The Sliders land in a desolate and brutal landscape where the Sliders take jobs as drivers for Kincaid Petroleum, Inc. In this world, a type of Clean Air Act outlaws the use of internal combustion engines. Thus, the only acceptable means of transportation are bicycles and hydrogen-powered public transit. “Smokers,” a group of outlaw bikers who refuse to give up their motorcycles, often raid transports for the oil. Meanwhile, a love affair between Mallory and Sam, a Kincaid employee, heats up. She confesses that she is not only a Smoker, but also their leader. Sam proposes marriage, but Mallory refuses it after learning of the Smokers’ polygamous ways. Back in town, the Smokers raid the local gas station, violently descending on all civilians. Mallory tries to stop the terrifying madness by reasoning with Sam. He challenges her to a biker joust — winner takes the oil. Sam accepts, and the townspeople are now spared. Although torn by his love for her, Mallory guns his bike and charges full speed ahead. As the two former lovers clash, their lances meet with a vicious blow that catapults Sam off her bike. Injured, she accepts defeat and leads the Smokers back to their camp.
The government may have outlawed internal combustion, but not polygamy!
In 1998, the Air Quality Management Department (AQMD) passed the Clean Air Act, making the use of internal combustion engines a crime. Apparently, fossil fuels were hurting the American environment a little too much and the government (“Big Sister” on this world) felt that eliminating the problem would make life more hospitable.
Under the Clean Air Act, all vehicles in use are owned by the government and are hydrogen powered. Companies or individuals can timeshare the vehicles from the government, but the usual wait for one can be as long as eight months.
What about the petroleum industry? Well, it is refined but used for plastics and cosmetics.
Polygamy is legal in the state of California, but only for women. They are allowed to marry as many men as they want, but one man can only have one wife.
The speed limit on the Interstate is 40 MPH.
What was the enlightened genesis of this episode?
“We have a very small writing staff compared to most other television shows,” explains Bill Dial. “We started out this season just trying to come up with an overall arc of where we wanted to go in the course of 18 stories. The story process really can start from anything. David [Peckinpah] came in one day and said, ‘I see Kari in tight leathers with motorcycles… now go with it.’ We ended up writing a show called Easy Slider.”
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So what’s next for Mallory? “Each episode is so different and so wild,” says Robert Floyd. “We just finished a great motorcycle one, which was fun, and I fell in love on this world.
“We just finished the motorcycle episode and couldn’t do that to save my life. I’d love for him to fall in love. He’s done it once and it was so much fun, so many colors to play with.”
|Teleplay by||Tim Burns|
|Story by||Janét Saunders & Jennifer McGinnis|
|Directed by||David Peckinpah|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
|Previously:||The Return of Maggie Beckett|
Yes, there is a ton of forced plotting to make this story work. Yes, there are gaps in logic. But so help me, there’s an aloofness at play here that I can’t dismiss.
Mallory becomes romantically involved with the leader of a rebel biker faction that is waging war over their ability to ride polluting motorcycles.