03 September 2013


Sliders: Hippie Heaven

Since I'm watching the Sliders episodes in the order they were meant to be seen, not the order in which they were aired, the next world I'm featuring is one in which the 1967 "Summer of Love" stretched into an extended holiday, still going strong almost thirty years later.

No, it's not very realistic; and believe me, I could poke plausibility holes into it all day. But it's a cute tribute to the San Francisco setting (which would be extra sweet if you didn't know the episode was filmed in Vancouver--LOL!), and I like that the show is not set in some generic Every Town. I hope there will be a future episode referencing the 1906 earthquake!

The best part of this episode is the fun it has with the idea of doubles.

Left: Conrad Bennish, Pot-smoking Slacker
Right: Conrad Bennish, Proactive Young Republican

It seems that the only reason that Sliders makes a 90s throwback to the Flower Child in our world turn out to be the cleanest-cut conservative in a world where the 1960s never ended, is the comedic effect. And the joke does get off the ground before the "Republican" dialogue written for him blows out the engine--so that's something. But these two personalities are connected not by a principle, but by the person himself, supporting the theory I talked myself into last week: that our "multiples" are not outside us in parallel universes, but inside us in potential. But now I'm sliding away from the point . . .

What if you did slip into an alternate reality and were mistaken for your double there?

Pictured: Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown, Musician

I'd bet that the shows writers had the most fun with the character of Rembrandt Brown, who is unlike the others in that he is not necessary to making the stories work, but is the extra element that can make them more interesting. The other three are the genius who opens the wormholes and invents the timer, the adventurous love interest who gets him to take her along, and the older, wiser adviser who gets them out of most jams. Rembrandt is the guy who was at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and who never really wanted to leave our world. Especially not when he was about to stage a career comeback!

In this episode, he walks into his double's wake . . .

Pictured: Rembrandt Brown, Military Guy
(I can't tell what rank he is. Can you?)

The other Rembrandt was deployed to South Vietnam Australia, went missing in action, and has been presumed dead. As soon as the mourners see "our" Rembrandt standing there, they naturally assume that "their" Rembrandt has been found and sent home by the military. And what a nice home it seems to be, too: he is married to the pretty girl he never had the guts to speak to in high school, they're raising a son named after him, and they live in what is practically still the 60s! So Rembrandt decides that his sliding days are over . . .

Of course, we know that it doesn't work out that way, but for the sake of discussion, let's leave it at this for now. =)

Your Turn to Slide: What changes to your personal circumstances in an alternate world would make you decide to stay there for good?


Sullivan McPig said...

It wouldn't so much be personal, but political differences that might convince me to stay. I'm pretty happy with who and where I am, but it's the political state of my country and the world in general that gets me depressed at times.

Enbrethiliel said...


Although I like analysing Rembrandt's motives, I agree with you that it is the philosophical and political reasons which should have the deciding votes. Everything else is rationalisation and making the best of an odd situation.

Well, I might be happy to stay if my double were some millionaire heiress. ;-) But only if I didn't have to lie to my immediate family about who I really am.