Please Press One

The Sliders arrive in a world dominated by one company — Data Universal — the source of all food, clothing and other essentials. In this world, no credit means no independence. When Maggie attempts to get food from a vending machine using a dollar bill, she is kidnapped by a mysterious enemy. Maggie is then deposited in a processing center where she is assigned a credit number. During the course of her processing, she befriends her interrogator, Customer Representative 5579-A. Although she is uncooperative, 5579-A decides to help her. Meanwhile, Rembrandt, Diana and Mallory try to locate Maggie in time for their next slide. They enlist the help of a homeless man, Arlo, who once worked at Data Universal. He leads the Sliders to Maggie. But now that they are in the Data Universal headquarters, will they be able to escape?

Worlds Visited

Data Universal World

I’d call it just Data World, but that one’s taken.


  • The sign above the dumpster reads “Data Universal is there for you in every way.”
  • The Dodge Stealth they pass has a bar code license plate (makes sense, since they’re using the Back to the Future Hill Valley lot).
  • The stores in downtown Hill Valley include Data Universal Hardware, Data Universal Pharmacy, Data Universal Travel and Data Universal Bank.
  • The following items are available for sale in the machine Maggie tries to buy food from:
    • Rold Gold pretzels
    • Hostess Ho-Hos
    • Suzy Qs
    • Hostess Twinkies
    • Lemon custard, cherry and apple pies
    • Cupcakes
    • Frito-Lay Cheetos
  • Sliders Rule #11: Never rule out the weird no matter how obvious.
  • Data Universal also has chip, coffee and snack machines.
  • Maggie’s temporary ID is 360-416-88-A.
  • The newsstand customer’s ID s 491-5381-66-B, and he pays $2.95 for a copy of the Los Angeles Dispatch andForbes magazine.
  • The mind scan has an 87% survival rate.
  • The scoop the Sliders commandeer is vehicle 775.
  • Maggie runs down corridor 135, section 2.
  • No Greenpeace on this world. Instead, it’s Greenvoice.
  • The American Provincial Bank Master Credit card is quite valuable among collectors.

Character Information

  • Maggie used to live in San Francisco with her husband Steven, in a house with a beautiful garden. She recalls it as her favorite home.
  • Maggie’s double lives in San Francisco and is currently in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Arlo used to be an employee of Data Universal.
  • James has been at Data Universal for 6 years.
  • Mallory used to hotwire cars for sport, use them and then return them, sometimes with the tanks topped off.
  • Mallory spent five years in a wheelchair.
  • Rembrandt had a cousin with no job, no prospects. “Looking after him was like a full-time job.” He died one month after Rembrandt went to pursue his dream.

Money Matters

No money spent. It ain’t allowed. Maggie tried.

Notable Quotes

  • “Scan this.” — Maggie.
  • “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” — Diana, to the DU vending machine.
  • “Yo’ mama!” — Rembrandt.
  • “Just like that? You have no idea where it goes, and you’re just going to jump in and slide to who knows where?”
    “Actually, we do it all the time.” — Arlo and Rembrandt, inside the Data Universal plant.


  • Watch Mallory jump on the scoop. There is no way the initial jump he had would have carried him that far above the scoop. It looks like he’s going to hit the side but lands on top after the cut.
  • Why does Sector Control look around as if there’s something shifty going on? He’s on a monitor, and there’s no other human around at DU.
  • The bar code on the scoop should be read by the laser from top to bottom, not left to right. That way the laser reads the whole thing. Also, how many times does a laser need to pass over the bar code? Once.
  • Why is there so much dust is 5579-A’s room? It’s never used, and without any people there or any open window with plenty of dirt flying in, there is NO way any dust should be in the room.
  • Just how many people can 5579-A “assist” at one time?
  • What happens in the case of identical twins? They delete them?
  • If that bomb can vaporize a door, wouldn’t it do a little more damage to that little remote control zapper?
  • Sector Control’s office looks way too much like Diana’s at Geiger Applied Research.


History Lesson

Somehow, somewhere, the credit unions combined and became Data Universal. “Data Universal is there for you in every way.”

All citizens fall under Data Universal’s powers. As a citizen, names are strictly a formality, since the number that DU gives you is used for all transactions. DU sets your buying preferences and charts what you spend your money on. Everyone is an employee of DU, as well, so you basically work for your toys. It’s very communistic.

Should you choose to refuse to work or buy from DU, you’re considered an “incomplete file” and placed in Data Universal. Some IFs have lived at Data Universal’s compounds for years.

The Inside Slide

“Please Press One” is one of several season-five scripts that I believe harken back to the type of Sliders worlds explored by our heroes in the first and second seasons,” says Keith Damron. “That is, a parallel Earth where a societal trend has taken an oblique turn, resulting in some kind of cultural aberration. Typically, this aberration caricaturizes a current trend in our own society and somehow our main characters are swept into it.

“Though rather clinical-sounding by description, these episodes tend to be the most fun to write.”

· · ·

The story and script were assigned to writer William Bigelow on September 18, 1998. The first draft was submitted on November 6 and went into pre-production on November 18.

Guest Stars

In Brief

Written by William Bigelow
Production # E0808
Network # SL-506
Directed by Paul Lynch
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Casey Brown



In Review


“Please Press One” regurgitates the Sliders trope where the cast topples an oppressive regime — only this time it’s an empty rehash where every ounce of social commentary, excitement, characterization, humor, or charm have been subtracted, leaving behind an empty echo of something better.

Read the review »


Maggie is kidnapped by a corporate conglomerate that controls all food, shelter and clothing through individual data codes.