[ Earth 317, by Mike Truman ]
Episode Guide   |   About the Author   |   Discussion   |   More Otherworlds

The Double You Know
Number: SL-324
Time & Place: San Francisco, Late June
Time on world(s): 37 hours


[ Night. Open on a lit sign: 'Golden Gate Park.' Switch to the statue in the park. Instead of Lincoln, it is of Richard Nixon. Pan down to the base where the plaque reads: 'You won't have America to kick around anymore.' Pull back to reveal the four Sliders. Quinn has the timer in his hand. ]
Quinn: One minute to go!
Rembrandt: Are you sure you got the right co-ordinates punched in?
Quinn: For the seventh time, yes.
Rembrandt: Good, cause I don't think I can take another letdown.
Arturo: I hate to be the pessimist, but I feel it necessary to remind you that these co-ordinates are still a long shot. There were two years between the time we first slid and the time Logan first encountered us. An infinite number of dimensions formed during that period.
Wade: These are the right co-ordinates. I have a feeling.
Rembrandt: Me too, now let's open that vortex and go home!
Quinn: Still twenty-six seconds.
Wade: You know guys, whatever happens, just promise me one thing. After all we've been through these thirty-three months, nothing should ever come between us. I don't think anyone wants a repeat of what happened the last time we thought we were home.
[ The three look at Arturo. ]
Arturo: What are you looking at me for? That was my double that betrayed you! At this point I'd be content to retire in obscurity so long as you get me home, Mr. Mallory!
[ The four share a laugh. ]
Quinn: Will do. [ to Arturo ] Professor, would you like to do the honors?
Arturo: [ takes the timer ] One last time, eh? Three…two…one…
[ Arturo opens the vortex. ]
Wade: This is it! Keep your fingers crossed!
[ Wade crosses her fingers and dives in. ]
Arturo: Mr. Brown?
Rembrandt: Oh no, Professor, I insist.
[ Arturo hands Quinn back the timer and slides. ]
Rembrandt: [ to Quinn ] Like I'm going to give up my last chance to land on him! Hee hee.
[ Rembrandt slides. Quinn pauses. ]
Quinn: Home sweet home!
[ Quinn takes a deep breath and then dives into the vortex. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Sliding bumper ]
[ Open on the statue of Abraham Lincoln. Blue light reflects off of him. Pan to the left to see Wade exit the vortex. Arturo is next. Before he can get up, Rembrandt lands on him. ]
Rembrandt: For old times' sake, Professor! Hee hee!
[ The two get to their feet. As Rembrandt continues laughing, Quinn cleans him out from behind. Rembrandt yells out in pain as Arturo laughs at him. ]
Arturo: You're right, Miss Welles. It is funny when it happens to someone else.
Quinn: Sorry, Remmy.
[ The vortex closes. Quinn gets up and sees Lincoln. ]
Quinn: It's Abe!
[ Quinn checks the timer. ]
Quinn: More good news. If this is our home, we have a couple of days to confirm it.
Wade: It sure beats forty-five seconds.
Rembrandt: So where do we start? Q-Ball's place?
Quinn: Where else?
Arturo: Not to be demeaning, but I'd prefer a better litmus test than the infamous gate check. Why don't we start downtown? If this isn't our world, we have a better chance of discovering that there.
Wade: He's got a point, Quinn.
Quinn: [ sighs ] I guess a couple more hours won't hurt. Let's go.
[ The four exit. Pan right. A terrified vagrant (Crazy Kenny) is huddled behind a park bench. Close in on him and cut to the next scene. ]


[ Downtown San Francisco at night. The four are walking down a sidewalk. ]
Rembrandt: So far, so good. Everyone's speaking English.
[ A Japanese couple walk by speaking Japanese. ]
Rembrandt: Mostly anyway.
Wade: Everybody's wearing clothes.
Quinn: Decent ratio of men to women.
Arturo: And no spiderwasps!
[ The Sliders stop in front of a window to an electronics and appliance store (Moonatic's). Television sets are set up in the windows. SFN is on and the feed is from Asia. ]
Voiceover: Preparations continue in Hong Kong as the colony prepares for Chinese rule.
Quinn: Things could have changed since we've been gone. No need to panic.
Arturo: If they were declaring peace in the Middle East, I'd be far more concerned.
Voiceover: From Hong Kong, this is Carey Ryan.
[ TV switches to the newsroom as the report concludes. There is an Anchorwoman on screen. ]
Anchorwoman: Thank you, Carey. Turning to science and technology, physicists at the University of California have made another breakthrough in their efforts to create stable wormholes.
Wade: Wormholes?
Arturo: Shhh.
Anchorwoman: Is interstellar travel a possibility? One of the scientists explains that we may be closer to 'Star Trek' than we think.
[ Screen switches to a press conference. The man behind the podium is Quinn (Alt-Quinn.) A graphic underneath reads: 'Quinn Mallory—Nobel Laureate 1996.' ]
Alt-Quinn: Spacetime is not the flat plane that we perceive it to be. It can be bent, warped and even folded…
[ Reverse angle. ]
Quinn: Oh my God.
Wade: Quinn, what are you doing on TV?
Arturo: Holding a press conference from the looks of it.
Wade: This is no time for joking!
Rembrandt: Wait a second, wait a second. If you're here…and you're there…then…
Quinn: We're not home.
[ Switch back to the TV. ]
Alt-Quinn: This changes everything…
[ Cutaway ]


