Vortexing onto a desert, the Sliders come across an archaeological dig populated with native workers and a university team of archaeologists. The dig’s group leader, Jack Bigelow, a forensic paleontologist, and his associate Gwen, welcome the Sliders as if they can pitch in. Inside a cave, the site of the dig, Bigelow assumes that this communal gathering place was probably a religious shrine. The Sliders are aghast to discover the Bigelow has unearthed the Chandler Hotel! Diana explains later that the North and South poles must have reverses places to explain this phenomenon. The Earth they are familiar with took place 400 years ago, before the Cataclysm. Rembrandt notices that worker named Escobar has been staring at him all day. Other “artifacts” are continually discovered among the ruins. Finally, Bigelow breaks through a wall into a larger room only to find the Guardian, a human corpse floating in suspended animation. When the Sliders try to prevent Bigelow from autopsying the body, he entraps them. They manage to escape, but are soon surrounded by the native workers who call Rembrandt “The Voice”. The workers are intent on preventing Bigelow from desecrating the chamber of the Guardian. Rembrandt leads the confrontation.
A parallel world approximately 400 years ahead of ours a la Van Meer’s World in The Guardian, this Earth suffered some kind of cataclysm that rendered the land between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn a desert, while regions like South America and Canada are temperate zones.
The Sliders get food, water and safe lodgings as long as they help with the archaeological dig.
Much like the 1980s World visited by Quinn and company in The Guardian, this earth follows Herbert Van Meer’s theory of straight relativistic time dilation. Somehow, the development process of this world has been accelerated 400 years, placing events of the 1990s in the 1590s. Our pathetic civilization has been labeled the Renaissance by archaeologists studying the time period.
Apocalypse World had a similar level of technology as Earth Prime until some unknown cataclysm radically altered the climate. A physical process known as procession, in which the earth’s poles actually rotate around the axis every 23,000 years, may be the cause, but the most likely cause is human interaction with the environment. The result of the cataclysm is total wasteland in North America below Montana. Canada and Alaska are temperate zones.
Los Angeles, which is a natural desert, is a desert again, and it’s buried under sand. It is referred to as the Badlands and is a dangerous place to travel through. The Tolucan mythology of the region holds the underground city as sacred and the aboriginal tribes that live amidst the dunes will do anything to protect it. Apparently the Tolucans hid a hoard of gold in the underground city. Settlements in the northern regions end at Seattle.
“We just did a show in which the Chandler Hotel is an archaeological dig,” says Bill Dial. “Somehow it’s 400 years off from our time, and it’s layered over with sediment and our people get to be part of this dig. When they go and see it’s the Chandler, they find a beer mug that the archaeologist decides is a sacrificial goblet, then they have a big debate over what a parking meter might have been: ‘It sells time… but to what end’! It’s really our take on how these funny archaeologists can find one pot and then invent an entire civilization!”
|Teleplay by||Tim Burns and Bill Dial|
|Story by||Chris Black|
|Directed by||Teynaldo Villalobos|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
|Previously:||To Catch a Slider|
|Next:||Eye of the Storm|
For a science fiction show, the production team seems very hostile to science. Bigelow is treated like a villain for doing his job. He’s attempting to find out what happened to the world and he’s being thwarted by the superstitious and the incurious.
The Sliders are shocked to find the Chandler Hotel a part of an archaeological dig beneath a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles desert.