Logical To The Point Of Myopia (The Exodus, pt. I).

It begins with the Cosmos.

Of course it does. What other beginning would be so apt? We all began in Space—

did you know we’re all made of stardust?

some astral collisions ad infinitum joining and rejoining from cosmic dust—

you, me, your Father, all of us

—to astral fragment to stellar globes—

our atoms were formed in the stars

to us as an Earth, as a Species, as a people—

but not the stars you can see now, the older ones

as people. Human beings with sentience, with thought, with emotion.—

The ones that went Nova.

We all want our endings to be as grandiose as our beginnings. It’s the most appealing part of our own Creation Myth. Of course, “The Big Bang” is based on facts, on Science, on data, hypothesis, conclusion.

But at the end of the day it’s just another story, a way to base our lives in something wonderful, something beautiful, something truly awesome.

We look to the stars, those remnants of ancient suns, and see ourselves, we see our families, our ancestry, our beginnings.

It is a comfort.

Interstellar Indigestion.

Or, it is our ending.

Sliders is a show that keeps up a façade of optimism. Time and time again it shows immense pessimism in the name of the Human Condition. Nearly every double they’ve met has betrayed them. Humanity as a whole lets them down. Societies and governments need to be overthrown, often unsuccessfully.

Now, here, even Science betrays them. A physically impossible globular cluster is coming to destroy the Earth. Our past lives return to destroy us. The beginning joins with the end. It falls apart as you watch.

We will make new stars.

But here we are, watching a war play out on so many levels. Remember “Dead Man Sliding?” There the show put itself on trial, convicting the show it once was for the crimes of the show it had become. Here it becomes more brutal. It’s no longer a trial, but a rebellion. A civil war. The show has become Janus with his hands at his throat.

This is more than just an episode. We’re greeted with a “part one” in the title. That’s all well and good, but the fact remains: this is the first two-parter since the Pilot, which sort of doesn’t count. This is a big deal. We’ve been working towards this, haven’t we? All the evidence is in place. The stakes have only once been this high. The battle lines are drawn. This is the showdown within Sliders— and, as we’ll see, the showdown with the sliders themselves.

This is what we’ve been waiting for— what we’ve been building towards.

This is it.

It’s the little things that matter— just look at the way the “V” blends with the dot of the “I.” That is Art Department GOLD, y’all.

We have a world in danger— a danger outside the government. A danger, though inaccurately depicted, is at least based in a familiar reality to our own. Then there’s the politics. A magazine showing us, not telling us, pretty much all we need to know about this alternate history without resorting to a huge and ungainly infodump. It’s better than an almanac, but it’s still reminiscent.

This woman’s face apparently can be dialed to ’11,’ if the scale is in MILDLY CONCERNED.

So we are rewarded for paying attention for the first time since Season One. This woman seems to be, if not a Scientist, then at least familiar with Science and in charge of Science Station and calls a Real Scientist on the phone. So the military is in charge of a lot more here, ostensibly. Russia’s at our throats. The Cold War got Hot.

Bam. Sliders is back.

“Hey, I borrowed your fountain pen, I just wanted to give it back…”

But then the other Cold War we’ve been watching comes to the front. This Military Scientist is attack from behind by a mystery man with a needle, draining a fluid from her spine. He then injects himself in the neck with the needle, and takes on her face.

OH NEVER MIND SHE DIALIN’ IT TO “12”

So there’s that. You cannot more accurately portray the differences between the Beginnings of Sliders and Now. But let’s take this at face value: what are we really seeing? As far as we know, we see two injections, a slightly rippled face, and a twin. All we have right now is a mystery. Sure, a slightly silly mystery, maybe. But we have no explanation for this. So let’s leave it for later.

I think I have and have worn often, Wade’s outfit.

