Arturo is dying of an incurable disease and wishes to leave the group before it gets worse. Quinn convinces him to stay on, but pledges not tell Wade and Rembrandt about Arturo’s condition. The next slide takes them to an Earth that is 12 years behind the rest, forcing Quinn to relive the death of his father. With the help of his mother and his old homeroom teacher, Quinn takes his younger self under his wing to protect him from school bullies who tormented him as a child. Wade is vehemently opposed, but she’s too busy looking after a suddenly wide-eyed Arturo who wants to experience everything life has to offer. It is revealed that Quinn taught his younger self how to fight to prevent him from doing something much, much worse.
Arturo’s medical examination reveals he has a terminal illness.
Van Meer’s World
As close to time travel as you can get without actually going anywhere. Events unfolding here are 12 years behind the events of Earth Prime.
Take Earth Prime history and subtract twelve years. That’s what’s happened here on Van Meer’s World, where events and history are occurring twelve years too late. It’s as close to time travel as a sliding device is capable of doing.
“I’m … doing a character show where Quinn lands on a world where his father has just died, and he meets himself at the age of 11,” says Tracy Tormé about this episode. “It becomes a Lord of the Flies-type story, where he knows there are certain events on the playground that scarred him for a long time, and he steps in as a bodyguard and mentor for his younger self.”
“The Guardian” would go on to become the last of Tormé’s favorite episodes. And other than this story and adding bits and pieces of himself to a couple of scripts early in the season, Tormé had completely disassociated himself from the show by this point. “I am called an ‘executive consultant’ on the show now, but really it’s just a title in name only,” he says. “I’m really not involved.”
While “The Guardian” was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the year apparently it wasn’t the kind of story that was required. “The word that kept coming back to me is, ‘This show is too cerebral’,” Tormé added. “‘The Guardian’ deals with death and betrayal and father and son issues, and Arturo is dying and Quinn’s father has died and now he’s dealing with this crush on his high school teacher; it was all these emotional-type things and that’s not the show they wanted to do. There was literally a mandate later on in the year, ‘Let’s just take a movie that people know and stick the Sliders in it’. It’s what I term ‘Chinese food television’. Five minutes after it’s over, you’ve totally forgotten what you’ve seen.”
· · ·
“Arturo’s illness was one of the concepts that I came into the third season with,” Tormé says. “I had a number of things I wanted to do and that was one of them. “I like the idea that only he and Quinn knew about it [and the others] just thought he was acting strangely — I like the idea of carrying it over from world to world, and I also felt if John were to leave the show, this would be a good way to set it up. On the other hand we could certainly cure him somewhere down the road.”
· · ·
So which Arturo slid in Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome? In Summer of Love, Arturo balks at Quinn’s football skills when Quinn admits that, as quarterback, he preferred a wishbone offense, but in this episode, he admits he’s just seen his very first American football game. So what gives?
“Maybe you’re onto something,” Tormé says.
· · ·
Why did Tormé make Quinn’s alias Jim Hall? It seems he named him after his favorite baseball player. “I’m a big California Angels baseball fan,” he says. “And when I first went to my first game when I was a little kid, my favorite player was an outfielder named Jimmie Hall.” Memories of that game run strong for Tormé, and he says that he chose the name to pay tribute to the man who sparked those memories. “I just sort of did that as a little homage to him that no one would ever pick up.” In case you’re wondering, Jimmie Randolph Hall played 120 games in the outfield for the Angels during the 1967 season and then played 46 games in 1968 before moving on to the Cleveland Indians. His combined batting average while in California? .231.
· · ·
What of Arturo’s comment about Indiana Jones? “John’s been trying to find a way to put Indiana Jones into every script and so finally he got away with one,” he says with a chuckle. “I think he’s immensely proud ofIndiana Jones. I think it’s the thing he’s most proud of and he’s always referring to it just in conversation, so he not only put [the reference] in, but he said ‘people of your generation go to see it nine or 10 times and think nothing of it’ and, in fact, it worked within the context of the story so I didn’t have a problem with it.”
|Written by||Tracy Tormé|
|Directed by||Adam Nimoy|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Edward Salier, A.C.E.|
|Previously:||Electric Twister Acid Test|
|Next:||The Dream Masters|
“The Guardian,” despite its flaws, is one of my favorite and most endearing episodes for a reason. A quiet character study, it shows how Quinn has matured by looking at the events in his childhood that formed his zeal for physics and his drive to succeed.
Quinn is forced to relive painful childhood memories when a slide to 1980s San Francisco brings him face to face with his younger self. But his efforts to change the future are hampered by the other Sliders, who warn that any tampering will produce grave consequences.