Okay, be warned … this is my nerd side posting.
Being sick does have its benefits – I finally finished working my way through all five seasons of Sliders, the show about a group of four sliding from alternate universe to alternate universe, trying to find their way home. Think ‘Lost in Space,’ but through different dimensions instead of space.
I loved the show back in the day but only ever saw a handful of episodes. I knew it had made the jump from network TV to the Sci-Fi channel at some point (seasons four and five were on sci-fi), but was startled when I saw a cast photo from season five that had all the original cast members save one replaced! This made me curious how that happened so I started from the beginning (love unlimited streaming video on Netflix) and spent the last year or two working my way through it.
Here’s where I’m at with it; season one was great, season two was where they hit their stride, and season three is when it started going downhill (Kromags? Really?). At that point they started replacing characters; when they killed off the professor I knew the show wouldn’t recover. Season four was when they went to the sci-fi channel and replaced another regular with a new actor. In some ways season four improved a bit; sci-fi got the concept better, but didn’t have the budget. When season five rolled around, they had managed to lose the lead character (the guy who invented sliding!) and another cast member, which resulted in the show being down to just one original actor and three others who had joined along the way. It was definitely too much of a hit for the show to take, and for some bizarre reason they ended it with the biggest cliff hanger of the series … even though they knew it was cancelled! I was a little annoyed because they actually referenced in the final episode several times how Star Trek was saved by a letter writing campaign by the fans. They should have focused on finishing well instead of creating a script centered on working up the fans with a cliff hanger and suggesting a letter campaign! On the positive side, they did at least they tie up some loose ends story-wise from previous seasons.
As a whole, I enjoyed the series. It was a great and somewhat unique concept. It just kind of felt like they tried to hold on to it a little too long. There were definitely some great story ideas in there, though, and I especially loved the thought provoking episodes when they asked really great ‘what if’ questions with some of the story ideas. What if major wars had gone differently, what if certain inventions or discoveries hadn’t happened? What if your dead relative had survived? I’d love to see the show get a reboot some day … as long as they leave out the Kromags. Those were a somewhat okay idea gone horribly wrong.