Roads Taken

A series of rough slides culminates in the wormhole splitting in half, sending Maggie and Quinn into a pocket universe and Rembrandt and Colin into the middle of a California under siege from the U.N. and Mexico. When the four are reunited, Quinn and Maggie experience rapid aging, and the appearance of a man claiming to be their son only complicates matters.

Thomas Mallory describes a situation where the pocket universe Quinn and Maggie slid into is collapsing, and that his Quinn and Maggie are dying of old age. He enlists Colins aid to bring the four Sliders to his world, healing Quinn and Maggie and giving them a glimpse into a reality where they were childhood sweethearts. The effort collapses the bubble universe, sending the Sliders back in time to the moment they originally arrived.

Worlds Visited

Navajo World

All that’s known about this world is that Colin’s laptop was dismantled by a shaman here, and that Quinn and Maggie escaped some kind of fight.

Microsoft World

I guess people realized that Windows wasn’t such a great product. The collapse of the giant software concern crumbled the stock market, and Mexico decided to attack the U.S. in the confusion.


An extension of Quinn and Maggie’s desire to have a normal life for once, this abnormality of space-time has split their psyches in half.


  • The Chandler Hotel offers Ambassador, Deluxe Economy and Regular Economy levels of service. Ambassador rates get you a key to the communal shower and a crank-operated radio.
  • CNN exists.
  • New curfew hours are posted for Nuevo Los Angeles due to unrest in the Northern San Fernando Valley. Citizens are to be off the streets by 9:00 p.m.
  • An ELL ruling council turned down demands for bilingual education in the North Valley, citing that this was a Spanish-speaking country now.
  • California governor Robert Dornan’s fighters are called B-1 Bobbies.
  • The sniper shot down by UN peacekeepers was stationed atop the Marshall building.
  • Medical officer Kurtz is a soldier in the 105th MASH unit.

Character Information

  • Maggie wants a relationship with Quinn.
  • Maggie’s father’s first name was Thomas.
  • Thomas Mallory spent several years researching in the South Pole.
  • Thomas graduated from Cal Tech.
  • Quinn will eventually grow up to become commandant of a wise-cracking Police Academy, whereafter he’ll retire to the life of an apartment super raising an orphan.

Money Matters

The Sliders have cash and aren’t afraid to use it. They buy the most expensive hotel room and Rembrandt throws back a couple of tequila shooters without any problem.

“Sudden Light,” Sliders Style

The poem recited by Thomas Mallory in the bubble universe is a slight variant of the original poem. The version in the show is below, the original follows afterwards.

I have been here before
But when and how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
the sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
And you have been mine before, –
How long ago I may not know:
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

“Sudden Light” by Rossetti

Here is the poem as it appears in our universe, first published in 1863.

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before, —
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, -l knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

Notable Quotes

  • “When are we going to slide into a world where people aren’t killing each other?” — Maggie. Um, never?
  • These beets are chemically preserved and will retain their wholesome color long after they are no longer safe to eat. — Message on a can of beets.
  • “Again?” — Rembrandt’s response to Colin’s claim of another haunted Chandler.
  • “You do own a gun, don’t you?” — Bubbleverse Maggie making sure Quinn is suitable for her father.
  • “You mean you can wish a whole world into being?” — Rembrandt.
    “Why not?” — Thomas.
  • “I’ve always had a little dignity.” — Commandant, er, Quinn.
  • “I think we’ve reached the beginning.” — Quinn, obviously excited at the memories he has of having sex with Maggie.


  • Quinn mentions that he worked under the tutelage of Professor [Richard] Feynman. Either he didn’t die in 1988 on Earth Prime like we thought, or Quinn was in high school taking doctoral level classes.
  • Quinn and Maggie get married at the Temple of the Chasm.
  • After the Sliders essentially time travel, why do they repeat their conversation with the Lieutenant when they already know the Chandler will be clear?


Robert Dornan is a real-life state senator of California from Southern California.

History Lesson

It began with Netscape’s wet dream, the collapse of Microsoft. All that stock suddenly worthless… well, it created a bit of a panic in the stock market, and since it doesn’t take much to bring the whole system to its knees, everything collapsed. The U.S. wasn’t doing too good.

Enter the President of Mexico. Clearly upset with the U.S. of A over things like the Gadsden Purchase, El Presidente orders an invasion during all of the confusion and successfully reconquers portions of Southern California.

Hold on. There’s simply too much conflicting data in this episode to build an accurate model of the timeline. Robert Dornan, governor of California, is fighting Mexican forces and UN Peacekeeper that are trying to inspect things. Why? Every man, woman and child in California is equipped with an automatic weapon, and the Willie Nelson Suicide Brigades are said to have pushed the Mexican army back across the Rio Grande into Mexico. So why is Los Angeles part of Mexico. Why was it renamed Nuevo Los Angeles?

What the hell is going on?

I don’t know. But war is hell, you know.

The Inside Slide

Kari Wuhrer laughs at the possibility of Maggie Beckett developing a romance with a fellow Slider. “I’m waiting! Believe me, I’m waiting!” she says. “We do see some indications that Quinn and Maggie are struggling to develop a deeper relationship. But it’s just bits and pieces because there’s really no time for romance when you’re sliding.”

And there’s still a possible romantic entanglement with Maggie and the apparent love-doomed Quinn. “Yeah. There is a very interesting episode where it takes me through our entire courting, marriage, our children and our old age, which shows what could have been if we weren’t so stubborn.”

Guest Stars

  1. Israel Juarbe also portrays Gomez Calhoun in Lipschitz Live and To Catch a Slider.

In Brief

Teleplay by Bill Dial
Story by Marc Scott Zicree
Production # K2822
Network # SL-421
Directed by Jerry O'Connell
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Stewart Schill



In Review


I’ve been thinking long and hard about what in particular about “Roads Taken” sets me off, but it’s proved elusive. All I know is I want to take this episode and beat it with a tire iron.

Read the review »


When Quinn and Maggie are separated from Rembrandt and Colin during a weird slide, a mysterious stranger claiming to be their son in a parallel universe may hold the key to saving them from a bizarre malady.

Timer Status

Thomas Mallory upgrades it to visit the Bubbleverse.