JOC in Online Chat-- Shannen Bodell reports that Jerry O'Connell will participate in an online chat at Universal Studio's Real Hollywood Network on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 10 pm (est) or 7 pm (pst). Note that you must register first to participate. Visit Real Hollywood Now for more info.
Thanks again, to Shannen for posting the above at the MCA board and on the newsgroup.
To use your new conference please go to the Nerdworld Assembly Home Page and enter your conference handle of SLIDERSCON QA ASSEMBLY
Hey everyone, hope the holidays treated all with ... respect. Now onto the news.
Lucky 13-- Despite some reports, floating around the web, Sci-Fi Channel plans to broadcast 13 "replays" of Sliders episodes beginning on March 2, 1998. This contradicts some reports that 12 eps would be shown, but also makes more sense as there are 13 open Monday night slots available between March 2 and June 1 -- the date of the possible launch of season four. Granted, it is possible that the person I spoke to was counting the pilot as two episodes (parts one and two) and not one. That being said, don't look for a 2-hour movie of the pilot to air.
(Sources: MSZ e-mail to Kris Wright on 12/5/97; MSZ e-mail to Derek Wallace on 12/21/97.)
March Timeslot Changed-- The Sci-Fi Channel, in a release issued yesterday, has announced that reruns of Sliders will air in its Monday 9 pm (est) slot, rather than the 10 pm slot as previously announced. The 9 pm airing will then repeat at 1 am. Please note that the airdate has not changed, just the timeslot. Sliders rebroadcasts are still scheduled to premiere Monday, March 2, 1998 (that info comes as recent as this morning from Sci-Fi).
Jerry Sings!-- In today's New York Times, Janet Maslin, in her review of Scream 2 (opening today), refers to Jerry O'Connell's character Derek as "the guy who manages to imitate Tom Cruise and David Cassidy simultaneously, thanks to a "Top Gun" homage."
Slidecage-- "Chance" provides a follow-up e-mail from Marc Zicree that lets slip some details about the episode "Slidecage."
Zicree writes: "Without giving away too much, let me say that SLIDECAGE is set on an alternate earth with no life, a toxic atmosphere and two moons. Our guys slide into a labyrinth built as an automated prison on that world where you can slide in but you can't slide out. Twenty years it's been in existence. Now it's full of half-mad humans and Kromaggs, killing each other off for lack of anything better to do. Way cool.
Marc Scott Zicree: Regarding Season 4, we're doing 22 episodes for the Sci-Fi Channel to debut in June. We're shooting here in LA, with location work and stuff on the back lot. I'm writing 3 episodes (my second one SLIDECAGE is shooting now), co-exec producer is writing 4, exec story editor Chris Black is writing 3 and exec producer David Peckinpah has written one, the season opener, entitled GENESIS. The episodes are great fun and very diverse. We're in great shape, shooting episode 9 now with 15 scripts in hand. In addition to the names I've mentioned, David Gerrold is writing one and Richard Manning (STAR TREK-TNG) is writing two. We also hope to have D.C. Fontana write one for us. If we get another season, Joe Haldeman and Harry Turtledove have expressed interest in pitching to us. I've also talked to Connie Willis and a number of other SF pros about coming up with some ideas down the road.
Lloyd Quinto: What types of episodes can fans expect in the 4th season? (i.e. historical, character driven, fantasy, action/adventure, humorous, flashy special effects with 0 plot, rip-off/homage)
Marc Scott Zicree: What types of stories can you expect? Good character-driven stories, logical and imaginative SF. No more movie ripoffs thank God. Lots of social satire and what-if stuff. Also "if-this-goes-on." No fantasy or magic. We'll have some great opticals, though they won't run the show. My own rule with my own scripts is that they be stories I''ve never seen before (and that the writing be good, naturally). So far, with my two scripts WORLD KILLER and SLIDECAGE I've succeeded. I've very excited and entertained by what the other guys on the show have written, too. It's going to be a very fun season. Plenty of humor, good action, thought-provoking stories.
Lloyd Quinto: How will Sliders differ from the FOX micro-managed Sliders to the Sci-Fi Channel's Sliders?
