1 (edited by KerrAvon 2016-09-23 11:36:28)

Topic: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

I stumbled on Sliders about midway thru Season 4. At the time they Sci fi was re running the entire first 3 seasons and I happened to catch the Pilot and was hooked. Mon-Thur they showed a repeat and on Friday evenings they ran a new (Season 4) episode.  Season 4 must have been towards the end and the first Season 4 episode I saw was "My Brother's Keeper". Of course you can imagine the surprise I had when I saw Colin and Maggie and I asked "who the hell are all these people?"
Anyway, I eventually was all caught up by the time the fifth season began airing in 1999, but there were a handful of S4 that I had not seen.
At the time we all thought that S4 was the worst or the weakest it was years later before I and many others decided that the stinker shark jumping season was not S4 but S3.  Four does not measure up to one or two but it has its proud moments and the front end is quite good. It went into a tailspin by mid season and crashed and burned by the time the finale, "Revelations" aired.

I want  grade Season 4 episodes. I will do half now and the rest later.

GENESIS          B  I missed this one and had heard so much bad about it that even after I got the DVD's I put off watching this one. When I finally did I was quite surprised. It is actually pretty good. I get that Peckingpah was trying to send the show in another direction after losing half the cast and though I hated the references to Breeder Camps and the half baked Nazi Cromaggs, the episode is at least as enjoyable as "Rules of the Game"





At this point the show with only three sliders is not doing too badly for itself...

BROTHER WHERE ART THOU   B+   introduction of a new and fourth Slider. A funny episode but quite good.


SLIDE CAGE         C     this one just never did anything for me.

I can see that this is where the show began to take a downward turn.  the three worked very good but they felt they had to bring on Colin...they had high hopes for this character but we all know how this turned out and it was a pity. Despite Charlie's bad acting he was not too bad in the earlier episodes.

to be continued....

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

I think Sliders had a lot of "jump the shark" possible moments:

move to LA at start of season 3

after The Guardian: Torme being in charge changes to Peckinpaugh

When Arturo is replaced with Maggie

When Wade is removed

When Colin is added

Season 5: Quinn is replaced by his fraternal double

I think season 4 is the weakest. There are more good stories in 5 than 4. Almost everything Kromagg in 4 & 5 other than Way Out West I don't care for as much as non Kromagg episodes.

Yeah a lot of season 3 episodes are outrageous but at least Arturo is in the majority of them and Wade is in all of them.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

I think Season 4 is pretty bad, but a number of strong and stand-out episodes make it look better than it is. "Prophets and Loss" is the first episode in ages with a proper alternate history. "World Killer," "The Alternateville Horror," "Slidecage" and "Slide By Wire" have great science fiction concetps. "Way Out West" is fun.

The main problems are that the production has become just as bad as Season 3 with numerous stories and directions that are even crasser and darker than the monster movie marathon of the latter Season 3 episodes. Home has been invaded, all the sliders' families are dead, Wade is in a rape camp -- and these are subjects SLIDERS can't handle without the characters being too traumatized to explore a new world episodically each week, so they're just ignored. Rembrandt's trauma in Seasons 1 - 2 could be played for laughs, but the subject of Wade is too horrific to deal with in this fashion and it makes it so that lighthearted fare like "Alternateville" and "West" feel completely out of sync.

The show either goes for softball challenges where the stories are wrapped up with clumsy happy endings that don't make sense ("Just Say Yes," "Virtual Slide") or bleakly miserable endings that are depressing ("Common Ground," "The Dying Fields"). Season 4 also has a very compressed, artificial look because of the producers' stupid beyond stupid decision to erect a massive and expensive standing set with the Chandler that forces them to use it in every single episode whether it should be used or not. The early seasons got around this by having generic studio space with set dressing that could be wheeled in and out to turn a single room into a bar, store, cafe, courtroom, hotel, office, etc..

Season 4 is so depressing that even the fun episodes are diminished, it looks cheap and ugly and Jerry O'Connell looks half asleep onstage and Charlie O'Connell's main acting experience came from playing Quinn's dead corpse in "The Young and the Relentless." A few flashes of inspiration from Marc Scott Zicree and Chris Black can't sustain a whole season, sadly. Comparing it with Season 3 isn't terribly meaningful; Season 4 is just bad in different ways.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

Tru Season 4's budget did have a lot to do with the standing set that were built for season 3, The Chandler in particular.  Also, being shot in LA at Universal Studios, hurt them for alternate worlds, which by season 5 they at least found a way to use the Hill Valley set more and other parts of the backlot so at least the show had more variety in location, something very important for a show like Sliders.

Mostly season 4 and then season 5 were just amazing in that production wise losing 1/4 of their budget moving from Fox to Sci-Fi the show looks similar(outside the wormhole), the special effects are bad, but even in the Fox years outside of the Dino episodes, most shows in Season 3 had bad for the 90's special effects, it didn't help that their was so much good sci-fi at the time, and on a TV budget most shows had movie level special effects.

