Sliders Articles from 2000

Source: Bella Online

Sliding Into Home Base

February 4th marks the final slide of the series. "The Seer" will be the last new episode, ending five year's of travelling through the multiverse.

Over the years, there have been many cast changes, some of which baffled the viewers and shook up the fan base. The original slider, Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) left the series after season 4. Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd) left at the end of season 3, as did Professor Maximillain Arturo (John Rhys-Davies). Joining his brother in season 4 from an alternate earth was Colin Mallory (Jerry's real brother, Charlie O'Connell), who didn't return in season 5. The final 5th season sliders crew consists of Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks), Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer), the 'new' Mallory (Robert Floyd), and Diana Davis (Tembi Locke). Considering that this is a show about alternate worlds and timelines, I suppose all these cast changes could be considered par for the course.

Nearly every type of Earth you could think of was explored over the course of the sliders adventures. You might enjoy a visit to Earth where every alternate earth visited has been logged into an extensive database.

Paradoxes were a big part of the fun as well, but sometimes proved to be more confusing than helpful. In a recent episode, "Dust", the sliders landed in a post-apocaplyse Earth, with desert ruins where Los Angeles should have been. During their stay at an archaeological dig, they managed to unearth their own timer. They supposed that their 'alternates' had visited this Earth before and probably died here, leaving the timer to be found hundreds of years later. But, no satisfying conclusion to that train of thought followed.

Overlooking the plot gaps, confusing cast changes, and occasional slipshod writing, the series still proved that fans are interested in exploring the 'what if' of other dimensions, and enjoy seeing what Earth could have been like if history had panned out differently. It will be missed by many, and I can't help but wonder if another series will rise to further explore the alternatives our universe may hold.

12:00pm ET, 31-Jan-00
Source: Scifiwire

Final Sliders Airs Feb. 4

The final episode of Sliders airs on The SCI FI Channel Friday, Feb. 4, at 9 p.m. ET. In the episode, entitled "The Seer," the Sliders meet a prophet who foretells the perilous circumstances of their final slide.

The finale will feature original cast member Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt Brown), and will star Kari Wuhrer, Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke. Prior to the final episode, SCI FI will show the two-hour pilot for the series, with stars Jerry O'Connell and John Rhys-Davies.

Source: Fandom

SLIDERS Slides to Conclusion.
Fifth and final episode airs Friday on Sci-Fi Channel
Author: Anna L. Kaplan

SLIDERS ends its fifth and final season Friday, February 4th at 9PM, on the Sci-Fi Channel. Before that, the original two-hour pilot, which introduced the Sliders and the concept of sliding, will air at 7 PM. The original sliders were Jerry O’Connell, playing Quinn Mallory, John Rhys-Davies as Professor Arturo, Sabrina Lloyd playing Wade Wells, and Cleavant Derricks as Rembrandt "Cryin’ Man" Brown, a singer who gets caught in the first slide.

Mallory’s first attempt at sliding, instead of being a four-hour ride, leads the characters to one parallel Earth after another. Each time they slide, they hope to reach home. SLIDERS continued for three seasons on the Fox Network, and then was picked up for two additional seasons by the Sci-Fi Channel. There were changes both in front of and behind the cameras. The current Sliders include only one of the original cast, Derricks. Other cast members include Kari Wuhrer, Robert Floyd, and Tembi Locke. The finale features guest stars Roy Dotrice, Jennifer Hetrick, Linda Henning, and Josh Adell. The last hour episode will answer the question, "Will the Sliders return to their own world?"

Says Derricks, a Tony Award winner who recently recorded a CD for the fans, "SLIDERS never dies. That’s the way that we felt like we wanted to do the last episode. It was such a wonderful, exciting, and tremendous journey, from day one. So the final chapter is never, I think, the final chapter of the SLIDERS. I think that is befitting of the show. It stays with us."

Source: Another Universe

Remmy's Final Slide

Endings and Beginnings for Cleavant Derricks

by Michelle Erica Green
The Sliders cast enters the vortex for the last time this week, but actor Cleavant Derricks already knows where it's going to take him. After five seasons of playing fictional singer Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown on the show, the last remaining original cast member wants to expand his musical career in the real world.

