A Current Affair

The Sliders arrive at the conclusion of a political rally for President Jefferson Williams. Maggie is suddenly pushed into the arms of the President and the press goes wild, photographing their close encounter. Within a few hours, the newspapers are headlining their embrace and the media is speculating how long the affair has been going on. Meanwhile, an ambitious underground reporter, Bobby Hawks, realizes the public has not been paying any attention to the war in Switzerland since the scandal hit the press. Chief of Staff Chuck Pierson suggests to the President that they keep the American public in a feeding frenzy over the scandal. Mallory meets Hawks to report that the whole affair with Maggie is fake. But Pierson kidnaps Maggie and takes her to the President, who tries to obtain her cooperation. Maggie is unaware that their meeting is being recorded as the First Lady supervises the encounter. As the scandal brews, could Maggie become Barbara Walters’ next infamous guest?

Worlds Visited

Tabloid World

Media outlets are almost as big of a joke here as they are on Earth Prime. Almost? Well, at least here tabloids don’t take themselves seriously.


  • The banner at the press conference reads “Los Angeles Welcomes President Williams.”
  • The female reporter is an employee of KFTG-8.
  • The Los Angeles Herald articles:
    • “Does the President have a girlfriend?”
    • “Baseball hunk strikes out with starlet, but loses thirty pounds”
    • “Image of Virgin Mary appears in slice of marble rye”
    • “Strange visitors from another world”
  • The Hawks Report articles:
    • “Stocks plunge to record lows”
    • “Senate tables health care vote”
    • “Heavy fighting continues in Switzerland”
    • “Bond rally fuels gain in equities”
    • “President expected to address L.A. crowd — but not issues”
    • “Communications satellite launch scheduled”
    • “Ecology in turmoil?”
  • Dugald’s restaurant is next to the office for Bobby Hawks and the Hawks Report.
  • President Williams is staying at the Ambassador Hotel while in Los Angeles.
  • Press conferences held at the Ambassador are held in the Sagebrush Room.
  • Maggie is held captive in room 2504 in the Ambassador.

Character Information

Maggie’s double is a pregnant woman living in the Cajero Mobile Home Park and Campground in Pacoima. She has a daughter named Martha Lou.

Money Matters

The Sliders check into the ever-faithful Chandler Hotel, but it’s unknown if they paid for it.

Notable Quotes

  • “Should we be getting frequent slider miles by now?” — Mallory.
  • “Over what? Cheese? Swatch embargo?” — Rembrandt, asking why the U.S. would fight Switzerland.
  • “Oh, give me a break.” — Maggie, seeing her trailer trash double.
  • “Martha Lou, you put that dog down!” — Alt-Maggie.
  • “First off, let’s lose those black bars.” — Mallory, trying to see if the photos of Maggie and the President are legitimate.
  • “I think they’re in love.” — Rembrandt, after Diana and Bobby Hawks spout JPEG resolution flirtations at each other.
  • “I’m not prepared to let you sink my inept husband just because you’re even more inept!” — Sela Williams, to Vargas.
  • “Your taxpayer dollars at work.” — Vargas, after he tells Maggie her body will never surface.
  • “I did not have homicidal relations with that woman, Maggie Beckett.” — President Williams.
  • “And now, if you’ll excuse us, we have another engagement.” — Mallory, right before sliding.


  • How feasible is it for Rembrandt to enter a press conference with the President carrying an electronic device that beeps as it counts down to zero in the middle of the conference?
  • Maggie looks to escape from her room in the Ambassador Hotel by climbing out the window. However, the room number firmly establishes that she’s on the 25th floor. That’s a ways up, Maggie…
  • After finding the maid in Maggie’s outfit, and later seeing Maggie in the maid’s outfit, are the Sliders so dense that they can’t figure out the two women switched outfits so Maggie could escape? They bring it up twice, each time after examining an article of clothing.
  • Imagine this: you’re a President of the United States. Someone gets up on stage and blows the whistle on a bunch of covert crap you’ve been doing. Do you leave the press room?


  • Rembrandt gives a nice shout-out to the events in The King is Back at the beginning of this episode.
  • Bobby Hawks is a direct satirization on Internet gossip-monger turned MSNBC correspondent Matt Drudge, the man who broke the Monica Lewinsky story in early 1998.
  • The look of the Hawks Report seem familiar? That’s because its style is lifted from the humor paper The Onion.
  • The assassin’s name? Kennedy.
  • President Jeffrey Williams’ name is a play on former President William Jefferson Clinton’s name.
  • Eric Pierpoint has Clinton’s stupid Southern mannerisms down cold, especially that ridiculous thumbs-up hand thing.
  • All of President Williams’ attacks against Bobby Hawks — reports of a polluted Santa Monica Bay, greedy HMOs and Asian campaign contributions are all real issues that really happened on our Earth.
  • Bobby Hawks uncovers a bunch of conspiracies in this government at a major press conference. The Sliders leave. What’s the front page story? “Strange visitors from another world!” Totally appropriate for a world where sensationalism beats hard news.

Rewind That!

  • There’s a Monica Lewinsky-type woman in the crowd scene in the beginning! Look for the chubby girl in the beret. Very much like that press photo we saw when Clinton hugged Lewinsky in front of the White House.
  • Bobby Hawks pours his coffee into the pot of one of his plants.
  • Watch the look on Mallory’s face when Rembrandt tells him he’s the assistant in Bobby Hawk’s office. Hilarious.

History Lesson

Elected just six short years ago, President Jeff Williams has been a charismatic and popular leader. How’s this so? Well, the mass media on this world seems to chuck hard news by the wayside, turning respected newspapers such as the Los Angeles Herald into little more than a gossip rag. Reporters are more concerned about whether or not the President sleeps in the nude than ask about the stock market or the war in Switzerland.

War in Switzerland, you ask? Well, a couple of years ago, Swiss President Marcel Vache, affectionately known as the “Butcher of Bern,” nationalized the Swiss banks, which created an international economic crisis. The banking scandal deeply affected the United States, and Williams, prone to do something about it, sent ground troops into the country to try and stabilize the region, even without Congressional or United Nations support.

Under the world-wide depression created by the scandal, stock market values continue to plunge and the Swiss are blaming their woes on the French-speaking people in their country, and an ethnic cleansing of sorts in French-speaking parts of the country, much like Bosnia on our earth.

Despite United States military might, our nation is losing the war in Switzerland and a nerve gas called Noxin, banned by the U.N., is being prepped for use against Swiss soldiers.

Recently, the President has been involved in a sex scandal of sorts, but this may just be an isolated incident and is uninvolved with the President’s meeting with California governor Hovington.

The Inside Slide

“A fortunate economical turn for ‘A Current Affair’ came with the availability of a new set left standing next door on Stage One,” explains Keith Damron. “It had been built for a Columbo made for TV movie. They were finished with it and they offered it to our show. We graciously accepted. We needed a presidential suite for ‘A Current Affair’ and desperately wanted a new look. Frankly, we were getting pretty sick of The Chandler.”

Guest Stars



  1. Reba Shaw Alexander appears as Rickman’s secretary in The Exodus, part II and as a clerk in My Brother’s Keeper.
  2. Anthony David also appears in Stoker as the vampire security guard and as Luther in Slidecage.

In Brief

Written by Steven Stoliar
Production # E0805
Network # SL-507
Directed by David R. Eagle
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Stewart Schill



In Review


Some social satire, a decent alternate world, amusing execution — but it settles for less instead of reaching for more.

Read the review »


Maggie is accused of having a steamy affair with the President in order to distract the public from a war with Switzerland.