Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 3
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 44, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Josef Anderson
  • directed by Jerry O'Connell
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Mychelle Deschamps & Richard Compton
  • Production # K1827
Story: Searching for Rickman on a heavily populated world, Wade attends rock concerts and falls under the spell of the lead singer of a band called "Stoker". Meanwhile the others follow a trail of coma patients leading them to a clinic where blood donors can receive free tickets to Stoker's next concert. Does this band have a stronger connection to vampire legend than just their nocturnal lifestyle? And is Wade about to abandon her friends to join the band and rock forever?

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 story is not great, but isn't too bad either. Today's B-movie rip-off is all about unabashedly pinching from every vampire-related flick you can think of, especially Dracula for all the character names and related lore. There's enough of a spotlight on the Rickman drive to motivate the four regulars well, not to mention one on Rickman himself, yet this gets mixed with the local vampire mysteries in ways that keep developments unpredictable for the most part.

Jerry O'Connell himself gets his first directing credit on the show, and his directing is pretty good for a first time. The tone of the piece is generally satisfying and fairly consistent. If anything is throwing it off, it is down to the required loud rock music, or the script's insistence on basing the plot on all the hokey mechanisms of vampire lore no matter what rules of science or reality are broken.

In terms of writing, vampire stories in other sci-fi shows typically embrace science a little better: Doctor Who's "State of Decay" invents a whole pseudo-science to make its vampire life-cycle credible, including an acceptance of the decay of meaning before Earthly legends get their crack at telling the story. "The Curse of Fenric" also has that excellent touch of stating that faith is more important than the cross meant to symbolize it.... most of these things escape "Stoker", and it's all the hokier for it.

It is nice to see Rickman involved in something other than jungle combat for a change. His portions of the story work much better when this story is screened prior to "Dinoslide", aiding the feeling that things are still escalating with him. If, however, "Dinoslide" is screened first, as it was on the original broadcast, the Rickman plot feels like it is anti-climaxing and losing momentum in this episode. Better to just watch "Stoker" first, and let the characters' stories flow more naturally.

The Maggie-Quinn-Rembrandt trio is also nicely in focus during this story and proceeding strongly, with Wade being a welcome but bizarrely distant addition. Quinn in particular is set to look good in terms of being very proactive in solving today's problems, but philosophy is not his strong suit in this one, as the nuts and bolts of vampire combat, as ridiculous as they are, begin to take their toll.

But most of all this is Wade's story, and she needs and deserves the amount of focus that she gets in this one. In fact, she turns out to be a better singer than Rembrandt Cryin' Man Brown! I'm usually not fond of lyrics and singing, but Sabrina Lloyd's voice is winning me over this time around. I'm only sorry Wade's role didn't get a wee bit bigger, to give her something more proactive to do to resolve things at the end. She needs to snap out of it and reject the vampire dude herself, rather than have Quinn do it for her. Her flip from complete loyalty to the vampires to being pleased at what Quinn has done to them strains credulity as is. Even if she was under some kind of spell, it's a little convenient that she goes to instant gratitude in the aftermath. I do like what she admits to Quinn in those moments - her character needs that focus at this time. We just need a bit more set-up and development for it in the story at hand.

Credit for the rock songs goes to a band called Suckerpunch, where the piece that Sabrina Lloyd auditions with is the only one that really did anything for me - the tune is hauntingly beautiful, though I'm not mad about the lyrics. Composer Danny Lux scores the rest of the episode, and does some very nice work with a haunting three note motif, with a lot of variations on it to keep it fresh and interesting and appropriate for each scene. Nice.

Well, this one's not too bad. If you can get past the credibility of the reality of vampires that follow their own legends literally, it is possible to go with this one and like it.

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.

Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

Contact page


Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "Dinoslide"

Home Page Site Map Star Trek Doctor Who Sliders Episode Guide Catalogue