A parasite takes up residence inside of Maggie, taking her over completely and endowing her with superhuman powers. This symbiote is of great interest to an America having issues with its organ donor programs, and the Sliders are charged with bringing Maggie back in or having their own organs contributed to the cause. Maggie proves an elusive foe as she attempts to find the proper mate for her parasite. The parasite hates cold, so Quinn and Rembrandt ice her down. Quinn then attempts to lure the parasite out of Maggie, but fails to capture it. The group slides out and the symbiote takes over Maggie’s doctor.
A tropical world where the primary life form is an aggressive parasite who reproduces by depositing a larvae into a host body.
Government policy on this world is to harvest organs from people aged 18-25 in case someone older and more powerful needs one… quickly.
MAGGIE I want you, baby. REMBRANDT What's gotten into you? MAGGIE I need babies!
Ah, Donor World. Live to be 18 and you’re granted the rights to vote, purchase lottery tickets, smoke and have your organ system mapped in case of emergency transplant needs.
What’s that you say? Every citizen of this world between the ages of 18 and 25 are embedded with “Donor Tags” used for mandatory organ donation. The tag, located on the person’s wrist, contains a complete medical profile and when it beeps officers from the “D” squad comes to take that person away. That person will then be cryogenically frozen and harvested for organ donation at a government complex.
“‘Breeder’ was definitely John’s story when conceived (pardon the bad pun),” says Paul Jackson. “However, it was quickly changed to Kari simply because she’s the babe on the show and they wanted her to act all breathless and hot. Since we knew John was out, it was decided it had to be a female, since Remmy had already been pregnant and Quinn was being groomed as a more macho hero. We didn’t know who was going to play Maggie (Kari hadn’t been cast yet), but it was decided it definitely would be John’s female replacement.
“I don’t recall Wade ever being considered.”
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The working title for this episode in pre-production was “Cold War.”
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Kari Wuhrer remembers the difficulty in filming the climax scene where Quinn must lead the parasite out of Maggie’s body.
“When we were doing an episode involving this alien that I end up swallowing, which takes me over, and I have to find men to breed with in order to lay eggs, I had to play this sexual and alluring vamp,” she says. “Although I have had experience of that in the past, I found it difficult to get back to that, after gearing myself up to playing this tough character.
“I had this big phallic thing coming out of my mouth, looking for men to lay its eggs in. And Jerry had to do a scene with me where he had to try to coax this thing out of my mouth. And I’m supposed to be unconscious, and lying on this table, and he’s whispering in my mouth, ‘Come play with me,’ and I could not, for the life of me, keep a straight face. The director [Paris Barclay] was getting so upset, because I just could not stop cracking up. Jerry, in this big parka, is going: ‘Come, live inside of me.” It was so hilarious, and he finally ended up getting me through it. Jerry was like: ‘Come on, come on, all right, just focus, just think of baseball, just do something else. Put yourself in the scene as much as possible. Do whatever you have to do, but we gotta get this done.’ And he made it work for me.”
The joking, she says, “helped to ease the tension a lot on the set for everybody.”
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Cleavant Derricks considers his speech about discrimination with Jerry O’Connell one of the low points of his tenure on Sliders.
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The third season, noted Chris Black, “was no longer about their odyssey, and this quest to find a way home, it was just about eye candy. ‘The Breeder’ is a great example, because it was all about looking at [Kari Wuhrer] in this slinky seductress sort of mode and it was about just trying to garner people to watch the show, which I think was the wrong approach to take.”
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In the ratings, this episode scored a 4.3 rating and a 14 share among adults aged 18-49 and won the 8 pm to 9 pm time-out among all key male demographics — men aged 18-34, men aged 18-49 and men aged 25-54.
|Written by||Eleah Horwitz|
|Directed by||Paris Barclay|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
|Previously:||The Other Slide of Darkness|
Two stars for “The Breeder?” While Matt makes the case for television perfection, Mike balances the scales with a flat zero. Here’s two separate reviews defining why each thought the episode a masterpiece… or a tragedy.
On a world with a mandatory organ donor program, the Sliders race to cure Maggie of a parasite from another world that has taken control of her body for the purposes of reproducing.