Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

He was referencing a show that's almost twenty years old in which the character he mentions literally arrives on scene because of her slutty behavior. There's nothing wrong with this for two reasons: 1) the dictionary definition is an accurate descriptor (even if it requires a trigger warning) and 2) that's how the show described and explained Jen. That's the whole point - she carries that stigma and spends a ton of the series owning and overcoming it.

We now return to your regularly scheduled discussion on Sliders podcasts.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

In any case, guess what? A new episode is up! We discuss Murder Most Foul and Slide Like An Egyptian! Go get it!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I'm not going to listen to the podcast now. I'll listen to it during my commute tomorrow. :-) Thank you, Cory.

As for DAWSON'S CREEK -- I dunno! I watched it when I was 18/19 and I was kind of a Puritanical jerk who totally agreed with the show's characters holding Jen in judgement for the apparently horrific sin of having sex. I wonder if, rewatching it today, I'd see it as the authorial voice or merely the judgments of flawed characters. Also, I enjoyed Seasons 1 - 2 a lot, but found that when Kevin Williamson left after that, he took all the humour, fun and wit out of the series. Season 3 was crass and ugly; Season 4 was bland and I never made it to Seasons 5 - 6. Loved the series finale that Kevin Williamson returned to write, though.

Anyway. Matt and I are in that situation that even the very best of friends will find themselves in -- where we must agree to disagree.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

tom2point0 wrote:

In any case, guess what? A new episode is up! We discuss Murder Most Foul and Slide Like An Egyptian! Go get it!


Ah, Slide Like An Egyptian. This will be interesting!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Cory and Tom's "Double Cross" and "Rules of the Game" podcast were interesting. The shift from Season 2 to Season 3 is severe. Quinn and Wade are now styled and dressed as models. The show is drenched in Los Angeles glamour and sunlight. There's a heavier emphasis on physical action and eye-candy, as Cory and Tom note from Quinn and Logan nearly being sucked into a vortex and Rembrandt sneaking on top of a bullet train.

I think the guys hit on a neat angle: this could have been good. SLIDERS was never a set, strict set of parameters to be followed. If any story can be a SLIDERS story, why not an action story? "Double Cross" has some strong sci-fi ideas: sliding is presented as an avenue of conquest and a corporate interest, the female-double concept is intriguing and Logan St. Clair is terrific; a vengeful antagonist who is a slider.

Cory and Tom observe, however, that Logan could have easily been an evil scientist; there was no need to make her a Quinn-double. To me, this is another fascinating exploration of the Quinn Mallory character. The Quinn we know is a daring adventurer and a scientist with a uniquely creative mind.

Quinn's creativity is also shown to be amazingly improvisational; the guy thinks on his feet and cobbles together capable solutions to bad situations all the time. It's how he's survived Seasons 1 - 2. All this is tempered with compassion. We don't know where Quinn gained his idealism or care for other human beings -- but Logan represents a Quinn without scruples or morality and she's terrifying.

"Double Cross" is also well-written in many ways. The sliders learn about the resource-drained situation of this parallel Earth effectively. Characters have personality beyond their plot function, from Logan's boss to the alternate-Wade. The scenes are crisp and forceful, the action is exciting and drives the plot and characters. Season 3 of SLIDERS could have been just like this: all the alt-history and world-building of Seasons 1 - 2 -- but with a bit more action and with the LA production.

Which is why "Rules of the Game" is such a trainwreck. It's a complete reversal of the strengths in "Double Cross," and Cory and Tom really notice the severe dropoff in care and craft in the episode. We have a guest-character, Nicky, a fellow survivalist in the deadly game -- and the episode forgets to establish her character's name! Or anything distinct about her or her poor teammates, Frankie and Oscar! It is simply unprofessional for a mass-market TV show to fail to provide a guest-star with an introduction that identifies her or any clear individuality.

The alternate history for "Rules of the Game" is also nonsensical. All sports are banned, so the deathmatch is all that exists to entertain? How is that even enforceable? How does anything in this world work? Cory notes that there are all sorts of fascinating angles for this episode; what do the viewers of this televised game make of the sliders? What is the world outside the game? How desperate must Nicky and the other competitors be to take part in this absurd and suicidal contest? None of it's addressed.

The sliders have some terrific scenes of conversation, but the story around them is a mess. As Tom and Cory note, the passengers aboard the flight simulator are terrified when the plane 'crashes,' yet the story indicates everyone but the sliders would have known it wasn't a real plane. The idea of Rembrandt being a former Navy man is absurd. Quinn letting Nicky's family win the prize is meaningless because Nicky was largely undefined as a character.

The sad thing is that "Rules of the Game" isn't even the worst of this version of SLIDERS, focused on spectacle without concern for content.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"Dead Man Sliding" is a fun episode for me. Like "Double Cross," it merges an action-oriented version of SLIDERS with the Season 1/2 approach and the result is an engaging, visually captivating product. It's fun. The game show murder trial situation is delightfully off the wall. Jerry O'Connell's performance does a great job of distinguishing his double from the normal Quinn. Tom and Cory didn't seem to like Arturo, Wade and Rembrandt angsting about Quinn's situation, but I found the scene heartfelt.

Tom and Cory seemed to have a mixed reaction to Wade dressing up in club girl attire; on one level appreciating it, on another, having trouble connecting it to the mousey Wade of Season 1/2. I thought it worked; after two years, the sliders are used to putting themselves into different roles in order to survive. It's a very sudden jump, of course, but all TV in this era had massive character shifts between seasons to show maturity as episode-to-episode development was impossible.

At times, however, the LA production style causes problems. Perrey Reeves (Taryn the bounty hunter) doesn't convince as a warrior. She's a fine actress, but the costuming puts her in a ridiculous skintight vinyl outfit. The result is that we don't see a character who is a capable hunter of fugitive criminals; it's a Hollywood actress in a revealing outfit.

It also results in a weird visual situation where when Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt, Arturo and all the guest-stars look like stylish models and nobody looks normal, the overall sense of reality is diminished. The Vancouver episodes felt like a physical reality inhabited by all sorts; the LA episodes are creating a reality that's only inhabited by people from magazine covers. Tom and Cory seemed to have fun with this episode, and I did too -- although it would have been better if it had been filmed by the Season 2 team.

I've never seen "Electric Twister Acid Test," but I loved hearing Cory and Tom read message board posts about the fan who adored all the special effects and found them to be the perfect representation of SLIDERS at its best.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"The Guardian" is a great episode and I enjoyed Tom and Cory working through it. Interestingly, "The Guardian" features a massive retcon to Quinn Mallory's backstory akin to declaring that Rembrandt once served in the Navy. Few have ever commented on it. Anyway. Tom and Cory noted it somewhat ridiculous that Quinn wouldn't reveal his childhood trauma to the other sliders. It never bothered me. I couldn't articulate why until Ian McDuffie said it was because the sliders spend too much time together.

I was intrigued by Cory and Tom taking issue with the vortex behaving strangely at the start of "The Guardian" with an unusually smooth exit for the sliders. To me, that was connected to the altered gravity of "The Guardian's" Earth; sliding was an attempt to create a confined gravity field, after all, and the attempt to manipulate gravity was what opened the first wormhole in the show. But maybe that's just me reading into it too much.

The curious retcon of "The Guardian" is this: the Pilot establishes that Quinn lost his father as a teenager (and Jerry plays Quinn standing with Michael in a photo). "The Guardian" says Quinn lost his father at age-11. The reason I think Tracy Torme did this: Quinn's character was scripted as an isolated shut-in without much of a social life. This makes little sense when Quinn is played by an athletic Jerry O'Connell with his full-charisma.

"The Guardian" offers an explanation for Quinn's social awkwardness. He skipped two grades and was physically smaller than his peers; his father's death traumatized him. This is entirely in opposition to the Pilot, also written by Torme -- and it suggests that Torme is attempting to reconcile the actor/character disconnect after the fact. Interestingly, Cory noted that the death of Quinn's father was an unspoken reason for his reluctance to father a child in "Love Gods." Michael Mallory doesn't appear in this episode, but his presence is constant.

I've never seen "The Dream Masters." But I loved listening to Cory and Tom talk about how ridiculous it was that a few guys who could control dreams would have the police running scared and how nobody could possibly be intimidated by a Dream Master. Also loved listening to them read the message board post from the fan who loved the special effects and considered the "Dream Master" to be the pinnacle of SLIDERS storytelling.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

So, the "Desert Storm" podcast. Cory and Tom didn't like this episode much, nor do I. It's the spectacle-oriented version of SLIDERS but there is absolutely no energy, no drive, no excitement. The direction and editing of this episode are amateurish and incoherent, and the entire story is just a collection of setpieces pastiching the MAD MAX movies.

Ian McDuffie put it beautifully on his blog, noting that if people want to watch MAD MAX, they'll watch MAD MAX. They won't be interested in a cheap fan-film version that happens to feature the cast of SLIDERS. What's the point? The intense level of indifference within the production is disturbing; this is an episode where Arturo's illness is referred to as a *heart* condition when in "The Guardian," he was getting a BRAIN scan. God damn it.

