16 December 2013


Sliders: The (Witch) Doctor's Office

If I hadn't already guessed that the producers of Sliders knew their medium inside and out, I would have figured it out less than ten minutes into the first episode of Season 2, when Wade wonders why the first thing Rembrandt does in every motel room is to turn on the TV, and he says, "It's all in the interests of science, girl. What better way to scope out a culture?" He has a point, you know. 

But good luck learning anything about this new culture from the above screen grab. Unlike the other examples of media I've used in every single Sliders post so far, this one isn't a significant clue. It is, however, the sort of Easter egg I would have liked more of in Season 1, because it shows us someone's double in an alternative world. Granted, if you listen to a full clip, you'll find the character more informative: he is an ambulance-chasing lawyer who is promising to get demons off your back.

Now that's more like media!

If you're trying to figure out a new culture, another good resource to study would be the phone book. (My brother People born after 1996: "What's a phone book?") Notice anything about the listings in this one?

Our cast have slid into a world in which what we would call "alternative medicine" is mainstream healthcare and where medical bureaucracy is . . . exactly the same. =P I imagine that a general practitioner in this world would make a diagnosis by reading a patient's face and then prescribe a holistic treatment like acupuncture. And that instead of learning about the food pyramid, school children would study the food, herbs and colours which go best with their horoscopes. This could have been such an interesting episode--and a worthy complement to the one in which they visit a "Quarantine Zone"--but rather than exploring the idea that health is a matter of luck, the producers decided to do something else entirely.

It took me a while to figure it out, so I'm sure others got it way before I did--which was nearly halfway through the episode, when the main characters get to the bridge . . .  

Pictured: The Golden Gargoyle Gate Bridge

San Francisco's most famous landmark has figured in several other Sliders episodes. After being subjected to tornadoes and tidal waves in Season 1, it finally gets it its own uncanny double, inspired by the yellow brick road in another story of a wanderer who just wants to go home.

A cute homage that had been waiting to happen . . . but also a waste of a high concept world. 

Your Turn to Slide: Is there an "unproven" health tip which you would swear works like a charm?


Belfry Bat said...

I think the benefits of napping are well-known, so ... not as such; but I DID notice that every ad in that yp section has a boring spelling of sorceror. Upon review, it's also the standard spelling... word-romantics like me can't get no help.

Enbrethiliel said...


You can always insist on spelling it the "correct" way. I got told off by one of my old bosses all the time for using British spelling in my reports, but she never took disciplinary action, so I was still in the clear.