**15 March 2005
Source: The First and Second Series Region 2 Edition - Reviewed by Mike Hadfield
SLIDERS - DUAL DIMENSION EDITION Directors: Andy Tennant, Mario Azzopardi, Les Landau, Adam Nimoy and others Featuring: Jerry O’Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Sabrina Lloyd, Cleavant Derricks “What if you could travel to parallel worlds. The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions” THE SERIES In the mid-nineties, America was producing some of the best science fiction television around. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The X Files, Babylon 5 and Space : Above and Beyond, which is still sorely missed. But where does Sliders fit into this golden era? Sliders was either complete drivel or a great science fiction series depending on who you ask. However, my own opinion is that it falls between these two schools of thought. It didn’t have the most original concept, yet it was still an engaging series - especially in these early seasons. Our heroes are desperately seeking a way home from a series of bizarre parallel Earths. This idea has shades of Quantum Leap, yet both series proved to be engaging and distinctive. A major part of Sliders’ success is due to the off-screen talent. Co-created by Tracy Tormé, an award-winning writer of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is rumoured that Tormé read a biography of George Washington and thought to himself “what if one British soldier had been able to shoot better?” Without Washington would there have been a United States? Along with co-creator Robert K. Weiss (The Naked Gun), he went on to develop a series that explored parallel dimensions. What If…antibiotics had never been discovered and the world was suffering from an incurable plague? What If…dinosaurs had not died out? What If…Elvis had NEVER left the building? The great John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) also came on board as executive producer. Sliders’ assured start can also be explained by the superb on-screen talent. The actors bring warmth and depth to their characters from the very first episode. Spearheading the cast is Jerry O’Connell as Quinn Mallory. Quinn is the young physics student who creates a dimension-hopping wormhole in his basement (as you do!) His sense of wonder and amazement is evident whenever arriving in a new dimension and this draws you into these alternative realities. Three people become his companions on these adventures with differing degrees of enthusiasm. Quinn’s Physics teacher, Professor Maximillian Arturo is brilliantly portrayed by John-Rhys Davies (now far better known as Gimli the Dwarf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Initially, he does not believe Quinn has made such a fantastic breakthrough but soon becomes an avid explorer. Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd) is Quinn’s unrequited love interest. She veers between love and hate of sliding but wants to remain close to Quinn. Finally Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) is the most reluctant slider. He’s a once famous singer known as ‘The Crying Man’ who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. He provides much of the comic relief - especially when he sings! This set collects together the twenty-two episodes that made up the first two seasons. The first nine episodes form season one and work remarkably well. They lay down the series’ blueprint while fleshing out the characters. Each episode is absorbing but plots tend to become repetitive. A typical plot is: the group falls into trouble, gets chased around and then finally escapes into another wormhole at the last possible minute. It all starts to become too familiar! This can be attributed to both lazy writing and budget restrictions. Yet Sliders still maintains your interest and develops some intriguing situations despite these problems. Often it is only the strong and evolving relationships between the characters that carry the series. On the whole Sliders is an engaging a well produced example of the genre that deserves more acclaim than it gets. It may not be a classic but it’s a damn good series! THE DVD PICTURE QUALITY While not stunning, the quality of the image on display here is perfectly acceptable. Some aftifacting is visible in darker scenes but it never becomes obtrusive. Occasional edge enhancement is also noticeable. Colours are very muted and the image can sometimes appear quite smeary. Still, the image is nice and stable and is better than the TV transmissions. Given the low price for this set, it’s no surprise that there has been little attempt at restoration. The bit-rate is around 5.85Mb/sec, and all six discs are dual-layered single sided (DVD-9s). AUDIO PRESENTATION The audio is actually Dolby Surround despite the packaging saying it is plain Dolby Stereo. The mix doesn’t take full advantage of this, but the rear speakers do burst into life occasionally. This gives added impact at key moments such as when sliding through a wormhole. Dialogue from the centre speaker is clear and precise. The soundtrack does not exhibit distortion or interference at any time. Audio is encoded at 192kbps. The disc also has English Hard of Hearing subtitles. A perfectly acceptable presentation overall. THE BONUS MATERIAL The extras for this package are worthwhile but not extensive. Audio commentary on the Pilot episode by Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss This is certainly one of the most informative and entertaining commentaries I have heard. Tracy and Robert reveal plenty of information about bit-part actors, and about scenes that were dropped, as well as in-jokes and lots more. If only all commentaries could be this fascinating and absorbing! The Making of Sliders This fifteen-minute featurette is brief but welcome. The creators are represented along with Jerry O’Connell and Cleavant Derricks (the other two cast members are conspicuous by their absence). They give fascinating insights into the making of the series, especially the problems of keeping the show on air. The casting process is also discussed and Jerry O’Connell has some very funny comments regarding fans. Photo Gallery This is an animated gallery with the pictures floating in and out over the sliding wormhole tunnel while the theme tune plays in the background. Annoyingly the pictures are only on screen for a few seconds each. You’ll need to keep you finger hovering over the pause button if you want to study them in any detail. SUMMARY Sliders is a fun and diverting show that manages to keep you amused and interested throughout. The performances are good and the concepts intriguing. If you like Quantum Leap then you’ll like this. While the extras are not spectacular they are worthwhile and informative. The silver packaging also looks quite classy and distinctive even if it does show fingerprints easily! Overall, this would be a welcome addition to any science fiction fans’ collection.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**16 July 2005
Source: Come slide with me... TVShowsOnDVD.com, by Gord Lacey
