Interview with Tracy Tormé

Written by: Earth Prime · June 01, 1996

Acclaim Comics is proud to announce that it has acquired Sliders as the latest title for it burgeoning Armada imprint. Sliders will be returning to FOX television this spring, for an all-new season, promising more action and continuity than ever. But, Line Editor Jeff Gomez and Assistant Editor Jeof Vita aren’t just promising to carbon copy the same thrills and excitement you’ll find in the TV series — that would be too easy! Starting this February, the Sliders miniseries follows a small group of people who have become displaced from their Earth Prime, and must journey through dozens of parallel dimensions to find the Earth they came from. During the first storyline, they come across a new menace — a horrifyingly powerful race of beings capable of controlled sliding… and conquering each of the various Earths they find!

The comics will actually fit into the continuity of the show, expanding on the Sliders background and introducing new heroes and menaces into the Sliders multiverse. Recently, Jeof Vita had the opportunity to talk about the show, science fiction and comics, with Sliders creator Tracy Tormé.

Are you excited about seeing your baby in comics?

I’m really excited about the comic series. People that know me well will be the first to tell you that I was just thrilled upon hearing the news that we were going to do the comic miniseries. It’s always great to see you work interpreted in other media, and from a production standpoint, we can explore so much more in the comics than we can in the TV show. In comics, we aren’t limited by special effects budgets or anything like that. There really no limits in comics.

Are you a longtime Sci-Fi fan?

Yes I am. I wouldn’t say that I have overdosed on the stuff, but science fiction has been with me all my life. My two favorite shows growing up were The Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone. I also enjoyed The Prisoner. So, as you can see, it has always been an interest to me. Plus, like most kids, I grew up reading comic books and flying off into all those unknown worlds. I just figured why stop now.

How did you go about creating Sliders?

Well, the idea first sprouted from a book that I read a while ago. In it, George Washington is sitting on a horse when eight or so British soldiers sneak up behind him and aim their guns at him. They all fired their guns and miraculously, all eight missed. Now, what if just ONE guy had hit? All of history changes dramatically. One decision at one point in time affects everything coming after. My actual decision to create the show, came during my work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I got to meet Gene Roddenberry and he treated me very wll. We would drive around on his gold cart and talk about his creating the show and all the challenges it involved. Those talks, combined with actually watching a series being created from scratch, really sparked my interest in creating my own TV show.

How long have you been involved in TV?

I started in TV at an early age. I was twenty years old when I began working on two comedy series, SCTV and Saturday Night Live. I worked that circuit for a while and over the last fifteen years or so, I’ve bounced back and forth between television and film.

What does the new season hold in store?

The new season will be the continuing adventures of our Sliders. We’ll be taking something of a new direction, but it will all still remain within the same framework of the series. Our heroes realize that no one knows exactly how many parallel Earths there are and they’re going to be visiting as many as possible! There may also be some recurring villains, and tensions rising within the group.

Do you believe in interdimensional travel?

Hmmm… that’s like asking if one believes in God. Personally, I believe that there is a possibility that it could exist. There is evidence out there to support it, so I can’t say that I believe in it, per se, but I definitely believe in the possibility of it.

How closely are the comics and the TV show going to be related?

My goal is to keep them closely related as possible when it comes to character arcs and situations. There will definitely be a single reality for both the comics and TV show, so that if fans pick up the comic and meet Rembrandt for the first time, they can easily watch the TV show and immediately recognize Rembrandt there as well. The comics have the potential to really blow the Sliders universe into the stratosphere. We’re definitely going to take advantage of that and not limit ourselves.