It’s been a little over two weeks since Diana joined the Sliders and this situation may make or break her. The Sliders are deposited in a world that looks unlike any Earth they have visited before — Purgatory. A war is raging between Earthlings and Kromaggs. When the Sliders are discovered by Sergeant Vernon Larson, a human, they are recruited against their will to fight. The Sergeant, in charge of the troops, is protecting a bunker — what lies inside the bunker nobody knows. Meanwhile, Diana is not faring well. Lying helpless for hours, Diana is awakened by a Kromagg who has taken human form. Maggie shoots the Kromagg dead but the threat of other Kromaggs penetrating headquarters is dangerously real. The humans have only a few rounds of ammo left and their demise looks certain. But there is hope for survival when they all agree to a cease-fire to find a way to leave Purgatory. Knowing this might be a trick, the Sliders stall for time so they can open the bunker. By now Diana has recovered, just in time to help the Sliders discover how the bunker’s bounty can help them on their journey.
The last battlefield for a group of elite warriors from Kromagg Prime.
Pabst Blue Ribbon World
Could very well be Grolsch World, but this time all the Sliders are mired in anguish over what they could have done with the Voraton device.
The gang has enough money to buy a round on Beer World.
Rembrandt’s walk away from the troops is visibly heavy when he realizes his world is screwed.
Purgatory is an asteroid orbiting a white dwarf placed in hyperspace by those wacky scientists from Kromagg Prime (those guys can do anything). Placed on this asteroid is an army unit with explicit instructions: guard a mysterious bunker whose contents are unknown. The commander of this unit, Sergeant Vernon Larson, believed the assignment was beneath his unit, but the unexpected decay of his Earth’s biosphere from the Kromagg weapon made guarding the bunker something of a luxury.
One month ago, a Kromagg Manta ship crash landed. Without food (but plenty of atomizer grenades and weapons), the Kromaggs tried to fight their way into enemy lines to quell their hunger pangs. Larson’s group fought valiantly.
Unexpectedly, Purgatory was shunted back into real space by unknown persons. Before this, however, all humans had been defeated by the Kromaggs. Defense of the bunker’s contents is thought to be the reason of the decay of Purgatory’s hyperspatial orbit.
The working title for this episode in pre-production was “Baptism of Fire.”
· · ·
“This was not my choice for my first full script assignment of the season,” admits Keith Damron. “My first story was set in a Jules Verne Victorian type world. One that had all the stylings of the eighteen hundreds and all the advances of the nineties (solar powered model T’s, old fashioned-looking cellular phones etc.) The story dealt with the Sliders disbanding and Rembrandt being swept up in an eccentric inventor’s dream of traveling into space. My second idea, the back-up story if you will, was this trench warfare thing that I cooked up during my morning drive.”
“I knew going in that anything period translates immediately into escalating expenditures for the requisite costumes, props and so forth. Whether you’re doing Sliders or Star Trek, in television you always write with budget in mind, and ours was considerably smaller this year. This story was passed over.”
But the trench warfare story was not.
“One concept that I’m still very fond of had all four Sliders dying in the end,” explains Damron. “As the last of our heroes fall in battle a wormhole opens and four of their duplicates, who are identically dressed, step out. Of course, these are not duplicates but are the real characters who just experienced the same conflict, but survived. The story would have been a character piece that focuses on the wrong choices made by the duplicates and the right choices that lead to our heroes’ survival.
“Ultimately, that went away in favor of a more All’s Quiet on the Western Front, Red Badge of Courage type story.”
· · ·
“‘Strangers and Comrades’ is phenomenal,” says Robert Floyd. “It has great battle scenes and it’s a really wonderful episode.”
“Diana is a closeted adventurer, in the sense that she slides into a new world and says things like, ‘Can we go buy some new shoes?'” explains Tembi Locke about her character’s suddent involvement in war. “We get caught in these parallel universe and I’m sort of keeping up to speed and the Diana surprises herself when she knows what’s happening or seizes the opportunity. The veteran Sliders have seen everything. They’ve been attacked by dinosaurs. Everything is still sort of new to us.”
|Written by||Keith Damron|
|Directed by||Richard Compton|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Stewart Schill|
|Next:||The Great Work|
“Strangers and Comrades” is a deeply-flawed episode masquerading as important character study. It hopes you’ll overlook the inconsistencies and errors in favor of the tragedy of war. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda.
The Sliders find themselves trapped on Purgatory, an asteroid with a military garrison protecting a mysterious bounty that could liberate Rembrandt's world.