Easy Slider

Season 5
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 5
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 78, starring Robert Floyd)
  • story by Janét Saunders & Jennifer McGinnis
  • teleplay by Tim Burns
  • directed by David Peckinpah
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Paul Cajero
  • Production # E0813
Story: The Sliders seek jobs at an oil refinery that is heavily guarded against raids from freedom fighting biker gangs. Meanwhile Mallory hears the old call of the motorbike, falls for a smooth talking redhead, and decides he's going to give up sliding.

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.

blah, blah, blah.... boring.

There is a lot of conflict in this story, and a fair amount of production value, but we don't really get strong reasons to care about the outcomes of any of these conflicts. The best we get are a few laughs here and there, which raise the calibre of the episode a bit, but I won't point them out here because I'd only be spoiling them.

Mallory is pretty much the main protagonist in this one. He is totally the new character here, regressed beyond his wheelchair days, and totally in the rebel con man mode. It's not particularly inspiring or gripping, and neither is the redhead guest star he spends most of his time with. Perhaps it does hit the mark with female romance-novel fans, providing a fantasy where a woman can be sassy and banter with the bad boys on their level. For this male sci-fi fan, I'm not sharing any of Mallory's attraction towards this woman, and certainly don't see her as being more worthy or interesting than the long term goals of the Sliders. There's no really big dramatic moment that would give Mallory good reason to abandon his friends and those goals either. At times like this, I really miss the old Quinn character, and wish Robert Floyd could be playing that guy instead.

And it's not until the very last act that it feels like the Sliders are actually an integrated part of the central conflict of the story, as opposed to being bystanders who get caught up in stuff. This goes as equally for Mallory as the other three Sliders, who pretty much get treated as one three-headed character all through this adventure.

One of my biggest disappointments is that there's no real connection to social commentary. Someone says that the bikers are fighting for freedom.... which has no impact since no mechanism is shown by which the opposing AQMD is taking away any freedoms. In the end, it feels like rebellion for rebellion's sake only.

The locations work alright for this story, but are perhaps a bit too familiar to "Sliders" viewers. The hillside where the Sliders first appear seems to have been used for this same purpose in several previous episodes, and the factory looks like the exact same one used in "The Fire Within" from season three. Not too inspiring.

The final scenes add some extra quality to the story and bring up some thematic and emotional points, but the action isn't very well matched to those points, and it still ends up feeling a bit lost. I much prefer "The Good, the Bad, and the Wealthy" from season two, which nailed similar dynamics in a much more satisfying manner.

Well, this one just doesn't do it, and will take one of the lower rungs in the season rankings. Next, please.

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

Season 5 DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada A
in Canada B
Season 5 DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the English/German European market:
from Holland via the U.K.

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

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