About Thomas

http://www.slidecage.com

I remember the anticipation of waiting to see the premiere of “Sliders” in 1995. It was during my childhood I saw the original airing of the first episode.

There was plenty in Sliders to catch the imagination of a young boy. It was one of the few television shows my family and I looked forward to every week including the Chris Carter hit the “X-Files”, “King of the Hill”, “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and “Early Edition” to name a few. Each night that an episode aired seemed like an event in the making. I couldn’t wait to see what each parallel world was like. The show felt fresh and original from anything I’ve seen before.

I think the reason I love Sliders so much is because the scifi’s setting is on earth. It’s scifi that seems realistic. At a base level it’s comparable to Rod Serling’s scifi masterpiece “The Twilight Zone”, where everything seems normal yet has an odd twist to it. In “Sliders” there’s the perfect mixture of adventure, scifi, comedy and at the appropriate time frightening scenes from earth, not an alien planet. I’ll never forget the chilling moment the Kromaggs were revealed nor the mysterious aura of “Into the Mystic”. We were able to see “double” versions of another person from parallel worlds, which is intriguing to say the least. It’s episodes like “Luck of the Draw”, “Invasion”, and “Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome” that keep us talking. I keep the discussion going to learn more about the series but most of all because I don’t want to lose the enjoyment the show gave me. It brings back to my senses a type of nostalgia that is isn’t closely matched to any other show.

In 2007 I debuted a Sliders fan blog. After realizing my own name, Thomas, was a character in the season four episode "Slidecage" it only felt right to name the site after the episode title. The Slidecage was built by Quinn’s father Michael Mallory to prevent the Kromaggs from sliding to their home world. During mid season three I was brought to the heartbreaking scene of the death of our beloved Professor Arturo. As a child I remember crying in the night in front of a flashing television screen during the Professor’s death scene. I was in shock and utter disbelief. I believe it was at that moment we were awakened to how great of a show Sliders is or to some… what Sliders was.

All of the right elements came together at the right time to create a memorable scifi classic. Its impact is seen throughout pop culture, fansites, social media and more. Following the tragic death of Professor Arturo we were haunted in dismay at how characters were treated by writers and how Maggie verbally attacked the other Sliders specifically during season three. It’s something no other television show would dare do to it characters or it’s fans. Yet it was so shocking some of us were still hooked as to where it all would lead.

Even at the loss of Wade many of us were excited at the announcement of yet another return of Sliders for it’s fourth season. Deep down many of us had that hope, and enduring desire to see our beloved characters rescued in some way. From Wade to the Mallory’s and even Professor Arturo we could not, and would not let that desire go, even to this very day. We were always thrown a bone from the writers of hopeful rescues of past characters, from the discussion of Wade in season four to the potential rescue of the Mallory’s in season five. Was it a failure? I think not. It kept many of us hoping and taught us that invaluable trait of never ever giving up.

At the time Sliders debuted in 1995 I was somewhat interested in the series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” but it never resonated with me like Sliders did. I never saw a blue sky, I occasionally saw weird looking aliens and I always felt like I was stuck in a building or plane all day. With Sliders there were wide open spaces with unique places to go, different people to meet, endless possibilities and a timeless theme… there’s no place like home. It was on my level playing field, yet with a twist. It was adventure at it’s finest.

Thomas Birchfield

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