Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 4, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Ann Powell & Rose Schacht
  • directed by Mario Azzopardi
  • produced by Steven Ecclesine
  • music by Mark Mothersbaugh
  • 1 episode @ 45 minutes
Story: Landing on a world ineffectively obsessed with hygiene and plague avoidance, Wade soon finds herself becoming ill and having hallucinations. To make matters worse, Quinn's double is patient zero, with posters everywhere declaring him public enemy number one.

DVD Extras (included with season 2):

  • "The Making of Sliders" featurette (14 minutes) with Jerry O'Connell (Quinn).
  • 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.)

Here the series bravely attempts once more to craft a story in which the Sliders can make a heroic difference to another world, and it manages to succeed quite well. But watch carefully, and you'll notice that it's Professor Arturo who is really in command of the entire adventure. Jerry O'Connell turns in an outstandingly strong performance as Quinn's double, the local patient zero, becoming a kind of secondary hero. But perhaps in allowing for this, our regular Quinn has relatively little to do, not even operating the timer as usual, and what he does get is very lame as far as heroics are concerned.

One of this episode's nice touches are the extra "throwaway" worlds that bookend the main adventure. Yee Jee Tso makes a nice reappearance as Wing in "Oil World", an enjoyable sequence that demonstrates the fun of the original series' concept. Great.

The main world offers a stark contrast and is just plain weird for many, many beats - all of which is decently written and played well by the actors. While the Sliders are still finding their feet on this world, we are introduced to the character of Gomez Calhoun for the first time, played by William Sasso with some enjoyable humorous touches. We'll be seeing more of his doubles on future worlds.....

Another nice bit is the casting of Dean Haglund, essential member of the Lone Gunmen trio on the X-Files, here to play the stock boy who is going mad with a combination of conspiracy worship and proximity to pseudo-celebrities. It's a difficult role that could easily fall flat in the wrong hands, but Haglund nails it beautifully and makes it both believable and very creepy at the same time. Kudos.

Also returning from the pilot is our favourite taxi driver of Russian descent: Pavel Kurlienko, played by actor Alex Bruhanski. It's great that Sliders can travel to completely separate parallel worlds and situations, yet also build itself a cozy familiar recurring cast at the same time. Season One is particularly brilliant at milking that concept.

While the early segments that explore the world are interesting, later portions of the story occur in darker quarters and confined spaces, and feature lots of rubbish and other disgusting concoctions, dragging down one's desire to actually choose to look at this episode again over any of the other stories this season. The later portions resurrect another dynamic that has appeared so far in every Sliders story except "Summer of Love" (story no. 2), in that our quartet of regulars ally themselves with a hidden underground band of "rebels" against an oppressive governing regime. Yeah, it's a nice theme, but they might have tried repeating it less often and less obviously. Thankfully, in part due to Jerry O'Connell's portrayal of Quinn's patient-zero medical student double, this is perhaps the most strongly motivated of any rebel encampment.

Our regular Quinn gets better screen time with what is probably supposed to be the two most important guest star characters, who work in the medical establishment. A longer, more developed story-line might have made such an angle worthwhile, but what we get in the episode is so light, it really isn't worth going through the motions. And the motions are painfully run-of-the-mill during a penultimate action sequence in which the director doesn't find the time to block things out well enough to make the moves remotely believable.

Wade is not at her best in this story either, for more obvious reasons. Although she has a moment where she hints at future character revelations, she's really just out of it for the adventure, reduced to a device to motivate the others. Rembrandt is at his most serious yet on the series, once the gravity of the situation has hit home, displaying his stronger side that will become so much more important later on.

But this is Arturo's show. He has somehow managed to become the keeper and operator of the timer throughout the many slides that occur this episode, but more importantly, he is the sole hero of the narrative. It is he who comes up with the solutions, and it is he who takes the greatest associated risks. He has upstaged our regular Quinn character quite completely in this adventure.

The coda is worth mentioning for two reasons. Most obviously, it's a fun bit, the kind of thing that gave the series its charm. But notice also the things Quinn says in the aftermath, subtly shifting the credit for the heroics from Arturo to the act of sliding itself, which of course is what he can take credit for. Sly bugger, just like William Hartnell's Doctor at the end of The Web Planet" (Doctor Who story no. 13), and he nearly gets away with it too. At least it's clear that the heroic bug has bitten Quinn by this point. He just has to get better at delivering the heroics himself. A lot better.

In the end, Sliders can count this episode as another solidly good one in its growing stable, although partly due to the ickiness of its particular subject matter and Quinn's lameness, I think I still prefer both "Summer of Love" and the pilot story. But Season One has a few more polished gems in store for us yet.....

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: "Last Days"

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