Stoker


While Maggie goes grave digging to confirm Rickman’s death, Wade is fighting through her grief the old fashioned way — with alcohol and rock and roll. She starts hanging out with a rock group called Stoker, which is secretly comprised of vampires. The lead singer sees a potential end to their centuries of persecution through sliding, and enlists Wade to get him the timer. As she falls under their spell. Quinn teams with a vampire hunter to put a stake in the matter once and for all. The main plot criss-crosses with Maggie’s continued pursuit of Rickman, who has contracted with the band’s blood drive organization for a list of suitable brain fluid victims. Rickman escapes, but Stoker has a date with Quinn’s pointy spear.

Worlds Visited

Vampire World

Kill a person, let their soul freak out and stay in the body, and you’ve got a vampire on this world.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Details

  • Stoker is playing at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. The marquee outside reads “Mayan Presents Stoker.”
  • The newspaper with Stoker’s unfavorable review advertises Scott’s Music (phone number: 222-555-7297).
  • The abovementioned review is titled “Stoker Stinks!” and is written by music critic Eddie Selk.
  • The missing persons flyer mentions four people who’ve disappeared. The women on top, Margaret Farren (born Dec. 19, 1971) and Susan Cahill (born April 30, 1972) both disappeared on March 12, 1997 — two months before the events in this episode.
  • Music critic Eddie Selk works for Music Edge Press and drives a red sports car with the license plate 1E49953.
  • Per his watch, Rickman accosts his comatose victim at 8:30 a.m.
  • Norman and the Normettes (plus Mitchell Friedman, snake charmer) are opening Saturday at the Mays Club.
  • Wall Williams and the Halftones are also playing the area? Who’s their opening act? Mitchell Friedman. Snake charming must be lucrative…
  • The head shop that Wade buys her stuff from is #34 on that street.
  • The blood bank sign reads:HILL STREET
    BLOOD BANK
    “Donate the Gift of Life”
    HOURS — MONDAY THRU SUNDAY
    8:00 AM — 6:00 PM
  • Rickman is supposed to be buried in coffin number 7226.
  • The box in the fridge reads:HUMAN WHOLE BLOOD
    KEEP REFRIGERATED
    RUSH PERISHABLE
    AVOID EXTREME TEMPERATURE
  • The red flyer on the door in the blood bank reads “Stoker: Donate Blood To Charity For 2 Free Stoker Tickets!”
  • The Goodtones album that Van Elsinger hands to Quinn is called “Live at The Be[obscured].”
  • The headlines underneath the picture of Charlotte that Van Elsinger hands Quinn reads: “Slain Actor Found in the Driveway of his Home” and “Headless Torso found on Highway.” Above those headlines is an album cover of the vampires circa late ’70s, when the band’s name was The Bloody Punks.
  • The license plate of the black limo in front of the jail is 2WWH331.

Character Information

  • As a result of her stint in the military, Maggie was given a specially designed tattoo that reveals name, rank and serial number at the time of death.
  • Wade says that she’d always wanted to be in a band (in Murder Most Foul, Wade also mentions that she’d always wanted to go into show business).
  • Wade taught herself how to play piano.
  • Since the Professor’s death, Wade has felt alone, even among her friends.

Money Matters

  • The Sliders stay in a pretty posh hotel and order room service.
  • Wade has enough to buy Stoker tickets two nights in a row, a new outfit, a gift from the head shop and a hair crimper to give her that ’80s rock groupie look.
  • Quinn throws a penny into the fountain.
  • Quinn, and Maggie somehow procure shovels to dig up the false Rickman’s coffin.
  • Maggie gets a quarter to call the hotel from the detention cell.
  • Quinn and Rembrandt buy a duffel bag’s stash of vampire-killing paraphernalia including stakes, crosses and holy water paint gun!

Notable Quotes

  • “It’s always good having new blood in the group.” — Morgan, toasting Wade.
  • “You’d think that someone who sucks brain to stay alive would stand out in a crowd.” — Maggie’s assessment ofRickman.
  • “If the spirit gets trapped in the body at the time of death, it freaks out.” — Van Helsinger’s adept scientific knowledge at work.
  • “I’ve never heard a decapitation sound so positive.” — Quinn’s take on Van Elsinger’s view that cutting off the heads of the vampires actually sets their spirits free.
  • “That sucked.” — a dying Harker after getting staked in the heart. Some would say he’s also summing up this episode.

