“Sliders” came on the scene in the mid-1990s when Sci-Fi seemed to be working on television. Jerry O’Connell wasn’t a household name, but had a recognizable face. John Rhys-Davies was both well known and respected, and we all hoped this would be FOX’s latest Sci-Fi success. Part “Quantum Leap”, part “Stargate”, it was still a breath of fresh air.
“Sliders” was a great show early on, and Jerry O’Connell was a big reason for that. He played Quinn Mallory with amazing intelligence and, at the same time, wonderment. He lived the opening monologue in every single episode. “What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions.”
The other members of the cast (Rhys-Davies, Lloyd & Derricks) were all enjoyable to watch, and gave mostly solid performances. I did find the character of Wade to be misused, and Lloyd’s performance sometimes rough. Overall, the cast was solid, and the show was fun.
Then…they moved to Sci-Fi Channel. “Sliders” ceased to be the fun romp through dimensions, and turned into a ‘battle-a-week’ low-rent Star Trek. The spirit of adventure (never lost in “Quantum Leap”) was gone, and Quinn was no longer the intelligent explorer he once was. Sliders was no more.
The addition of Kari Wuhrer and Charlie O’Connell was not a bad thing, just mis-timed. Unlike “Stargate: SG1″ which only lost its edginess when it left Showtime for Sci-Fi, “Sliders” became a completely different show…a shadow of itself. Not to mention the departure of Jerry O’Connell, which turned the show into a joke, and forever ruined Kari Wuhrer’s chances of stardom (IMO).
The first few seasons of “Sliders” will always hold a place in my heart. I never seen the final season or two, and probably never will. If you’d like to relive the wonder that was “Sliders”, watch season 1 over at Hulu. At least watch the wonderful pilot.