Sliders: The Dimension of Continuity
Behind the Scenes
 
Sliders DoC   Ultimate FAQ

Below are the unofficial stories and explanations of what happened behind the scenes at Sliders. The individuals who gave the information represent a broad base of people ranging from Fox Network Executives and Sci-Fi Channel Executives to production staff and representatives working for the agencies of the stars. Also, each of these items has come from more than one person to verify, and all persons have been verified through their contributions to this site (which should speak for themselves).

However, it is important to understand that this Behind the Scenes FAQ is not endorsed or approved by any studio or network related to the production of Sliders. These entities include but are not limited to Universal Studios, Sci-Fi Channel, NBC and Fox Broadcasting.




The content of this page is copyrighted to the website author and may not be reproduced in any form without permission from said author. Sliders is a copyright of St. Clare Entertainment and Universal Studios and was produced in association with Sci-Fi Channel (at the time it stopped production).



The questions are ordered by what would most likely be asked first. However, you may click on any linked question in the list directly below and you will be taken to the section with the answer:

How Credible Are the Rumors of a Sliders Movie?
Why Did Sci-Fi Channel Cancel Sliders?
Why Did Season Five End On a Cliffhanger?
Why Did David Peckinpah Leave Sliders?
Why Did Jerry and Charlie O'Connell Leave Sliders?
Why Did Sabrina Lloyd Leave Sliders?
Why Did John Rhys-Davies Leave Sliders?
Why Did Fox Cancel Sliders?
Why Did Co-Creator Tracy Tormé Leave Sliders?
Why Did Co-Creator Robert K. Weiss Leave Sliders?
Why Did the Recurring Characters Disappear?

Whatever Happened to Mrs. Mallory/Linda Henning?
Whatever Happened to Mr. Mallory/Tom Butler?
Whatever Happened to Conrad Bennish Jr./Jason Gaffney?
Whatever Happened to Logan St. Clair/Zoe McLellan?
Whatever Happened to Gomez Calhoun/Will Sasso?
Whatever Happened to Pavel Kurlienko/Alex Bruhanski, the Taxi Driver?
Whatever Happened to Michael Hurley/Gary Jones, manager of Doppler Computers?
Whatever Happened to Elston Diggs/Lester Barrie?

Who Did The Whispers?
Why So Many Different Hotels?



How Credible Are the Rumors of a Sliders Movie?

The reports of a Sliders feature (yes...feature) in the earliest stages of work came from co-creator Robert K. Weiss in December of 1999. Sci-Fi Channel has stated that currently they are not interested in producing a movie, but they also had refused to sell the license because they "still hold value in Sliders". Sales of the Sliders DVD set could convince Sci-Fi Channel and Universal Studios that a Sliders movie would be profitable; but only time will tell.


The History of the Sliders Movie News

Note that several of the article links have vanished from the internet due to maintenance. However, you can still read most of these articles via the Internet Archive WayBack Machine.

On December 3, 1999, RK Weiss had a chat with several fans at once (a chat that would not have happened without a poster named JorgeCis who organized the event). You can find the transcript of this chat at QBall79's SSN. The chat includes many details about RK's thinking on this movie idea. As you may have seen at the time, this chat was reported on several news outlets.

The first to report was Cinescape on December 17, 1999. Subsequently, the story spread to Science Fiction Weekly, Another Universe, and IGN.com. The same information from those articles also saw print in the April issue of Sci-Fi Entertainment (special thanks to Earth62.Net for scanning that article page). RK was asked about the movie over AOL Instant Messenger on March 8th, 2000 and stated the movie was coming along "Slow but sure". RK gave a new elaboration to the movie's progress on March 13, 2000, "No greenlight for movie. Just kicking around story ideas. Reconnecting with some of the cast." Unfortunately, this was one of the last communications from RK Weiss concerning the feature film idea. Beginning in January of 2000, irresponsible fans began impersonating RK Weiss for juvenile laughs, and while RK tried to not let it ruin things for everyone...it ultimately did. On July 26, 2001, RK would break a long silence to clear up the latest in a long line of similar impersonations which were kicked off in January 2000. To help put an end to such impersonation, RK significantly cut his chatting with fans; and further reports on any movie progress have been nonexistent.

But what about the stars? On February 4th, 2000, IGN came through with another report. This time in the form of an interview with Cleavant Derricks. In this interview, Cleavant mentions that co-creator Tracy Tormé wanted to talk to him about some ideas that RK and Tormé have been mulling around. Tormé has subsequently stated that he never set up a meeting with Cleavant and never discussed anything about a movie; that the mention in the article must be a typo (with Cleavant likely referring to a meeting with RK Weiss). On February 27, 2000, we were given this message through a reply in Cleavant's guestbook, "No word on a Sliders movie yet!" On March 27, 2000, an e-mail response by Cleavant was received by a Dominion Bboard poster named bowmanj. The e-mail stated as follows: "A Slider's movie is a strong possibility! Thanks for writing! Cleavant". Most recently, Cleavant has mailed out a few responses (including one to myself) to say "I never lose hope for the [Sliders] movie!"