And finally, "Desert Storm" is a scathing indictment of the LA production team on SLIDERS. A show so incompetent and incapable in its operation that it couldn't even avoid getting people killed. The stunt and safety standards on SLIDERS were so sloppy and lax as to be criminally negligent. Before "Desert Storm," there were constant visitors to the set; after "Desert Storm," production started locking down on visitors in an effort to cover up the circumstances Ken Steadman's death. SLIDERS in Season 3 was so bad that it KILLED someone.

And then we come to "Dragonslide." Oh, "Dragonslide." This is where I really gave up on SLIDERS. Tom and Cory didn't make too big a deal of it, clearly drained by "Electric Twister Acid Test" and "The Dream Masters" and "Desert Storm." But "Dragonslide" is the episode that flat out declares that magic exists in the SLIDERS mythos.

This is simply wrong. SLIDERS lends itself to many kinds of stories, sure. But the core of the show is founded on sliding as a scientific creation. A marvel of engineering. Much of sliding operates on how scientific principles are behind the wonders of the multiverse. And most SLIDERS stories, certainly the strong ones, operate on the sliders appreciating that the realities they visit operate on rules that can be understood and manipulated.

Tom and Cory took issue with the silliness. For me, the issue is abandoning any notion of rules. Within a work of fiction that operates on physics, mathematics, engineering and a loose sense of quantum mechanics, you can still have fantasy elements. You can have psychics and telepaths and present that a somewhat scientific concept from tapping the undiscovered abilities within the human mind. You can have monsters as the product of genetic engineering or cybernetic enhancement. It may be a stretch to call any of this science, but SLIDERS ultimately functions on the idea that the world(s) can be *understood* through reason and rationality.

But when you have people transforming into birds and magically taking over bodies and resurrecting and shapeshifting through spells, you've stepped into a level of arbitrary and, quite frankly, inexplicable fantasy. There is no reasoning or logic to how Quinn can come back to life or why killing Phillip Mallory would damn the villain. There's nothing for the sliders to investigate and understand. It's simply about manipulating meaningless symbols. Swords. Potions. Incantations. And SLIDERS simply isn't suited to this kind of storytelling.

When encountering psychics, the sliders learned the advantages and limits the psychics had and then formulated a plan. When encountering dragons and wizards, the sliders pick up magical objects. It doesn't call upon their intelligence, ingenuity, inventiveness or teamwork. "Dragonslide" also throws away any notion of world-building via an alternate outcome to a historical event. That sort of writing operates on applying logic, reason and extrapolation, and "Dragonslide"'s version of SLIDERS throws all that away in favour of magic.

Magic is a disservice to SLIDERS and its characters, and that's why "Dragonslide" is such an abomination despite being inoffensive as a piece of television.

Anyway. I laughed out loud when Tom and Cory balked at "Dragonslide"'s claim that the Rembrandt of the Pilot was getting ready to move in with Alicia Avo. That's just silly. The Rembrandt of Season 1 was clearly single and not desperate to return home to a lover from whom he'd been unwillingly parted.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"The Fire Within." Dear God, "The Fire Within." As Ian McDuffie angsted, we have here a perfectly workable story about unions and mistreated workers and SLIDERS instead obsessives over a ****ing talking flame. What the ****?! This is Season 3 at its lowest point (for now), abandoning social exploration for special effects. And it's so pointless. TV special effects looked as silly in the 90s as they do now. SLIDERS CGI looks like overpriced cartoons. That ridiculous bullet train in "Double Cross," the pathetic dragon in "Dragonslide" -- why would anyone be drawn in by such sloppy spectacle? The laziness of the production is perhaps best exemplified by the show staging a fire by filming the BACKDRAFT ride at the Universal theme park and using the footage in "The Fire Within." When you read Ian's blog entry on this moment, you can feel the will to live ebbing from Ian's soul.

I laughed myself silly when Tom and Cory dissected Wade's desire to have a baby and their noting how ridiculous it is that the flame can understand the English language and sliding. I will say, however, that despite the clumsiness, I am somewhat intrigued by the talking flame. It's an interesting idea, although "The Fire Within" does very little with it.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Thanks for the reviews, Ib!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

So, "The Prince of Slides." Cory and Tom seemed to enjoy this one aside from a few small plotholes (specifically, the Duke nearly getting killed at his cottage, then remaining at the cottage for anyone to find him). They liked a lot of the well-crafted characterization with George being revealed as a pawn rather than a villain. The alt-history with America as a post-Revolution monarchy was effective for them and they also liked the expanded alt-history in the deleted scenes. I enjoy "Prince of Slides" too -- it's a strong combination of the alt-history of Seasons 1 - 2 with the action-spectacle approach of Season 3. This is how the average Season 3 episode should have been; an engaging, enjoyable, professional product.

But there are little things that irk me. First of all, monarchies are bull$#!t. I'm not an American, but I find "Prince of Slides" to be treacherously unAmerican. To put it simply, you people living in America are capable of governing yourselves; you don't need kings to be selected for you by right of blood and birth (a.k.a. luck). If God chooses your rulers in this way, he's not much of a God. I'm not saying Americans do a great job of governing themselves; I'm just saying that of all the ways to organize your society and move towards greatness, monarchies are the dumbest way to do it, choosing leaders by family rather than by demonstrable ability.

So, to see the sliders defending kings and queens is pretty weird, although "Prince of Slides" makes it an internal revolution rather than a revolt from an oppressed population. What's troubling to me is that the sliders barely question or critique this absurd system of government, with Arturo actively supporting it as he laps up the luxuries of royal life. This is troubling when contrasted with "Prince of Wails" where Arturo was both supportive and critical of such power structures.

I also really took issue with Arturo creating a false identity for Quinn as a "fitness instructor." Holy S-word. We have really lost sight of who the hell this character is, haven't we? I think Arturo would have presented Quinn as the Duke's scientific advisor; you'd barely need to alter the dialogue for this.

I adored how Cory and Tom protested Arturo being presented as a Swiss-Army-Knife who walks like a man, noting that Arturo is now an expert on royal decorum and can perform C-sections. And I really liked their irritation towards another bizarre backstory for Rembrandt; his revelation that Danielle is the reason he calls himself the Cryin' Man is... I'm not saying it couldn't work, but "Prince of Slides" doesn't hit the mark. I'm not sure why, and I'll need to follow up later, but the story rings false to me and Cory and Tom found it over-the-top in trying to elevate the Danielle character's importance.

They also found it strange that Quinn wins the swordfights. Well, Jerry O'Connell is/was a championship-level fencer who'd won many competitions. Given Quinn's sports-obsession, I don't think it's impossible that he a fencer as well as a surfer / basketball player / baseball player / football player / waterboarder etc..

"The Prince of Slides" is pretty good, but, as stated, I have some concerns.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Tom, it would be DIVINE if you rounded up your actor friends and did a radiodrama with Ib's Sliders revival.  And Corey does GREAT imitations. You guys would seriously do it justice.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I don't think it's a good idea.

I don't think Tom and Cory completely captured my opinion, which is this: you can have new actors play Quinn the boy genius, Arturo the bombastic man of wisdom, Wade the moral crusader and Rembrandt the outdated showbiz icon. But trying to have new actors imitate Jerry, John, Sabrina and Cleavant creates an awkward uncanny valley effect where all the audience will notice is how the imitation is either wildly off-the-mark or close but not-quite-right.

It's also a crappy situation for the actor. Instead of trying to capture the emotion, intensity and dynamic of a scene, they're trying to capture what some other actor might have done with the scene. It doesn't make for a good performance.

Even Robert Floyd, whose Jerry-impersonation is perfect, wasn't keen on imitating Jerry. He didn't think it was a good idea for him to play Quinn 1.0 and only Quinn 1.0. because he felt the audience would get tired of it and he would simply be copying another actor. His opinion was that it would be best if he could constantly shift between Quinn and Mallory. That way, imitating Jerry would just be one part of creating something new.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions wrote:

I don't think it's a good idea.

I don't think Tom and Cory completely captured my opinion, which is this: you can have new actors play Quinn the boy genius, Arturo the bombastic man of wisdom, Wade the moral crusader and Rembrandt the outdated showbiz icon. But trying to have new actors imitate Jerry, John, Sabrina and Cleavant creates an awkward uncanny valley effect where all the audience will notice is how the imitation is either wildly off-the-mark or close but not-quite-right.

It's also a crappy situation for the actor. Instead of trying to capture the emotion, intensity and dynamic of a scene, they're trying to capture what some other actor might have done with the scene. It doesn't make for a good performance.

Even Robert Floyd, whose Jerry-impersonation is perfect, wasn't keen on imitating Jerry. He didn't think it was a good idea for him to play Quinn 1.0 and only Quinn 1.0. because he felt the audience would get tired of it and he would simply be copying another actor. His opinion was that it would be best if he could constantly shift between Quinn and Mallory. That way, imitating Jerry would just be one part of creating something new.

For what it's worth, your writing style perfectly captures the "voice" of the sliders characters imo. I'm not so particular about whether anyone is dead on... I think I would just get lost in the drama. But that's just me.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Tom, it would be DIVINE if you rounded up your actor friends and did a radiodrama with Ib's Sliders revival.  And Corey does GREAT imitations. You guys would seriously do it justice.

I know but those guys won't touch it because it is a copyrighted work. Their only focus now is originals they can own and distribute and sell, which i understand.