"I finally was able to do my CD, because of Sliders and because of the fans of Sliders," said the Tony Award-winning actor earlier this week. "There was so much response from the fans about my singing on the show - 'Cleavant, when are you going to do a CD?' When Sliders ended last April, my wife and I looked at each other and said, 'Let's do a CD.'"

Derricks wrote most of the music on Beginnings, his debut album. Most of the music is "crossover, pop, R&B, some spiritual content, some soulful content, train of thought." But the song getting the most attention among fans is "Remmy's Slide," dedicated by the singer to his loyal viewing audience.

Slip Sliding Away

Over the course of the run of Sliders, many senior cast members retired and were replaced by new characters. In the case of main character Quinn, actor Jerry O'Connell went through the Vortex and emerged with the body of Robert Floyd, while Quinn's brother Colin (played by Jerry's brother Charlie) "splattered into a thousand pieces."

"That's clever, huh? That's what happens when there's a change!" laughed Derricks, who stuck with the series through the retirement of John Rhys-Davies, the hiring of several female regulars, and the transformation of Quinn when his originator left the show. "Jerry's character went through the Vortex, came together with another Quinn from another parallel Earth, and they somehow physically became one person. So you have our Quinn's thought processes but another Quinn's body. They handled it very, very well. It made a lot of sense to sci-fi fans."

Now that the series has wrapped its fifth and final season, Derricks has mixed feelings about the ups and downs. "You don't want to stay someplace forever, you always want to go down new avenues and experience new and different things," he observed. "But what kept me coming back was the fact that my character was growing. I appreciated that, and I really fell in love with this guy. I really wanted to see this through, because I found it fascinating to continue to travel to parallel Earths and find new adventures."

"How many times can actors say that we can go outside a stage door, travel a 75-mile radius, and do different episodes every week in a new location? There are not many opportunities, but we were able to do that on a weekly basis with Sliders. That part I really appreciated and enjoyed."

Though Derricks never pitched episodes like Rhys-Davies and O'Connell, "these guys understood sci-fi a lot more than I understood sci-fi," he wanted to portray Rembrandt Brown as being serious about his musical career. "What I understood about the show and about my character was who he was and what he was about - entertainment. That's where my contribution was lying: to show that music meant a lot to him. It wasn't just some fly-by-night silly thing."

So the actor wrote songs for the character - songs which would have meaning for Remmy. And he had a great response from the fans. "That's why the album is here today," he noted. "My staying with the show worked to my benefit, because I was able to do the things that I wanted to do anyway. I wanted to grow. I wanted to go back into my singing, I wanted to write, and I wanted people to hear my music. Sliders has allowed me to do that."

Perhaps it should not be surprising that his favorite episode is the pilot. "They all run together, the scenes, the moments," he admitted. "The fans can ask you about individual episodes, but I don't remember - everything runs together! What stays in my mind, in all honesty, has got to be the first one. That was the beginning of it. It was getting to know actors and characters, it was getting to share and starting to grow. It's the most memorable to me."

Big Dreams

Derricks has fond feelings for all his colleagues on Sliders, but isn't devastated at the thought of moving on. "Actors are like gypsies: you're in one place, you're there for a little while, and then you move on," he said. "We're artists, we have so many facets of our lives that we're involved in, we come together, we break bread together and we commune together. The thoughts and prayers and the well-wishes go with us when we separate, especially when you've had great relationships like I've had with this cast."

Since shooting wrapped in April, most of the cast has gone on to new projects. "John Rhys-Davies now I think has gone back to the Isle of Man, and Jerry's here in California, but he's working behind the scenes," Derricks reported. "Sabrina's into another series, and I've gone more into my music. We're going into venues now that don't necessarily have anything to do with our fellow actors from when we were doing Sliders. That's not to say that we don't have the love and the camaraderie - it's just that our lives go in different directions."

The actor "could never have told you at the beginning that I was going to be doing Sliders for five seasons." But he has rarely been able to predict the course of his career, which encompasses featured roles in the Robin Williams movie Moscow on the Hudson and in Neil Simon’s The Slugger’s Wife. In fact, when he was first approached about starring in Dreamgirls - the musical for which he won his Tony Award - he turned it down.

