SLIDERS: THE FINAL SLIDES, An Animated Fan Cast

A fancast for an animated series finale to the cult hit TV series.

This may not be true, and all of you are free to disagree, but I believe that among science-fiction/fantasy/comic book fans, there's an "essential sci-fi five", five science fiction TV shows that almost every sci-fi geek knows at least SOMETHING about. That "Sci-Fi Quintet" consists of (in chronological order):
1. Star Trek
2. Star Wars
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Stargate
5. Firefly

This summer, I realized my own personal "Sci-Fi 5" after viewing each of the following shows on many different occasions over a span of one-and-a-half year's time, also in chronological order:
1. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-68)
2. Star Blazers (1979-80)
3. Robotech (1985)
4. Exosquad (1993-94)
And at number 5, the subject of this, my latest fancast:


For those in need of a refresher, "Sliders" (1995-2000, created by Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss) tells the story of a quartet of people who, using a timer in the shape of a remote control, travel by "sliding" through varying alternate universes trying to get back home.

In the first two and a half seasons, the show followed the exploits of the timer's inventor, grad student Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell); his childhood friend and co-worker at Doppler Computers, Wade Welles (Sabrina Lloyd); Quinn's mentor and college professor, Maximilian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies); and a washed-up soul singer named Rembrandt "Cryin' Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks). From the start of the middle of the third season, Prof. Arturo (in the context of the story) is killed, and is replaced by Marine Captain Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer), and in the fourth season, Wade would also be replaced (after being abducted), by Quinn's long-lost brother Colin Mallory (played by Jerry's real-life brother Charlie O'Connell). With the fifth and final season, Quinn and Colin are replaced by Dr. Diana Davis (Tembi Locke) and her lab assistant, her world's Quinn (Robert Floyd). A sub-plot of most seasons would be the Sliders trying to warn other worlds of the threat of the Kromaggs, humanoids from a parallel world out to conquer the rest of the multiverse.


"Sliders" had little in the way of merchandise, with the major examples being a set of trading cards and two comic book miniseries, one published by Armada and one by Acclaim.


The various casting replacements mentioned before were not the ideas of the show's creators. The show, throughout its life, had a lot of creative tension going on behind the scenes, mostly between Torme/Weiss and whichever network held the show (FOX for the first three seasons, Sci Fi Channel for the last two). Eventually, the series ended on an unresolved cliffhanger, but throughout its run, it generated a fanbase almost rivaling in size of the Trekkies. And then, there's this recent Funny or Die video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtasHWLKWSM

A while ago (in the year 2000, to be hopefully precise), Torme was interviewed by a Sliders fan with the username 'ireactions', and from there they 'collaborated' on a script showcasing what Torme would've done to save the show, and bring the original four Sliders back together, in the opening episode for a sixth (and final) season. The resulting episode script, titled "Slide Effects", can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7579648/1/Slide-Effects
(There's also some really great commentary following the script by another fan, username 'Slider_Quinn21'.)

(For those who want a PDF version, it can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qe2k6ppsewcam9c/73421449-Sliders-Slide-Effects.pdf)

ireactions ended up emailing me a month ago to praise the first entry in my "Bringing Closure" series of editorials, and after thinking of our email conversation about the show (and my later edition of "Bringing Closure" focusing on Sliders), it got me thinking--what better way to 'reboot' the show for a new generation than by doing it as an ANIMATED SERIES? Soon enough, the gears started moving, and now I am pleased to bring you:


*Alternate titles include "Sliders: New Dimensions".

In the premise of this animated show, it would start with a pilot based on ireactions/Torme's script, and over the course of the show's 13 episodes, the Sliders (back down to the original quartet of Quinn, Wade, Arturo, and Rembrandt) would find themselves on the right track to get home, and in the two-part finale, titled "Convergence", the original four end up uniting with the later additions in a final battle with the Kromaggs for the fate of the multiverse.

Now we get down to the specifics of the animated series outside the plot:
-The show would air on SyFy Channel, since I feel they owe a debt for causing so much of a ruckus behind the scenes when they had the later two seasons. Also, they don't have any animated programming at all these days.
-Voice direction would be by Andrea Romano.
-The art/animation style would be done by the art team from the "Ultimate Avengers" movies.
-Touching on one of Torme's ideas for later seasons, a recurring antagonist for this show would be Logan Sinclaire, Quinn's malevolent female double from "As Time Goes By". She would have a change of heart towards the final episodes. She would also be voiced by Danica McKellar.