Plus, like iReactions said, there will be comparisons and I especially like what he said about Robert Floyd; very good point and example. We discussed this a little in the episode we recorded yesterday but didnt go in depth into it as maybe we should have. You'll see!

In any case, great reviews ireactions! Appreciate the feedback! You always give me something more to think about. I listen to the podcasts my self when they released and I always think of more things to say after the fact and the same happens when i read your thoughts as well. In fact, our next show has a new segment I call By The Way, in which we mention something that we failed to mention or thought about AFTER we recorded the episode. So many times something you have said here makes me think, we should have mentioned that! Or when i'm driving I think, why didnt i make that comment about such and such?

Anyway, thanks again! we appreciate ya listening and chiming in!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Hmm. I've thought about it some more.

I would be okay with Tom and company performing these four pages. Maybe not even all four pages -- just the last two. No more than that, though. :-) I can get a friend to provide dialogue for the female voice.

I will finish catching up on responding to all the podcasts tomorrow. :-)

67 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2015-09-24 10:55:42)

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions wrote:

Hmm. I've thought about it some more.

I would be okay with Tom and company performing these four pages. Maybe not even all four pages -- just the last two. No more than that, though. :-) I can get a friend to provide dialogue for the female voice.

I will finish catching up on responding to all the podcasts tomorrow. :-)

That'd bring me so much joy!  Perhaps Tom you might be able to fill out the parts with folks outside that company. I do love Cory's impressions smile And he is a hell of a producer / sound effects guy.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

So, "State of the ART." Like Cory and Tom, I don't mind this episode too much, although Arturo's aptitude with physics and mathematics seems to have gotten an absurd upgrade to the point where he's repairing robots! The purple sky is intriguing. Visually, this episode is kind of cramped and dull with its bland sets and soundstages and the editing is a little flat. But I didn't mind it too much. Not exactly thought provoking, however. I enjoyed Cory and Tom talking about whether or not they'd submit to being transplanted into robot bodies. Tom's thoughts on artificial intelligence were intriguing as he argued that Derec's 'emotions,' such as they are, don't represent any internal state. They're just programming instructing a machine to show specific symbols on its display, using a human face as its screen and human expressions as its graphic user interface.

At the same time, is the human brain or body anything more than a machine in itself, albeit one of biological components as opposed to mechanical parts? I dunno! Interestingly, Bob Weiss, co-creator of SLIDERS, is also an expert in robotics and is the CEO of a company working on robots that can perform surgery. (I don't think he's currently working on artificial intelligence.)

Then we come to "Season's Greedings," which is again a combination of the Season 1/2 alt-histories with the Season 3 approach of aiming for light entertainment. Unlike "Double Cross," the emphasis is less on action but ultimately about good triumphing over evil. Unlike "The Prince of Slides," this episode has something truly meaningful and important to say about the futility and pointlessness of consumer purchasing and consumer credit. And I like it a lot. It's heartfelt. It's sweet.

It's got an absurd and ridiculous climax where the sliders delete debt records to free everyone in the mall from their servitude -- I find it *very* difficult to believe there wouldn't be extensive backups of this stuff. I get the impression this script was written well before computers were as common as they are now and in our pockets. I enjoyed Cory and Tom noting how the friendly, cheerful setting of the mall is essentially a polite face on slavery, however, and I suppose that's part of why I don't quibble too much with how the story is resolved.

But certain things trouble me.

Quinn Mallory. Something has gone wrong with Jerry's performance and the scripting of the character. The physicality and the expression of the character have gotten confused. The scene that strikes me as most wrong is when Quinn and Kelly go to dinner. Quinn talks about his family's traditions. Jerry is completely out of character in this scene. He acts like he's accustomed to attention from women and enjoys it greatly.

I think a Season 1/2 Quinn would perform exactly the same dialogue, but with Quinn's usual reserve and slight social awkwardness, making it less of a performance and more of an awkward sharing between himself and a new friend. Jerry, however, plays this scene as completely flirtatious and intensely sexual and it's deeply uncharacteristic for Quinn; why would Quinn be flirting with Wade's sister at a time when Wade is hurting for family? Had Jerry modulated his performance correctly, it would have come off as Quinn trying to better understand Wade through understanding Kelly.

Instead, Jerry plays it like he's on a date. Tom and Cory highlight deleted scenes where Quinn was written to have had a crush on Kelly since their first meeting at Wade's house over dinner. That also doesn't sync with Jerry's performance. Would this confident, flirtatious, girl-chasing Jerry O'Connell have been at a loss for words when first meeting Kelly? Would he have been "unable to take his eyes off her," as Wade says in the script? No -- this version of the character would have asked Kelly out.

The other scene that really rubs me the wrong way with Quinn is Quinn pouncing on the mall manager at the end and punching him out with enraged satisfaction. I don't see why Quinn would do this; the man's business has been shattered, he's wanted by the law, his assets have been destroyed and his face is known to all. What was the point? Quinn knows when a guy is beaten; he doesn't enjoy inflicting physical pain. Something has gone really wrong here.

The ending. Oh, the ending. Yes, it's nice to see a happy ending. But I remember this article where Tracy Torme remarked that he felt Season 3 of SLIDERS (at the halfway mark) was doing empty, feel-good television. Everything is wrapped up happily at the end. All is well. The sliders open the vortex off camera to save money. And they leave. No twists, no thought-provoking endings. Just acceptable mediocrity.

Film director James Gray once remarked, there are two words in the English language -- "good" and "enough" -- that, when combined, are a recipe for low standards. "State of the ART" and "Season's Greedings" are certainly good enough -- but SLIDERS is no longer receiving the detailed care and love to characterization and viewer enjoyment that often made it great.

Next: The terrible truth of Season 3.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"Murder Most Foul" is one of my favourite episodes of SLIDERS. I think it's beautifully filmed, cleverly conceived, sharply written and delightfully performed. Tom and Cory liked it lots. And wondered. How can this great episode be David Peckinpah's script? Throughout Season 3, the SLIDERS have confronted horror movie villains, dragons, Mad Max photocopies, intelligent talking flames and deathtraps. David Peckinpah is the man commissioning all these episodes. The average Season 3 script is an unedited, unrefined mess with characters not being given names or introductions ("Rules of the Game"), nonsensical exposition ("The Dream Masters"), clumsily considered world-building ("Electric Twister Acid Test"), witless exposition (Elston Diggs), and a startling lack of imagination and ideas ("Desert Storm") -- all of which are David Peckinpah's responsibility as showrunner.

But "Murder Most Foul" is great. And yeah, some people argue that Peckinpah, a cop show veteran, was just working in a genre he knew well -- crime fiction. But "Murder Most Foul" is so intriguing, so imaginative. Fractures. False personalities to give the conscious mind a rest. Rembrandt intimidating a secretary into giving the sliders into while still being Rembrandt. The little boy's wonder and joy towards the sliding concept. Quinn's cleverness and Arturo's strength of character saving the day. How is this possible?

The terrible truth of Season 3 is and always has been this: David Peckinpah was a *great* writer. A brilliant director. A capable, skillful talented man who truly understood the TV medium. He introduces guest-characters correctly. Names and points of distinction so the audience will remember them later. He knows how to stage confrontations. He knows how to tell stories through action and dialogue. He even does the thought-provoking ending as the episode ends with us looking at little Trevor, the first of a new generation of sliders. Trevor was named after one of David Peckinpah's sons.

The sad fact is that David Peckinpah had *all* the skills needed to make SLIDERS great. He was a fun guy to work with. A gifted storyteller. Decades of experience. He had also known hardship; Peckinpah was a recovered drug addict who put his recklessness behind him to be a good father to his four children. He was sober for 20 years. And then, shortly before being assigned to SLIDERS, Peckinpah's 16-year-old son, Garrett, died of meningitis.

This broke Peckinpah. He fell apart psychologically and fell back into his drug addiction. He had a two-year development deal with Universal and they assigned him to SLIDERS -- a show that Peckinpah simply didn't care about. He didn't care about *anything* anymore. His son had died and it left a hole in his heart that never healed. Note how Peckinpah was generally vindictive and angry towards people who made his working life challenging. Sabrina Lloyd. John Rhys-Davies. To people who showed up, stood on their marks, did their work and left him alone to shoot up or snort, Peckinpah was perfectly amiable.

We're coming up on two episodes -- "The Exodus" two-parter -- that were basically an excuse to hire a musician as a guest-star so that he and his band could perform for the cast and crew over two weeks of boozing and filming while drunk. Peckinpah used SLIDERS as a line of credit to feed his addictions and loneliness. He started cheating on his wife with would-be actresses. His presence on SLIDERS was as a figure of indifference and laziness except when feeling contrary to people who demanded his efforts (Torme, John Rhys-Davies).

But he was a great writer. And when writing scripts, he couldn't hide that. "Murder Most Foul" and "Dinoslide" are well-written stories. "Genesis" is actually quite good in its execution even though the content is misguided. He just didn't care to bring his A-game to the *rest* of the show -- not in commissioning scripts and not in editing them.

Some time after SLIDERS, Peckinpah moved from LA to Vancouver, wanting to create a personal space to work on film and TV projects. But it was simply a drug den and now he had no family and friends to monitor him and reduce the harm he was causing himself. In 2006, Peckinpah experienced heart failure brought on by a drug overdose. And he died where SLIDERS was born.

