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?
Data Universal World
I’d call it just Data World, but that one’s taken.
No money spent. It ain’t allowed. Maggie tried.
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.
“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.
|New Gods for Old
|A Current Affair
“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.
Maggie is kidnapped by a corporate conglomerate that controls all food, shelter and clothing through individual data codes.