As with many television shows, there were several episodes of Sliders which had ideas (and in some cases completed outlines and scripts) that were almost made, but never produced for varying reasons. Here is a look at the ones we know about.
"Blood and Splendor"
This Tracy Tormé script was completed but never produced due to cost considerations in the special effects area. The script was finally produced in 1996 as one of the Acclaim Sliders comics specials. The story featured a main story point of a strange occurrence while traveling through the sliding tunnel. The Sliders actually encountered creatures living in the tunnels which were devouring other Sliders as they came though. The Sliders barely escape and land on a world where the Aztec civilization never died and still held dominance in California in 1995. Thinking the natives are ignorant, the Sliders openly talk about sliding in front of them...but the natives in Aztec dress fully understand English and pull out a cell phone to call in this new "gateway to the gods".
In tampering with the timer, the Aztecs are actually able to make it open a vortex before time runs out for a mere moment...just long enough for one of the creatures to pop free and devour a scientist on the project. Also, by opening a vortex early...it reduces the time left before the next slide. While this is going on,
Quinn is about to be sacrificed as an offering and Remmy has been working to get his friends free (since he was not captured at the beginning and this world has reverse discrimination with African Americans being the dominant). The Sliders escape at the last minute and recover the timer's power source which the Aztec leader was wearing as an amulet after the incident with the creature...and they slide. While in the vortex, the creatures come back but Quinn figures out that firing the timer at the creatures while in the vortex causing them to vanish. He continues to use this method, but each time he fires...the sliding tunnel collapses a bit more threatening to crush the Sliders before they reach the other side. Quinn and company barely make through after taking care of all the "residents" of the interdimension...
"A Royal Pain"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Prince of Wails".
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Eggheads".
Little is known about this proposed episode, but it has been rumored from reliable sources that this episode was to be the second season look at a world where Nazis are in control. It is possible that "California Reich" of season four borrowed from this previous story treatment.
Once again, not much is known about this tale. Another episode Tracy Tormé worked on, this episode would have featured a world where beauty had a different meaning (a homage to the famous Twilight Zone tale where our definition of beauty was considered ugliness).
"Get A Life"
While not actually considered for television production, this one is worth noting. Set in season two continuity, this Acclaim Sliders comic written by Andy Mangels was never published due to financial difficulties at Acclaim. The story featured the Sliders landing on a world where their adventures were the subject of a hit television series. The entire tale was meant to be a satire on Sci-Fi fandom and Hollywood in general. Rags Morales completed seven pages of art work for the tale, which can be seen in their own section of the DoC.
"Our So Called Lives"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome".
Yet another script which we have little knowledge of past the title. Allegedly, this episode was to feature a world where the internet was the form of communication. The story was to highly allude to the Quinn/Wade relationship (which had not been addressed in any significant form since season two's "Obsession"). The script was not produced in season three due to John Rhys-Davies' departure. It is believed that the fourth season episode "Net Worth" is a retooling of this prior script.
"Heat of the Moment"
This was the Tracy Tormé script which was to be the season three finale. He gave much information about this episode at the 1997 DragonCon in Atlanta. Here are his words (find the full transcript at The Dragon's Lair:
So what I agreed to do [in season three] was
just to write two episodes and so I basically
went off into my own thing and I started creating
new shows and doing other things and I wrote
"The Guardian" and I produced "The Guardian"
and I stayed with that all the way through and acted
like I used to act just for that one show. And then
I was writing the second show. The second show
would've really...I think it would've been the best
show that I'd ever done. Not only was the earth
falling towards the sun on this world, but Quinn and
Wade get married, and Rembrandt gets killed, and
it was a show that was, you know, kind of shocking
things were happening, they can't fix the world, they
are going to all burn up in four months, and right after
the wedding scene where Quinn and Wade get
married, the gateway opens and our Sliders come
out and we realize we've been watching other Sliders
the entire time. (Aws, shock.) And that was as far as I
got with that. And so that was called
"Heat of the Moment".
And so it's like 99% written and then I got the word
that Fox wanted John out and John was leaving
and John was at the center of the whole story.
They came to me and said to rewrite it with the
new character and I just refused. (Applause.)
Maybe someday that'll see the light of day.
Further interviews have revealed that Bennish was part of this story. He had invented the "ice hat" on this simmering world and subsequently became a multi-millionaire. The story had Bennish and Arturo teaming up to save the world in a throwback to season one's "Last Days".
"Heat of the Moment" was also slated to be an Acclaim comics special. Slightly reworked, It was to be sold under the title "Sliders - The Final Episode" written by Tracy Tormé. The special was set to come out directly after "Get a Life". Unfortunately, the same factors that kept "Get a Life" from print also nixed this special.
"The Substance of Fire"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "The Fire Within".
"The Once and Future King"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "The Prince of Slides".
"State of the A.R.T."
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "State of the Art". The intention was for the acronym to play off of the episode - Aldohn Robotic Technologies.
"The Game's Afoot"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Murder Most Foul".