Behind the scenes information courtesy of Temporal Flux.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions: Wow. Jesus. I had no idea. That... makes so much sense out of everything.

I used to hate the guy. Now I mostly just feel sorry for him.

Still sorry that he wrecked the show, and made working conditions intolerable for so many of the people who made Sliders great. But ouch.

Dude, where do you get all this info? This is pretty detailed stuff. I'm also super curious how Lloyd and Rhys-Davies reacted to the whole "filming while drunk" thing. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing they would have stood for at all.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

intangirble wrote:

ireactions: Wow. Jesus. I had no idea. That... makes so much sense out of everything. I used to hate the guy. Now I mostly just feel sorry for him. Still sorry that he wrecked the show, and made working conditions intolerable for so many of the people who made Sliders great. But ouch. Dude, where do you get all this info? This is pretty detailed stuff. I'm also super curious how Lloyd and Rhys-Davies reacted to the whole "filming while drunk" thing. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing they would have stood for at all.

David Peckinpah's family posted on the old Sci-Fi Board, protesting the fans' mockery and ridicule towards Peckinpah. Saying he was a wonderful father and a loving man. Informant replied, "What you have to understand is that when you run a show like SLIDERS, you are creating a legacy. People who don't want to be mocked and ridiculed really need to put some thought into what they're producing. I have no doubt that David Peckinpah was a solid citizen. Unmatched in his moral integrity. The last good man on Earth. His show still sucked."

After Peckinpah died, the family posted some stuff on IMDB about how the poor man was simply broken after his son died. And looking at SLIDERS -- Season 3 is a man in pain lashing out. Seasons 4 - 5 represent a man who has given up and simply wants to die.

The 'rock concert' environment of "The Exodus" can be seen in the gag reel. Lloyd is clearly hungover in "The Exodus Part 2," as are Jerry and Cleavant, in the Professor's eulogy scene. John Rhys-Davies was, I think, more irritated by the scripts, which led to Peckinpah despising him and removing his character from the show by sucking out the Professor's brain, shooting him, then blowing up the corpse. Sabrina Lloyd didn't like working with Kari Wuhrer. I have no data on how they felt about the on-set quality of filming.

In the end, yes, David Peckinpah is responsible for SLIDERS' downfall and had little-to-no credit in its continued survival on Sci-Fi. But he wasn't a demonic monstrosity. Just a man. Weak and lost. I think it says something about sobriety -- one must commit to living a healthy life for one's self, not for someone else, not even a beloved child. Be angry with him if you have to. But forgive him.

Behind the scenes information courtesy of Temporal Flux.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"Slide Like an Egyptian." I honestly don't know what to make of this episode and my reaction mirrors Tom and Cory almost exactly. The episode is very strangely edited with scene to scene progression lost as character motives fade in and out of the story. Quinn's death is a moment in a muddled, confused, disorienting episode and leaves me completely cold. The sliders stumbling across a replacement timer that works pretty much the same way the old one did is just baffling to me. It knocked me out of the story completely. The scarab special effect is appalling. Why are the creators of Season 3 so utterly convinced that special effects will attract an audience when the special effects are so terrible?

I really can't figure out what the point of this episode was beyond David Peckinpah's wish to have the Torme timer destroyed and replaced with one he can call his own. As Cory and Tom note, Michael Mallory's advice to Quinn is meaningless nonsense. There's no real exploration of the Egyptian alt-history. This episode is a boring mess and it's hard to tell what they were going for.

With "Paradise Lost," we come to one of the most loathed episodes of SLIDERS ever made. Tom and Cory note all the obvious, glaring errors throughout the story from misdelivered dialogue to silly chronological errors and baffling contradictions in how this town keeps its secrets or discovered the immortality-granting substances.

"Paradise Lost" features two of the worst guest-characters on SLIDERS. Trudy is appalling, claiming to be trying to save innocent people while only ever providing vague, unspecific warnings that have never saved a single person. Laurie is a non-entity paraded in front of the camera as a Baywatch babe, so dull that Tom and Cory have trouble remembering her scenes. And there's an alarming lack of oversight such as Quinn addressing the Professor as "Max" or actors confusing the words "do" and "don't."

This episode is a clear reflection of how the Season 3 production is unprofessional. They commission scripts for SLIDERS even when the pitches clearly lack parallel universe story elements, which reflects the showrunner's indifference to the series. They permit scripts to be filmed without any concern for introducing guest-characters or scene-to-scene progression or reviewing dialogue, indicating that the script editor is not on the job. They permit actors to mis-read dialogue and do not do reshoots, suggesting the script supervisor is either incompetent or being ignored. All this leads to a nonsensical final product.

I think, earlier in the season, some of the Season 1/2 writers (Tony Blake, Paul Jackson, Nan Hagan) were still writing for the show they knew in Season 2, so you'd get episodes like "Double Cross" and "Dead Man Sliding" which merge the Season 3 spectacle/action approach with Season 1/2 storytelling elements. You had writers like Eleah Horwitz writing perfectly decent stories like "The Prince of Slides" and "Season's Greedings," aiming for the same. These were writers who, I think, were willing to do their own quality control on their material. David Peckinpah did the same for himself on "Murder Most Foul."

But then there are the scripts where the writers were either not reviewing their own material or there were changes being made to film material more cheaply and more quickly but without any concern for coherence or watchability.

In Season 1, Tracy Torme, Robert K. Weiss and Jon Povill were often rewriting scripts. "Last Days" and "Eggheads" were heavily redone. "As Time Goes By" had multiple writers working on the individual threads. "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" was heavily workshopped. With Season 3, little to no effort in this area is present. "Paradise Lost" is a marker -- the Season 3 episodes that follow are mostly from scripts that have not been reviewed for basic professional standards (introductions, exposition, in-character dialogue, basic scene-to-scene progression) or have been rewritten in ways that aren't concerned with those standards.

"The Last of Eden" also reflects all the problems that result when scripts aren't being reviewed with these concerns in mind. Cory and Tom explore how the underground society makes no sense and are wildly inconsistent in the threat they pose and the timeline presented by the episode makes no sense whatsoever. The script raises questions about the Gineers that aren't explored in the slighest. The script plunges the sliders into a plot that makes no effort to explore the surroundings or the civilization in any meaningful or informative way, treating every guest-character in this episode as a threat or a mechanism to move the plot to its tedious conclusion.

Episodes like "Double Cross" and "Dead Man Sliding" showed that SLIDERS could give FOX the light entertainment and action-spectacle they wanted while still telling stories with alternate histories and strangers in strange lands. But in the end, the problem isn't even that Season 3 reducing alt-history for doing monsters and horror and fantasy. Any story is conceivably a SLIDERS story; even a story without a strong alternate history is potentially a SLIDERS story. The problem is that Season 3 is doing *bad* monster movies and horror movies and fantasy movies. This regime has no concern for quality or viewer enjoyment and "Paradise Lost" is the point at which this is consistently indicated in nearly every episode that follows.

Behind the scenes information courtesy of Temporal Flux.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions wrote:

In the end, yes, David Peckinpah is responsible for SLIDERS' downfall and had little-to-no credit in its continued survival on Sci-Fi. But he wasn't a demonic monstrosity. Just a man. Weak and lost. I think it says something about sobriety -- one must commit to living a healthy life for one's self, not for someone else, not even a beloved child. Be angry with him if you have to. But forgive him.

Yeah.

ireactions, you're awesome and I salute you. I've only known you through your writing a little while, but almost everything you've said about the show and its behind-the-scenes dynamics has really made me think, and think again, about... the humanity, I guess, behind all of the screwups.

Fandom tends to be so black-and-white. You're an angel or you're the devil. You're everyone's hero or everyone's villain. I hate that Sliders went so badly downhill because of Peckinpah, and that it never really recovered from that. But seeing that there's more to the story than "he just didn't care and was an asshole" is... well, it's humanising.

Thank you for reminding us of the subtleties and frailties in all of this. There but for the grace of God go all of us.

74 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2015-09-28 06:56:34)

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions wrote:

"Slide Like an Egyptian." I honestly don't know what to make of this episode and my reaction mirrors Tom and Cory almost exactly. The episode is very strangely edited with scene to scene progression lost as character motives fade in and out of the story. Quinn's death is a moment in a muddled, confused, disorienting episode and leaves me completely cold. The sliders stumbling across a replacement timer that works pretty much the same way the old one did is just baffling to me. It knocked me out of the story completely. The scarab special effect is appalling. Why are the creators of Season 3 so utterly convinced that special effects will attract an audience when the special effects are so terrible?

I really can't figure out what the point of this episode was beyond David Peckinpah's wish to have the Torme timer destroyed and replaced with one he can call his own. As Cory and Tom note, Michael Mallory's advice to Quinn is meaningless nonsense. There's no real exploration of the Egyptian alt-history. This episode is a boring mess and it's hard to tell what they were going for.

With "Paradise Lost," we come to one of the most loathed episodes of SLIDERS ever made. Tom and Cory note all the obvious, glaring errors throughout the story from misdelivered dialogue to silly chronological errors and baffling contradictions in how this town keeps its secrets or discovered the immortality-granting substances.

