The Stranger is Frightened (Paradise Lost).

The story goes like this:

John Rhys-Davies is drunk. He is over-enjoying himself at a FOX sponsored party. He makes rude and embarrassing jokes at a FOX employee. People laugh, the employee is furious. John Rhys-Davies likely doesn’t remember.

Ben Bertin:

Years later, the employee has climbed the ladder, and is now in charge of a huge swath of FOX’s programming. He looks over the list of programs he’s got power over, and who stars on these shows. He smiles, and makes a phone call. The new Executive Producer of a little show called Sliders took the call, and was amenable to the executive’s ideas.

Jenna Caravello:

 He looked through the stack of rejected story ideas, marked with the stamp of “who cares?” He found an idea for a two-parter, written by John-Rhys Davies himself. He remembers overhearing a conversation where John extolled the virtues of his script— the ‘return to form,’ the ‘course correction’ that his story would provide.

The Producer chuckles. “Perfect.”

Krystal DiFronzo:

Mouths agape, the cast reads through the script. They’d thought they’d seen some stretches of disbelief before, but this was something else entirely. John Rhys-Davies, as usual, was quite vocal with his disdain for the material.

Beth Hetland:

John Rhys-Davies’ agent receives a phone call. “John,” he says. “Someone on the show is going to be fired soon. I’m not sure who it is.”

John makes plans. He knows who’s getting the axe.

Lyra Hill & Tyson Torstenson:

“Jerry, I’ve heard a rumor they’re going to replace one of the cast, and I’ve reason to believe it may be you,” John says. “You’re not famous enough for the show, not a big enough draw.”

Alex Lake:

“Cleavant, I’ve heard a rumor they’re going to replace one of the cast, and I’ve reason to believe it may be you,” John says. “The writers just don’t know what to do with your character, and they’re just about ready to give up.”

Ian McDuffie:

“Sabrina, I’ve heard a rumor they’re going to replace one of the cast, and I’ve reason to believe it may be you,” John says. “Pig-headed as it may be, the producers just don’t think you have enough sex appeal to draw enough viewers.”

Sam Sharpe:

All through the shoot the cast had felt tense. John’s rumors, told in private in their trailers, had cast a malaise over the set. Sabrina locked herself in her trailer until they swore she wouldn’t get canned.

Jacob Strick & Zoe Moss:

They sat together, laughing, happy to be done with such an obvious turkey of an episode. A producer came up to the team, chuckling to himself. He butted his way through the group. Hey, John. You know that two-parter you’re working on?”

“Well, we’re going to kill your character in it.”


Obviously, a SUPER HUGE THANK YOU to all my amazing cartoonist friends who took the time out of their lives to watch this incredibly awful piece of shit episode. For most of them, it was the first episode they’d ever seen— don’t worry, I told them to go watch “Eggheads.” Thank you thank you thank you. I am so lucky to have friends like these talented goofbags. Love on ya!

But seriously, go check out their work. It’s all very, very good.

Anyways, if you were really hoping I was going to to a ‘traditional’ post about this episode, I did a small write-up here, on my Tumblr. I mention it there, but the reason I decided to do the post this way (other than the fact that it’s awesome) is because I think enough has been said, critically, about this episode. What could I say other than “yeah, they’re right, this blows.” It’s actually literally impossible to give a redemptive reading of this episode— so why not have some fun with it?

Next Week: You remind me of the babe. What babe? The babe with the power. What power? The power of the voodoo. Who do? You do. Do what? Remind me of the whatever (The Last of Eden).


10 thoughts on “The Stranger is Frightened (Paradise Lost).

  1. An inspired post for an insipid episode- Bravo!

    I guess it shows that while you can’t polish a turd, you can at least polish a review of said turd…

  2. So will you be going with the Fox order and reviewing JRD’s finale episode before “Exodus”, the “H.G. Well’s Time Machine” rip-off…”The Last of Eden” next week or will you wait till midway through the Maggie episodes the way it originaly aired…I guess it works either way since they desided to put the 30 second teaser at the begining explaining that it was a flashback.

