Sliders: The Dimension of Continuity
The Fire Within Script Outtakes
 
Sliders DoC   Lost and Found   S3


Working title:

The Substance of Fire



These are scenes from the September 24, 1996 production draft of the script for the episode The Fire Within written by Josef Anderson. These scenes did not make it into the final episode due to time and story considerations.



The first missing scene is one of the best and I really hate that this one was cut. This set of scenes takes place directly after the Sliders get onto the "job truck" in order to get employment...

EXT. STREET - DAY

The bus pulls away. We see the flame left behind start to burn up the driveway, towards one of the houses.

INT. PACIFIC OIL REFINERY - EMPLOYMENT OFFICE - DAY

CLOSE - REMBRANDT

in a frosted glass cubicle with an INTERVIEWER.

REMBRANDT No, I don't mind being in a dormitory. I was in the Navy. I can sleep anywhere. INTERVIEWER Can you drive a truck?
CUT TO:

CLOSE - ARTURO

in the same seat, talking to the Interviewer.

ARTURO I can do anything. But should you have a position that requires more brain than brawn, I think that job would merit my assignment so you could fully utilize my potential as an employee. INTERVIEWER You afraid of hard work? ARTURO No. INTERVIEWER Let me see your hands.
Arturo holds up his hands.

INTERVIEWER Better get some gloves.
CUT TO:

CLOSE - WADE

is holding up ten fingers.

WADE Eighty-five words a minute. INTERVIEWER Do you know anything about Eds? WADE What's that? INTERVIEWER Edisons. You push keyboard or know anything about techware? WADE Uh, yeah, I know some things. And I'm a quick study. INTERVIEWER You get a bed in the dorm, two meals a day, and some wages paid in company scrip. If that's all right, consider yourself hired. WADE Sounds fine to me. INTERVIEWER Well, then all we need to do is fill out a few forms. Do you have any identification?
CUT TO:

CLOSE - QUINN

seated in the same cubicle.

QUINN My friends and I got robbed last week. It was our fault. We left everything in the hotel. We just need some work for a few days, then we'll be moving on. INTERVIEWER Do you mind being fingerprinted? QUINN Uh, no.
The Interviewer picks up the phone, places a call.

CUT TO:

INT. PACIFIC OIL OFFICE - DAY

J.C. ASHTON, 30's, head of Fire and Security, listens for a moment on the telephone. He's sitting on the edge of a desk, cigar in hand. He lights an ornate lighter, torches the cigar end.

J.C. Might as well go ahead and hire them all. I'm gonna have some holes to fill when we lock out the strikers tomorrow.
He hangs up the phone as DIANA SYLVIUS enters.

DIANA Mr. Ashton, you need to get back to your office. J.C. What's up? DIANA You know a Pete Sosa in Engineering? J.C. Older guy, bald? DIANA His house got torched. J.C. They think it's arson? DIANA They don't know. They're still fighting it.
J.C. hurries out of the room.

Then the scene cuts to Arturo and Remmy back in the dorm talking about how horrible dinner was...just as we saw in the final version.



Another missing bit was a referral to a past earth we never heard about...this takes place during the conversation when Quinn is telling Arturo he felt like the fire was coming for him on Furnace world...

QUINN Was it volcanic? ARTURO Perhaps some kind of natural gas deposit, burning for years like the coal fires in Virginia. QUINN It's weird, but there was a moment when I thought the fire was coming after me. ARTURO Eager to separate your long carbon chains? QUINN The heat, the burn. I felt this way once before. ARTURO Was it that unfortunate incident in the tanning salon? QUINN It was when the tiger was stalking us.
Quinn steps onto the bus. The driver stomps out the smoke, climbs on board, closes the doors. We PULL BACK to see a FLAME run from the gutter under the bus.

The bus pulls away. A duplicate flame burns on the edge of a storm drain, hidden from view, keeping watch.

And then we cut to Remmy attempting to drive his truck through the angry mob of strikers...



Originally, it was supposed to be Quinn who overheard J.C. and Diana's conversation at the company store about the arson fires, and he was in the middle of a purchase...

INT. COMPANY STORE - DAY

Quinn is trying on sunglasses. Wade walks up, a few things in her basket. Quinn dons an unusual pair.

QUINN What do you think? WADE Definitely extends your psyche. QUINN You done? I'm ready to go back to the hotel. WADE I just need one more thing. QUINN I'll get in line.
Wade exits. We FOLLOW Quinn as he moves to a nearby cash register, holding the glasses, trying to decide.

