First seen over the Fox network on March 22, 1995, the weekly, hour-long Sliders was a sci-fi-fantasy opus about a group of people who visited bizarre parallel worlds by means of a device that could open wormholes in the universe. Jerry O'Connell starred as Quinn Mallory, the San Francisco-based college student who invented the device, a timing mechanism that resembled an ordinary TV remote. Together with his physics professor Maximillian P. Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), his computer-store co-worker Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd) and washed-up soul singer Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks), Quinn continually popped up in infinite alternate versions of San Francisco, some only subtly different than the world the travelers were familiar with, others radically changed. In one episode, Frisco was a Communist city; in another, the town was in the throes of the Ice Ace; in still another, the city is a tributary of "the country of Texas"; and in yet still another, dinosaurs roam throughout the city's streets and hills. In these other worlds Elvis still lived, the British had won the Revolutionary War, psychics and hippies controlled the government, and Rembrandt Brown was still the biggest singing star on Earth. In each episode, it fell to the four protagonists -- the sliders -- to right various wrongs in these crazy-quilt worlds, and to find a way to return to their own San Francisco. Beginning with the series' third season, the sliders moved beyond San Francisco and visited alternate worlds all over the Earth and the rest of the universe. In the course of their journeys they picked up another slider from another world, Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer). The series ended its Fox run on August 8, 1997, with Professor Arturo being killed and Wade disappearing from view. Beginning June 8, 1998, Sliders was picked up by cable's Sci Fi Channel, with Jerry O'Connell, Cleavant Derricks, and Kari Wuhrer still in the cast. It was explained that Quinn's home Earth had been overrun by a race of warrior sliders called the Kromagg, who had conquered the planet and shipped Wade off to a breeding farm. It also turned out that Quinn's own parents had been sliders from another world, and that he'd been implanted with a micro-dot which would not only enable him to find a super-weapon with which he could destroy the Kromagg, but also locate his long-lost brother Colin (Charlie O'Connell) -- who, when found, became the newest member of the sliders' team. At the outset of the series' final season, both of the Mallory brothers perished in a bad slide, but Quinn's "life essences" were manifested into another slider (played by Robert Floyd), who was immediately re-christened Quinn Two. Ultimately, Quinn Two linked up with Rembrandt, Maggie, and another new slider, a scientist named Diana Davis (Tembe Locke). The last episode of Sliders -- which rather perversely brought the whole saga full-circle -- was originally aired on February 4, 2000.
by Hal Erickson synopsis