[ Exterior of the Motel 12. ]
[ Interior of the door to Room 12. Wade is on a bed, Arturo is fixing a drink, Quinn is slumped in a chair and Rembrandt is pacing. ]
Rembrandt: I should have known. I should never have got my hopes up. We ain't never going home.
Quinn: We will get home, Remmy. This is just a setback, just another one in an endless string of setbacks.
Arturo: We all knew the odds were long. It was a mistake to build your hopes up so high.
Rembrandt: Don't get me started on mistakes. That's how we got into this mess in the first place.
[ Quinn stands up. ]
Quinn: How many times do I have to tell you I'm sorry? I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
Rembrandt: Sorry's not good enough, and it never will be!
Quinn: Don't you think I'm trying, Rembrandt?
Wade: Quinn, give it a rest. It's late.
Quinn: [ to Wade ] You too?
Arturo: Quinn, settle down.
Quinn: You guys don't believe I'll ever get you home, do you? [ silence ] Yeah? Well, maybe you're right. I'm tired of it being all on me. Why don't you guys try getting us home for a change? [ pause ] I need a break.
[ Quinn heads for the door ]
Arturo: Where are you going?
Quinn: Anywhere else.
[ Quinn storms out, slamming the door behind him. No one moves. ]
Rembrandt: Aw, I'm not really angry with him. Frustration got the better of me. It's just…it's just not right. To come so close only to have the rug pulled out from under us again.
Arturo: Hope for everything…
Wade: Yeah, and expect nothing. It's a pretty lousy credo if you ask me.
[ Wade drops her head into a pillow. ]
Arturo: Let's try and get some rest. Tomorrow brings a fresh perspective and renewed hope.
[ Cutaway ]


[ Exterior of a San Francisco Police Department precinct. Inside, Agent Yenn is walking down a hallway with an Officer. ]
Yenn: What's the big emergency that couldn't wait until morning?
Officer: I think this is one story you need to hear from the witness.
[ Officer leads Yenn into an interview room. Inside are a Detective and Crazy Kenny. Kenny's fingers are plied around a cup of coffee. He's shaking. ]
Yenn: [ to Officer ] You called me in for a vagrant?
Detective: Not just any vagrant. Agent Yenn, this is Kenneth Tennant, frequent disturber of the peace and the last of the diehard Marxists.
Yenn: Even better, a communist vagrant.
Detective: Mr. Tennant, why don't you tell Agent Yenn what you told me.
Kenny: [ slowly ] I was in the park…waiting for the next meeting of the Revolution.
Yenn: Revolution?
Officer: Kenny's still waiting for the great Soviet liberation.
Yenn: Gentlemen, I have better things to do than listen to a bum, even one with such high socialist ideals.
Detective: Just listen. [ to Kenny ] Continue, Mr. Tennant.
Kenny: We were just about to start our free assembly when this terrible wind kicked up and frightened my followers.
Yenn: [ to Officer ] Followers?
Officer: Pigeons.
[ Yenn looks heavenward. ]
Kenny: I turned and saw this huge thing open up by the statue. It was like a swirling drain or uh…a whirlpool. I hid behind my stage.
Officer: [ to Yenn ] Park bench.
Kenny: [ continues ] Suddenly these four people fall out of the hole.
Yenn: Four people? Can you describe them?
Kenny: It was dark. I know there were three men and a girl.
Yenn: Did you get anything else or see where they were headed?
Kenny: It was hard to hear, but I think they said something about going to Q-Ball's place.
[ Close in on Yenn and fade to black. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Open on a lifeguard's chair. Two men are scanning the beach. One is a young, buff looking Lifeguard. The other looks like Ed O'Neill, the actor who played Al Bundy from "Married with Children." ]
Lifeguard: I think we might have a situation.
O'Neill: Let me see that.
[ O'Neill's POV through the binoculars. A beautiful young woman is by a phone booth. ]
O'Neill: She's in trouble!
[ Switch to Lifeguard. ]
Lifeguard: I'll save her.
O'Neill: No son, let an experienced man take care of this.
[ O'Neill charges for the phone booth. Film him in slow motion as he runs. He arrives just as the woman is about to press zero on the keypad. ]
O'Neill: I got here just in time. If you dial 1-800-COLLECT, you could save up to a buck…
[ Pull back from the television set. Show Rembrandt on the couch. He presses the remote control. ]
Television (VO): Need to make a collect call? Dial down the center. 1-800-C-A-L-L-A-T…
[ Rembrandt shuts the TV off as Wade enters. ]
Wade: Figured out what world we're on yet?
Rembrandt: No, but I can say this world is big into collect calls. It's like every other commercial.
Wade: Maybe there's something wrong with the phone companies.
Rembrandt: I'll say.
[ Arturo comes in from outside. He's carrying a bag and some coffee. ]
Arturo: If the clerks of this world are any indication of the greater whole, I can declare with certainty that this is not the world that revered intelligence. That poor girl couldn't tell a croissant from a doughnut hole.
Rembrandt: At least it's not Versailles West.
Arturo: And I thank my lucky stars! Nasty French planet…
[ Arturo lays out the breakfast and the others join him. ]
Arturo: Has Quinn come back yet?
Wade: No, and I'm really worried about him. I think we should call the cops.
Arturo: Very well.
[ Arturo picks up the phone, but he doesn't dial. ]
Arturo: Yes, Officer? I would like to report a missing person. His name is Quinn Mallory. You say he's at the university? Oh, I'm sorry. What I meant to say is his double from a parallel dimension is missing, can you help us find him?
[ Wade takes the phone out of his hands and slams it down. ]
Wade: Well at least we should go out looking for him. We need to do something.
Arturo: Perhaps we can do something. Mr. Mallory challenged us to find a way home; I say we take him up on it.
Rembrandt: Are you serious?
Arturo: Quite serious. I've given the matter of our predicament some thought. Even if our quantum signatures are no longer that of our true home, we do know that the timer keeps careful track of our journeys. Therefore, if we could get our hands on our original timer, I am positive our home co-ordinates are stored inside.
Wade: There's just one problem. That timer is still in New Alexandria…
Arturo:…where it is entombed in a pyramid, safe and secure.
Rembrandt: That's great and all, but how do we get back there? We can't go backwards in time.
Arturo: No, but we can go forward.
[ Dramatic pause. ]
Arturo: [ continues ] Now please, listen to me carefully for this is crucial. We know for a fact that we are on a dimension we visited at some point in our first two years of sliding—a point prior to our visit to Egypt world. We also know that as we slide, we leave a telltale path of photons behind wherever we go.
Wade: Sort of like a trail of breadcrumbs in the woods.
Arturo: An excellent analogy, Miss Welles, for over time this trail becomes harder and harder to detect. But it is still there! There must be some way to reconfigure the timer to hone in on these photons and track our way back to New Alexandria.
Rembrandt: But that could take years!
Arturo: Perhaps. But perhaps not. The Quinn of this world is a Nobel Laureate experimenting with cosmic wormholes. It's possible he has the equipment and the know-how to repair our timer so we are no longer at the whim of the Helix Spiral.
Wade: So we could open the gate whenever we wanted?
Arturo: That's the idea. I will seek an audience with this world's Quinn. The two of you can go looking for our Quinn if you like, but I believe your time will be better spent trying to figure out what world we are on. I would like to know our starting point before we begin this adventure.
Rembrandt: He's right, Wade. I'm sure Quinn will show up on his own in time for the slide.
Arturo: In any event, we must move quickly. If the Quinn here can't help us, we'll have little time to lose.


