DVD Extras include:
In one of the most brilliant strokes in any Sliders Kromagg story, the Kromaggs keep to the shadows mostly, and insist on only speaking through their human underling, when they deign to speak at all. All of this helps heighten the creep factor and the sense of mystery surrounding them, and it helps elevate the disturbing nature of the ending. Nicely done.
The opening segment on "invasion-world" is clearly centered on Quinn as the main protagonist, as he leads the charge on the regulars' actions and opens the conflict with the Kromaggs. Good choice. Many kudos are due to the production crew during this segment, firstly on the design of the Kromagg craft in its CGI and on-location design, and especially its fantastic interior. Perhaps even better is the rich montage of sound effects layered all throughout this sequence, easily the most essential and effective element creating the heightened, creepy sense of atmosphere for Quinn and Arturo's investigations. The series "Sliders" had been very focused on displaying mere present-day human social differences up until this point, but this story successfully shifts gears to tackle the more traditional sci-fi arena of species differences and mismatched technological stages and goals, and one gets the feeling that many of the production technicians were eager and waiting to cut loose like this. Awesome. And of course, I'll never argue with decent visual beams as laser fire erupts. Boring bullet guns have finally been properly upstaged on this show by a much more sci-fi counterpart. I'm there.
The second segment on "New France world" leans a bit more on Arturo, as he rationalizes the team's options in the aftermath of their encounter, and squeezes in many an opportunity for his character's trademark humour. Good stuff. But the tables are turning, and the Kromaggs are as keen to investigate the Sliders as the Sliders were to investigate them. Tension is expertly built up with wordless visuals, now that certain Kromagg design elements have been successfully established.
We do have a bit of a logic hole here though. Apparently the Sliders need to pawn Arturo's watch to pay for their meal at the restaurant, since they're all so broke. So what happened to the rest of that large wad of cash that Rembrandt pulled out when he donated a few bills to the musician in the opening scene on this world? Did we miss a line about the proliferation of pickpockets on this world?
The third segment is perhaps the least traditional and most bizarre part of the story. Although writer Tracy Tormé had successfully seeded some doubt as to the accuracy of some of the information about the Kromaggs that came out in the first segment, all the stops are pulled out here, as doubts pile upon doubts, until the Sliders and the audience are forced to ask deep questions about the truth of what is really going on here. Each of the four Sliders gets his or her turn in the spotlight, with Rembrandt getting a particularly good one that shows us more about his family than we have ever had on the show before. Nice one.
Appropriately, Quinn's turn is saved for last, and is the one most easily accepted as being honest. The concluding action launches forward out of this bit, wrapping up the encounter and providing definitive answers for the story's most urgent questions, while leaving a few intriguing long-term ones, as well as some obvious story possibilities, for another time.
Jason Gaffney is back in a surprise appearance near the end, as near as we can guess playing another unfortunate double of Bennish, and confirming one of the icky, ill-conceived, best-forgotten aspects of the Kromaggs. Una Damon, who would go on to appear in feature films like "Spiderman" and "The Truman Show", gives an incredibly moving performance as Mary here, starting very subtly and gradually becoming more and more interesting as the episode goes on. Nice work.
Anthony Marinelli produces his best season two Sliders score here, creating a compelling action theme used for several of the story's key chase scenes, and generally backing the Kromagg threat with a variety of dark music that alternately highlights their menace and otherworldly mysteriousness as appropriate for each scene. Very good stuff, and probably my favourite music overall from the season.
Quinn is clearly looking for some heroics to perform at the end, beyond simply getting himself and his three friends into their next wormhole slide. Almost as an afterthought, he is allowed to spot some "sliding equipment" in a corridor alcove and short-circuit it. This is pretty much on par with what William Hartnell's Doctor got to contribute to the ending of "The Daleks" (Doctor Who story no. 2), except that here in Sliders the moment is at least in the correct part of the story structure. However, here logic also insists that this action can't really do anything for plot. The Kromaggs must have many more pieces of sliding equipment around, and lucky for our four regulars, because apparently their own timer is only going to work after they use some Kromagg equipment to get back to New France.
Well, will Quinn have any better luck rescuing any guest characters? Doesn't seem to be in the cards today. This just isn't Quinn's day to be the last-minute fixer hero. Oh well. The good thing is that he started out as a better hero upon first meeting the Kromaggs, and you know that the long-term story with them is only just getting warmed up....
Season Two Rankings:
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