Sliders

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot (1)

2
Aired Unknown Mar 22, 1995 on FOX
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
135 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Physics genius Quinn Mallory has been tooling around in his basement for months, trying to create an anti-gravity device. However, he has stumbled on to something much greater - something that appears to be a gateway! Curious as to what's on the other side, he invites his old friend Wade Wells and his physics teacher, Professor Maximillian Arturo, to venture into the gateway with him. While creating the gateway, however, Quinn uses too much power and the vortex snags a fourth passenger: Rembrandt Brown, a former pop star who just happened to be in the neighborhood. The vortex drops them in a world where a new Ice Age has begun, a world where they must somehow survive until Quinn's timer reaches zero.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A dangerous lottery in utopia

    7.5
    Definitely a good start for the show. Personally, I would have liked the second episode to start at the end of the first. It would have made the series more fluid, as you try to understand the show better. They introduce the timer, but then seem to be able to activate the timer any time they want. Why does the timer get "damaged" if used out of turn. And why can't they control the amount of time for the next trip. Finally, why does he keep jumping from one world to the next without regards for safety. I mean, couldn't they stay in one world, and quin rebuild the timer from scratch, he should know how with the previous as a template, and if he could do it from his mother's basement as a college student, they should be able to manage it pretty well together. Ow well, then it wouldn't be much of a show I guess.moreless
  • A great introduction

    10
    This episode is such a great introduction to Sliders. We see the quirks of the four main characters: Quinn Mallory, the intelligent yet slightly unaware science buff; Maxmillian Arturo, the sophisticated and somewhat stuckup physics professor; Wade Wells, the smart, attractive, female friend that Quinn overlooks; and Rembrandt Brown, the has-been artist who gets dragged along accidentally. This episode also sets up a great suspenseful element of the show: What will the next world bring; will it be paradise or hell? Will the characters ever slide home? Overall, I think this pilot introduces the premise of the show in a way that captures the audience and gets the viewers thinking about what all the different parallel earths might be.moreless
  • The beginning of Sliders

    9.2
    The great beginning of a great show.



    We meet Quinn who is a normal, but very smart guy.

    He found some way to open portals to a different world and is throwing stuff into it.



    But one day he decides that he's going in it and when he does he comes back to the same place. once he goes to school he begins to see a difference, everything seems to be reversed.



    Quinn tries to go back and succeeds. But suddenly he's fired and everything has gone wrong. Turns out that another Quinn came to that world and before he goes to tells this Quinn not to do something, but he can't hear him.



    That same day his best friend Wade who has a crush on him and a professor go over to his house and learn about Quinn's portal. They decide to go into it and when it opens it also sucks in a musician that was driving next to Quinn's house.



    They arrive to a world where it's very cold, everyone seems to have died there so they can't wait another 4 hours and decide to slide again.



    But in the world they arrive there seems to be something strange. It's filled with the russian communists.



    it was a great first part of the pilot, very well written and throughout interesting.moreless
  • I watched this pilot when it premiered back in 1995 and was instantly hooked; rewatching the series on DVD reveals a great beginning to an uneven series.

    9.5
    When Sliders premiered it was written off by many as a Quantum Leap rip off. While there were certainly similarities in the concept, Quantum Leap, which had finished its run two years earlier, was based on leaping into the bodies of others and intentionally affecting change, while Sliders was about leaping between infinite versions of our current civilization and, at least initially, trying not to interfere but simply get home.



    The concept was right for a network trying to build upon its youthful demographics honed through \"Beverly Hills 90210\", \"Melrose Place\", \"Party of Five\" and its still-classic (and still going as of this writing) \"The Simpsons.\" It also presented an opportunity to draw the Sci-Fi fans it had won a year and a half before with \"The X-Files.\" If only the network had let the shows producers, including the great John Landis, develop the premise, instead of later trying to make it something it wasn\'t.



    But I get ahead of myself.



    The Pilot set the tone for the concept - introducing characters we would come back to time and time again - albeit rarely twins of themselves in other parallel worlds - but also setting details in place so that we would know the earth they reached was NOT the earth from which we were watching. (Such as Quinn’s father being alive at the end of part two of the pilot.)



