The Unstuck Man

This episode first aired in the US June 11th 1999 on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Writer:Story by David Peckinpah and Keith Damron, Teleplay by Bill Dial and Chris Black
Director: Guy Magar
Guests: Peter Jurasik (Dr. Oberon Geiger), Larry McCormick (Weatherman), Garret Warren (Ike), Scott Klace (Hal), Clay Wilcox (Preacher)
* Quinn, Colin, Rembrandt and Maggie were the Sliders of Season 4.
Additional Notes:
* Peter Jurasik played major character Londo Mollari on Babylon 5 for the five years it was on.
* This episode introduces two new characters, played by Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke.
* Jerry O'Connell (Quinn) left, taking his brother Charlie (Colin) with him, an act which resulted in the addition of the new characters and a semi-loss of theirs.
A black woman enters a laboratory and fiddles with a machine. A silhouetted man is seen. Another man is escorted in and enters a box for an experiment. The silhouette halts the countdown til the experiment to adjust dimensional synchronisation. The countdown resumes.

Rembrandt has the timer. The Sliders are in a war world. He calls to the others. Quinn and Colin are seen running towards Rembrandt and Maggie, who joined him. Rembrandt opens the vortex and Maggie jumps in, followed by Rembrandt and then Quinn and Colin. See inside the vortex. It is longer than normal. Something happens. The vortex opens green and spluttering and spits them out in a forest. Rembrandt and Maggie can't see their companions, but they come across a strange man sitting in the lake (where he landed) who claims to be Quinn Mallory. He is obviously different and he claims he is from a lab. He doesn't know who they are or what they are talking about. He saw something happen to Colin in the vortex. Rembrandt pulls a gun from the last world on Mallory. Suddenly, Mallory says something about Thomas from Roads Taken, and he now recognises them. It's day, though they slid at night. Rembrandt's gun was empty. They all head into town.

High winds, lightning and chaos. A preacher is speaking to the people from a street corner. Rembrandt, Maggie and Mallory go past and reach the Chandler. Rembrandt goes to see if Quinn and colin checked in at the desk while Maggie and Mallory head to the bar. Mallory wants to return to Geiger and the lab. geiger cured him, but he can't quite remember everything yet. Quinn and Colin haven't checked in yet. The bartender is called Hal. Most people seem to think that the end of the world is near. His cousin worked at the lab until he got a little too curious. There is a machine called the combine there. The people in the bar all seem to be synchronised. Mallory's mobile goes off. He tells the person on the other end about what happened and where he and the others are. A van is sent to pick them up.

Rembrandt and Maggie are taken to the lab with Mallory. The woman from the beginning, Dr. Diana Davis, greets them. Mallory is taken to talk to Dr. Geiger while Diana takes Rembrandt and Maggie to her office.

Geiger is the silhouette. He is pleased with the result of the experiment. Geiger is in a box with a forcefield. Mallory is now two people.

Diana talks to Maggie and Rembrandt. She is the assistant director here. There is 4 hours, 38 minutes until the Slide. They tell her what they are doing here and she in return tells them about the combine, a machine that extracts DNA from healthy alternates to cure diseases.

Geiger wanted to combine Mallory with a double of his. Mallory claims he doesn't remember a lot. Geiger explains that Colin became 'unstuck,' unstable in a state of flux involuntarily going from one world to another because the merge caused more energy to be released than anticipated.

Diana also explains this to Rembrandt and Maggie. She says Colin will stay like that unless he can be anchored in one world. She also tells them that Mallory absorbed some, or all, of Quinn's sub-atomin structure. Rembrandt wants Diana to 'un-unstick' Colin. She agrees to try.

Geiger is planning to combine entire worlds so that he can be anchored in a world.

Maggie and Rembrandt are talking in a kitchen. If Colin and Quinn can't be rescued before the Slide, Maggie wants to stay behind. Quinn was her world and she has none of her own now. Rembrandt will stay if she does. Mallory enters and tells them about Geiger's plans. All agree that he must be stopped.

Diana goes to Geiger. She is concerned about Mallory and is believes he wasn't ready for the effects. Diana was Geiger's best student. He wants to exploit the success of this experiment, without caring about those changed by it. Diana disagrees. Geiger starts up a countdown for a larger merger - that of worlds!

1 hour 10 minutes left until the Slide. The remaining Sldiers plus Mallory go to find Diana. Even though she disagrs with his philosophy, Diana is reluctant to help them stop him. They begin to get her to belive, but Geiger has been watching them and he calls the Sldiers and Mallory to him, without letting Diana accompany them.

