Summer of Love

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 2, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Tracy Tormé
  • directed by Mario Azzopardi
  • produced by Steve Ecclesine
  • music by Mark Mothersbaugh
  • 1 episode @ 45 minutes
Story: A second attempt to advance the timer completely burns it out and strands the Sliders on a world where 1960's hippy styles and philosophies are still "in". Having learnt his lesson the hard way, Quinn enlists Arturo's help to repair and stabilize the machine without arousing the suspicions of some paranoid pro-war locals, while Rembrandt discovers that the family he once thought he wanted isn't quite everything he had hoped....

DVD Extras (included with season 2):

  • Photo Gallery & Season 1 Theme Music Montage (1 minute)

Buyers' Guide Review

by Martin Izsak

(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed here.)

In itself, a parallel 1960's that came 30 years late is not developed enough to create a great and classic episode on its own.... yet this episode manages to be very worthwhile and highly entertaining, partly by having a very strong comedic thread, and partly with all the good stuff relating to the longer continuity arc of the series.

But continuity seems to be of little importance to the show's distributors and marketers, who cut what may be the most important deleted scene in the five years of the show, all so that they could randomly shuffle the early episodes into any order they pleased - or so they thought. All fans are now swapping the first two discs of their box sets in and out of their machines to watch the episodes in the originally intended order, and enjoying "Summer of Love" much more now that so many of the details naturally make more sense. This episode actually touches upon several different worlds, some of which you've seen before, some of which you'll be seeing again..... and if the deleted scene had still been part of the episode, it would be obvious how the last remaining parameters of the "Gilligan's Island" motivational arc came into position during this episode.

The lengthy opening beats for this story are a lot of fun. We get more of Jason Gaffney's wonderful Bennish, sorting out a bit of a mystery, and very entertainingly filling in the basics about the show for anyone who may have missed the pilot. Cool. And before the episode is finished, we'll also see Bennish's OTHER look, where Gaffney is much more recognizable as the same actor appearing in the X-Files episode "José Chung's `From Outer Space'", also shot in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

There are a couple of "throwaway worlds" as well, featuring some interesting ideas and challenges that didn't get an entire episode devoted to them. The regular cast are immensely enjoyable as always, and deliver gold even when they have relatively little to do. The special effects wizards hold back little in demonstrating their method of travel, making the episode's earlier exposition more concrete in viewers' minds. Excellent.

Mark Mothersbaugh takes over the music for most of the rest of the season here, revealing a fascination for fast paced percussion & beats, and capable of backing scenes tastefully and appropriately, yet having little inspiration to create themes or melodies that even attempt to say anything or be unique or recognizable. His attempt at creating a theme song for the series produces little more than a frenzy of percussion with sound effects added on top - not even any chord movements to get into. Rather disappointing itself. Visually the title sequence is cool, getting the most important concepts across quickly and simply. Mothersbaugh's music for the rest of this particular story is enjoyable and works well within the style of the main world for the episode.

This first season is also guilty of another big pet peeve of mine - not showing episode titles on screen. Arrgghh. I can at least be thankful that this practice was as short lived as the first season, and that titles sensibly displayed themselves from season two onwards.

Onto the main world for the episode, many opportunities for more serious drama are made light here, aiming for the funny bone instead, and it actually works tremendously well. Cleavant Derricks is in his element, and milks his numerous scenes for all they're worth, while making it all seem completely natural. John Rhys-Davies is not far behind, revealing even more humorous talent than the pilot episode may have led you to believe.

Although delivering great stuff on a humorous level, the episode does little to help viewers anticipate that the story is going somewhere interesting, whether it be for laughs or adventure or great sci-fi concepts. It's all very laid back and going with the flow. There are some antagonists in the story, but.... well I will save the discussion of that aspect for the In-depth Analysis version of this review. Let's just say things could have worked even better if they had left in the deleted scene and allowed this episode to be the second one as it was supposed to be.

Those that are interested are encouraged to check out the all-important "Summer of Love" deleted scene.

But I will "spoil" the deleted scene even here, because it hasn't yet been included on the commercially available DVD releases any more than on the original broadcasts. The deleted scene makes clear to Rembrandt - and thus the audience - what Quinn's big achievement is for this episode. With Arturo's help, he has now changed the function of the timer. Instead of counting down to zero before magically sucking itself and its owners back into whatever world it had previously come from, it now has to count down to find a window of opportunity where it will still be powerful enough to open a hole forward into the next world. THIS is the beginning of the time pressure that adds to the drama of every other episode of Sliders, the beginning of the threat of having to wait 29.7 years for another window on a world if the first one is missed, and making some sense of this by demonstrating that such a crazy arrangement was definitely NOT part of the timer's original design. It's simply the best patch-up they could do outside of Quinn's laboratory.

Note Quinn's use of the timer up until now in this episode has been much the same as it was in the pilot, yet after this point in this episode, Quinn begins using the timer in the manner that appears in all the other episodes of the series, which somehow seems to give him more energy and purpose, and ignite a stronger sense of nostalgia for us fans. Something important happened here. And we need that deleted scene to put it all into perspective for us. This scene lifts the episode enormously, and gives essential background to the long-term series arc of the show.

Without the missing scene, "Summer of Love" is a good, fun, yet rather mediocre episode. With the missing scene, "Summer of Love" becomes one of the better episodes of the series that merely happens to have a bit of a lull in the middle. I know which version I prefer.

As both versions of this episode leave you wondering what will happen next, fear not. You can easily find out by watching the episode that was INTENDED to come next....

This story has become available on DVD. Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the U.K.

Season One Box Set for North America - New for 2012:


DVD Canada 1

DVD Canada 2

For extras, this set only includes the commentary for the pilot episode. The featurette and photo gallery montage can be found on the new Season Two set.

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Read the Buyers' Guide Review for the next story: "The Prince of Wails"

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