[ Exterior shot of Quinn's house. There's a sign in front that reads: 'Amanda's Bed and Breakfast.' Pull back to reveal Quinn outside the gate. ]
Quinn: Bed and breakfast. Just like you always said, Mom.
[ In the house, a curtain moves. A few moments later the front door opens. Amanda Mallory steps out. ]
Mrs. Mallory: Quinn? What are you doing just standing there?
Quinn: [ to himself ] Oh no.
Mrs. Mallory: Come on in!
[ A beat. Quinn opens the gate. It squeaks. Quinn stops. ]
Mrs. Mallory: I know, I know, I need to have that fixed. But every time I have it oiled, it just goes right back to squeaking in a few days. Besides, it gives the place a homey charm.
[ Quinn smiles and heads towards the house. ]
[ Cut inside to the kitchen. ]
Mrs. Mallory: So what brings you around this morning?
Quinn: I just wanted to see you.
Mrs. Mallory: Well, wonders never cease! I barely see you anymore. It's like you forgot your old mother.
Quinn: I've never forgotten you. I've just been…kept away.
Mrs. Mallory: Can I get you something to eat?
Quinn: No thanks, Mom.
Mrs. Mallory: No, no, I'm making you some food. I worry that you're not eating right now that you're living by yourself. How about a breakfast sandwich?
Quinn: That sounds…great.
[ Quinn sits down at the kitchen table as Mrs. Mallory goes to the refrigerator and starts pulling out ingredients. Cutaway. ]


[ The University of California. Focus on Arturo walking down a path to the Physics building. The people around him are giving him strange looks. Hold on two of these people (Student1 and Student2). Arturo exits. ]
Student1: Was that who I think that was?
Student2: Nah, can't be.
[ Switch back to Arturo, now inside the building. He walks by Professor Myman (last seen in "Eggheads.") ]
Arturo: Ah, Myman. Good morning.
Myman: [ stunned ] Good morning…Professor.
[ Myman turns and watches Arturo walk off. He pinches his arm. He looks up again and Arturo is gone. Myman shakes his head and continues on his way. ]
[ Another shot of Arturo walking down a hallway. Turn a corner and find a surprised Conrad Bennish Jr. watching Arturo. ]
Bennish: Woah! [ he flips up his glasses and rubs his eyes ] Woooooah! That's it, man. I gotta lay off the 'shroom omelets for breakfast. I'm seeing some tweaked sh-
[ Switch to Arturo. He's approaching a desk where a young secretary is seated. ]
Arturo: Good morning. I'm here to see Mr. Mallory.
Secretary: [ annoyed ] Do you like, have an appointment?
Arturo: No, but I'm sure he'll want to see me. Tell him Maximillian Arturo is here.
Secretary: Yeah, right.
Arturo: Excuse me?
Secretary: You are so not Max Arturo.
Arturo: [ irritated ] Oh? And why is that?
Secretary: Because…he's like, dead. So unless you're his ghost or something, you're not him.
[ Arturo takes a quick glance around. He then leans in over her desk, his face just inches from hers. ]
Arturo: Boo.
[ The Secretary jumps back. ]
Arturo: Twit.
[ Arturo walks by. ]
Secretary: Hey! Dead or alive, you can't go in there!
[ Arturo throws the door to alt-Quinn's office open. ]
Arturo: Mr. Mallory?
[ Alt-Quinn is sitting at his desk with a phone in hand. He is dressed stylishly and is neatly groomed. ]
Alt-Quinn: Professor?
[ Alt-Quinn drops the phone. ]
Arturo: If you would give me fifteen minutes of your time, all will be explained.
[ Alt-Quinn nods. ]
[ Swipe forward ]