What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds, where it's the same year, and you're the same person, but everything else is different? And what if you can't find your way home? That's the opening of the third season of the series, and a perfect way to introduce each episode. The "Sliders" have been jumping from universe to universe, hoping that their next leap will be home, but realizing they may never see home again. Season 3 introduces some big changes; a change in cast members, and a story arc that runs through the last half of the season. This season is 25 episodes long; 3 more than the first two seasons combined! Universal has changed the box for the third season. The first set came in a strange custom case that allowed the discs to "float" in the box. It was large, and rather clunky. The new case has 2 discs on each tray inside a plastic digipak. I found this very difficult to work with; the plastic is trying to close while you're being careful to take the double-sided disc out. It's also more difficult when you have to remove disc 1, hold the case open, remove disc 2, and then put disc 1 back, and since they're double-sided you can't really place disc 1 down on anything without risking scratching it. I've never had a big problem with double-sided discs, but it's a pain in the ass when they're placed 2 on a tray. Disc 1, Side A (2:58:33) Rules of the Game (43:52) Double Cross (45:15) Electric Twister Acid Test (44:29) The Guardian (44:57) Disc 1, Side B (2:59:33) The Dream Masters (44:59) Desert Storm (44:52) Dragonslide (44:53) The Fire Within (44:49) Disc 2, Side A (2:58:41) The Price of Slides (44:20) Dead Man Sliding (44:36) State of the Art (44:51) Season's Greedings (44:54) Disc 2, Side B (2:58:38) Murder Most Foul (44:48) Slide Like an Egyptian (43:48) Paradise Lost (44:51) The Exodus, Part 1 (45:11) Disc 3, Side A (3:00:26) The Exodus, Part 2 (44:54) Sole Survivors (44:48) The Breeder (44:48) The Last of Eden (45:56) Disc 3, Side B (2:59:26) The Other Side of Darkness (44:59) Slither (44:46) Dinoslide (44:51) Stoker (44:50) Disc 4, Side A (45:04) This Slide of Paradise (45:04) Video Sliders is a recent show, but not recent enough to be in wide screen, so these episodes are presented in their original full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio. There's a little tiny bit of dust and grain in the episodes, but it isn't too bad, and is easily overlooked when you're watching the show. I noticed some shimmering in thin objects on the screen; it's something that seems to plague all the Universal TV releases. There's a "play all" option, and Universal placed a chapter after the opening of each episode (they weren't there in the previous set). Audio Silly Universal, this is not a mono soundtrack! I don't know why they keep advertising incorrect audio specs, especially when the error in the first set was mentioned to them. Sliders contains an English Dolby Surround audio mix, and it's quite good. I complained about the audio clipping in the first set that occurred as the show faded to black for the commercials, but I didn't notice any of that in this set. The rear speakers are used for some nice ambient sounds and music, and the dialog sounds fine. There are English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras Bonus Episodes (1:09:07) Universal has included episodes of other sci-fi shows being released the same day as Sliders. Cleopatra 2525: Quest for Firepower (22:18) and Earth 2: The Man Who Fell to Earth (Two) (46:49). Gag Reel (5:47) A short gag reel taken from a VHS tape. Summary My thoughts on season 3 are both good, and bad. I think there were a number of good episodes ("Rules of the Game" was a lot of fun), but I was bummed by the cast change. The original characters worked really well together, but the newcomer also provided some interesting material. This was the last season the show aired on Fox; it jumped to Sci-Fi for seasons 4 and 5. There's quite a bit of controversy surrounding the extras on this set, or possible extras. Apparently members of one fan site supplied Universal with the gag reel, but they didn't really have much else for the third season, while another fan site that wasn't contacted was sitting on a pile of material, and willing to supply it for free. Hopefully all the parties will be able to sort things out for the fourth season, and we may see more bonus material. There's a rather heated discussion on the Sci-Fi boards regarding the extras, and some fighting between some of the fans sites. I won't link directly to it, but I'd suggest checking it out if you're at all interested. There's lots of banter back and forth, and nothing productive comes from it. Fans complained when the first set was released at $89.98, and Universal must have been listening. They announced this one at $59.98, and also plan to reduce the first set to match. Rating Video: 8/10 Audio: 8/10 Extras: 2/10
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**18 July 2005
Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City), by Chris Hicks, Deseret Morning News
Sci-fi series of the recent past lead off this collection of TV programs to be released Tuesday on DVD. [...] -- "Sliders: The Third Season" (Universal, 1996-97, not rated, $59.98, four double-sided discs). Quinn (Jerry O'Connell), Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and Rembrandt (Cleavant Derricks) continue to land in alternate universes while they try to get back home. There are some good episodes here, but the series starts to slip toward the end of the season as Arturo dies at the hand of an evil colonel (Roger Daltry). This also marks Wade's last season. Guests include Tommy Chong, Robert Englund and Corey Feldman. Extras: Full frame, 25 episodes, bloopers, one episode each of "Earth 2" and "Cleopatra 2525," trailers, subtitle options (English, Spanish, French), chapters.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**21 July 2005
Source: Sliders: Third Season HomeTheaterInfo.com, by Doug MacLean
Star Rating: *** out of **** Letter Grade: B One of the best things about science fiction is its ability to look at society’s problems in a novel, different way. It permits us to look at things they way they could have been. One television show that took this premise to the ultimate was Sliders. Imagine being able to move between alternate universes, you are still on the planet earth but the social structure and even in some cases the very laws of nature are different. In his native universe Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) was a young genius, he stumbles upon a way to slide between universes taking along his girlfriend Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), his mentor Professor Maximilian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and a hapless bystander of the experiment Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks). The foursome is unable to find their way back to their original universe and slide from universe to universe hoping the slide will take them back. It seems that in each universe they find some