Slide Like an Egyptian

Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 36, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Scott Smith Miller
  • directed by Adam Nimoy
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Mychelle Deschamps & Richard Compton
  • Production # K1817
Story: Breaking the taboos of an Egyptian-ruled Los Angeles sends Quinn to an experiment that will cost him his life, and leads the other Sliders into the recently deceased Pharaoh's pyramid. Will they leave without Quinn or miss the slide? And will they be able to avoid being eaten by the patrolling genetically-enhanced giant scarab long enough to discover the secrets of this pyramid?

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.

Even with story dynamics appearing a little bit cliché at the beginning, we still end up with one of the third season's best episodes here. The central conflict works and the plot remains solid all the way through, keeping the basics up to par. Additionally, we get one of the coolest ideas for an ethnic shift of power on a parallel world, one which gives us a lot of eye-candy involving pyramids and Egyptian art. We also get to explore Egyptian customs and some of the ideas that their culture was most interested in. Plus we get a bit of recap/exploration of the function of the timer, as a bit of intrigue unfolds surrounding it. All in all, quite a rich palette.

If there is a downside, it is that we clearly have a chief villain who does not get much interaction at all with the four regular characters. This is okay, since the actual main conflicts draw more heavily on Man vs. Environment (namely the environment of architecture), plus on how the main characters will solve problems, resolve beliefs, and answer questions of their own characters. The villain is important, but a little one dimensional, and though I'd recommend a little bit more interaction with him, let's emphasize a LITTLE bit more. Too much could easily overshadow the better elements this story made good on, and by making good on those other elements, it remains satisfyingly unique.

The tale really seems to go up a notch in quality when we get to the point where Arturo, Wade, and Rembrandt have to decide if they are going to slide without Quinn, or stay behind for another 29 years. We've been needing story beats like this that deal with larger series dynamics, and the cast certainly delivers high quality emotional substance out of this scene. Director Adam Nimoy is once more on form.

I must say, I'm not keen to see Quinn's father recast in this one. The different hair-style almost lets them get away with it though, as you strain to see if the facial structure matches up with Tom Butler's before, and it looks as though, maybe, it could be a decent match. Plus, Tom Butler plays the parallel Michael Mallories as Quinn's Dad would look if he were alive today. But in this episode, Quinn's Dad appears more as Quinn would remember him when he was still alive, about ten years younger or so, or more depending on the memory. Yeah, they can just squeak by with getting away with recasting.

The scarab beetle seems to suffer the same stiff-puppet look as its CGI cousin from "Dragonslide", but I think it gets away with it a little better thanks to the fact that it is just a simple creature, and not a monsterized form of a fully-sentient character. Plus, it seems a bit more skillful in staying in the shadows. All in all, not bad.

It does seem a bit too convenient that there is another timer here just waiting for them, and that it will function in the exact same bizarre jury-rigged fashion as their old one should they activate it early. The writers here have clearly become so accustomed to the "Gilligan's Island Syndrome" format that the old timer supported, that they've forgotten how Quinn's invention actually was designed to get you wherever you wanted to go whenever you wanted. You also have to wonder where it comes from - if it already has a countdown started, that should indicate that it originated on another world. If it did originate on this one, there shouldn't be a countdown yet. Still, with all we've seen our Sliders go through before in two years of trying to get home, you'd think they'd be more keen to find a way to fight to stay free here and wait thirteen more hours before sliding. This is a bit too good a chance to calculate a new way home to be tossed aside so casually. Well, it's all about just trading in the old timer prop for a new one, and giving a justifiable story reason. The reason could use additional work, but isn't too bad. These considerations probably felt more important to me on first viewing, when I had no idea of what was coming next on the show. In retrospect, it's much easier just to go with the flow here and enjoy the ride.

In the end, I enjoyed this one much more than I had remembered it, and I had remembered it fairly fondly anyway. This has to rank as one of my favourite third season episodes, and remains something fairly unique for the series. Good one.

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: "Paradise Lost"

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