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1997-07-27 00:00:00 - (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - (cook@sos.sos.net)


The "WHAT HAPPENED TO MAXIMILLION ARTURO?" Mini-FAQ. Version 2.0 Since this question keeps dribbling into the alt.tv.sliders (ATS) newsgroup from international viewers at about the rate of one a week, I thought it was finally time to address it. All of this information is based on viewing the show, comments posted to the ATS newsgroup, and Ed Hall's Slider FAQ page at http://www.brillig.com/sliders/earth- prime.shtml. Criticisms, corrections and flames are welcome. NOTE- THIRD SEASON SPOILERS FOLLOW... 1. WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO? 2. WHY WAS ARTURO KILLED OFF? 3. IF JRD WAS FIRED, WHY WAS HE FIRED? 4. WHO IS THIS NEW RED-HEADED FEMALE CAST MEMBER? 5. WHY DO PEOPLE ON ATS ARGUE ABOUT BECKETT/WURHER SO MUCH? 6. WHO IS THE GUY WITH THE SYRINGE AND THE ENGLISH ACCENT? 7. WILL ARTURO BE BACK, NOW THAT SLIDERS HAS MOVED TO A NEW NETWORK (THE SCI-FI CHANNEL) FOR SEASON FOUR? 8. WHICH EPISODE INTRODUCED RICKMAN AND BECKETT/KILLED OFF ARTURO? 9. HOW COME ARTURO TURNS UP AGAIN IN A LATER EPISODE? 10. SUMMARY OF "THE EXODUS" 1. WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO? The character was killed off in a two-part episode titled "The Exodus" (See #10 for a summary) 2. WHY WAS ARTURO KILLED OFF? A: Current majority newsgroup opinion: Executives at the FOX television network sacked the actor who played him, John Rhys-Davies. (hereafter JRD). This opinion was supported by a post to the group by someone who claimed, fairly reliably, to be Tracy Torme. B: Current minority opinion: JRD quit. In any event, JRD had been generally unhappy with the creative direction of the show for some time, and was not hauled off the set kicking and screaming; he wrote the story for the episode where his character is killed. He will have a semi-regular role on the series Star Trek: Voyager in the fall of 1997. 3. IF JRD WAS FIRED, WHY WAS HE FIRED? The same reason that network execs do everything they do- they thought it would boost ratings. The thinking was, evidently, to appeal to a younger, male, audience by replacing Arturo with a younger "sexy" female character. Apparently this strategy failed, as the show was subsequently cancelled due to poor ratings. It has been revived by the Sci-Fi Channel for a fourth season. If JRD quit of his own accord, the same reasoning still applies, as to their choice of a replacement. 4. WHO IS THIS NEW RED-HEADED FEMALE CAST MEMBER? The character's name is Maggie Beckett, who is played by Kari Wurher. Ms. Wurher has appeared in such films as Beastmaster II and Anaconda, and was the hostess of the MTV network game show Remote Control. Ms. Beckett is a military Captain from a parallel- universe America. (One correspondent says that she's a Marine, and if someone can confirm this, please do so, since the show has never specifically stated one way or another.) She has come along with the Sliders as they try to catch a re-occurring villain named Colonel Angus Rickman. In the episode which introduced these two characters, Rickman killed both Arturo and Maggie's husband. (See #10) It has been stated on the newsgroup several times that Ms. Wurher was approached by the show's producers about taking the part, not the other way around. 5. WHY DO PEOPLE ON ATS ARGUE ABOUT BECKETT/WURHER SO MUCH? This is a subject that requires a separate FAQ. The basic argument, however, is this: Is Ms. Wurher a competent actress, and does she and/or her character add anything positive to the show? ATS has vocal proponents of both sides to this argument. I have my own views on the subject, but will not air them here. 6. WHO IS THE GUY WITH THE SYRINGE AND THE ENGLISH ACCENT? This is Col. Rickman, who survives by sucking out people's brain tissue with his syringe and injecting said tissue directly into his own brain. Injecting the fluid causes a brief physical morph of his face into that of his latest victim. The process leaves the victim in a coma. He has his own sliding timer, which may have the "co-ordinates" of Earth Prime stored on it. Rickman has been played by two men- once by Roger Daltrey, (of the rock band The Who, star of various movies) and several times by Neil Dickson. According to one ATS poster, Mr. Dickson has brief role in the current movie Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. 7. WILL ARTURO BE BACK, NOW THAT SLIDERS HAS MOVED TO A NEW NETWORK (THE SCI-FI CHANNEL) FOR SEASON FOUR? Possibly. JRD has "expressed interest" in returning, now that the FOX executives are no longer running the show. It would be fairly simple to write the character back into the show, using the events of the second-season episode Post-Traumatic Slide Syndrome (the "good/evil Arturos" episode), or simply meeting an Arturo double. 