Applied Physics


Mallory and Quinn begin to fight for dominance in one body, and Diana’s attempts to stabilize them unleashes an unexpected side effect — the anchoring of her mentor Dr. Geiger in another world. She and Geiger then team up to change the life of Diana’s double for the better, but Geiger has another agenda in mind.

Written by: Chris Black
Directed by: David R. Eagle
Edited by: Casey Brown
Music by: Danny Lux

Broadcast History

Original Airdate: June 18, 1999
Production Code: E0804
Network Code: SL-502

Synopsis

The Sliders find themselves at a college campus on a calm, sunny day. Maggie and Rembrandt decide to take advantage of their peaceful surroundings by relaxing for awhile. Diana, however, grows impatient, anxious to figure out how to re-stabilize Mallory, bring Quinn back and help the others find their way home to their own worlds. The quiet is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Diana’s alternate, a distressed version of herself. Diana perceives that her alternate has made all the wrong choices. Deeply affected by the encounter, she realizes that she is no longer in a lab playing with theories, but instead, experiencing real life in alternate worlds. Meanwhile, a painful struggle takes place within Mallory as violent flashbacks from Quinn’s life begin to torture his body. Diana enrolls in the college to gain access to their physics lab to stabilize Mallory. But she accidentally brings back Dr. Geiger from his disembodied state. Although he agrees to help, he betrays her trust by providing the equations that will enable him to re-materialize. It sends quantum ripples through the universe that endanger the lives in that world. Mallory’s unstable condition worsens. With only minutes before the next slide, Diana unsuccessfully tries to reset the dimensions back to normal. As the Sliders make the jump to the next world, Diana is plagued with the knowledge that she has forever, if not for the better, changed the course of many lives.

Worlds Visited

Divergence World

A world with significantly more advanced technology than Earth Prime, Diana adjusts the quantum matrix, "recalibrating" this world's Diana Davis from a warm single mother to a calculated military operative.

Grolsch World

It's medieval time again as the Chandler looks like it was built in the Dark Ages. The patrons of the bar are decked out in monastic robes.

Details

  • The university where Diana audits the class contains a Feynman high-energy particle reactor, the most advanced fusion generator on the planet. It has the ability to create more power than the Big Bang.
  • The Directory outside of the Physics building on campus reads as such:100 Office of the Dean
    101 Registration
    102 Student Loans
    103 Health Services Administration
    104 Career Counselor
  • Posters of Ireland, New York and Holland are on the wall of the Travel Agency.
  • When Mallory relapses memories of Quinn, clips from Desert StormSlidecageInvasionSole Survivors, Season’s GreedingsElectric Twister Acid Test and Dinoslide are shown.

Character Information


  • According to Maggie (and Greatfellas, I guess), Quinn always had a knack for finding lucky numbers.

  • Mallory doesn't play roulette. "It's a sucker's game," he says.

  • Quinn was shot in the arm (again) during a casino brawl in a Chandler similar to the one on Divergence World.

  • Mallory hates surprises.

  • Quinn lived for surprises, according to Maggie.

  • Mallory's parents died when he was young.

  • Alt-Diana's daughter is named Nadine. Alt-Diana is estranged from Doug, the father... until Diana warps the quantum matrix.

  • Alt-Diana works at the student activities office. She used to be a student at the university, but upon becoming pregnant dropped out.

  • Mallory lost his virginity the night of his prom.

  • Diana's entire impetus for completing her rigorous physics training came from Doctor Geiger.

  • Diana has no relationship and is estranged from her wealthy Brentwood family.



Money Matters


  • Diana audits a class, which means she'll accrue around $1600 in university fees.

  • The Sliders have enough money to purchase drinks on both worlds, in addition to new clothing and the room at the Chandler.



Rewind That!

Watch the scene where Diana listens to Deedee's phone conversation. The right side of the screen is slowed down to 18 frames per second at points to synch Diana's reactions to the conversation her double is having.

Notable Quotes


  • "I'd call that a major fluctuation." — Mallory, after seeing Alt-Diana and Nadine.

  • "Yeah, you're not her type either, Mallory." — Maggie, responding to Mallory's query as to whether or not Maggie has a double on Divergence Earth.

  • "That's what I thought." — Mallory, on the silence he faces after asking what Quinn the group wants — Quinn or Mallory.

  • "I don't know who he was, but he meant so much to me I can't stop hurting." — Mallory, about the Professor.

  • "Damn... and I got holographic condoms." — Mallory, with Maggie in the holo-car.

  • "I do a lot of traveling, remember, Diana?" — Geiger, when Diana asks how he could possibly know about her doubles.