"Paradise Lost" features two of the worst guest-characters on SLIDERS. Trudy is appalling, claiming to be trying to save innocent people while only ever providing vague, unspecific warnings that have never saved a single person. Laurie is a non-entity paraded in front of the camera as a Baywatch babe, so dull that Tom and Cory have trouble remembering her scenes. And there's an alarming lack of oversight such as Quinn addressing the Professor as "Max" or actors confusing the words "do" and "don't."

This episode is a clear reflection of how the Season 3 production is unprofessional. They commission scripts for SLIDERS even when the pitches clearly lack parallel universe story elements, which reflects the showrunner's indifference to the series. They permit scripts to be filmed without any concern for introducing guest-characters or scene-to-scene progression or reviewing dialogue, indicating that the script editor is not on the job. They permit actors to mis-read dialogue and do not do reshoots, suggesting the script supervisor is either incompetent or being ignored. All this leads to a nonsensical final product.

I think, earlier in the season, some of the Season 1/2 writers (Tony Blake, Paul Jackson, Nan Hagan) were still writing for the show they knew in Season 2, so you'd get episodes like "Double Cross" and "Dead Man Sliding" which merge the Season 3 spectacle/action approach with Season 1/2 storytelling elements. You had writers like Eleah Horwitz writing perfectly decent stories like "The Prince of Slides" and "Season's Greedings," aiming for the same. These were writers who, I think, were willing to do their own quality control on their material. David Peckinpah did the same for himself on "Murder Most Foul."

But then there are the scripts where the writers were either not reviewing their own material or there were changes being made to film material more cheaply and more quickly but without any concern for coherence or watchability.

In Season 1, Tracy Torme, Robert K. Weiss and Jon Povill were often rewriting scripts. "Last Days" and "Eggheads" were heavily redone. "As Time Goes By" had multiple writers working on the individual threads. "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" was heavily workshopped. With Season 3, little to no effort in this area is present. "Paradise Lost" is a marker -- the Season 3 episodes that follow are mostly from scripts that have not been reviewed for basic professional standards (introductions, exposition, in-character dialogue, basic scene-to-scene progression) or have been rewritten in ways that aren't concerned with those standards.

"The Last of Eden" also reflects all the problems that result when scripts aren't being reviewed with these concerns in mind. Cory and Tom explore how the underground society makes no sense and are wildly inconsistent in the threat they pose and the timeline presented by the episode makes no sense whatsoever. The script raises questions about the Gineers that aren't explored in the slighest. The script plunges the sliders into a plot that makes no effort to explore the surroundings or the civilization in any meaningful or informative way, treating every guest-character in this episode as a threat or a mechanism to move the plot to its tedious conclusion.

Episodes like "Double Cross" and "Dead Man Sliding" showed that SLIDERS could give FOX the light entertainment and action-spectacle they wanted while still telling stories with alternate histories and strangers in strange lands. But in the end, the problem isn't even that Season 3 reducing alt-history for doing monsters and horror and fantasy. Any story is conceivably a SLIDERS story; even a story without a strong alternate history is potentially a SLIDERS story. The problem is that Season 3 is doing *bad* monster movies and horror movies and fantasy movies. This regime has no concern for quality or viewer enjoyment and "Paradise Lost" is the point at which this is consistently indicated in nearly every episode that follows.

Love that your doing these essays, adding your own review/recap to following the rewatch one.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Hey Sliders fans, our discussion of "The Exodus" Parts 1 & 2 is up in the iTunes feed now! Or use this link http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 7_54-07_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I'm glad Tom and Cory enjoyed "The Exodus," because I never want anyone to have a bad time. That said, this two-parter BLOWS. Oh my God, if it weren't for "This Slide of Paradise," it would be one of the worst TV productions ever made. Chilling in its incompetence, its existence opening a gateway to a world of anti-talent and anti-creativity.

Of all the ways to explore the end of the world, a base of faceless and anonymous soldiers is probably the *worst* choice. I mean, the idea in "Exodus" is so simple: if you could save *some* parts of a dying world, what would you save?  The sliders never grapple with the question. It's irrelevant as far as the story's concerned.

Then there's the need to inject slasher-horror characters where they don't belong. The Rickman character is pathetic on every level. There is simply no deeper dimension to this character; he is a cowardly killer who exists to antagonize and attack. His desperate need to survive is played as empty-villainy with absolutely no sense of pathos or tragedy. There's nothing below the surface of this cartoon.

The Professor's death is humiliating and a complete dis-service to a fine actor and excellent character. First, he's deprived of speech and intelligence, then he's killed in an instant. It's boring.

"The Exodus" is full of ugly, callous characters who are somehow masquerading as our sliders. Quinn is indifferent to the death around him and there's some nonsensical conflict where he refuses to let the sliders go home Because. Arturo is shockingly insensitive to the mass casualties. Wade and Rembrandt are hungover during Arturo's eulogy scene.

The Maggie Beckett character is a disaster. Antagonistic and abrasive, inexplicably paired with Quinn romantically, indifferent to her husband's efforts to save people's lives, and in no way convincing as a soldier or a spy. Kari Wuhrer's performance is witless and without detail or charisma. Awful.

This simply isn't the show we started watching in Season 1. Season 3 started so well, adding more action to the SLIDERS format, but "The Exodus" has lost *any* sense of what the show is. Is it about special effects? The effects are terrible. Is it about action? The episodes are just people wandering around a military base. Is it about the characters? They're unbearable. Is it about adventure? If there's one adventure I don't want to ever go on, it's the latter Season 3 episodes. For TV to even work as mindless entertainment, it first has to qualify as entertainment and I can't work out how any audience could find anything to enjoy here.

Matt Hutaff once wrote a review of "Strangers and Comrades" where he talked about how the dialogue and direction gave a sense of depth and importance, but the content was ultimately hollow and empty. "The Exodus" may be an 'important' SLIDERS story and it may be full of significance, but I think it's just badly made and yet, it looks like a masterpiece compared to what's coming next.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

.... so, when the Professor died, I was 10-years-old. It was one of the most traumatic events of my life. I felt like my own father had died. About five years later, I was rather upset with Tracy Torme over AOL Instant Messenger. I was a kid. I was furious that he'd left SLIDERS and let the Professor die. "My dad was sick and I had to be with him, I'm sorry you lost your TV dad," he said. "I lost my dad too." Arturo's death left a hole in my heart. A void that couldn't be filled.

**

A film student wrote me an E-mail recently about "Slide Effects." He asked me where I got the idea for how to resurrect the original sliders and reset the show to just after Season 2. The idea was stolen from Tracy Torme during that AOL chat. The student asked me: "How are you so good at screenwriting?" Which is bull#!t. SLIDERS REBORN's laboured development would indicate that there are some serious issues here. But I told him I understood certain requirements of screenwriting -- writing third person, showing the edited highlights of larger events, telling stories with action and visual information -- and also, that every story must have a point. An insight. Something to say.

What I wanted to say with "Slide Effects" is that fiction can only be created and never destroyed. The SLIDERS concept is magnificent. The series is truly unique. It has four lead characters who can embody cynicism and hope, experience and innocence, crusading and caution, wisdom and stupidity. It has a storytelling platform that welcomes any genre. Any story is conceivably a SLIDERS story. And once it exists, it can't be killed.

Yes, Wade was sent to a rape camp, then had her brain cut out and put in a jukebox from the movie BIG. The Professor had his brain sucked out, was shot, then left on a planet that blew up. Quinn was merged with another actor and 'lost.' Rembrandt -- fate unknown. The sliders' home Earth was invaded by Kromaggs and left that way. There was no conclusion to the Kromagg Prime saga or the search for Quinn or Logan St. Clair's pursuit or the FBI investigation and every single thing SLIDERS ever set out to do ended in ghastly failure with every single character dead or worse than dead and all because David Peckinpah was in no condition to run a show.

But it's fiction. And I think "Slide Effects" was my way of saying that if you embrace the sliders as fictional creations and the concept of sliding, everything that was lost can come back. You can retrieve Arturo, restore Wade, rescue Quinn and reunite them with Rembrandt. You can save them all.

**

Tom said I should do my own SLIDERS podcast. I think the stuff I have to say about SLIDERS is better said in scripts. SLIDERS REBORN is an effort to give SLIDERS something that it currently lacks, even with "Slide Effects." You'll see what I mean.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Hey Sliders Fans! Our new ep is up now. Tom and Cory discuss "Sole Survivors" and "The Other Slide of Darkness."

http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 8_10-07_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

RewatchPodcast wrote:

Hey Sliders Fans! Our new ep is up now. Tom and Cory discuss "Sole Survivors" and "The Other Slide of Darkness."

http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 8_10-07_00


You guys did a great job with the Exodus!

(and Cory only proved by point with his great remy impresonation smile

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

ireactions wrote:

.

Tom said I should do my own SLIDERS podcast. I think the stuff I have to say about SLIDERS is better said in scripts.

Well you are a great podcaster as well. You sounded like a highly professional NPR cultural critic during your sliderscast 14.5 episode.

SLIDERS REBORN is an effort to give SLIDERS something that it currently lacks, even with "Slide Effects." You'll see what I mean.