Sabrina Lloyd has also made a statement concerning the possibility of a Sliders movie. On August 24, 1999, Sabrina took part in a chat at TheGlobe.com. When asked if she would ever consider reprising the role of Wade Welles in a Sliders movie, Sabrina stated, "I certainly wouldn't be opposed if everyone decided to do it and the original cast was there and we thought it would be fun. Never say never, I say." With Sports Night now officially retired (due to Sorkin refusing to continue), Sabrina's schedule is now more open to appear in a Sliders movie...but a movie has to happen first. On October 19, 2000, Sabrina would finally elaborate on the Weiss movie news that broke in December of 1999. Here is her statement from that AOL chat: "Unfortunately, I don't think they're going to do a movie. At least I've never heard anything like that."

Lastly there is the most outspoken cast member concerning the movie. On March 1, 2000, Jerry O'Connell referred to the Sliders movie by saying the following in an interview at Sci-Fi Wire: "I'm meeting with [Weiss] next week for a possible Sliders movie. A feature film. ... [It] should be pretty fun." On March 8th, 2000, Jerry elaborated more at a Cosmo chat by saying "I am looking into it. Nothing too serious right now. I would only do it if the script were good and I got to work with my brother Charlie again." (Thanks to Earth62.Net for the transcript) On March 10th, Jerry gave an interview to E Online! in which the author stated that Jerry was "anxious to do" a Sliders movie. Jerry also apparently had some things to say about the Sliders movie during the first commercial break of his March 16, 2000, Conan O'Brien interview. While the public is normally not privy to these commercial break conversations, it would appear circumstances led to the tape going public. For more information, read the transcript. Lastly we have two more comments from Jerry in March, 2001 (a full year after his previous movie talk spree). On March 8, 2001, Jerry would speak at a French Canal.com chat and revealed the following information in a response to Sii: "Sii: Will Sliders be adapted to cinema? Jerry: Probably yes, but that will be different." Jerry would follow up on this chat a few weeks later at Lycos with a change of opinion. These March 28, 2001, comments were as follows: "Vortex62:...I was wondering what you meant by it being different? Jerry: It would be more along the lines of how the show began. But bad news that deal fell apart. :-(" Again thanks to Earth62.Net for these two transcripts.

That is all we know for the time being. Even though the news doesn't seem encouraging, there is always hope. Studios can change their minds quickly when profit potential is noticed; and Sliders certainly has the potential to be a renewed success for the studio.

In the interim, it is important that we continue to write Sci-Fi and Universal asking for them to make Robert K. Weiss' project a reality. You can find all the addresses you need at SSN.


Why Did Sci-Fi Channel Cancel Sliders?

Near the end of July 1999, the announcement came at the end of a TV Guide chat with Robert Floyd (Mallory) and Tembi Locke (Diana Davis) (chat transcript courtesy of Earth62.Net). Sliders was cancelled and would not be back for a season six.

But the fact is that Sci-Fi wanted to keep Sliders after they saw the ratings for season five (which stayed 0.1 behind the leader Farscape through August 1999 - a firm second place in original programming on Sci-Fi). The problem? They had already planned and budgeted their money before season five aired thinking that Sliders would likely perform poorly without Jerry O'Connell (Quinn Mallory). To Sci-Fi's surprise, Sliders still performed. In fact, First Wave was the one to fail (Sci-Fi committed to a 3 year deal up front thinking it would be a sure hit, but it barely made the Top Ten each week with ratings in the 0.8 range. Previously, Sci-Fi's original program Welcome to Paradox performed exactly the same as First Wave has in barely making the list...and they dropped it after 13 episodes. They would do the same with First Wave if they weren't contractually obligated...and Sliders would have then stayed on for a season six).

Sci-Fi was monetarily committed to First Wave for the three years along with other projects (such as a Steven Spielberg project they committed 40 million dollars to, their new show The Invisible Man, and a new short film series designed to showcase new talent). Sci-Fi simply didn't have the money to do a season six of Sliders at that time even though they all wanted to.

So you say, why didn't they axe something other than Sliders? The problem with axing something else is that they didn't have anything else to ax. They had already axed Poltergeist before Sliders...and it was their only other program (since Farscape was on Sliders level in ratings and First Wave was locked in). As for the programs not yet produced that the rest of their money was tied up in...they couldn't axe them. The money was already committed...and to yank it out would be a breach of contract. You see...that's the thing. You've seen where networks have cancelled series after just a few shows? They ate the cost for the full order that they either didn't show or finished out showing in scattered time slots (if not the same time slot). Sci-Fi can't really afford that...especially on shows that haven't even aired yet. So, that left Sci-Fi in a position where they had to follow through with their original, hastily laid plan...Sliders cancelled.

So, the bulk of their budget for the near future was tied up. And Sci-Fi had to decide on Sliders by the end of July. Why? The actors contracts were up. They were going to lose even more people...Tembi (from talks I had with people at her agency) had already landed deals for other projects that would have killed her working on a Sliders season six if they didn't go ahead and sign her (she was waiting for her contract to run out). The same with Cleavant, Robert and Kari who were all actively looking for work (some of them probably have it by now). With the cast disintegrating, Sci-Fi couldn't do the show unless they gave the Sliders team an answer by the end of July. And Sci-Fi just didn't have the cash at that time. Some Sliders fans at the time received response postcards from Sci-Fi Channel claiming Sliders was cancelled because the cast wouldn't sign back on. That statement from Sci-Fi was a judicious version of the above truth - Sci-Fi just neglected to mention that the actors didn't sign back on because Sci-Fi couldn't really offer to pay them.