Nitpicks/Errors

  • Okay. So the episode is called “Stoker,” right? And all of the band members in the band Stoker have names from the novel Dracula, a book published in 1897, the same year that vampirism was banned on this world. And yet Bram Stoker and Dracula didn’t exist? I mean, come on!
  • Exactly how was Harker allowed to go outside during the daytime, drop off a body in the music critic’s car and then rig it to drive straight into the wall? Aren’t vampires supposed to be a little allergic to sunlight?
  • So Rembrandt gets electrocuted by the guitar (*sigh*). How does that make his skin and tissue translucent to the point that you can see his skeleton? And how come the bone placement of the skeleton doesn’t match Rembrandt when he’s not see-through?

Neatpicks

While passing stakes from the back of his truck to Jerry O’Connell’s hand, Tommy Chong lets slip his Canadian roots with the line “Smart, eh?” Chong was born and lives in Vancouver.

Rewind That!

  • The cut-out space in the Bible where Rickman keeps his syringe is cut into the shape of a coffin.

History Lesson

On Vampire World, Dracula was never written by Bram Stoker (even though the band derives its name from him). According to Van Elsinger, “The best blood-sucker around here is named Nixon” (which either means that Richard Nixon was a tax-happy president or a vampire himself). On this world, vampires exist though it has been a felony to practice vampirism since 1897. Bob Dylan doesn’t exist on this world but Janice Joplin does and she is alive and well (and a health nut). The Rolling Stones exist, the Grateful Dead and Santana are all prominent artists here as well.

Morgan and his band of vampires have inhabited this world for centuries, always on the music scene as a way of getting victims. In 1957, Morgan and his band were in a shoo-bop band called “The Goodtones” then in the late 1970s, it was called “The Bloody Punks.” Van Elsinger made sure that The Goodtones and Stoker were the same band by having their music digitally matched. Van Elsinger has found pictures of the group dating back to the Civil War.

The Inside Slide

Jerry O’Connell was extremely enthusiastic about this episode, and why not? He directed it.

“It is going to be a terrific show,” he says. “It is sort of a rock and roll vampire type thing. It is going to involve a lot of real techno and industrial music. It will have a veryNine Inch Nails look and feel to it. The show is about these vampires who have been around for centuries — for eternity really — as musicians. They travel from country to country. They could be described as travelling musicians. They used to be gypsies thousands of years ago, they were a doo-wop band in the fifties, and now they are this techno/industrial type band. They use that disguise to travel from town to town on tour.

“Wade Welles gets wrapped up in their scene. It’s going to have a nice German expressionistic look to it — very industrial and very monochromatic. It’s going to be a lot like Fritz Lang movies such as Metropolis.”

· · ·

What prompted O’Connell, a graduate of NYU Film school, to consider directing?

“I always had the idea I wanted to direct and what better way than in such a familiar setting,” he explains. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

O’Connell added that there are certain advantages to being both the actor performing in a scene and being the director observing the scene.

“The nice thing about acting is you’re right there in the middle of the set. It’s a pretty comfortable place to direct from. You can see all the action happening around you and you can correct any mistakes.”

“It’s a lot of fun directing myself,” he adds. “I get to take as many takes as I want as an actor. I think of anyone on our crew, including [Cleavant and Sabrina] we have a really good idea of the show and we know exactly what it takes to be a Slider and to tell the story of sliding.”

“It’s actually a lot easier directing my fellow Sliders than directing the actors who [guest star] because I don’t have to tip toe around the Sliders. I can just scream out directions at Sabrina, Cleavant and Kari and they’ll do it and they’ll know I’m not being insulting in any way. And they’re such pros, I mean, we’ve been through this for three seasons, they don’t really need much directing and they’ve been really helpful with me. They’ve made it really easy.”

· · ·

Yeah, maybe to his face. During a candid interview, however, they make their true feelings known (wink).

“Working with Jerry as the director has been fun … for me. For a lot of the other actors, I don’t believe they’re having such a great time,” Cleavant Derricks says with stern seriousness. “Jerry has been having a hard time dealing with the actors, controlling his actors. He’s bringing in roaches, I keep telling him ‘that was another movie, you can’t do that here, this is Sliders.’ But other than that we’re having a pretty good time.” Then, in true Rembrandt style, Derricks breaks into a wide grin and giggles.

