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Sliders: Pilot (1)

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!

Episode Info


Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 83535
Airdate: Wednesday March 22nd, 1995


Alternate Airdates:

United Kingdom Sep 27, 1996
France Sep 27, 1996
Ireland Sep 27, 1996
NL (Sci-Fi) Jul 13, 2009

Guest Stars
Doug LlewelynDoug Llewelyn
As Comrade Llewelyn
Recurring
Garwin SanfordGarwin Sanford
As Doc
Recurring
Joseph A. WapnerJoseph A. Wapner
As Commissar Wapner
Recurring
Linda HenningLinda Henning
As Mrs. Mallory
Recurring

Co-Guest Stars
Alex BruhanskiAlex Bruhanski
As Pavel Kurlienko
Recurring
Andrew KavadasAndrew Kavadas
As Vendor
Recurring
Don MacKayDon MacKay
As Artie Field
Recurring
Frank C. TurnerFrank C. Turner
As Crazy Kenny
Recurring
Gary Jones (1)Gary Jones (1)
As Michael Hurley
Recurring
Jay BrazeauJay Brazeau
As KGB Colonel
Recurring
John NovakJohn Novak
As Ross J. Kelly
Recurring
Raoul GaneevRaoul Ganeev
As Lieutenant Karpov
Recurring
Roger R. CrossRoger R. Cross
As Wilkins
Recurring
Sook-Yin LeeSook-Yin Lee
As Pat
Recurring
Tom Butler (1)Tom Butler (1)
As Michael Mallory
Recurring
Wayne CoxWayne Cox
As PBS Spokesman
Recurring
Yee Jee TsoYee Jee Tso
As Wing
Recurring

Uncredited
Harry ShearerHarry Shearer
voiced Day Tripper
Recurring
Jason GaffneyJason Gaffney
As Conrad Bennish Jr.
Recurring
Jim Byrnes (1)Jim Byrnes (1)
As Announcer
Recurring
Larry MusserLarry Musser
As Jake
Recurring
Rusty BurrellRusty Burrell
As Bailliff
Recurring
Sara WalkerSara Walker
As Nan Zachery
Recurring
Main Cast
Jerry OJerry O'Connell
As Quinn Mallory
Cleavant DerricksCleavant Derricks
As Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown
Sabrina LloydSabrina Lloyd
As Wade Welles
John Rhys-DaviesJohn Rhys-Davies
As Professor Maximillian Arturo
Episode Notes
For syndication, the pilot is divided into two parts, the first part ending when Quinn and Arturo discover the statue of Lenin.

A great discussion was cut out of the scene where the four are talking in Rembrandt's car on ice-world. You can see where Arturo was trying to explain sliding to Rembrandt on the car window.

The second world visited has undergone a 'nuclear winter', which supposedly happened just under a year ago, based on the timeframe of the photo Quinn looks at inside his double's former home.

Several groups wrote angry letters about wearing the ribbons on Rembrandt's shirt.

According to Tracy Torme on the DVD commentary, Rembrandt's former band, The Spinning Topps, were named after The Spinners and The Four Tops.

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."

This episode was originally played as a two-hour TV movie, just before the X-Files. It was the highest rated premiere of 1995.

The majority of this episode (as well as most of the series) was filmed in Vancouver, while specific pieces were filmed in San Francisco.

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

A number of clips were cut from this episode involving a neighbor. They've been talked about, but have never been found or restored. Part of their proof can be found when Quinn's double is walking around town. Quinn comes home to his mom cutting flowers, rubbing his face. This was because the neighbor slapped him.

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 present time runs out..."

Besides Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt Brown), Linda Henning (Mrs. Mallory) is the only other actor to appear in both the first ("Pilot") and last ("The Seer") episodes of the series.



Episode Quotes
Wing: I should've gone to law school like my old man wanted. This relativistic quantum pop-cosmology's such a mindwarp.

Hurley: 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.

Arturo: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I think I've just seen God and I could've sworn he was driving a Cadillac.

Wade: Oh man that was so great. It was like better than... than sex.
Arturo: Well I wouldn't go that far.

Mrs. Mallory: You're too much like your father. Up all night, working crazy hours, and look what happened to him. He worked himself to death.
Quinn: Mom, Dad was hit by a car.
Mrs. Mallory: But he was on his way to work.