Geiger 'wants' to stop their timer countdown, so he suggests that they place it in his stasis field. Neither Rembrandt nor Maggie are prepared to let the timer go anywhere without them so they enter the 'stasis' field. They can still talk to each other within the field and it seems to be a bubble between worlds. The countdown hasn't stopped and no they are trapped.

Mallory pretends he is returning to his old self for Geiger, but Geiger still wants an eye kept on him.

The preacher is still continuing with his 'the world is coming to an end' statements outside.

Mallory goes to Diana and tells Diana what Geiger did to Rembrandt and Maggie, who are now between dimensions. She goes to find out what is going on from Geiger.

Mallory begins to interfere with the countdown to the big merger from a terminal in Diana's office using skills of the old Quinn.

Geiger explains to Diana what he is really trying to do. Geiger believes that Mallory is truly back to his old self already. He then notices that someone is overriding data and correcly assumes it is Mallory. He sends for him and Geiger plans to send him to the same place as Rembrandt and Maggie. However, just before he is sent there, Diana interferes and also brings the two Sldiers out of it. Betwen them, Diana and Mallory redirect the machine at Geiger and he is unstuck again. Diana them stops the countdown to the big merger at 3 seconds.

Outside, the cloud cover returns to normal with the rest of the weather and the preacher stops his rantings about the end of the world.

Quinn decides to go along with Rembrandt and Maggie on the Sldie in the hope that they wil lsomeday be able to separate him and Quinn. Diana also agrees to go to assist with this. She grabs a few items and then they all Slide.

Did You Notice?
* News Report - KSFG Action News - wierd magnetic storms in Santa Clarida valley. Raining for 17 straight days in the desert. Temperature in late 70s this afternoon.
* Missing persons by Toni - Paul Leonard, age 20.
* Maggie orders 3 drafts at the bar for her and the guys.
* There had been (rumours) Elton cloning in England.
* Rembrandt calls Mallory 'farmboy,' like he did Colin last season.
* The dimensional compression that would lead to a recombinant universe would cause some form of elemental collapse on a cosmic scale. Would have to account for an almost infinite mass.
* By creating a single universe, Geiger is creating a quantum ... (I can't read my notes :-) rate his body can align with and he won't be unstuck.
* The magnetic forcefield keeps Geiger anchored. He's a textbook megalomaniac.
* News report - the radar showed unusual cloud cover extending all the way from Canalina to Palm Springs. Lightning caused by brush fires in Inland empire and wind gusts up to 80mph in San Gabriel Valley.
* The final countdown stops at 0:03.
* This episode takes place in LA.
Cool Quotes:

"We've seen stranger things." - Maggie to Rembrandt about Mallory
"Why do you two always expect me to know everything?" - Mallory to Remmy and Maggie
"Turn that puppy on and the whole world's gonna get squashed like a bad melon." - Hal the baretender
"Intact? Am I intact???" - Mallory on his mobile
"Well, all this must be very confusing for you." - Diana to the remaining Sliders
"Did you feel anything strange at thi point?" - Dr Geiger
"You mean beside from the fact I was flying through some hole in the universe?" - Mallory in response
"Why didn't I see it before?" - Mallory
"Cos you didn't have our friend in your head before." - Rembrandt
"Exploiting break throughs is one thing. Exploiting people is another." - Diana disapproves of Geiger's schemes
"It's just a guess, but I'll have to say we're no-where." - Rembrandt to Maggie when suspended between worlds
"This alternate Quinn is a very arrogant young man." - Geiger
"And apparently a very talented one." - Diana in response
"...or not." - The preacher corrects his statements about the end of the world
"Let's do it for Colin, Wade, the professot and I think I owe you a ... to go!" - Mallory just before they slide out of his world
"What you're doing here is just theory. we're giving you the chance to do it for real!" - Maggie persuading Diana to join them
"The first step is easy, it's the last one you have to look out for!" - Maggie to Diana

* Although the stand-is looked pretty much like Jerry and Charlie, the 'Go! Go'! was so obviously not them.
* This may or not be a mistake, but it's a little difficult to believe that when Geiger was unstuck, he was in that dimension long enough to get a lab started and a forcefield up to contain him.
* A stasis field may stop a countdown, but would that change the window?
* Thomas Mallory wouldn't actually grow up without a father because he has already grown up and gone.
My Opinion:
At first, I found it difficult to buy into Geiger, but not because of anything to do with the character. The first time I watched it, all I could really get was the sound, so it sounded quite odd because I automatically associate that voice with Londo Mollari. Once I got past that, he was mostly fairly believable. I had my sister going, "Who is that? I know I recognise him. I know I've seen him in something," through about half the episode until I finally gave in and told her. It can be quite distracting sometimes. Peter Jurasik IS a good actor, and the character does have potential as long as they don't repeat his storylines again and again.