Marc Scott Zicree: SLIDERS on the Sci-Fi Channel will differ in this way -- their only edict to us was, "Make it smart." Yay!
Lloyd Quinto: Since you started watching old episodes of Sliders, what is your favorite/least favorite episodes?
Marc Scott Zicree: Among my favorite of the previous SLIDERS episodes was "The Guardian," in which Quinn deals with the loss of his father. One of my least favorite was the Island of Dr. Moreau one. In fact, in one of the scripts we're working on now, Quinn tells someone of that and they reply, "That was in a book I read by H.G. Wells!" We'll see if that makes it to the screen...
Lloyd Quinto: In general, what do you like about the series and what still needs improvement?
Marc Scott Zicree: What do I like and what needs improvement? This year, we're all in accord how to make the show better, we're all jazzed at what we're creating and the cast and crew are equally thrilled. It's a joy to come to work. As to what needs improvement, you read the pages as they're written, watch the dailies, see what works and what doesn't, adjust as best you can, learn from your mistakes. We have not yet stopped ourselves from doing any story based on budget. The challenge is to create imaginative worlds using what we've got at hand. But there's a lot at hand. Example: In SLIDECAGE, I was able to get hold of all the standing sets from the cancelled TIMECOP series and also terrific costumes from WATER WORLD. So the episode looks like a feature film, the sets alone cost $500,000. This is in the tradition of TWILIGHT ZONE, which used a ton of stuff from FORBIDDEN PLANET and STAR TREK, which drew upon stuff from OUTER LIMITS.
Lloyd Quinto: One of the major points of criticism of the 4th season was the poorly executed introduction of Maggie Beckett who suffered from poor planning, bad characterization, bad motivation, and too much emphasis on her physical attributes while not enough emphasis on making her a 3-Dimensional character. What has been done to improve/reinvent the character of Maggie Beckett?
Marc Scott Zicree: Maggie Beckett. You're going to be amazed at the change. She's assertive but compassionate, a person you'd want to know. We have done a lot this season to make her someone we all like. And Kari has been thrilled at what we've given her to do. She's a talented and hard-working actress, a truly sweet person. This season, you'll get to see all that, and more.
Lloyd Quinto: What can you tell us about the new character of Colin Mallory (is the correct spelling "Colin" or "Collin?") and new cast member Charlie O'Connell?
Marc Scott Zicree: Colin is Quinn's brother, who grew up on a non-technological alternate Earth. He's smart but not savvy about 20th Century stuff, much like Gary Cooper in MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN. He's played by Charlie O'Connell, Jerry's real life brother. You'll meet him in episode 6 and he'll be with us from there on out. The fun part is that this character isn't just a second Quinn, who's a totally new personality for a Slider and it's very fun to see his "outsider's" take on things we all take for granted. Bill Dial, who wrote brilliantly funny stuff for WKRP and other sitcoms has made Colin into a delightful character.
Lloyd Quinto: We love to hear the Cryin' Man sing! Will he be singing in the 4th season?
Marc Scott Zicree: Yeah, Remmy will sing more this season. We like it. One gag I had in WORLD KILLER that was unfortunately cut for time had Remmy seeing a full-size cut-out of himself in a music store window dressed as Pagliacci. In this world, he was another Pavorotti.
Lloyd Quinto: How will Rembrandt's role in the group change when he becomes the oldest Slider?
Marc Scott Zicree: In terms of Rembrandt's role changing, he'll come to be relied on as the steady one, the wise one. We'll continue to explore his belief in God and his gospel roots. We'll play humor with him, but we'll laugh with him rather than at him. He's smart, compassionate, steady.
Lloyd Quinto: One of the biggest loss to Sliders has been the death of The Professor. Is there any chance that John Rhys-Davies will be rejoining the cast or at least making a guest appearance in the 4th season?
Marc Scott Zicree: Arturo won't be back for now.
Lloyd Quinto: We're sad to hear that Sabrina Lloyd will be leaving the series. Will Sabrina appear in the premier episode and is there any chance of Sabrina rejoining the cast or at least making a guest appearance in the 4th season?