condition that they are compelled to help rectify, feeling that they should use their knowledge of other universes to correct others. In these plot lines they are kind of like Captain Kirk, assured that they can fix other societies no matter what. Their slides are controlled by a device that is built around a timer, if they do not slide out of the earth at an exact moment they will have to spend of the rest of their lives where they are. In some of their slides in the third season they face the consequences of variations in history. In one universe the American government is a monarchy. There is also a variation in biology here when they discover that Rembrandt has a double on this world that is about to give birth to an heir to the throne. Yes, here men are the ones that give birth. On another world the writers seemed to have taken the plot of the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, The Running Man, and combined it with a little premonition of the current trend in reality television. Here the justice system has taken the form of a televised game show with the outcome determining the guilt of the ‘contestant’. In other stories the goal of the group is much more personal. In another universe the Egyptian culture never waned and now rules America. On an earth where consumerism reigns supreme and there are giant malls in the sky the four try to reunite a child with its mother. One running themes explored in the third season is ecological disasters. One world was ruined by electrical tornados, another by almost sentient fire. Unfortunately, a bit of this fire slides with the quartet to a world where oil is even more the basis of society than we have here. Even the laws of nature are fluid in this series as the find themselves on an earth where time is twelve times slower than we consider normal. About half way though the third season the over all arc of the story lines underwent a drastic change. In a double episode the four sliders come upon a world where the earth is about to be totally destroyed by a rouge pulsar. The people there have been developing their own slider technology and Quinn and his friends combine their resources so at least some people can slide to a safe world. New characters are added to the mix here. Maggie Beckett (Kari Wuhrer) is a captain in the army and quickly becomes a new slider. She is tough, by the book and hopes to save her world with the assistance of the strangers. It turns out that her commanding officer, Col. Angus Rickman (Roger Daltrey), is extending his life by fatally draining and consuming the spinal fluid of others. He winds up with the original Quinn timer while the group is now sliding with a timer that can save and direct slides with coordinates, a concept new to the series. The later episodes of the season concern the group of now five sliders chasing the heinous Rickman from one universe to another. Helping their quest to return to their original earth, now called ‘Earth Prime’ they manage to obtain the correct coordinates but are not able to use them just yet. The series was built upon an imaginative premise, moving to alternate earth but the introduction of the Rickman chase and the new timer took the series in a new direction. It added another directive to their slides and gave them some glimmer of hope of finally controlling their slides and getting back home. One reason for this was without a doubt to give the writers a little more than the usual slide to a world, find a problem, resolve the problem, and slide away. This new twist added a bit more drama to the series and allowed for more detailed multi-episode story arcs. Jerry O'Connell has come a long way from his break out role as the pudgy kid in Stand by Me. No he is far more buff and in control, also believable as the young genius. He is able to convey a character that is bright enough to think his way out of a jam but also rise to action hero when necessary. Sabrina Lloyd is one of those actresses on television that is always a joy to watch. She is pretty, intelligent and invokes empathy in the audience. John Rhys-Davies has the kind of voice that commands the screen. He is perfect as Quinn’s mentor, a man sure of science and his own importance. Cleavant Derricks is well cast as Rembrandt, often used for the more emotional stories and frequently for a little touch of comic relief. For the third season Kari Wuhrer provided a counterpoint to the character of Wade. Where Wade was emotional Maggie was all action, a trained warrior always ready to mix it up. She also provided a little bit of competition for Wade in her on again, off again relationship with Quinn. Not many rock singers can really act but Roger Daltrey is the exception that proves the rule. He is great as the over the top villain of this season. Universal does its usual job of presenting this third season on DVD. The full screen video is well balanced; the color palette is true and free of most defects. The two channel Dolby audio is clear allowing every word to be understood. This is a plain vanilla presentation with no extras but the episodes make this a worth while addition to your DVD collection. This was one of the more interesting seasons of a very well done television series.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**26 July 2005
Source: Disc Review - Sliders: The Third Season DVDSnapshot.com, by Michael Spring
I never really watched Sliders regularly when it was on television, but I've come to really enjoy the show on DVD. I mean, the special effects (which were never all that great in the first place) are still fairly painful, but the series is a fun look at seemingly unlimited alternate worlds. What I like in particular is that the show never really takes itself too seriously; Season Three showcases Sliders' sense of humor nicely, and there are some great pop-culture references that will have you chuckling. Look for Jerry O'Connell's "Stand By Me" handshake with his co-star from that movie, Corey Feldman, and John Rhys-Davies' Arturo talking with disdain about the "Indiana Jones" films (which Rhys-Davies starred in), among other things. Fun stuff! In addition, the show continued its creative look at alternate earths, with some pretty fun departures: zombies, dinosaurs, the 80's, and more. The DVD set includes all 25 episodes from the third season, which saw Rhys-Davies depart and Kari Wuhrer (who I happen to be a big fan of) replace him. No complaints there! The bonus features are relegated to a mildly amusing 5 1/2 minute gag reel, and bonus episodes of Earth 2 and Cleopatra 2025, other recent DVD releases from Universal's sci-fi TV catalog. It would have been nice to get a couple of commentaries or a featurette, but fans of the show will likely be thrilled just to have the episodes collected. Final Grades: Show: B+ DVD: B-
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**29 July 2005
Source: Sliders - The Third Season MovieFreak.com, by James Dickens
SYNOPSIS: “Sliders” is a 90’s Sci-fi themed TV show that
follows the adventures of four explorers as they attempt to make their way home.