[ Alt-Quinn and Arturo are seated in alt-Quinn's office. ]
Arturo: As you can see, my friends and I are in an unenviable situation. I've come to you in the hopes that you can help us.
Alt-Quinn: Amazing. You know, I slid off this world about the same time as you. I was even lost out there for awhile before I found out how to access the stored coordinates in my timer. It's too bad you've lost your original.
Arturo: Well, we were being chased by a genetically enhanced scarab the size of a rhinoceros at the time. Self-preservation took precedence. Not we must retrieve it.
Alt-Quinn: Your plan seems solid. I've done extensive work with photon trails since returning home. As you know, once you open a hole between dimensions, it never truly closes. There's always a residue. If you've come through here before, there should be some trace of it. As for opening the gate at will, it sounds to me like you need some new chips. I've got a lab full of them. Why don't you go find my other and bring your timer to me? We'll get started immediately.
Arturo: [ grabs Alt-Quinn's hand and shakes it vigorously ] Thank you my boy…I mean, Mr. Mallory.
Alt-Quinn: Don't mention it.
[ Arturo gets up and heads for the door, but he stops before he reaches it. ]
Arturo: Just one question, if you don't mind.
Alt-Quinn: Shoot.
Arturo: Your dim-witted receptionist said I, or my double, was dead. Pardon me for asking, but what became of him?
[ A beat ]
Alt-Quinn: When I first slid, I didn't slide alone. The Arturo of this world accompanied me. A few slides in we encountered a world infested by a plague. I turned out to be immune, but he became ill. When the time came to slide, he refused to leave for fear of infecting the next dimension even though a cure could be waiting on the next world. It was the hardest thing I've ever done leaving him. When I learned how to backtrack, I went back for him. But it was too late.
Arturo: I'm so sorry for your loss, but you did the right thing.
Alt-Quinn: That's what he believed as well. I loved him like a father. In honor of him I switched my fields of study to cosmology and ontology. I've tried to continue his work as best I could. His are huge shoes to fill.
Arturo: I'm sure he would be proud of you.
Alt-Quinn: Thanks…Professor.
[ Arturo pats him on the back and exits. Switch to Alt-Quinn. ]
Alt-Quinn: Same old Arturo. Still a pompous windbag…
[ Alt-Quinn picks up the phone and dials. ]
Alt-Quinn: It's me. Sorry I cut you off…Yeah, one just paid me a visit…
[ Fade to black. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Cut to a cab driving down the road. Quinn is seated in the back. The radio is loud. ]
Daytripper: This is the Daytripper with you on this Thursday morning. We've been taking calls on this whole cloning thing. It seems there's this big debate over whether or not we should experimenting on humans. Now I'm all for it so long as they're cloning Jennifer Aniston.
[ Quinn rolls his eyes. There is laughter from the front of the cab. Expand angle to include Pavel, the cab driver. ]
Pavel: Is true! Ha ha.
Daytripper: And can you believe what O.J. Simpson is up to? After being found criminally responsible for the murders of his wife and her companion, he is now attempting to auction off his Heisman Trophy.
Quinn: Murder?
Daytripper: It seems the Juice is in desperate need of some quick cash. And you thought what he was charging for autographs was outrageous before!
Pavel: Ha Ha! [ turns to Quinn ] This Daytripper. He kill me!
Quinn: You wouldn't happen to follow football, would you?
Pavel: Oh yes! Big 49er fan. Oakland Raiders OK, but they cheat.
Quinn: Oakland Raiders? You mean Los Angeles Raiders.
Pavel: Where have you been? Siberia? Raiders move to Oakland after '94 season.
Quinn: Turn this cab around. NOW!
[ The sound of squealing tires. ]
[ Swipe to an exterior shot of Quinn's house and the cab pulling up. ]
[ Cut inside as Quinn rushes in. ]
Mrs. Mallory: Back so soon?
Quinn: Uh…excuse me, Mom, but there's something I need to check in the basement.
Mrs. Mallory: You and that basement! You still need to move the rest of that junk out of there. I want to finish it and create a new room.
Quinn: You got it.
[ Quinn starts downstairs. ]
Mrs. Mallory: I've heard that promise before. I swear, Michael, that boy…
[ Quinn stops. He pokes his head around the door. ]
Quinn: You still talking to Dad?
Mrs. Mallory: Every day.
[ Cut to the basement. Quinn rushes down the stairs. He scans the room. The sliding machine, generators and a few of the computers are missing, but the chair, desks and some obsolete equipment are lying around. ]
Quinn: Come on, be here.
[ Pan to a back wall. There's a sheet draped over a large piece of furniture. Quinn goes to it and pulls the sheet down. It's his blackboard—and the equation from the "Pilot" is still there. Quinn's eyes scan the board. Quinn stoops down. In the bottom right-hand corner is the solution to the equation, along with a smiley face. Switch between Quinn's face and the smiley face. ]
[ Cutaway ]