"I had just finished a workshop in New York that never even got off the ground," he recalled. "It broke my heart. A few months later, Tom Eyen wanted me to come down and audition for this show called Big Dreams. What was it? A workshop. I didn't want another workshop! He was working with [A Chorus Line director/choreographer] Michael Bennett, but there was no book. But Tom Eyen had this vision of certain people he had seen on Broadway. He saw them in his dream for this show."

Eyen didn't want anyone but Derricks for the part of James Thunder Early. "I didn't want to do it." But his brother, actor Clinton Derrick - who, like Jerry O'Connell's brother, appeared on Sliders - convinced Derricks to meet with the producer. "I walked in and I met him, and it was the easiest audition I ever could have done."

Big Dreams evolved into Dreamgirls, which ran for several years on Broadway. "That show was probably the best thing I ever had an opportunity to do on Broadway, and I worked with some of the best people. I worked with Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Joseph Papp, Mike Nichols," stated Derricks. "The same thing happened with Sliders. I didn't want to do it, and it was the easiest audition I could have done. So you never know. My walk of life in this business has always been, I'm just walking...and it just happens."

She Was The One

Derrick credits his wife Portia with convincing him to take Sliders, and with generally supporting his career. "I met my wife backstage at Dreamgirls," he recalled. "She had studied to be an actress, but she didn't like the business aspect of the business. When she met me, she said, 'You know what, you're more talented than I am, I'll work with you and help you with your career. We've been together for 15 years. She is my right arm, she truly is. It's a great relationship and a great friendship, I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for her."

The father of two boys and two girls ages 14, 12, ten, and five, the actor laughed that "the only ten-year plan I have is getting my kids through college!" He sobered a bit when asked about whether Hollywood has become an easier place for minority actors to work.

"There are a lot of actors who are here and in New York who have really worked hard, they've gone to school, they've studied, they've spent a lot of years in the trenches to express themselves as actors," he observed. "But there's another side of the business that says you've got to be bankable. You've got to be bringing in the bucks. When it comes to us, minorities, they don't come to us as actors. They go to people in the music business or some other facet of the business and bring them in, and they put us around them. A lot of times minorities have to depend on somebody who's in another arena in order to even get work as a fellow thespian in the business."

"Here we are in the new millennium, and although I've been very fortunate in this business, there are so many others out there," he continued. "I go on auditions and see how many people are there for a piece of the pie. Hollywood does patchwork in order to fill the void, but it really isn't thought out. They say things are changing, but I don't see it yet. I think America has been ready for it for a long time, looking at television as true America. People coming together and appreciating each other for what they have to offer and learning from people. Isn't that what America is all about? I have yet to see it in the business. In the meantime, I guess we just keep plugging."

Born in Tennessee, Derricks and his family moved around a lot with his father, a Baptist preacher. "I've seen a lot of America, I've experienced music from all over America," he noted. "I'm very fond of all types of music, so I think it shows in my CD. I wanted to do something for everybody because I'm an eclectic kind of person. I think I accomplished that, expressing from inside of me what I wanted to express in different formats of music. You're talking to a happy camper."

Though he doesn't miss the cold weather in New York, the actor does miss Broadway theater. "If there is a show that I feel I would really enjoy doing, I would certainly go back," he said. He has not spent much time in New York since he left, though he did go back last summer to pitch an idea for a musical.

"They already had their quota of shows for the new season to produce last year, but there's always next year. It's a wonderful piece based on a true story, a love story. It has to do with America, North and South, in the mid-1800s. There's nothing like it out, so we'll see what happens. I love musicals, I love good music, and I think this particular show has it, so I'm looking forward to developing it."

Though he has appeared on many television shows, including Roseanne, L.A. Law, and Moonlighting, Derricks would like to focus on his music rather than his acting career. "What I would like to do next, to be quite honest, I would like to follow up my album with another CD. I would like to develop the songs that I've had for so long," he said. "You'd be amazed the people who did not know that Cleavant was a singer. Back East, they know me from theater. But the television viewing audience is all over the world now. This is a facet of my life I have to pick up and develop some more. And I want to, because I enjoy doing that as much as I do being an actor."