ANGLE - CHECK OUT LINE

J.C. lingers in line with Diana while the clerk bags her purchases in a company store shopping bag. Quinn is close enough to overhear.

J.C. Three burns in two days. All of mysterious origin. Something's going on. DIANA I heard it was quite a fight. J.C. I never saw a fire go after a guy like it did. Burned his mask off. We'd put it out here, it'd pop up over there. They were mopping up hot spots all night.
Diana takes her package, follows J.C. out the door. Quinn steps up to the register, puts on the sunglasses.

QUINN What do you think?
The clerk looks at him, shakes her head. Thumbs down.

Then we cut over to Wade as she watches Amanda shoplift some items...



After "flame boy" saves Quinn from being hit by the truck, there was a bit of the conversation with Remmy not seen in the episode...

ACT TWO

FADE IN

INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT

CLOSE - TELEVISION

in the bar. Tuned to a news station. A story about a forest fire.

TV REPORTER Five acres of timber were burned today before fire fighters were able to bring the blaze under control. A spokesman for the department said, "the only reason we beat it was because the fire ran out of trees."
ANOTHER ANGLE

The Sliders are gathered at a corner table.

WADE I'm telling you, I saw fire surround Quinn before he fell down. QUINN I couldn't breathe. There wasn't any oxygen. REMBRANDT Look, both of you had a few beers. Maybe you tripped, and maybe the truck lights reflected on the street, and you thought you... QUINN Smell my hair. REMBRANDT What? WADE It's burned. And just the very tips. REMBRANDT I hope nobody sees me doing this. (sniffs Quinn's head) Just smells like you've been in a smoky bar. QUINN That truck would have run me over. I think it saved my life. REMBRANDT Now I know you had too much to drink.
Then Arturo enters the scene and things continue as we saw them...



Our next little bit is a missing history reference...

REMBRANDT You think it's been starting fires? QUINN From what I heard today, I'm pretty sure of it. And why not? Everywhere it looks, nothing but food. And nobody's telling it not to take a bite. WADE Maybe we should. ARTURO I agree, Miss Welles. We need to talk to it. REMBRANDT You know how to speak fire? QUINN Maybe with a spectrometer? ARTURO Excellent idea, Mr. Mallory. There might be one in the lab at the refinery. REMBRANDT Go back? No thanks. I'm not in any hurry to get beat up again. ARTURO And I'm not happy about crossing a picket line, Mr. Brown, but this is an extraordinary opportunity. I'm sure Samuel Gompers will forgive us all. QUINN We'll find some common ground, build a vocabulary, get a translation path set up. ARTURO We'll have to catch it first. WADE Once you do, you better talk fast. We've only got a couple of days before we slide.
A waiter ignites a blazing drink to the table beside them. The drinker lifts it in a toast to the table.

REMBRANDT And you better do it before flame boy realizes he's sitting on a hundred million barrels of oil.
They watch as the man downs the drink, flame and all.

Then we cut to the next day with Wade and Diana talking over the computer terminals like they did in the version we saw...



There's is also an very interesting portion meant to appear on the end of the scene where Quinn and Arturo capture the flame (also, the two halves separated in this version)...

ARTURO I don't know, but you better hope it can't read lips. (beat) It's moving inside.
ANGLE - GLASS BEAKER

The fire climbs up the wick string into the container and ignites the fluid.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Quinn pulls the string, the lid drops and the fire is captured.

ANGLE - BEAKER

The fire struggles violently to escape, but quickly burns up the oxygen. Quinn and Arturo enter SHOT.

ARTURO What's the other flame doing? QUINN So far, nothing. ARTURO Perhaps it doesn't feel threatened and has no need to defend its copy. QUINN It's dying.
Quinn pushes the lid slightly open to let in some air. The flame is revived. It bumps against the glass, seeming to investigate the two men's faces so close to it now. Arturo reaches out and closes the lid again, shutting off the oxygen.

QUINN What are you doing? ARTURO Letting it know we're in control.
Arturo waits a beat, then props open the lid slightly, letting in more oxygen. Quinn retrieves a small cardboard box lined with tin foil. Quinn strips off his overshirt, uses it like a hot pad to pick up the beaker, set it safely in the box. They exit. We HOLD on the copy flame watching them.

Then the scene cuts back to the Sliders dorm room where they are attempting to contact the flame...just as we saw.



Next we have what I believe to be a crucial lost scene. This lost scene takes place during the Wade/Arturo conversation at the beginning of Act Three... This scenes adds a little clarity to why Wade would later outburst about babies in the fire...