Now, the series could come back in the future (which is why they still hold "value" in the series and refuse to sell the license), but that is very rare. It would take getting the team back together, and that's not just actors. Their producers and staff working on the show were also moving on to other jobs because their contracts came up. And I'm not talking about the fact that Sci-Fi couldn't find their quality again. It's the fact that Sci-Fi likely couldn't get anybody as cheap as they had to do the job that they did. And none of this even gets into the fact that Universal wouldn't hold the sets in place (such as The Chandler) for a year hiatus. They would have to rebuild those sets as well. All of this will likely mean we won't see another Sliders series (at least not picking up where it left off) on Sci-Fi, but we may see a movie or mini series (since that isn't as large of a commitment for the actors or producers). In fact, given Sliders' performance on Sci-Fi and the attention our fan response got after cancellation, I would say it's only a matter of time until we see a movie or mini series.

If you would like to help make a movie or mini series a reality, continue mailing Universal/Sci-Fi asking for it. You can find the addresses at SSN.


Why Did Season Five End On a Cliffhanger?

This is one of the more asked questions since the Sliders production team had vocally stated that they were being told season five was Sliders' last year (including Season Five Story Editor Keith Damron's Season Five Journal for "The Unstuck Man". If you knew that in advance, why would you not wrap it up? They originally planned to.

The last episode of season five was originally going to be a huge battle with alot of FX (Damron's Kromagg resolution he talked about in that last chat and elaborated more upon in the Year Five Journal for "Dust"). Production started pooling together FX money early on to prepare for it (hence some of the obvious penny pinching budget eps like "Heavy Metal"). That stockpiled money from season five ended up being spent on "Eye of the Storm." This decision came after Executive Producer Bill Dial said he wanted to end with a cliffhanger.

Here's the reason I've been given: Production felt like it was ignored by the Sci-Fi Channel during season 5. Although it was Sci-Fi's highest rated show, Sci-Fi allegedly quit watching their cut and giving corrective notes on the episodes. Production learned that the new network regime didn't care for the show, even though the fans did. Bill Dial started testing his theory that no one was paying attention to drafts of scripts as well. It has always been a rule that a gun can never be pointed at a person's head on the show. This is Sci-Fi standards and practices. Notice, however, the Kromagg pointing the gun at Mallory's chest or shoulder in the travel agency in "Applied Physics." Dial sent over pages for a script that featured a character getting his head blown completely off. Production didn't hear a word from Sci-Fi about this obvious taboo.

With these circumstances in play, Production decided they needed something to get Sci-Fi's attention; and thus the infamous season five cliffhanger was born. It's no secret that leaving the series on a cliffhanger would be more likely to rally remaining Sliders fans into a writing campaign to Sci-Fi Channel. Some claim this Production maneuver was implemented solely to help Sliders return for a season six; but others inside Production claim that the decision was more of a personal nature with the future of Sliders a lesser consideration.


Why Did David Peckinpah Leave Sliders?

Well, the fact is that he never really did. David Peckinpah came on Sliders as Executive Producer in season three of the show. Many fans noticed, however, that in the season five credits Peckinpah was listed as only an Executive Consultant. This was interpreted to mean he was no longer on the show...but that was not the case.

The change in title resulted because Peckinpah went to be Executive Producer of another show for CBS named "Turks". "Turks" was also produced by Universal Studios, however, which led to Peckinpah still being presented on the Universal back lots. Because of this, he often dropped in to see how things were going and ended up influencing season five just as he had prior seasons (the production team was even still calling him "boss").

The only credited story contribution Peckinpah was given was for "The Unstuck Man" (a co-credit on story), but Peckinpah's influence can be seen throughout season five. For instance, Peckinpah has been quoted at the time as saying - "I see Kari in tight leather with motorcycles...go with it!" This mention would later shape into the episode "Easy Slider". Peckinpah would also come in to direct three episodes of season five: "Easy Slider," "A Thousand Deaths," and "Eye of the Storm".


Why Did Jerry and Charlie O'Connell Leave Sliders?

To fully understand this, one must go back to the Summer of 98. After an unexpectedly successful season four of Sliders on Sci-Fi Channel, the Channel was left in somewhat of a quandry. Their strategy was to run Sliders for a season with the intention to pull over around half of the fans to Sci-Fi programming. This is why there was such a long period of reruns from around October of 1998 until March of 1999. Sci-Fi was wanting to "encourage" Sliders fans to try out their other programming (Welcome to Paradox) while waiting for new eps, and also hold the last quarter of season four to air with the new series they had planned (Farscape, First Wave and Poltergeist the Legacy). The problem? It didn't really work as they hoped. In fact, "Welcome to Paradox" (their anthology series) was a failure and soon cancelled even though it was Sliders companion piece. In kind, First Wave and Poltergeist failed by holding ratings akin to "Welcome to Paradox" until the end of its first season (well after Sliders was cancelled).

