21 February 2014


Sliders: No Place Like Home

While watching this episode, I was pleased to realise I remembered it from TV! I wasn't a Sliders fan back in the 90s, but I often watched TV for the sake of watching TV; and I know that I'd seen at least one Sliders episode before my best friend properly introduced me to the series. Since it wasn't this one, though, I can say that I had seen at least two episodes.

So, yes, I watched this one yonks ago, but for some reason, didn't think of it as "that show in which people jump from dimension to dimension." Perhaps it was because of the odd framing device with the therapist, which is so not typical of Sliders. But it's not too out of place in this story, in which one of our sliders does appear to be going off the deep end. 

What is wrong with this picture?

How many people in the world could tell you, at the drop of a hat, which sport teams played which championship games? How many would know which athletes should have asterisks next to their record-setting achievements on collectible cards, and why? Not that many, really--and that is the whole point.

So let's say a dear friend of yours came to you and said, "Something is very wrong here. This is our library's vintage 1925 copy of G.K. Chesterton's Everlasting Man, which should not have the edits he made for later editions. But it's not the original; it's the revised version. I would bet my life on it. We're not on the right earth." What would you think? Would you trust your friend's memory of a book she read only once several years before . . . or would you believe the overwhelming evidence of everything matching your own memories?

This conflict is both an actual personal trauma of mine ("Dude, where's my Everlasting Man??? Who moved my Everlasting Man???") and the premise of this Sliders episode. Which means I'm sobbing at the lost potential. Again.

Seriously, when you have one character absolutely convinced that they are in the wrong world, but only able to prove it with minutiae no one else really cares about, it is a cop out of Brobdingnagian proportions to let this conflict resolve itself with something impossible to second guess.

What is wrong with this picture?

It is quite the emotional blow to think you have arrived home, only to find out that you're still lost. So as much as I like the focus on the tiny details, I'll admit that the first giveaway should have been something related to family. Surely there is something that would help you tell your family's doubles from your real family. It could be as simple as Quinn's squeaky gate. Every time he thinks he's home, he tests the gate, which has been squeaking for as long as he can remember--and the gate in this world squeaks. But if his mother were to casually mention that one reason she's glad he's home is that he can start oiling the gate again, as he started doing when he was a boy . . . I can feel his sadness sinking in from over here and I haven't even written the FF. =P 

But this episode's biggest mistake has got to be the deliberate ambiguity over Professor Arturo and his double triple quadruple quintuple. (Let me know if I missed one.)

What is wrong with . . . Oh, I give up.

You'd think that the rest of the main cast would be able to figure out a way to tell the Professor they've been sliding with from a Professor who didn't feel enough camaraderie with his own Quinn and Wade to join them in the slide. Given that one of them is a good, if slightly pompous friend and the other is a dastardly, opportunistic backstabber, this should have been easy enough. But if the first sign that home is not home is a sport statistic and most compelling evidence is a public monument, then perhaps friends are interchangeable, too. =/

Your Turn to Slide: What ridiculously specific question would you ask a close family member to make sure he was yours and not a double?


Belfry Bat said...

OK, so the only reason I know that headline is wrong is from This aging cartoon. Which might itself be wrong.

I'm sorry to be all boring, now, but ... I can't think of anything absurdly specific enough. I'll just have to hope my intuition that the traversible Multiverse is actually foreign to this Creation.

Belfry Bat said...

*intuition [...] is correct.

Sheila said...

John read this over my shoulder and said right off, "Well, the 49ers never met the Jets in a Superbowl. If I'm not mistaken, that one was the 49ers over the Dolphins. It was a real yawner, the 49ers rolled right over the Dolphins." Then he started going on about the quarterback in that game.

Now I know why he never remembers where he's put anything!

Enbrethiliel said...


Bat -- ROFL! What a crazy way for that bit of trivia to get around! =D

Sheila -- I'm . . . speechless! *slowly claps for John*