Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows such as Loki, everybody and their grandmother knows what a multiverse is. And while Disney is obviously hoping that “everybody and their grandmother” streams the second season of Loki when it drops on October 5, we’d rather be streaming a different dimension-hopping show altogether. That show is Sliders (now streaming on Peacock), and it deserves a revival more than Loki.
If Sliders doesn’t ring any bells, it’s the classic Fox (and later SyFy) television show that was exploring the multiverse before it was cool. The premise involves a young whiz kid Quinn Mallory (played by Jerry O’Connell) who builds a device that lets him “slide” from one universe to another.
In a world where historical fiction has become more popular than ever before, we’re convinced that the audience for a Sliders revival is similarly large.
Unfortunately, his timer loses the coordinates to his home dimension, so he and his friends (including a mentor played by John Rhys-Davies) are stuck sliding from one dimension to the next, always hoping to find a way back home.
With that in mind, why would we be more excited to see the return of Sliders rather than the second season of Loki? For one thing, the premise of Sliders made for great “dimension of the week” storylines where our characters explored classic genre ideas such as “what if the British won the Revolutionary War” and “what if the atomic bomb was never developed?”
For as short as Loki’s second season will be, it’s going to be another exercise in long-form storytelling that is mostly there to set up another few shows and movies…surely, we aren’t the only ones longing for simple, episodic fun in our adventures in the multiverse?
The premise of Sliders made for great “dimension of the week” storylines where our characters explored classic genre ideas such as “what if the British won the Revolutionary War”
Another reason we loved Sliders so much is that it is very engaging to see what happens when our everyman characters get tossed into different dimensions where only their wits can save them. It’s a bit like watching a Doctor Who show starring only the companions, and it’s quite rewarding watching these characters pool their knowledge and skills to solve one multiversal problem after another.
Meanwhile, Marvel has gods, magicians, and the occasional monster navigating its own multiverse, and it’s difficult to relate to such characters even when they aren’t obscured by bad CGI.
And in a world where historical fiction has become more popular than ever before, we’re convinced that the audience for a Sliders revival is similarly large. Part of the fun of watching these characters slide into different dimensions is figuring out all of the different ways (some very subtle and some completely in your face) this new world diverges from our own.
Marvel has gods, magicians, and the occasional monster navigating its own multiverse, and it’s difficult to relate to such characters even when they aren’t obscured by bad CGI.
Noticing and appreciating all of the little touches requires audiences with a good eye for historical details, and we think there would be a big overlap between game show nerds and Outlander fanfiction writers when it comes to the core demographic of a Sliders revival.
From a narrative standpoint, we’re more excited about a potential Sliders revival than Loki because the MCU has established a kind of perverse storytelling formula: out of an entire multiverse of endless possibilities, all we get are different versions of familiar characters.
With Sliders, each new dimension is an excuse to meet brand-new characters and explore genuinely provocative questions about the forces that have shaped our modern world. Be honest now: isn’t that a bit more compelling than storylines like “Loki’s a girl now” and “he’s also somehow an alligator” that we’re getting from Marvel?
Sliders Deserves Its Redemption
This may sound odd, but another reason we’d love to see the return of Sliders is that the original show went off the rails in ways that utterly ruined its killer premise. The show kept losing good cast members and gaining worse actors in their place, and the network eventually forced the writers to make seemingly every episode rip off whatever films were hot and popular at the time.
This is why even the show’s biggest fans will admit that Sliders lost momentum after the second season, but a revival could be the perfect chance to bring back both the original cast and the original magic.
So far, no Sliders revival has been announced, though Jerry O’Connell and John Rhys-Davies have discussed their enthusiasm for the possibility as recently as 2019. That gives us hope that we live in a world where we could get such a much-needed revival rather than another serving of market-tested multiversal paste from Marvel. And if we don’t live in a world where Sliders can come back, we may just have to start hopping dimensions until we find one.