SLIDERS - Season Three

Get your copy of this DVD box set from the links below:
Region 1, NTSC, U.S.
Region 1, NTSC, Canada
Region 2, PAL, U.K.

DVD Set includes:

  • 24 stories organized into 25 episodes @ 45 minutes each

  • Season 3 Gag Reel (5 minutes)
  • Bonus episode of Earth 2: "The Man Who Fell to Earth 2" (this is not the second half of a two-parter, just a standalone 46-minute episode)
  • Bonus episode of Cleopatra 2525: pilot episode (22 min.)

Buyers' Guide Season Review

by Martin Izsak

(A series of more in-depth analyses, containing "SPOILERS" and intended for those who have already seen the episodes, begins with "Double Cross" (story no. 23).)

Well, this is one of the more uneven and controversial seasons of SLIDERS, but when it's good (which is often), it's totally gripping and very enjoyable. The original cast is all here, giving us another large dose of their unique charm and chemistry. There's also a larger variety of episodes to enjoy here than in any other season.


Something that quickly becomes glaringly obvious is that whoever was in charge of determining the broadcast order, which was sadly copied verbatim on the DVD set, wasn't paying attention to what was going on in the stories, and a little reorganizing as you watch makes things much more enjoyable.

"Double Cross" is listed second on the DVD set, but do watch it FIRST. It's one of the best stories of the season, it was intended as the season opener, and it sets some things in play that help make sense of the rest of the season.

"Dead Man Sliding" also seems to want to appear much earlier in the season than broadcast, but how early is a matter of some controversy. Some fans place it as early as third. It could even take the second slot of the season, while on the other hand, it also seems to benefit from happening after "Electric Twister Acid Test" and/or "Desert Storm". These are small considerations though - I wouldn't swap discs in and out to accommodate this. Just watch it first when you get to the disc that it's on, which places it ninth.

"The Last of Eden" should definitely be gotten out of the way before you get into "The Exodus" - reasons being totally obvious later. DO swap discs in and out for this, as it is probably the most important reshuffle recommended.

"The Other Slide of Darkness" works better when it comes before "The Breeder". This will require swapping discs in the Region 1 package, but the improvement to the overall flow during viewing makes it worth it.

"Stoker" is best viewed before "Dinoslide", where it can help things escalate. No disc swapping required if you have the Region 1 package.

Most other episodes can be enjoyed in the order presented. For the complete list of season three episodes in the order we recommend viewing them, see our Sliders Episode Guide Catalogue

Season Three gets a bit of a musical makeover, as Sliders gets yet another completely new main title theme, this time from incoming regular composer Danny Lux. Instrumentation is more pleasant, and it is generally more tuneful, even though a definitive melody still remains elusive. All things considered, this is probably the best theme tune the show has had yet.

Let's look at some of the highlights of the season, without giving away any spoilers....

Double Cross

This has got to be one of the very best episodes of the third season of Sliders. The core of the story deals with fascinating sci-fi ideas, and ones that expand beyond the scope of this single adventure - ones that are setting new ideas in play for the entire series. Even though quite a number of the elements of this adventure seem a bit rough around the edges and could use an extra polish, up to and including the script, this doesn't really hurt the general appeal of the story.

This story's subject matter sets it miles ahead of most of its season three competition. Finding a place like Prototronics, which can offer so much in terms of helping the Sliders find their way home, is probably the most obvious early draw.

Rembrandt's plot line is a light bit of enjoyable fluff - and probably the most standard example of his typical romantic follies on the show. The actress he works with in this subplot is one of the best to inhabit this archetypal role on the show, giving Monique a lot of good ironic moments.

With the production's move from Vancouver to Hollywood, we sadly lose many of the minor recurring cast members that gave the first two seasons an extra special touch, and we now need to start building up a new clique of minor characters to help emphasize the differences between various worlds. Enter bartender and server Elston Diggs, played by comedian Lester Barrie, who properly introduces himself to Rembrandt in this episode, and begins to recur again before the episode is done. He'll be a source of some fun in the episodes to come, although isn't quite set to outdo William Sasso's sorely missed Gomez Calhoun.

Ultimately, the best element of the story becomes the idea of having a double of the opposite gender. That is a VERY rich avenue of exploration for this show, and "Double Cross" does substantial justice to it by getting into several angles, while leaving a few others open for later....

"Double Cross" is very nicely paced and gives viewers a great ride. The story turns out to be one of the better episodes of Sliders third season, and one you can't afford to miss... or to not watch FIRST!

The Guardian

Finally, an episode that really knocks it out of the park. This one is awesome. Scene for scene, something important and poignant and interesting is happening. Character rules once more. Plot is riveting.

Of course, this adventure often acts more like a time-travel story than a parallel universe story. Arturo's explanation for that may be a bit hokey, but at least it clearly establishes that this is still a parallel universe, just one that hasn't yet caught up with most others that we've seen so far.

Part of the real beauty of this episode, however, is how the characters are all working to get closer to the hearts of the real issues that trouble them, and their dialogue gets better and closer to hitting the mark as the episode progresses. There's a good real-life believability to it in that respect.

Although the Quinn story is definitely the centerpiece of the episode, demonstrating that Jerry O'Connell can completely command the series by now on his own if he had to, Arturo also gets an important and successful plot strand himself, while Wade and Rembrandt become the episode's cheerleaders.