Quinn (Jerry O’Connell), Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and
Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) travel through alternate versions of the
earth encountering everything you can imagine. Now that we got that out of the
way lets see if this DVD set deserves to make it into your home.
CRITIQUE: I must admit this right off the bat, I’m not the biggest fan of this show. Don’t take this to mean that I’m going to slam this show in my review. It simply means that I’ve only seen a few episodes prior to viewing this DVD set. The good thing about “Sliders” is that it’s unpredictable in a way. The first episode of this DVD set titled “Rules of the Game” illustrates my point. The episode begins with our adventurers on an airplane in mid-flight, things suddenly go haywire and you think that the plane is about to crash. Soon you see that the plane is just a simulator and our adventurers have become participants in a dangerous game. Each episode begins like this, with the explorers having to quickly adapt to their new surroundings, again this is a good thing. If you’re like me then you won’t recognize most of the cast, but you will remember John Rhys-Davies who plays physics professor Arturo. You might remember him also from the Indiana Jones Trilogy, but you will definitely remember him as Gimli from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. John Rhys-Davies and the rest of the cast all do a good job in their respective roles. Unfortunately the special effects in “Sliders” look really cheesy, and have the same quality as many of the fan films that are currently flooding the internet. Fans of the series will already be running to pick up this DVD set. If you’re like me and you can get past the cheesy special effects then you may find yourself liking “Sliders”.
THE VIDEO: Universal Studios Home Entertainment presents “Sliders” in the full frame format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 which is the way it originally presented on TV. The subtitle options are Spanish and French. There is also an option to display captions in English. The video quality of this show is exactly the same as before, which is to say adequate at best.
THE AUDIO: Universal Studios Home Entertainment presents “Sliders” in English Dolby Digital 2.0. While I’m not surprised that this is not presented in 5.1 surround sound, I’m shocked that this isn’t even in stereo. The audio in the series is fine; just don’t expect it to show off your sound system.
THE EXTRAS: Bonus Episodes: One episode from the show “Cleopatra 2025” and an episode from “Earth2”. These episodes don’t feel like extras at all, but merely previews for these two DVD sets. Gag Reel: Exactly as advertised, a 5-minute series of clips showing bloopers from the show. Gag reels are usually very funny and the one presented here is no different.
FINAL THOUGHT: The most disappointing thing about this set is the lack of extra features. A Gag reel and episodes from two other TV shows will not cut it. I’ll make this very simple, if you already own the previous “Sliders” set (Seasons 1 & 2) then you should go ahead and pick this season up. Everyone else which includes me will be better served by renting “Sliders” and seeing if this is worth a future purchase.
VERDICT: RENT IT
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**31 July 2005
Source: Sliders - The Third Season The-Trades.com, by R.J. Carter
What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds, where it's the same year, and you're the same person -- but everything else is different? And what if you can't find your way home? Sliders had the perfect "What if?" scenario for a writer to play with, allowing for any kind of world to be created, any kind of situation for a cast of characters to face. What if weight-loss drug turned people into flesh-eating zombies? What if dinosaurs had never become extinct? The possibilities were literally endless. Series creators Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss took the quantum theory of the Einstein-Rosen bridge and used it in much the way Gardner Fox did for DC Comics: as a vehicle for creating alternate Earths. Sure, the special effects weren't the best in the world (or any other) and the show relied a lot on green screens, reused settings, and animated cityscape backdrops. But conceptually, the show had coolness in spades. It was much like Quantum Leap in that each episode ended with a transition, and in that the characters were all hoping the next step would take them home. This season sees the introduction of Kari Wuhrer as Captain Maggie Beckett and the departure of Professor Arturo (who dies in the two-parter, "The Exodus"). It also sees a change in the direction of the overall plot as the Sliders shift from trying to find their way home to tracking down a villainous Colonel Rickman (Neil Dickson), ending with a battle with a Dr. Moreau wannabe that finds Rembrandt and Wade sliding home, while Maggie and Quinn slide randomly and into the future. It was a radical departure for the series, calling to mind the adage, "If it ain't broke..." As much as I love the early episodes of Sliders, there's a good amount about this set that annoys me, all of it outside the scope of the episodes themselves. First, there is no printed episode guide, as this would apparently interfere with the gestalt of the see-through disc case. Fortunately, from any disc the viewer can access a complete list of the episodes in this set. Additionally, the orange hard plastic case doesn't fully expand -- one needs three hands to hold it open and extract a disc (or two discs if you want want to see an episode on one of the two laid-over discs.) And because the discs are double-sided, they're unlabelled except for the myopic print encircling the hub that identifies the number and "A" side of each disc. Previews on this DVD set include the complete series collections of Cleopatra 2525 and Earth 2, Sliders - The Third Season, and Revelations. The main menu plays a very short and loud clip of music that repeats while displaying the options. Viewers can set the subtitles to English, Spanish or French. Viewing is accessed via the "Play All" option, or single "Episode Selection," which will also provide the viewer with an episode synopsis and original air date. <b>Bonus Features: The only bonus feature on this set is a rather lengthy gag reel of outtakes. The other two so-called bonuses are of interest only if you have questions about purchasing either Cleopatra 2525 or Earth 2, as they are an episode of each show, and not related to Sliders at all. Grade: Episodes:</b> B- Special Features: C
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**06 August 2005
Source: Sliders - Third Season DVDTalk.com, Jeffrey Robinson
