Country of origin
First episode date
22 March 1995
Final episode date
4 February 2000
Tracy TorméRobert K. Weiss
Jerry O'ConnellCleavant DerricksSabrina LloydJohn Rhys-DaviesKari WuhrerCharlie O'ConnellRobert FloydTembi Locke
20 years sliders 1995 2015
Sliders is an American science fiction and fantasy television series created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé. It was broadcast for five seasons between 1995 and 2000. The series follows a group of travelers as they use a wormhole to "slide" between different parallel universes. Tormé, Weiss, Leslie Belzberg, John Landis, David Peckinpah, Bill Dial and Alan Barnette served as executive producers at different times of the production. For its first two seasons it was produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California, USA in the last three seasons.
- 20 years sliders 1995 2015
- Sliders season 3 soundtrack main theme
- Seasons 1 and 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Episodes aired out of order
- Main cast
- Recurring guest stars
- Changing cast
- Changing staff
- Disneys Fluppy Dogs
- DVD releases
- Sliders branded works
- References by others
Since its debut on March 22, 1995, the first three seasons were broadcast by the Fox network. After being canceled by Fox, the series moved to Sci Fi Channel for its final two seasons. The last new episode first aired on December 29, 1999 in the United Kingdom, and was broadcast on Sci Fi Channel on February 4, 2000.
Sliders season 3 soundtrack main theme
The show follows a group of people, called "Sliders", as they travel ("sliding") between different Earths in parallel universes via a vortex-like wormhole, hoping to return safely to their original Earth Prime. The vortex can only be opened after a specific but random period of time on each new universe, monitored by a countdown clock on a portable timer that they carry; failure to open the vortex in time would strand the Sliders for 29.7 years in that universe. While waiting for the timer countdown, the group learns about the differences in the alternate Earth from their own, and often become unwillingly involved in events that they must resolve before they can safely leave via the vortex. The travelers have no control over what world they end up in, but continually look for means to find Earth Prime.
Seasons 1 and 2
The pilot introduces the four original Sliders: Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell), a graduate student in physics who discovered and refined the Sliding technology; Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), Quinn's mentor; Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), Quinn's friend; and Rembrandt "Cryin' Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks), a professional singer who is accidentally caught in the first major test of the vortex and is forced to join the others. Their first slide lands them on an Earth that is suffering from a second ice age, and Quinn, against his better judgement, uses the timer to open the vortex prematurely to save the group from an ice tornado bearing down on them. As a result, the sliders lose the ability to return home and must slide from world to world hoping that the next slide is their Earth. Many of the episodes in these early seasons focused on Earths that resulted from alternate histories, such as if the British had won the Revolutionary War, or if antibiotics had never been discovered. Within the second season, the four encounter a humanoid species called the Kromaggs, who also have sliding technology but use it to ransack other Earths for slaves and resources.
Season 3 saw the Fox Network take more control of the show, moving production from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles; this was described in the show by a change in the functionality of the timer which previously had kept their slides to the geographic area around San Francisco to extend that range to over 400 miles, including Los Angeles. The Fox Network also set a more action-oriented tone to the series, often based on ideas popularized by current films at the time, such as a tornado-themed episode inspired by Twister and a dinosaur-themed episode inspired by Jurassic Park. The network appointed crew members more amenable to their views, most notably executive producer David Peckinpah. During this time, Rhys-Davies expressed no interest in continuing his role, and eventually he was dismissed from the series by Fox. Within the show, Professor Arturo discovers he has acquired a terminal disease; he not only informs Quinn but helps him come to terms with the inevitable loss.
In a transitional episode, "The Exodus", the Sliders arrive on an Earth about to be destroyed by a pulsar before their next slide window. They encounter a military operation, led by Colonel Angus Rickman (Roger Daltrey) and Captain Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer), who are using their own sliding technology to save a select group. Working to help Maggie locate a safe parallel Earth, Quinn happens upon their original Earth, but Maggie is unable to breathe there and Quinn is forced to return. Now Quinn has the coordinates for his home Earth in his timer, but Rickman who has been secretly killing people, steals the timer and flees to another world after killing Arturo. Maggie offers to join Quinn, Wade, and Rembrandt to chase down Rickman using the Sliders' original timer, and recover the one with their Earth's coordinates.
