Mark Mothersbaugh does better than usual with the music for this story, creating a slow and ominous synth pad / electric guitar theme for the danger of the asteroid (not to mention Bennish) backed by faster creeping jungle percussion rhythms that emphasize the race against time that drives this episode. It's a combination of space age and back-to-nature styles that works well for the unstoppable force of nature approaching from the heavens. Very cool, and an approach that others may not have thought of.
Each Slider branches off onto his or her own story-line this time, with all four of these stories working well. Rembrandt goes way out, getting a character arc similar to that of Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day", a brilliant film that has become one of my favourites. Of course Rembrandt's version of it here is a bit more understated, lacking the additional sci-fi / fantasy premise that allowed Bill Murray to go to extremes, but notice the similarities in the progression of story beats.... or switch to the In-depth Analysis version of this review where I will spoil it all out for you. Actress Jennifer Hetrick also appears in this story-line, having been a fan-favourite guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also getting an important minor role to play on The X-Files. Her role here is not as high-profile or attention-grabbing, but she brings the right emotional qualities to an understated supporting character.
Quinn's own story-line turns out to be the least satisfying of the bunch, but logic practically demands that this avenue be explored, and so it is given its due. And to avoid spoilers, I think I'll save the rest of what I have to say about it for the In-depth. At least Quinn still has time to get involved in other things.
And Wade has had other things on her mind for quite some time. This actually turns out to be the best episode yet for her character. Although we don't actually learn too much more about her than what was given in The Pilot Episode, her character is indulged, she gets dialogue that feels far more natural than anything previously given to her to express herself, and she is allowed to develop along her character arc. Quinn has time to join her story line before long, advancing a minor arc of his own which becomes the best Quinn moment of the story. Both Jerry O'Connell and Sabrina Lloyd make the most of their scenes together, giving them an organic and natural quality that creates a compelling and unique little vignette, one of the true highlights of their continuing time together on the show.
Once again, Arturo commands the leading heroics of the story, employing a solution that helps not only the Sliders, but all the inhabitants of this week's Earth as well. Quinn's character needs to take note - this is how it should be done.
This time, the writer makes the brilliant move of roping in Bennish to assist and inspire Arturo, a character who is Arturo's stylistic opposite. This provides the professor with some enjoyable emotional challenges which allow John Rhys-Davies to indulge his humorous talent to good effect once more. And Bennish is finally allowed to become more than his previous caricature - he develops into a fully fleshed-out 3-dimensional character, played to very good effect by Jason Gaffney. Although still getting in many purely humorous moments, not every line is a joke anymore, as some become downright sinister. An interesting edge to toy with.....
It is interesting to look at the dynamics of this story's conclusion, in terms of exactly who does what, but again, those are the kinds of spoilers traditionally saved for the In-depth Analysis versions of each review.
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