So, how does this weigh on Jerry and Charlie leaving their characters of Quinn and Colin to no resolution? Well, Sci-Fi hadn't planned on doing a season five. In fact, they had allocated their money out thinking there would be no season five. This money went out to acquire/begin Farscape, Poltergeist, First Wave and Sci-Fi's complete makeover. But when the reports came in on ratings, Sci-Fi began to realize they couldn't let Sliders go. Sliders was still their number one show (with Farscape nipping on its heels). But, Sci-Fi had to find the money and see what they could do. This took time. In fact, the deliberation ran over the end of the Sliders actors' contracts by about 3 weeks. During this time, the actors were free to go to other projects with no obligations to Sci-Fi.

And, during this 3 week layover, Jerry signed up for another project. An NBC miniseries named "The '60's" that was to begin filming the same week Sliders season five production was to later be slated to start (near the end of September 98). Jerry did offer to come back, however; but for a price. Since the middle of season four production, Jerry had wanted to be Executive Producer of Sliders. And Jerry took the opportunity to use the leverage the contract situation had given him. Jerry put forward that he would only come back for Sliders season five if they made him Executive Producer. The powers that be did not feel Jerry was experienced enough for this position, however. After all, Jerry had just become a regular producer the year before (i.e. one year's experience). Also, production had already bent over backwards for Jerry by allowing him to write, direct, star, produce and even "slide" a family member into a job when there were other people at the gate. Production was still offering all of these things to Jerry along with a raise (just as they gave Cleavant and Kari), but Jerry would take no less than Executive Producer.

Lines were drawn and neither party would budge; so Jerry decided to leave; but Jerry did offer to do three episodes to close out his character. Production said that wouldn't be enough; and then mentioned how with Jerry leaving, they really had no use for his brother any more either (since Charlie was only there because of Jerry anyway). Jerry wanted Charlie to stay for all 18 episodes of season five, though. So, negotiations continued. Finally, an agreement was reached that Jerry would do six episodes of season five, and production agreed. But they also then told him that his brother would only be doing six as well, and would only stay on as long as Jerry did. This was not what Jerry negotiated for since he wanted his brother in all 18 episodes, so both he and his brother left the table and Sliders.

But our story doesn't end there. Production was then left with the problem of wrapping up Quinn and Colin without the actors. Their first idea was to use unused footage from season four to show Quinn and Colin morphing into Kromaggs (presumably showing they had been replaced by Kromaggs sometime in season four). Jerry caught wind of this, and had his lawyers place a legal block on the use of his image and voice from prior seasons (it was a simple contract issue - they only had permission to use those in season four...not five). And so, this is how we ended up with stunt doubles and a voice obviously not Jerry's in the season five premiere "The Unstuck Man". After much more negotiation through Jerry's agent, Jerry did finally allow the use of his image in the next to last episode of the series, "Eye of the Storm", but he still refused to appear personally.

Officially, Sci-Fi Channel says that Jerry and Charlie moved on to pursue movie careers. On the other hand, Jerry offficially says at an October 1999 AOL Chat that he left because Sci-Fi substantially cut the budget and he felt the show could no longer be done for that amount. Which is strange...since season four and five had comparable budgets...Cleavant and Kari were even given raises when Jerry was still being accounted for as being on board. Jerry also added that he left because "Mission to Mars" was around the corner. Another strange mention, since M2M didn't begin production until early 1999 - long after Sliders season five production began in October of 1998 (thus meaning Jerry could have made at least one appearance...if he wanted to). Also, Cinescape reported that Jerry was still not even on board with M2M on April 15, 1999. Sliders season five production ENDED the first week of April, 1999.


Why Did Sabrina Lloyd Leave Sliders?

The beginning of Sabrina Lloyd's (Wade Welles) woes began in late season three production when Kari Wuhrer (Maggie Beckett) came on board, but it's not in the way you think. When Kari came on Sliders as regular cast member, she reportedly viewed crew members as serfs as opposed to the stars as the lords. And Kari treated the crew in kind.

Even though Kari and Sabrina did not get along well to begin with, the major sticking point between the two was the fact that Sabrina was engaged to one of the Sliders crew members at the time (you can see Sabrina alluding to this several times in her 1997 Universal On-Line Chat). One day during a script read through, Kari made a snide comment about Sabrina's relationship, and this subsequently made Sabrina leave in tears to lock herself in her trailer. And thus, Sabrina held up production even though she wasn't totally at fault. To see allusions to more of Kari's attitude, be certain to check out this Night Magazine Interview. Though Kari doesn't name names, it is obvious that she is referring to Sabrina Lloyd in her comments about the actress who allegedly forgave her years later.

Now enter season four negotiations. At the nexus of these talks was David Peckinpah - the only production level survivor from the Fox years. In fact, David had a hand in getting Kari on the show to begin with. As Sci-Fi began to contemplate what they wanted to do with the series, the thought was that the show worked better with the 3 male/1 female dynamic; and Peckinpah was reinforcing this as he could. Sci-Fi finally decided to go back to that dynamic, and they told Peck that it didn't really matter to them which female lead was kept. This is when Peckinpah went to work.