Then, after the teaser, the gang slides onto a couch. The ‘couch gag’ here almost seems out of place in what passes for humor in this season. Which actually brings up a good point I haven’t thought of: how humorless the show’s become. I mean, sure, it’s hilarious— Dragonslide was a total laugh riot. But I’m not sold on how much the writers actually meant for the show to be funny. The last time there was an earnestly comical episode was “Dead Man Sliding.” And, despite what I previously wrote about Season One’s comedy episodes, was a real tour-de-force.

But the thing here is that the Couch Landing works within the episode. It’s just a part of the action, rather than jarring up against the tone. The crazy hobo dude is a little more problematic, but he’s in and out of the episode in like, two seconds. Sucks for his apartment, though:

HEY THIS IS SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH

So a bleeding Doctor Jarabek sputters out some Science Nonsense about Trajectories and dies. More mystery! More questions! But here’s the thing: this is really exciting! We’re getting a genre-mashup that I don’t think we’ve seen on Sliders before! It looks like we’re about to get a spy movie episode! We’re getting a James Bond movie! We’re getting a show with Russians in it that relies on a slightly less offensive set of stereotypical “Evil Russian” plots— or at least one that’s slightly more based in a sense of reality. The Pilot’s xenophobia was one of the more troubling parts of the episode— why would a World ruled by the Russians instantly be a dystopia?

Here we just have an extended Cold War. That’s fine! Bring that kind of story on.

NURRRR.I.P.

But there’s some trouble in this scene. Our characters watch a man die. The Professor shows remorse at this: he knew a double of Jarabek. Rembrandt has his Pain Face more or less glued on at this point. They’re the two old dogs, made weary by the death that’s come to surround them. But it’s the two kids that are trouble. Wade, someone who previously would be instantly moved to tears/vomit by seeing a dead man, takes this death in with an alarming lack of emotion. It’s a far cry from earlier in the series, and the awful thing is that it doesn’t even read as a false character moment. I’m not surprised by her reaction.

am surprised by Quinn’s callous quip: when Arturo says that he attended Jarabek’s lectures, Quinn says “not anymore you won’t.” What?! The Professor into the dead visage of a man he knew! And you’re making jokes? About death? Remember “The Good, The Bad, and The Wealthy?” What kind of man has Quinn become?

It’s not really an “Action Hero” move. Not much of Quinn’s behavior these days ever strikes me as “action hero.” It just strikes me as a man totally unsure of himself who knows that his actions have a frightening lack of consequence. Sure, he broke an entire Universe once, but that was because he was trying to help someone. The lesson should have been that he should stay uninvolved. But the lesson he seemed to take was that he just shouldn’t give a shit about anyone.

Keep that last in mind as we work through this episode. We’re about to meet someone you’d never in a thousand years would be important to the show.

Hey, look! It’s the only tasteful piece of clothing you will EVER see Maggie in EVER!

Even if I didn’t have all this pre-cognitive knowledge, I would think that something’s weird about the episode’s reverence to this Captain Maggie Beckett. As far as we know, she’s just this week’s guest star, the eye-candy that Season 3 has loved to throw at us for no discernable purpose. Here we have a vaguely unlikable over-enunciator, and we devote the majority of screen time to her.

You know that scene in “Out of Sight?” This isn’t anything like that scene.

So who is Captain Maggie Beckett? Surprisingly, we’re given huge swaths of knowledge about who she is. She’s a General’s Daughter, a Former-Fighter Pilot. There’s always been weight on her shoulders, pressure from all sides. Her husband, Scientist Doctor Jensen, was crippled in a skiing accident, “forcing” Maggie to ground herself. I put “forced” in quotes because while choosing to spend more time with her husband is exactly the right decision, it wasn’t exactly up to her, and it’s pretty clear it wasn’t her first choice. There aren’t just cracks in his marriage: it’s barely a marriage. Maggie kind of clearly doesn’t like her husband at all. It’s the General’s Daughter in her seeing weakness, and trying to fight it. But she can’t help but kind of detest her crippled husband, and his connection to her spreads the weakness all over her.

The dude may be in a Wheelchair, but the dude is really rocking that shirt/tie xtreme color combo.

