“Series creator Tracy Torme and I are real hot for the recurring villains outlined in the plot enclosed. We’d like the Sliders to pop into at least a few worlds in the mini- and for you to develop these bad guys into something so nasty, that it seems hopeless for our heroes. Of course… then you’ve got to get them out of it!”
So wrote Jeff Gomez to Sliders writer D.G. Chichester in 1995 while Acclaim Comics geared up to produce the first of several mini-series. Looking for plot ideas before Thanksgiving, Gomez attached the following backstory/bible for Chichester outlining some of the stories we’d see during Season Two as well as the original idea for the Zercurvians. It’s an interesting peek into what the show’s production staff was envisioning for the four Sliders character-wise; Quinn’s grade-skipping wasn’t addressed until The Guardian, and Rembrandt never did get around to writing that rock opera…
We’re shading Arturo with a darker side, bringing out the idea that he may be jealous of how easy it’s coming to Quinn. Salieri to Mozart. Given the opportunity, he might return home alone, and take credit for Sliding.
These are four people who are becoming increasingly conflicted, despite being friends. Arturo vs. Wade, where its logic vs. intuition, and they spark a lot — barbs but not nasty. He sees her as a naive child, and she sees him as overbearing and spiteful.
Arturo and Rembrandt are very ego driven, and their egos get in the way of reality some times. Rembrandt’s rather old school, being in entertainment for so long. He left the group and became a loser, but in his mind, they were nothing without him. One of his motivations on each world is finding his niche. If he can hit it big on one world, he might even stay. He’s incredibly emotional, and he cries a lot. He’s also working on a rock opera called “Sliders,” but in his version of things, he saves the day a lot more. Arturo hates this.
Quinn was a guy who saw his great intellect as a disability when he was a kid. He skipped grades, and became shy. He loves sports, their randomness, and would rather be seen as a jock than a nerd. His love of science is almost embarrassing to him. His genius is kind of a hidden curse/gift. He was always two years younger than everyone because of his schooling. He thinks of his genius as a mixed blessing.
Between Quinn and Wade, she’s trying to get over her crush on him, but he’s just coming around to her. They get jealous of each other, because they both kind of know they’re attracted to each other, and could each get together briefly, but then shy away from each other.
The Sliders land in a world where the city has been deserted and people are fleeing in panic. They encounter a huge machine that floats and literally sucks nutrients and elements out of everything (from electricity to water). The Sliders derail the machine, and find the occupant in some sort of space suit, but they find that it’s a human! Another ship comes and takes the Sliders with them. These are Sliding machines, and they are trying to usurp all the worlds. They do this one world at a time, and their homeworld is completely dominated by a draconian dictatorship that needed to keep on conquering once that was done. They discovered the Sliding technology and are proceeding with their plans for interdimensional domination.
Dark, frightening, fascist, oppressive government that prides itself on natural selection, and Darwinian strong survive mentality. They are threatened and intrigued by Quinn, and want to find out about Quinn’s experiences. At the same time, the Sliders need to learn the navigational technologies of these villains. The Sliders disable many of the machines and escape.
The gizmo or “Timer” has been damaged. The Helix Spiral is a theory that in parallel Earth’s there would be a single opportunity that would last one minute. Every 29.7 years, it happens. When they land on the world, they must check the Timer (which they’ve rigged to countdown to the moment of the “Window.” When the Timer reaches zero, the team only has one minute to get through. If, for example, the Timer says four months, the Slider group can separate for that time and live their lives with the promise that they’ll reunite at a certain place at a certain time and make the Slide!