"Exodus" [By John Rhys-Davies]
This info was obtained from Telefantastique 2 in London, England on July 24, 1999. John Rhys Davies was in attendance, and he finally gave the scoop on his version of Exodus that he's always claimed the writers butchered (JRD had a story credit on Exodus...though you're about to wonder why). Special thanks to Slider_Sarah and BritSlider for sharing this with us:
"In the Exodus universe, the comet that hit Jupiter, Schumacher Levy, caused Jupiter to be knocked from its orbit (something many scientists theorized would happen). The ensuing change in the gravitational makeup of the solar system slowly placed Earth on a new course...away from the sun. So, the Earth suffered a kind of nuclear winter...and was ebbing ever closer to a final night. There are a few people still alive when the Sliders arrive, mainly centered around shopping centers where there is still food. But there weren't many people and their life expectancies weren't long. The Sliders slide in. The find a Motorola factory which made mobile phones (the base of the original timer) that used the same chip as the original timer. Quinn and Arturo work out that the timer worked because of a flaw in the chip and they all go testing the chips in the old timer to see if they can get it to work again. They manage to find one which can get them home. However, they find out that by connecting it to some other stuff, they can save the people of this world.
"The wormhole that would be created would be bigger. Big enough to carry two 'truck loads' through. However, because of the greater strain on the chip, it would only last for a few minutes before burning out and the Sliders would therefore be back to square one since they could not travel home. The Sliders have to decide whether to go home or help the people. As JRD put it, 'Of course, being our Sliders they would help these people.' Or words to that effect.
"Quinn goes off on his own on reconnaissance for a new world for the people. The first world he comes to is a green fieldy area. He meets a Native American riding a horse. The Native and Quinn stare each other out for a while and then the native says, 'Go! This land is taken!' Obviously that wouldn't be a good place to settle, so Quinn moves on. He then finds a seemingly paradise world with lovely flowers, trees etc. He goes back and a team goes through to explore further. Unfortunately, at night they find a deadly problem. There is a flower in the area which blooms at night, and as it does so releases huge amounts of something similar to opium. No humans like the refugees could withstand these amounts, so that world has to be abandoned. By now time is running out and they settle for a world which just about satisfies their needs.
"While this is happening, the people on the doomed Earth have begun gathering together and deciding what few things to take. The example JRD used was, 'If you're starting a new [place], do you take the Venus de Milo or the last of the tinned food.' Because they had to have some conflict in the episode (ie something happening) one of the groups wants to get rid of some of the people going through so they can take more of their own stuff. Quinn and the professor would be involved with that group and Wade and Remmy with the nice group and somehow they would find out about the nasty group and try to stop it.
"The end would have been the original end before JRD decided to leave because it did not, as far as we could tell, end with the death of the professor. The Sliders slid with the two truck loads or something, but they back to sliding to find home randomly again."
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "The Breeder".
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "The Other Slide of Darkness". This version of the episode also still featured Arturo in the story.
This was the first version of the David Gerrold story for season four that would eventually become season five's "New Gods for Old". This version of the story was like the one in season five, except that Quinn was the first to be infected by the nanites...then Remmy and Maggie become infected. It was left up to Colin to save the Sliders...
The second version of the David Gerrold tale...this version had Colin as the only one infected.
"God in the Machine"
The last season four version of the David Gerrold tale. This version had Remmy as the only one infected.
Also reported by Expert, this episode was to feature a world where The Spinning Topps went on to become famous after Rembrandt left the group. This infuriates Remmy who goes in search of his double on that world...a double with a somewhat shady past.
[No Episode Name Given]
Marc Scott Zicree stated at the 1998 WorldCon that they seriously discussed a season four episode exploring a world in which two separate warring religions held control, the Trekkers and the B5ers. (Thanks to Podkayne Fries of alt.tv.sliders for the WorldCon information.)
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Asylum".
"Revelations" [The Original Idea]
Discovered at DragonCon 1998, Marc Scott Zicree revealed that originally there was an actual "Revelation" to the season four finale. The first half of the episode was the same, but the original idea had the Sliders landing on the real Kromagg homeworld in the second half. Quinn was then supposed to find out he wasn't the real Kromagg son after all (the scene in the ep where we saw Quinn's parents turn on him and the other Sliders was part of the original idea). If this wasn't enough to send Quinn reeling, there was an even bigger revelation yet to come.
Upon arriving on the Kromagg homeworld, Colin was supposed to start acting strangely. It was to be revealed that Colin was in fact an altered clone of Quinn created by skin samples the Kromaggs took in "Invasion". This is the reason that Colin seemingly had no past when they found him in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" The Kromaggs had planted Colin in the group (with the microdots they provided) so that he could be a sleeper agent. His programming was to kick in upon arriving on Kromagg Prime...his objective? Keep the "door" open for the Kromagg invasion in case the Sliders figured out the Kromagg plan and tried to stop it.
The original cliffhanger ending to season four had brother fighting "brother" as thousands of interdimensional vortices opened over Kromagg Prime releasing the invasion fleet...