  3. Also do you really find this to be Slider’s lowest point, I mean I agree it is bad…they somehow rip-off one of the cheapest movies ever made and they still don’t get it done right, the CGI is awful, if you can’t make the worm look good why show it at all…

    I don’t understand why they needed the worm goo story, they where ripping off “Tremors” so having them stuck in the town and having to deside should they help the locals or leave them with an overgrown worm would of been plot enouth, having them stuck in harms way because it would help fix a new timer that didn’t work properly would be an ok story as well, moral dilema of helping the people or trying to hide out and go to another town…

    but season#3 and #4 had to have episodes that I hated more, at least The Professor and Wade are in this one, this is better than “The Chasm” or “Rhoads Taken”,

    • I’ll be doing “Last of Eden” next week— thematically for the blog it works better, and The Exodus is a better place to have a ‘goodbye JRD’ entry.

      I think by the time “The Chasm” rolls around, Season 4’s already going off the rails, and the lack of Wade and Arturo sort of set the bar really really low. That said, I’m sure “The Chasm” is probably worse than “Paradise Lost,” the difference is in the timing— Sliders had very rarely been as bad as “Paradise” before it aired. That kind of counts for a lot, especially since it’s such an egregious waste of the original cast.

      Also, I’ve never seen “Easy Slider,” and I imagine that might end up being the worst episode.

      • Happy 1 year anniversary Cry Like A Man! You should seriously do a Quantum Leap review of every episode. I can’t seem to find any online.

    • I don’t know about either of those episodes being worse than this — “The Chasm” certainly wasn’t what you’d call quality entertainment, but at least it didn’t have people eating worm feces. I don’t remember “Roads Taken” even being that bad, really, although it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that episode, and it’s entirely possible that when I saw that one I’d been pretty desensitized to the badness by that point — “Roads Taken” was pretty late in Season 4, wasn’t it?

      • I think the problem with later season 4 and 5 episodes wasn;t so much the badness as the boringness. I never felt like “Roads Taken” was an absolutely terrible episode (aside from the big stupid ending…but the majority of it wasn’t BAD) it was just boring as all hell. “The Chasm” was stupid and boring, too, but at least you could have stretched something mildly interesting out of the “draining emotions” concept or whatever. It just didn’t try to. I don’t think there was ever any possible way to make the concept of “Paradise Lost” work, and that might be where the difference lies. The core concept didn’t even have potential.

        I don’t even remember “Easy Slider” though. Not even the slightest, and I think I may have even seen it more than once. So I’m going to assume the boringness is what killed that deader than dead, too.

      • Easy Slider was season #5 Mallory, falls in love with a biker gang leader and they have to do the biker duel at the end, it actually had some alt history and was an OK episode, no Chandler for once..

  4. Sadly as dumb as “Easy Slider” sounds in theory, Maggie should wear leather and bikers” at that point in the series any reason that they make an episode not featuring the Chandler is good enouth for me, “The Chasm” is bad as well but it doesn’t have the charm of “last of Eden” in that it is a bad movie rip-off, of a cheesy B-Movie, that they should of been able to at least pull off the same effects as the original if not better, The movie used a rope being pulled up out of the ground to give the chase effect, Sliders used worst CGI ever.

    On to the “Voodoo Timer” it tried it’s best to take out Max this week sending a giant Slug after him with the irony of a world/small town that worships the Worm from “Tremors” what movie Rip-Off will try to kill him next….you get one more episode til, Quinn finally does a small adjustment to the timer but will it be to late, How many Sliders will have to die, how many extras will have to be eaten by worms, don’t want to relive this episode…to count how many people died, I think the death tole was small this week I believe in th 5-6 range, but the timer has just now started it’s “Reign of Terror”

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