MOVIE: **1/2 out of ***** VIDEO: *** out of ***** AUDIO: *** out of ***** EXTRAS: *1/2 out of ***** REPLAY: ** out of ***** ADVICE: Rent It The Third Season Sliders is a science fiction television series that first aired in 1995 and ran for five seasons. The show is about a young genius named Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) who created a device to travel between parallel worlds. When he showed his findings to his professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and a friend Wade Wells (Sabrina Lloyd), something went wrong and they were all sucked into a vortex and transported into a parallel universe without a way to get home. Also a stranger Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) who was driving by Quinn's house at the time was transported along with them. Together, the four slide from universe to universe, hoping that each slide will be the slide home. The show is somewhat similar to other popular sci-fi series Quantum Leap and Stargate SG-1, but not nearly as strong as either. In Quantum Leap the show's setting has the main character time traveling and being put in various situations righting various wrongs. It's an intriguing aspect and the different settings and characters make the show entertaining. Also, the two main characters are developed and covered well. Stargate SG-1 is not about sliding or time travel (although there are several episodes about parallel worlds and time travel, but it really isn't the meat of the series). Instead, it is about a large network of planet connected by stargates. With the right coordinates, you can instantly travel across a galaxy to another planet. This creates a lot of opportunities to create diverse characters, situations, and stories. And Stargate SG-1 handles the stories very well by including in-depth story arcs and multi-faceted characters. At one point in time I would have had no problem calling Sliders an inventive, creative, and rich sci-fi series. Its nature is very similar to both Quantum Leap and Stargate SG-1. The show has nearly unbounded opportunities to go in many different directions. Since each parallel universe can be just about anything. There is clear potential for some remarkable stories and character development. Unfortunately, season three of Sliders comes pretty weak in these departments. Its stories are not very rich and story arcs are used sparingly. The characters are not as well developed as they should be. At best, I would say this season was mediocre. It had a few great episodes and even more duds. For the series, this third season had a significant change for it. One of the original cast members, Arturo, was dropped mid-season. The character change was a major drawback for the series. Arturo was a strong character and his interactions with Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade were fluid. He just seemed to fit and work well with everyone else. Whether in an unrealistic dramatic situation or a corny comical bit, he was a solid portion of what made this an enjoyable show. In his place, a character named Maggie is picked up during the sliders' travels. Maggie is a completely different kind of character than Arturo. Arturo was a smart man who added a harsh comical personality and father figure for Quinn. On the other hand, Maggie is a character I think they pushed too hard. She is a former military intelligence officer who tends to think with her first than her head. She is tough as nails and generally her performance is brash and unconvincing. Her character is also used as a focal point for drama. She and Wade do not get along very well. Typically, they spend a lot of time in the second half of the season fighting. They bitch and moan and it gets really annoying. They continually try to reconcile their indifferences, but of course, there is always a thin line between them. I was really unhappy with this change in chemistry of the characters. It made it quite hard to take them seriously. Another issue I had with this season was the stories. Many of them were pretty dry and lackluster. Despite the opportunities to build some amazing stories, they did not. In one of the early episodes of the season, "Double Cross", there was a big set up for a great story arc. Quinn and company slide into world that is low on natural resources. They end up helping the analogous great minds of the parallel world (doubles of Quinn and Arturo) to build a sliding device. But the entire ordeal ends badly with a promise from Quinn's evil double. His double promises to spend eternity tracking Quinn down and seeking revenge. This proposes an interesting story arc with a villain chasing the good hearted sliders. Unfortunately, the story is never resumed again in the series. In general, there just weren't many story arcs, besides the most obvious, the sliders trying to find their way home. While not big on story arcs, there was actually one and it was interesting. It starts mid-season with the two-part episode "Exodus". The episode introduces the new character Maggie, who replaces Arturo. The story arc that gets setup is about the sliders tracking a killer who they helped develop sliding technology. Considering the general tone of the show, it gets a little fluffy. This is really apparent with how the sliders are so carefree with the fact they are from another world and how easily they are able to convince everyone that parallel worlds exist. Sometimes it just seems too convenient. For the first and second season, this fluffy tone wasn't a bad thing and actually tolerable. In season three it can be hard to stomach. On the plus side, the show has an interesting aspect about the sliders running into different people (like in the pre-mentioned episodes "Double Cross" and "Exodus") who are or have created sliding technology. On one occasion, Quinn runs into a sliding version of himself, who was responsible for helping Quinn to understand sliding. I was really disappointed with <i>Sliders</i> season three. It is a show I remember with high regard and it was clear the show had potential but failed to fully grasp it. Many of the episodes came off dry and lackluster. The fluffy unrealism of the situations made it hard to endure. The character change that happened mid-season was a clear sign the show was headed no place good. Fortunately, the season did have a few interesting episodes, which were mainly the ones that tied into the story arc that had the sliders chasing after a killer who they gave sliding technology too. Overall, there are enough entertaining episodes for a single watch, but not really many that I would consider watching them over and over again. The bottom line, this box set would make a great rental for those who aren't die hard fans of the series. Episode Guide 1. Rules of the Game 2. Double Cross 3. Electric Twister Acid Test 4. The Guardian 5. The Dream Masters 6. Desert Storm 7. Dragonslide 8. The Fire Within 9. The Prince of Slides 10. Dead Man Sliding 11. State of the Art 12. Season's Greetings 13. Murder Most Foul 14. Slide Like an Egyptian 15. Paradise Lost 16. The Exodus, Part I 17. The Exodus, Part II 18. Sole Survivors 19. The Breeder 20. The Last of Eden 21. The Other Slide of Darkness 22. Slither 23. Dinoslide 24. Stoker 25. The Slide of Paradise The DVD The twenty-five episodes that make up season three are spread across four DVDs. The first three discs are dual-layered, double-sided discs and the fourth disc is a dual-layered disc. And if that wasn't bad enough news (these kinds of disc scratch easily), the packaging isn't so great. The discs are stacked on top of each other in a plastic case that always wants to slam shut. It didn't take very long for my discs to get scuffed up and I was very careful. Video: The video is given in its original television aspect ratio 1.33:1 full frame color. As for the picture quality, it is pretty average and looks nearly identical