"Sliders" nitpick: Why no language barrier?

I was a fan of Sliders during its run, but one thing always bugged me: Why is it that the Sliders always seem to land in a California where everybody speaks English? Even if it was colonized by Indians or Egyptians? Heck, since the series is (in its first two or three seasons, anyway) set in California, the most obvious plot, something they should have done in the first season, would be a world where Mexico won the Mexican-American War and kept California. And they never even touched that. Why not?

For the same reason that in ST:TOS the Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, etc. all spoke English. It’s just simpler that way. Call it the Universal Translator, or whathaveyou. Nobody wants to try to sell a show where the viewers can’t understand the cast. We, the viewers, are just lazy that way.

As for your second question: I dunno. Maybe the writers thought that it was a bad idea to bring up, what with the burgeoning Hispanic population in California and all.

Because the creators of Sliders didn’t have the slightest amount of imagination. It was a great concept, but the writers ignored the possibilities and stuck with cliches.

They did have an episode like that. Everyone still spoke English. Americans don’t like subtitles.

The series was set in California till the end, but the location changed from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the third season, in the episode where Quinn’s double turned out to be a woman.

Heh, I love this show. Even if they didn’t explore the concept nearly as fully as they could have.

Forget California, most of the show was set in the Universal Studios backlot. :smiley:

(I still remember the episode I was watching that was set primarily at the Universal Citywalk outdoor mall/tourist trap. Now that’s cheap…)

Btw, I’d say the British North America was the best Sliders world. That was great that Oakland was a nature preserve :D.

It’s simple: by pure chance, they always happened to jump to alternate timelines where the people all speak a language identical to American English. :stuck_out_tongue:

And when the rebel group, called “the raiders” noticed that their name seemed to be recognized! :stuck_out_tongue:

“You’ve heard of us?”

At least speaking the same language in alternate dimensions is plausible. In Stargate Atlantis, they travelled to another * galaxy * and everyone speaks English. I don’t think they’ve even made a nod towards “universal translators”.

Realistically, it’s just a useful convention – it would be terrifically boring to go through the “yes, we’re learning a new language and this is the universal gesture for ‘where’s the bathroom?’” every week.

Sliders only aired 24 times a year, right? The days it didn’t air were the days they slid to worlds where everyone spoke French and ate kittens for fun. Luckily, Wednesday nights was the time to slide to an English speaking California.

In the pilot, IIRC, Quinn noted that the device had a limited range. In one ep, he met one of his alternate selves who had boosted the range. Quinn took that remote control to replace his original one.

Amen. Especially in the – third season? – when they ran out of actual alternate-history ideas and started copying hackneyed movie plots that had nothing to do with AH. But even before then, it was often pretty dumb.

Professor Arturo (in English-speaking Egyptian San Francisco): “In our world, the ascendancy of Egypt was ended by Alexander the Great. Perhaps in this world he was Alexander the Not-So-Great.”


Here’s a tip, guys: You need to know history before you can write alternate history!

Oh, hell, they lost it the first season where they shamelessly ripped off Shirley Jackson.

What’s up with the show now? Last episode I caught, Quinn was gone and Remmi was leading some unrecognized group of Sliders. I dropped it not long after the whole storyline of Quinn’s not being from our Earth and the Kromaggs are blah blah blah, whatever…

Well, it’s cancelled now. But as for what’s up with the last season… at the beginning of the season some mad scientist guy captured Quinn and fused his consciousness with that of his “double” (a guy who didn’t look anything like him), trapping Quinn’s mind and releasing Jerry O’Connell from the show. The mad scientist also got rid of Quinn’s brother, I forget how, but does it really matter? The new girl Slider was a scientist who was trying to unfuse the two Quinns. They both went along on the sliding adventures with the hope that they’d be able to recover the original Quinn. The show was really stupid after that, however, the last season wasn’t as bad as the fourth season. They let up on the Kro-Magg plots at the end.

Poor old Sabrina Lloyd. She ended up

…being beheaded and having her head used as some sort of computer to help the Kromaggs.

Looking at IMDB, I’m wondering if O’Connell is being released from his career. The movies seem to keep going downhill.

When O’Connell brought his no-talent brother on board, the show went downhill dramatically.

My favorite episodes of “Sliders” were from the first season:

  1. A world where intelligent people are revered like we revere athletes. I loved how the most popular sport was a kind of live-action version of Othello (or Reversi or whatever you like to call it), plus that they got actual ESPN sportscasters to do the play-by-play. Also, there was this great commercial within the episode where this real badass rapper talks about not disturbing him when he’s readin’ his KEATS. The B-story, where Arturo is confronted by the fact that his dead wife didn’t die in this world, was sweet.

  2. A world where penicillin was never invented.

  3. A world where Einstein lied about the feasibility of atomic weapons, so they were never invented, which is too bad, since one of those would be great to have to destroy the asteroid heading toward Earth.

Sounds very implausible to me (I’m debating the plausibility of a Sliders episode???) Einstein himself said that nothing in his theoretical work ever promised that nuclear energy could be released on demand. The most Einstein could have done would be to have not urged president Roosevelt to begin a research program into uranium fission. No other country but the US could or would have run a successful bomb program during WW2. At most, the race to build an atom bomb would have taken place during the cold war (and isn’t that an intriguing scenerio).