Marc Scott Zicree: Wade is not in any episodes so far this season. But we deal with how our characters face the loss of her.
Lloyd Quinto: Will any of the previous story lines be resolved such as the revelation of the true identity of the Professor in Post Traumatic Slide, the return of Logan St. Clair, or the FBI following the Sliders?
Marc Scott Zicree: As to recurring characters, we haven't pursued that much. Four Sliders and various Kromaggs is plenty.
Lloyd Quinto: Will there be any new recurring characters and will any of our old favorites return? (i.e. Bennish, Gomez Calhoun, Quinn's parents, Wing, Ross J. Kelly, & Diggs)
Marc Scott Zicree: As to resolving Logan St. Clair, the fake Arturo, the FBI tracking the Sliders, etc., we haven't pursued any of that. We are, however, bringing back the Kromaggs in a big way. We've batted some of the other stuff around in- house, but haven't come up with any stories that spark for us. And we don't want to do anything that we don't feel strongly about.
Lloyd Quinto: How much of an involvement will the Kromaggs play in trying to stop the sliders? Will they be mentioned in every episode? What are the logistics involved in bringing heavily made-up characters into episodes where you're trying to keep the budget down?
Marc Scott Zicree: The Kromaggs will be an ongoing threat to our guys, and we'll deepen and expand our understanding of them with each episode that features them. But they won't take over the show. At this point, it looks like 6 of the 22 will be Kromagg or Kromagg-related. And each of them is different from the others. The makeup is a redesign of what you've already seen, we like it better. We tend to have a more-detailed Kromagg design for our lead Kromaggs and less- detailed for the spear-carriers. Not a budget-breaker. In SLIDECAGE we had something like 20 of them.
Lloyd Quinto: Will there be any romantic involvement among the Sliders, in particular, between Maggie & Quinn?
Marc Scott Zicree: As to Quinn/Maggie's romance, right now we're down-playing it. They're friends on a great adventure, they care about each other, there's a mutual attraction but they're not acting on it for now. But as to their fantasies...
Lloyd Quinto: Will Tracy Torme return in any capacity to Sliders in the 4th season?
Marc Scott Zicree: Tracy is an advisor but is onto other projects. We talk to him periodically, it's friendly and good. In terms of his complaints about the show last year, the above notes should indicate that we're in accord with a lot of what was bothering him and have fixed it, or at least tried to.
Lloyd Quinto: Thank you for your time and effort, Mr. Zicree ... By the way, is there any chance of making a small reference to Henry the Dog from Luck of the Draw? I happen to love that Sliding dog! Once again, thank you and we'll all hope that Sliders will become a huge success!
Marc Scott Zicree: As to Henry the dog, no promises, but I'll look into it. Cheers.
15 of 22 Scripts Completed-- Chance from ... well from all over, reports that he just received an e-mail from Sliders head writer Marc Zicree regarding a mailing address and news on how production is moving along:
[Well, some interesting news although I still stand behind my source that says March 2, 1998 is the launch date for the reruns. Also, I reported earlier that Zicree was trying to get Alternate History novelist Harry Turtledove to write a script but neglected to mention later that that union will not come to pass. Turtledove basically said he was far too busy to write a script for the show.]
Thanks again, Chance!
Episode Cost Revealed-- Came across this article today which appeared Monday on the Knight-Ridder Newspapers service. Note that it is only a snip of the entire article:
The 21st century starts now for television
By Ron Miller
Sliders Revisited-- Reruns of Sliders, called "Pre-Plays," will begin on Monday, March 2, 1998 and will air twice daily on The Sci-Fi Channel. The first airing will be at 10 pm (est) and that episode will be replayed again at 2 am (est).
[One must wonder: if Sliders were currently on the air, would this rip off have even made it to production?]
Jerry on Letterman-- CBS announced today that Jerry O'Connell will (as expected) be a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman on Friday, December 12. Jerry will be the first guest (for the first time! ... as it stands now, anyway) with comedian Mitch Fatel slated to appear after him. Other "Scream 2" cast-mates scheduled to appear on Letterman include Courteney Cox (Dec. 8) and Jada Pinkett (Dec. 11).