Common Ground

Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt laugh on their way out of the vortex, but their joy from the last world doesn’t last long when mortars start exploding all around them. Maggie sees someone knocked unconscious by the blasts and drags them to safety, only to learn he is Kromanus, leader of the Kromagg battalion on this earth.

Kromanus is reluctant to order the execution of those who saved his life, so he puts Rembrandt, Maggie and Quinn under house arrest. Rembrandt seethes with anger at the prospect he may spend the next 29.7 years of his life surrounded by Kromaggs.

Rembrandt sneaks around and finds that something odd is going on in a restricted area, but doesn’t have the access to see exactly what it is. Meanwhile, Maggie and Quinn wander about until Kromanus tells them the history of this world. Unlike most worlds the Kromaggs raze this world, Earth 147, fought until the bloody end with atomic and chemical weapons. Maggie then relates some back story of her earth before it was destroyed. Impressed that Maggie has a military background, Kromanus requests her presence for dinner.

Rembrandt finds his way into the restricted area and discovers that the local population has suffered severe radiation burns and are deathly ill. He meets Penny, who tells Rembrandt that the Kromaggs are performing test stages on the humans. Rembrandt leaves to go find Quinn and tell him what is going on. Kromanus receives a communication from the Kromagg high command telling him to let Quinn and his friends leave, as they are the key to conquering Kromagg Prime.

Maggie has dinner with Kromanus. To lessen the impact of his features, Kromanus adopts a human face only to find Maggie unimpressed with deceptions. During their talk, Kromanus gives details of the great war that happened between Kromaggs and humans. Kromanus led the unsuccessful attack on the human capital and became a scapegoat for the Kromaggs after they were sent off-world.

Rembrandt and Quinn discover a weapon the Kromaggs are developing that attacks human species at the cellular level, essentially breaking them apart atom by atom. Rembrandt stops the trials when Penny is about to be killed and kills three Kromaggs. Meanwhile, Maggie tries to recover the timer and is captured by Kromanus. All three Sliders are placed in a holding cell, but Penny helps them escape.

The Sliders run to try and destroy the Kromagg weapon so that it can’t be used to raze other worlds. Kromanus intercepts them, but gives them the timer and tells them he is only following orders. When subcommander Krolak tries to kill the Sliders with the weapon, it backfires and kills the Kromaggs instead.

Worlds Visited

Tropics World

Where you’re always in time to hang with King Kalehana and maybe see a fertility feast or two.

Kromagg Outpost 147

The humans of this world fought the Kromaggs with everything they had, leaving the survivors irradiated from nuclear explosions and sick from chemicals unleashed in the atmosphere.


  • Quinn estimates that Kromagg Outpost 147 is at level 2 of the smog index.
  • The Kromaggs refer to sliding as “quantum probability translocation.”
  • The Kromaggs use Arabic numerology.
  • Quinn dials the Kromagg weapon from 6240 to the 6290s.
  • Phase 4 is known as “The Pit.”

Character Information

  • Rembrandt spent three months in a Kromagg Re-education camp, and would rather die than be trapped with the Kromaggs on Earth 147.
  • Maggie reveals that Pulsar Prime had three World Wars. In the third, in the Battle of California, Japanese troops landed on American soil and launched an offensive, fighting American troops voraciously. Left with no other alternative, the American government dropped two atom bombs on American soil, one in San Diego, the other in Los Angeles.
  • Maggie’s grandfather fought in the aforementioned Battle of California.
  • Maggie flew Harriers off of armed carriers and fought in the Siberian Push, a Russian battle of some kind which would lends credence to the Soviet/U.S. hostility shortly before Pulsar Prime was destroyed.

Notable Quotes

  • “We missed King Kalehana’s pagan fertility feast for this?” — Rembrandt, looking at his surroundings on Kromagg Outpost 147.
  • “A little tingly. Not in a good way.” — Maggie’s description of her eye-roasting torture.
  • “This is a freakin’ death camp.” — Rembrandt, under contract to use the word ‘freaking’ in every other episode.
  • “That seems to be a catch-all punishment with you guys.” — Quinn, on death.
  • “Let me guess. You’re lost again.” — Krolak, after apprehending Rembrandt and Quinn in Stage 4.
  • “You asked me if I pity you. I do now.” — Maggie, to Kromanus.
  • “There comes a point when even a warrior tires of pointless bloodshed.” — Kromanus.


  • When Rembrandt first removes the helmet from Kromanus, look closely. You can see the makeup peeling off of actor Stephen Macht’s face.
  • Kromagg Outpost 147 is controlled by the Kromaggs. The Sliders slide into a military garrison. Kromagg Outpost 147 is in ruins. Where do the Sliders get brand new, stylish clothes that color coordinate?
  • Why is Kromanus headquartered in the Chandler Hotel? For that matter, why isn’t there any battle damage on the street around the Chandler?
  • Quinn fiddles with alien technology for fifteen seconds and completely reverses months of fine-tuning by Kromagg scientists that understand the machinery? What are the odds of that?

History Lesson

It’s unknown the societal differences of Kromagg Outpost 147 prior to its subjugation by the Kromaggs. Kromanus tells Quinn and Maggie that the citizens of this earth are more technologically advanced than most of the worlds they conquer, and that instead of surrendering, the humans fought bitterly. The Kromaggs killed millions, but the humans wouldn’t yield. The war lasted for more than two years, with the humans using chemical agents, biotoxins and atomic weapons in defense. Penny mentions that one atomic weapon was dropped on Bakersfield, which is about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. Why the Kromaggs would want to conquer that dirtball is anyone’s guess.

· · ·

Some information about Kromagg Prime is also revealed. Kromanus tells Maggie that he lead the main army of the Kromaggs against the human capital, but it turned out to be a trap. The humans had developed a terrible weapon that drove the Kromaggs from their world. They are also unable to slide back to that earth, as it is cloaked from Kromagg sensors.

The Inside Slide

“The first one I wrote, Common Ground, is a fairly dark, dramatic story, which is unusual for me, but I’m actually very proud of it,” says Chris Black. “It involves the return of the Kromaggs, who were introduced in an episode called Invasion that Tracy [Tormé] had done on Fox, another sliding race which is actually an offshoot of humanity, and they become the ongoing villains throughout the series; I think there are six or seven episodes that feature them. What we’ve done with the Kromaggs is add a little backbone to the season, so there are these people who lurk in the background. They have the same sliding capability, so they’re going to pop up from time to time, and each time the Sliders encounter them throughout the series, they learn new things and acquire new information from them.”

· · ·

“Chris Black did a really good script [“Common Ground”] that has a very good take on Maggie, where she’s strong but human, and we get a sense of her — she seems much more real and reflective in the episodes I’ve seen that deal with her,” adds Marc Scott Zicree. “And I think that’s a good template; in fact, I’m rereading Chris’ script again, to just get that voice in my head.”

Guest Stars


  • All those people who get vaporized.
  1. Steven Macht plays a whole lotta Krislovs in New Gods for Old.
  2. Carl Gabriel York plays the Director in California Reich and a Technician in The Return of Maggie Beckett.

In Brief

Written by Chris Black
Production # K2810
Network # SL-403
Directed by Reza Badiyi
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Stewart Schill



In Review


This episode castrates the Kromagg menace by showing both Kromagg politicking and a Dynasty commander who’d much rather while away the time talking to prisoners and destroying his subordinates than building advanced weapons or doing his job.

Read the review »


When Maggie inadvertently saves the life of a high-ranking Kromagg, the Sliders must take advantage of his gratefulness to stop a powerful weapon capable of ripping humans apart — atom by atom.