    The cast:

    Jerry O\'Connell was great from the start - but then he already been in a modest hit feature film (\"Stand by Me\"), but also had a series under his belt (\"My Secret Identity\"). He really was the reason to watch the show – and the fact that he’s become a relatively well-known name stands as credit to his acting, as well as his matinee-idol looks. He brought the right amount of seriousness and goofiness to a role that could make his viewers either want to be him (or want to date him, depending on their gender or orientation.)



    Sabrina Lloyd, who I later came to love in \"Sports Night\", was a little wooden in the pilot – but her acting definitely improved as the series progressed. In fact, by the next episode shot (which was not the next episode aired) she was already finding her legs.



    Cleavant Derricks, whose character was rightly hysterical due to the manner that he became one of the Sliders, was supposed to represent the every man - but often was left with little to do. I often found his acting over the top – although I don’t know whether to blame the actor or the writers. His character was certainly the least developed of the four originals.



    Jonathon Rhys-Davies was the \"name\" in the cast; probably known mostly to those that would have watched this show due to his work in the Indiana Jones films - but he had a long list of credits besides that. I suspect his departure in the third season had much to do with the interference and multiple derailings this series had experienced by that 40th episode when he last officially appeared. He comes off pompous and crass – but that is exactly what he is supposed to be. The intellectual know-it-all. Rhys-Davies knows what his character is supposed to be and embodies it fully.



    The show:

    Like most pilots, it is designed to set up a series – but at least with this one, due to the infinite wormholes available – you know it can go wherever it wants – which is appealing to a network that first and foremost wants a hit – but also wants something that can last 100 episodes – that magic number needed for syndication. (It never made it!) Like the other review on this site, I’m unsure exactly where the break is between the two halves of the pilot (it aired as a two-hour premiere and on the DVD is presented as one 90 minute episode without break) but I suspect it was either right before or right after the leap from the ice-age San Francisco to the Soviet ruled one. In either event, the producers managed to show three possible alternate worlds in this pilot (the third being the cliff-hanger where Quinn’s father was still alive) and thus gave the viewer the possibilities of the show. I, for one, couldn’t wait for more.

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  • Quinn Mallory finds that his anti-gravity machine is a failure but what he has found is a way to travel between parallel universes.

    8.0
    Quinn Mallory is a student and a genius who accidentally finds a way to open a portal between universes.



    Not sure what the portal is, or where it leads to, Quinn decides the only way to find out is to step through it. His first thoughts as he arrives back in his basement is that the experiment is a failure. Everything looks the same as it was when he stepped into the portal - at least at first glance. But Quinn soon realises that things are not quite right, the traffic lights are reversed, Elvis is alive, and his mother is pregnant.



    Before he has the chance to explore he finds himself sucked back into the portal and back in his own basement.



    Eager to share his discovery with Professor Maximillian Arturo he is shocked that he won't listen to him and walks out of the room. Other students in the room tell him that he had insulted the Professor earlier in the day.



    Next stop for Quinn is the electronics store he works at - or at least he did until he was fired - something else he doesn't remember. Like he doesn't remember kissing colleague and friend Wade Wells who clearly has feelings for him.



    Returning home Quinn wonders if going through the portal has affected his mind, until he sees the double of himself in his basement and the equation he has struggled to figure out completed on his blackboard.



    His double explains to him what the portal is before returning to his own world and his wife. But not before he tries to give Quinn a warning about the rules of sliding...a warning Quinn cannot hear.



    Professor Arturo and Wade then visit Quinn who explains what has happened. And they make the decision to go to another world and before sharing the discovery with the world.



    The three of them then travel through the portal which also accidentally pulls in Rembrant "Crying Man" Brown, a singer about to make his big comeback, who was unfortunate enough to be driving past the house when Quinn ups the power.



    The world they all end up in is one which appears to be going through a new ice age and with a twister bearing down on them they have no choice but to open the portal before the timer runs out.



    This is a fairly good opening episode through I believe that Rembrant was a little underused in the episode.



