[ EARTH 69 ]

Episode 2.17 | Positronic Slide Syndrome

    [ It's 9:00 EST on Alternate Earth 69, and 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee' is just getting underway. ]

    REGIS: We've got a great lineup planned for this morning. Let's see, we've got Britney Spears, the Dalai Lama... she was just appointed to the role last month, you may recall... filmmaker George Lucas, and... FOX Network lackey David Peckinpah.

    [ At the mention of his name, Peck walks in unannounced. ]

    PECK: Oh, it's my turn now?

    KATHIE LEE: Um, no, we were just -

    PECK [to Kathie Lee]: Hey, I know you! You're that chick that was having an affair with her husband!

    [ The two hosts stare at Peck, unable to believe what they've just heard. ]

    PECK: Oh, no, wait. It was your husband that was having the affair with you, right? Heh, sorry. Hey, could I grab your seat for like, ten minutes or so?

    [ Puzzled, Kathie Lee cautiously gets up and backs away from her chair. ]

    PECK [expectantly]: Well?

    [ ...then bursts into tears and runs offstage wailing. ]

    REGIS [desperately trying to keep the situation under control]: So, ah, Mr. Peckinpah. I understand you're here to discuss your series, uh, 'Sliders'?

    PECK: Right. Yeah. See, there was this episode idea, 'Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome,' right? Well lemme just tell ya, it was the WORST thing EVER to come out of the diseased minds that almost got to make this series. There wasn't even a parallel world! It's just about the Sliders getting home or something! And they thought I had no imagination!

    REGIS: Uh -

    PECK: No abrupt swordfighting, no severed heads in jars, nowhere I could perform a rap solo... the script just, uh, wasn't working for me.

    REGIS: So I take it you made some changes.

    PECK: Right, right, like the title. I went to see a doctor, and he said there's actually no such thing as a "post-traumatic slide syndrome"! You can imagine how outraged I was... I mean, we've always prided ourselves on our very smilimlitude!

    REGIS [again staring]: Have you considered seeing a doctor yourself?

    PECK [forlorn]: I was, until a couple of weeks ago. She dumped me cuz I had some weird kinda medical condition... "idiotitis." [off audience laughter] I know! She even said it hopefully isn't contagious!

    REGIS: Now... dare I ASK how the show turned out?

    PECK: Well see, it turns out that wussy guy Tormé who used to run the place had already filmed part of 'PTSS' with the original cast and buried the footage on the lot... [shrugs] I guess to keep me from finding it, and throwing up at how PUTRID it was. [smiles brightly and waves at the camera] No hard feelings, Trace - I appreciate the gesture! [turns back to Regis] So, anyhow, we found it while digging for corpses to use as extras in a shopping mall one week...

    REGIS: What, you were "paying homage" to Dawn of the Dead?

    PECK: No no, it was for the Christmas special. We just couldn't find any live extras willing to appear. Anyway, the lawyers said I couldn't use the "images" of the fat guy or the skinny chick, or we'd get sued. Thankfully, they didn't say ANYTHING about their voices. I re-edited the show during commercial breaks watching FOX, and the whole thing just clicked!

    REGIS: And there was actually enough missing footage to put together an entire coherent episode.

    PECK: Yeah, the whole thing clocked in at one and a half minutes... plus another two for the opening credits. FOX was really understanding, though, cuz it let them squeeze in almost an hour of late-night infomercials right there in prime time. And I did have to make Jerry and Cleavant share the role of Quinn... Uh, on the whole, though, I really think I did a good job of adapting a sub-par episode premise into something that enhances and embiggens the sci-fi genre.

    REGIS: Now, ah, we have some clips from the episode -- well, technically, we have the WHOLE episode, though our producers insisted on censoring the credits sequence; something about a Miss Wuhrer, gratuitous nudity... [squints at notes] and the criminal mistreatment of a yak...

    [ Peck, entranced by thoughts of Kari, slips into a drooling stupor. ]

    REGIS: ...anyway, we've got some clips here. Uh, in fact we're going to see one right now; this is......

    [The audience's raucous cheering at having something other than Peck to look at rapidly drowns out anything else he can say.]

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