Swine Flu “Fever”

It’s one of those times in current events where I can’t help but think of Sliders. The so called “Swine Flu” is beginning to panic the entire globe.

The season one episode entitled “Fever” pictures a parallel world where a flu pandemic arises since penicillin was never invented. Of course the virus is called “the Q” on this world, not the “Swine Flu”. The word “patient zero” has also been used in the media today, which means the first known carrier of a disease. I wonder if the “patient zero” from Mexico and his parents will be scrutinized like the Quinn of Sliders was? We’ve also seen men walking around in their protective suits. Although we haven’t seen officials throwing body bags in portable dumpsters… well at least not yet.

Remember the scene where the Sliders walk through a scanner just to enter “Fay’s” restaurant? Well it has been reported that some airports are using scanners to detect the body heat of individuals to see if they have a fever. Of course there’s the other scene in the restaurant where a man coughs and everyone stares fearfully at him. It’s almost as if this scenario will come true as well. The media is already giving out orders for a way to handle the situation. If the guy next to you sneezes you better take cover. Also avoid being in closed-in areas such as planes, classrooms, and subways.

Perhaps it’s a good time to critique the episode “Fever” a little more. First of all there’s been a huge run on protective masks for your nose and mouth. Where are these in the episode? Well, maybe they run out like we are now. Perhaps they should have briefly explored the spread of the virus to other countries as well. One thing they did get right was the people’s fear in the episode, and the CHC’s (or CDC’s) attentiveness to the situation.

Some things are bizarrely similar to the situation in Sliders and only time will tell if the “Swine Flu” will end up like a scenario from the episode “Fever”. Perhaps it’s a good time for you to experience the episode again, or see it for the very first time.

What If: The U.S. Lost WWII?

Slidecage Parallel Earth News Service
Mar 31, 2009 09:57 EST

Time and clocks are non existent. Workers are told when to start and stop their day by their boss. The people of this parallel world are virtually slaves to their work.

A world government called Die Vereinigt Welt Allianz or (The United World Alliance) banned all use of time in the year 1947; saying time restraints are stressful to human health. Apparently the effects of World War II led to world government and the prohibition of time. The U.S. lost in their war efforts and Hitler took control, gaining worldwide control. No health records, newspapers, or photos are allowed. They are considered to be a form of time. Of course all parallel worlds are the same year; however no year is even kept here.

To my suspicion, all forms of religion are outlawed except one. Devotion to the UWA church system is virtually mandatory. Small groups of individuals have formed their own churches in isolated areas to practice their religion. There is no monetary system in this world government, and you are not paid one cent. You’re merely given goods for you labor to fit your necessities. Behind the scenes the leaders do keep time, otherwise records of what goods have been distributed wouldn’t be known. Bartering occurs under the table among the citizens, but it’s also prohibited.

If you are caught with a time device, or any form of written record, the penalty is death. That sounds stressful enough. The people of this world are extremely illiterate and fearfully afraid of their government. Poverty and violence can be seen almost on any street corner as well. Although the sun can be used for time, it is also heavily prohibited to use as a technology. Only government officials are literate, and are allowed to use time. If you are a fortunate citizen, you could be chosen to attend their educational system. If you choose to do so, you will be a UWA government official for lifetime, no exceptions. Musicians, actors, and all entertainment skills are sought by the UWA only. They choose what music you listen to and what movies you see. It all appears to be a form of brainwashing and the public has no control over the situation.

There is one religion, one language, one government, and no freedom. The people are oppressed to a point of no return. If you step out of line in this government you are given the death sentence. I suspect that immediate execution upon the spot was abolished since a possible uprising of citizens could occur from their anger. It merely appears that the “stress of time” was a façade, while the UWA took control.

I had to be extremely careful on my journey in this world because of my timer. Since there are no forms of records there I was only able to obtain this information from a gentleman named Hans. Of course he was suspicious that I had no knowledge of this world, but he was willing to help my curiosity. This earth is ruled with a complete radical dictatorship. It’s one world that I don’t care to leave behind.

