Original Sliders cast members Jerry O’Connell and John Rhys-Davies are in talks with NBC about a possible revival of the 1990s sci-fi series. In the age of TV being dominated by adaptations, reboots, revivals, and sequels, it makes sense that Sliders has finally entered the conversation. Premiering in 1995 on FOX, Sliders was never a huge ratings smash, but quickly amassed a fiercely dedicated if not exactly massive fanbase. In the early days of the internet, Sliders and its many journeys to different parallel worlds were a hot topic of discussion, and episodes were dissected on various fan websites.
Unfortunately, Sliders had problems with consistency, mostly due to issues behind the scenes. Seasons 1 and 2 were pretty short for network TV, only running for 23 episodes combined. Then, season 3 saw the series get reworked in an effort to improve ratings, with fan-favorite character Professor Maximilian Arturo (Rhys-Davies) killed off and replaced in the cast by Kari Wurher’s Maggie Beckett, a character clearly designed with the goal of trying to add more sex appeal to the show. Season 3 also saw multiple ridiculous episodes that attempted to copy whatever was popular in movies at the time, including episodes about zombies, vampires, and attacking snakes.
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FOX canceled Sliders after season 3, but Syfy picked it up for seasons 4 and 5, which saw even more cast member turnover. Finally, the show ended on an infuriating cliffhanger. However, Sliders might finally get a definitive conclusion after all, as Rhys-Davies tells Flickering Myth that he and O’Connell have recently been in talks with NBC about reviving the series. Here’s his full quote.
Jerry had been pestering me for a number of years and we’re actually talking to NBC at the moment to see if there’s any possibility of rebooting the series. They’re looking into the basic question of who actually owns it? At the moment we don’t seem to be able to find that out. I would do it again, if just to show how it should be done. It could have been the best show on television, it could still be on the air. I think maybe if we got another chance at doing it with the new technology, but also new stories, I think we could do something quite extraordinary. I wouldn’t want to do it for the rest of my life, but I would do it for a season or two if it was right.
While Rhys-Davies uses the word reboot above, the rest of what he says definitely points toward a revival with the original cast, provided they would all agree to return, and any legalities can be ironed out. One assumes O’Connell would come back as Quinn Mallory, if he’s been part of the talks. That leaves Cleavant Derricks and Sabrina Lloyd, who played Rembrandt Brown and Wade Welles, respectively. Beyond the cast though, the revival would face a creative obstacle right away, in deciding where exactly to pick up from.
For those in need of a refresher, Syfy’s Sliders season 4 and 5 saw Wade killed off and Quinn written out by combining him with an oddly different alternate universe double. With Arturo also dead, the only real path to reviving Sliders with the original cast would likely be to pretend the Syfy seasons never happened, and possibly even retcon most of season 3, including the introduction of Wuhrer’s character. This would no doubt annoy fans wanting a resolution to season 5’s cliffhanger, but it’s doubtful many would be interested in the prospect of a revival with the Syfy cast anyway.
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Source: Flickering Myth