to the season one & two DVD release. There are some issues with compression artifacts and a noticeable grain. Colors look pretty good, except darks tend to highlight the imperfections. Audio: The audio track is incorrectly listed as English 2.0 Dolby Digital mono, but it is in fact stereo surround. Although at times it is not very apparent as channel separation is used sparingly. The sound quality is good. Dialogue sounds crisp and music comes off vibrant. This release also supports subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. <b>Extras:</b> The bulk of the extras are made up of two bonus episodes, "Quest for Firepower" from Cleopatra 2525 and "The Man Who Fell to Earth (Two)" from Earth 2. Besides the bonus episodes, the only other item included is a gag reel that lasts for almost six minutes. For a gag reel, it isn't very funny. It uses footage from the episodes and has very few funny moments. One of the funnier moments is when O'Connell does something somewhat extreme (PG-13) and jumps across the vortex. Final Thoughts: As a science fiction television series,Sliders has some clear potential for some great stories and characters. Unfortunately, this third season tends to go in an opposite direction. Instead of creating intriguing storylines and developing strong characters, this season tends to try to impress you with a variety of extreme episodes that has its characters fighting dinosaurs, alien parasites, the living dead, and so on. In addition this season dropped one of its stronger characters and with his leave, the chemistry the cast had in the first two seasons was completely lost. Overall, this season set is best as a rental. After you've seen the episodes, you probably won't care to watch them again.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**10 August 2005
Source: Sliders - Third Season SciFiMoviePage.com
Movie: **½ out of **** Discs: **½ out of **** Parallel universes is a fascinating concept that is unfortunately underutilised when it comes to sci-fi movies and television, the two mediums usually preferring to focus on time travel, which is similar, but not quite the same. One TV show did however centre around parallel universes was the cult mid-1990s TV show Sliders, which followed the adventures of a group of people who “slide” from one parallel universe to the next, trying to find the one from which they originally came from. (This made it similar I suppose to Quantum Leap in which the hero played by Star Trek Enterprise’s Scott Bakula tried to get back to his own time.) Except, unlike Quantum Leap it is always the same year, but each parallel universe is somehow different from the previous one and the one which we inhabit. The only familiar face (well, the only one I recognised) the show featured was that of Jon-Rhys Davies, the character actor best known as Indy’s Arab sidekick in two of the Indiana Jones movies. The special effects are obvious and cheap – then again, it is television. This particular box set which contains the entire third season is perhaps not the best place to start if you’ve never seen the show before - according to most accounts the show started it’s, erm, slide into mediocrity with this season. The episodes I watched weren’t that bad, but they weren’t particularly good either. Occasionally the show lapses into what I call “the sun always shines on TV” syndrome: resolutions are too pat, and endings and emotions too sappy. THE DISCS: You get four double-sided discs … and some awkward packaging with a plastic flap that looks neat (I suppose) but annoyingly always gets in the way when you try to remove discs from their casings. No extras except for two Earth 2 and Cleopatra 2525 “bonus” episodes. WORTH IT? If you’re a fan of the show, check it out. But even fans seem to complain about this particular season. RECOMMENDATION:Sliders - Season Three is watchable, but not particularly great or anything. Still, if you get the box set I suppose watching an episode now and when there is absolutely nothing on is an option.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
**11 August 2005
Source: Sliders: The Third Season (1996) DigitallyObsessed.com, by Rich Rosell
"What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds? Where it's the same year and you're the same person, but everything else is different? And what if you can't find your way home?"- opening narration (Jerry O'Connell) Style Grade: B- Substance Grade: C- Image Transfer Grade: B- Audio Transfer Grade: B- Extras Grade: D DVD Review A once-promising series seemed to lose a lot of steam with the start of the third season in 1996, heralding a set of episodes that would see the beginning of major cast changes, one of the true harbingers of a show in the early stages of a terminal illness. The premise—four characters endlessly "sliding" through some sort of portal into parallel Earths where things are always very strange and usually dangerous—fit the mold for lightweight episodic sci-fi television, because if one alternate world storyline was particularly weak, the next ep meant a whole new Earth to explore, and a chance for some kind of creative redemption. Jerry O'Connell, John Rhys-Davies, Cleavant Derricks, and Sabrina Lloyd reprise their roles as the wayward wormhole travelers, though Rhys-Davies unfortunately exited the series midway through Season Three after expressing concerns about the direction the show was taking and Lloyd was gone by the time the fourth season began. The loss of Rhys-Davies was something that really crippled the conceptual flow, because his Professor Arturo was the booming mature voice of science, a father figure with a head full of reason. With Rhys-Davies gone, he was replaced by the noticeably more vivacious Kari Wuhrer in a mid-season story arc, in an attempt to unnaturally force a new character as part of the team, perhaps operating under the assumption that thrusting a hot chick into the mix would make everything better. It didn't, and it was clear Sliders had evolved too fast for its own good. The "what if" moments that seemed fresh in the first two seasons don't have that same creative zing in this third season, with the few better-than-average moments—electric tornados in Electric Twister Acid Test or the Egyptian theme of Slide Like an Egyptian—being the exception rather than the norm. A weird cadre of guest stars (such as Roger Daltrey, Corey Feldman, Appolonia Kotero) were a curiosity more than anything else, and didn't compensate for some of the softer plotlines (the fantasy world of Dragonslide or yet another variation on an alternate form of government in The Prince of Slides). But what made some of the weaker seasons one and two eps tolerable was the chemistry between O'Connell, Rhys-Davies, Derricks, and Lloyd, and by losing one of the major players the cast became a three-legged dog that you looked at and felt sorry for. Sliders limped on for a couple of more season, with Cleavant Derricks eventually remaining as the only original character, and I don't have to tell you how poorly that went over. The third season was the unraveling that signaled the end, and the eps with the original group intact, before Rhys-Davies left, are the strongest of the 25 collected here just because the characters work so well together, even if the writing was not as sharp as it once was. Rating