So she’s a problematic character. While all of the above helps us understand her, none of the above actually helps us like her. But think of this: could you write such a detailed description of Wade? Rembrandt? The Professor? Quinn maybe. But we’re spending way more time than we ever have before to give a guest star a personality. It’s kind of a ballsy choice for the show to make. But Maggie Beckett is a pretty wildly unlikable character, so we’ve got to take what we can get with her, especially if the episode is so intent on shoving her in our face.

The Sliders, being pretty inept at breaking and entering and also not really bothering to tie her up or do anything that would prevent it, are snared into the world of Maggie Beckett, Intelligence Officer, and the foibles of her Superior Officer, Colonel Angus Rickman, for some reason that will never be explained and will forever irritate Sliders fans, is a Brit in charge of a Yank Military Base. Also, it’s Roger Daltrey:

I wish this was really what the episode was about.

Remember, though, the Cosmos.

GALACTIC ZIT-POPPIN’

So this episode is basically “Last Days” part II. The world is going to be destroyed in two days, the Sliders leave in three. But Tony Blake & Paul Jackson, some of the last Season Two writers left, are scripting this off of a treatment from John Rhys-Davies himself, so they know better. And they do a good job of making this episode nothing at all like “Last Days.” We’ve got all this Cold War Paranoia to deal with here.

That’s our way into the episode. We’re seeing the Earth prepare for its death from the most paranoid of groups. So paranoid that they make sure no one else finds out about the impending destruction of the World. It’s a perfect excuse for keeping the action limited.

Really, though, at this point anytime they don’t use the backlot I kind of wet myself a little.

But blessedly, we don’t spend our running time in the Backlot. The show takes over a beautiful building for the entire length of the episode. It’s so much more tolerable to watch Roger Daltrey mumble his lines while not blinking when there’s so much good looking architecture behind him. It makes the unseemly actions that go on around him all the more easy to stomach.

QUICK! Let’s have a contest to see who will be the first person to MAKE eye contact!

So the Sliders are given an ultimatum. They must help Jensen perfect his own Sliding device so they can try to save some of the people of this world. But it’s only some. Rickman pretends that he’s alerted the President of the impending disaster, but he truly hasn’t. He’s only going to take certain members of his military base with him. Someone has to choose who gets to slide and who has to stay and die.

Another thing I will never understand: why they decide to swathe Wade in so much WHITEFACE.

Let’s not forget that this two-parter is designed to completely destroy the sliders emotionally. So of course it is Wade who is charged with making the list of people who get to live. It’s already such a small list. Not even 300 people! Sure, it’s people she’s never met, but this is Wade we’re talking about here. She feels each and every name like it was her Mother, her Sister, her Father, Quinn, Rembrandt, Arturo. She might have watched a man die earlier in the day, but that was sudden, shocking, out of place. This list has her name on it. These deaths are on her. To Wade, every time she knocks off a name— even if some part of her still believes it’s for a ‘greater good,’ she’s becoming a murderer.

It’s unfair. Completely unfair. But she has no choice. And this is the one moment where Colonel Rickman doesn’t come off as a cartoon. He reminds her that they have to build a new world. Start from scratch. She’s right when she tells him that they do need to have children there. But he’s right when he insists on taking personnel with Type O-Negative blood. She can’t help but continue the list. She’ll watch Quinn slide with Maggie, and be fully aware of the fact that it represents a divide that can’t really be bridged again. A rubicon in the friendship.

And lo, they knew ’twas the end.

Arturo relegates himself to the sidelines, at last being the scientist he always wanted to be. Finally working on a project that will save lives, and perhaps more importantly, be worth remembering.

Rembrandt spends his time wandering aimlessly around the base. Eventually he makes his way to the sewers (at least it’s not the cave set), and finds a lonely kid named Malcolm.

