Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 6, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • teleplay by Scott Smith Miller
  • story by Scott Smith Miller & Jacob Epstein
  • directed by Timothy Bond
  • music by Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Production # 70405
Story: Landing on a world that idolizes intelligence and knowledge, Quinn and Arturo are greeted like returning celebrities. Assuming their doubles' identities, Quinn is lured into a mindgame team sport threatened by his double's secret past, while Arturo confronts another version of his dead wife who wants to divorce him.

DVD Extras (included with season 2):

  • "The Making of Sliders" featurette (14 minutes) with creators Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss.

In-Depth Analysis Review

by Martin Izsak

WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for those who have already seen the program. To avoid the spoilers, read the Buyers' Guide version instead.

"Eggheads" starts out very well with a promising premise for a parallel world, delivering one of the best first halves of any story this season and looking like a real winner. However, the second half begins to fall apart by comparison, until the story is only mediocre by the time it's all over.

The opening spares no expense at showing how our four regular characters came into this week's situation, and has a very entertaining set-up & discovery scene at the beginning. Special kudos must go to the young actor playing Sigmund, who achieves a remarkably compelling interaction with the four regulars to help set this world up. Excellent.

The enjoyment continues as it is revealed that one of the Sliders' contacts at the university is played by actor William B. Davis, whom all X-Files fans will immediately distrust and suspect of being a leading part of some conspiracy. Thankfully, he is only playing Professor Myman in this tale, and so is not forced to smoke himself silly. He and John Rhys-Davies have a nice little exchange full of tension as the Sliders continue to try to find their feet in this world.

It isn't long before Wade and Rembrandt are reduced to the supporting cheerleaders of the episode, while Quinn and Arturo each get one of the story's major plotlines to contend with. Quinn finds himself captain of the local "Mindgame" sports team, trying to take the team to a championship whilst being pestered by mafia thugs. It sounds like a formula guaranteed to make a hero out of him by the end, and this plotline immediately makes great strides in boosting his skills and positioning him for it. By the end of the second quarter of the story, the writers demonstrate that they know how to craft the kind of final victory that Quinn has been needing since the show began - only they've put it in the middle of their episode.

Arturo's plot strand becomes much more personal, and reveals backstory and depth that remain a great credit to his character. With all of this going for it, "Eggheads" turns in an absolutely outstanding first half.

But things start to unravel soon after. Actress Gabrielle Rose, who also played Mrs. Budahaas in the second episode of "The X-Files", turns in a fine and very believable performance as Arturo's jaded wife, but the right stuff just isn't in the script at this point. All throughout their two scenes together, we have no real clue what Arturo is trying to achieve with her. We only know that he is holding back the full truth for reasons unknown, and acting little better than the lame wuss she knows his double to be.

And when it is revealed that he is trying to get his double back together with her, it seems to be a completely presumptuous act on his part, since his double is never seen or consulted. Metaphysically speaking, it's really our own Arturo's healing that is at stake, and being less than completely honest, and manipulative on top, is not his greatest course of action. So this subplot doesn't turn out so great.

"It's like everyone expects me to be Wayne Gretsky!"

Quinn's main plot also begins to slip in the third quarter, as he loses faith in what he is doing. Technically, this can still be made to work easily, since this is the classic stage where heroes reach their low point, and have to dig down deeper than ever into their reserves and their souls to find the inspiration to achieve their biggest victory yet for the story at hand. But I think Quinn is shown to sink a bit too low, full of run-away mentality and unable to answer - with honesty or wit or anything worth viewing - any of the significant heat that gets rained down on him by character after character after character.

True to classic structure though, Quinn gets a brilliant idea to solve his problems, and gets back in the game and back on form. Great! Now we're all full of anticipation to watch him win the championship AND get the thugs.

But the episode really doesn't deliver well. Maybe Quinn's team did win the championship, but neither the Sliders nor the episode's cameras stick around to let the audience know what happened. Quinn and company run away from the end of the game instead. What were the writers thinking? It's idiotic enough to make one sick.

Well, at least he got the thugs arrested, right? Maybe. Sort of. Honestly, that part doesn't really look or feel right either. Four thugs pull guns on the Sliders on the rooftop, supposedly the tense "final" moment. Then two government agents pull guns on the thugs and tell them to drop their weapons. And that's about as much as Quinn truly gets back at them - observe how ineffective it is:

Quinn instead acts as though the thugs are still in control of the situation, telling his friends to "Slide for their lives", which effectively undermines the agents' dominance and communicates totally the wrong energy. And so the thugs keep their weapons pointed at the Sliders as they attempt to turn the inevitable jump into the wormhole into the exciting victory of the adventure - completely the opposite of where the focus should be. Worse, watch the thugs and government agents all cram together at the edge of the building to try to figure out where they jumped to. Have the agents still got the drop on the thugs at this point? What's to stop four thugs from overpowering two agents at this point, and getting away with the world? And for all we know, Quinn's team may have lost the championship and let the thugs win a huge gambling prize on top of everything else.

And so, pardon me if Quinn's lame final comeback in the verbal Latin sparring with the thug leader, coupled with another run-of-the-mill escape to another parallel world, isn't enough to make me feel good about the heroic opportunities clumsily thrown away by Quinn and the team that wrote for him today.

"Eggheads" follows a common pattern also seen in Doctor Who's second season from 1964-1965: starting a story well, with plenty of anticipation for exciting places it might go to, then inexplicably being unable to deliver a final act that is up to standard. Mediocrity indeed.

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 In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "The Weaker Sex"

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