Honorable Mention: Move to Los Angeles
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada was the home of Sliders for two whole years from 1995 through 1996. While expense obviously dictated the move, and a more varied actor list would grow, what wouldn’t would be their environment. It’s evident throughout season three. The “Universal Backlot” would be used a fair amount and was used even more in seasons four and five. The backlot would come in handy with the aspect of things being the same in parallel universes, but you can over do it, and that’s exactly what they did.
5. Heavily Incorporate the Kromaggs
There was too much magg. No not Maggie Beckett. In fact the character probably wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for my top 3. But to the matter at hand, the Kromaggs were used way too much in season four. We are first introduced to the Kromaggs in the season two episode “Invasion” and they disappear for over a season and a half. Fans weren’t pleased with these new villains and wanted to return back to the roots of the show. In the back of everyone’s mind (insert space alien name here) came to mind. There were some decent episodes with Kromaggs in season four but it was just over done and seemed to take away from the aspect of parallel worlds. It just brought too much of a reminder of what other scifi shows beat into the ground.
4. Fail to Negotiate
I’ve always felt that Jerry O’Connell is the heart of the show. The boy genius who accidentally opened the gateway to parallel dimensions was the compass throughout the first four seasons. His intelligence and leadership was the key to getting the team home but without him the mission felt aborted. The show felt lost without his presence in season five. Jerry wanted to be executive producer for the fifth season and he also felt the need to see his brother, Charlie, continue as his co-worker. The Sci Fi Network failed to negotiate these key attributes which was ultimately inadequate for not only Jerry O’Connell, but for the fans of the show as well.
3. Fire John Rhys-Davies
It doesn’t matter how he lost his job. John Rhys-Davies was indeed getting irate at the writers from season three, for ripping off every movie under the sun. To him, there was no creative thought or geniune science incorporated into the season three episodes. Saying the stellar high profile actor John Rhys-Davies was a loss to the show is an understatement. As Cleavant Derricks stated we all knew it was the beginning of the end. The harmony the cast had at the time was one for the ages, but it could only last for so long. And so the descent of the show began.
2. Write Bad Scripts
Movie ripoffs were at a height in season three. Anything from Twister to Mad Max was applied as a framework for episodes. Even guest stars Apollonia Kotero, Corey Feldman and Danny Masterson couldn’t rock your world. But its obvious no real thought was put into creating great stories for the show in season three and it shows. The writers were rolling out scripts like it was an assembly line. It seems they were more concerned with just producing them rather than putting out true quality. With a staggering twenty five episodes in season three needed to be written, its no wonder.
1. Start with the FOX Network.
From the start, “Sliders” was essentially set up to fail. Don’t get me wrong, the FOX Network had some great shows at the time like the X-Files, and the Adventures of Brisco County Jr. However, many shows weren’t given the freedom they needed and were suddenly cancelled. At the time co-creator Tracy Tormé and Bob Weiss were only able to get a foot through the door at FOX since NBC was a no go. Yet the network limited Tormé so much it suppressed the true quality of the show. Yes, if FOX hadn’t picked up the script it’s a very good possibility that Sliders would of never existed. The network couldn’t even air the episodes in order, and still to this very day it’s a problem. You can’t ignore the true potential Sliders could of had if the network was a little more supportive of it’s creators.