Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Season 3 Beginnings: The story begins May 21st, 1996 when FOX renewed Sliders for a third season with a generous order of 25 episodes. All 4 cast members: Jerry O'Connell, JRD, Sabrina Lloyd, and Cleavant Derricks were to return for all 25 episodes. It was a week or two afterward when the writing process began. Uppers powers informed the staff that production would move from Vancouver to LA. Brainstorming Tracy Torme outlined several ideas for where he wanted the series to go this season. Season 3 expressed that from now on, the sliders can land anywhere in a 400-mile radius between LA and San Francisco in order to deal with the physical relocation of production. The Kromaggs would be reintroduced, some new recurring characters would appear and old faces would return. And although JRD was signed for the full 25 episodes of season 3 word had been floating around that he may be fired and so the professor would gain a mysterious illness in the show. The reason for the return of the Kromaggs was Torme's love of the episode "Invasion" and John Rhyes Davies encouragment to follow up on it. Actually the season 2 episode "Invasion" was intended to be the season finale the prior year in order to set up a return for the Kromaggs in season 3. Ultimately however, FOX changed the airdate order and aired the episodes out of sequence. During filming of "The Young and the Relentless" a Kromagg scene was filmed but cut. Maybe someday they will release it as a special feature.

Tracy Torme early on knew he wanted Jason Gaffney to return as the loveable recurring character Conrad Bennish Jr. and he did make sure he was placed in a few of the Season 3 scripts but FOX made them cut him out...they did not want that character in the show. Tormé also had a follow-up to "Invasion" in mind, which he hoped to do some time in season 3. He had even stated it during an interview titled "altered Slides." "I have a very trippy, surrealistic show in mind involving the Kromaggs. It wouldn't be us landing in the middle of another invasion; it would start in a way that you wouldn't know it was a Kromagg show."

Timeline of Season 3 Story outlines:

In June 1996 the Writing Staff mostly consisted of Tracy Torme, Nan Hagen, Tony Blake, Paul Jackson, Josef Anderson and myself-We were busy. Other writers came in periodically, some freelancers as well as others to help the process along. the mission was to develope story outlines, ideas, and helped develope other freelanced scripts to become better and incorporate Tracys vision. The writing staff layed down 9 outlines which were completed before production began. Tracy Torme had his input with each episode and contributed to the original stories. According to my notes here are the episodes in which were completed along with the dates they were completed. Keep in mind these are not the completed scripts just the outlines:

•Dead Man Sliding (06/17/1996)
•Double Cross (06/18/1996)
•The Guardian (06/18/1996)
•Raging Quinn (06/18/1996)
•Rules of The Game (06/19/1996)
•The Dream Masters (06/20/1996)
•Christmas Story (06/20/1996)
•Daddy's Home (06/24/1996)
•Electric Twister Acid Test (06/27/1996)

After these outlines were completed work began on the scripts by the writers. The writing of the first 9 stories and the development of their scripts went very well in the first few weeks but then something changed. The FOX network hired a new executive producer: David Peckinpah. This new producer was hired by FOX to make the show targetted towards a younger audience and as time went on he was always disagreeing with Tracy Torme and John Rhyes Davies ideas. It has to be awknowledged that Tracy Torme was signed on for 13 episodes which he worked on extensively...battling for concepts in the show he created against the new executive. He had the option to continue. But the next month or so would prove to place Tracy on a course in which would drive him away from Sliders for good. The next 4 episode stories were completed in July 1996 with great commitment by Tracy Torme. It should be noted that while Tracys final weeks were ahead he contributed significantly to two stories. The "Raging Quinn" script although written by Nan Hagen was re-written significantly by Tracy Torme. Tracy Torme also finished the outline for his final storyHeat of the Moment."