CHECK OUT MY DOPE PORTRAIT OF MY COMATOSE MOM, REMMY

Look, I’m going to be honest: this would be a totally great and moving plotline where it not for that kid being totally awful in every way. This is the perfect plot for Rembrandt. He’s returning to his roots of being the ‘everyman.’ He finds himself in chaos, and is drawn to the most mundane thing around him. So he finds another outcast, another soul on the edge. But Malcolm doesn’t come off as a lost soul, he comes off as a petulantly dead-eyed ninny. But then I guess he gets that from his Father:

Okay, so I really wanted to go on a tangent about how for 95% of the episode, it accidentally looks like Rickman is only stabbing African-Americans and is on a goal to ethnically cleanse the military base. But I’m already pushing 4000 words on this, and I mean, he’s not REALLY trying to do that, it just happens to be Malcolm’s parents, and the show isn’t smart enough to think of a plot like that anyways and DEEP BREATH/never mind.

These four people can’t help but get involved in this mess. “Sliding is improvising,” Quinn says. These people take what is delivered to them, and get involved if they have to. But the longer they slide, the less they actively try to get involved in things. If someone runs up and yells “hey, let’s overthrow the government,” they’ll oblige. If someone says “hey, you’re sort of a hostage, but also you’re going to help out some innocent people,” then there they are. But it’s not fair. This time it’s a little too much.

Quinn’s always been the ‘leader,’ in a way. But it was never spoken, and he’d never admit it to anyone. Even now, in “action hero” mode, he’s still reluctant to take charge. But in the back of his mind he knows that Arturo is still dying. Someday soon he’s going to have to just go ahead and be the man in charge. That knowledge makes him petulant. But it also gives him the resolve to stick with sliding, to roll with the punches.

Maggie looks like she’s wearing two different wigs, and Quinn’s hair looks like a Penis.

Even if said punches involve sliding within a slide with an irritating Ex-Fighter Pilot who clearly wants to fuck you even though she’s married to a crippled scientist. A huge chunk (actually maybe it only seems huge because it’s dull) of the episode is devoted to Quinn & Maggie ‘scouting’ new worlds for the Exodus. It’s an interesting idea. It’s kind of just shrugged off. But this is the first time since El Sid we’ve taken someone through the Vortex and actually dealt with the consequences. It’s also the first time since Invasion that we’ve slid through a vortex not our own.

But we aren’t really treated to ‘consequences,’ because Maggie is like “NO BIGGIE QUINN LET’S SLIDE ALSO I’M IN CHARGE.” Quinn tries to tell her that “hey Maggie we’re in the cave set nothing ever good happens in the cave set,” but she’s like “I’m not listening Quinn I’m going to feed this huge fucking rabbit with my BODY.”

Guys, just be thankful we didn’t get an ENTIRE EPISODE about this shit.

Yeah sure fine whatever. Thankfully we have Maggie meet a double of Maggie, who, ha ha ha, is actually exactly the same as Maggie-Prime. So we get the ridiculous scene where Maggie tells Quinn basically how to get her naked in order to get the timer back.

Our tax dollars at work for Maggie’s highlights.

It’s the Cold War of the show coming back to stir things up, cause trouble. You can just see Tony Blake & Paul Jackson sending drafts in and getting back all these horrible notes that destroy everything they’re trying to do. So we have Maggie Beckett with a truly interesting backstory with a damaged marriage, and then we have her shamelessly hit on Quinn. We have an interesting idea for a parallel world, and then we have a cartoonish Englishman running the US. We have a woman actively trying to make a cuckold out of her disabled husband.

OOH YEAH SMOOTH MOVE, MALLORY!

It brings us to one of two betrayals that end the episode. We started with the promise of mystery. The night-needler stands in the light, and reveals himself:

Also not helping Daltrey be overly-creepy: the fact that he NEVER EVER ONCE BLINKS EVER IN THE EPISODE.

We had the potential for truth, for accuracy, for something within the realm of possibility. And we are betrayed to our cores, as the other side wins the battle of ridiculousness. Rickman’s injections form him into a shapeshifter— another B-Movie Reject. Taste, at last, is defeated.

Umm, yeah.

And then we have Quinn, who is totally okay with Maggie’s offensive behavior.