In subsequent episodes, the group does catch up with Rickman, killing him and recovering the timer. After obtaining the coordinates, Quinn sends Rembrandt and Wade through a vortex leading back to Earth Prime, opting to stay behind with Maggie. Maggie eventually offers to take a risk on her life returning to their Earth, but when she and Quinn open a vortex, they find themselves in yet another alternate Earth.
Tracy Tormé, the original executive producer of the show, quit after this season, citing conflict with the Fox network on the show's direction. One example is the episode "The Exodus" described by Tormé as "one of the worst pieces of television ever produced, and the low point of the entire series". One aspect cited by Tormé was the forgoing of Quinn and Wade's relationship, and, in "The Exodus", Quinn is instead encouraged into a relationship with the wife of a scientist who is helping the sliders. Fox would cancel their run of the show after the third season.
Starting with the fourth season, the show was picked up by the Sci Fi Channel. Within the fourth-season premiere episode, Quinn and Maggie, after searching numerous alternate Earths for months, return to Earth Prime only to find it overrun with Kromaggs. They soon discover Rembrandt, who reveals that Wade was taken to a Kromagg breeding camp in a parallel Earth, removing her character from the series. Quinn finds his mother, who reveals that he was given to her as a baby by his real parents, scientists from a parallel Earth who left him for his own safety while they tried to find a way to repel the Kromaggs from their own world. Quinn's foster mother then reveals that his birth parents returned for him, but she couldn't bear to give him up, so she hid him. She gives Quinn a microchip that contains a message from his birth parents, the coordinates to another dimension where his brother was taken. Quinn is able to rescue Rembrandt, and the two of them slide with Maggie, leaving Earth Prime under the control of the Kromaggs.
The sliders set out now to find Quinn's brother in the hopes that he, too, will have information from their birth parents that will lead them to his home world, and presumably a weapon that can repel the Kromagg invasion of Earth Prime. Quinn, Maggie, and Rembrandt find Colin (Charlie O'Connell), a self-taught scientist/engineer living on a primitive Earth. Colin and Quinn find another microchip that contains the coordinates to their home dimension, but due to a safety precaution created by their parents, the slide cage, they are unable to enter it. The rest of the season focuses on their quest to find a way past the slide cage and return to their birth world.
The final season was an unexpected project from the Sci Fi Channel, and with limited time and funding, they were unable to secure Jerry O'Connell for a full season. Without Jerry, they chose not to use his brother Charlie either. In-show this was explained in the fifth season premiere when, during a slide, the personality of Quinn was "merged" with the Quinn of the Earth they were landing on, while Colin was lost to the vortex. This was the result of deliberate experimentation by Dr. Oberon Geiger who becomes the recurring "bad guy" of this season. This episode also introduced the character of Dr. Diana Davis (Tembi Locke), who was assistant director under Dr. Geiger and later became a slider. The merged Quinn (Robert Floyd), called "Mallory" by the sliders to distinguish him from the original Quinn, retained some of the memory and personality of the other Quinn, but this soon faded. Both Mallory and Diana would join Rembrandt and Maggie in searching for a weapon against the Kromaggs, as well as trying to recover Quinn and Colin.
Episode 11 briefly reunited the Sliders with Wade (actress Sabrina Lloyd performing voice over while actress Maria Stanton stood in as a Wade double), who was trapped in a Kromagg experiment, but able to telepathically communicate with Rembrandt. She is able to help them to escape, but at the cost of her own life.
The four sliders eventually find the weapon that Quinn's and Colin's birth parents had developed, though they learn that its use will kill the ecosystem of any Earth it is used on. In one of the last episodes, they attempt to separate Quinn from Mallory, only to find out that it is not possible without killing one of them since they have been merged for too long. In the final episode, the sliders discover a virus that is fatal to Kromaggs only. Rembrandt willingly injects himself with the virus and slides alone back to Earth Prime to fight the Kromaggs, ending the series in a cliffhanger.
Episodes aired out-of-order
The Fox Network aired certain episodes from seasons one and two in a different order than originally scripted to best capitalize on potential ratings-winning episodes, thus causing some continuity errors. For instance, the timer is first set to count down not in the pilot episode, but in "Summer of Love" — since Fox aired "Fever" right after the pilot episode, though, many viewers were left confused as to why the Sliders suddenly had to leave within a very specific period of time. Similarly, the cliffhanger at the end of "Summer of Love" leads directly into the opening of "Prince of Wails" — which Fox had actually aired a week earlier.