[ Wade and Rembrandt come out of the San Francisco Public Library. ]
Wade: America is a democracy and the list of Presidents looked right. That wipes out another dozen worlds from our list.
Rembrandt: Just a few left, including the one where I was a superstar.
Wade: If that was the world we were on, I think we'd know it by now. No one's given you a second glance.
Rembrandt: Maybe that's because they've learned to respect my privacy.
Wade: Oh yeah? There's a record store just down the street. Why don't we find out?
Rembrandt: You're on.
[ Interior of a record store. Music can be heard over the store speakers: ]
Voices (Female):
I'll tell ya what I want, what I really really want…
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want…
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna… (etc.)
[ Rembrandt and Wade enter. To their right is a large lemon advertising U2's PopMart tour. Ahead is a large display of CDs highlighted by a life-size cutout of Huey Lewis. Rembrandt heads for the display and picks up a CD. Close-up of the disk. It features Lewis in a giant box. ]
Rembrandt: 'Still Square,' his long awaited new release.
[ Rembrandt looks at Wade and chuckles. ]
Rembrandt: I can't believe that in 1997 people are still listening to Huey Lewis.
Clerk: I hear ya man. Like, gag.
[ The Clerk is re-arranging CDs in the adjoining display. He's a teenager. The sides of his head are shaved but on top it's long. ]
Clerk: Ever since he did that surprise gig at Candlestick, the dude's been huge.
Rembrandt: Candlestick?
Clerk: Yeah, back in '94 I think. He sang this whacked version of the national anthem. The crowd ate it up.
Rembrandt: [ to Wade ] That was my gig! He stole my gig!
Wade: Here, maybe it was his gig.
Clerk: Nah, he filled in for this guy who no-showed, uh…what was his name? Renoir Brown or something.
Rembrandt: It's Rembrandt Brown!
Clerk: Yeah, the Cry Guy!
Rembrandt: The Cryin' Man, dammit! CRYIN' MAN!
Clerk: Dude, chill! What's that washed-up loser to you? Is he your cousin or something?
[ Clerk exits. ]
Rembrandt: Unbelievable. This is unbelievable.
Wade: Remmy, relax.
Rembrandt: How can I relax? He stole my comeback! [ grits his teeth ] I'm gonna get that Huey Lewis.
Wade: Are you listening to yourself?
Rembrandt: That does it. I'm calling Artie.
[ Cutaway ]


[ The kitchen of Quinn's house. Quinn comes from downstairs ]
Quinn: Thanks, Mom, I've gotta go…
[ Agent Yenn and a female agent, Copeland (last seen in "Summer of Love"), are standing behind Mrs. Mallory. She looks scared and confused. ]
Yenn: Quinn Mallory.
Quinn: Yes?
Yenn: There are some things we need to discuss.
[ Quinn turns to back out of the room but two uniformed officers cut him off. ]
[ Cut to an interview room. Yenn shoves Quinn on to a chair and Copeland uncuffs him. Quinn rubs his wrists. ]
Quinn: Are you guys even going to tell me what I've done?
Yenn: Only after you tell us who you are.
Quinn: Quinn Mallory. You already know that.
Yenn: I mean who you really are. You and your friends were spotted coming out of a transdimensional wormhole. We need to determine your intentions.
Quinn: [ unconvincingly ] I don't know what you're talking about.
[ Enter Alt-Quinn. ]
Alt-Quinn: Oh no?
[ The two Quinns stare at each other. Slowly rotate camera around them. ]
Copeland: We took this off of him.
[ Copeland hands Alt-Quinn the timer. ]
Alt-Quinn: I see you have fashioned a new timer. Your training is now complete. [ Alt-Quinn smiles ] Heh heh, always wanted to say that.
[ Alt-Quinn sits down on the table in front of Quinn. ]
Alt-Quinn: My, my. I never thought I'd see you again.
Quinn: Who are you?
Alt-Quinn: I'm you, Quinn. A smarter version perhaps, but you just the same.
[ Alt-Quinn leans closer. ]
Alt-Quinn: I told you once that you owed me big, hombre. I'm just collecting.
[ Alt-Quinn smiles. Cutaway ]


