The first three seasons of Sliders were shown by the Fox Network. It was cancelled after the first season, which was broadcast from March to May 1995, but was brought back for a second season from March to July 1996. A third season was broadcast from September 1996 to May 1997. The Sci-Fi Channel produced the fourth (June 1998 to April 1999) and fifth (from June 1999) seasons, but cancelled it in February 2000.
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The young physicist Quinn Mallory developed a machine capable of opening doors to alternate universes. On a trial run with his friend Wade Welles and his professor Maximillian Arturo (and the singer Rembrandt Brown, who accidentally came along for the ride) the controller for the machine was damaged, leaving them unable to control when the doors would open or which world they would lead to. The format for the series was thus established: each episode begins with the protagonists arriving in a new world with some difference from the world they started out in (penicillin was never discovered, the USA is part of the Soviet Union, women oppress men); while waiting for the next door to open, they get into some kind of trouble, get separated from the machine, and have to get back to the machine in time to travel through the door into the next world.
The third season introduced the Kromaggs, a species which is also capable of sliding, and which travels from world to world conquering and enslaving. The group loses Professor Arturo, who is killed by an insane colonel, and gains Maggie Beckett, a woman from the colonel's world who has her own reasons for helping to track him down. At the end of the season, they find their way back home - which has been taken over by the Kromaggs. Wade is captured by the Kromaggs and is not seen again until very late in the series when she has been turned by the Kromaggs into a cyborg computer capable of predicting the future and tracking wormholes. Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt try to find a weapon against the Kromaggs. Quinn discovers that his world is not really his world - he's the son of reality-hopping Kromagg resistance fighters, and he has a brother, Colin, on another parallel earth. Colin joins them. At the beginning of the fifth season Colin is lost, because he whirls around and drives between dimensions without a destination. Quinn melds with a double on a parallel earth, Mallory, who joins Rembrandt and Maggie, as does the scientist Dr. Diana Davis. They discover that the weapon against the Kromaggs is dangerous for human beings and afterwards they just slide from world to world. At the end of the last episode Rembrandt slides alone with a virus in his blood to fight the Kromaggs.
See also: List of Sliders episodes
Sliders has also been spun-off into a short-lived comic book series, published by Acclaim Comics.
Sliders-esque stories abound in comics, TV series and science fiction books, one of which is the Hypertime plotline running in DC Comics' 2nd Superboy series (issues 60-65), where Superboy hops between Elseworld, Realworld and Possible 'Realities' in a fashion akin to Sliders. The series also shares some similarites with Quantum Leap, and some fans have speculated about a link between the character of Maggie Beckett and Quantum Leap protagonist Sam Beckett.