He would also like to produce and write "for a lot of the young people out there - songs that don't necessarily sit well on me that might sit well on someone else. I found another facet of myself in the studio that I want to express more. I enjoy it immensely. But who knows? You know how this business is. You never know."

No matter what he does next, Derricks wants to express his appreciation to the fans from Sliders. Information about the actor and excerpts from Beginnings are available on his web page, "The fans are great, particularly now because of the last episode. I'm starting to address the chat page [on] because there's so much coming in. I've got to tell you, it's a joy to be with fans who carry on with a show because they enjoy what they're seeing every week. Sci-fi fans are long term fans, once they get into a show they stick with it."

"You can tell them from me, thank you," added Derricks. "Thank you for your support, your comments, your appreciation of what we tried to do for five seasons. Thank you for allowing me to do a CD, because I don't think it would have happened without the fans. From the letters that we're getting, the fans are really getting into it, so hopefully it continues."

Source: Scifi IGN

It Ain't Over 'Til the Crying Man Sings

Original cast member Cleavant Derricks talks with IGN Sci-Fi about the past, present and future of Sliders.

The sci-fi cult phenomenon Sliders has had many faces over the course of its run, but there's one face that has remained a fixture throughout the show's five seasons. That face belongs to actor Cleavant Derricks, who has played R&B superstar Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown since day one. Fans will see that face for the last time tonight on the Sci-Fi Channel when Sliders airs its final episode, "The Seer."

While Derricks doesn't reveal specifics about the series finale, he promises that loyal fans of the show will be rewarded. "If you know and understand Sliders, initially there will be the shock of it, but when the fans sit down and think about it, they're gonna say to themselves, 'You know what? Sliding never ends,'" Derricks enthuses. "That's what I want to leave with the fans. We were very much concerned about it; we all came into an agreement of, 'What are we going to say to the fans for this last episode?' and it really was that point, that it never ends. What happens? What goes on? There's always a continuation in life. No matter what it is that you do, we live; we die. We have children; they go on. So it never dies."

Creating a Character

Derricks says that the character's humorous nature was there from the very start, although, as he explains, Remmy was a little too much for both the actor and the fans. "When they brought the script to me, what attracted me to it was the story line more so than the character," he says. "I was just a little reluctant because my character was written a little bit over-the-top. What I felt was missing from the character was the reality of moments, and we weren't able to get to that during the pilot.

"But Tracy [Torme, the show's creator] and the rest of the producers listened to me wanting to make this guy a little more human, and it finally came about. I was pleased with that and a lot of the fans were pleased with it, because that was some of the feedback that I got from reviews and from the fans after the pilot had aired. You can't play an over-the-top-written character except for over-the-top. They rounded him off really well. I didn't want to lose his sense of humor, so they kept that about him, and they really gave him some substance and I was very pleased with that. That's why I stayed year after year after year, because I was really falling in love with the show and with the character and the cast."

A major part of Rembrandt's appeal is that he's very down to earth. "The writers were hoping that the people could identify with Rembrandt as the outsider looking in and being a part of it, asking questions they would ask," Derricks recalls. "Rembrandt was the guy who was the audience, so they [the writers] could explain in layman's terms and get things across, which was fabulous. It was educational."

The Ever-Evolving Cast

Although Derricks has worked with several different performers on Sliders, he has a special place in his heart for the original cast, especially John Rhys-Davies (Professor Maximillian Arturo), with whom Derricks enjoyed excellent on-screen chemistry. "We didn't do as much as we would have wanted to," laments Derricks. "You have four actors, and you have to spread the situation. Toward the latter part, before John left the show, we really started to bite down and really get involved with one another. I remember those episodes with great joy and glee because we were getting a chance to interact with one another. The episode in particular where he had become blind and I had to help him -- there were just so many wonderful things that were really beginning to happen. But then what happens is that you start to lose cast members and story lines have to change. So it broke my heart that I lost my original cast members, but at the same time, as they say, things go on."