The Arturo plot is interesting, because it has the potential to be a success or a disaster depending on how it is handled. In this episode, it does manage to be a success, firstly because we get so much character gold from it in the dialogue between Quinn and the Professor, and secondly because it leads to such joyful, live-for-today exuberant expressions in the rest of the Professor's activities. All great stuff.

I have to say, the guest cast is quite good for this episode, as both younger Quinn and the teacher are very well cast, and of course Linda Henning returns to reclaim the role she created in the pilot as Quinn's mother. Good stuff.

It is with a bit of sadness that we ask: Is this truly Tracy Tormé's last Sliders script? If so, he goes out on a high, and will be VERY sorely missed. This is possibly the very best story he ever wrote for Sliders.

Bottom line: Everyone loves "The Guardian". Watch it. You will too.

Season's Greedings

My favourite part of this episode is probably all of the commentary on financial systems, particularly how debt is exploited, and how marketing ties into the addiction - and these dynamics are probably at their busiest and most insidious at Christmas. There's a ton of good information here, and it's not all fiction from a parallel universe either. See our article on "Monetary Reform" to get a bigger idea of how similar ideas are playing out on the largest scale on OUR Earth.

Another favourite element here is the fact that our regular characters get a lot of good material in this one. Wade is most notably well served, in what is probably her best episode yet. After two and a half years, we FINALLY get to meet her family and see them get major roles in a story! One wonders why it took so long. Chase Masterson, perhaps best known to sci-fi fans as Leeta the often recurring employee of Quark's bar on Deep Space Nine, is superbly cast as Wade's sister Kelly, bearing a good resemblance to Sabrina Lloyd and falling into a believable sibling rapport with her. Wade's father is definitely taller and skinnier than the extra who briefly appeared in "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" (story no. 18), but of course he is much more definitive here. This is a most welcome exploration of Wade and family, and it is done particularly well here.

Arturo is also VERY well served in this story, as we get to see such an incredibly good and wise side of him as he deals with children while dressed up as Santa Claus. We also learn so many gems of his character's backstory from WWII England, including details from his family that we've never had before. This is very good stuff. John Rhys-Davies really delivers a superb performance in this episode, and is incredibly and powerfully moving. He deserves an Emmy award here for sure.

I just love "Season's Greedings". It's smart, it looks good, and it's incredibly moving. A top notch example of Sliders at its best!


Of, course, in amongst the gems, there are a lot of adventurous and fun stories, the usual SLIDERS humour, and unfortunately a couple of episodes turn out to be real turkeys. That's not too unusual for any season of any TV show though, and SLIDERS certainly is balanced well enough to survive this. In the case of their third season, the stories that don't always work as well may have generally gone for the special effects action-oriented narrative once too often, without putting as much thought and logic and creativity into it as the fans of the first two seasons had come to expect.

For me the biggest thing missing from the early part of the season was a sense that the stories were heading towards something big, something that would develop the long-term goals. The potential seemed obvious, and many episodes were very tantalizing in what that development might one day be, yet the delay in acting on any of it looked as though it would stretch out indefinitely.

If only I had known what was coming. Don't make the mistake I did. Keep at season three. Development does happen, and afterwards, you will be drawn through the conclusion into a most impressive fourth season....

The Exodus

At last we come to the undisputed main event of season three. The season box set is worth buying even for just this adventure alone. Where this story is good, it is REALLY good, really fascinating, and very emotionally powerful. Where it isn't so good, it is quite controversial, and sparks heated debate amongst fans.

For good or bad, this one is the big game-changer that no one can afford to miss.

One of the more bizarre aspects about this production is the fact that each of its halves features a different director, a different musician, and telltale signs of too many different fingers in the writing of the story. It seems to make constant flips between scenes of the very highest quality and scenes that seem sorely out of place. Sometimes, the characters are in great focus, at other times they act like people we've never seen before. I'm going to count our blessings and remember mostly the scenes where everything does go right, because when it is right, it is POWERFUL, and very well done. No matter how many nits we find, this adventure gives its audience a great ride, and one that is unmistakably, uniquely SLIDERS. Awesome.

One of the best parts of this story is Jerry O'Connell's character Quinn. He is the leader and the hero in this one, embodying the archetype as well as I ever could have hoped for back in seasons one & two.

Of course, this story also introduces some new long term recurring characters to the show, most prominently Captain Maggie Beckett. The story often takes the opportunity to highlight her backstory and make her character better defined, which is all good. Kari Wuhrer does well with the role, and demonstrates that she has enough range to play an interesting regular character.

In the end, there may be a lot of things that deserve obvious fixes in this story, but you've still got to like it for finally tackling a narrative with so many interesting ideas and long-term developments, and it does deliver on so many things. "The Exodus" is one of the winners of the entire season, and no fan can afford to miss this one.

The Post-Exodus Arc

The remaining episodes of the season follow a specific narrative arc, something that hadn't truly been attempted before on this show. Some episodes fit the arc really well, while others seem forced into it badly. Some of the episodes are excellent, while some are turkeys. I'll save more details for my in-depth analyses of each individual episode. Yes, this arc is also leading somewhere big, between the end of this season and the beginning of the next. But that's a discussion for the next box set....

The entire third season of Sliders has become available in a DVD box set.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Season 3 DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
Season 3 DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the U.K.

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Read the Buyers' Guide Review for the next DVD box set: "Sliders - Season 4"

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