    One thing that does have a tendancy to annoy me however is the fact that Quinn takes his double at his word and does not bother to check things before taking their trip round the universe. Okay it would have made for a short series if he hadn't but it just seemed to me that he is aware his double is not that much like him. He has insulted his favourite professor, lost him his job and despite being married, kissed his best friend. So why does he not eer on the side of caution before sliding? Yeah short series but it does seem a little out of character for a so-called genius to do this.



    To anyone reading this review - I have never seen the pilot in two parts so have unfortunately no idea where the split actually is. I would imagine it was somewhere around this point but actually have no idea for sure. So sorry I can't comment on the cliffhanger (assuming there was one) as I don't know for sure what it was.moreless
Cleavant Derricks

Cleavant Derricks

Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown

Jerry O'Connell

Jerry O'Connell

Quinn Mallory

John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies

Professor Maximillian P. Arturo

Sabrina Lloyd

Sabrina Lloyd

Wade Wells

Sook Yin Lee

Sook Yin Lee

Pat

Guest Star

Jay Brazeau

Jay Brazeau

KGB Colonel

Guest Star

Garwin Sanford

Garwin Sanford

Doc

Guest Star

Linda Henning

Linda Henning

Mrs. Mallory

Recurring Role

Jason Gaffney

Jason Gaffney

Conrad Bennish Jr. (Uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (11)

    • A clip of "cocky" Quinn talking about the timer was made so they could digitally edit him sliding into the hole screaming the answer. His exact wording was "Never try to slide before your preset time runs out..."

    • The first trip into the first world was set to be as basic as possible, so viewers could catch on very quickly as to what was going on. Plus, the Elvis billboard wasn't the original idea for the world. The original idea was "The Beatles Reunion Tour", but the staff thought Elvis would drive the point home faster.

    • Quinn's cat Schrodinger is named after Professor Erwin Schrodinger.

    • The Day Tripper DJ speaking on Quinn's radio is Harry Shearer best known for his voice-over talents on The Simpsons. He also seems to be making fun of the way Rush Limbaugh talks.

    • When Quinn and Arturo discover the statue of Lenin, Arturo references Lenin as "Nikolay Ilyich Ulyanov-Lenin" - in fact, Lenin's first name was Vladimir, not Nikolay. However, Nikolay was one of Lenin's aliases.

    • In the opening sequence, Quinn is asleep on his bed with an open book on his chest. The book is Hyperspace by Michio Kaku. The book is explained on the cover as being "A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension".

    • When Quinn looks at the timer on the ice Earth, it's counting down, but on his first slide, it's counting up.

    • When Rembrandt is walking down his steps to his car while singing the national anthem, the words don't match what his lips are saying.

    • When Rembrandt's caddie is first seen driving away, its "Cryn Man" license plate has no registration tags. In later shots of the rear of the caddie, the car has tags.

    • Despite landing on a frozen over world, neither Arturo, Wade, Quinn or Rembrandt's breath fogs.

    • In the opening, Quinn runs from Golden Gate park to the college, which seems to be next to each other. In real life, they are very far apart.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Alternate Quinn: (Referring to the equation) I'm surprised you slid without knowing this. I solved this old thing months ago.

    • Quinn: Still, the need to know overwhelms the human instinct for self-preservation

    • Hurley: Hey, don't get smart with me. This computer store pays your rent, mister. If it weren't for my mistakes, you'd be out of a job.

    • Wade: You mean that we can just like... slide through this and boom, we're on another planet?
      Quinn: No. Same planet, different dimension.

    • Wade: I suppose now you're going to tell me that kiss meant nothing.
      Quinn: Kiss? Oh my God. I kissed Hurley. No wonder I'm fired.
      Wade: Will you stop it? It was with me.

    • Arturo: Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joesph. I think I've just seen God, and I could have sworn he was driving a Cadillac.
      Quinn: (to Wade) You okay?
      Wade: Ahh man, that was so great! It was like, better than, than sex!
      Arturo: ...Well I wouldn't go that far.

    • Arturo: I won't even bother to ask you answer, which IS, my dear babes in the wood, (Quinn mimics the answer behind Arturo's back) U4. That's U4 Mr. Bennish, not U2. Ladies & Gentlemen, this intellectual torpor may be sufficient to earn you a job in some disaster-prone part of the world, like Chernobyl or NASA... but it won't cut the mustard with me.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

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