Justice has a new name and a new game on a world where crime is televised. Quinn’s ne’er do well double is caught on film beating a man for his wallet, and our Quinn is picked up by a bounty hunter. Unable to grasp the rules of the society in a timely fashion, Arturo and Quinn lose the public’s interest in the trial, and Quinn is sentenced to death. Their only hope of saving him is to find this world’s Quinn and turn him over instead. When it turns out he’s innocent, Wade hacks into the game’s computer systems and discovers that Quinn has been framed — for the ratings. With the help of alternate Quinn and a chagrined bounty hunter, the five race against the clock to save Quinn from a very public execution.
The legal system has been supplanted by a revenue-earning series of Court TV shows.
A world inhabited by short, green and moldy “people.”
When Quinn explains the “aliens” on Muppet World to the others he says “Trust me, short green and moldy is not a great look.” But in closed captioning, he says “Trust me, you don’t what to know what they look like.”
Criminal punishment on this world is, in a word, harsh. Public caning applies for infractions like spray painting, but more serious crimes put criminals on a TV game shows like Justice Tonight and The Judgment Game.
As a result of these harsh punishments, the state of California is exceptionally safe. Don’t worry about locking your door or losing your wallet. Paranoia coupled with a surveillance system that makes Singapore look like an amateur keeps people in line.
The government of California implemented such safeguards and ceded legal matters to court television to dispose with criminals in a fashion suitable to the viewing audience. Lawyers were banned, but the accused were allowed to provide an Advocate (who must have no legal knowledge) to speak for the defendant on the Games while the People’s Proponent serves as prosecutor.
The folks in Europe really love the shows and network feeds are picked up by different stations in Europe.
So what was it like filming in a crowd? “It’s funny, when you film in crowds, you know, because you sort of blend in,” says Jerry O’Connell. “And that’s what filming in New York is like a lot. You know, when you’re walking in throngs of people, and you just have a radio mike on, and you sort of blend in. And it’s funny, it gives it a nice natural look.”
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Before this episode finally aired, it had been scheduled twice previously by Fox. On Sept. 20, 1996, Fox announced it would air “Dead Man Sliding” on Oct. 11. Then, on Sept. 30, Fox revised its schedule and decided it would air this episode on Oct. 18. Later, on Oct. 11, it changed its mind once again — for the last time. The network announced that this episode would air a full mouth and a half later on Nov. 29. It did.
|Written by||Nan Hagen|
|Directed by||Richard Compton|
|Music by||Stephen Graziano|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
|Previously:||Rules of the Game|
|Next:||Electric Twister Acid Test|
“Dead Man Sliding” succeeds by creating an America that has taken a serious idea — tort reform — and pushing it to absurd while believable levels.
In a case of mistaken identity, Quinn is arrested, tried and sentenced to death on TV, leaving the other Sliders scrambling to find the real culprit — Quinn's double.