He told Sci-Fi about how Sabrina had actually halted production in season three for a time thus costing money. Sabrina was also at that time asking for a raise (because both Jerry and Cleavant got one). Kari wasn't asking for a raise at that time. Another cost saver. Finally, it all came down to one day in Peck's office where Sabrina finally went in and told Peckinpah point blank "It's Kari or me." Peckinpah looked her straight in the face and said "Kari." And so Sabrina left.

But Peckinpah wasn't finished. He kicked Sabrina one last time by condemning her character to perpetual rape in a Kromagg breeding camp. And yes...it was solely him who forced that idea. Peckinpah was cited in a TV Guide On-Line interview as thinking it was a funny situation to put her in; and as further proof of the relationships here, Kari made similar comments about how funny the breeding camp scenario was at a chat around the same time. Peckinpah's original plan was to just have the Breeding camp for Kromagg "kicks". It was the other producers who later gave a purpose to the camp (Marc Zicree led the charge). This is why the Humaggs were not seen until episode 12 of the series...the producers had been fighting Peck to allow them to add reason to it all for that entire time prior.

In season five, production decided to resolve Wade's character due to fan inquiries and demands. Sabrina Lloyd wanted $40,000 to appear in the episode, however (Cleavant Derricks' salary per ep). Production would not pay this. Negotiations continued and Sabrina finally agreed to do voice overs to the episode (which took up less of her time from ABC's Sports Night and didn't cost as much for production).

Officially, both Sci-Fi and Sabrina say that she didn't return in season four because she felt it was time to move on to other projects.


Why Did John Rhys-Davies Leave Sliders?

First of all, the huge misconception with John Rhys-Davies' situation is that he left. John (Professor Arturo) was actually fired. John has only admitted this once in public - a Sci-Fi Universe article from August 1998.

How could this happen, you ask? Well, John's outspoken criticism of the writers and their general lack of creativity and intelligence is well documented. But that wasn't enough to get him fired because only one of the hierarchical trinity was against him. Elements of production such as David Peckinpah wanted him gone due to John's constant creative criticism, but Universal and Fox saw no reason to fire John. At least not until December of 1996.

In December of 1996, a certain Fox employee gained a promotion to become an upper level Fox Executive. In fact, he was given control of a large segment of Fox programming including Sliders. This Fox employee had hosted a Fox party a couple of years before (when Sliders was first beginning), and John was there. Allegedly a very drunk John who targeted and quite thoroughly humiliated that Fox employee.

One of the first things the new Fox Exec did with his new power was review the shows under his control, and he found John's name on the list. Remembering the party from years before, the new Fox Exec vowed that John was not going to work on any show under his control. So, with Peckinpah and his brood now teaming with the new Fox Exec, they were able to sufficiently convince Fox and Universal that John had to go. And so, even though John was originally contracted for all 25 eps of season three, he was fired and released from his contract.

As a final jab at John, the writers offered to make a story by John named "Exodus" into his final episode. The problem was that the writers so radically changed it that you can barely recognize it. It was one final way to show John just who knew what they were doing. Also, it is often said that you can tell when production holds much animosity to an actor's departure...because the writers kill the character in a horrible way or give some other type of horrible fate. Well, Professor Arturo had his brains sucked out, was then shot, and lastly left on a planet that blew up. I believe it's easy to see I'm not exaggerating on the hate that led to this firing of John.

John vowed that he would not return to Sliders as long as Peckinpah had a hand in the show. Unfortunately, the claw of Peck remained throughout the rest of the life of the series. And so, Professor Arturo was lost to all but the occasional remembrance in passing conversation.

Officially, Fox and John Rhys Davies say that he left over creative differences...with the one exception from Sci-Fi Universe noted above.


Why Did Fox Cancel Sliders?

First of all, Fox actually cancelled Sliders twice and put it on hiatus once. You see, the original order on Sliders episodes was for 22 (aside from The Pilot). After some eps had been produced, however, Fox wanted the show heavily retooled to have more action/adventure and less continuity (so that they could show them in any order they wished). This led for Fox to call for a hiatus order effective episode 9 in the order ("Luck of the Draw"). The production crew took it upon themselves to place in a cliffhanger on ep 9, though...to Fox's dismay.

Season one production had began late and ended up around March of 1995...the hiatus lasted until the fall when production resumed (around the end of September). And Fox (having no place they wanted to put the show) held off on placing it back in the schedule until midseason of 1996. So, with a year between the first 9 of the order and the back 13...the back 13 became known as season two. And once season two had aired...Fox decided to cancel.

It was then that the most massive and most remembered fan campaign brought the show back from the dead. Fox received so many letters and calls that they decided to bring back Sliders for one more shot...but under their terms. The show was moved to LA to be more under their control, and they brought in more amicable people to run the program (i.e. Peckinpah).

Season three came to a close, and Fox again found themselves disappointed in Sliders' performance. It had not lived up to what they wanted, but yet it was still doing okay (averaging around a 5 - 6 rating). Fox was torn on whether or not to cancel, though.