Quinn’s arc in all of this mess is one of guilt, and the attempt to shirk responsibility for this guilt. His choice of shirking at this point to just throw his hands in the air and say “it’s a parallel world, who cares?” So fine, he’ll accept Maggie’s advances. This is fun. No one used to do that to him back home.

Back home.

Home.

That four-lettered word. Quinn casually tells Maggie that they’ve been sliding for 3 years. Which is an immense amount of time. It’s easy to forget that it’s been that long. Home, at this point, is nothing more than an ideal. It’s become so beyond a memory it’s a false utopia. A dreamworld. A fairyland.

Or, y’know, the more accurate reason that no one bothered to watch “Into The Mystic.”

We, as an audience, know this vision to be false. We know that wherever Quinn is, it isn’t home. It’s some false vision, perfect for Quinn— it gives him exactly what he wants to see. It gives him a squeaky gate. A gate we know has been oiled. It gives him the sounds, the sights, the smells of “Home.” And it gives him guilt made flesh.

YEAH FUCK THOSE FLOWERS, MRS. MALLORY!

Here we learn the darkest seed of the guilt festering in Quinn. We learn that he chose to Slide— remember, on a whim— on his Mother’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom, for a present I’m going to disappear for the rest of your life, leaving you alone and empty, having already lost your husband, and now your son. Staying here would be sweet. It’s the goal, still, isn’t it? But why, now, after all these years, would the roulette wheel spin him Home, when he’s not ready? Forget the fact that it’s only Quinn, and his companions, his happy wanderers, aren’t even there. He’s busy.

“QUINN YOUR NEIGHBORS CHICKEN SOUP IS TERRIBLE”

But this illusion grants him further pain. Maggie can’t breathe our atmosphere. He can’t even stay— not that he could to begin with. He’s got some ridiculous notion of ‘what’s right,’ and ‘what’s right’ is ‘saving this military base from itself.’ So Quinn bottoms out. He’s home and has to leave. What could possibly be worse than that?

FATALITY

Punching an innocent man in the face— a man who was only trying to help Maggie live, and leaving your mother—again— her face contorted by an unbearable amount of grief.

Next Week on Sliders: Linda Henning crying for 45 minutes.

This is how we end the first part of this episode. Quinn has debased himself to be as unlikable as Maggie. Devastating his mother once wasn’t bad enough, he had to do it twice. The lessons of “As Time Goes By” corrupted him, made him angry. He will buck against the Multiverse to get what he wants. Which, it turns out, is for someone to pay attention to him. So he clings to Maggie, a new and powerful woman who respects his Vortex. Forget his friends, still trapped on a world they don’t want to be on.

But actions have a way of catching up with you. And here is judgement. The world is still going to end, with all of them on it. The cosmos is reaching its arm to grab you by the throat and destroy you. Quinn doesn’t own the universe. He feels guilty and put-upon? Pah.

The Universe will give him something to feel guilty about.

Next Week: we hear you, we just aren’t listening (The Exodus, pt. II).

ADDENDUM:

This post marks the one-year anniversary of Think of a Roulette Wheel! That is an absolutely crazy thing to think of. A whole lot has happened behind the scenes in that year, some good, some bad, some really good, some awful. But I would like to thank all of YOU dear readers/commenters. Special shout outs to ireactions, durkinator, pete5125, for being the longest and most avid commenters— but there’re some new voices that are already making this blog even more of a special thing, so WELCOME! You guys are the reason I can keep up with this crazy thing.

Super also (of course) special thank you to Earth Prime, the premier Sliders fan site, for A) being a great resource, and B) featuring this ol’ blog on the front page! Thanks guys!

Last but not least, all my friends who put up with me talking about Sliders 24/7, 365. It’s been hard on them sometimes (ha ha ha), and I appreciate them continuing to be my friends despite my obessions.

Let’s think on the good times by (re)watching this:

13 thoughts on “Logical To The Point Of Myopia (The Exodus, pt. I).

