Gillian of the Spirits


A lightning bolt strikes the vortex as Quinn enters, shifting him into an astral plane where he is essentially a ghost. If matters weren’t bad enough, the timer has been heavily damaged and the world they’ve landed on stopped advancing technology after the horrors of Hiroshima. This leads them to underground channels, where they discover Quinn’s father has been dabbling in the forbidden sciences. Quinn encounters Gillian, a troubled girl who has the ability to see and hear him. Using her as his means of communication, he discovers that his father is setting the others up so he can steal the timer for his employers, Bayside Electric. Rembrandt and Arturo fashion a daring raid on the power plant to recover the timer and Gillian talks the professor through the repairs. Michael Mallory tries to stop them, but the vortex illuminates Quinn and shakes the poor man to the core. Alas, the vortex does not open on the astral plane, and the others must make a decision of whether to leave Quinn behind.

Worlds Visited

Noah’s World

A place where severe thunderstorms are the norm. The Sliders trudge through a heavy forest to rendezvous at the gate location and their apparel, high quality rain gear, indicates that there is civilization in this area.

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Fifties World

The nuclear holocaust at Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged this world into a technophobic state. Technology here is feared and kept under tight control. The Quinn of this world died of polio.

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Astral Plane

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Nude World

Sure, you may freeze your ass off, but at least you’re naked.

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Details

  • According to the posters, Spartacus has now been held over for 1872 weeks — that’s 36 yearsSpartacus was released in 1960.
  • The vacuum tubes Wade refers to are sold at Vacuum Tube City.
  • The nearest pay phone is two blocks down on “Geary.”
  • The policeman’s horse is named Jessy.
  • The Sliders stay in suite 304 at the Dominion Hotel.
  • As the Sliders approach Michael Mallory’s, the license plate on the passing red Chevy Bel Air reads 3UPR395.
  • Michael Mallory lives at 316 Commonwealth.
  • On the bed in the basement, Wade is reading a magazine with a back cover that depicts the words “Winter World.”
  • Gillian and Quinn take a taxi from the Golden Bay Cab Company.
  • The research lab at Bayside Power & Electric is near the Embarcadero Center.
  • The Dominion Hotel connects to the Lamplighter Pub off the lobby.

Character Information

Wade knows a little about theosophy.

Money Matters

  • The Sliders check into the Dominion Hotel.
  • Gillian fronts the cab fare for her and Quinn’s ride to the power plant.

Notable Quotes

  • “How am I expected to work like this? I’m a theoretical physicist, I work with universes, not piddling little stuff like this.” — a frustrated Arturo after the timer gives him a shock.

Nitpicks/Errors

  • It’s unclear as to how creation of a polio vaccine would have anything to do with electronic technology.
  • Though Quinn is unable to hold anything, and has the ability to pass through objects, he sits calmly in a chair with his forearms resting on a table at the Lamplighter Pub.
  • After Arturo fixes the timer, he shouts that there are only 17 seconds left until he has to activate the gate, but it’s 27 before he actually opens the vortex.
  • In a huge gaffe, Arturo states that the vortex only stays open for 60 seconds, whereupon the vortex stays open for two minutes and 48 seconds.
  • It’s unclear how Mike Mallory would recognize the adult version of his son, seeing as the Quinn of this world died as a child.

Neatpicks

  • To help prove that he is with them, Quinn relates a story, through Gillian, from Last Days. She says: “He wants me to remind you of the time that you and he were … necking in some basement but, um, you [Arturo] came in.” Later, Wade responds to Rembrandt’s teasing by saying: “Look, it seemed like the world was coming to an end. We had to confront how we felt. We talked and we kissed. No big deal.”
  • While Gillian talks to Quinn in the cab, the driver asks “Are you talking to me?” a line that effectively sends-up the famous line Robert De Niro soliloquy in the film “Taxi Driver.”

Rewind That!

On Nude World, great care is taken to hide the lady’s upper half from the cameras via a cross-hatch on her screen door, but a closer look reveals the underwire of her brasserie.

History Lesson

Things changed after the United States proved its might by dropping hydrogen bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a means to end the second World War. On Fifties World, the damage was actually properlyanalyzed.

In a rush to judgment, the U.S. government determined that technology would do more harm than good to society, so progression was essentially banned. While there have been some improvements over the past 50 years, at best they are baby steps in comparison to the technical wizardry available on Earth Prime.

How is technology censored? The Bureau of Anti-Technology polices the American populace looking for technology that exceeds the level of advancement that the government has allowed. Those in possession of anything technological are in violation of Article 417 of the Anti-Technology Statutes and may be arrested. However, those who lobby to repeal the technology statutes are also busy inventing devices that, once accepted by the public, can move this world into the 20th century.

With only radio and classic films as entertainment outlets, people here have turned to God, so much so that priests sign autographs after mass and technology is referred to as “the Devil’s handiwork.”

Don’t think that no television and a heightened appreciation for God are the only results of an ass-backward society — there’s also a lack of medical advancements which led to the deaths of thousands around the world. Polio, an easily treatable disease, kills every year here because no suitable vaccination has been found.

The Inside Slide

“‘Gillian of the Spirits’ was a prototypical show,” recalls Tracy Tormé. “We had a ’50s world where no one had technology and I think we pulled it off. It was done very nicely and the girl gave a really good performance. There was a lot of emotion in that show, and we also brought Quinn’s father back, which is something I had wanted to do.”

Guest Stars

With

Unaccredited

  • The actor playing researcher Rick who dissects the timer.
  1. Tom Butler played Mike Mallory in the Pilot as well.
  2. Gerard Plunkett also played the snooty Hotel Concierge in Prince of Wails.
  3. Will Sasso also plays the venerable Gomez Calhoun in Fever, The King is Back, Time Again and WorldTime Again and Worldand Greatfellas.
  4. Sheelah Megill also plays Dana Bingham of Baypoint Realty in Eggheads.

In Brief

Written by Tony Blake & Paul Jackson
Production # K0810
Network # SL-207
Directed by Paris Barclay
Music by Anthony Marinelli
Edited by Michael B. Hoggan, A.C.E.

Chronology

Previously:
Next:

In Review

A-
Great

“Gillian of the Spirits” goes beyond mere alt-history and starts taking on more esoteric concepts — in this case the astral plane. Combined with a gripping storyline and a haunting sense of loss, this episode alone was the reason to keep watching the show until the big episodes came out later in the season.

Read the review »

Logline

When a bizarre accident separates Quinn from the rest of the Sliders, the only hope for the remaining trio is to put their faith in a troubled young girl with a history of hearing voices — and an ability to communicate with spirits.

Timer Status

Short-circuited by an ill-timed lightning strike on the vortex. The inner workings are largely unaffected except for a microchip that must be replaced by one from Arturo's watch.