8. WHICH EPISODE INTRODUCED RICKMAN AND BECKETT/KILLED OFF ARTURO? It was a two-parter, called "The Exodus", for which, as stated above, JRD contributed the basic story idea. It was later said that he was displeased with the way it finally turned out. A plot summary can be found at the bottom of the page. 9. HOW COME ARTURO TURNS UP AGAIN IN A LATER EPISODE? One Arturo episode, The Last of Eden, either got lost in the shuffle of the cast changeover, or was pushed back by the FOX network to get The Exodus on during the rating sweeps, or a little of both. Whatever the exact reason, the producers shot a quick intro with Rembrandt and Wade that turned it into a flashback episode. (All of this info applies only to the U.S. It may be that it was shown in the correct order elsewhere. Any international viewer who can confirm/deny this, please drop a note to the e-mail at the bottom of the page.) 10. SUMMARY OF "THE EXODUS" The Sliders land on a cold-war world threatened with destruction by a (hilariously scientifically inaccurate) pulsar. They obtain some important information about the pulsar's trajectory from a dying scientist, and run afoul of Captain Beckett and her goon squad. She ends up arresting them, and taking them to the base run by Col. Rickman. Rickman was exposed to a biological agent during "the Gulf War", and must survive by stealing brain tissue from other people. This theft puts the victim into an apparently permanent coma. No one is aware of his condition when the Sliders arrive. The four Sliders meet Maggie's wheelchair-bound husband, Dr. Jenson, who is attempting to develop a sliding machine. Quinn agrees to help him get the machine operational, in exchange for the ability to record the co-ordinates of visited worlds. It is discovered that the pulsar, or "fragments" thereof, will destroy all life on earth. Plans are made to use Jenson's now-functional sliding machine to save a colony of survivors. Col. Beckett insists that Wade be the one who decides who goes and who dies. This keeps her occupied for most of the show. Rembrandt meets and bonds with a young artist named Malcolm Eastman, both of whose parents fall victim to Rickman in the course of the episode. The character of Malcolm, played by the same actor, re-appears in the episode "Dinoslide". Quinn and Maggie start scouting for a new world. Each world they arrive on has its co-ordinates stored in the timer they use. They visit a land of giant carnivorous bunny rabbits, a world with an alternate Maggie, and, apparently, Earth Prime. Maggie is unable to breath on Earth Prime, so Quinn takes her back to her world, after the patented squeaky-gate test and a very short reunion with his mother. (End of Part I) Quinn won't let the other three sliders go home until the base evacuation is completed, leading to a bitter argument. Eventually Quinn wins out. Maggie recovers, and they resume their search. After visiting several unseen worlds, they find one that appears suitable, inhabited only by primitive tribesmen. Quinn and Maggie almost kiss while watching a tribe perform one of their ceremonies. Back on Pulsar World, the Soviet Union has been obliterated, and rioting is spreading, climaxing in an assault on the base by civilians. Wade completes her list, including Malcolm at Rembrandt's insistence, and the evacuation begins. (It turns out that Rickman has been screening the escapees by blood-type, to simplify his future brain-injections.) Arturo discovers that Rickman is deliberately keeping the escape count artificially low, and Rickman attempts to suck his brain to silence him, but is interrupted by Rembrandt and Wade. This leaves Arturo in a semi-coherent state. Jenson discovers the low count as well, but when he goes to tell Rickman, he interrupts Rickman in mid-morph. Rickman shoots him, with Malcolm witnessing the event. The colonists, with a misinformed Beckett, leave. Rickman manages to strand the sliders and Malcolm on Pulsar World, fatally shooting Arturo in the process. The remaining Sliders and Malcolm use their own, improved, timer to escape to the colony world just as Pulsar Earth goes blooie, taking Arturo's body along with it. The new colony is set up. Rickman is exposed as the murderer, and the brain-sucker. He escapes, using the timer with the maybe-Earth-Prime co-ordinates on it. The Sliders, with Maggie now along for the ride, follow after him, both for vengeance, and for the information he carries. The rest of the season details their hunt for him, which climaxes at the third season finale, This Slide of Paradise. Permission granted to re-post this article in any electronic medium, but I'm the only one doing "official" updates. So there. Any corrections can be sent to the e-mail address below, and will be included in any updates. Last updated July 27, 1997. Thanks to ATS denizens Sir STACK, Puz1, E. Walter, and Adam Bernay for their comments/corrections/grammar lessons. Robert M. Cook cook@sos.net http://www.sos.net/home/cook/index2.htm

