Are the Reticulans Sliders?

There’s a scene in Predator 2 where Danny Glover’s character descends into the titular antagonist’s ship beneath Los Angeles. It’s in the midst of non-stop violence that Glover comes across the “trophy shelf,” a collection of skulls of species the Predator was able to kill.

One of those trophies was an Alien skull of the H.R. Geiger variety.

While it may have been an in-joke developed by the set designer and prop people, it became way more significant than it ever should have been. It’s led to a comic book series and movie. A silly nod that brings two things together in an interesting way.

Such is the case of the Reticulans, the alien society that made contact with a parallel earth in the fifth season Sliders episode The Return of Maggie Beckett. As a standalone phenomena, they’re quick to dismiss (particularly since they’re never seen on-screen), but when you look back at second season’s Invasion, maybe there’s something more to them.

Maybe they’re Sliders, too.

It seems logical that the “Greys” would make their way into Sliders mythology — they’re one of the most pervasive and annoying plot points in science fiction. In the show, they’re given as the Reticulans and are responsible for the accident at Roswell in the 1940s. However, due to a slight shift in the outcome of World War II, Adlai Stevenson was elected President of the United States, and his administration didn’t cover up the alien visit. The Reticulans were welcomed, and much of their technology — particularly anti-gravity — worked its way into American life.

“The Leader,” a human whose body fully integrated with Reticulan DNA during a routine examination, claimed during his interrogation of the Sliders that the Reticulans used some kind of transdimensional drive to travel the vast distances required to get to Earth. Diana later confirms that it’d take that kind of engine to get here, and that her knowledge of sliding would prove useful to the Leader’s research in going to the Reticulan homeworld..

None of this is a mind-blowing revelation to anyone with a rudimentary education in physics. Barring a change in the laws that govern reality, a stable wormhole is the only faster-than-light mode of travel achievable. Using a wormhole to traverse space instead of realities is a logical extension of the science.

But take a moment and step back in time three seasons to Invasion, and more specifically the prison planet Outpost 113. In it, the Kromagg Dynasty has enslaved thousands of humans for food and labor, but they’ve also “decorated” their hallways with other trappings, namely trophies of other conquered civilizations.

If you’ll look to the right at the screen shot taken from the aforementioned episode, you’ll notice that one of the races the Kromaggs have invaded include a Grey-like society. The head is mounted in a glass case along with some kind of egg. For the Kromaggs to have destroyed these Greys, they would have had to develop a civilization on Earth, which means they are likely originally from this planet.

Given the Kromagg contempt for all species not their own, it makes sense that they’d place a trophy of worthy foes someplace special. Putting the Grey head out for every human to see is a telling sign. That the Reticulans haven’t been to the Earth seen in The Return of Maggie Beckett in a long time might be a sign that the Kromaggs had decimated them. Quite simply, there might no longer be a Reticulan society for the Leader to re-unify with.

In this second picture, Quinn and Rembrandt clearly see not one but two other races that have fallen prey to the Dynasty (unless you think those two heads are from the same species). There’s clearly been a number of evolutionary paths the Kromaggs have discovered before driving to extinction; this photo shows that Earth is host to a number of different life forms across the multiverse. That there’s another kind of humanoid the Kromaggs have beaten only reinforces the notion that the Reticulans are indeed scientifically advanced Earthlings from another dimension.

The dialogue supports the idea that it was transdimensional travel between Earths that established the Reticulan Alliance with humans, not a vast interstellar trek. It gels more tightly with the premise of the show and puts a new spin on the idea of alien abductions and off-world civilizations. It also poses a great many questions about the Reticulan/Kromagg conflict and the Reticulan’s disappearance from the Earth they visited.