Derricks was especially heart-broken at the departure of Rhys-Davies, as evidenced by the high praise and respect he has for the veteran actor. "I have never met a gentleman like him," Derricks says. "He affected me like my father affected me. I loved my father very dearly. I respected my father very dearly. Mr. Davies earned that for me, and I looked at him every day with awe because he was a delightful man, a well-versed and brilliant man. At the same time, he had compassion, heart, and love for his fellow cast members. You could ask Jerry O'Connell this, you could ask Sabrina Lloyd this, you could ask Kari [Wuhrer] -- we all felt the same way about John. So I think John's leaving the show was the biggest devastation, other than Jerry's leaving, because he gave so much of himself."

In addition to losing Professor Arturo and Wade (Lloyd) a few seasons ago, last year Rembrandt and Maggie Beckett (Wuhrer, who joined the cast in the show's third season on Fox) lost original lead character Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) and his brother Colin (Jerry's real-life brother Charlie). Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke were added to the lineup for the show's final season as a composite Mallory and scientist Diana Davis, respectively.

While Rembrandt and Maggie naturally took a backseat to newcomers Mallory and Diana, Crying Man grew from the confused person he was in the first year to a father figure for the younger sliders. Despite the increased focus on the new characters, Rembrandt had opportunities to shine. For example, he finally said goodbye to Wade once and for all in an emotionally powerful episode. "I've got to tell you, I did enjoy that immensely," Derricks says. "As a matter of fact, Sabrina came back and finished up some of the dialogue. She is such a dream. I miss her dearly. We keep in touch. I miss those relationships, man, I really do. I had fun on this one. Not many actors can say they really enjoyed every season that they participated, and I actually have."

In the episode "Dust," in which L.A. is an ancient civilization buried underneath a desert, Rembrandt reminisced about the good old days in a shrine to Crying Man complete with his Cadillac. "It brought tears to my eyes," says Derricks in true Crying Man fashion. "It was actually pieces of things that they had kept, and the car they had kept. I could not believe it, there it was. It was a really nice moment. They did it not only for Remmy, but they did it for the fans. The fans were always in their thoughts."

All Good Things...

As tonight proves, however, all good things must come to an end. But don't count Sliders out just yet. "Sliders never dies; it never goes away," Derricks insists. "It always stays there because it's in the imagination of every person that watched that show. Who's to say what's going to come out of it?"

In fact, Sliders co-creator Robert Weiss recently announced plans for a Sliders feature film. "Robert Weiss, one of the best producers that we've had a chance to work with, always had a fondness for this show," says Derricks. "He and Tracy Torme have discussed things. I'm going to be talking with Tracy later on this week, because Tracy had mentioned that he needs to talk to me about some ideas that they've been discussing. I would trust and hope that if that came about, it would happen with the original cast, because I would love to give that back to the fans. But I wouldn't mind even doing that with the original cast and even coming on with the newer cast later on, because I had that much fun with all of those people, and I think they have something to say about sliding."

But whatever the future holds for Sliders, there is life beyond the series for Derricks. He has a CD out entitled Beginnings. Inspired by his turn as Crying Man, the album has a special track just for Sliders fans. "I have a song on it called 'Remmy's Slide,'" Derricks says. "It was just my thanks to the fans for so many wonderful seasons of a great run. That CD is out there because of the response of the fans." Derricks also has a second CD in the works and plans to appear on the screen again soon.

Derricks counts the loyal fans of Sliders as his heroes. "All of this wouldn't be possible were it not for them," he acknowledges. "I really appreciate the response that we got, the fans, the letters, and all of the input that the fans had with helping us to even come back, for Sci-Fi to even pick us up and to bring us on for the next few seasons."

What is Cleavant Derricks most proud of about his involvement with Sliders? "I would think that I contributed something in a positive way for everybody and that there is a character that people loved as much as I did. I think that's my greatest contribution as a thespian in the business, and it gave me back so much in return. A couple of seasons ago, they came out with Sliders comic books and Sliders trading cards. I look at a comic book and there's Rembrandt on a trading card. It's fascinating. There's a character that has materialized and that will go on and on in the corridors of people's minds."

