Who says you can never go home again? Maggie is surprised when the Sliders end up in her hometown of Fresno, CA. She discovers that her double on this Earth was a decorated astronaut who traveled to Mars. There is a museum, a restaurant and even a park in her honor. Trying to disguise herself proves futile. Once word leaks out, Maggie becomes the center of a tug of war between the representatives of evil. Her double had been presumed dead from the mission to Mars, but a conspiracy theory states that the whole mission was faked on a Hollywood soundstage. Even Maggie’s father refuses to believe that Maggie is really his Maggie. When she meets The Leader, she fears for her life when the alien/human hybrid threatens to kill her permanently this time. The Sliders must leave before Maggie’s hometown permanently lays her to rest.
The Roswell incident wasn’t covered up, leading to a more honest American government and extensive advances in technology.
The clock tower and town square location is the same as the one used in the Universal Back to the Futuretrilogy.
In 1944, German forces broke through the Allied lines at the Battle of the Bulge, a difference that dragged World War II on until 1947. Rather than return home a war hero, Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower returned a disgrace. The Democratic Party won the presidential bid, and Adlai Stevenson became the President of the United States.
Under the Stevenson administration, American government opened up to its citizens and ushered in an era of trust between the populace and its elected representatives. Therefore, when aliens from the Reticulan government crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico, the government told the U.S., and the Reticulan-American Free Trade Agreement (RAFTA) was born, giving the United States access to futuristic technology.
Because of the trust the American people have for its government, President John F. Kennedy was saved from assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald, who reported communist Cuba’s attempt to kill the leader. In addition to that, the Watergate scandal never existed, and neither did the Vietnam war.
In the early 1960s, Reticulan DNA was used in creating vaccines for a variety of human illnesses, including polio, smallpox and tuberculosis. Cloning is also a reality on this earth. However, this technology has had negative effects for .1% of the population, whose bodies ingratiated the alien DNA into their own, creating a hybrid creature with advanced intelligence but is shunned by society.
In the 1990s, the National Aeronautic Space Administration launched a mission to Mars, commanded by Lt. Col. Maggie Beckett. The mission was successful, with Beckett stepping onto the Martian soil and planting an American flag. However, on return, a complication arose: the radiation shielding protecting the astronauts failed, bombarding them for six months with lethal doses of solar radiation. The astronauts returned to earth, where medical science could not prevent their deaths.
In order to protect the integrity of the Intrepid astronauts, the US government covered up their deaths by saying they disappeared on their return trajectory. A cottage industry in Maggie Beckett worship sprung up, especially in her home town of Fresno. However, skeptics who believed the Americans either faked the entire Mars mission on a Hollywood sound stage or killed the astronauts in orbit took root, and looked for any reason to expose the government’s treachery.
The working title for this episode in pre-production was “Waiting For Beckett.”
Why the change?
“We were informed that it didn’t clear the legal department and that using the original title represented a possible copyright infringement,” answers Story Editor Keith Damron.
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“We did a show this year in which Maggie’s character confronts her father,” says executive producer Bill Dial. “Chris Black wrote it. In our mythology, Maggie’s father was a Marine general who probably pushed her into the military. He was very distant, very cold, and this has been a problem that Maggie has been trying to work out.
“She lands on a world and her alternate father is there, who had a daughter called Maggie that he lost. The thing that Chris did, which was really nice, was that this father is able to resolve problems he had with his daughter with Maggie, who is not his daughter, and Maggie is able to resolve problems she had with her father with this guy. It was a very nice piece of tightrope writing — a very moving episode.”
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Keith Damron initially tried to pitch a space-faring episode during the show’s fourth season.
“I pitched a story in which our heroes slide into a world where the space program didn’t stall after project Apollo,” he says. “The Sliders arrive in the hold of a spacecraft just as it is lifting off from Earth. The adventure would have taken place entirely on the ship, in an alternate history where Quinn’s unscrupulous double has taken undeserved credit for the ship’s star drive design. A system that is instrumental in the salvation of humanity. As the craft carries our heroes beyond their sliding radius they realize they are on an ark, on a one way trip from a dying Earth to a new home in the stars. It would have been a fun and ambitious episode had it not died in the room.
“Having grown up in the age of Apollo, Chris (Black) and I both share a deep interest in the American space program. It became our mission to concoct a story that the big guys would buy.
“Our quest quickly turned into a two pronged effort,” he continues. “We both had our own takes on what the episode should be and began drafting our own versions of the pitch. Chris and I were in agreement that it should be a Maggie episode and that as a logical extension of her military background we would explore her or her duplicate’s involvement in the space program.”
Eventually, Chris Black’s pitch won over over Damron’s.
|Written by||Chris Black|
|Directed by||Peter Ellis|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Stewart Schill|
|Previously:||The Java Jive|
A terrific parallel Earth, strong chemistry, great character moments all add up to a fun episode — with one appalling flaw.
Maggie's feeling's for her father are tested when she lands on a world where her double was a famous astronaut... and her father is responsible for covering up her death.