Episode Review: “Eggheads”
Season 1
Original Airdate: 4/26/95

The Sliders travel to a world where academic achievement is equivalent to being a sports superstar.

I like the fact that we start out on this world with a sign displaying “longer library hours”? and a guy with his boom box playing opera, if you can believe it. We get two instant contrasts between this world and our own. The Sliders also discover Einstein on a fashion ad and the most shocking, Quinn’s double on an athletic billboard.

Before the Sliders can compose themselves they’re swarmed by fans. Arturo soon discovers he’s famous as well. Wade and Rembrandt’s meddling soon brings them to discover Quinn and Arturo are the “Sliders”?. This episode starts out nicely and gets us to imagine how on earth Quinn could be a famous athlete, and yet at the same time a slider.

Since their doubles are Sliders, they rush to Quinn’s basement in search of the sliding machine to auto set the system, i.e. to go home. They turn up empty, with a basement full of old trophies and sports magazines. Everyone agrees to assume the identities of their doubles in order to find the sliding machine, but it’s not gonna be easy. Quinn immediately throws a teammate named Wilson off the team’s starting lineup since he was a benchman. However, Wilson and his mob has much more in store for Quinn. It turns out that Quinn’s double skipped out on some gambling debts, and therefore our Quinn is in some deep trouble.

One thing that really sticks out in this episode is the amusing hip-hop “Library Rap” music video. It so well done that it looks like it came straight from the MTV channel. This episode frequently shows us how much knowledge has influenced this world through music, sports, and even the society within.

Quinn is awestruck by the complex game he has to play in order to assume his double’s role. “Mindgame” blends games with the likeness of Othello, Family Feud, Jeopardy, and tag. The team who captures the most squares wins the game. Strangely enough, this is a university led academic sports game. You think our own educational systems would adopt such a sport. Not only would this game bring some starlight to the eggheads, but it would also make our society more intelligent and educated about the world.

The sliding machine seems as if it will never turn up and Arturo beings to question if their doubles have just fled overseas given their troubles. Professor Arturo soon gets caught up with a subpoena from his wife. Back on earthprime, Arturo’s early wife died of a brain aneurism at a young age. Here, he’s trying to reconnect with her and hopefully give his double a better chance at being forgiven. I’m really surprised by the lack of support Wade and Rembrandt give to Quinn and Arturo. They seem to just sit back, drink some beer, and watch television. Not to mention Rembrandt’s stupidity by betting on the games.

A championship game is on the line and Quinn is forced by the mob to either throw the game or quit, otherwise his life is at stake. This is an enjoyable episode, given the stark contrast between the flashy sports on our world and the academic maturity on this one. This is a favorite of co-creator Robert K. Weiss and the thought put into the episode makes it work, and work well. Only eggheads could have come up with such a clever sports episode.

Arturo: “Come on, hurry up! Over here. 30 seconds!
Jimmy: “Hold it! (shoots gun) This is sweet. This is gonna be worth the million bucks.”
FBI Agent O’Brian: “Drop the gun. FBI.”
FBI Agent Cannon: “Drop the guns.”
Jimmy: “What is this? You set me up?”
Quinn: “Professor…?
Arturo: “Three, two, one.”
Jimmy: “What’s he doing?”
Quinn: “Slide for your lives!”
Rembrandt: “Geronimo!”
Quinn: “Vie carenis, ennundum.”
Man: Where’d he go? They disappeared!
FBI Agent O’Brian: “Vie carenis, ennundum. What is that?”
Jimmy: “Latin.”
FBI Agent Cannon: “What’s that mean?”
Jimmy: “So long suckers.”

Universal Studios: Three-Alarm Fire

In the early morning of June 1st 2008 at around 4:45 am PT, fire broke out at the Universal Studios lot destroying movies sets and historical sites. It also engulfed a streetscape where many TV shows are filmed. It is likely that some backlots that were used in Sliders have been destroyed due to the fire. Sliders began shooting in the Universal backlot during the third season in 1997 until the final season in 2000. Some famous sets that were involved include those from Back to the Future and a King Kong exhibit.

“The Weaker Sex”

The Weaker Sex

Episode Review: “The Weaker Sex”
Original Airdate: 5/3/95

The Sliders arrive on a world where men are treated as second class citizens while women rule.

After a rough landing the Sliders come to a pretzel stand and do a little “taste testing” to see if they’re really home. The salesman asks them to hold it down because President Clinton is about to address the nation on TV. Remember time is the same in all parallel worlds and the year is 1995. Since Clinton is president it increases the odds they’ve made it home. However the Sliders soon discover the president is not Bill Clinton, but his wife… Hillary Clinton.

Occasionally science fiction can come true, yet this Sliders episode is almost uncanny. In 2007 nearly 12 years after this episode aired Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for President. I’ll point out some more parallel scenarios from what has happened on our own earth, but let’s get back to the matter at hand.

The Catholic Pope is a woman, while men are the swimsuit models on fashion magazines. The Sliders are low on money so they need to find a job desperately. Wade soon lands a job with Anita Ross’ campaign as mayor and Quinn is hired as well. Rembrandt picks up some money from his singing while Professor Arturo finds himself out of a job. However Arturo soon gets together with the men of this world and before he knows it he’s talked into a corner. He’s been chosen by the men to be a candidate for mayor of San Francisco. Quinn soon quits the Ross campaign because of the political mudslinging against his buddy Arturo. Rembrandt is soon taken in by a so called ‘record promoter’ who is none other than a complete phony.

I feel this is a groundwork episode for Sliders. On our world men have dominated the scene for years, yet in this one women have the upper hand and dominate over men. Wade explains that women took over hundreds of years ago because they were sick of men starting wars and killing themselves. Strangely enough during the time our own Hillary Clinton announced her presidency in 2007, a series of wars were raging in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were sparked by the current male President.

In 1972 Senator Edmund Muskie wept after a difficult question and it cost him the candidacy. Arturo’s consciousness has driven him to do the same during a debate to throw his campaign, deliberately. Oddly enough, our Hillary wept because of a rigorous campaign during her 2008 run for the democrat nomination. Sure enough the ‘Muskie’ incident was brought to the public’s attention by political analysts across the board. Strangely enough it helped Arturo and even our own Hillary to a certain degree.

This episode is by far one of the most interesting and powerful Sliders episodes from the first season. Years later after this episode aired, science fiction met with current events and history was made. It is yet to be seen whether or not women will become first class citizens over men. Nevertheless, it’s apparent women have greater control in political and social life than they did in the early 20th century.

Although Professor Arturo pulled a damning stunt he waits in anticipation for the election results. The slide to the next world soon awaits the Sliders and Arturo has to decide, to stay or slide. He ponders whether or not he has won an election against “the greater sex”… the woman.

Arturo: “How can I put it? I feel exhilarated. I feel like Martin Luther King must have felt on the march of Selma.”
Quinn: “You cannot be serious about continuing the campaign. You made you’re point, but come on!”
Arturo: “We have 23% of the electorate. Tracking says we can only go up. Look, there are young boys on this world, young men who, who can never dream of heading a company or being an astronaut, or even playing major league baseball. How could I let them down?”
Quinn: “If you win this election, you’re gonna stay here, aren’t you?”

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