Robert Floyd seems to sound just like a cross between Jerry and Charlie! That actually fits in quite well with continuity, but it's scary they found someone that similar! I don't like his hair; it's too...normal. You don't understand do you? It's too mainstream, too common. I much prefer JOC's hair in the first couple of seasons. It was much nicer IMHO. Robert Floyd doesn't seem to be a bad actor and the character also has potential, even if it's a little odd.

Tembi Locke's character seems interesting although we don't know a lot about her from this episode. She does seem a little too technical. I expect that as she becomes accustomed to sliding and it becomes more of a way of life than an experiment, it will only be technical when neccessary. Hopefully she'll be a nice intelligent, strong woman. These days there aren't many with that entire combination, or not that I've come across anyway. Again, there's the potential there for a good character. All of that is as long as they evolve as needed.

Maggie's hair looks better in this season. Last season it looked a more than a little fake. Rembrandt is as cool as ever and Maggie seems to be an amalgamation of the season 3 and season 4 ones. Perhaps. Maybe it had something to do with the worlds they were on.

Most people thought the "Go! Go!" was so OBVIOUSLY not Quinn, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think they would have been better off using Robert Floyd for that part! It would probably have sounded more real!

The credits. What can I say? They took out the running scene that's always been there! How could they do that? Actually, I see how they did it and almost why. The credits were entirely of Rembrandt and Maggie or nearly so anyway. I assumed they would change significantly for the next ep (and I was right).

The preacher was pretty cool. Okay so he didn't do a lot, but he was pretty funny, especially when the world didn't come to an end as he predicted. It was nice to see a character (Hal the bartender) from the previous season who will recur. It adds continuity and I like continuity. But what was with the bar customers that they had to be synchronised with each other all the time? I don't get it!

A few people picked up on the phrase 'alternates' either in this ep or the next one (you don't expect me to remember everything do you!!) and while it is jarring, in this episode I can see why it was used. If they had used the word 'double' to Diana, she may not have quite understood. In Applied Physics it is quite different, but more on that when I type that one up.

My sister found it quite confusing and annoying the switching between Quinn and Mallory, but then she is 12. I didn't mind. There was a difference between them and it did seem a little confusing in places as to which one was talking, but I just took it to be Mallory unless otherwise stated. If they were going with the melding thing, it HAD to swap around at least a bit.

I'm still not entirely happy with the idea of melding and unsticking, but I can accept it in the way presented. I prefer the society stuff to technical stuff and this seemed a lot darker. But considering they had to write out two characters, bring two new ones in in a believeable way, this was more interesting and less usual than most. It does leave the door open for them to return (although any past actor could return with the parallel universes format) but to be completely honest, I'm not really holding out much hope. I hope there aren't too many hi-tech episodes this season.

There was a point at one point with Mallory where it looked like a couple of seconds were repeated, a bit like a sticking record. Perhaps it was just that showing.

Yes! Oh yes! the counter stopped before 1 second!!!!!! Okay, so it was 3 seconds, but it's a start. It really irritates me when things stop at 1 second or less. It's such a cliche. 3 seconds it still fairly cliched, but it's so definitely a start!

I do have a few questions though. If they've already been asked, forgive me, but there were so many posts at that time I couldn't possible read them all. How did Geiger actually get there? If he was unstuck I suppose he could have built the stable place during one of his random leaps, but I'm not sure. Could anyone help me? It just seemed a little odd that an unstuck person was the head of a lab and he'd obviously been there long enough to help Diana through her course and see her to assistand director of the lab.

Then there is the Thomas Mallory reference from Roads Taken. Technically, if Remmy had shot Mallory, Thomas wouldn't have grown up without a father because he had already grown and gone. It just seemed a funny thing to come out with. I guess it convinced Maggie and Rembrandt, but it just seemed a little out of place to me. Then again, there was continuity there again!

Oh, and before I forget, Mallory's line before the slide was perfect. Now why didn't they get mentioned like that in season 4? Oh wait, Peckinpah. I don't remember the professor being mentioned in season 4 at ALL.

Anyway, I did enjoy the episode. They had a lot to tie up and it was basically a set up episode so there wasn't really any alternate history, but this episode did show that there could be a good season ahead. It has changed in style, but that's not neccessarily bad. It IS different without Jerry O'Connell and even Charlie O'Connell, but again, that's not neccessarily all bad. I will miss them, but that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy these episodes. It always chages when they lose a character. It changed when the professor went, it changed when Wade was lost. It happens. They seem to have thought things out quite well so that they could bring them back if they wanted and I've started rambling now. I liked this episode as a set up for the season coming. I hope they continue to build on that.

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