  1. This quickly became one of my favorite retrospective review blogs of all time (and I check out a lot of those.) Thanks for consistently being so insightful and hilarious! Always fun to read.

    I always forget just how absolutely batshit insane this episode really is, just because of where it goes the following week. I mean, aside from the glaring mistakes, this first part isn’t really bad television. This was the first episode for one of my friends, actually (not by choice, it just-so-happened to be on the day we were both watching it) and he was really engaged in it, and anxious to see part two. That probably has more to do with not having seen anything before and thus never knowing how much the show had changed/devolved at this point, but it’s still a testament to how this episode, flaws and all, is at least entertaining and has enough packed in that even if one angle doesn’t work, something else about it is interesting.

    Like, it’s pretty rare to have every Slider essentially have a completely separate story thread, yet they all tie into the large one. Instead of a main A plot and B subplots, we get an A plot with multiple little AA, AB, AC, AD, etc. plots shooting out of it. Essentially like Roland Emmerich’s disaster movies, except with characters we actually know and mostly care about (I guess that’s not the compliment I was going for, but eh.) But it’s a nifty way to tell a “big” story when it’s done well, and I feel like this episode actually manages to handle it pretty nicely overall, despite the content. Well, until the Rickman stuff gobbles it all up and spits it out at the end. And when Quinn punches the doctor. That was kind of really terrible.

    Another thing that’s pretty surprising is, like you mentioned, how well Maggie is fleshed out. It’s not really a bad introduction in terms of introductions, and it’s a pretty solid way to meet a new series regular. The problem is just the character herself and what she ends up representing. I absolutely cannot wait to see what you have to say about her post-season 3, especially. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about Maggie.

    There’s just a lot of stuff to say about this pair of episodes in general, I guess.

    • It’s a huge one— this post is pushing 4000 words, after all, and I STILL had to cut some thoughts out! You’re spot on— it’s probably the most well-plotted out episode, excepting probably Obsession and Luck of the Draw. But even in those episode there’s much less going on. Here we’re focused on brand new people, who aren’t supposed to be one-dimensional (even Rickman, before the Brain Reveal, has moments when you aren’t really sure what his motives are).

      But it’s also hard to talk about these two episodes because they are so dependent on the behind-the-scenes drama going on. They’re a set of scripts designed to change the cast around and force the show into the FOX mold, despite a huge effort from the ‘old guard’ of the Production team digging their nails in and trying to make it a good episode of Sliders. It’s exhausting to watch, let alone write about!

      Thanks so much for sticking around! it’s only going to get weirder from here on…

      • I, myself don’t count the episode Into The Mystic as Quinn going home since that was obviously not his mother, and the same lady played his MOM in all other crucial moments in the show

  2. This is going to sound awful but back when I was watching the show back in the day (I guess I was 16 or so at the time)this actually got me excited about the show again, season #2 I was just happy the show came back after a year off and the episodes where weird, then season #3 rolled around and they no longer gave a crap about either fixing the timer or finding another way home…at least the Rickman arc would offer a reoccurring bad guy to stop plus they had a way home they just got to stop Rickman and get his timer with the coordinates.

    That being said…of all the problems with this episode, I still do not understand why they wouldn’t pick the world with the Alt-Maggie, it was basically a double of their world so it would be the best choice they wouldn’t really even need supplies…even if they hadn’t figured out big groups, Jensons timer works they can go back and forth and change the timer to 2 minute or 1 minute incorments….better than the native world they choose next week

    • I think they didn’t choose the world with Alt-Maggie because it would defeat the point of saving anyone.

      They can’t save all 6 billion people on the planet, so they plan to save a small sample of people and use them to rebuild society from the ground up; it’s the equivalent of colonising an alien world, but with sliding rather than spaceships. Their old Earth would be dead but at least it would have a legacy, a new world created by its survivors. The survivors might feel guilty that everyone else died, but they can take comfort in the knowledge that they were chosen because they were the right men/women for the job of continuing their civilisation.

