Another season, another theme song. (Also, apologies for having a Polish-Dubbed youtube video. If someone can score me a better link I’d be much appreciative. But also a Foreign Dude saying “Sliders” sounds really funny, so enjoy it.)
I do feel that Sliders’ lack of, let’s say, ‘brandable identity’ is not wholly unrelated to its mild unpopularity. Season One’s theme song, for all its techno-fueled bluster, was pretty uncatchy and completely unrelated to the tone of the show. Season Two’s was very catchy, but ultimately too dated to the mid-90s that it would never be memorable enough.
Season Three now, is by far the catchiest. You can hum along to it— it’s fair to say it could get caught in your head. That’s a good start. But just being catchy isn’t enough. You’ve got to back it up with some strong imagery. You’ve got to represent the show. Sliders often suffers from misleading or boring teasers. So more than most shows, Sliders has to work harder to re-convince its audience that they’re watching the right show.
Season Three’s intro, it must be said, does the best service to the show. First off, it trims down the opening monologue to something much more concise and exciting. Here, we have the makings of something that could actually become iconic.
What if you found a portal to a parallel universe?
What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds,
where it’s the same year, and you’re the same person,
but everything else is different?
And what if you can’t find your way home?
Jerry O’Connell’s reading of it is brilliant, but there’s something more at play, here. It de-specifies the story. It’s no longer the “story of Quinn and the Sliders.” It’s not saying “hey, look at this awesome thing I did.” It’s “what if you did this,” or “what if it was you.” It welcomes the audience into the adventure, asking us to participate in a way that we haven’t been before. It isn’t that we wouldn’t have come along on the adventure before. It’s just that we haven’t been asked. And so down the rabbit hole of a Vortex we go, happy to at last have an invitation.
You can make the grumpy argument that the montage that follows cherry picks all the flashiest moments from the first two seasons and makes it seem like all Sliders is is one long explosion/DINOSAUR/explosion. But let’s be honest— Season Three is all about explosions. If they could find an excuse for another dinosaur episode, I’m sure we’d see it (nyuk nyuk). So by choosing the most ‘exciting’ moments of the show, we’re greeted with the most honest representation of the show thus far.
So, good job, team. Now I’m sure that next week’s episode will be completely devoid of explosions and spend its run-time putting the characters through an emotional gauntlet.