to any culture that doesn't conform to his late 1990s American suburban morality. Easily the best example of this is on Egypt World where he attacks a couple of the Pharaoh's men without really the first clue as to why they were trying to forcibly detain a woman, nearly gets his friends killed inside of a pyramid they were thrown into as punishment, causes them to miss their slide window potentially trapping them there forever, and then willingly leaves the faulty yet proven original timer behind (it still technically worked, they had just missed the slide window which added another 29 years onto the clock) in favour of a brand new yet completely untested one. For all they knew, this new sliding device (which was designed to slide a single casket one time) may not have had enough power to go anywhere else.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Logan St. Clair, a once-off villain who was meant to be a recurrer but never re-appeared due to Executive Meddling, but whose wild popularity with the fans led to her being included in seemingly half of the Sliders Fan Fics ever written. As an evil, sexy, female version of Quinn? Of course she's uber-popular!
    • Conrad Bennish, Jr. is amazingly popular with the fanbase. He only appeared in four episodes thanks to Executive Meddling, but he was an instant fan favorite. He probably appears in more fanfics than even Logan.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Rembrandt Brown started out with at least one foot in this territory, but fortunately the character displayed drastic improvement as the series progressed.
  • Fanon: Because of her last name and her father being a military man named Tom, some fans are convinced that Maggie had an uncle who was a double of a guy named Sam.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Reviewers at Website/IMDB are unanimous. Watch the first two seasons and then quit while you're ahead. You have been warned.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The Season 2 episode "Invasion", which introduced the Kromaggs. Many fans frequently praise the episode, but then the Kromaggs became the sole focus of the series starting in Season 4 (after a season-long absence, no less). Much of what made them interesting was also discarded. Note that Tracy Tormé (writer of "Invasion") said at the time that he was against overusing the Kromaggs out of fear of what ultimately happened.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The episode "Season's Greedings" had lots of Christmas ads that were very commercialized. Nowadays they seem normal. Even at the time, fans made jokes about how the Sliders must be home if they'd landed on a world where Christmas was overly commercialized.
  • Genius Bonus: The For Want of a Nail element is often implied, rather than stated outright, or is assumed but turns out to be wrong. For instance, the pilot assumes that the difference is that the US lost the Korean War, triggering the Domino Effect, but a passing remark implies that the Soviet Union and China united to become The Empire, rather than viewed each other as enemies as in the real world. The novelization adds that the differences went further back than that, such as Franklin Roosevelt surviving his fourth term and being succeeded by one of his earlier vice-presidents (who ran as an independent), the Emperor of Japan being executed at the end of World War II rather than being made a figurehead in the government (which played a large part in Japan falling to communism), and a few other things.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "The Chasm," Rembrandt hallucinates Quinn accusing him of abandoning Wade in Kromagg prison. "Requiem" would reveal his Dark Secret. Instead of trying to fight off guards as he previously claimed, Rembrandt ignored Wade's pleas for help because he thought it was a Kromagg illusion. He realized too late he was wrong and carried the guilt around ever since.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Considering what "Requiem" revealed about his prison time, what Christina told Rembrandt in "Mother and Child" takes on a new meaning.
    "For what it's worth, Wade doesn't think you deserted her."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Near the end of Season 4, "My Brother's Keeper" features a clone of Quinn, with a lot of talk how he is and isn't actually Quinn. The clone is only designated as Mallory, leading to Rembrand to question, "They couldn't even give him a first name?" Keep that in mind a few episodes later when Season 5 starts.
    • In "The Return of Maggie Beckett" (written by Chris Black), Rembrandt rattles off some of the ways he believes E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi, including Velcro. "Carbon Creek" (co-written by Black) would see just that.
  • Memetic Mutation: It's tapered off a bit in recent years, but the "Everything I Say Is Right" scene from “Prince of Wails” used to be a fairly popular Reaction Image, even launching an unofficial website.
  • Misblamed: While there's a lot to blame producer David Peckinpah for, the trend of movie rip-offs in Season 3 isn't one of them. The real culprits were the FOX executives that he answered to.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The fever-induced hallucinations Wade has in "Fever" are pretty scary.
    • Those giant flying-wasp-spider things. Plus the one that got through.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The show went through quite a few cast changes, the most infamous of which was the replacement of Jerry O'Connell with Robert Floyd. This was sort of a hybrid between The Other Darrin and an outright replacement: Floyd's character was ostensibly an alternate-dimension double of O'Connell's character, Quinn Mallory. (Why he looked, acted and sounded absolutely nothing like his "double" is handwaved with a Techno Babble explanation in his first episode.)