for Style: B- Rating for Substance: C-Image Transfer Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 - Full Frame Original Aspect Ratio: yes Anamorphic: no Image Transfer Review: All 25 episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Nothing extraordinary here, just respectable transfers of a television series that look slightly better than broadcast quality. As with the seasons one and two set, colors generally look pretty solid except when scenes have minimal lighting, which is where image quality gets a bit thick. Image Transfer Grade: B- Audio Transfer DS 2.0 Language: English Remote Access: no Audio Transfer Review: The back cover states the audio is 2.0 mono, when in actuality it is 2.0 surround, though it isn't really a particularly active mix. Not much in the way of directional movement or rear channel usage, but dialogue is clear at all times. Audio Transfer Grade: B- Disc Extras Full Motion menu with music Scene Access with 100 cues and remote access Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access 1 Original Trailer(s) 3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Earth 2: The Complete Series, Cleopatra 2525: The Complete Series, Revelations: The Complete Series 1 Featurette(s) Packaging: Tri-Fold Amaray with slipcase Picture Disc 4 Discs 7-Sided disc(s) Layers: single Extra Extras: Bonus Episodes of Cleopatra 2525 and Earth 2 Extras Review: This third season release continues the awkward but cool-looking packaging for the series, with the four discs here stuck inside an orange plastic foldout case that seems to beg to cause scratching. The minimal extras are housed on Disc 4 (the only dual-layer, non-double-sided disc of the set), with a dreaded Gag Reel (05m:47s), along with one full-length episode each of Cleopatra 2525 (Quest for Firepower) and Earth 2 (The Man Who Fell to Earth Two). Each Sliders episode is cut into four chapters, with optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish. Extras Grade: D Final Comments The third season marked a dramatic shift in the show's entire dynamic, something it never really recovered from. Some of the eps are on par with earlier seasons, but Sliders just isn't Sliders without John Rhys-Davies. Recommended for completists only.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
Source: Sliders: The Third Season GenreOnline.net, Mark A. Rivera
“Sliders” premiered on Fox during the height of the non-cable/satellite broadcast sci-fi television boom of the mid 1990s and poised a humorous and engaging hour of programming for genre TV fans that featured Jerry O’Connell as young physics student Quinn Mallory, who invents a device that opens a wormhole to different parallel universe following the premise that every possible outcome that can happen in any given moment does indeed occur, but we are only experiencing one of those outcomes in our own respective dimension. With his mentor Professor Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), companion Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), and the hapless Rembrandt “Crying Man” Brown (Cleavant Derricks), the sliders travel from Earth to Earth and experience all sorts of interesting possibilities while they keep an eye on the time for when Quinn can use his remote like device and open a wormhole that will hopefully bring them all back to their own Earth. The series aired for three seasons on Fox and then moved to the SCI FI Channel where it aired for two more seasons. The first two seasons were rather short, which is why they are available in a single DVD set that is also available now at retailers on and offline from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The third season of “Sliders” saw a push toward more fantasy-oriented episodes with many episodes placing the characters in worlds that basically borrowed from movie premises to include “Sole Survivors” where a plague has turned the majority of the Earth’s inhabitants into flesh eating zombies, “Stoker” which features an Earth where vampires are real and there is even a takeoff on The Island of Doctor Moreau” with the season finale “This Side Of Paradise.” In a two-part episode based on a story by John Rhys-Davies, the beloved actor has his swan song as the character “Doctor Arturo” when the sliders find themselves on an Earth doomed to destruction from the debris of a pulsar. Roger Daltrey plays the villain in this two-parter, which also introduces Kari Wuhrer as the new slider. Daltrey’s character becomes a recurring villain for the remainder of the season, but a different actor plays him. There is an over reliance on what is now very dated television CGI effects made even more unbelievable by the clarity of the DVD. Other noteworthy guest stars to appear in season three include Michael York and Robert Englund. After season three, more cast changes would occur to accompany the change in network distribution. All 25 season three episodes are presented in their original broadcast (1.33:1) aspect ratios and although there is a slight amount of video grain, they generally look better than any television broadcast that I have seen. Although the packaging states the audio is two-channel monaural sound, it sounded more like ordinary CD quality English Stereo Sound to me. English Captions for the hearing impaired and French and Spanish Language Subtitles are also encoded onto all four discs as options. Aside from a rather crappy quality gag reel (5:46), the only bonus features included on disc four are complete episodes from “Cleopatra 2525” and “Earth2”, which are also available on DVD-Video now. Before the opening menu on disc one there are previews for the above-mentioned sci-fi shows on DVD that includes “Sliders” and the “Revelations” miniseries (2:02). The main menu on each disc is animated with scenes from the show while subsequent menus are all standard interactive still frames that are easy to navigate. “Sliders: The Third Season” is available on DVD-Video now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
Source: Sliders: Third Season MovieWeb.com, by Evan "Mushy" Jacobs
The Flick: 80%
- Recommendation -
RENT IT: 70%
Jerry O’Connell top lines this interesting show in which he plays Quinn
Mallory. A man who “slides” between parallel worlds with his his trusty
comrades Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), physics professor Arturo (John
Rhys-Davies) and Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks). Basically, Quinn has found
a portal that lets him jump into different “earths.” He and his crew
stay the same but of course everything else around them changes. Along
the way they encounter tornadoes, wizards, warlocks and a host of other
things that keep this show very interesting. Now, I know this may sound
a great deal like Quantum Leap, and sure there are the obvious
similarities, but I genuinely found that Sliders - The Third Season was pretty
well done. This show moves at a very solid pace. It never seemed to get
bogged down in anything too “sciency”, but at the same time I felt that
I understood why certain things were happening. Also, the fact that
O’Connell has a few people accompanying him on his missions, it changes
the dynamic of how this show functions. He doesn’t have to be the star
and furthermore the show can focus on things that happen to Rembrandt,
Arturo or Wade.