Cool!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Ooh, looking forward to listening to the Sole Survivors one. One of my favourite episodes, honestly, just for the way Sabrina knocks it out of the park.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Ib pointed me in the direction of the "Exodus" podcast that references "Exodus Excised." Just want to thank everyone who said such kind words about my fanedit; one of these days I hope to follow it up with my "Genesis" edit, too. (Certainly won't happen before the podcast is produced, though!)

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Hey everyone,

our latest ep is up now. This week we discuss "The Breeder" & "Stoker." Find it on iTunes or at http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 8_14-07_00

Enjoy!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"Sole Survivors." I thought it was funny how Tom and Cory started noting when the show would bother to provide names for its guest-stars and laughed uncontrollably when Cory said he couldn't even make out Erica's name in the dialogue.

Oddly, for a late Season 3 episode  -- I don't hate "Sole Survivors." The original script, which can be found on Earth Prime, was better. The rewrite is a fairly functional, capable, competent hour of TV and Tom and Cory seemed mostly okay with it.

It's a zombie story; it's SLIDERS doing monster movies -- and as I've said before, any story is conceivably a SLIDERS story. And as zombie stories go, "Sole Survivors" has some strong character moments and a good sense of action and pacing. I can even bring myself to accept zombies in the SLIDERS mythology since there's an effort at a rational explanation.

There's some seriously impressive work at depicting Quinn's brainpower in this episode. It's been sorely lacking as of late, but I was really impressed with how this episode showcased his mental agility while fighting the infection. He gathers the equipment and ingredients to cure himself, he gets Debra's generator back online, he saves the day.

But, as Tom and Cory note, there are lots of flaws, too. Quinn pranking his friends with pretending to electrocuted  -- I'd say it's out of character, but the truth is that I barely recognize this flirtatious, smug, skirt-chasing action hero as the Season 1/2 character. It's strange how this bizarre note, however, is in a fairly strong episode for Quinn.

The guest-characters are pretty incapable and hopeless. Dr. Tassler and Debra seem to go out of their way to be threatened by the zombies. The zombies inexplicably start capturing people at the end. But these aren't aggressively annoying.

I just really, really, really hate this episode. Or rather, I hate this body of episodes. "Paradise Lost," "The Last of Eden," "The Exodus" and now "Sole Survivors" have turned SLIDERS into one of the most depressing shows of the 1990s. And it was airing alongside THE X-FILES. Sliding is no longer a fun adventure that the viewers would want to join. Sliding is, instead, an endless journey through despair and hopelessness and death and zombies represent that wholly and totally.

I think if you had one or two episodes like "Sole Survivors" -- horror and misery and agony and terror -- that'd be fine. But when it's *every* single episode *every* single week  -- well, there's a reason for that.

"The Other Slide of Darkness" is another grim march through misery and depression. This is now the sixth episode in a row that is utterly miserable on every level with unhappy, troubled, angry, abrasive characters.

Rickman is truly bizarre. Tom and Cory note how the explanation for his altered appearance doesn't match "The Exodus" and also note error upon error upon error in the story. Very simply: Quinn-2's character is completely incoherent. He recognizes Quinn on sight as the same Quinn he met in the Pilot. How?

He claims to have given the Kromaggs sliding. But the Kromaggs had been sliding for decades if not centuries, given that adult Mary was raised by Kromaggs as an infant to be their Speaker. How could the Kromaggs have raised Mary from infancy to adulthood in the two years between the Pilot and Invasion?

And once Quinn-2's motivations fail to withstand scrutiny, his helping Rickman and wanting Quinn to kill him becomes impossible to analyze or understand.

Tom and Cory also note how absurd it is that Quinn-2's followers are intimidated by a floating head and how the ending is unintelligible and cuts off practically in mid-scene. "The Other Slide of Darkness" bears all the marks of Season 3's unprofessionalism: unreviewed scripts, unconsidered story elements, and absolutely no concern for viewer enjoyment. Aiming for depth through diving into darkness.

But here's the thing: misery and despair are easy. Depression and anger require absolutely no artistry, no craft, no skill, no talent. What did SLIDERS have at the start? A sense of wonder. Delight. Joy. Look at the impish glint in Quinn's eyes at the end of the Pilot when he asks his friends where they'll slide to next. What does it have now? A disengaged cast, writers who are grimly waiting out their contracts, an executive producer who is incapable of doing his job and the original creators have fled the set.

Many posters have talked about how Sabrina Lloyd does such a great job of showing Wade's trauma and grief and degenerating mental state  -- and sure, it's an impressive performance, but artistically, is that really an achievement? Anger and fear are easy. Wonder and joy are hard and impossible to achieve by a regime that's pretty much given up.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Behind the scenes information courtesy of Temporal Flux.

John Rhys-Davies, at a convention, told a story about his last days on the SLIDERS set. Despite being fired, he had wanted to leave SLIDERS. He performed his death scene, and as he was leaving the set, he passed by the producers. They were huddled around a TV watching a movie. They were watching the movie SPECIES.

Tom and Cory hilariously highlighted the terrible inattention to sound design in this entire episode. And Cory notes the truly bizarre choices with the Maggie character. If they wanted a sultry, flirtatious, promiscuous character, why did they write her as a solder/fighter pilot/spy/intelligence officer? Maggie as sexuality-defined object completely undermines the military aspect of the character.

And then there's the ending. Quinn and friends condemn an entire Earth to its doom due to a parasite they brought to this world and failed to contain. SLIDERS is completely incapable of addressing this on any level. And once again -- there is very little artistic challenge in having the characters fail and lose. There is very little advantage in having a surgically augmented Barbie doll prance around on the screen.

Which brings us to "Stoker." There's just no thought behind this episode. Tom and Cory ask lots of questions: even if they accept this week's villains as immortal vampires -- what allows vampires to telekinetically control cars and their inner workings? Or fire electricity through guitars? And then -- if DRACULA was never written on this Earth, why are all the characters named after Bram Stoker's various creations?

It's really sad. Because the truth is that SLIDERS could do a vampire story. I mean, it could be so interesting. Quinn and Arturo trying to understand the rules behind how these vampires work, how their powers function, and how they could be challenged. Wade and Rembrandt exploring the psychology and artistry of the creatures. But none of that is here -- the vampires are played as invincible with whatever powers are wanted on a whim -- but then Quinn beats their experienced and powerful leader with a stick! You can hear Tom and Cory on the verge of falling into hysterical laughter, losing any ability to take SLIDERS seriously.

*sigh*

By the way, the rock-star vampires from "Stoker" will make an appearance in SLIDERS REBORN. :-)

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I always wondered about Sole Survivors.

The Episode came way before the Movie 28 Days Later which is kind of funny.

It is the only Season 3 Ep that inspired a Movie Homage/Copy as opposed to most Season 3 Eps being Copies of Movies. smile

I agree with ireactions on a lot of points made here. The Zombies did have something of a Scientific origin/plausable explanation and the Episode as a one off despite it's flaws is not that bad.

But when taken as one of many GRIM Eps in Season 3? Yes.... Very Tiresome and dispiriting.

I have issues with nBSG 2003 and Stargate: Universe for the same reasons.
Some Grim... Fine, ok but all the damn time? NO!

Life is Grim Enough thank you.

Give me Wonder, Adventure, Comradery and Humour!

Rant over.... Sorry heh. smile

As to Stoker.... Ugh! A mess. 

Sliders dabbling in the Supernatural and Magical is Fine if Done well via followinf
g the old adage of any sufficiently understood Magic is Science.

Sole Survivor Zombies: Biotech gone Wrong.
Telepaths in that Ep about the Oracle: A different branch of Scientific Study and possibly Alternate Biology or Evolution.
Into the Mystic Magic and Sourcery: Technology like Holograms etc.

Stoker Vampires though.... No. Just NO!

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

New Sliders Rewatch episode in the feed now! This week Cory and Tom discuss "Slither," "Dinoslide" and "This Slide of Paradise." Find it on iTunes or http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 9_49-07_00

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Is is a very special episode by the way... Featuring a very special "extra". I hope you enjoy! And enjoy the adjusted lyrics:



         D           Bm
I've got tears in my fro
        G                A             D 
Cuz I'm standin' on my head, over you
Bm   
And I,
G             A         D     Bm
I've got a long way to go
G                    A
Will this crying stop?
            D        Bm
I wish I knew.
   E                                       A  Bb  A  A  A  A  G  G  G  G
I'm only half the man I used to be --
                   

           D
Well I got tears in my fro
          G                       D
Cuz I'm standin' on my head over you...
           G
Well I got tears in my fro
                                 D
Cuz I'm Losing you to someone new
E                                   A
When will this crying stop, I really wish I knew


            D 
I've got tears in my fro
           G                        D
Cuz my world is upside down over you hoo hoo
             G       
I should comb 'em out I know but that's the
                                   D
Saddest thing I'll ever have to do...
      E                           
these tears they won't stop falling hard
    A
I'm crying here for you


    G                           
At first I thought our love was never-ending
D
You and I until eternity,
       G                   
But now I realize I'm just pretending
       E                        A          G        ... to solos, then back to previous verse to end
I'm only half the man that I used to be

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Also if you would like your own copy of Tears In My Fro, you should be able to download it here:

https://app.box.com/s/oq9dltf58zexaw9zwedtdp78hxxac3hn

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Awesome to see the podcast integrated in EarthPrime!

Tom, nice job on ToMF!

