El Sid

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 14, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by producer Jon Povill
  • directed by Paris Barclay
  • music by Stephen Graziano
  • produced by Tim Iacofano (and Jon Povill, Tony Blake and Paul Jackson)
  • Production # K0802
Story: Interfering in a brutal personal dispute, the Sliders end up accidentally bringing two unwanted characters with them into the next strange world, which has some particularly bizarre and strict new rules. Will Quinn and his friends be able to get the ornery Sid to behave himself until the next slide?

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.)

With this episode, the second season of Sliders suffers through one of its worst turkeys. Even then, season two standards are pretty good, and the story isn't all bad, particularly nearer the beginning.

The story opens on an unpleasant world that fails to inspire with its dilapidated design and one-dimensional character stereotypes. Indeed, the usual impact a character like Sid might make by angrily throwing a door off its hinges is seriously undermined in a building that is already so destroyed that there are practically no walls left around the door to begin with, and rubble is piled several feet deep where the door lands. However, Quinn's heroic impulse comes to the fore almost immediately, a much welcome development. One of the biggest disappointments though becomes the fact that he is way too ineffective throughout this story, although Wade does get to make some really nice speeches about his intentions and her confidence in him at several points.

The hook leading into the title sequence works wonderfully for triggering the imagination and creating anticipation for interesting areas that the story may be about to explore. Nice.

The backdrop for the story's next new world is a fantastic architectural piece of eye-candy, and at many times the camera can't help but to take some time to show it off. Quite rightly too. Ultimately the contrast between this world and the last one are quite a successful juxtaposition. The opening exploration scenes of this part of the show are amongst its best. Enjoy it while you can. The premise for the world and its rules are mildly interesting, and the story saves one of the world's major differences for a surprise twist. All good. Perhaps it's best not to dig too deeply into the ideas though, because it seems to house motivational holes that will hamper believability.

In the relative harmony of the new main world for the story, time is taken to explore the major guest characters and their differences with the sliding regulars. While this is normally a good idea, the two sliding guests don't prove to be any deeper or more interesting than stereotypes for participants in a violently bad relationship, which produces predictably ugly scenes for the viewer to sit through. Yawn and snore.

L.J. seems to be a more interesting character, and certainly holds his own during early portions of the story....

As the story progresses, it creates less and less anticipation that it is going anywhere interesting, and drags itself through one tired television adventure cliché after another, most of which do not end in believable fashion.

The ending is both disappointing and feels quite incomplete, with many interesting questions for the four sliders' motivations left unanswered as though the writer just doesn't care, or realize the importance of putting them in. What actually plays out is not really worth putting on screen. There is much more to be said on that in the in-depth analysis version of this review.

Even then, this story fails to come to any kind of real emotional resolution, settling for just another jump through the wormhole again. Curiously, the visual beam effects for the timer are back, and the wormhole is done full justice again. No complaints there.

Most interestingly, it seems that the episode might be deliberately saving some developments for the next episode, where the show could complete a short arc. Perhaps all that was slated for a production with the following number K0803.... only there is no completed episode of Sliders with that code, and this episode's unfinished business is curiously never seen or heard from or spoken about again. Thus the easiest and most fascinating development that could spring from this story is non-existent and not dealt with. A grand disappointment.

Ultimately this becomes one of the least impressive instalments of Sliders' second season, and an easy contender for the year's Wooden Turkey Award.

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 2 DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC - new for 2012
for the North American market:
Canada 1
Canada 2

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Read the Buyers' Guide Review for the next story: "Greatfellas"

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