“The King is Back”

Episode Review: “The King is Back”
Season 1
Original Airdate: 5/10/95

The Sliders arrive on a world where Rembrandt’s double is as famous as Elvis Presley.

Quinn’s double has passed along the sentence of death to our Quinn for painting a freeway overpass. The judge he stands before is akin to Lance Ito; former judge of the O.J. Simpson trial. Coincidence? I think not. The rest of the Sliders are anxiously awaiting the slide in the courtroom while the sentence is passed. Before we know it they’ve made one of the “coolest jailbreaks of all-time”, as Quinn likes to call it.

One neat thing is that they visit three different worlds in this episode. This really gets your imagination and sense of adventure going. While the Sliders try to figure out where they are, they notice that everyone is staring at them. This is where the fun starts. Arturo realizes he’s left his “fly” down and Rembrandt is mistaken as a “Rembrandt impersonator”. The singing sensational Rembrandt of this world supposedly died in a boating accident. I will admit that Rembrandt’s continually bragging that he’s a big singer of this world is a tad annoying. But then again who wouldn’t brag about being a big superstar?

Instead of finding ourselves in a horror house, we’re left in a ‘humor hotel’. The comical genius and actor Will Sasso stars again in Sliders as the hotel clerk. He’s one of the reasons why this episode is probably the funniest of them all. The heavy comic approach is a great strength, which I feel should have been used more in previous episodes. Only until an interruption of “Skipper’s Island”, does Rembrandt realize he and the Sliders have been videotaped and appear on the news.

Captain Jack Brim, the famous manager of this world’s Rembrandt Brown is also comical, yet nearly a pest to the Sliders. Back on the local news there’s a Freedlander tape or the infamous “Zapruder tape” of the Sliders seen walking across the street. Unbelievably, the news media sees our Rembrandt as this worlds sensational Rembrandt, Quinn as Jim Morrison of the Doors and even Arturo as the Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti!! You have to see it to believe this outrageously hilarious scene!

Since it appears the King, (Rembrandt Brown) has returned from behind the spotlight, large waves of fans convene upon the hotel. Remmy gets a little too anxious and goes out to greet his fans. Before we know it Arturo is pulled down to his underpants, and Rembrandt’s clothing is shredded. Realizing the motel clerk tipped everyone off of their whereabouts, Arturo wreaks havoc on him. Quinn (Jerry O’Connell) nearly destroys the take, by almost laughing out loud while the Professor is mistaken again as Mr. Pavarotti. This is undoubtedly one of the most hilarious scenes in sci-fi history.

Again, you won’t be disappointed by the comedy of the episode as well as the dramatic ending and punch line. It’s almost as if the storyline is directed at a ‘what if’ Elvis Presley came out of hiding. Apart from the comedy we’re given some action as well as one of the most iconic Rembrandt songs, “Tears in My Fro”.

Rembrandt is soon captured and held hostage by foe Maurice Fish. Angered by the outcry of support and a new live performance by our Rembrandt, this world’s Rembrandt eventually comes out of hiding. Catching up with the Sliders, Rembrandt’s double eventually saves him from the crazed, Maurice. This world’s Remmy bows out and gives our Rembrandt all the glory, fame and life. Rembrandt realizes he has the opportunity to live the life he’s always wanted. He has to make a life changing decision, to stay or slide.

Arturo: “Keep them away! Keep them away! Keep them away!”
Quinn: “Are you all right?”
Arturo: “I think all the essentials are still there.”
Arturo (to Gomez the hotel clerk): “You– will call the police now, and get us a police escort our of here, away from that mob!”
Gomez: “Whoa, be reasonable. A police escort? Mr. Pavarotti–
Arturo: “I am not Mr. Pavarotti! Mr. Pavarotti is an Italian. He speak-a like-a this. Do I speak-a like this? No! Why? Because I am an Englishman, you blistering idiot! Now, I have had it up to here with you! You had no right to advertise our presence in this third-rate hotel.”

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