The Sliders enter the realm of Thunderdome, where thugs and vigilantes dominate a world with precious little water. Wade discovers a telepathic connection with Devin, a human dowsing rod, and she convinces the others to rescue her from a young man named Jeremy. Unknown to all, they take her away from her true family and deliver her into the hands of the murderer who killed her father when she was a young girl. Jeremy makes a second attempt, but abducts Wade by mistake. She learns Devin’s true backstory and convinces the other Sliders to return her to a hidden paradise. The thugs aren’t about to give up their most prized possession and launch an attack. In a side story, Arturo is taken to a faith healer to deal with his illness.
A recent cataclysm has robbed the Earth of its oceans.
Arturo admits that, as a man of science, he considers himself a believer in knowledge and truth. He also calls himself a ‘realist.’
“No gift comes without a string or two attached.”
As Quinn puts the pedal to the metal in the monster truck, an unattributed line of dialogue that isn’t in the show says “Just one of the those chickens,” a possible request for him to run over a chicken for some food.
Desert World lives up to its name. Whereas a large portion of the Pacific Southwest is desert on Earth Prime, some cataclysm here dried up practically all water sources. Current maps show that the California coastline simply isn’t there anymore — it’s land as far as the eye can see.
As a result, civilization has descended into complete anarchy, and major settlements have either dispersed or been destroyed. Regular currency is useless in this new world; people acquire goods through barter and nothing else.
Petroleum must be in abundance because cars are plentiful and people drive them with little thought of conserving resources. Water is also available but it’s extremely valuable. Slaves, tools, skins and other useful items are traded for it.
Legends abound about a lost civilization that hoards the water they have. It’s aptly named the tribe of Aquarius, and those who are born into it exhibit strange psychic powers that allow them to act as living divining rods as well as telekinesis (this skill is relegated primarily with the matriarchy). One such person, Devin, was captured by a man named Cutter and his band of road warriors a decade ago.
Aquarius is hidden in the desert and contains lush flora and fauna and a variety of water sources. All of this is kept secret and only those who are from the city can find it thanks to special crystals that act as a compass to their home. Legends say this is where the spaceships go to gas up.
Tragedy struck while shooting on location when guest star Ken Steadman (“Cutter”) was killed in a dune-buggy accident.
“It devastated the entire company,” says Cleavant Derricks, who was speaking with the 27-year-old actor just a half hour before he died. “We still have wounds from it. Young people lose their lives every day. But to have it happen in front of you like that really brings things into perspective.”
As a result of the accident, which occurred in the middle of the film schedule, another actor was brought in to take Steadman’s place. These scenes are noticeable because the other actor is wearing blue make up and is a little heavier-set than Steadman.
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The Associated Press release from September 20, 1996 (8:54p EST) is below:
Actor Killed, Another Injured, on Desert Set of TV Show ‘Sliders‘
Adelanto, Calif. (AP) — An actor was killed and another injured Friday on the set of the Fox action-adventure TV series Sliders when a dune buggy they were riding in overturned in a dry, desert lake bed, authorities said. Kenneth Keith Steadman, 27, of Sherman Oaks was rushed by helicopter to San Bernardino County Medical Center after the 11:50 a.m. accident at El Mirage Dry Lake, said Randy Emon, a county deputy coroner investigator. He arrived at the hospital at 1 p.m. in full cardiac arrest and died four minutes later, Emon said. The other actor, who is not identified [it was later determined to be Christopher Malecki], was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released, said Libby Gill, a spokeswoman for the MCA/Universal Television Group, makers of the program. Both actors were guest-starring on the series, which was scheduled to begin its third season Friday night.
Sliders is about people who travel to parallel universes where there are alternate versions of Earth. The California Highway Patrol was investigating the crash, but a spokeswoman for the agency had no immediate comment. The dune buggy had seatbelts, but the men were not using them at the time of the accident, Emon said. “Ken Steadman was a young and fabulous actor,” said his manager, Susan Ferris. “He was a very cool guy, very talented.” A native of northern Washington state, Steadman moved to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue acting, Ferris said. His career was just starting to blossom with guest spots last season on “NYPD Blue” and “Baywatch” and on Thursday night’s premiere of the new CBS show “Moloney,” she said. El Mirage Dry Lake, northwest of Adelanto, is in the Southern California desert about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
|Michael b. Hoggan, A.C.E.
|The Dream Masters
“Desert Storm” is not only a poor legacy for actor Ken Steadman, who died during its production, it’s also one of the most implausible outings the series has had to date.
After landing on a desert Earth with very little water, the Sliders become embroiled in a kidnapping scheme involving a water witch, a band of renegades and a man who may hold the key to Aquarius.