      But if they went to a world that was practically identical to the one that they left, then saving this small sample of people wouldn’t actually accomplish anything other than saving the lives of a small group of people. They would just be a small group of people saving themselves purely for the sake of saving themselves. Unless they overthrew the government and started running things, their presence would not accomplish anything.

      • I get what your saying but we weren’t looking at a group of scientist picked out for a BIO-DOME like experience, we are looking at an Earth with random people working at an ARMY base, the idea should be that their is a time limit so 1st descent earth they find they should drop ship as many people as possible, since they only have a couple days to accomplish this then going to an Earth that already contains modern supplies, food, etc. will make it where you have a possibility of saving as many people on the base as possible…I know Rickman only wants a certain blood-type, well after type O he could move on to type A etc.

        Ruining Part2 them picking a undeveloped world to settle on is insane, also just because your double is on that world doesn’t mean that the duplicates would ever have to associate with each other…since their would be 2 of each person for a base it would make for an interesting spin off show…a world where you suddenly have a twin with similar life experience but slightly different, how would you work, live, survive, when someone else with same genetic make-up is already working at the same place you use to work.

  3. Wow thanks for the shout out, I look forward to this post on a weekly basis and it gives me an excuse to re-watch the DVD’s over and over again…back in the day I was the obsessive fan, still am just this is my outlet now…thanks for giving me this outlet so I don’t have to drive my friends nuts about one of my favorite shows.

  4. I really have nothing to say regarding this episode (after 4000 words, you said it all!) but I would like to thank you for your work on this blog and the thought that you – and the commenters – put into the show and the episodes.

    I saw the first 2 seasons when they originally aired, then college interrupted much of season 3 for me. By the time I caught another episode all the characters were different or gone, and I never got back into it.

    Flash forward to this year and I rediscovered the show on Netflix.

    Watching season 1 made me wonder why I stopped watching the show. Season 1 and 2 were by and large, excellent. Then Season 3 made me remember why I dropped it when I went to college.

    I decided to complete my viewing of the show before I found your blog, but I have to thank you for “Think of a Roulette Wheel” because I honestly don’t know if I could make it all the way through season 3, 4 and 5 alone.

    It’s great to know there are other fans out there, and I can look forward to your enlightening and entertaining thoughts on those episodes where the show fall flat.

    Special thanks to Earth Prime for leading me here, and keep on keeping on!

  5. Pete5125, I wanted to reply to your comment, but I guess there’s a limit to the number of nested replies. I can imagine a few problems with settling a near-identical world. There’s the obvious stuff with the doubles, like social insurance numbers, and identity theft. How would you feel knowing there was someone who looked just like you with the same DNA but was perhaps more inclined to break the law, or even kill? Pretty convenient for organ and blood donation though!

    On the other hand, consider the survivors who have lost friends and family. I would think there would be a natural inclination for the survivors to seek out the doubles of those lost, even if they have no relation on this new world, which would make things even stranger! I’m reminded of Arturo’s conversation with his double’s widow in Double Cross. That conversation was pretty emotional, and both parties were fully aware of the concept of Sliding. How many of the survivors on Pulsar Prime are going to even understand how they were saved, let alone the majority of the populace on the settled world (assuming they even know what sliding is)? I think there would be a lot of issues with trying to settle a world that is near identical to your own. Perhaps it’s better to start on a barren world and rebuild humanity from scratch, without interfering with any other world. Sort of like the Prime Directive, shoe-horned into a Sliders episode!

    And why Roger Daltrey? And then to go and switch actors down the road. What was the point?

    Congratulations on your One Year Anniversary CryLikeAMan! I’ve been reading your work from near the beginning, and I feel silly for not jumping into the conversations sooner! Keep up the great work!

    • Yeah the Roger Daltrey thing I didn’t understand at all, He is from a band that the age group that Sliders was made for had never heard of the guy, They knew from the get go that they wanted Rickman as part of the Maggie arc for the finale part of the season, why would you not use him for a different episode or have him play Maggie’s husband.

