Five Totally Awesome Things You Missed the First Time Around – The Sci-fi Edition

firefly title card

2) Sliders

Stats: Aired for five seasons between 1995 and 2000. Seasons 1-3 were aired on Fox. Seasons 4-5 were on the Sci-fi channel.sliders original cast

Starring: Jerry O’Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Cleavant Derricks, Sabrina Lloyd, Kari Wuhrer

Why you might have missed it: It was a little before its time. It also aired on Fox who is notorious for cancelling shows. (see above. Also this was cancelled by Fox after season three and picked up by Sci-fi).

Summary: Quinn Mallory, a physics genius, invents a way to slide between alternate universes. In a Quantum Leap turn, Quinn’s device gets broken and him and three others get caught sliding between universes trying to find their way home. They have no control over what universe they slide into and as such find themselves in weird alternate worlds. Other than Quinn, there is his best friend Wade Wells who has had a crush on him since forever, his professor Maximillian P. Arturo, and the random Rembrandt “Cryin Man” Brown who was sucked into the vortex because he was driving by Quinn’s house. These four characters remain the same for the first three seasons until Rhys-Davies (of LOTR fame) leaves the show and some major character retooling takes place. I can’t vouch for the last two seasons. I’ve heard they are pretty terrible but the first three are worth watching.

Why it is AWESOME: It’s basically Quantum Leap for teens. Well, not really. It’s silly fun. Alternate universes are always entertaining and so is seeing how things can change from one universe to another just because a butterfly got stepped on. (Ray Bradbury reference FTW!) Just a note: some of the episodes were aired out of order so you may want to look up the correct order before watching.

How can you see it?: Netflix streaming.

 

4400 title card3) The 4400

Stats: Aired for four seasons between 2004 and 2007 on USA Network.

Starring: A ton of folks but the main characters are played by Joel Gretsch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Patrick Flueger, Conchita Campbell

Why you might have missed it: It aired on the USA Network.

Summary: 4400 people disappear over the course of five decades and then one day, they show back up in a ball of light on the shore of a lake, not having aged and now, complete with special powers. A special government task force is assigned to watch over these folks. Many of the individuals have no families to go back to and end up relying on each other for companionship.

Why it is AWESOME: It’s a unique premise. Some of the exceptional powers are a little creepy and watching them manifest is interesting. There is also a thought-provoking subplot about government interfering in people’s lives and how the 4400 band together under the banner of Billy Campbell’s character in a kind of a cult.

How can you see it?: You can get the DVDs through Netflix.

 

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