--Sliders would live on forever in Raj Manoharan's imagination but for the many voices already inside his head.

For all the latest on Cleavant, including information on how to purchase his CD, Beginnings, check out his official Web site.

9:00am ET, 1-Mar-00
Source: Scifiwire

O'Connell To Discuss Sliders Movie

Jerry O'Connell, who starred in The SCI FI Channel series Sliders, told SCI FI Wire that he is scheduled to meet the week of Mar. 6 with series co-creator Robert K. Weiss to discuss the possibility of making a feature film based on the show. It would be O'Connell's first association with the series since he left it after the fourth season.

Speaking at a press event to promote his upcoming movie Mission to Mars, O'Connell said, "I'm meeting with [Weiss] next week for a possible Sliders movie. A feature film. ... [It] should be pretty fun." Weiss co-created the popular SF series in 1995 with Tracy Torme.

O'Connell, who played the lead character Quinn Mallory, said he lost touch with the show since he left, owing in part to what he called a contractual dispute between him and Studios USA, which owns the show. It's part of the reason he would decline to take part in another television series based on Sliders, O'Connell said. Studios USA had no comment on the dispute. Studios USA is owned by USA Networks, which also owns The SCI FI Channel.

In Mission to Mars, O'Connell plays astronaut Phil Ohlmyer, who takes part in a rescue mission to the red planet. "It's so much more fun to be an astronaut," he said of his role. "You put on that spacesuit every day. You have the American flag over one arm. You've got a NASA patch on another. That's like every red-blooded American's dream come true. It was a real pleasure. I was like a four-year-old again getting into that suit. I loved it."

Source: The Tech


Jerry O’Connell

Beauty Truly is Only Skin Deep

By Sonali Muhkerjee

Raise your hand if you are guilty of the crime of going to see a movie or watching a television show, not because you were incredibly interested in the plot line, but to check out the hot guy who is starring in it. Even as I write this article, I reluctantly raise my hand.

Point in case: I jumped at the chance to interview actor Jerry O’Connell. Having been a devoted fan of Sliders, the futuristic sci-fi show in which O’Connell plays Quinn Mallory, one of four inter-dimensional time travelers, and having avidly watched (multiple times) movies such as Stand By Me, Calendar Girl, and Scream 2, the opportunity to teleconference with O’Connell was almost like a dream come true. But, alas, I soon came to realize that the old adage “beauty is only skin deep” is so very true, especially when it comes to actors like O’Connell.

In preparation for the teleconference, I went to O’Connell’s new movie, Mission to Mars, directed by Brian DiPalma. In it, he plays astronaut Phil Ohlmyer, accompanying three other astronauts (Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, and Connie Nielsen) on a rescue mission to the our neighboring red planet. Ironically, the thing O’Connell is most proud of in the film is the fact that he had so many “technical lines” to say. He made this point specifically to me during the interview since I am from MIT; the problem, though, is that any MIT freshman who has taken Introductory Biology (7.012) can point out many of the ridiculous, half-witted references to human genetics in the movie.

Silly as this may sound, it had not really occurred to me before that simply because an actor is attractive does not mean he is Academy Award material. However, while watching Mission to Mars, the idea started to sluggishly register in my mind. Even through the stifled (and sometimes not-so-stifled) giggles of the audience, I tried to convince myself it was not that terrible a movie. Yet, it just became more difficult to keep a straight face through such scenes as when Ohlmyer reboots all the computers on a malfunctioning space ship simply by pulling a plug and reconnecting it like he was working with any ordinary electrical socket. As I walked out of the theatre, I listened to comments from the audience. The general reaction was this: What a cornball movie. You don’t have to be an MIT student to figure that one out.

Despite the fact that the movie had been so disappointing, I still looked forward to the teleconference, held last Friday. After all, he was an actor from Hollywood, and it’s always a rush to get to speak with a celebrity. One of the first things that struck me was that O’Connell seemed quite laid-back for a conference call that consisted of more than 8,000 people. He invited everyone to call him Jerry and even was nice enough to acknowledge the moderator of the teleconference.

