In 1998, an NBC executive caught a late-night marathon of Sliders reruns. Inspired by the characters’ abilities to transport themselves to alternate dimensions through wormholes, this executive decided to unite the premise of Sliders with the cast and characters of the surging NBC hit, Friends.
This mid-season spinoff was contracted for eight episodes; however, after filming wrapped, the episodes were never aired for reasons unknown. Instead, they were locked deep in the NBC vaults.
While the footage remains sealed in the basement of 30 Rock, these episode synopses still remain as testament to some of the best television ever made.
- The One with the JFK Assassination – While on a second honeymoon in Dallas, Monica and Chandler decide to walk through the historic downtown. Their day is cut short by Joey, who has been tricked into entering the book depository to play “lookout” with some new friends.
- The One Where Chandler Goes to Normandy – The gang is hanging at Central Perk talking over the repercussions of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when Chandler and Joey’s mailman walks in for a cup of coffee. Spotting Chandler, the mailman informs him that he’s won the lottery. Unfortunately, it turns out to be the draft lottery. Chandler ends up on a landing craft with orders to attack Omaha beach. Janice promises to wait for him. Joey and Ross are deemed unfit for battle.
- The One Where The Gang Goes to China – Joey and Chandler become local legends in Ming Dynasty China for their skills in casually passing a stuffed pigskin. They become fixated on creating the winningest backyard football team in China: The Ming Dynasty Dynasty Team. Monica insists on becoming the manager. Phoebe strikes a deal to sing the warm-up song for games. Rachel makes a vase. Ross is a starving peasant.
- The One Where Joey and Ross Fight at Gettysburg – Joey and Ross are best friends, but this time, they find themselves at odds during the Civil War when Joey is tricked into fighting for the Confederate Army while Ross fights for his life with the Union. Ross spends most of his time at the camp telling any soldier who will listen about Rachel, while Joey uses the experience as training for his acting career. After hours of doing anything to stay alive, the two have to flee the battle when the Confederate troops discover that Joey ate all of their rations.
- The One Where Phoebe Kills Hitler – Monica starts to admire the order and discipline of the up-and-coming Nazi party and becomes Adolf Hitler’s personal chef. Phoebe joins as her assistant chef and, in an effort to prove that she’s up to the task, adds a special ingredient to the Fuhrer’s salad. Unfortunately, the secret ingredient is peanuts, and Hitler is deadly allergic.
- The One Where They Hit An Iceberg – While the rest of the gang enjoys a luxury cruise, Ross deals with seasickness. The problem gets worse as the ship begins to take on water. Joey uses this as an excuse for an impromptu wet T-shirt contest, though he has trouble finding participants. Phoebe decides to play with the band.
- The One Where Monica Enters An Alternate Dimension and Watches Herself Die – Monica is jealous of all the fun the group is having in its time and inter-dimensional travels, but she’s afraid to go through any wormholes of her own. Finally, after some reassurance from Chandler, she makes the jump and enters an alternate dimension set in the not-too-distant future. In it, she sees herself locked in the kitchen of her restaurant as it goes up in flames from a grease fire. She runs to the door only to find Rachel on the other side, smiling, taking it all in. This is everything Rachel has worked for all these years; Monica’s death brings her the ultimate satisfaction. The two sit together at Central Perk when Monica returns to the present reality.
- The One Where Joey Gets Polio – Joey and Ross join Franklin D. Roosevelt on a vacation to Canada, but on the way Joey decides to buy an apple from a roadside stand. The apple turns out to have had trace amounts of human feces infected with the polio virus. Joey quickly bounces back, but not before passing the virus on to the future president. Things go from bad to worse when Rachel accidentally flirts with Eleanor Roosevelt.