Season 4 is one of those things where they got a good 13 episode season, an OK 18 episode season, but the 6 of the last 9 episode of season 4 are awful, the only saving grace is the cast, they move at a slow pace and are hard to watch.

Season 5 when you can get over the cast change only has about 3 awful episodes, 5 Ok episodes and the other 13 are better than most the episodes of season 4.

I mean Sliders is a tough show to recommend to anyone a girl at my work that likes Dr.Who and Quantum Leap was asking for a good netflix show.

I told her Sliders, but I felt compelled, because she is a completist and Sliders takes several dark turns especially if you fall in love with the show in season 1, and why wouldn't you, you are forced to give the disclaimer that it take a weird turn in season 3, then again mid season  3, then again in season 4, then again in season 5.  How do you tell someone if they fall in love with any character outside of Rembrandt Brown they wont make it through the end.  If they like Rembrandt Brown's character, he will represent little of that character in season 5

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

Sliders certainly is tough to recommend. I've recommended it a bunch of times, only been taken up on it a few as far as I know. Netflix is missing 2 of the best episodes in season 1 (and Last Days is one of the best episodes of the series, in my opinion), which doesn't help a new viewer since they're not seeing 2 really good episodes. Most of us saw the series weekly as it came out (with an entire year break), not knowing how dark and different the series would become later (I always continued to have hope the original 4 would somehow get back together). I wonder if binge watching for the first time one would have those feelings now.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

You all make good points. I never thought a show could "jump" more than once bit I have to agree that "Genesis" as an attempt to give them another reason to slide, managed the feat for the second time.
Quinn not being one of us...
He has a long lost brother....(this is more crazy than the Slide Like an Egyptian concept)
Wade being shipped off to rape camp...
Sure Season 4 has its moments but these traumatic "changes" does make it tough. 
and grade for grade and average out I would give 4 higher GPA than Season 3

Season 5 was the best since Season 2 and it has a great many good and decent episodes, and like I and others always said:
"once you got past the radical cast changes"

A big mistake in Season 4 was not to use the original arch for Colin Mallory. The concept may have been bizarre but it would have been a good way to close the loose ends opened up in "Genesis". It would have revealed that the whole idea of Quinn not being from Earth Prime as a Kromagg mind trick and I think most fans (at least myself) would have been okay with this. they could have even said Wade was off on some world leading a resistance movement  (the idea of Rape camp also a Kromagg trick to mess with people's minds)  And in addition to finding home, the others would be looking for her...and the season would have ended as it began: with three Sliders.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

I think what is really sad about aborting the Colin Mallory arc is: it wasn't aborted for story reasons. They didn't find a better storyline; they didn't think it would make for a better show. The arc was aborted because (a) Peckinpah and Dial wanted to upset Marc Scott Zicree and (b) Jerry O'Connell didn't like the idea that Colin wasn't his character's brother. These reasons should not have been allowed to influence the onscreen product, but if David Peckinpah cared about making sure the onscreen product didn't suffer from behind the scenes personalities, John and Sabrina would never have left the show.

And Surf Dance Chris taps into why fans kept watching SLIDERS: hope. The hope that if SLIDERS could get just one more season, at some point, the original sliders would come back to us and be restored. That's why I personally don't mind the ending of "The Seer" with nothing resolved, nothing wrapped up, Rembrandt leaping into the vortex without us knowing what's on the other side. I think that Quinn, Wade and Arturo were waiting on the other side.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

The staff had some good writers though, like MSZ and Chris Black, and the scripts were usually pretty good.  The problem was the budget.  That plus Peck wandered away to another show, then came back, lack of strong leadership.  That being said, I think if the season were like many shows today, say 13 episodes long, it would have been better.  They had to stretch the budget I think a bit too far.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

How did it become acceptable for a full season to be 13 episodes rather than 22? 13 used to be considered a half season back in the Sliders days.

Re: Season 4 Shark Jumping or underappreciated?

Surf Dance Chris wrote:

How did it become acceptable for a full season to be 13 episodes rather than 22? 13 used to be considered a half season back in the Sliders days.

13, heck man Stranger Things was the "hit" of the summer on Netflix, and it was only 8!  Most of the HBO/Showtime/Starz series are just 12 episodes.  It works for a number of reasons.  First, you don't need fluff episodes, and you can tell the season arc much tighter, without dragging it on and on.  Second, people are busy, and even with DVR's, catching up on a 22-episode series is tough.  Third, obviously it's cheaper.  Plus you can sign a Woody Harrelson or Jeff Bridges or Claire Danes to do a season of 10-12 episodes.  They'd never agree to sign for 6 months.