Sabrina Lloyd is a little more serious: “Having Jerry direct is pretty insane,” she says. “I think it’s more insane for him because he’s constantly running back and forth: he’s in front of the camera, he’s behind the camera, and you don’t know whether to call him Jerry or Mr. O’Connell. But it’s great because he’s brought so much enthusiasm to the show. You know, it’s his first time directing and he’s been on the show for so long and he knows it so well. I mean the first few days he was so pumped and he had everybody pumped and the scenes were going so fast and it was good because … it’s nice to have that energy come in and that fresh blood and it’s kind of gotten everybody excited about the show again.”

“[Jerry also] brought a lot of spontaneity and he’s seen the characters grow so much and now we have a new character on board and so he’s able to say ‘All right, let’s try this’ and ‘let’s take it in this direction and let’s have a little fun,'” Sabrina adds. “I think that it’s brought a lot of energy and fun back to where everyone was getting a little tired.”

“Jerry directing this episode … you’re not going to tell anybody this, right? He’s so bossy, so intimidating,” Kari Wuhrer says with furrowed brow. “No, just kidding. He’s so funny and so charming and has such a clear vision and, first of all, he’s my idol — I worship Jerry O’Connell. I think he’s so smart and I just love being around him, period. And him directing, first of all it’s an actor’s dream to have another actor direct the show because all the things we complain about all the time he knows how to fix. It’s just been really fun. He’s just a smart kid, you know?”

· · ·

A common question that fans ask after watching this episode is: “Is that really Sabrina Lloyd singing?”

“It is me singing,” she says. “I do sing. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I was younger. I grew up in musical theater and I’ve actually been talking to the producers about it for a really long time and we just wanted to wait until the right story came along and we felt that it would work with the character. It’s going to be really good. I got to go into a studio and record the song — it was a dream come true. Definitely.”

Lloyd sings the Suckerpunch songs “Falling Behind” and “Deadbeat” during the episode.

· · ·

“You have to direct the script that you’re given and I’m very fortunate that I got this one,” Jerry says of Josef Anderson’s screenplay. “It’s a really good time playing with all the double entendres. We put together a [great cast], Duff McKagan was perfect for it. We got a guy Ryan Alosio, who’s a terrific actor, he plays the lead vampire.

“Getting Tommy Chong to do this episode was my real biggest victory in directing this,” O’Connell adds. “I mean, I’m a huge Tommy Chong fan and when I first read the script I was trying to think of who could play the character of Van Helsinger and Tommy Chong popped into my head and I said ‘is it possible, can we possibly do this?’ And our casting people immediately started talking to his and bang, he was here.”

· · ·

When Quinn and Van Elsinger are talking in the van, Van Elsinger asks “Or maybe you prefer to call them hematologically challenged.” In reality, Tommy Chong had a lot of trouble saying the word ‘hematological’ and muffled it in the final cut. As such, Chong was brought in to re-say the word (just the word) with correct enunciation and it was dubbed into the conversation later. If you’ll notice on screen, Chong took a bit of a pause before saying the word.

Guest Stars

Co-Starring

Unaccredited

  • The first coma patient who gets stuck by Rickman.
  • The girl in red who is donating blood to Stoker.
  • The female jail guard.
  • Charlotte Van Elsinger.
  • Susan Cahill.
  • Benji the convenience store clerk.
  • The limo driver.
  1. Neil Dickson plays Angus Rickman in The Other Slide of Darkness, Dinoslide and This Slide of Paradise.
  2. Anthony David plays Luther in Slidecage and an autograph seeker in A Current Affair.

In Brief

Written by Josef Anderson
Production # K1827
Network # SL-322
Directed by Jerry O'Connell
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Michael B. Hoggan, A.C.E.

Chronology

Previously:
Next:

In Review

D
Bad

I reserve my contempt for writer Josef Anderson, who has to be one of the laziest hacks to ever put pen to paper. The entire story is just one stopgap measure leading to another pointless scene, each with an even less credible back-story.

Read the review »

Logline

Wade falls under the spell of a gothic-rock band's charismatic lead singer, who — unbeknownst to Wade — is also a full-blooded vampire with a taste for young groupies.