22 December 2013


Sliders: Police State

I don't know who dropped the ball, but Sliders, Season 2 now has two strikes against it in the TV-within-a-TV area. And we're only on the second episode! Since you can tell nothing about this new parallel world from the above news broadcast screen shot, I'll have to start with another example of a medium-within-a-medium . . .

Now this should have been what they were watching on TV

So how does Dragnet: The Next Generation strike you? Perhaps someone who slid into our world back in the mid-90s had a similar reaction to Star Trek: The Next Generation. LOL!

But seriously, do the classic TV programmes which we choose to revive for new audiences say anything significant about us? I'd answer my own question with an analysis of the popularity of the entire Star Trek franchise, but I actually know very little about it. =P

Anyway, this parallel United States has police forces which differ from those in our world's United States in two respects: they all wear skirts as part of their uniforms and they have unlimited power. It all started after J. Edgar Hoover became US president in the 1960s, abridged the US constitution, and declared martial law.

Sliders has explored "Police State San Francisco" before, so the anti-tyranny moral feels more boring than it should. But we do get a tantalising peek at the effect Hoover's politics had on the rest of US culture when the characters visit a music store . . .

Which one would you pop onto the turntable first? =P

Basically, what we have here is a world in which Donny Osmond, not Michael Jackson, dominated pop music in the 1980s.

Like the Season 2 episode before it, this one tries to avoid being formulaic by doing something new . . . and it flounders really badly. =( I would have liked to see the cast exploring more of the differences between this world and our own, instead of scrambling to solve the totally implausible mystery they blunder into. 

Your Turn to Slide: If you had to live in a world identical to our own except for the classic TV series which was continued (but not rebooted!) with a "second generation" cast, which classic TV series would you want it to be?


Sheila said...

Almost the only show I watched as a kid WAS Star Trek: The Next Generation. But maybe X-Men? That was another good one you could do with a whole new cast and still be good.

Enbrethiliel said...


New characters keep getting added to Marvel's universe all the time, but ever since they brought Scott Summers back from retirement, I think they've been loath to let the next generation take over without some of the old guard hanging around. But that's easy to do because they're comics-based: there's no worry that the actors playing the original X-men will ever age out. But you're right that it's the concept, more so than the characters, which drives the story on, so if they ever decide to do it, they can still have many good stories to tell.