For Season Two, Fox did not want to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of "Luck of the Draw," preferring to focus instead on brand-new storylines. Thus, in "Time Again and World" (the first episode filmed for Season Two), Arturo makes a brief passing reference to the events of "Luck of the Draw." This missed cliffhanger was particularly significant as the episode had ended with Quinn being shot in the back. Tracy Tormé successfully petitioned for a chance to resolve the cliffhanger, though, which is briefly dealt with in the opening minutes of "Into the Mystic" (the third episode filmed, but the first to air that season) where the life-threatening wound is now merely a flesh wound in his shoulder, allowing for a quick recovery. "Time Again and World" ended up airing sixth in the rotation.
"Double Cross" was filmed as the premiere for Season Three. In this episode, the audience learns why the Sliders will now be able to slide anywhere between San Francisco and L.A. However, Fox opted to air "Rules of the Game" first, since it was a more action-oriented episode.
"The Last of Eden" was filmed before John Rhys-Davies left the show. However, Fox chose to air the episode for the first time on March 28, a full month after Arturo had been written off the show, requiring a new opening scene be added to frame the story as a flashback.
When the show began airing in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel, Sci Fi restored the original filmed order for Season One. However, when the DVDs were released, Universal used the aired order for Season One and the subsequent seasons.
* Sabrina Lloyd is the only main actress to leave the series and return as a guest; however, she provided only the voice for her character as a guest.
Recurring guest stars
Michio Kaku explains in the appendix of his book, The Future of the Mind, that the Sliders series "began when a young boy read a book. That book is actually my book Hyperspace, but I take no responsibility for the physics behind that series."
While filming the episode "Desert Storm", actor Ken Steadman (Cutter) was killed. In an accident that occurred between takes, Steadman moved a dune buggy to the next shooting location. While he was moving the vehicle, the dune buggy overturned and crushed the actor, killing him instantly. According to Steadman's parents, his death was preventable.
Entering into the fifth season, the production team knew the series was not being renewed and had saved money from the budget of each season five episode for use in a last climactic battle for the season finale. The money was instead used for the penultimate episode, "Eye of the Storm", while the last episode ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. Insiders have various theories as to why this happened. The producers were concerned the Sci Fi Channel had lost interest in the show (even though it was their highest-rated program at the time) after they ceased supplying corrective notes for the episodes, and it was believed they did not even bother reading the scripts. One strict rule the Sci Fi Channel had was that a gun couldn't be pointed at a person's head. To test this rule, executive producer Bill Dial presented a script featuring a character getting his head shot completely off - which was ignored. Dial then presented the script for the final episode cliffhanger, which was also ignored. Some claim this was done to encourage fans to push for a sixth season, but members of the production team claim that the decision was personal.
Iranian-American director Reza Badiyi is credited with directing a number of the episodes in the fifth season, and his daughter, Mina Badiyi, makes a guest appearance in "Episode 3: Common Ground".
Cleavant Derricks is the only cast member to stay with the series throughout its entire run, while Derricks and Linda Henning (Mrs. Mallory) are the only actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the series. Derricks' identical twin brother, Clinton Derricks-Carroll, appeared in the episodes "The King Is Back", "Greatfellas", and "The Prince of Slides", when there was a need for Rembrandt and his double to interact.
John Rhys-Davies was the first star of the series to leave, officially due to creative differences, although different stories circulate about the reasons behind it. While Rhys-Davies had been an outspoken critic of the show's writing quality since the first season, Fox supported him; only David Peckinpah, who was assigned to the show in its third season, wanted him out. Some sources suggest that he was fired for insulting a Fox executive at a party who was later promoted to a high-level position with control of several shows, including Sliders; other sources claim that he was fired in order to make way for Kari Wuhrer, who it was felt would increase the show's ratings with teenage boys and young men.
When Sabrina Lloyd left at the end of season three, a spokesperson for her agency said "no comment at this time" and stated that it was her decision not to return. A source came forward claiming Lloyd was fired because she was jealous of Kari Wuhrer. Universal and Lloyd's agent both refused to comment and the rumour spread. Much later it was revealed that Lloyd and Wührer did not get along due to Wührer's ego, particularly some snide comments she had made about Lloyd's engagement to a crew member. As Peckinpah wanted to return to the 3 male/1 female dynamic of the first two seasons, it was decided Lloyd was no longer required after she asked for a raise. Her character's fate - to be trapped in a Kromagg breeding camp - was allegedly Peckinpah's idea, and one that was pushed through by him alone. As a result of public pressure to elaborate on what happened to Wade after she disappeared, the producers asked Lloyd to guest star in one season five episode that was to focus entirely on Wade (without the rest of the cast). Lloyd requested $40,000 to appear, the same per-episode salary Derricks was receiving and $20,000 more than Wührer, and the idea was scrapped. However, the episode she was to appear in, Requiem, was "fine tuned" to answer this question without her. Lloyd ultimately provided voiceovers for the episode, and a stand-in was used.