O’Connell spoke a bit about previous roles he had taken. In Stand By Me, the 1986 film in which he debuted, O’Connell played the sweet but slightly obese eleven-year-old Vern Tessio, on an adventure with three other friends to find a dead body. In reality, O’Connell admitted that, around the time, he was a very exuberant and sometimes rambunctious kid in the New York City public school system who put most of his energy into activities such as drama classes in order to stay out of trouble on the streets.

In The Ranger, The Cook, and A Hole in the Sky, a made for TV movie that came out in 1995, he starred as the dashing mountain ranger Mac Hole. This type of role is the kind that O’Connell prefers: his height and his athletic build are definitely needed to pull off that effect. He used this to his advantage when he played the football star Frank Cushman in Jerry McGuire (1996).

Questions from reporters about the movie Mission to Mars dealt with topics from how he became involved in the project to how the zero gravity scenes were filmed. O’Connell was a film student at New York University Film School, and he said that he studied Brian DiPalma. He mainly accepted the part because he wanted to work with DiPalma, whom he called a genius. As for the zero gravity parts, unlike Apollo 13, where the scenes were filmed on the “Vomit Comet,” a jet created specifically by NASA to study weightlessness, most of Mars’s zero-g shots were done on cables and on green screens.

O’Connell took this opportunity to emphasize his athletic abilities as he told the reporters how he sometimes had to hang upside-down for long periods of time in order to allow DiPalma to do the shots he needed. Interestingly enough, O’Connell was on the fencing team at NYU, and had the chance to go to the Olympics for Team USA. However, he gave it up to go into acting because he was starting Sliders at about that time. O’Connell once even competed in a match against the MIT fencing team: apparently, he never learned what it means to be a gracious winner, for his smugness in his team’s victory over MIT was quite apparent during the interview.

As the conference proceeded, the questions became more directed at his personal life and his experiences in the acting business. They also became more trivial and juvenile, and O’Connell’s answers were not much better. From his experience of meeting Britany Spears at one of her concerts (“She’s a little hottie; I can’t wait until she becomes legal”) to whether he wears boxers or briefs (briefs), to what he would keep as reality if he woke up from today and realized that the world was a dream (his car), O’Connell demonstrated exactly how shallow and material his personality is. Perhaps this opinion is a little biased coming from a member of the female sex, but if you had to listen to him brag about how he made it to first base with some random girl in Orange County, California, you, too, would probably come to my conclusion.

Immaturity aside, O’Connell did have some interesting experiences to share. For instance, in an introductory film course at NYU, there was a discussion of the various metaphors and hidden language of Stand By Me while he was sitting in the class. Evidently, no one realized that he had starred in the film, and it was an interesting experience for him to sit there and listen to students pick apart the film. He also recounted that he was offered the role of Bailey (a role played by Scott Wolf) in the Fox TV series Party of Five, and how he later turned it down in order to play Quinn Mallory in Sliders.

Much to my disappointment, though, the interview made me realize that Jerry O’Connell is not the type of person I had expected him to be. This is direct proof of the ability of actors to completely fool their audience into believing that they are truly their character. I love actors who play people who are very intelligent. O’Connell was that for me in Sliders: an electrical engineering genius who built contraptions with the ability to transport people to parallel universes. Unfortunately, after learning that he failed algebra three times, I realized that the closest O’Connell is going to get when it comes to intellect is pretending to have it. As unappealing as I found him as a person, though, I would still go see a movie if he starred in it. You see, even the audience can be actors. I can convince myself he is really hot as long as I don’t think about his personality, because I don’t think I’m ever going to want to meet him in person again. As the old adage goes, “ignorance is bliss.”

Source: Fandom

Interview with Michael Reaves

Did you write the "Requiem" episode of SLIDERS? As I`m sure there were staff writers on that show, how was it that you came on for that one, very pivotal episode?