In fact, Fox had already made plans for a season four on their network. The plan was to have a 13 episode order to air on Friday nights in a "wheel" format with 2 other shows and Fox specials. This would have meant that Sliders would have aired once a month and no reruns of that season four would have been shown. The other shows? One was "The Visitor" and the other never disclosed. Fox had even gone so far with this plan as to ask for a cliffhanger on season three to set up the direction they wanted. Season four of Sliders on Fox would have only featured Quinn and Maggie and would have been stories centered around "a look at the multiverse through the eyes of love."

Ultimately, Fox decided to go solely with the Devlin/Emerich show "The Visitor" and cancel Sliders. But almost immediately, Sci-Fi Channel would purchase Sliders to begin production (USA Networks/Sci-Fi had been asking to purchase the series for some time...which influenced Fox's decision to go ahead and cancel).

The Aftermath? "The Visitor" actually ended up doing slightly worse than Sliders did in the Friday time slot and found a quick death (just as every show in that slot has since). As for Sliders? Season four premiered with Quinn and Maggie finding Earth Prime again after 3 months and 10 slides worth of stories we will never see. Peckinpah was directly involved in the talks about the Fox season four, and it is believed that this story point is a nod to the missing Fox season with Quinn and Maggie solo.


Why Did Co-Creator Tracy Tormé Leave Sliders?

Even from the start, Fox gave co-creator Tracy Tormé many problems. They refused to show season one in its intended order...even when the episodes linked together. Fox refused to allow the series to be an open medium...and constantly tried to place it in a single box (they chose action/adventure). This hindered Tormé a great bit. Fox also constantly restrained Tormé on any of his ideas...this even went to the point that Fox almost didn't let Tormé resolve the season one cliffhanger. In fact, the season two premiere "Into the Mystic" was filmed with no resolution...and after it was finished, Fox gave permission and Tormé had to go back and make changes as he could to resolve the season one cliffhanger.

Needless to say, Tracy's experience on Sliders was a very frustrating one. I would dare say about as frustrating as a situation can get. It wasn't so bad during the first two seasons because Tracy had a production team that would work with him...and Sliders production was in Vancouver, British Columbia - far from the constant gaze of Fox. But when season three rolled around...all this changed.

Beginning with season three, Sliders was moved to LA for production. This was done so that Fox could keep a constant eye on happenings. Also, the production staff was whittled down so that Tormé no longer had people help do things right despite Fox's demands. Fox also brought on people (I call them "yes-men") who would do exactly what they said. One of these was David Peckinpah.

Due to these drastic changes and the worsening of his father, Mel Tormés, illness; Tracy only signed on to be Executive Producer for the first 13 episodes of season three. Tracy tried to give input...but practically all of it was ignored by the new Fox oriented team. Tracy did manage to impart a few pearls despite the change-over, though. For one, he gave input on what was supposed to be the season three premiere "Double Cross" which helped in creating one of the most memorable episodes of the series. Tracy also wrote one last script titled "The Guardian" which he felt could be an example for the new team to look at for inspiration. Also, in both of these stories, Tormé laid down new plot threads which the team could follow up on (Logan's revenge and Arturo's illness). Unfortunately, the production team did nothing with any of these things Tormé gave.

Ultimately, Tracy decided to leave and spend time with his father. And though he was contracted for the first 13 eps of season three, he only gave input on the first few. After he saw that his input was generally being ignored, he finally decided to stop giving it. Tracy did right one final script for season three...what he thought would be the season finale. A story titled "Heat of the Moment". The story featured all four original Sliders...and was completely derailed when John Rhys-Davies was fired. The production team asked Tormé if he could rewrite "Heat of the Moment" to feature Maggie instead of Arturo...and Tormé refused.

After Fox cancelled Sliders and Sci-Fi picked up the show, Tormé made a bid to reclaim control of his series. The problem was that David Peckinpah had actually signed a two year contract when he came on Sliders during Fox's final season...and he signed the contract with Universal (who was still connected with the series). Universal had a choice...they could either keep Peckinpah on Sliders, they could let Peckinpah work the year off on a comparable program, or they could pay him the salary his contract promised without him doing any work. Universal had no other programs at that time that they wanted to put David on...so they let him stay on Sliders. Well, Tormé already knew that he couldn't work with Peck and he stressed this fact to Universal. But Universal went with the economic choice over the quality choice. So, Tormé did not return...

Tormé was given "Executive Consultant" status for season four of Sliders, but he gave no input. It was a title only... To this day, Tormé holds a special place in his heart for Sliders and its fans, but his time on the show is understandably not filled with good memories. Tormé has moved on, and at this time he has no interest in revisiting Sliders. That could change with time...


Why Did Co-Creator Robert K. Weiss Leave Sliders?

Actually...he never did. Many never realized that St. Clare Entertainment was Robert K. Weiss' production company, and it stayed with Sliders through its entire life.

RK was more hands on with the series during its first season (when he was credited as an Executive Producer), but after that he decided to concentrate on other responsibilities (including his position as president of Broadway Video and his work on several Saturday Night Live movie projects). Mostly it came down to time, and RK just didn't have time to run the show on such an intimate level. RK even bowed out of the hands on operation of St. Clare Entertainment in later years (leaving operation to his partners)...but he never quit keeping up with Sliders and still regularly converses with Tormé to this day (the two were friends prior to Sliders anyway).