Wing: Man, I can't believe you came back. The guy's Three Mile Island, it's gonna take him years to cool off.
Bennish: He's right dude. I mean I think Arturo's a pompous windbag too, but I'd never have the guts to say it to his face. Big time congrats.

Quinn: Mom, have I done anything to upset you today?
Mrs. Mallory: Not that I'm aware of. Why, are you planning to?
Quinn: God I hope not!

Llewelyn: The defendant dubiously claims that he is not of this earth, and therefore shouldn't be expected to abide by the laws of civilization.

Wade: (after walking down into Quinn's basement) Wow, the Batcave!

Arturo: Stupid, stupid, stupid! I could be at home right now, drinking sake and watching Jeopardy.
Quinn: Yeah I know. It's Tournament of Champions week. I miss it too.



Episode Goofs
When Quinn finds the picture of his family, it should be frozen like everything else.

When Quinn looks at the timer on ice-world, it's counting down. But on his first slide it was counting up.

When the tornado was coming towards them, why didn't they just try staying in the basement?

When Rembrandt is walking down his steps to his car while singing the national anthem, the words do not match what his lips are saying.

All we ever see is one version of Wade running out. Where is the other Wade?

When Quinn describes the sliding portal, he describes it as a "ring with a hole in the centre" (or words to that effect) and it is visualized as such. He later identifies it as an Einstein Rosen bridge (a wormhole). Technically, an Einstein Rosen bridge is not a ring (or disk) but a spherical distortion of space, much like the gravitational field of the Earth (which is governed by the same set of equations).

Quinn makes several references to his experiments taking place in September. In "Summer of Love," which should take place right after the pilot (everyone is wearing the same clothes), we learn it is 1995. However, the days correspond to the 1994 calendar. But if it's 1994, Remmie couldn't sing the anthem at a Giants game because there was a baseball strike.

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. (Audio commentary on the DVD box set talks about this, too.)

Despite landing in a frozen over world, we never see their breath in the cold.

Problems with the first Slide of the four: The tunnel moves, which it has never done since (Perhaps because of the increased power). It picks up Rembrandt and his car, but fails to take any of the objects it passes through. We never see the tunnel die, which means it kept going down the street and should have gotten more people. And finally, Rembrandt comes out of the tunnel first, shortly after the other 3 pop out in the basement -- it should have been the other way around. (Conceivably, Rembrandt may have passed the other three in the tunnel. Arturo does mention that he saw a Cadillac pass by.)

How could the "cocky" Quinn gotten around so quickly without the use of regular Quinn's car?

With the amount of power it takes run the equipment in Quinn's basement, how could his mom afford the bills? She doesn't seem to work, and Quinn's job wouldn't make him more than $10 an hour at the most.

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.

Throughout the series, it's been said the sliding tunnel only lasts for about 60 seconds. If that's true, then why are all the tunnels we see in this episode open for different amounts of time?

Wade says she scored some hockey tickets for the weekend, presumably a Sharks game as they're featured prominently in Quinn's attire. Must have been an exhibition game as the Sharks season wasn't scheduled to open for another 2 weeks. However, 1994-95 was the year of the lockout and the first game didn't occur until February. Coincidentally, the pilot aired after the lockout had become historical fact.

In a sign in the People's Telephone and Telegraph Booth, Lenin's name is misspelled "Lennin."



Cultural References
Quinn: We're not in Kansas anymore.

The more than famous line from the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz".

The Spinning Tops were a combination of the groups Spinning Men and The High-Tops. His gold album on the wall is called "Topless" as a symbol of leaving his bandmates.

Visual Statue of Lenin.

Lenin, born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, was a bolshevik revolutionary who helped overthrow the Tsar in Russia in 1917 and helped form the first socialist state; the USSR - Union of the Socialist Soviet Republics.



Analysis
Timer Explanation: Part 1

The timer originally was used so that you could open a portal, give it as much strength as you needed to get you and whatever else you intended through (the top dial), and program a destination time so that when your time ran out, a portal would automatically open around you and take you home instantly. This is the way the timer worked in the Pilot. Next, if you opened another portal before the timer ran out, it would take you to another world, not your previous one. When the group left the "Ice World" early, they went to "Communist World" instead of "Home World." The portal back to "Home World" was either killed off by the new slide, or it actually opened up after 5 hours -- but there was no one to take it back. When the group leaves Communist World, the timer still works in this fashion, but still does not guarantee them a way home. FURTHER READING: Head to the episode entitled "Summer Of Love" for further development on the Timer.



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