Tracy Tormé, Sliders creator and Star Trek: TNG writer, dies

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Tracy Tormé, who launched sci-fi series Sliders and helped set the tone for Star Trek: The Next Generation, has passed away at 64.

Tracy Tormé, Sliders creator and Star Trek: TNG writer, dies 1

Tracy Tormé, the vision behind Sliders and an early writer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has passed away at the age of 64 from complications from diabetes.

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Tracy Tormé’s work and contributions within the sci-fi genre made him famous to fans. As per his sister (via The Hollywood Reporter), he “always interested in UFOs — the serious side of UFOs — and in the Air Force pilots who had seen them.” While he only wrote for two seasons on The Next Generation – also serving as story editor – his touch undoubtedly gave the series the thrust it needed to set the tone for the remainder of the series. The greatest success of his career, however, may be Sliders, which he co-created with Robert K. Weiss. Such a following it had developed, when Fox canceled it after three seasons, Sci Fi picked it up for its remaining two. In total, Sliders had 88 episodes between 1995 and 2000.

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In between Star Trek: TNG and Sliders, Tracy Tormé co-wrote the miniseries Intruders, which aired in May 1992. While it wasn’t his first screenplay (that would be 1988’s Spellbinder, which starred Tim Daly and Kelly Preston), 1993’s Fire in the Sky would give Tormé some big screen clout. Based on Travis Walton’s claims that he had been abducted by aliens, the movie was a truly terrifying account of the alleged incident, enhanced by Tormé’s history with and expertise in the UFOs and the sci-fi genre. He would be nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Writing. Tormé’s cinematic output would be limited, though, eventually venturing back with a treatment of Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend”. This would become 2007’s movie of the same name; he would receive a producer credit instead.

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Tracy Tormé would also contribute to The Outer Limits revival, Odyssey 5, HBO’s Carnivale, and more. Outside of the sci-fi world, Tracy Tormé wrote for Saturday Night Live during the eighth season, a format he had developed his skills on while writing for Canadian sketch show SCTV.

His father was famed Grammy-winning musician Mel Tormé.

What was your favorite work by the late Tracy Tormé? Give us your choice – and leave your condolences – below.

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