The Chasm

Season 4
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 4
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 66, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by William Bigelow
  • directed by Robert A. Hudecek
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Edward Ledding, Jerry O'Connell, & Marc Scott Zicree
  • Production # K2817
Story: The Sliders discover a blissful town that regularly encourages a chosen one to jump into a chasm in a cave. While Rembrandt tries to console a little girl who has lost her grandfather this way, Quinn doesn't seem to care, and decides to give up sliding and call this town his new home. What is the real secret power that this cavern holds over these people?

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.

Today's episode has a decent idea behind it producing some worthwhile stuff, but it misses a few tricks in the execution and isn't one of "Sliders" most memorable stories.

The premise mixes sacrificial religious motifs with psycho-emotional exchange dynamics, which is a fairly rich avenue of exploration for a sci-fi story. The partly disguised mechanics of this process stretch credulity, and the backstory has to do a few backflips and somersaults to try and be logical - expect fans to be split on whether or not it works.

A separate question is whether or not it was all worth it in the end. We do get some good displays of character at many points, and some extremes for the actors to have fun with. They haven't had a whole lot of this lately, so it is welcome.

Early on, this looks like a Rembrandt-centered story, which we haven't had in a while. Bring it on. Remmy makes a good central character for about 60% of the episode. But all of a sudden, he disappears, and Colin seems to emerge as the figure of sanity and the glue holding the team together during this slide. Okay, not a bad switch. So the final fix of the story goes to... Maggie. Bizarre. Well, teamwork is good, and each member certainly is definitively defined in this one.

If there's one major drawback in the writing of this one, it is that the audience is allowed to get way ahead of the protagonists time and again in piecing the puzzle together and figuring out what should be done. These guys have been through too many similar weird things. The writer should give them more credit for seeing through today's challenge. And if members of the audience are led to come up with their own plausible theory for the main premise too soon, they may easily feel that the one that eventually comes across on screen contradicts theirs, and refuse to buy into it.

I do like that the concluding act moves through into new territory, and is realized in a fairly exciting way on screen. But though this one isn't too bad while it's on screen, the story's aftertaste is not as pleasant. Just what was it really all about, and was this bizarre ride really worth it? This episode seems to have much in common with season three - in particular a really weird sci-fi premise that struggles to justify its own existence. I think a full-on Rembrandt story might have satisfied more.

Well, this is definitely a weird one, and certainly not the best of season four, but it's not too bad and remains an interesting and entertaining 45-minutes of "Sliders".

This story has become available on DVD. Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Season 4 DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
Season 4 DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the U.K.

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

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