The Guardian


Arturo is dying of an incurable disease and wishes to leave the group before it gets worse. Quinn convinces him to stay on, but pledges not tell Wade and Rembrandt about Arturo’s condition. The next slide takes them to an Earth that is 12 years behind the rest, forcing Quinn to relive the death of his father. With the help of his mother and his old homeroom teacher, Quinn takes his younger self under his wing to protect him from school bullies who tormented him as a child. Wade is vehemently opposed, but she’s too busy looking after a suddenly wide-eyed Arturo who wants to experience everything life has to offer. It is revealed that Quinn taught his younger self how to fight to prevent him from doing something much, much worse.

Worlds Visited

Medical World

Arturo’s medical examination reveals he has a terminal illness.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Van Meer’s World

As close to time travel as you can get without actually going anywhere. Events unfolding here are 12 years behind the events of Earth Prime.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Details

  • According to the CAT scan computer, Arturo’s “Patient Data File” number is GA473298 and his “Patient ID” number is 30-85-91 and there is a mass in his cranium located at the occipital bone (the natural bump on the back of the head).
  • The screen shows a cross-sectioned skull under the word Sagittal with a blue mass in that area.
  • The plate of the brown Cadillac that Rembrandt admires on Eighties World reads V-CE465.
  • A store across the street from the cemetery is Fishbecks Patio Center.
  • The Sliders’ favorite pizza place, Acovone’s, once stood on Post Street but it burned down a few years ago.
  • Arturo drives Wade and Rembrandt past La Castila del Arroyo.
  • The first numeral of the Mallory’s house number is 2. The rest of the numbers are obscured by a strategically placed potted plant.
  • Quinn’s neighbor on his street is Mrs. Van Derbeken (named after Tracy Tormé’s real-life friend Derik Van Derbeken, an actor who also appears as a security guard in the episode Murder Most Foul), a tall lady with red hair and thick glasses.
  • The hotel the Sliders stay at is located on Jones St.
  • Before Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo leave for the opera, Wade is sitting in the hotel room reading a magazine called Whitewater. (It’s unclear as to whether it’s a brochure for whitewater rafting — possibly the next big adventure on Arturo’s checklist — or a real estate brochure courtesy of Governor Clinton in Arkansas.)
  • The Sliders land in an area that was destroyed in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.
  • Quinn’s school was built in 1901.
  • Heather Hanley drives a Volvo.

Character Information

  • It’s revealed that Arturo has a terminal illness. While not named, the symptoms gradually worsen along with his condition, and he has at most a year to live before the disease claims him.
  • As a boy, Quinn got into a fight with a kid named Brady Oaks. In trying to defend himself, he used a baseball bat against Brady and ended up breaking Brady’s knee. The event scarred Quinn for life — and Brady Oaks walked with a limp for the rest of his.
  • As a boy, Quinn skipped two grades in school and had very few friends. He considered his genius a curse and spent much of his free time in his cellar — his ‘Fortress of Solitude’ — where he would conduct various experiments. All the while, he longed to be an athlete.
  • On Quinn’s eighth birthday, Mike Mallory gave his son a telescope and used to take him out to look at the stars. (That telescope can be seen in the establishing scene of Quinn’s bedroom in the Pilot.)
  • Eleven-year-old Quinn’s homeroom teacher was Miss Heather Hanley, whom he had a crush on.
  • When Arturo was a young man he owned a luxury car, which gives some insight into his economic status at the time.
  • Quinn plays chess, as did his father.
  • Arturo enjoys classical music.
  • Wade enjoys Black Velvet liquor.
  • Quinn’s father was a man of peace.

Money Matters

  • It’s probable that Arturo skipped out on his doctor’s bill — unless he paid cash, which is also probable because the Sliders seem to have a lot of money on Van Meer’s World (or maybe the dollar is worth more with reverse inflation and all).
  • A quick checklist of items purchased here include a Rolls Royce rental, pizza from Acovone’s, three tickets to a San Francisco 49ers game, new outfits for the opera and three opera tickets, complete bungee jumping equipment (unless they rented), a hotel room (presumably at the Dominion since they’re in San Francisco).

Notable Quotes

  • “The only difference between a rut and the grave is a few inches.” — Mrs. Brown, per Rembrandt.
  • “I’m gonna put a dent in that special brain of yours.” — Bully Rex Crandall, just before big Quinn rescues little Quinn.
  • “Well fine, but why not have a drink first?” — Arturo to Ambrosia who says “I wanna Skip and Go Naked” when he offers to buy her a drink.
  • “But you’re looking at me. Are you confused?” — a very calm Arturo to Neanderthal Bull who says that he was talking to Ambrosia.

Arturoisms

  • “The past should be remembered, not re-lived.”
  • “Life is the performance, not the rehearsal.’ — paraphrased by Rembrandt.
  • “It’s better to live one day as a lion than a thousand as a lamb.”