And now, I present to you all, the pilot for "Sliders: The Final Slides", based on the script by Tracy Torme and ireactions (I'll hopefully give you a summary worthy of Wikipedia--sorry if it may be too long):

"We open to see Quinn Mallory asleep in his own bed, with his cat Schrodinger resting on top of him. Quinn is tossing and turning, and we see his dream. Via footage of the last few minutes from the final Sliders episode "The Seer", we see Rembrandt Brown, after injecting himself with a virus fatal only to Kromaggs, jump into a vortex to what is hopefully his home earth (overrun by Kromaggs), while Maggie (begging him not to go), Diana, and Mallory (the Quinn of Diana's earth) look on. Quinn wakes up abruptly, crying out for Remmy not to jump in, only to realize he's in his room. When he looks in his mirror, we briefly see Mallory in the reflection before it quickly reverts to Quinn. Quinn, still skeptical of his surroundings, hurries down the stairs of his house to find his mother, Amanda Mallory, making breakfast. Quinn is shocked at the sight of her, for when he last saw her, she was a prisoner in a Kromagg slave camp. Amanda scolds him briefly for accidentally knocking out the power with his equipment again, and tells him that Wade left him a message asking him if there were any problems with all the new computers at Doppler. Quinn, delighted at the thought of Wade being alive and unharmed, begins running towards the front door to go see her, but stops for a moment to briefly investigate his basement lab. Down there, everything seems as it should be, until he notices that all of his videotape logs are missing from the armchair. He then heads out the door to resume his earlier trip.

Quinn gets in his car and quickly speeds off to see Wade. When he accidentally almost hits another car on the way, he pulls to a stop and tries to apologize to the driver, only to find that said driver is Maximilian Arturo, his college professor. Quinn is overjoyed to see him alive, though Arturo is greatly upset by the near-collision he and Quinn almost had. To Quinn's amazement, Arturo doesn't remember their time sliding. A few minutes later, Quinn knocks on Wade's door, and finds her having just gotten up. Quinn tells her she looks beautiful, and while Wade is somewhat perplexed, she isn't objective either--as if she's awakening from something other than sleep. Quinn briefly sees her in a Kromagg sliding machine as a living battery (a la the episode "Requiem"), and the two share a kiss, as if they were gone a lifetime. Quinn tells her that he though he almost lost her, which surprises Wade. Once they go into her kitchen, Quinn tells her about their adventures as sliders. To Quinn's surprise, Wade thinks he was just dreaming. Quinn tries to prove he isn't crazy by telling her some of the things he learned about her on the journey, all while Wade tries to dissect his 'dream' with some Tarot cards. Wade suggests that Quinn visit a psychotherapist to see what he's so troubled about, and gives him the card of one nearby.

Quinn goes to said psychotherapist and waits in the waiting room for his appointment. While there, he finds himself face-to-face with two familiar people. One is Gillian Mitchell (from the episode "Gillian of the Spirits), which causes Quinn's anxiety to return; the other is Rembrandt Brown, who just walked in. Rembrandt is surprised that Quinn recognizes him, to the point where he recounts some of the things he learned about him during their time as sliders (including one that gives him pause over it's incongruity); Rembrandt dismisses him as a semi-obsessed fan (surprising Gillian as well, who calls Quinn a stalker). Quinn surprises Gillian further by saying he knows that she hears 'voices'. Knowing that he won't solve his problem here, Quinn leaves the office and returns home to the basement lab, determined to find the answers. Quinn attempts to bring his sliding machine back online, and even builds a timer. By the start of the evening, Quinn has it fully-built, and attempts to activate it, only for it to malfunction and burn out. Baffled by it, Quinn turns to the equations on his chalkboard, where he adds the final part of it given to him by his double (all the way back in the show's first episode). When he does, he finds that it all doesn't add up, causing him to go over the calculations again. He finds that according to all those calculations, sliding is and never was possible at all. He then realizes that if the math never truly fell together, he wouldn't have his basement lab. He then states that his mom was right, whatever problems he has, he can't solve on his own.