All in all I found Sliders - The Third Season to be a very tight,
solidly scripted and capably acted TV show.
This gag reel is cool but the quality is really bad. Why this is the
case I have no idea, but it just seems odd that you have 25 seasons of a
show that all look to be in pristine quality, but then you get to the
gag reel and it looks like a bad VHS tape. There are gags for all the
characters and you have a narrator taking you through it. What will
happen is that the voice will say one thing in a very serious tone, and then
something will happen on the screen to either underline or undercut it.
This is where the comedy lies. Sadly, I just found the quality of the
images to be so piss poor, that I wasn’t sure I got all of the intended
humor. Also, with the bad images comes bad sounds so this makes things
even more confusing.
Full Frame. I am not sure what they shot this show with but I tend to
think that it was very hi-definition video. This show sparkles on the
screen. The images are all brightly lit with a decent balance between the
shots inside and outside. I also appreciated the fact that this show
wasn’t too darkly lit. Shows of this nature sometimes take a darker tone
and sort of look to focus on the dark side of the people traveling.
Thankfully, Sliders - The Third Season never did this. Sadly, my biggest
bone of contention was how bad the effects looked. Especially the
various portals that appear in the show. The main problem I have is that
everything looks like an effect. At no time did I see things that made me
think, “Man, that looks like it just organically appeared there.” I am
not sure how much I can say that this detracts from the show, simply
because the digital effects that are used are done so sparingly. Still, I
would think that when you have a show that is popular enough and does
enough good ratings to run for 5 seasons, you might eventually step
things up in the visual FX department. I am curious to see the other
seasons to see if the FX always looked this way or if maybe they got better
2.0 Dolby Surround. The fact that the acting on this show is good means
that the sound design isn’t too crazy. There aren’t a ton of things
going on to take away our focus on what these characters are saying.
Furthermore, when the sound FX are used, they are done so sparingly. I think
this has a lot to do with why this show worked for me. It didn’t
bombard me with sounds or other such devices that were unnecessary. It just
told the story from each show. I never felt like I had to strain to hear
anything, and once I set the levels on my TV set everything played
appropriately. I was honestly a bit skeptical before I was given this 4
disk set simply because this show seemed like another “sci-fi” bonanza
that would ultimately leave me unsatisfied. Imagine my surprise when I
realized that what it really was was an actor’s piece set to showcase the
skills of this more then capable cast. This show is so well written and
so richly done, that I hope that the people who created it are thinking
about turning it into a motion picture for the big screen.
A bit of a letdown, especially when you remove the plastic packaging.
The cover has the 4 main stars with an orange and gray background.
Alongside that it says Sliders and in the middle of the pictures of the cast
it says “The Third Season.” This is it. There is nothing on the back
cover to indicate how you are supposed to navigate around this DVD if you
want to find the extras. It is easy enough though, because all you have
to do is put in the first disk and it will tell you that the extras are
on the 4th one. I think the packaging is the weakest part of this whole
package. Granted, part of me is happy that it’s not packed with extras
just for the sake of being packed with extras, I think the creators of
this DVD set could have done a but more in the presentation department.
Also, the way the disks are housed is a bit budget. The orange case is
very flexible and as result the disks have a hard time staying put.
This can be problem if they start scratching one another.
There is something that is inherently unique and enjoyable about time
travel. I don’t know what it is exactly, I just know that when I watch a
show like Sliders - The Third Season, I become very engaged by it.
Maybe it’s because these people are traveling around and time is standing
still? Maybe it’s because in an attempt to try and figure things out,
they end up being able to have some control over their past? I think we
as viewers vicariously live through the characters in this way. We see
what they are experiencing and we think to ourselves how we might act if
we were put in a similar situation. Add to this that the other actors
and actresses on the show are very good, and I think that this speaks to
something else about Sliders - The Third Season. It is a very human
show. You have people traveling around, trying to get home and while there
are a lot of non-human elements involved, for the most part this show
is just about people’s desires to be in the right place. Who can’t
relate to that?
Sliders - The Third Season is a very solid piece of TV. I am hesitant
to call it sci-fi television mainly because I think that term is very
limiting to the show. As I said, there are sci-fi elements but on the
whole I think that this show operates on a very emotional level.
- Special Thanks to Blinker for this article
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