      I can only assume that someone wanted a free Jam section from the band “The Who” and this was an easy way to trick him into doing it…but Sliders being a show that should use the same actors every time they show an established character especially in the same season within a few episodes.

      At least when they did it with Quinns Dad he always had such a minor role in the episode that you couldn’t remember what the old actor looked like(until season 4 that is)

      On the re-establishing on a new world I guess if they had done like Stargate SGU, and the team was predestine for said event in the 1st place then they had to go early because the pulsars came and messed up their Bio-Dome then I could of accepted it, but as it is told to me in this episode this world is over Quinn and Maggie found a very suitable alternative just they would have an extra bitchy Maggie on that world, better than being torn apart by Dinosaurs and having to farm for your food when you are use to office jobs…

      But don’t get me wrong you make a very good point that being on the established world would present all sorts of issues dealing with the doubles, ATM’s, identity theft, maybe kill your twin and take over his life all kinds of cray scenarios

      • > why would you not use him for a different episode or have him play Maggie’s husband.

        Better yet – use him for Maggie’s father and ditch the husband angle altogether.

        Maggie’s relationship with her husband has always been a major plot weakness because it just isn’t believable. She mourns him all of 30 seconds and hits on Quinn even before her husband dies.

        Replace her husband with Daltrey as playing her father – a scientist who creates his timer – and the plot is stronger and more believable.

  6. Like others, I caught Sliders in college the first two seasons and have extremely fond memories of our stations Fox line up on Friday nights. It was Sliders, X-files and Star Trek DS9. All of my SF geek friends and I made a Friday night pizza party out of it every week my sophomore year of college. I had no clue that Sliders had a 3rd or 4th season because I was too busy to follow the show. When I figured out there was a 5th season, I caught the last couple of episodes and had NO idea who any of the characters were except Remmy!

    Thanks to the HUB, I’ve caught up with Season 3 and totally understand why people write what they write about season 3. Season 4 has good moments, but I just don’t like Maggie.

    She’s just a bad example of the female character that came out at that time who was tough and could kick-ass and take names. Every movie and TV show has to have this character these days: the female whose sole purpose is to be a “tough b*****” When it was novel, it was great. When it’s well-done, it’s great. However, it is so over-used that I get easy bored with “that” character these days. As a woman, I want to like “that” character, you know, the woman who’s tough and can handle herself, etc, but I don’t like how Maggie comes off on screen. “River” from Firefly was a great version of this character. When the producers of BSG made Starbuck a woman, Katee Sackhoff rocked that character. Her character was one of the major reasons why I love the BSG reboot (besides the awesome storytelling). Maggie really is just a cheap version/shadow of that character. All the great characterization in the universe (or multiverse) can save us from the fact that Kari Wuher is just a bad actress.

    Anyway, I love your blog. It’s so funny and insightful. I really wish I would have discovered it sooner.

    Oh – to answer your lamentations about why Wade was ever on the show……the reason why Wade was even on the show was to attract female viewers. It’s one thing for the ladies to drool over Jerry, but women like to see themselves as being able to participate in the action too. Why should the guys get to have all the fun?!? Anyway, I’m working my way through your posts and can’t wait to read more. It’s rare that I’ve stuck with a blog this far! I love it!

    • Hi Lovelypeace

      For me, I always saw Wade’s purpose as to provide a completely opposite point of view to Quinn and the Professor. They were the brains, she was the heart. They were the science, she was the mystical/spiritual. Rembrandt was there simply to provide the “everyman” perspective.

      I think if Wade’s character had been given a larger role, or if there weren’t two characters who held opposing point of views to her, the show might have taken a more fate vs. random sliding theme. Maybe push the idea of a destiny. Since her ideologies didn’t catch on in the group, it kind of explains why her character didn’t really develop much farther. But that’s just me speculating. It would be interesting to see the original casting call to see how her character was initially described. The press kit describes her basically as a love interest to Quinn, meant to create tension between them, which touches on what you said about attracting female viewers (albeit for different reasons than you stated).

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