Quinn goes over to Prof. Arturo's house, and Quinn is only let in (after the professor's repeated attempts to brush him off) when he shows Maximilian the four pages of his calculations, making him see that Quinn possibly solved the "unified field theory". Quinn tells him he hasn't, and that's why he needs his help. In Arturo's kitchen, they pore over the calculations while Quinn tells him more of their sliding--such as one earth where Arturo gave people antibiotics for the first time in their history, or saving another earth by actually building the atom bomb, or a women-ruled earth where he ran for mayor of San Francisco and moved gender politics ahead by a decade. Arturo is still skeptical, but Quinn then shows him the part of the equation given to him by his double. Quinn asks Arturo what would have to change on the other side of the equals sign in order to be true, to which Arturo responds with a name: Herbert Van Meer, the physicist who first came up with a theory of parallel earths. Arturo states that if Van Meer's theorem were inverted, then and only then would Quinn's calculations prove true. It is then that Arturo realizes that the reality they currently inhabit has been altered, and the only reason for doing so...was to prevent anyone travelling to other dimensions. Quinn finds that the professor now believes them, but their reverie is interrupted by a knock at the door. Arturo answers it to find two police officers looking for Quinn after being called by Rembrandt and Gillian for harassment charges. Arturo tells Quinn to hide in a nearby storage closet while he diverts the cops. Faking an assault by Quinn, Arturo sends them out the back door, and when they've left, Arturo pulls Quinn out and tells him to meet at Arturo's classroom on campus in an hour, but go by bus. As Quinn leaves, Arturo goes to look over the calculations once more.

Before going to the nearest bus stop, Quinn stops at a pay phone and calls Wade, telling her to meet him at the campus. He then catches a bus, but then stops at a steakhouse called Baton Orange, where he finds Rembrandt. Outraged, Rembrandt berates Quinn for following him, thinking he's a stalker, but Quinn tries to convince him further that they're friends, to the point where Quinn states the reason he knew that Rembrandt would be at this steakhouse: after his comeback performance at the Giants game (in the first episode), Rembrandt would have a quiet night alone at his favorite steakhouse, not wanting to forget who he'd been before becoming a star again. Rembrandt still expresses doubt, to the point where he tells Quinn he feels like taking the steak knife and give him another scar on his face--and in that instant, Rembrandt finally remembers Quinn, and they both head off to the campus. When they get there, they find Wade waiting for Quinn, where Wade doesn't recognize Rembrandt, until she remembers his name, to her astonishment. Arturo soon arrives (triggering more of Rembrandt's memory), and all enter the building and head to Arturo's classroom.

In the room, Arturo and Quinn have reproduced the calculations on the blackboard, and explain the situation thus far to Wade and Rembrandt, telling them that their present reality cannot exist. It has been altered as such so that the four of them specifically cannot exist as sliders. Rembrandt is still skeptical, but he and Wade slowly become more convinced as Arturo expresses what he feels towards the three of them--he loves Wade as though she were a daughter, Quinn is like the son he never had, and Rembrandt as a man he'd trust with his life. All realize that their true memories are returning to the surface, and Arturo asks Quinn to tell all of them about their adventures in sliding. Quinn does, and as he recounts the events of the first season up till the third season episode "Rules of the Game", the flashbacks are done via footage from the following episodes:
-"Pilot"
-"Summer of Love" (where events similar to the late 60's happen in the present)
-"Eggheads" (where they land on a world where intellect is hailed like athleticism)
-"Luck of the Draw" (a world where population control is done through a lottery)
-"Into the Mystic" (a world where sorcery and superstition reigns)
-"In Dino Veritas" (a world where San Francisco is a nature preserve for dinosaurs)
-"Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" (where they land on an earth VERY similar to their own, only with the "Azure Gate Bridge" instead of Golden Gate, among others)
-"Invasion" (where they first encounter the Kromaggs)
-"As Time Goes By"
-"Rules of the Game"
Quinn is about to continue, until Rembrandt interrupts him. He, Wade and Arturo tell Quinn that as he told the story, they all remembered the slides, but when he starts telling them about the world from "Rules of the Game", they all tell him they remember nothing about that. As more of their memories awaken, the room around them begins to get darker; meaning that as they remember more, the more reality dissipates around them. Finally, all that is left are the four, who see themselves on four tables with electrodes on their heads. Next to them is a fifth table, with a figure shrouded in shadow.

