For those of you who don’t know Sliders was a sci-fi TV show on FOX where Quinn (played by Jerry O’Connell) discovers a way to travel to alternate earths. He calls this form traveling a “slide”, hence the name of the show. Quinn takes his friend Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), his college professor Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), and by accident singer Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) on their first slide landing them Russian controlled America.
Slides like this continue and the group goes from excited curiosity to longing for their original home world. The viewer also finds the novelty of different worlds starts to wear off after a handful of episodes. It is still interesting that they can travel to these new worlds, but ultimately story lines get repeated and in many cases are annoyingly predictable.
Someone (usually Quinn) ends up getting involved in the alternate world’s events putting all the slider’s in danger. At the end of each episode they discuss how they shouldn’t get involved only to land in a new world on the next slide where they just can’t resist. After sliding the 30+ times you would think they would mind their own business after near death, imprisonment, and bodily harm, but no they just keep meddling.
If that wasn’t bad enough Professor Arturo, Wade, or Quinn insist on using their home world’s rules, rights, and freedoms as standards for every new world they slide to. The result is Arturo insulting authorities, Wade breaking laws, and Quinn slugging gang leaders over girls he’ll never see again after as little as a fifteen minutes. Rembrandt seems to be the only character with any common sense as he continually asks why the sliders can’t just mind their own business.
In after-school-special like quality the sliders will often try to convince other world’s people of how wrong they are living their lives. Most notably The Good the Bad and the Wealthy where Quinn makes a ridiculously short speech deploring the use of guns to solve conflicts. Immediately following, and incredibly unbelievably, the people surrounding him nod and realize the error of their ways. This type of pretentious nonsense is repeated in several other episodes, yet when the writers have an opportunity to make real and insightful cultural, political, or social comments like in As Time Goes By where Mexico is trying to keep American immigrants out of their land they brush over the topic, using it as a gimmick and nothing more.
Clearly desperate for some sort of ongoing story line that would extend beyond one world the writers came up with Invasion where the sliders run into the Kromaggs; creatures that evolved on an alternate earth instead of humans. The Kromaggs have discovered sliding and have been invading alternate earths in an effort to destroy all humans. Not only are the special effects and makeup terrible, but the story is unoriginal and predictable. Also the Kromaggs wear uniforms that look like a cheap ripoff from Star Trek.
The final episode of season two, As Time Goes By, completely ignores the Kromagg threat only to introduce a new threat: altering the fabric of time. As Arturo explains: Quinn, by altering the future, has caused a rift in time. This after the entire group has altered the future in nearly every world they land on. Just now it is a problem? This is insulting to the viewer, and a poor reason for stopping Quinn (or anyone else) from interfering with past acquaintances. They slide away after they see the sky literally split apart and Rembrandt asks Quinn, mockingly, if he would like to try altering the future again. Quinn grimaces, mirroring the audience, as we realize the fun being sucked out in the last show of the last decent season.