  • "When do we get started?" — Geiger, after Diana threatens his existence to cure Deedee's (Alt-Diana) crisis.

  • "It messed him up." — Diana, summing up Mallory's condition without all the technobabble.

  • "It's probably the Monte Cristo I had for lunch." — Mallory, dismissing his illness on his sandwich.

Neatpicks

  • Maggie’s look of confusion upon seeing some of the slides before she joined the group was very nice.
  • Mallory’s mention of the Professor was more heartfelt and genuine than anything Quinn said about the guy in seasons 3 or 4.
  • It’s good to see some continuity: a good deal of the story deals with Maggie’s discussion of the events of Roads Taken.
  • The music playing on the radio in the holo-car is from The Guardian.
  • The lighting of the Chandler in this episode is excellent.

Nitpicks

  • How could Mallory have a flashback of the establishing shot of Sole Survivors?
  • Why wasn’t Colin drawn to the stable space inside the university lab the way Geiger was? Granted, Geiger’s been unstuck longer than him, but Geiger was naturally drawn to that region of the multiverse.
  • Unless the equipment Diana took in The Unstuck Man independently contains all of their data about the Combine, Diana is lying about downloading all of Geiger’s research before sliding.

Parallel History

With minimal deviation in the quantum matrix, it’s a safe bet that this world is very similar to Combine World, just without the influence of Oberon Geiger to muck up the space-time continuum.

Divergence World boasts considerably more technology than Earth Prime. In addition to UCLA’s high energy fusion reactor, this Earth is also home to the Travel Agency, a holographic device that projects a realistic environment of a desired location/time around the user. Instead of spending hours on a flight to Paris, a gentle touch of the Agency Orb allows you to experience a simulation that is every bit as authentic to the senses as the real thing.

How does it work? Upon touching the orb, the destination is sensed from the higher memory functions of the brain. If all that is sensed is the location, the orb searches the memory banks and projects it. However, detailed memories of events can be played out in holographic detail if the memory is strong enough to fill in the details.

Divergence World also has a Romanesque style in many of its establishments. Waiters wear a traditional Roman toga while serving contemporary drinks. Gambling is also allowed in California, and upon examination of the roulette table and playing cards, seems remarkably similar to the gaming establishments seen on Earth Prime.

The Inside Slide

“One of the most interesting things I’ve had a chance to do is meet myself in other worlds,” says Tembi Locke. “You meet yourself without the education Diana has, or in one world I meet myself and am a single mom struggling with raising a kid.

“She is me in another dimension,” she continues. “She took a different turn, though, and dropped out of school, is a single mom and doesn’t have a lot going for her.

“When I meet my alternate that’s totally overwhelming and I don’t know what to do. I don’t like what I see, so I make a decision to alter her in some way and as a result I mix things up really badly.

“I deal with a lot of issues. What are the ethics of how do I fix things? We go into worlds and I have a lot more scientific than maybe people in that world have. So ethically what kind of position are we put in here?

“My arc really deals with finding out who I am for the first time outside of the lab, outside the protected walls of my studies. I have friends now and we’re thrown into these crazy situations.

“I’m still awkward socially. There’s this funny line where we go into a bar and I’m like, ‘This is really rowdy’ and they say, ‘What do you mean, you’ve never been out drinking with friends?’ And I say, ‘Well, I went to the student union in college. I had a beer or two!’ That’s Diana’s thing, she’s just now coming into her own.

“By the end of the episode I think, hey, I want to get a boyfriend and have a little romantic action,” she laughs.

· · ·

“We needed to address the question of how Quinn would deal with his new duality and how Diana would cope with meeting one of her duplicates for the first time,” says Keith Damron. “We were still trying to get a feel for who these characters were and this episode would help us further define them. For example, early on we decided it might be interesting to add a new twist to the Sliders intra-group dynamic.

“As seen in The Unstuck Man our heroes would eventually defeat Geiger and Diana would join our travelers, seemingly now on their side.

“[However,] Diana would secretly retain her loyalty to Geiger, outwardly pledging to find a way to separate the two Quinns and to stabilize Colin, but in truth always seeking a way to bring back the banished Geiger. We sort of likened her to a Doctor Smith-type character (first season of course!), always working counter to the objectives of the other three sliders. She would eventually be ‘turned to the good side,’” he adds, “but not until we were a third of the way into the season. This concept would eventually be abandoned in favor developing a more straightforward cohesive team.”

Guest Stars

Co-Starring

Unaccredited

  • Mr. and Mrs. Mallory.
  • The Kromagg who threatens Mallory’s life.
  • The students Diana throws out of the lab.
  1. Peter Jurasik plays as Oberon Geiger in The Unstuck Man and Eye of the Storm.