Why Did The Recurring Characters Disappear?

Over the years of Sliders, there were many recurring doubles. People we saw from world to world..though not the same. We saw them as they changed due to that world's circumstances. But...why did they disappear? Here are the behind the scenes reasons we never saw these characters/actors again.


Whatever Happened to Mrs. Mallory/Linda Henning?

The original Mrs. Amanda Mallory was played by Linda Henning in the first season. However, another actress, Deanne Henry, took the role in season two. The reason is due to the fact that Linda Henning moved to Los Angeles after the filming of season one. Since seasons one and two were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada...it was not economically feasible to fly the actress back and forth for episodes.

When season three came along, the entire show moved filming to Los Angeles. Since Linda Henning was already there, production began to use the original actress again and would use her until the end of the series. However, another actress did portray a Mrs. Elizabeth Mallory in season four...the actress' name being Marnie McPhail. While many had suspicions, the revelation of her first name in season four's "Revelations" proved that this actress was portraying a completely different woman who was married to a Michael Mallory. And given the hair color and length, it is assumed that the memory Mallory had in "Applied Physics" was based on this Elizabeth character portrayed by Marnie McPhail...just that his memory was of a younger version.


Whatever Happened to Mr. Mallory/Tom Butler?

The original Mr. Michael Mallory was played by Tom Butler in seasons one and two of the series. When the show moved production to Los Angeles, they were left with the extra expense of flying actors from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Production opted to not pay this expense...so the search for a replacement began.

As it was, there was only one appearance of Michael Mallory in season three. The episode was "Slide Like an Egyptian"...and given that this was a dream sequence of sorts, the youth of "Mike" Mallory, portrayed by Jim Turner, can at least be explained. Season four saw Michael Mallory with a more prominent role, so John Walcutt was found to be the new Michael Mallory. He was not a different character though...we are supposed to suspend disbelief and accept that the character always looked like the man in season four. And once again, the memory sequence in "Applied Physics" was of a younger version...hence the obviously younger and different actor.

Tom Butler, the original Michael Mallory, has gone on to do several other projects...including appearances on a few episodes of Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits.


Whatever Happened to Conrad Bennish Jr./Jason Gaffney?

The original and only Conrad Bennish Jr. was played by Jason Gaffney, a close friend of co-creator Tracy Tormé. The character was even named after a childhood friend of Tormé named Steve Bennish. However, after season one, the character of Bennish was never seen on Sliders again...at least not by name.

Fox stipulated that Bennish was to not appear anymore after season one. The reason was that another show on the Fox network, VR.5, had a hippie-esque character who was a genius...and Fox didn't want two characters so similar on the network at one time. Despite this Fox stipulation, Tormé was able to sneak Conrad back onto the show for one more appearance. The episode was season two's "Invasion", and Jason Gaffney/Conrad Bennish appeared as the eyeless prisoner across from our Sliders cell on Earth 113.

Gaffney/Bennish would not come up again until season five of the series. The production team of season five asked Tracy Tormé something they could do to make him happy. Tormé stated that having Gaffney/Bennish appear in season five would accomplish that. The deal was worked out to a point where Gaffney/Bennish would appear in four episodes of season five. This never occurred and a reason was never given to Tormé. One of two factors caused things to fall apart...the expense of flying Gaffney in or the fact that certain factors in production (such as David Peckinpah) saw an opportunity to block something Tormé wanted. While Sliders production (such as Keith Damron) deny the existence of a Bennish deal to this day, it is quite evident some plans were forming. The character of the preacher in "The Unstuck Man" is just to hard to dismiss.


Whatever Happened to Logan St. Clair/Zoe McLellan?

Quinn's ambitious female double from the episode "Double Cross" was portrayed by Zoe McLellan. As mentioned in several articles and interviews (such as a September 1996 TV Guide article), Logan St. Clair was created by Tony Blake and Paul Jackson to be a recurring character. However, she only appeared once. Why?

Fox did not believe that Zoe was sexy enough...nor did they believe she had chemistry with the existing cast. So, Fox requested that the actress not appear again.

When season four came around, Tony Blake and Paul Jackson did not make the transition. Also, as has been noted in the past, David Peckinpah largely thought on the same wavelength as Fox. Because of these factors, Logan and Zoe would find themselves on the eternal backburner...never to be seen again.

Zoe McLellan has gone on to find several other acting jobs. She portrayed a jilted girlfriend on an NBC movie of the week named "The Wrong Girl" in 1999. She also went on to play an unconfident Bajoran on season six of Star Trek: Voyager and currently has a recurring role on the CBS series JAG. Guess most don't agree with Fox about Zoe.


Whatever Happened to Gomez Calhoun/Will Sasso?