It was almost as if Marty McFly was singing it!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Awesome to see the podcast integrated in EarthPrime!

Tom, nice job on ToMF!

It was almost as if Marty McFly was singing it!

Woohoo! I'll take that compliment! I loved that scene in BTTF! Thanks much! And yes, we are glad to be a part of earth prime!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

"Slither" is terrible. One of the worst episodes of SLIDERS ever made. Tom and Cory highlighted a lot of the moronic points: Rembrandt's discarded shirt is later referred to as Quinn's shirt. The sliders foolishly take separate vacations with massive distances between them. Maggie and Wade would never agree to be alone together for extended periods.

The one point that didn't seem to offend Tom and Cory too much, however -- was Quinn declaring his intention to abandon the sliders, abandon the chase for Rickman and abandon his pursuit of the timer holding his home coordinates. All to be with Kyra. Tom and Cory found it to be one odd note among many odd notes for Season 3 Quinn.

I found it to be utterly devastating to the Quinn character. As Mike Truman noted in his review, Kyra is an obvious sociopath and manipulator. And for the first time in the series, Quinn has a real chance of making it home (or at least, he thinks he does).

Quinn Mallory has indeed changed since Season 2. He's become oddly caustic and callous, strangely flirtatious, unusually aggressive and much less intelligent. But even this altered version of Quinn has no logical or emotional reason to abandon an opportunity to make it home in favour of being with a woman who will obviously betray him at the first opportunity!

"Slither" is full of incoherent logic, poorly considered storytelling and nonsensical developments and this is before we even get to the super-intelligent snakes that can knock out electricity to buildings and down a plane. And it completely destroys Quinn Mallory's character. There is nothing admirable, understandable or workable with this character anymore. This is Quinn's worst depiction to date in the series.

(Season 4 will be even worse in this area.)

"Dinoslide." It's not bad! Cory and Tom raised issues with the military personnel being suspicious of Maggie and the sliders, saying this doesn't match "The Exodus." I actually thought it quite reasonable that some people didn't trust Maggie due to her association with Rickman even if Maggie was the one to expose Rickman as a murderer.

The episode is very well-filmed with stunning cinematography and location work. The action is compelling. I'm not in favour of SLIDERS stories that use force and violence, but as action hours go, Peckinpah's scripting is capable and filled with strong exchanges. There's a grim sense of humour in the T-Rex being used for food. Malcolm's gift to Rembrandt is touching. It's a fun action episode.

Where the story really falls apart is Rickman. He's not threatening. He's just ridiculous. As I said in my post on "The Exodus," there's really nothing human in this character. He's just a bunch of cartoonishly villainous traits. He's also a coward. He doesn't want to achieve anything other than eke out his days on stolen brain fluid; he doesn't care about the sliders beyond wanting to escape them. He isn't actually dangerous to the sliders outside of them pursuing him.

It's weird how Peckinpah is a decent writer whose script is impaired by the need to involve the Rickman character, yet Peckinpah's the reason Rickman's even in the show! Rickman's in the show because the producers wanted Roger Daltrey and his band to perform for the cast and crew and spend two weeks partying and filming an episode between binge drinking sessions.

Cory's right to say "Dinoslide" should have been the Season 3 finale. It's not a transcendental life experience, but it has the sliders revisiting the "Exodus" colony and it looks beautiful.

It's certainly better than the chaotic mess of "This Slide of Paradise." This is the worst hour of television ever made. Completely unwatchable. The guest-characters are just a mess of exaggerated 'animalistic' behaviours. Dr. Vargas is an unrelatable, inhuman lunatic. There is absolutely nothing onscreen that appeals or entertains.

The animal human hybrids are not remotely interesting or believable and they fill the screentime to the point where it's unbearable.

And then the ending. It's nice that Wade and Rembrandt are mercifully sent home and are freed from this trainwreck of a series. But the Quinn/Maggie romance is just nonsensical.

The two characters have no common ground, no mutual respect, no partnership -- the show has never bothered to explore any aspect of their friendship aside from a contrived sexual attraction. Jerry, despite his flirty performances, seems incapable of performing any actual interest in Kari Wuhrer.

Kari, despite her skill at conveying sensuality, seems unable to indicate that she's sexually interested in Jerry. Even after months of filming together, Jerry and Kari have the onscreen rapport of two strangers who vaguely recall walking past each other at a gas station.

And then Quinn says they slid into the future. Tom says he can hear the voices of a thousand SLIDERS fans screaming out in rage. Cory suggests the line may have been meant sardonically. Oh, Cory. You dear, delightful man.

And Tom. Oh, Tom. Tom performs "Tears in my Fro" for us. It is a wonderful performance. I really liked how Tom chose an upbeat, joyful, energetic approach to the song.

It actually reminded me of something Sliderscast noted in their "King is Back" podcast. Jim Ford observed that our Rembrandt sang "Tears in my Fro" as a melancholy love song while Rembrandt-2 sang the same song in a fast, high-energy fashion that showed why Rembrandt-2 was a star and our Rembrandt wasn't.

"The King is Back" feels so far away. With "This Slide of Paradise," we have a smart, satirical show having collapsed into doing bad monster movies. "The King is Back" is so flawed, so clumsy. A Rembrandt double who doesn't look like a Rembrandt double. Quinn and Wade rushing to rescue Rembrandt -- but making a stop at the concert venue first to check out some Rembrandt-impersonators.

But then there's the scene where Rembrandt and Rembrandt-2's performances are compared to each other. It's so insightful. So thoughtful. It shows such love and care for its characters.

Whereas "This Slide of Paradise" has the sliders blissfully unconcerned when Rembrandt runs off to fight with animal-human hybrids all by himself.

Season 3 is a terrible show. And Season 4 is actually worse in many ways The really sad thing is that SLIDERS was so close -- so very, very close -- to turning itself around. The Sci-Fi Channel renewal caught everyone by surprise.

Tracy Torme was prepared to return to the series. John Rhys-Davies was prepared to return to the series. Sabrina was contracted for Season 4, as were Jerry and Cleavant (and Kari).

But, as is frequent in the history of this series, Universal and the Sci-Fi Channel didn't understand what they'd bought. Sci-Fi's bizarre opinion was that SLIDERS worked best with three men and one woman -- and that it didn't matter which woman was retained.

Who could watch Season 1 and declare the show worked better because it was three men and one woman? Could it be, instead, that one of those men was a Shakespearean actor with an intensely commanding screen presence? And that the one woman was a capable actress who had chemistry with all her castmates? Kari Wuhrer, in Season 3, seems to be acting in a completely different production from the other actors.

Temporal Flux has noted that the regime that bought SLIDERS for Sci-Fi left the Channel shortly before the development process for Season 4. Others less enamoured of the series, less interested in it, took over that process.

The studio, Universal, didn't seem to be concerned with content, either. They wanted more episodes of SLIDERS, but were largely unconcerned with what would be in those episodes.

It's like the people and entities in charge of SLIDERS' future only viewed it in the context of a balance sheet. Episode numbers. Syndication potential. Deficit-financing. Return on investment. Contracts. Show business with no concern for the show, only the business, and they didn't even handle the business that well.

The Season 3 budget was badly mismananged, which is why so many back-9 episodes look cheap and ugly. A man had died during production due to negligence. And yet, David Peckinpah, the ringleader of this decaying circus, was retained. He should have been fired.

Even if you set aside his hostility towards Rhys-Davies and Lloyd and the quality of his work, he presided over a severe misallocation of funds and he wasted Universal's money. And he certainly had nothing to do with getting SLIDERS renewed for a fourth season; it happened in spite of him.

Tracy Torme made a bid to regain control of his series for Season 4. Tom says that Tracy hoped to bring John back as an alternate Arturo. This is inaccurate.

Tracy's Season 4 premiere would have been "Slide Effects." Quinn wakes up to discover it's 1995. Arturo is alive. Rembrandt and Wade have no memory of sliding. The scenario is revealed to be a Kromagg mental simulation along with all the episodes Torme didn't like or watch. The sliders escape and slide off to new adventures. Kari would have been released from her contract; she would never have appeared on SLIDERS again.

But David Peckinpah had signed a multi-year contract with Universal. If Torme returned to the show, Peckinpah would be dismissed -- but Universal would have still been obligated to pay Peckinpah.

Universal decided to go with Peckinpah for Season 4 rather than pay both him and Torme. SLIDERS had escaped the FOX Network, but they had inflicted a lazy, indifferent and unprofessional manager onto the series and that manager never left.

There is a terrible irony to the fact that fan support is technically what kept making SLIDERS worse -- that the continued renewals meant more and more episodes in which Peckinpah and his hires could find new and terrible ways to mutilate the series into a twisted parody of what it once was. The fans saved the show in the sense that they prolonged its diseased and withered state.

The sad truth is that sometimes, things don't get better. Sometimes, we find ourselves in the deepest of holes with no means of escape and then someone will hand us a shovel.

SLIDERS could have changed everything. It could have galvanized our society into realizing the value and importance of choice. How a single choice can change everything and impact everyone. How even the refusal to make a choice is in itself a choice. How every possibility we face is critical and crucial, how our awareness of how our present choices affect our future situations. It could have united us as a planet and a people in confronting all our challenges with knowledge, imagination, curiosity and teamwork. SLIDERS could have saved us all.

