The King is Back

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 8, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Tracy Tormé
  • directed by Vern Gillum
  • music by Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Production # 70408
Story: The Sliders escape to a world where Rembrandt's double became the undisputed king of rock & roll, before becoming lost at sea in a boating accident. When Rembrandt accepts manager Captain Jack Brim's offer to star in a comeback concert, ex-Spinning Topp co-singer Maurice Fish threatens the return of the king, and it isn't long before everyone is seeing double....

DVD Extras (included with season 2):

  • "The Making of Sliders" featurette (14 minutes) with Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt) and writer/creator Tracy Tormé.

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.)

"Sliders" turns out another of its first season winners, making good on an idea so right for this show that it just had to be done.

The opening teaser is actually a bit lame though. While it works as a teaser, it is a tired theme on this show, reminding one of the final moments of many previous episodes that should have come up with much better concluding dynamics, and reminding one that Quinn has yet to prove himself as a hero during the concluding action of an adventure.

The main premise of the series is then spectacularly demonstrated as the sliders cross from one world to another. Nice one. Season One has been consistently generous with providing the necessary effects for this process.

The episode takes some time to slowly reveal the premise of the adventure at hand, mostly because there is just so much fun to be had with it. Our four series regulars sink their teeth into it, and deliver their usual charm and chemistry. This time they are aided by recurring minor character Gomez Calhoun who once more is there to greet them at this world's most convenient hotel. William Sasso makes his second appearance as Gomez here, gelling well enough with the rest of the cast to create a bit of a break-out performance and become more memorable to the show's audience. Thus his future longevity was well deserved.

Some of the other supporting characters in the story seem a bit more like caricatures than real people, but perhaps that's not too uncommon for the show-biz background that most of them spring from. One trusts that Tracy Tormé's connections to that world via his father Mel Tormé give him enough insight into the reality of such a world. Captain Jack Brim seems to have a personality so loud it was designed to sell itself in 30 seconds on cue like clockwork, yet Jack has a scene of being actively concerned for Rembrandt that goes a long way to balancing his character. Nice.

Maurice Fish, one of Rembrandt's former "Spinning Tops" background singers, is also back to give the plot a bit of jeopardy. This he does, while he and Rembrandt pile as much laughter as possible into their scenes, dark humour though it may be. There is more to say about how things get resolved, but as usual such spoilers are saved for the In-depth Analysis version of this review.

The real drama sustaining interest in this episode concerns Rembrandt living out his career fantasy through his double's identity, and kudos must go to the creativity of the production team in bringing that to the screen. Their choices bring extra subtleties to an excellent show.

The concert itself is a good length on the screen, with excellent supporting cutaways to the three other Sliders on the sidelines highlighting and deepening the drama for the audience. Rembrandt's music is enjoyable, without being overbearing as his solo was at the end of the pilot story. This story has a very satisfying and moving finish, and feels like one of the better accomplishments of their first season adventures. Very nice for a late-season story leading into the finale.....

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: "Luck of the Draw"

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