When 1998 hit, people wondered "Where is Sliders?". Well, actually, no one was watching Season 4, but one man in Ohio did write Fox asking "What is Sliders?" after seeing it in an old TV Guide.
You see, Fox finally decided that Sliders wasn't worth the Betamax it was shot on, and so decided to cancel it after only six episodes. But in February 1998, they received many complaints that their station just wasn't raunchy enough.
Desperate, Fox decided to put Sliders back in production. Which is good, because Peckinbraga, Kari and Jeri had taken their act to Broadway in "Species: The Musical". And, no, they didn't get funding; they just beat the cast of Cats to the stage. When stagehands tried to remove them, Peckinpah started crying like a girl until they let him perform.
But with the second half of season 4, Fox wanted some actual writers on the show. They were tired of seeing scripts written entirely on the back of Denny's children's placemats, so they hired real science fiction writers to write for the show.
Several great scripts were written up, but Fox (for some reason) left Peckinbraga in charge of editing. And since neither could legally read, that seems to be a mistake. But hindsight is 20/20, so you never know.
The first script was a great alternate-history story, where one of Quinn's doubles had invented cold fusion (yes, it even had continuity). Maggie and Rickwoman were to land in the power plant on the verge of an explosion, and they had to work together to prevent a disaster.
Of course, Peckinbraga didn't understand any of it, and they assumed that the American populace wouldn't either. So, they re-wrote what they understood of it. Of course, they only understood one word: fusion. And they assumed that the writer had meant "fishing." And since "cold" was in front of it, they made the story about ice fishing.
I guess assuming DOES make an ass out of you and me...
So, Maggie lands on a world on the verge of a civil war. But instead of fighting, this world resolves conflict with ice fishing competitions. Unfortunately, they couldn't get the money to film in a studio to create the illusion of ice.
But Peckinbraga had a plan. They went to the beach (and, no, they didn't close off the beach, either). But Jeri (the smart one) said that no one would accept that the beach was supposed to be cold. So, Peckinbraga annotated the script to fix all that.
From the script:
Maggie lands on the beach. Rickwoman lands on top of her (tee hee hee)
Look at that sign!
Pan over to sign that says "Ice Fishing Competition Today!"
Oh, cold must be hot on this world!
Writing worthy of the Razzies, no?
So, on this world, cold is hot. And ice is sand. This was obviously a treat for alternate history buffs.
In the original script, Rickwoman and Maggie still hate each other but are forced to work together to stay alive. But the actual episode completely ignores the fact that they're enemies. And even though Rickwoman is wearing her "Seven of Nine" makeup, she and Maggie are wearing matching "Gal Pal" T-Shirts. So, the whole "enemy" aspect was obviously scrapped.
And it's painfully obvious that Kari wasn't wearing any lingerie, if you know what I mean.
So, Maggie and Rickwoman win the competition and reunite North and South Dakota, finally winning the War of 1812. The emperor of New Dakota (Braga, this time with a Chinese accent for some reason) offers them the Key to the City, but they say they can't accept it.
From the episode itself:
Sorry, we can't. We're...um...Skiders?
OFF CAMERA VOICE
Sliders! With an "L"!
With an "L"!!!!
Oh yeah! We can't. We're Liders!
VOICE (in a poor whisper)
The two jump offscreen (no budget for special effects), and then they just show shots of the beach with the song "Who Likes Short-Shorts?" in the background.
Hey, at least they didn't go for the "Girls Gone Wild" approach. (I just gave them the idea for their next episode, didn't I...?)