•Onliners (07/10/1996)
Heat of The Moment(07/31/1996)
•Desert Storm (08/02/1996)
•The Exodus (08/05/1996)

John Rhyes Davies wrote a Sliders story titled "The Exodus" with input from Tracy Torme. After this meeting Tracy Tormes father had taken a stroke. In the next few weeks while Tracy was away coming in and out of Sliders production because of his fathers health David Peckinpah made the majority of the screenwriting decisions. In this time period David made the decision not to film "Raging Quinn" which was supposed to be the second filmed episode. Peckinpah also had them change the story for "Christmas story" almost completely and "Onliners" was scrapped in favor of Peckinpahs "The Game's Afoot" story.

August was a difficult time for Tracy and for Sliders. With production underway the first part of the seasons episodes went better than later episodes. In August these episodes were outlined:

•Dragonslide (08/12/1996)
•The Substance of Fire (08/14/1996)
•State of the A.R.T (08/16/1996)
•The Game's Afoot(08/30/1996)

September saw the premiere of the third season. FOX seemed convinced the show should be retooled toward a younger audience. In October and November more outlines were written which included:

•Slide Like An Egyptian (10/01/1996)
•Paradise Lost (10/25/1996)
•Sole Survivors (11/15/1996)
•The Last of Eden (11/29/1996)

Tracy felt his show was being stomped on by FOX and David Peckinpah. Tracy however tried to fight to get his ideas made all the way through November. He believed that if he could get "Raging Quinn" and Johns "The Exodus" produced then he could save the show. After his father had his stroke I remember Tracy was thinking alot about death and so in November and December 1996 when he wasn't busy he would work on a href="heatofthemoment.html">Heat of the Moment". The script he was writing however was a little bit different from the original story he outlined in July, this time he incorporated more tragedy into it. At the same time, in December he began outlining another Kromagg tale since they wouldn't develope "Raging Quinn". His idea was a follow up to "Invasion" which would have began as an episode FOX would agree do but would trick them into thinking it wasn't a Kromagg episode not an invasion type episode but something more surreal. Word around the office came in November that maybe someone was going to get fired from Sliders...JRD had been convinced it would be anyone but him. It was during this time in which Tracy incorporated more of his Arturo illness into another episode "The Last of Eden. But in December FOX announced that JRD was no longer going to be on the show Tracy Torme's Heat of the Moment" script never got completed. He wrote the teaser and first 3 acts but into the 4th act the project became doomed and couldn't continue without JRD. Same goes for the Kromagg never got past the story process. FOX did however ask him to rewrite it with the new character but he refused.

As the scripts progressed the quality of the shows original premise diminished and each episode played out like a ripoff of well known movies. John Rhyes Davies Exodus script was written in December 1996 but not the original way he wanted it to be written and not only that but this episode was stretched out to be a two part episode where JRD was killed off of the show. During December it got more hectic. Tracy Torme dissappeared altogether and shelved his Heat of the moment, Raging Quinn, and Kromagg episode. JRD's script was rewritten to fit the new character. In December and January the writers were in somewhat of a panic to get outlines finished so one of the first task was to take completed scripts such as "Raging Quinn" and "Sole Survivors"featuring the Arturo character and to change them considerably. Story wise alot was different version to version as they had to add the new character of Maggie and take out ideas the executive producer and FOX did not approve of. Here's the dates of when the outlines of the remaining episodes were completed:

•Stoker (12/18/1996)
•Cold War (01/06/1997)
•Slither (01/24/1997)

The final two episode outlines were made in February 1997 - although the finalizing of the last two scripts took place in mid to late March 1997.

•Dinoslide (02/19/1997)
•This Slide of Paradise (02/21/1997)

Final thoughts:Season 3 began great...we had the concept of a new radius, the introduction of a recurring villian Logan St.Claire, the introduction of Elston Diggs and the return of Smart Quinn from the Sliders Pilot in "Raging Quinn" and the Kromaggs back on the drawing board. All went well at first but fell to pieces thanks to FOX...thy had no confidence in the show whatsoever and ruined it for all of us. I hope as you read through the lost ideas you can see how good the third season could have been.

Return to Main Page