When production moved to Los Angeles, the recurring characters were dropped due to the expense of flying them from Vancouver to Los Angeles for filming. Bartender Elston Diggs was brought in as a recurring character for six episodes, but Peckinpah eventually rejected the concept. Logan St. Clair was created to be a recurring character, which is evident in the episode's dialogue, but only appeared once. Fox did not believe she was "sexy" enough and requested she not appear again.
Jerry and Charlie O'Connell left the series to pursue film careers, and because Jerry was denied an executive producer credit on the series; when he left, they informed Charlie that they would no longer require him either. The brothers leaving the show upset many fans and Tracy Tormé was asked what could be done to win them back. This resulted in an unsuccessful effort to bring back some popular previously recurring characters. The producers negotiated with John Novak (Ross J. Kelly, the ambulance-chasing lawyer), Alex Bruhanski (Pavel Kurlienko, the taxi driver) and Lester Barrie (Elston Diggs the waiter at the Chandler Hotel) for their return in season five. Zoe McLellan (Logan St. Clair) was scheduled to appear again and Jason Gaffney (Conrad Bennish, Jr) from season one was confirmed for four episodes including the season finale. However, none of these guest stars appeared. Why Bennish didn't appear in the fifth season is one of the biggest behind-the-scenes mysteries of the show.
The series co-creator, Tracy Tormé, has often been critical of the direction the series took in the third season. David Peckinpah was brought onto the series in the third season (around the time when Tormé started to criticize the show). Peckinpah has been derided by fans, who argue that his involvement (and by extension Fox's more hands-on involvement) caused the show to "jump the shark", despite new executive producer Marc Scott Zicree's decision to restore Tracy Tormé's original "alternate history" premise for the series in season 4.
The plotlines in Sliders are all set around the idea of a Multiverse, where the outcomes of non-deterministic quantum processes result in the splitting of reality into multiple universes, each existing in parallel. There has also been speculation that Sliders was inspired by George R.R. Martin's 1992 ABC pilot Doorways, in which the main cast were fugitives fleeing through parallel worlds, while carrying a device that tells them where and when the next Doorway opens. Although six additional scripts after the pilot film were completed, Doorways never went to series, as ABC decided to launch Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman instead in the fall of 1993. At the time of Sliders' launch, Evelyn C. Leeper noted the similarities to Doorways, and in response to rumors that Sliders creator Tracy Tormé applied for a writing position on the show, Martin clarified in a 1995 post on GEnie that it was Tormé's agent that inquired about the position, and Tormé has denied any connection between the two.
Disney's Fluppy Dogs
The series' premise also bears resemblance to the 1986 Disney animated pilot Fluppy Dogs, in which somewhat-anthropomorphic dogs travel parallel dimensions seeking a way home.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all five seasons on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4. The fifth and final season was released in Region 1 on January 17, 2012, almost 4 years after season 4.
On December 2, 2014, Universal released Sliders- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. This set contains all 88 episodes of the series on 22 single sided discs with a run time of 66 hours (3954 minutes).
on July 1, 2016, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series in Region 1 and will re-release the complete series on DVD on October 4, 2016. The 15-disc set will contain all 5 seasons of the series in correct story order.
On August 23, 2007, Netflix Instant View started providing all five seasons of Sliders available for streaming. Two season 1 episodes ("Last Days", and "The Weaker Sex") are missing with a note in their place stating that the DVD is required to view the episode. The first episode, "Pilot", is available both as one combined episode, and as two separate parts, "Pilot Part 1" and "Pilot Part 2". All episodes of the remaining seasons (2-5) are available for streaming.
On March 12, 2008, Universal Studios added Sliders season one to their free online viewing service, Hulu. Season two was added on May 8, 2009, and season three was added on July 2, 2009.
In late 2008, season five and eventually all five seasons were made available through iTunes TV Shows store.