Michael Reaves talks about "Requiem"

The following article was posted on the Scifi Channel's Dominion boards which was written by
Michael Reaves who wrote the Season Five episode of "Requiem". You can visit Mr. Reaves'
website here:

I've read some of the postings on "Requiem", the Sliders episode that I wrote, and thought I'd put up this note to clarify some of the questions and issues I've seen raised.

I was invited to pitch as a freelance writer to the Sliders show, and came in armed with several different ideas. One of them was a story about the Sliders on an interdimensional ship that was powered by a human brain interfaced with the controls. This is a fairly common idea in science fiction literature -- it's been used by Anne MacCaffrey, Norman Spinrad and others. It was a visual concept that hadn't been done on the show before. As Keith Damron notes in his Journal, the staff immediately saw the possibilities of the idea as a vehicle for their "Wade Returns" story, and asked me to tailor my pitch to fit what they wanted to do with the character.

I was glad to do it, of course, since it meant a writing assignment. The revised idea was approved by David Peckinpah and by the Sci Fi Channel, and I wrote an outline, got notes on that, then went to script. I did two drafts, after which Keith, Chris Black and Bill Dial did an in-house polish for budgetary reasons.

I had been conscientious of the budget to the best of my ability, but we all knew from the start that "Requiem" was going to be expensive. Everyone on staff was fond of the story, but ultimately it had to be trimmed down rather drastically to be an affordable shoot.

I must admit I'm not terribly happy with what finally aired. I know the staff and crew did the best they could with it, but the lack of money really hurt the story, particularly the climax, which in my script was much more apocalyptic. Also, several people have pointed out that ending it with the strong suggestion that Wade is still alive makes the whole episode rather pointless. I agree. In my version there's no question that she dies saving not just one world, but countless worlds -- a sacrifice worthy of a hero. But the Sci Fi Channel insisted on the ending as it aired. I really don't see why -- we knew going in that this was the last season. It's not like any of the characters will be coming back.

To answer a couple of questions raised: No, she's not a severed head. The "head-in-a-box" design wasn't what I envisioned (or called for in the script); mine would've looked more like those hypersleep pods in "Alien". And yes, the character of Wade in "Requiem" is the "real" Wade Wells; not a doppelganger, not a clone, etc., etc. The reason Sabrina Lloyd did not make a personal appearance as Wade was due to scheduling conflicts; the most she was able to do was record a day's worth of lines.

I imagine there will be questions and responses to this post; please don't be offended if I don't answer. I'm very busy these days on a number of different projects (including a TV series I'm developing with Marc Scott Zicree, a writer-producer on season four of Sliders).

I'm glad that most of you enjoyed "Requiem"; I enjoyed writing it.


Michael Reaves

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