The Dream Masters


Wade becomes the target of a group of dream terrorists, who control people with their ability to tinker with the victim’s innermost fears.

Teleplay by: Melinda Snodgrass
Story by: Scott Smith Miller and Melinda Snodgrass
Directed by: Jefery Levy
Edited by: Casey Brown
Music by: Danny Lux

Broadcast History

Original Airdate: October 18, 1996
Production Code: K1807
Network Code: SL-306

Synopsis

Wade runs afoul of a group of nerds holding Santa Monica in a grip of terror. With the use of psychotropic drugs, they’ve discovered a way to invade people’s dreams and turn those nightmares into realities. Frightened for her life, Wade attempts to stay awake, but both she and Rembrandt are drugged. Under their spell, Wade exhibits actual physical damage from her encounters with her tormentors inside her head.

Quinn goes undercover inside nerd headquarters to gain access to the drugs, and Arturo and Rembrandt team up with an underground clinic that ministers to the victims of the dream masters. To save Wade, the remaining Sliders must fight the nerds on their own turf — inside Wade’s head. Once they convince themselves none of it is real, they turn the dreams against their oppressors.

Worlds Visited

Mardi Gras World

All-night partying and a Carnival atmosphere? All courtesy of a world where Napoleon never met his Waterloo. Read the full Travelogue entry »

Dream Master World

Don't get too much beauty rest. Read the full Travelogue entry »

Details

  • The amusement midway at the start of the episode is located on Santa Monica pier and is called Pacific Park.
  • The skater collapses in front of the Harbor Grill at the park.
  • While in L.A., the Sliders stay at the Royal Chancellor Hotel.
  • Wade’s romance novel is called Shipwreck Cape by Candice Collier.
  • Wade ‘dies’ at 8:42 p.m. Pacific Coast Time on a Thursday.

Character Information

  • Rembrandt had an affair with a woman named Cindy on Mardi Gras World.
  • Wade also met an unnamed man, but slid without saying goodbye.
  • Arturo plays chess. (It was established in The Guardian that Quinn plays as well.)
  • Rembrandt says that while he was in the Navy they used to prescribe orange juice and liver after the soldiers gave blood.
  • Arturo’s blood-type is O-negative.
  • Arturo says that he really enjoys teaching. “I like seeing the light go on in people’s eyes,” he says.
  • Wade was once been mugged at knife point and has had an intense fear of being cut and bleeding ever since.
  • Wade also says that she is “really afraid” of snakes. (Too bad, because in Slither she has to deal with a whole mess of ‘em.)


Money Matters

  • The Sliders pay for two nights in the Royal Chancellor Hotel.
  • Wade buys a romance novel and orders a pot of coffee.
  • The four buy coffees in the hotel bar.


Stages of Dream Manipulation

  • Stage One: Initial contact is made. Psychotropic drugs are passed to the victim via osmosis. The Dream Master feels out weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
  • Stage Two: The Dream Master is able to manifest visible injuries on the victim.
  • Stage Three: Usually fatal. The victim is fully engaged in a nightmare created by the Dream Master to provoke the most fear.


Notable Quotes

  • “It’ll be the last time that I’ll ever have to listen to one of your lectures.” — A riled Rembrandt to an accusatory Arturo.

Neatpicks

  • As Gerald stands over the frightened man at the beginning of the episode, it’s obvious that the word ‘roller’ has been blacked out on the label of his helmet. It should read ‘Rollerblade,’ a brand of in-line skates and equipment.
  • In an episode about sleep, it’s funny to note that the pattern on Wade’s pillow case consists of hundreds of little sheep surrounded by stars and moons.

Nitpicks

  • Quinn calls bartender Diggs by name without ever having been introduced to him.
  • Arturo says the he understands why Officer Weber helps them locate the shelter “because [she] has been a victim of the dream masters herself.” But later we discover that it is the dream masters’ goal to kill or comatose every person they set their sights on, to do otherwise would not instill the fear Cardoza longed for the people to have of them. So how did Weber survive an attack?
  • Unfortunately, when Arturo is shot by the firing squad in his dream, the FX pop-blood pack on his left shoulder is quite obvious under his shirt.
  • This is the first episode never feature the Sliders actually sliding.

Parallel History

In 1991, a university scientist named Vincent Cardoza began experimenting with dream manipulation via the use of psychotropic drugs and multi-protagonist hypnosis to invade a person’s consciousness. When another scientist, Dr. Edward Lujan found out, he rallied the authorities to stop Cardoza.

Cardoza was forced to leave the school but not before gaining the support of several students whose lack of social skills made them subjective to Cardoza’s leadership. Cardoza and these students eventually became the dream masters. The dream masters visit their victims during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and sometimes facilitate the sleep process by drugging their victims with the sedative orphenene. Victims of the Dream Masters can find some solace in an underground shelter set up by Olivia and Edward Lujan. Edward tried experimenting with REM blocking drugs but they had too many side effects. Those who try to fight the Dream Masters often find themselves in a coma… or dead.

The Inside Slide

Tracy Tormé spoke a little bit about this episode.

“Melinda Snodgrass… is writing a Halloween show, which is pretty interesting and spooky,” he says. “I worked with [her] on Star Trek.”

· · ·

Jerry O’Connell found “The Dream Masters” more than a little spooky.

“We’ve got one episode, directed by Geoff Levy, and it’s pretty freaky,” Jerry says. “Making it I was freaked out, but I saw the cut and it’s a little frightening — and I’m a hard scare!”

· · ·

This episode was originally scheduled to air on October 25, 1996, but Fox decided to move it up one week in order to schedule an episode of the “X-Files” to run before “Millennium.”

Guest Stars

Co-Starring

Unaccredited:

  • The bartender whom Gerald performs the sugarcube trick for.
  • The actor who plays Dr. Edward Lujan.
  • The second bike cop.
  • Various Dream Masters, including the bespectacled one that Quinn punches out.
  • The two caged go-go dancers.
  1. Lester Barrie appears as Diggs in Double Cross, Desert Storm, Dragonslide, Murder Most Foul and The Breeder.
  • tops116

    “Quinn calls bartender Diggs by name without ever having been introduced to him.”

    Except Quinn was standing right there at the end of “Double Cross” when Rembrandt addressed Diggs by name. I mean, give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he heard the name Rembrandt used.