Nitpicks/Errors

  • Because this is essentially Earth Prime, though a little behind the times, the surroundings and geography should stay fairly consistent with those of Earth Prime. Yet Quinn’s house sits on a corner on Earth Prime and does not on Van Meer’s World (nor does it in Eggheads). Filming restrictions aside, this should not have been overlooked.
  • In the Pilot, Quinn’s dog Bopper was shown to be a black dog; in this episode, it is tan.
  • The only 1984-era 49ers game played at roughly the same time this episode aired was against the New York Giants in New Jersey. While the Niners won 31-10, it seems a little far for Arturo and the rest of them to go for a football game.
  • Are they staying at the Dominion Hotel? Wherever they’re staying the architecture of the room is identical to the suite they book in the Royal Chancellor when they’re in Los Angeles.

Neatpicks

  • Arturo, incensed that kids today have too much pop culture and not enough plain culture, sums his frustration up in one sentence. “Your generation thinks nothing of seeing Indiana Jones 13 times. Well, I happen to feel the same way about Mozart.” Quite funny, considering John Rhys-Davies was in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Rewind That!

  • At the biker bar, one of the patrons calmly pats Wade on the ass as she walks past him. Rembrandt notices but doesn’t do anything.
  • As Arturo steps up onto the bridge to bungee jump, it’s evident that whatever logo appears on his black running shoes has been covered over with black tape.
  • The baseball cards that (old) Quinn peruses on the porch with his younger self are not cards from the era in question. The backs of the cards, white, red and blue suggest that they are cards from the 1986 Fleer set.

History Lesson

Take Earth Prime history and subtract twelve years. That’s what’s happened here on Van Meer’s World, where events and history are occurring twelve years too late. It’s as close to time travel as a sliding device is capable of doing.

The Inside Slide

“I’m … doing a character show where Quinn lands on a world where his father has just died, and he meets himself at the age of 11,” says Tracy Tormé about this episode. “It becomes a Lord of the Flies-type story, where he knows there are certain events on the playground that scarred him for a long time, and he steps in as a bodyguard and mentor for his younger self.”

“The Guardian” would go on to become the last of Tormé’s favorite episodes. And other than this story and adding bits and pieces of himself to a couple of scripts early in the season, Tormé had completely disassociated himself from the show by this point. “I am called an ‘executive consultant’ on the show now, but really it’s just a title in name only,” he says. “I’m really not involved.”

While “The Guardian” was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the year apparently it wasn’t the kind of story that was required. “The word that kept coming back to me is, ‘This show is too cerebral’,” Tormé added. “‘The Guardian’ deals with death and betrayal and father and son issues, and Arturo is dying and Quinn’s father has died and now he’s dealing with this crush on his high school teacher; it was all these emotional-type things and that’s not the show they wanted to do. There was literally a mandate later on in the year, ‘Let’s just take a movie that people know and stick the Sliders in it’. It’s what I term ‘Chinese food television’. Five minutes after it’s over, you’ve totally forgotten what you’ve seen.”

· · ·

“Arturo’s illness was one of the concepts that I came into the third season with,” Tormé says. “I had a number of things I wanted to do and that was one of them. “I like the idea that only he and Quinn knew about it [and the others] just thought he was acting strangely — I like the idea of carrying it over from world to world, and I also felt if John were to leave the show, this would be a good way to set it up. On the other hand we could certainly cure him somewhere down the road.”

· · ·

So which Arturo slid in Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome? In Summer of Love, Arturo balks at Quinn’s football skills when Quinn admits that, as quarterback, he preferred a wishbone offense, but in this episode, he admits he’s just seen his very first American football game. So what gives?

“Maybe you’re onto something,” Tormé says.

· · ·

Why did Tormé make Quinn’s alias Jim Hall? It seems he named him after his favorite baseball player. “I’m a big California Angels baseball fan,” he says. “And when I first went to my first game when I was a little kid, my favorite player was an outfielder named Jimmie Hall.” Memories of that game run strong for Tormé, and he says that he chose the name to pay tribute to the man who sparked those memories. “I just sort of did that as a little homage to him that no one would ever pick up.” In case you’re wondering, Jimmie Randolph Hall played 120 games in the outfield for the Angels during the 1967 season and then played 46 games in 1968 before moving on to the Cleveland Indians. His combined batting average while in California? .231.

· · ·

What of Arturo’s comment about Indiana Jones? “John’s been trying to find a way to put Indiana Jones into every script and so finally he got away with one,” he says with a chuckle. “I think he’s immensely proud ofIndiana Jones. I think it’s the thing he’s most proud of and he’s always referring to it just in conversation, so he not only put [the reference] in, but he said ‘people of your generation go to see it nine or 10 times and think nothing of it’ and, in fact, it worked within the context of the story so I didn’t have a problem with it.”

Guest Stars

Co-Starring

  1. Linda Henning picks up the role of Mrs. Mallory again, one she originated in the Pilot, The Exodus, part I, Genesis and The Seer.

In Brief

Written by Tracy Tormé
Production # K1803
Network # SL-305
Directed by Adam Nimoy
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Edward Salier, A.C.E.

Chronology

Previously:
Next:

In Review

A-
Great

“The Guardian,” despite its flaws, is one of my favorite and most endearing episodes for a reason. A quiet character study, it shows how Quinn has matured by looking at the events in his childhood that formed his zeal for physics and his drive to succeed.

Read the review »

Logline

Quinn is forced to relive painful childhood memories when a slide to 1980s San Francisco brings him face to face with his younger self. But his efforts to change the future are hampered by the other Sliders, who warn that any tampering will produce grave consequences.