The Dream Masters

Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 27, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • teleplay by Melinda Snodgrass
  • story by Scott Smith Miller & Melinda Snodgrass
  • directed by Jefery Levy
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Mychelle Deschamps & Richard Compton
  • Production # K1807
Story: Hoping to catch some zzz's after partying on Mardi Gras world, the Sliders find themselves in a society that is terrified of an elite group of Dream Masters who can get away with anything they want through their power to invade people's dreams and plant voodoo-like suggestions in the minds of anyone they wish to. Wade soon becomes a target of one of the lead Dream Masters, and the Sliders decide they must face this challenge together, as there is no where to hide....

DVD Extras include:

  • Season 3 Gag Reel (5 minutes)

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 to the season instead.

Well, this episode makes a nice try at doing something interesting, but it ultimately fails because of some very all-too-obvious villains with little dimension. If they really had the powers they appear to have, why would their goals be so petty and boring? I'd really rather not be watching them preen and prickle for a TV hour, thus this won't be a very high ranking episode in the season at all.

Not everything is bad though. There is some merit in the ideas explored, and perhaps the Professor does it best, especially when discussing things with the underground resistance members. Hmmm, there always seems to be an underground resistance force in these stories, doesn't there? Even then, the whole thing seems to be a little too chemical dependent, and the whole victim-perpetrator dynamic is too far out of proportion to be believable. Plus it's old and dull.

The nuts and bolts of today's field of conflict are also too nebulous for the audience to know when the characters are really in trouble versus when it's all just a pile of nothing, making real tension elusive. Too often we seem to descend into bad horror film attempts to scare that don't really work well. Once in a while we get a fun surprise, but these are scattered too few and far between.

What really holds this story together is the main cast. Arturo and Rembrandt get a really wonderful character conflict between themselves to work through, which is fun, and Lester Barrie makes his first return as yet another double of Elston Diggs, nicely escalating the mysteries of this world before disappearing into the background once more. Good stuff. The guest cast are doing their best to try to add some colour to their characters, but they're really up against it, because the script just doesn't give the characters enough sense to begin with to make them compelling.

The Sliders do appear to make a bit of a difference on this world, and Quinn leads the charge with good heroic things to do all the way through, up to and including the final fix. However, with 24 stories in a season, and a fairly good record for Quinn in the season's best stories so far, they could afford to spread the heroics around a bit more now. Specifically, this story's focus is really on Wade more than anyone else, and I think she would have been the best choice to administer the final heroic fix. In any case, turnabout is fun, and the final beats of this story remain the best because of it, regardless of who is dishing out the just desserts.

Ultimately, this isn't a great episode of Sliders. Writer Melinda Snodgrass has done much finer things on Star Trek: The Next Generation, not least of which was the best story of their second season. Here, Sliders season three treads water once more, as we wait for the good stuff to get a bit more plentiful....

This story has become available on DVD. 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 In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "Desert Storm"

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