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Sliders

Sliders is an American science fiction and fantasy (though mostly science fiction) television series created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé. It was broadcast for five seasons (88 episodes)between 1995 and 2000. The series follows a group of travellers as they use a wormhole to “slide” between different parallel universes. Tormé, Weiss, Leslie Belzberg, John Landis, David Peckinpah, Bill Dial and Alan Barnette served as executive producers at different times of the production. For its first two seasons it was produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California, USA in the last three seasons.

The show follows a group of people, called “Sliders”, as they travel (“sliding”) between different Earths in parallel universes via a vortex-like wormhole, hoping to return safely to their original Earth Prime. The vortex can only be opened at random intervals on each new world, monitored by a countdown clock on a portable timer that they carry; failure to open the vortex in time would strand the Sliders for 29.7 years in that universe. While waiting for the timer countdown, the group learns about the differences in the alternate Earth from their own, and often become unwillingly involved in events that they must resolve before they can safely leave via the vortex. The travellers have no control over what world they end up in, but continually look for means to find Earth Prime.

The pilot introduces the four original Sliders: Quinn Mallory (Jerry O’Connell), a graduate student in physics who discovered and refined the Sliding technology; Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), Quinn’s mentor; Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), Quinn’s friend; and Rembrandt “Cryin’ Man” Brown (Cleavant Derricks), a professional singer who is accidentally caught in the first major test of the vortex and is forced to join the others. Their first slide lands them on an Earth that is suffering from a second ice age, and Quinn, against his better judgement, uses the timer to open the vortex prematurely to save the group from an ice tornado bearing down on them. As a result, the sliders lose the ability to return home and must slide from world to world hoping that the next slide is their Earth. Many of the episodes in these early seasons focused on Earths that resulted from alternate histories, such as if the British had won the Revolutionary War, or if antibiotics had never been discovered. Within the second season, the four encounter a humanoid species called the Kromaggs, who also have sliding technology but use it to ransack other Earths for slaves and resources.

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