[ Inside room 12 at the Motel 12. Rembrandt, Wade and Arturo are arguing. ]
Arturo: You called your agent?
Rembrandt: I had to!
Arturo: You had to? The career of your double is none of your concern. You should not have gotten involved.
Rembrandt: What about you? You walked right into your old university.
Arturo: That was different. I was trying to find us a way home. Besides, the Arturo here is no more. He also went sliding with this world's Quinn but never returned. He died nobly, putting another dimension before his own life. I must say it's a little disconcerting. It's the first double I encounter that embodies my best qualities and he's dead.
Rembrandt: That's what I've been trying to tell you, man. My double disappeared at the same time we did. That's why Huey Lewis is famous instead of me!
Arturo: What are you babbling about?
Wade: It's true, Professor. After getting off the phone with Artie, we did some more checking. No one's heard from my double either. She's presumed dead, but no one ever recovered the body. I think they slid with this Quinn.
Arturo: No, that's not right at all. He told me only he and my double slid. I had no reason to question its veracity as it seemed quite sincere. There must be some other explanation.
Wade: Like what?
Arturo: Say you're right. Let's propose the four did slide together, but they didn't meet after the slide. After all, if Mr. Brown hadn't hit that iceberg, we may have never found him. I suppose it's possible both the Wade and Rembrandt of this world got caught in the same after-effect our Rembrandt encountered. They would have been trapped on another dimension without this Quinn's knowledge.
Rembrandt: Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Kinda.
Arturo: I'm sure it must be. Why would this Quinn lie about it? What would he have to gain?
[ Cutaway ]


[ Resume. ]
Alt-Quinn: Agents Yenn, Copeland—if you don't mind, I'd like a word with myself for a moment.
[ Copeland looks to Yenn. Yenn nods and the two exit. ]
Quinn: It's you, isn't it? You're the same double who solved my blackboard.
Alt-Quinn: One and the same.
Quinn: What are you doing here? This isn't your home.
Alt-Quinn: It is now. Been so for a little over a year.
Quinn: What's wrong with yours?
Alt-Quinn: Uh, it's…complicated. Let's just say it's not a place I really want to be right now.
Quinn: So why come here? You've obviously learned to control your slides. You told me once you found a world just this side of paradise.
Alt-Quinn: Yeah…turns out I didn't stay quite long enough on my first visit to see it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. They had this perverted lottery system that killed off its winners. When I arrived, they were already after my double for subverting it. I had to get the hell out of there in a hurry.
[ Quinn chuckles ]
Alt-Quinn: [ continues ] I decided I needed a new lease on life, somewhere to start over. But then I thought, why start over? All I needed was a world where I could just slip into the place of myself. I instantly thought of you.
[ Alt-Quinn circles Quinn. ]
Alt-Quinn: That's right, buddy. I knew you'd screw up sliding somehow. Anyone dumb enough to slide without knowing how it worked couldn't be all that bright. Sure enough, when I slid in you were long gone.
Quinn: You stole my life!
Alt-Quinn: Hey, you weren't using it! [ laughs ] You know, I never thought there would be a problem. I figured you had somehow managed to smear yourself across infinite dimensions long before now. You surprise me, Quinn. Of course, now we have a situation.
Quinn: There's no situation from where I'm sitting. It's time for you to come clean and find somewhere else to live.
Alt-Quinn: Not hardly. Here's what I'll do for you. I'll set you up nice on my third choice world. The Quinn there tried to send himself back through time. Personally I think he incinerated himself, but hey, the people there might buy it. Or choose from one of the worlds you've visited. I don't care; I can be accommodating!
Quinn: I don't believe this.
Alt-Quinn: Look, one way or another you're leaving here. Now your friend, the Professor, paid me a little visit today. He asked me to reconfigure your timer to help you get to your real home. Naturally, I offered my services.
Quinn: How generous of you.
Alt-Quinn: Except, I'm going to program this timer to track my photon trail instead. I've seen some pretty nasty worlds, Quinn. Your friends are about to see them too. That is, unless you agree to remove yourself voluntarily.
Quinn: No way. Your plan won't work. They won't slide without me.
Alt-Quinn: They will if they think I'm you. They jump into the vortex, but I don't follow them. They may never figure out what went wrong.
Quinn: They'll know the difference.
Alt-Quinn: Look around you, Quinn! It's not like I'm new at this game! Think about it.
[ Alt-Quinn walks out of the room. Yenn and Copeland are waiting outside. ]
Yenn: We're going to need to round up his associates.
Alt-Quinn: No, leave them to me. If I can pretend I'm their Quinn, maybe I can trick them into giving up some vital information.
[ Yenn nods ]
Alt-Quinn: In the meantime, don't let this guy out of your sight. I wouldn't trust a word he says. [ shakes his head ] It's hard to believe I could turn out so wrong.
[ Close on Alt-Quinn and fade to black. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Night. Inside the room at the Motel 12, Wade is pacing. Rembrandt is sitting on the couch; Arturo in a chair opposite. ]
Wade: This has gone too far. Quinn should have come back by now.
Arturo: I'm concerned now as well.
[ The phone rings ]
Wade: Maybe that's him.
[ Rembrandt picks up the phone. ]
Rembrandt: Hello? [ to the others ] It's Q-Ball!
[ Switch to a close-up of Quinn. He's on the other end of the line. ]
Quinn: Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. There've been some…misunderstandings.
[ Switch back to Rembrandt ]
Rembrandt: Man, we were worried about you. The Professor says we're running out of time…Oh, you know?…I'm glad to hear that…Gotcha. We'll meet you there tomorrow then…OK, bye.
[ Rembrandt hangs up ]
Wade: So?
Rembrandt: He says everything is fine. He and his double ran into each other. They're fixing the timer right now.
Arturo: I should go over then.
Rembrandt: He said it's under control. The two of them are going to hang out tonight, talk shop. We just need to be there tomorrow.
[ Switch back to Quinn. He hangs up the phone. Pull back to show that Quinn is actually alt-Quinn. ]


