Sliders - The First and Second Seasons
DVD | Box Set
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Get ready for Seasons One and Two of the breakthrough Sci-Fi series Sliders!Quinn (Jerry O'Connell), a brilliant grad student, has created a device that opens a wormhole to an infinite number of parallel universes where history has taken different paths. His first test trip goes awry, stranding his physics professor, Arturo (John Rhys-Davies), his friend, Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), and bystander Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks) in parallel San Franciscos.Now, this foursome of Sliders must travel from one alternate reality to another in the hope of somehow finding their way home.
Though often and unfairly dismissed as a Quantum Leap clone, the Fox TV series Sliders earned a substantial fan base thanks to its intriguing central premise--the existence of multiple alternate realities--and impressive special effects, both of which get a fine showcase in this six-disc DVD set. Jerry O'Connell leads the appealing cast as a college student who accidentally discovers a portal into alternate dimensions; with the help of his professor (Lord of the Rings' John Rhys-Davies), a spunky Girl Friday (Sabrina Lloyd), and a soul crooner (Cleavant Derricks), O'Connell encounters a host of strange parallel Earths, including a British-ruled United States and one where dinosaurs roam a national park. All nine episodes of the 1995 debut season and the 12-episode second season from '96, as well as the pilot from '95, are included in the aesthetically impressive set; extras, however, are limited to commentary by creators Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss on the pilot episode, and a making-of featurette with O'Connell and Derricks. --Paul GaitaSee all Editorial Reviews
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Quinn Mallory accidently discovers a key to opening wormholes when he creates a device to defy gravity. Unfortunately, he, Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), his physics professor (John Rhys-Davies) and a washed up r&b singer named Rembrandt (Clevant Derrick)who happens to be passing by on his way to sing at an San Francisco Giants game get sucked into the wormhole when a power surge causes it to go out of control.
They discover that there are other worlds with intelligent life. Most of those other worlds are alternate Earths that have followed very different paths than our world. Unfortunately, Quinn has no way for them to get back home so they must keep sliding (the portals open on an unpredictable time schedule allowing them only so many hours in each world)from alternate universe to alternate universe hoping they'll eventually slide home.
Created by Tracy Torme (who was a staff writer on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and for trivia buffs the son of singer Mel Torme)and Robert Weiss, the series started off with a lot of potential. Although the quality varied a bit from year to year, the best stories were always interesting and the performances were, for the most part, very convincing.
We get the shortened first and second season here in a box that is packaged in a half cardboard half clear plastic box with the DVDs suspended by a foam core. It creates the illusion that they're suspected in the middle with out any means of support. It looks quite cool. The picture quality is very good with few blemishes and the sound has exceptional mastering as well. I didn't detect a lot of compression or distortion. So the show looks great and tastes great, too.
The extras are lean. We get a featurette on the making of the show and a stills gallery but that's about it. On the back is a one sheet with info on the DVD when you fold it out it has an episode guide but without any cast listing or crew credits. When yo pop in each disc and select an episode you get an on screen symposis similar to that on the "Quantum Leap" first season set. I have to give Universal praise for putting both the first and second season in one set (unlike "Quantum Leap") although the price is a bit high especially when compared to another release from the same day, "Knight Rider". That set retails for about 1/3 less than "Sliders" and it has more features (although the design of the box isn't quite as sharp). Clearly Universal has the impression that this series is going to appeal to a cult audience and, as such, as tried to make it as attractive looking as possible.
We only get a commentary track on the pilot by Torme and Weiss. While it's interesting and provides fascinating tidbits about pre-production, production and post-production problems the crew ran into, I would also have liked to hear from the original cast members as well. The show has aged surprisingly well although not all the CGI effects have held up but then again that's true of most movies and television shows. The CGI effects work at moving the story forward and that's their purpose. I would have liked to have a featurette on the CGI visual effects, more commentary on the various directions the show took over time, etc. Perhaps that'll be on the next couple of sets.
While I like the unique design, the box can be a bit of a pain to put back together and it might not withstand wear and tear as much simpler sets. I'd suggest buying a couple of amray DVD containers and putting them in there and keeping your box as a colletible. It almost looks cool enough to put on display.
There's been lots of discussion about the varied quality of the show over the years. It doesn't matter. The best episodes are worth viewing again and again. Although there might be more memorable ones in this set than another, there's always something memorable about even the weakest episode of the series. Pick it up today but try to avoid paying retail full price if you can.
I agree with one reviewer that once the show went to SciFi it started to go downhill. Actually, that's why Arturo (JRD) left, the scripts weren't as well written as they once were and I don't think the new writers or producers cared as much. It's sad to look at early episodes and know that Arturo died and Wade got captured by the Kromags and Quinn and his brother ended up trapped in some kind of middle dimension between worlds.
I knew things were bad when the 5th season started and Jerry O'Connell was a no show without any kind of wrap-up whatsoever.
Anyway, the first three seasons are the best (IMO) because they showcased the group dynamic wonderfully, the stories were good, special effects were great, and the worlds were interesting not only on the surface, but they helped to intergrate the characters into more of a family unit.
They learned things about themselves, about what they could accomplish together, alone and that friendships are important and can create a very strong bond, sometimes stronger than blood. I loved the premise that these four strangers (okay, Quinn, Wade and Prof. Arturo already knew each other), could become so close.
I loved their inner circle and how they met others and temporarily let them into the fold, but ultimately it was all about the four of them. Which is why I was so uncomfortable with Maggie and Quinn's brother. They felt like intrusions, even though it took me A LONG TIME to warm up to her.
This show was fantastic and vastly undervalued and under appreciated. I look at my tapes and remember that it was on after The X-Files which is probably where it picked up its biggest fan base. I followed them until the fifth season, but sorry, I didn't want to invest into new characters, but I still loved Remy.
Speaking of him, it's also great to see how he was transformed from the Stepin' fetchit comic relief, to an intelligent, helpful, devoted member of the group and a friend to all. He represented those of us with no special skills or 'brain busters' who truly cared about his friends and would risk his life for them. I LOVE SLIDERS!
Recommended Episodes to watch:
Pilot, Eggheads, Fever, The King is Back, Last Days, Luck of the Draw, Gillian of the Spirits, Love Gods, Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome, The Young and the Relentless and Invasion.