The four sliders are in exploration mode at the beginning of this one, which is where most of the best material is. The story's hook and first interior scene work very well, but ultimately build anticipation of story angles that the episode won't go near to delivering. Out from under Klingon make-up is actress Gwynyth Walsh, previously famous for playing one of the Duras sisters on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Walsh breathes far more life into the role of Chief Police Detective here than was on the page. Good one.
Sadly the dialogue is pretty painful during her first conversation with the sliders. Exactly what story of theirs is it that she finds unbelievable? Did they tell her the complete truth about sliding? Did they give her a half-baked version that leaves out all the scientifically challenging bits? Or did they completely make something up? The audience is left to guess, as this undermotivated bit of overdramatics is interrupted by another which is full of prickly preening for jurisdiction. Although the episode does pick itself up from this lowpoint, it never really does head in an interesting direction afterward.
The promise of the premise of course, is that the men should have far more scope and success than normal in being able to select the mate(s) they want, and that they should enjoy their rare status for a while. Without giving away too much about the story's structure here, let's just say that certain turning points occur too prematurely.
"Love Gods" does pull a few surprise turns though, including a few bizarre sub-plots. Quinn's probably leaves the biggest lasting impression, and no doubt the fans are still debating exactly how far things went, which is at least left open for the viewer to decide.
Wardrobe doesn't really help this episode's fantasy prospects though, with regulars and guests dressed for cold, wet Vancouver weather, and stark, tense, political/military situations. Warm and cosy apparently didn't occur to the production staff. Perhaps this episode might have benefitted somewhat from season three's Southern California settings, but again, without knowing how to take advantage of that, it might not work any better either.
Stephen Graziano makes his Sliders musical scoring debut on this episode and immediately makes an impression by creating much livelier, more interesting music than his alternate Anthony Marinelli did for most of "Into the Mystic" (story no. 10). Good stuff.
The story's conclusion is a bit hokey.... Only in fiction can a plan with that many holes and variables go off without a hitch. Ho hum.
Well, although this episode's producing writing team of Tony Blake and Paul Jackson will go on to script some of the show's finest episodes, they certainly haven't made a very impressive debut for themselves here. Not to worry though, for their redemption is swift indeed....
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