Winter means sitting at home and watching a lot of television at my house. Having had Netflix for some time now, I recently had the opportunity to catch up on “Sliders,” a show from 1995 that I was never able to get into in my teenage youth. And now I can’t help but want more.
Sliders stars Jerry O’Connell as Quinn Mallory, a physics grad student who accidentally discovers the ability to slide into other dimensions with the use of an interdimensional timer. He discovers dimensional travel in his basement.
Mallory, along with Professor Maximilian Arturo, played by British actor John Rhys-Davies, and friend Wade Welles, played by Sabrina Lloyd, attempt to slide for the first time and accidentally pick up former musician Rembrandt “Crying Man” Brown, played by actor Cleavant Derricks, who is driving past Mallory’s house in his prized pink Cadillac. The four embark on a journey to find their way home to Earth Prime, with plenty of problems on the way.
Each time the Sliders get to a new Earth, there are dangers they must face. There are dimensions where dinosaurs still walk the planet, lottery winners are executed, technology is banned and there is almost always a race against time to get their timer back from whoever has it, before the wormhole opens and leaves them stuck in the wrong dimension forever. The four friends find love and war on more than a hundred alternate dimensions.
This premise is great. Sometimes the Sliders meet their alternate selves — who at times, are helpful and at other times, evil.
I think this was an original idea, the likes of which has not really been topped in some time from writers and producers of sci-fi shows. But unfortunately, in Season 3 there were a lot of changes made.
Season 3 brought death to one Slider, as Rhys-Davies was replaced with the sexy Kari Wuhrer, who might be attractive, but sure cannot act. Wuhrer plays Captain Maggie Becket, a military fighter pilot whose husband invented a sliding machine in his dimension and is killed. Becket vows to capture his killer on whatever world he goes to.
A few episodes later, Lloyd’s character is captured by another dimensional race and also leaves the show, to be replaced by O’Connell’s brother Charlie O’Connell, which was also a big mistake. The latter O’Connell must have been added for his looks, because his character is a bit of an idiot.
All in all, the show started great but finished its fifth season kind of weakly — not bad enough though, because I still found myself wishing more seasons were made.