1997-07-27 00:00:00 - Re: (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - (Adam Bernay <abernay@mammoth.psnw.com>)


On Sun, 27 Jul 1997, Robert Cook wrote: > 4. WHO IS THIS NEW RED-HEADED FEMALE CAST MEMBER? > > The character's name is Maggie Beckett, who is played by Kari > Wurher. Ms. Wurher has appeared in such films as Beastmaster II > and Anaconda, and was the hostess of the MTV network game show > Remote Control. Ms. Beckett is a military Captain from a parallel- > universe America. (One correspondent says that she's a Marine, and if > someone can confirm this, please do so, since the show has never > specifically stated one way or another.) Incorrect...it was stated many times in "The Exodus" that she was a Marine, and she is quite obviously wearing a Marine uniform during most of it...if the fact that she's wearing khakis with the Marine Corps' globe-and-anchor on the collars can be taken as legitimate... <sarcasm mode was on> She's definitely a Marine... > Col. Beckett insists that Wade be the one who decides who goes > and who dies. This keeps her occupied for most of the show. Col. Rickman...Maggie Beckett is a Captain, and had nothing to do with the order... All Part of The Service... Adam Bernay

1997-07-29 00:00:00 - Re: (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - (cook@sos.sos.net)


Adam Bernay <abernay@mammoth.psnw.com> wrote: On Sun, 27 Jul 1997, I wrote: >> 4. WHO IS THIS NEW RED-HEADED FEMALE CAST MEMBER? >> >> The character's name is Maggie Beckett, who is played by Kari >> Wurher. Ms. Wurher has appeared in such films as Beastmaster II >> and Anaconda, and was the hostess of the MTV network game show >> Remote Control. Ms. Beckett is a military Captain from a parallel- >> universe America. (One correspondent says that she's a Marine, and if >> someone can confirm this, please do so, since the show has never >> specifically stated one way or another.) Mr. Burney wrote: >Incorrect...it was stated many times in "The Exodus" that she was a >Marine, and she is quite obviously wearing a Marine uniform during most of >it...if the fact that she's wearing khakis with the Marine Corps' >globe-and-anchor on the collars can be taken as legitimate... <sarcasm >mode was on> She's definitely a Marine... I've watched that wretched episode three times now, and at *no* point does *anyone* refer to Beckett, Rickman, and Co. as Marines. They may be wearing Marine uniforms, but AFAIK, the show has *never* explicitly stated which branch of the service Maggie was in. Of course, this *is* a parallel universe, so maybe the armed forces are organized differently over there.. Just to toss out some additional info, here are the ranks mentioned in The Exodus: Colonel (Rickman) Captain (Maggie) General (Maggie's father- may not be the same branch) Airman (One of Maggie's goons) Flight Surgeon (The doctor who treats Maggie) MP (Rickman says they are in charge of base security) Sergeant (The man at the gate who shoots the civilians) >> Col. Beckett insists that Wade be the one who decides who goes >> and who dies. This keeps her occupied for most of the show. >Col. Rickman...Maggie Beckett is a Captain, and had nothing to do with the >order... Oops. Robert M. Cook cook@sos.net http://www.sos.net/home/cook/index2.htm