ACT THREE

FADE IN

EXT. HOTEL - DAY

Arturo waits in line for the bus with the other workers. He looks up to see Wade approaching.

ARTURO What are you doing here? WADE There's some files that I want to borrow for a friend. ARTURO Ah, workers unite! WADE I figure it will balance the karma for being a scab. ARTURO Is that what's bothering you? WADE I don't know if I can talk about it. ARTURO Is it something serious?
Wade gives him a look. Why not.

WADE It's about babies.
Arturo takes her by the arm and escorts her a few feet away to a more private area.

ARTURO Are you pregnant? WADE I'm not even dating.
Arturo's relieved.

WADE But someday I'd like to have a family, and I've been thinking about that. How am I ever gonna meet Mr. Right if I'm sliding? This is worse than being single in L.A. ARTURO Do you want to settle down today? WADE No. ARTURO Next month, next year? WADE Uh, no. Maybe in a few years. ARTURO So what's bothering you? WADE I don't know if I really want children. ARTURO Must you decide that now? WADE If I really don't want to have children, then I shouldn't be looking for Mr. Right? Right? ARTURO That would be wrong? WADE Right. You know, sliding creates some major commitment problems. ARTURO Well, if it's any comfort, from what I know of you now, if and when you choose to become one, I think you'd make an extraordinary mother.
Arturo gives her a hug. Remmy walks up.

REMBRANDT Quinn's gonna stay here and keep working. ARTURO I could use your help getting some more things from the lab. WADE Probably better we all go to work like everything's normal. REMBRANDT All right. I'll go. ARTURO Just remember, we slide in eight hours.
They each hold up their watches. Remmy looks at Wade.

REMBRANDT I'll get a new one at the store.
They begin to walk to the line to board the bus.

CLOSE - HOTEL ROOM DOOR

and on it a hand lettered sign with a skull and crossbones that says, "Fumigating room -- Do not enter."

TV REPORTER (V.O.) A fire broke out early this morning at an oil storage tank in south city.
INT. HOTEL LIVING ROOM - DAY

Quinn is working at the table, listening to the news broadcast.

TV REPORTER While firefighters have contained the fire, officials said it was not under control at this time. They called for additional back up units.
Quinn turns down the volume on the TV. He sits down in front of the flame. The computer screen faces the flame.

QUINN Here's how it's gonna work. I'll say something and then you repeat it.
The rest plays out as we saw it...



Then there's a short Remmy line that was cut when they were searching for the bomb in the warehouse...

WADE My mom was having me when she was my age. Maybe it's hereditary. REMMY And maybe we better keep looking.
And for a moment they do. Then we hear a TAPPING SOUND.

REMMY I hope that's your biological clock I hear.
There's a FLASH of FIRE about twenty feet away.

And the scene plays on...



And in an interesting twist, the original script had J.C. dying in the warehouse fire...

QUINN Please, we must go now. FLAME'S VOICE What would you do? QUINN I can't influence your decision. REMBRANDT Make up your mind, flame boy, we gotta get out of here.
The flame spreads to a nearby wall, burns the words "GO HOME."

QUINN Me, too.
They start walking for the door.

ANOTHER ANGLE

In front of them, at the next door, J.C. appears. He tips over a fifty gallon drum of liquid. He takes out his cigar lighter, ignites the fuel, blocking their escape.

QUINN No!
QUINN'S POV - INFRARED

The fire runs towards J.C. and knocks him down, then turns to face Quinn.

BACK TO SCENE

The fire dissolves and pushes back the other flames and smoke like Moses parting the red sea. Even Arturo can see the way now. They hurry and lead Remmy and Wade out of the room. Quinn stops to pick up J.C.'s lighter. Once they are gone, the flame fills the room.

ANGLE - J.C.

unconscious on the floor, as the flames come towards him.

And that's the last we see of J.C. for the rest of the episode, the other scenes play out as we saw them...minus any appearances or mentions of J.C.



The last missing bit comes at the end. In case you were wondering where this was in the episode after reading Brad Linaweaver's episode guide...it wasn't in the episode. It was in the original script...

QUINN Sorry we couldn't spend more time together.
The flame burns some words on the match cover.

INSERT - MATCH COVER

as it reads, "Thank you."

BACK TO SCENE

QUINN You're welcome.
Quinn cups the matches in his hand and dives into the vortex as we...

FADE OUT

THE END.




Sliders DoC : Lost and Found : S3 : The Fire Within Script Outtakes