Map of the Mind

Season 5
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Season 5
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 80, starring Robert Floyd)
  • written by Robert Masello
  • directed by Paul Raimondi
  • music by Danny Lux
  • produced by Paul Cajero
  • Production # E0811
Story: The Sliders emerge on the grounds of a neural remapping institute, and Diana is taken away for treatment. What are the strange geometric patterns that these patients are compelled to draw on the walls? Are their minds connecting with some other mysterious realm? Is this more than just an insane asylum on a world that is determined to stamp out all signs of creativity?

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.

I'll admit my expectations were fairly low with this one as it started, but I have to say I really enjoyed many of the story's twists and turns, as well as its success in giving each of the four sliding regulars their due as characters, something that the writing staff destroyed after the fact in Robert Masello's previous Sliders story earlier this season, but which they seem to have punched up after the fact in this one.

Diana has not really had the focus of a story since "Applied Physics" at the beginning of the season, which is a bit disappointing. I don't think she quite rises to be the main protagonist of this one, but it does give Tembi Locke an opportunity to do something unusual in her role as an actress, and her character certainly becomes an interesting focus for the audience and the other characters.

The premise also really taps into a lot of interesting questions, both medical and philosophical, and has an artistic way of hinting at things while leaving the answers to the questions open. Nice!

After an opening that is fairly well balanced for all four Sliders, Mallory gets a very strong focus early on, in fact enough to make one believe that he will be the main protagonist of the tale. The bluffs that he pulls off to kickstart this thread are top notch and highly entertaining. This certainly does seem to be pulled out of new Mallory's fast-talking con man template, but I think our old Quinn could equally have pulled it off in this case by using his own scientific background and a slightly different style of working himself in.

Rembrandt and Maggie seem to get a bit too complacent and underused in earlier portions of the story, but they do eventually come into their own, firstly by exploring something of what makes this world unique. The concept of artistic freedom and creativity vs. conformity is a nice strong theme, and one that "Sliders" hadn't previously tackled, and so it is very welcome here. Of course, these two really spearhead the heroics in the last act, bringing back the core unity of the sliding team.

The resolution seems to have a few too many conveniences, like just happening to find the machine's creator in the asylum, where he has only been pretending to be mad....?? Yeah, that could use some work. And giving Diana something to do to help would have been good icing on the cake.

Perhaps the sequencing of stories within the season is a bit problematic here as well. Having basically watched Wade have her brain fried in the last episode, it seems a little too soon to do something so similar to Diana in this episode. If this were a real problem, there might well be no coming back for her, which betrays a strange tendency from the writers to doom every regular character on the show to a sad and morbid fate. Luckily, it's a one-off episode after all, the magic reset button is found and pushed, and everyone returns to their starting positions as if nothing had happened.

Well, I think this is one of the better decent episodes of the fifth season, as it explores some interesting concepts and makes sure each of the four regulars has a strong individual voice within the piece, even if Diana's is quite unusual today.

More interesting and quality episodes are still on the way though, as we head towards the controversial ending of the Sliders show....

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.

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: "A Thousand Deaths"

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