[ The precinct. Quinn has his head in his hands. Agent Yenn and Copeland are still grilling him. ]
Yenn: Give us the location of your home world.
Quinn: THIS is my home world.
Yenn: How can this be your home when you already exist here?
Quinn: It can be if the guy that's already here is the real impostor.
Copeland: What kind of idiots do you take us for?
Quinn: Blistering ones come to mind.
Yenn: The location of your home world, Mr. Mallory.
Quinn: I said, HERE! Jeez, you guys are almost as bad as the Kromaggs.
Yenn: Kromaggs?
Quinn: Never mind. Look, you've given me a lie detector and I passed it. What more do you want from me?
Copeland: Lie detectors are unreliable. We need more concrete proof, something irrefutable. And DNA or fingerprint evidence isn't exactly going to work.
[ a beat ]
Quinn: No…but I know something that will. Take me to the sliding lab. I can give you all the proof you need.
[ Close up of Copeland and Yenn. Cutaway ]


[ The next morning. Exterior shot of the Physics building at UCal. Students are coming and going. Inside, a Quinn very much resembling ours is in the lab. (Alt-Quinn) In his hand is the timer. It reads thirteen minutes. ]
Alt-Quinn: These guys are cutting it close. They should have gotten here fifteen minutes ago.
[ Pan the lab. It contains all the missing equipment from Quinn's basement, however the computers are more modern. Alt-Quinn paces and stops at a workbench by the sliding machine. ]
Alt-Quinn: How many times have I told Bennish to put things away after using them? [ He gathers up the tools strewn about ] There's a reason this guy is on the eight year program.
[ Arturo, Rembrandt and Wade enter. ]
Alt-Quinn: It's about time guys! I was worried we were going to miss the slide.
Rembrandt: It's good seeing you too, Q-Ball…
Wade:…considering you haven't seen us since you stormed off two nights ago.
Alt-Quinn: I'm sorry about that. It was just the disappointment of not being home…I guess I kinda flipped out.
Arturo: All is forgiven my boy, so long as you've fixed that timer.
Alt-Quinn: Ready and able. With the equipment my double has, it was no trouble at all.
Wade: And where is your double? I so much wanted to meet him.
Alt-Quinn: Uh…he wanted to be here to see us off but he uh…had an early morning class to teach.
Voice: Class was cancelled.
[ Quinn enters the lab. ]
Alt-Quinn: What are you doing here?
Quinn: I'm taking back my life. [ turns to the door ] Agents?
[ Yenn and Copeland enter. ]
Yenn: The game is up, Mr. Mallory.
[ Rembrandt grabs Alt-Quinn and Wade takes the timer. ]
Alt-Quinn: What?
Wade: Guess who we bumped into on the way in?
[ Pan to a smiling Quinn. ]
Yenn: [ to Alt-Quinn ] This Mr. Mallory enlightened us on the concept of quantum signatures. He put on a rather impressive demonstration for us.
Alt-Quinn: That doesn't mean anything! He could have rigged the experiment. Don't you see? He's tricked you. I told you this guy was extremely clever. After all, he's me!
Yenn: Then perhaps you would consent to a scan to prove your identity.
[ Alt-Quinn glares at Quinn. Suddenly he throws an elbow to Rembrandt's head and runs to the sliding machine. ]
Rembrandt: Ow!
[ Alt-Quinn presses a button and the machine fires up. Yenn and Copeland draw their weapons. ]
Yenn: Turn off the machine!
Alt-Quinn: Lower your weapons or I'll turn the power up on this thing so high that half the state of Oregon will make the slide with us.
Quinn: You better do as he says. It's no bluff.
[ The agents lower their weapons. ]
Alt-Quinn: Smart move. [ to Quinn ] I underestimated you, double of mine.
[ Alt-Quinn picks up his own timer. ]
Alt-Quinn: Oh well, there are always other worlds!
[ Alt-Quinn opens his vortex. ]
Alt-Quinn: Infinite possibilities! So long suckers!
[ Alt-Quinn slides. The vortex remains open. ]
Rembrandt: Are we just going to let him go?
Quinn: Not exactly, Rembrandt. As I told you guys when you arrived, I had to re-build a quantum analyzer to prove to the agents that I was the true Quinn. But while I was here I made a few adjustments, just in case my double tried anything. I re-configured his system to set the destination co-ordinates to the quantum signature of the slider.
Wade: You sent him home?
Quinn: It was the least I could do. Oh…and I kinda switched the chips in our timers.
[ The vortex begins to close. ]
[ Sliding bumper ]
[ The vortex opens and Alt-Quinn crashes to the floor. He's still in the lab at UCal. ]
Alt-Quinn: Heh heh [ checks timer ] What the…Oh no! [ smacks timer ] My timer's shorted out!
Voice: Your timer? Don't you mean my timer?
[ Alt-Quinn looks up to see Alt-Arturo and Alt-Bennish. ]
Alt-Quinn: Professor? Is that really you?
Alt-Arturo: Of course it's me, you impudent yahoo!
[ Arturo grabs the timer. ]
Alt-Arturo: So, finished with your joyride, Mr. Mallory? I should have known sliding was too complex to trust to you. [ to Bennish ] You see, Mr. Bennish? Rote memorization is fine and dandy, but if the student cannot apply the knowledge, what good is it?
Alt-Quinn: Professor, I can explain…
Alt-Arturo: Explain? Explain how you ran off with my greatest discovery? Oh you'll be explaining—to the proper authorities!
[ Alt-Arturo storms off as Alt-Bennish laughs at Alt-Quinn. ]
Alt-Quinn: What's so funny?
Alt-Bennish: You, dude. If you think Arturo's gone Chernobyl, just wait until Daelin gets a hold of you. I can't believe you cheated on her with that computer clerk and then ran off like that! Man, you are so f-
[ Cutaway ]


