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The Premise: A teenage physics whizz accidentally creates a gateway which transports him and three others to a series of parallel Earths. The four heroes slide around the worlds, getting caught up in events on each week’s Earth, in the hope that the next slide will take them home.

Background: Created by Tracy Tormé, Sliders explored both the possible (eg America ruled by Russia in the pilot) and what is impossible on our world (eg Dragon Slide in which magic has replaced science). The intended appeal of Sliders was that because it could be set anywhere, the series could constantly be kept fresh and original.

First Run: Sliders first aired in the US on 22nd March 1995 and the series began in the UK on Sky 1 the following September.

Number of Episodes: By the end of Season Four the series will have clocked up 69 episodes, despite numerous cancellation threats!

The Good Guys: Genius Quinn Mallory (Jerry O’ Connell), his friend Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), singer Rembrandt ‘Cryin’ Man’ Brown (Cleavant Derricks) and Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies). Arturo was killed in the Season Three and replaced by Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer). Wade has conveniently disappeared by the Season Four opener and Quinn’s brother Colin (played by Charlie O’ Connell) joins in her place several episodes later in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Bad Guys: Season Two introduced the evil Sliding aliens the Kromaggs. Season Three featured the bloodthirsty Colonel Rickman, who possessed a timer device capable of getting the Sliders home.
Sliders cast
And Isn’t That... Rickman was originally played by musician Roger Daltrey. The X-Files’ William B Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man) appeared as a professor in Eggheads and Nicolas Lea (Krycek) turned up as Wade’s lover Ryan in Luck of the Draw. Babylon 5’s Ed Wasser (Morden) played a guard in Dead Man Sliding and Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) appeared as a cybernetic scientist in State of the A.R.T.

Overdone clichés: The vortex opens up just as the Sliders are about to be shot; one of them falls in love and is tempted to stay on this week’s Earth; an extra character jumps into the vortex with them, never to be seen again.

Fashion Statements: Conveniently saving on laundry bills, the Sliders often find that when emerging from the vortex their attire differs from when they entered. At the end of Gillian of the Spirits, the Sliders arrive on a world where there are no clothes at all.

Photo © Universal
 On The Bright Slide...
The Pilot
The series première perfectly established Tracy Tormé’s vision for the show. Many fans consider that the series went downhill thereafter.

This Slide of Paradise
Finishing Season Three with a great cliff-hanger which sees Wade and Rembrandt return home to Earth, but without Quinn or Maggie.

Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome
The Sliders believe they are home and Arturo becomes famous for inventing Sliding. This episode explores the way the Sliders view each other and how they would adjust to society if they actually did get home.

Aliens discover Sliding technology and use it to invade. This episode adds a new dimension to the series which was unfortunately forgotten about until Season Four.

Exodus, Part II
This instalment explored the wider impact of Sliding on society and also features the Professor’s emotional exit from the series.

Bubbling Under: Other episodes that are well-worth looking out for include: Gillian of the Spirits, The Guardian, Fever and Love Gods
 On The Down Slide…
Electric Twister Acid Test began an unfortunate trend during Season Three for cheap movie rip-offs such as the atrocious Dinoslide and vampire episode Stoker. Other notably poor episodes include Rules of the Game (video game world) and Seasons Greedings (a slushy Christmas episode).
Jon Miller

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