Why did this not happen? Certain elements in production (one of which was David Peckinpah) didn't like the idea...and "Lipschitz Live!" was used as the excuse to kill it. That ep featured a Colin double...and it was the nay sayers thought that a clone couldn't have a double. It could have easily been worked around...but like I said, it was an excuse.
In the final take, the original idea for "Revelations" was slightly re-written to become the false Kromagg homeworld story we saw. And thus, that's how the episode "Revelations" didn't live up to its name...and the reason it had such a flat ending.
No title was ever given to this idea, but this is what Keith Damron wanted to do instead of "Strangers and Comrades". We first found out about it at his Season Five Journal on the official Sliders site, and the story was to have the Sliders landing on a world that was still in the Victorian era. The Sliders were supposed to decide to break up due to events at the beginning of season five, but when Remmy becomes caught in a Victorian scientist's mad experiments...the Sliders come back together to save him and realize they need to stick together.
"The Great Work"
Another piece of info from the Year Five Journal, this Robert Masello story was originally much different than what we ended up seeing. The original idea had the Sliders coming across an interdimensional library...a group of sliders who had actually worked to accumulate the alternate histories of all dimensions. The Sliders' interest in that info would have been much more believable...and the attackers on the monastery? Kromaggs originally. They wanted to storm the library to get info on Kromagg Prime.
The story was changed into the tripe we saw because production didn't want too many people out there with sliding tech and didn't want to do too many Kromagg episodes (since by this point, production had already killed the Victorian story in lieu of the much more original war story - note the sarcasm).
[Time Travel Episode]
A time travel episode was also planned for season five and was slated to be Kari Wuhrer's directorial début. The episode would have featured the Sliders landing on a world where hand held time travel devices were sold everywhere. As such, everyone would just fix their problems via time travel. This of course caused major problems...and the Sliders were left to attempt to stop the overuse of time travel before reality was shattered forever.
"Waiting for Beckett"
This was the original name for the episode "The Return of Maggie Beckett". It was actually changed well after production due to a copyright question that lawyers at Universal found.
[The Original Wade Resolution]
This was described in the following excerpt from the "Requiem" Year Five Journal:
"The story would have been centered around a diary which belonged to Wade. It is found in the wreckage of a Kromagg Manta ship by Rembrandt, Maggie, Mallory and Diana. Not a book in the conventional sense, the device would have been a memory diary - a telepathic device which would permit our heroes to experience, in their minds, Wade's true and final fate. The twist on the idea was that through some anomalous function of the device the people in Wade's memories would have been played by our main characters. Kari would be Wade, Tembi Mrs. Mallory, Robert would be Wade's half-human love interest and Clevante would play a sympathetic Kromagg officer.
"I saw this story as an interesting opportunity to craft a small drama around developing relationships and trust among people who were supposed to be enemies. It would have been sort of a love triangle between Wade, a captive human male hybrid and Wade's Kromagg intended. On this toxic laden world on which they are stranded they believe they are slowly dying and can do nothing but wait for the end. The truth is, due to the toxins in the atmosphere the party is not dying but slowly mutating into a completely new life form. A form of humanoid that they may have ALL descended from. The feuding characters in our little drama put aside their differences when they learn that deep down they are really all alike.
"In the end Remmy, Maggie, Mallory and Diana find clues that lead them to believe that Wade and the others may still be alive somewhere on this world. The Timer runs out and our guys must leave with the knowledge that somewhere Wade is alive and content in her new life. Perhaps their paths may cross again someday (sixth season?) but for now we at least have some closure.
"The idea was knocked around for a while but ultimately it was shot down based on the idea that the viewers wouldn't accept our main players as other people...especially as Wade."
"A Slide is Just A Slide"
This was the original name used in pre-production for the episode "Eye of the Storm". Also, the original script was much different. Originally it was to feature a mosaic world where many past characters were together. Kromaggs, Holly (from Alternateville Horror), Barry Lipschitz, Hal the bartender would all make an appearance in a Casblanca type story where everyone was trying for the Sliders timer...the way out of the patchwork place. All of this was whittled down to encompass the rather limited story we saw in "Eye of the Storm". All this information once again came from the Year Five Journal.
"As Space-Time Goes By"
This was another original name used in pre-production for the episode "Eye of the Storm". It was ultimately changed due to the changes above, and likely for similarities to the pre-existing episode title "As Time Goes By".
[The Original Season Five Finale]
The cliffhanger idea we saw in "The Seer" was really a last minute thing. Up until that moment, it was planned to have an FX blowout that would wrap up the Kromagg infested Earth Prime from "Genesis" (they had been cutting corners all season to save up for the FX blowout). The idea was to have the Sliders use Dr. Geiger's recombinant world technology to merge the Kromaggs off Earth Prime (ala Applied Physics). That was supposed to be another added bonus found on the disk a dying Geiger gave Diana at the end of "Eye of the Storm".
When the cliffhanger decision was made, the stored budget instead went to "Eye of the Storm" (which included a brief scene using an image of Jerry O'Connell - which they had to purchase the license to use after finally getting the needed permission - something that had been a stumbling block). Most of this information came from the Year Five Journal, but I also gained some insight from people involved in season five production.