A friend who really enjoyed the SF TV series Sliders back in the 90s got me to start watching it with her. We're done with Season 1 and will probably start Season 2 together this weekend.
The show is about four people who can travel through wormholes into alternate universes, but can't control where they will end up or how long they will stay there. They also can't get home. Think: Homer's Odyssey plus theoretical physics, minus Penelope, times a visual medium, and divided by a set number of episodes per season. (Yes, this is what epic poetry has been reduced to. Because the medium is totally the message.)
I'm telling you all this because I've decided to do a post on each parallel world, starting now. So how about it? Ready to slide? =)
Pictured: Genius graduate student, wormhole, portable timer, and convex TV screen
The first parallel world is initially a bit of a fake out. Our main character slides from his basement laboratory into . . . his basement laboratory. =P
Then he gets in his car, starts driving, and gets yelled at twice: first for stopping at a red light and then for going through an intersection when the light is green. Meanwhile, the radio announcer is talking about "global cooling," commenting on the possibility of a certain "Kennedy" who is married to a "Marilyn" running for another term (in the 90s?!?!), and defending all the US illegals crossing the border to get jobs in Mexico. It's all very surreal, but also very random. This is not a world which branched off from ours at some critical turning point in history; it's just a world that is absurdly different.
And I get that. This is the Pilot, produced in order to sell the series to a network. While the show's creators might have wanted to feature one of their high-concept ideas, they probably didn't have the budget for it yet. (You can tell that most of the money went into the wormholes. LOL!) But there was one thing that had a lot more potential than they milked it for at the time . . .
(But with Simon Le Bon instead of Elvis Presley--LOL!)
Apparently, this upside-down world the hero has slid into is one in which Elvis Presley has survived to see the 1990s. I can think of a couple of people who wouldn't mind living there. ;-) But ultimately, this twist is another random difference that doesn't make the alternative world significantly different from ours.
You may disagree, but I'd say that Presley's influence on rock music and his impact on American culture were pretty much set in stone by the time he passed away. And his body of work from the 1970s doesn't live up to his output from the previous two decades. I can't imagine him fitting into the 80s at all--though I don't know if this is due to a limited imagination or to my perfectly tuned sensus Filii Octogensimorum Annorum. Either way, it does seem plausible that he would have ceased being a creative force in music long before the mid-90s, but continued selling out shows as a Las Vegas headliner.
So again, no great difference between our world and this one . . . but perhaps that really is what the creators intended for this one episode. =P
Your Turn to Slide: Which dead musical entertainer would you buy tickets for if he were still performing today?