Universal Promotional DVD

Posted: July 14, 2005

Jaw-Dropping, Mind-Blowing Crap

The annual Comic-Con International convention in San Diego is a huge multiday gathering of tens of thousands of people actively seeking to be ridiculed by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. If you’re an afficianado of graphic novels, collectible action figures, paying exhorbitant rates for autographs or waiting in long lines to meet Mark Hamill while dressed as a Stormtrooper, the Comic-Con is something else… and then some.

The 2005 event saw a number of things, not the least of which was rows and rows of tables of people playing Magic: The Gathering. But included alongside the excitement of faux lightsabre battles, staring seductively at Bruce Campbell and Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplay was a promotional item given away by Universal Home Entertainment: a DVD sampler of three television shows, one of which was Sliders.

While we can appreciate any publicity the show gets — and the Season Three DVD Set was released the following week — the sampler is a bit of a mixed bag. Pairing Sliders with Cleopatra 2525 and Earth 2, two shows that couldn’t be less mind-blowing or jaw-dropping if they tried?


The sampler is your standard NTSC Region 1 encoded disc, playable only in North America unless you own a region-free player. And you have to work to get to the episodes themselves. Copious trailers for Universal properties — chief among them a theatrical-length trailer for the new Battlestar Galactica series — set the stage. And what is one’s reward? Why, Dragonslide, of course!

Think about it. You’ve got 25 “thrilling” episodes to pick from (Double Cross, The Guardian) and you pick “Dragonslide?” The primary crowd of a comic convention might steer toward the fantasy elements that abound in this particular episode, but it’s not exactly a high point (John Rhys-Davies considers it the point when the show abandoned its premise and its fanbase), nor is it particularly gripping. In short, it doesn’t make the third season box set a “must-have.” And to show how little thought was put into the sampler, they don’t even spell the title right in the menu.

Menu System

See? “Dragon Slide.” I wasn’t expecting anything robust — after all, the sampler was provided free to guests — but I was expecting the name of the episode to be spelled properly. At least the episode was at the top of the pile; I’d hate to think that Sliders ranked beneath Cleopatra 2525.

There are no frills or bonus materials aside from the episodes. Navigating through the episodes is a matter of selecting the episode name from the menu. After a brief promo for Universal (which plays on the box set as well), you too can watch Quinn battle for Melinda’s immortal soul. Simply breathtaking.

This item is a rarity in that you had to either get it at the convention or buy it from someone who did. They aren’t commercially available so if you see one and feel the itch of a collector, pick it up for the curiosity factor.

Promotional Materials

In case you were wondering what the full box art looked like, here’s a scan of the insert:

Yes, it’s true. Universal considers the crime-fighting duo of David Hasselhoff and William Daniels science fiction.

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