Arturo states that the four of them--and the mysterious fifth--were in a simulation the whole time. When wade asks how they plan to get out, the fifth figure tells them they won't. The figure steps out of the shadows (after "rising" out of the body), and into the light, revealing a face only familiar to Quinn, but with red hair. Quinn recognizes the face as Maggie Beckett (a Marine captain whose entire earth was wiped out by a pulsar). The figure then changes forms, into that of Quinn's--but a different Quinn, looking three years older. It's then Quinn recognizes the shifting pattern as that of a Kromagg. The Kromagg briefly reveals its true form, then shifts back to Quinn's. It then explains the nature of Kromaggs, as it shifts forms again, first from Quinn to Colin (Quinn's long-lost brother), then from Colin to the "merged Quinn" (Robert Floyd's character from season 5), and then back to Quinn's form. Quinn asks why the Kromagg put them in this mental prison, to which it answers "Because you gave up trying to find your way back home." The Kromagg reveals that a tracking device was placed in Quinn's skull (during "Invasion"), so that when he returned to his home earth, the Kromaggs would go there, conquer it, and appropriate any sliding technology on it. As time passed though, the four's slides were still random, and Quinn made no effort to control it. The Kromagg then morphs into the form of Diana Davis, and continues: it was given a mission to track Quinn and co. to their present location, sedate them, and use the simulation to give them the feeling of home. (The Kromagg then morphs into Colin's form again.) The four would be woken up after a time, with a renewed conviction of finding home. (The Kromagg then returns to the older Quinn form.) Quinn asks the Kromagg why he wasn't as affected by the simulation as the other three, to which the Kromagg replies that the tracking device was damaged during one of the slides, and one of its components, made of an exotic matter, was exposed to a rip in time and absorbed a small amount of chronal energy. (The world this happened was one where time ran backwards.) When the Kromagg tried looking into Quinn's mind, the tracker interfered with the process, and as a result, Quinn now saw every possibility of every earth a Quinn Mallory would visit--every single future. (As it explains, the Kromagg morphs into Colin, then Maggie, then Mallory, then Diana, then to Quinn again.)

The Kromagg then brings up various moments from said futures, by way of footage from the following episodes:
-"The Guardian" (where events of 1984 occur in the present, and Quinn meets his younger self)
-"The Fire Within"
-"The Prince of Slides"
-"Seasons Greedings"
As the four Sliders see all this, the form of the Kromagg on the table finally becomes visible. The Kromagg angrily tells of how he had to endure everything Quinn experienced of his doubles, an infinity of earths all dominated by humans (whom it considers evolutionary deviants and filth). In time, the Kromagg agent discovered it could dilute the flow of possibilities and control that which Quinn experienced, making sure Quinn only experienced the worst of them. (The Kromagg then turns into Dr. Oberon Geiger, the recurring antagonist of season 5.) Of the infinite number of Quinns, it found 37 who suffered greatly: one who lost his mentor, one who lost his best friend, one who was merged with his double (Mallory), and so on. It then combined details from each, supplementing them with ones culled from the minds of Wade, Arturo, and Rembrandt to add to their authenticity. The Kromagg agent then watched Quinn struggle through this gestalt life, and laughed the whole way. The Kromagg agent then takes Maggie's form again, and reveals that the tracker's finally burned out, which is how Quinn then rejoined his friends in the simulation--but the Kromagg is still trapped in it, yet can still control it. The Kromagg shifts their surroundings to a flashback of the events of the (controversial) episode "The Exodus" (which introduced Maggie), and there, the four see the fate that befalls Arturo after he is shot by Colonel Angus Rickman (the recurring villain from season 3). All four Sliders are shocked and horrified by the events unfolding. The Kromagg goes on to show how Quinn seemingly 'lost his way' after that (in footage from "Dinoslide"), painting him as hungry for revenge and willing to kill. They then see Quinn screaming abuse at Wade (in footage from "The Breeder"), and then see a Wade being carried off in a Kromagg prison, with a Rembrandt shaken by their torture unable to help her (footage from "Requiem"). The Kromagg changes into a black-haired Maggie, and then paints Quinn as having abandoned Wade (via footage from "Mother and Child" and "World Killer"). Wade tries to make Quinn tell them it isn't true, while the Kromagg tells them Quinn won't deny it. Quinn admits it, stunning Arturo and Rembrandt, but tells them he did so because, deep down, he was slowly beginning to realize those events weren't really happening, surprising the Kromagg agent. Quinn points out how the agent 'got sloppy' with the mental torture it was inflicting on him, due to some details added that didn't make sense--such as Rembrandt being in the navy, when he can't even swim. The four Sliders then move together, and reaching out with their minds, take back the mindscape from the Kromagg agent.

The scene then shifts around to some of the foursome's better memories, via footage from:
-"Pilot"
-"The King is Back"
-"Luck of the Draw"
-"Obsession"
-"Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome"
-"As Time Goes By"
-"The Young and the Relentless"
The scenery fades, leaving just the quartet and the Kromagg, with the view of all five on the tables still present. The Kromagg, in a rage, returns to its natural form and lunges at Quinn, until Quinn, with a thought, causes reality to shift slightly, wiping the Kromagg out, sending it back to its still-sedated body on the fifth table. Quinn tells the others to tell themselves that none of this is real, and that they're still on the tables. It works, and the four sliders awaken, taking the electrodes off their heads. The four then walk over to the Kromagg's table, where it is uncontrollably shifting between forms--from Quinn to Maggie to Colin to Diana to Mallory--while uttering curious statements as if it were mumbling it its sleep. Quinn tells them that the agent is now trapped in a torture of its own making, and now will live through all those lives forever. Finding the timer on another table, Quinn tells the others that they've only got fifteen minutes till the next slide, and make their way through a tunnel in the wall leading outside. While walking through the tunnel, Arturo comforts both Wade and Rembrandt about being 'lost' again, reminding them that home can be the people you're with. On the plus side, the tracker in Quinn's head is destroyed, but still, Quinn suffered the most of all of them. Quinn tells Wade that the three years of sliding in his head are fading, something Arturo considers a 'gift', and that while 37 possible Quinns suffered, the rest have brighter futures.