Reaves: Yes, I wrote it. A pleasant experience overall, though I was unhappy with the show`s ending, purely for budgetary reasons. Still, they were nice guys to work with. As for how I came to write one -- once again, it`s who you know. Marc Scott Zicree, who`s a dear friend, was a producer on the show, and lobbied to have me do one. He actually left the series before I came on, but his championing of me helped a good deal. And, even though the script was rewritten heavily and the ending doesn`t work (in my opinion) I still have no kick, because I understand it was a matter of money. They were very happy with the draft I turned in, but they just couldn`t afford to film it.

As for how I came to write it: the staff knew that this season was going to be the last season, and they were looking to tie up some dangling plotlines. One major unresolved question was what had happened to the Wade Welles character. I came in to pitch knowing nothing of this, but one of the ideas I pitched was the old sci-fi chestnut of a spaceship controlled by a living human brain. They latched onto that as a vehicle for Wade, had me rewrite the story to incorporate her character, and off we went.


Jerry O'Connell Contest

Geez, no wonder Sarah Michelle Gellar won't admit she dated him. According to the New York Post, Mission To Mars star Jerry O'Connell was holding his own drinking contest at a NYC upper East Side bar. Problem is: Jerry was the only contestant. The Post says Jerry downed shots and then declared himself the winner. Winner of what, we're not sure. "Dork of the Night," perhaps? Anyway, we guess the prize was supposed to be the 8 chicks he left the bar with.         

Source: FXtra

Spencer Garbett

Sadly, Spencer died in November 1997, an apparent suicide. Spencer is missed by the whole fX family. Before he died Spencer made several TV appearances including a guest shot on "Sliders."

*Webmaster Note: For those who don't remember Spencer Garbett, he was the actor who played the man in the
steamroom during the episode "The Breeder".*

Source: The Vines Network

Vancouver, BC--a/k/a Hollywood North

Vancouver, British Columbia is the third largest city in Canada. Seated on Canada's West Coast, it boasts an ethnically diverse population, with close to 30% being of Asian ancestry. Nestled between coastal plains, snow capped mountains and evergreen forests, this thriving metropolis is a place where you can find just about anything you want. About 1.4 million residents (the same population as New Orleans, LA) call the greater Vancouver area home. Much of the central city is contained on a long peninsula surrounded by water known as the Georgia Straight. The city is connected to North and West Vancouver by a huge suspension bridge called the Lion's Gate Bridge and to its Southern Suburbs by the Burrard Street and Granville Street Bridges. Much of the population live in high-rise condominiums which compose large parts of the skyline.

This unique blend of geographical features, bridges, skyscrapers and waterways makes Vancouver resemble any number of cities in the world. The Lion's Gate Bridge looks like a green-colored version of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Stanley Park on the western edge of downtown Vancouver can easily double for New York's Central Park. The juxtaposition of the skyscrapers with the mountains, the bay and ships makes the city look like Hong Kong when viewed at certain angles from the air. And the revolving restaurant 360 Degrees at the top of the Toronto Dominion Bank building off of Burrard Street looks like the top of Seattle's Space Needle when viewed from a distance.

In truth, Vancouver reminds most people of somewhere else on the planet. Film and Television producers recognized this on visits to the city during 1986 World's Fair. Between that, the favorable exchange rate in the US dollar versus the Canadian Dollar and the lower wages of Canadian film crews relative to American film crews, many production companies and movie studios began establishing offices in Vancouver thereafter.

The first major TV shows to be filmed almost exclusively in Vancouver were Fox's "The X-Files" (prior to 1998) and "Sliders." Both of these shows took advantage of the diverse scenery and city features to produce episodes that were nominally set in places all over the world/multiverse. As a regular visitor to Vancouver, I would easily recognize an alley running between Robson and Davie Streets as a popular spot for filming various car chases and fight scenes in the X-Files. In the episode "Tooms" of the X-Files, the Hickory Ridge Centre was claimed to be a mall in Delaware built on the site of Eugene Victor Tooms old apartment, which was off of that infamous alley. The Supreme Court Building for the province of British Columbia was used repeatedly as FBI headquarters on the X-Files. "Sliders" producers were the first to use digital colorization techniques to change the color of the Lion's Gate Bridge to rust in order to convince viewers that the show was, in fact, in San Francisco. The BC Supreme Court Building received frequent use on this show as well, typically as a lab or as a military compound.

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