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Maggie became really likable in the fourth season premiere and stayed that way until the series finale. It's worth noting that Maggie underwent a significant personality (and even appearance) change at that time. Once Wade left the show, Maggie became more compassionate, fun and emotionally open. She basically absorbed many of the characteristics Wade had had previously (while still keeping some of her own strengths from before). In a way she was originally a Replacement Scrappy for the Professor but then became a popular successor character to Wade.
    • For those that feel he was an Ethnic Scrappy in Season 1, Season 2 sees Rembrandt lose those qualities, cut down on the It's All About Me complaining and generally toughen up.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Before becoming Trip Tucker, Connor Trinneer played Samson in "Prophets and Loss."
    • Before breaking out on MADtv, Will Sasso played recurring hotel clerk Gomez Calhoun in the first two seasons.
    • A pre-Buffy Julie Benz is in one episode, and Sook Yin Lee plays a soldier in the pilot.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Universally, season three, during which Maggie was introduced, Professor Arturo had a bridge dropped on him, Quinn Mallory ceased being the genius he once had been, and almost all plots were movie ripoffs. The debate is how much the show recovered, if at all.
    • The entirely of season five was a pain to watch. Especially getting rid of Jerry O'Connell in one of the lamest excuses for a recast, and de facto killing one of the most beloved characters of the show. All within one Slide. It goes downhill from there.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the season 3 episode that ripped off Species, Quinn jumps into the vortex which is off-screen... then he can clearly be seen standing up and walking away.
    • Some monsters are painfully obvious CG. The dinosaurs aren't the worst; there are also a huge spider, a giant beetle and "spider-wasps" that all look really out of place in a live-action series. And then there's the worm...
    • The "rip in the universe" effect in "As Time Goes By" is awful.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Logan St. Clair, as evidenced by her frequent use in fanfics. She put a new spin on doubles for the series, could match Quinn in the brains department and be far more ruthless.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "The Exodus" two-parter. Consider: a doomed world, the Sliders racing to save everyone they can, finding Earth Prime, the death of Arturo, the addition of a new Slider (one who's not shy about causing inter-group conflict) and the emergence of a new Big Bad. On paper, these sound like some pretty interesting (if not epic) ideas that would provide a wealth of storytelling potential. But the execution? Well, Tracy Tormé and many others consider them some of the worst episodes the series ever produced - if not the definitive examples.
    • The entire premise of the series itself, wasted by the execution, if you consider even the early episodes as disappointing. To quote John Rhys-Davies:
    I like SF. I love intelligent SF. We had the most wonderful series concept with Sliders, but we did everything that had been done before and we did it every damned episode. We did Species. We did Tremors. We did Twister. We did War of the Worlds. We did The Island Of Dr Moreau. It was out of control, just out of control. In the end, Sliders wasn't the worst experience I ever had. I was just disappointed. Again, I love SF. I'm a passionate believer in Sliders. The series could have been great. The public always understood that of "Sliders". The public understood that you could go anywhere in the galaxy. The writers, though, would try to graft a Law & Order story, or something they had done or seen before, onto Sliders and just make the characters work around it.
  • Uncanny Valley: The first time the Kromaggs appeared, they were just sufficiently not-quite-human to make them uncomfortable to look at. Subsequent returns made them look more human.
  • Villain Decay: The Kromaggs. Season 2's "Invasion" showed them to be quite threatening, as well as calculating and simply quite unpleasant to look at. When they came back for Season 4, however, the make-up was less elaborate, and they were overall more generic bad guys. Some of the mental tricks and careful planning remained, but things could also get hammy depending on the episode. Fans also objected to the heavy-handed Nazi allegory the writers started using.
  • The Woobie:
    • Quinn Mallory got hurt a lot. And then his dimension gets taken over, and then he gets fused with another character (for a half Jonas Quinn and half The Nth Doctor situation.)
    • Rembrandt takes over the role in season five, and is much better at it. Hell, even Rembrandt in the pilot. He's on the cusp of his comeback as a famous singer, when (through no fault of his own) he gets sucked into a wormhole while driving by Quinn's house, subsequently crashes and abandons his beloved Cool Car in a nuclear winter universe, gets arrested by commies in a Soviet-ruled universe, and then gets stuck sliding for the rest of the entire series.


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