Just as he says that, he trips on a rock and falls on his face. Quinn senses something off, while Wade and Rembrandt help Arturo up. Quinn hands Wade the timer and tells her and Remmy to go ahead of them, that they'll catch up, and when they're out of earshot--whereupon we learn that they originally landed on an earth where talking too loud lands you in jail--Quinn slams Arturo against the wall of the tunnel, surprising him and then kneeing him in the stomach. When Arturo tries to ask Quinn why, Quin covers his mouth and angrily whispers why. Quinn reminds Arturo that the Kromagg was feeding him details from their minds into his, and among them was one that didn't make sense--the idea of Remmy being in the navy when it was known that he couldn't swim. Quinn tells him that the Kromagg could only get a detail like that if someone was from an earth where Remmy was in the navy--from Arturo. Quinn reveals that he knows that the Arturo he's currently speaking to is in fact the professor's double (from "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome"), who knocked him out before they slid out of that world. The double attempts to apologize, but Quinn stops him and tells him that he's got big shoes to fill; he's seen what happens without the professor, so this team needs him. He also makes him promise not to tell anyone else about their little conversation, especially Wade and Rembrandt. The Arturo double agrees, and both then head towards the exit, with Quinn taking a last look at the chamber they left. All four sliders emerge from the cave in a hillside overlooking a bay of water, on a calm and serene morning. Wade opens the vortex, and all leap in, to the next adventure..."

And THAT is the plot of "Sliders: The Final Slides'" pilot. With that out of the way, let's meet our voice cast for this fictional finale series:

+The Four Main Sliders
-Josh Keaton as the voice of Quinn Mallory

Keaton voiced O'Connell's character Charlie Carbone in the animated DTV sequel to "Kangaroo Jack", titled "Kangaroo Jack: G'Day USA". I felt that he did a decent enough impression of O'Connell that he could do great with one of his most well-known characters.

-Kari Wahlgren as the voice of Wade Welles

When I was trying to figure out who could be a good sub, voice-wise, for original actress Sabrina Lloyd, I thought of Wahlgren's voice for the character Ariel from Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (where she took over for original VA Melanie McQueen). It sounded enough like Lloyd that I felt she could do the part just fine.

-Bob Joles as the voice of Professor Maximilian Arturo

This wouldn't be the first time Joles took over for Davies in a character role. Davies voiced Hades in the two-part Justice League episode "Paradise Lost", while Joles took over for the Justice League: Unlimited episode "The Balance", where he did a great impression of Davies. Here's what I mean: http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/voice-compare/Wonder-Woman/Hades/. Thus, I thought it fitting enough to cast him as Arturo, and I'm sure he could duplicate the same kind of pompousness the professor exhibited.

-Tommy Davidson as the voice of Rembrandt "Cryin' Man" Brown

You all might know Davison as a comedian, and as the voice of Oscar Proud on Disney's "The Proud Family", and I felt that he had a voice similar enough to original actor Cleavant Derricks that could be a good stand-in. (My alternative choices were Phil LaMarr or Gary Anthony Williams.)

+Additional voices (in order of appearance)
-Kath Soucie as the voice of Amanda Mallory/receptionist in office
-Lacey Chabert as the voice of Gillian Mitchell
-Tara Strong as the voice of the Kromagg, Maggie Beckett form
-Roger Craig Smith as the voice of the Kromagg, Colin Mallory form/police officer #1
-Nolan North as the voice of the Kromagg, "Merged Quinn" form/police officer #2
-Masasa Moyo as the voice of the Kromagg, Diana Davis form
-Peter Jessop (or Tom Kane) as the voice of the Kromagg, Oberon Geiger form

And that is that! I hope I've attracted a few Sliders fans on this site, especially ireactions (who's a new member here), and stay tuned for my Sliders-themed edition of "Bringing Closure". For now, as thanks for viewing--Ladies and gentlemen, TODD RUNDGREN:
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