The original Gomez Calhoun, Hotel Operator, was portrayed by Will Sasso. Once again a casualty of the show's move to Los Angeles. In season three of the program, production opted not to pay the expense to fly the actor down to LA. However, by the time season four rolled around...Will Sasso was living in LA as part of his new job on Fox's Mad TV. The character of Gomez Calhoun was brought back in season four (in episodes such "Lipschitz Live" and "Roads Taken") and in season five ("To Catch a Slider")...but the part of Gomez was now portrayed by Israel Juarbe. The reason? As always...money.


Whatever Happened to Pavel Kurlienko/Alex Bruhanski, the Taxi Driver?

We all remember Pavel from the first two seasons...probably best remembered as the Taxi Driver who turned in Rembrandt and argued against him in the People's Court (the Pilot Episode). Unfortunately, Pavel was another casualty of the show's move to LA and the cost of flying the actors. There was an effort made to get Pavel to appear in the third season, however. A part was written for him in the intended season three premiere, "Double Cross". You ever wonder how Rembrandt made it from the mansion to the train station so fast? You ever wonder why Rembrandt had no money to buy a train ticket? That missing scene explains all...but it was unfortunately cut from the story once production decided to not fly any of the Vancouver actors to LA.


Whatever Happened to Michael Hurley/Gary Jones, manager of Doppler Computers?

Hurley was another casualty of the move to LA as he was left behind in Vancouver. Jones did go on to gain another prominent role on a science-fiction show, however. Jones is often seen at the controls of the gate in Stargate SG-1. He has also made several one-time appearances on series such as Seven Days and The Outer Limits.

Hurley was also named after a real life person in Tormé's life. Maurice Hurley, a producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation during the time Tormé was part of the show. People who know the real life counterpart say that the resemblance is uncanny.


Whatever Happened to Lester Barrie/Elston Diggs?

The resident information source in season three was the bartender Elston Diggs was portrayed by Lester Barrie. This character was created by Tracy Tormé as an attempt to go back to the recurring character concept used in season one. It somewhat worked as Diggs appeared in six episodes of season three.

When season four came around, Diggs was forgotten. Lester Barrie was still in LA, he was just not contacted. The reason as I have been told revolves around David Peckinpah's unwillingness to bother with the past. Lester Barrie did go on to appear in a few other unrelated projects though...such as his appearance on NYPD Blue in January of 1998.


Who Did The Whispers?

A staple of Sliders through all five years was the whisper at the end of the opening theme song for each episode (during the Fox years even heard at the exit to each commercial). But, who were the faces behind this haunting whisper?

During the first two seasons (and part of the third), the whisper was actually spoken by co-creator Robert K. Weiss. When season three came along, the new production team decided to get one of the actors to do the whisper (since their voice would be more recognizable to viewers). After test screening all four actors, it was decided that John Rhys-Davies did it best. So, John's voice became the whisper for part of season three...and stayed the whisper even after his departure. You see, Universal/Fox still had rights to John's image and voice through season three since he was fired (firing him did not null the contract since John had already been paid).

When season four came along, production needed a new voice for the whisper since they no longer rights to use John's. And it was decided that Jerry O'Connell would be it for season four (and so it remained for the entire season). But, season five presented a new problem...with Jerry legally blocking the use of his image and voice in season five (due to contractual issues), production had to come up with yet another voice to do the whisper. It was decided to let all four of the current Sliders do the whisper in rotation. On most occasions, you can tell who is who...but if you need a guide, most televisions place up the character name for the whisper on closed captioning.


Why So Many Different Hotels?

Five seasons of Sliders...four hotels. The first of the hotels was featured in season one: The Motel 12. The name of this motel was fictional, and seems to have been named as an inside joke. After all, it is an obvious double of the Motel 6 (We'll leave the light on for ya)...and the double of 6 is 12.

In season two, the hotel name changed. The reason? Production at the time was based in Vancouver, and production made a deal with a locally based hotel in the district where they filmed: the Dominion Hotel. And so, the exteriors and some inside shots were taken at the actual hotel...and it became what is probably the best remembered hotel on the show. In fact you can visit the website of the real life Dominion Hotel in Vancouver.

In season three, production of Sliders moved to Los Angeles. Production was going to just continue using the name of The Dominion...but while filming their first episode of season three, they were offered another hotel deal. What was supposed to be the season three premiere, "Double Cross," filmed the hotel scenes in and around a Los Angeles hotel named The Royal Chancellor. In the episode, they called the hotel The Dominion...but by the time filming was finished, production had a made a deal with this new hotel to keep what had now become somewhat of a tradition of realism in that area. And so, with The Royal Chancellor's permission, the Sliders now had a new official hotel in Los Angeles (since their radius changed to include that city - and production was focusing more on slides in LA).

Unfortunately, a bit of a problem arose. In most cases, our Sliders shortened the name of their hotel to just "The Chancellor". Well, in San Francisco, there is a family owned hotel which is just called The Chancellor. When they heard about what was being done without their permission, the owners of The Chancellor filed suit (since more money could be obtained that way than through any free advertising).

So, in season four, production once again fabricated a fictitious name to avoid any further legal actions. Thus, you find the name changed to The Chandler Hotel. Production purposefully picked a similar name...and wrote in the new name as if it was always The Chandler (see the season four premiere when Quinn says "We always used to stay here").




Sliders DoC : Ultimate FAQ : Behind the Scenes