David Peckinpah destroyed sliding. He destroyed the future. There is no hope. There is no tomorrow.

Behind the scenes information courtesy of Temporal Flux.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Luckily the Torme thing I said was from Messages in Time and was posted back on May 17 of 1997 by Peter Dimitriadis who said:

"At a con, Tracy Torme allegedly
said that if he were given full control of the series, the first thing
he'd do is strand Maggie on some random world, and hook the sliders up
with an alternate Arturo (assuming JRD was willing to come back)."

So it wasn't really me who was in accurate, it was Peter! Blame him! wink

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Ah, Peter. Shame on you. Say, how exactly do you get the Messages in Time? I know you mentioned how in a podcast, but I can't remember which one.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!for … tv.sliders

I go there and do a search for episode title and then narrow it down by the air date so I get just the results from that initial broadcast time.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I just started listening to a 12 Monkeys podcast and was delighted to hear none other than Cory come on!

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Hahaha! Yes, 12 Monkeys Uncaged came about because listeners on the Golden Spiral Media network wanted it. I have a great time with that show and can't wait for it to come back next year! I also do a film podcast on that network called TripleCast.

In Rewatch Podcast news, our latest Sliders Rewatch is up now. We are starting season 4 with "Genesis" and "Prophets and Loss." Find it on iTunes or at http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com/ent … 0_08-07_00

We're really calling for some rate and reviews on iTunes! You'll really help out the show by taking just a couple of minutes to give us a 5 star rating and writing your thoughts on our show. We'd appreciate it guys! Head over to our webpage for a direct link to the RSS Feed http://rewatchpodcast.podomatic.com

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

God damn it. I hate the whole world and everything in it -- but I only feel that way when I'm trying to get iTunes to work on my computer.

... but you guys plugged SLIDERS REBORN and I owe you. Fine. Fine fine fine fine fine. I will find some way to get iTunes going. Dagnabbit, it CRASHED AGAIN. Uh. I think my friend, Laurie, has a MacBook. I'll go see her tomorrow.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

I posted my review in iTunes and the review just DISAPPEARED and didn't SHOW UP IN THE PAGE! DIE, iTunes! Die die die! Ugh. iTunes is so awful I have to use iMazing just to get files on and off my iPad Mini.

Re: Rewatch Podcast - SLIDERS REBORN

Tom and Cory enjoyed "Genesis" and "Prophets and Loss" plenty, and I could see why. They pointed out how both episodes, respectively written by executive producers David Peckinpah and Bill Dial, are extremely skillful pieces of television.

Cory points out how efficient the scripting is. "Genesis": the Season 3 cliffhanger, Maggie's breathing and the Kromagg invasion of Earth are established in a mere 10 - 15 minutes. The atmosphere of the invasion is horrific and compelling with background details and precise lines of dialogue indicating how the Kromaggs are merciless sadists.

Peckinpah remarked in an interview that he hesitated to make "Genesis" as dark as he did, but he committed to selling sheer helplessness of the human race and how the Kromaggs are totally implacable and unstoppable. It's a shocking turn of events; the sliders' homecoming is a nightmare. Once again, Peckinpah is a professional screenwriter and he does a professional's job in rendering the content. Cory and Tom noted how all these details created a compelling sense of loss and darkness.

The same can be said of "Prophets and Loss." Tom notes how well-structured the script is throughout. The Cadmus character witnesses the sliders' vortex and calls it in, yet this never comes up when the sliders are captured, an odd note that pays off at the end. When the sliders are brought in for questioning, the authorities are friendly, warm, charismatic and the sliders are awkward, nervous and led into giving themselves away.

Tom notes how intricate and subtle the scripting is, letting the conversation play out in almost real-time as an amiable chat becomes a forced detention. Cory and Tom were also impressed by the carefully crafted characterization where only Gareth is seen to operate the machine that incinerates people.

It's also a nicely shot episode. Location filming, great blocking, terrific guest-stars with David Birney as Cadmus and Connor Trineer as Samson. Well done, Mr. Peckinpah and Mr. Dial. I HATE THESE TWO EPISODES. They are two of the worst episodes of SLIDERS ever made. They completely DESTROY EVERYTHING in SLIDERS that matters to me and if I had the time and energy, I would personally round up every DVD set of Season 4 and return them to NBCUniversal through their front window with a complimentary brick attached to every box.

"Genesis" completely destroys the SLIDERS storytelling engine. Once you have the Kromaggs invade 'Earth Prime,' the sliders officially no longer come from our world and they have no connection to anything the audience considers home because there was no Kromagg invasion on our world the last time I checked. As a result, you can no longer use the sliders as audience surrogates and compare alternate realities to their own world with a contrast that is in any way meaningful to the viewer. The fundamentalist-ruled Earth of "Prophets and Loss" is a ****ing paradise compared to the Earth of "Genesis."

Anyone can relate to feeling homesick. There is absolutely nobody who can relate to being the chosen one in an interdimensional war that has turned your adopted Earth into an alien battleground and sent you searching for a mysterious superweapon that might liberate your world. That's just nonsense.

There's also the fact that "Genesis" warps SLIDERS into something *incredibly* convoluted. Quinn Mallory found the gateway to parallel dimensions. But on his first adventure, he lost the way back home. Simple Straightforward. Elegant. Beautiful.

Quinn Mallory found the gateway to parallel dimensions, but once he made it home, home was invaded by the Kromagg Dynasty, a race of interdimensional conquerers, and then Quinn's mother revealed to him that he was actually a refugee from a different dimension in which humans and the Kromaggs once lived in peace until a war between their races saw the Kromaggs driven off with an obscure superweapon that Quinn is now hoping to find in order to liberate his adopted home and oh my God this is terrible.

And Wade. Okay. This is just stupid. Setting aside David Peckinpah's obvious misogyny and unprofessionalism towards his employees present and former -- the script completely mishandles this because it sets up Wade's situation as one that needs to be resolved. This is just idiotic; if the actress has left, Wade's capture is a plotline that can only be resolved if Sabrina Lloyd returns, and after "Genesis," she sure as hell won't. Martin Izsak, a noted SLIDERS reviewer, observed that SLIDERS had created a "narrative debt" that it couldn't possibly pay off.

Mike Truman said, very simply, they should have killed Wade off. Let Quinn and Rembrandt mourn a corpse with the face off camera. And move on. That's one way. I wouldn't have done that.

I would have modified Starke's line to Quinn and have Starke say that Wade is about to be shipped off with numerous women to a rape camp. Then, when Marta, Rembrandt and Maggie rescue Quinn, Quinn insists they go to rescue the women as well. They storm the holding area -- only to find numerous Kromagg corpses and a hole in the wall. Wade is gone.

Resume the same plot as before with Quinn receiving the message from his birth parents, considering with Rembrandt and Maggie whether or not they'll stay and fight Kromaggs or search for the superweapon. And then, fiddling with a radio, they suddenly hear a broadcast. It's a speech being given by "Commander Wade Welles" of the human resistance, saying she's hacked the Kromagg frequencies. And she urges everyone -- soldier or prisoner, slave or civillian -- to keep fighting and not to give up. (Hire a soundalike?)

Quinn and Rembrandt realize that while Wade is fighting the war back home, they have to slide off and find weapons to aid her in the war. And we end on that. If Sabrina Lloyd returns to play Commander Welles, awesome. If not -- we know what she's doing and we're glad she's doing it.

It would certainly make "Prophets and Loss" more palatable, where Quinn and Rembrandt are upbeat and cheerful. Because as aired, "Prophets and Loss" makes no sense whatsoever for the characters. How can Quinn and Rembrandt be so lighthearted? So cheerful? So upbeat? So at ease? Quinn's mother is a Kromagg prisoner. Everyone Rembrandt has ever known or cared about is enslaved or dead. Bennish. Alesha. Danielle. Daelin. Wing. The Professor's son. Rembrandt's parents. Hurley. Wade.

And furthermore, how can the sliders be so utterly indifferent to the resistance back home? The timer lets them slide back to Earth Prime. How can they be joking around and hanging out? Why aren't they periodically sliding back to Earth Prime with supplies for the people fighting and dying for their world?

"Prophets and Loss" features Quinn and Rembrandt encountering a despotic regime and toppling it with absurd ease. If it's so easy, so simple, so straightforward, why did they ever leave Earth Prime under Kromagg rule?

I think the reason SLIDERS was so special to me in Seasons 1 - 2 and parts of 3 was because I would have loved to be a slider. Having amazing adventures with the best of friends. But the delight and joy was mixed with the tragic longing for home.

With Season 4, I don't want to be a slider and I can't relate to these people at all. The Kromagg Invasion has warped these characters into something unrecognizable, especially with their bizarre lack of reaction immediately afterwards. The Kromagg Invasion plot is not something SLIDERS can execute properly without a commitment to ongoing, episode-to-episode characterization.

And the Kromaggs. Okay, I'm out of energy. I'll deal with the Kromaggs when we get to "Common Ground."

It's really sad. Season 4 brought with it freedom from FOX, freedom from episodes being aired out of order, freedom from the numerous content restrictions that came with airing on a major network. Season 4 could have done absolutely anything. But instead, Season 4 dismantled the very concept of sliding by turning the sliders from relatable human beings into aliens.