[ Back on Earth Prime. Resume from the lab. ]
Yenn: The paperwork will be hell, but I think we can get all of your lives back in order.
Rembrandt: I can see it now—Back from the great beyond, the Cryin' Man! Live!
[ The four laugh. ]
Quinn: Guys, I'm really sorry I walked out on you like that. I'd never have abandoned you. You guys mean the world to me. I'd give up my chance of getting home for any of you.
Arturo: [ smiles ] Easily said now, my boy?
[ Arturo and Quinn hug. ]
Rembrandt: Home at last! HA HA!
[ He grabs both Arturo and Quinn. Quinn pulls Wade into in the group hug. Wade still has the timer in hand and it's jostled open. ]
Wade: Hey guys. It's time.
Quinn: Let me see that.
[ The timer flashes 0:00. Quinn opens the vortex. ]
Wade: I can't believe it's finally over.
Quinn: It's never over, Wade. Right now we have a choice. Stay here and rebuild our lives or jump through this portal and see what else is out there.
Arturo: And as long as the outcome is possible, then it must occur.
Rembrandt: Though we choose to stay…
Wade:...we also choose to slide…
Quinn:…and a new dimension is born.
[ Lingering shot of the vortex. Switch to the four for one final shot. As the light from the vortex flickers off their faces, we fade out. ]


Production Notes

I know what you're thinking. Of an infinite number of sliders in an infinite number of dimensions, what were the odds our group would be the true group? Pretty damn good considering it's a television show. Did you think we'd follow the wrong group? To paraphrase Arturo, 'Of COURSE they're the RIGHT ones!'

What a fun episode to do! Throughout the years 'Sliders' has thrived on ridiculing parallel cultures which derived from our own institutions taken to an extreme. But this time out we got to make fun of our earth itself. The plan was for the viewer to pretty much know they were home immediately and watch as the others slowly figured it out. Surely, any world obsessed with collect call commercials should be looked at with a skeptical eye. The only real deviation was the success of Huey Lewis. On our earth, he's still in the twilight of his career. But the Sliders' earth really isn't our earth, is it? It's exactly like our earth except there four incredible characters found a portal into another dimension.

Why Huey Lewis? For starters, Lewis is from San Francisco. But more importantly, the original script for "Summer of Love" had a brief mention about Lewis subbing in for Rembrandt after he no-showed that fateful night. That singing a national anthem would actually spark a comeback is beyond ludicrous—that's what makes it so perfect! Rembrandt was right all along.

Another objective was to reference either directly or indirectly as many episodes as possible. Last time I checked, nearly two dozen of the four dozen episodes made get some play in this story, including almost all of the first season. Most prominent is "Into the Mystic," where we confirm that the world the Sorcerer sent them to was indeed their home.

It wouldn't be a late season three episode without a technical question. This week's: How did Alt-Quinn manage to retain his original quantum signature after almost a full year on Quinn's earth? It's actually quite simple. A Slider cannot take on the quantum signature of a world he visits. He can only get a new signature when he is part of a divergence. Now, Earth Prime undoubtedly diverged an infinite number of times while he was there, but he remained on the 'original' dimension. So elsewhere, an infinite number of Alt-Quinns got away with the subterfuge. This poor dope didn't.

And a poor dope he is! I really liked dressing down Alt-Quinn, sometimes referred to as SmarterQuinn. Turns out he wasn't so smart after all. It was Arturo who figured out the Unified Field Theory in his dimension; he was merely acting the big shot on the dimensions he visited. Everyone has always assumed that Alt-Quinn was married to Wade on his world as well judging by the kiss from the "Pilot", but it was never set in stone. It was fun twisting that around so that he was actually having an affair.

And that concludes our show. I hope everyone had as much fun watching it as I did producing it. This has been a tremendous experience for me and I will miss it greatly. But who knows? Maybe one day the entire project will be revived and turned into a feature film. As we all know, somewhere, on another dimension, the plans are already in the works…

Credit Where Credit is Due

I would be remiss if I failed to mention Chaser9's "Homecoming." It too features Alt-Quinn from the Pilot in a series finale. While I believe the two stories move in very different directions (particularly now that Tigs has taken over for the final installments), its influence was nonetheless felt throughout this story.

Thanks also go out to TemporalFlux, for posting the script outtakes for "Summer of Love." Without them, we wouldn't have the Huey Lewis scene which is one of my personal favorites.

Episode Guide   |   About the Author   |   Discussion   |   More Otherworlds