1997-07-30 00:00:00 - Re: (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - (berrpm@aur.alcatel.com)


In article <5rggo6$p76$1@barad-dur.nas.com>, cook@sos.sos.net (Robert Cook) writes: > 2. WHY WAS ARTURO KILLED OFF? > > A: Current majority newsgroup opinion: Executives at the > FOX television network sacked the actor who played him, > John Rhys-Davies. Some advice from a guy with four years of experience maintaining FAQ lists: don't waste your time documenting "majority newsgroup opinions." Stick to the facts. If no facts are available, just say that. > 4. WHO IS THIS NEW RED-HEADED FEMALE CAST MEMBER? > > The character's name is Maggie Beckett, who is played by Kari > Wurher. Her last name is spelled Wuhrer. > It has been stated on the newsgroup several times that > Ms. Wurher was approached by the show's producers about > taking the part, not the other way around. I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. Actors don't "approach" producers looking for work; their agents receive word that a part is being cast, and actors show up to audition. Is this not what happened? > 5. WHY DO PEOPLE ON ATS ARGUE ABOUT BECKETT/WURHER SO MUCH? > > This is a subject that requires a separate FAQ. The basic argument, > however, is this: Is Ms. Wurher a competent actress, and does she > and/or her character add anything positive to the show? ATS has > vocal proponents of both sides to this argument. I have my own > views on the subject, but will not air them here. I think that misses the point entirely. People hate change. Whenever a character leaves a show and is replaced, a sizable fraction of the show's fans will be enraged by the change and will automatically hate the newcomer, regardless of that person's identity and acting abilities. Case in point: Babylon 5. Claudia Christian has just left the show, and some of the fans are frothing at the mouth and want a scapegoat to crucify. At the moment, the show's executive producer is the favorite target, but that's only because the replacement has not yet been cast. The moment the new cast member is announced, she will begin receiving hate mail and death threats, even if she has a shelf full of Oscars and Emmys at home. > Maggie > is unable to breath on Earth Prime, so Quinn takes her back to > her world, after the patented squeaky-gate test and a very short > reunion with his mother. Maggie is unable to *breathe* on Earth Prime. "Breath" (rhymes with death) is a noun, "breathe" is a verb.

1997-07-30 00:00:00 - Re: (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - (Adam Bernay <abernay@mammoth.psnw.com>)


On 30 Jul 1997, Patrick M. Berry wrote: > > It has been stated on the newsgroup several times that > > Ms. Wurher was approached by the show's producers about > > taking the part, not the other way around. > > I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. Actors don't > "approach" producers looking for work; their agents receive > word that a part is being cast, and actors show up to audition. > Is this not what happened? This is not always how it happens. Actors that have made even somewhat of a name for themselves will frequently contact producers if there's a project that they want to be a part of...and, frequently, that annoys the *!@%$ out of producers... Adam Bernay

1997-07-30 00:00:00 - Re: (REVISED) FAQ: WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTURO (VERSION 2.0) - ("J. Maxwell" <kildar@u.washington.edu>)


On 30 Jul 1997, Patrick M. Berry wrote: > In article <5rggo6$p76$1@barad-dur.nas.com>, cook@sos.sos.net (Robert Cook) writes: > > > It has been stated on the newsgroup several times that > > Ms. Wurher was approached by the show's producers about > > taking the part, not the other way around. > > I don't understand what this is supposed to mean. Actors don't > "approach" producers looking for work; their agents receive > word that a part is being cast, and actors show up to audition. > Is this not what happened? > Well I have heard of other cases where the actor/actress approached the producers. The most notable is Whoopi Goldberg approaching (begging in her words) Gene Roddenberry for a part in ST:TNG. -={JASON}=- "That's the fun of fantasy, you get to Trekker embody evil, then take out a big X-Phile sword and disembody evil." Slider -- R.A. Salvatore Visit http://weber.u.washington.edu/~kildar/ please!