Vortexing onto a desert, the Sliders come across an archaeological dig populated with native workers and a university team of archaeologists. The dig’s group leader, Jack Bigelow, a forensic paleontologist, and his associate Gwen, welcome the Sliders as if they can pitch in. Inside a cave, the site of the dig, Bigelow assumes that this communal gathering place was probably a religious shrine. The Sliders are aghast to discover the Bigelow has unearthed the Chandler Hotel! Diana explains later that the North and South poles must have reverses places to explain this phenomenon. The Earth they are familiar with took place 400 years ago, before the Cataclysm. Rembrandt notices that worker named Escobar has been staring at him all day. Other “artifacts” are continually discovered among the ruins. Finally, Bigelow breaks through a wall into a larger room only to find the Guardian, a human corpse floating in suspended animation. When the Sliders try to prevent Bigelow from autopsying the body, he entraps them. They manage to escape, but are soon surrounded by the native workers who call Rembrandt “The Voice”. The workers are intent on preventing Bigelow from desecrating the chamber of the Guardian. Rembrandt leads the confrontation.

Worlds Visited

Apocalypse World

A parallel world approximately 400 years ahead of ours a la Van Meer’s World in The Guardian, this Earth suffered some kind of cataclysm that rendered the land between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn a desert, while regions like South America and Canada are temperate zones.


  • Hiring locals to help dig in the Badlands is incredibly expensive.
  • Beer mugs on this world didn’t have glass handles until after 1590 (late Renaissance), when the big glass plants went into production in West Virginia.
  • Seattle is at least a four day ride from Los Angeles.
  • Bigelow has all the necessary permits from Mexico to dig in the Zone.
  • The Saga of the Tolucans details the story of a frozen deity.
  • The nearest labs fully equipped to work on a suspended body is 600 miles away.
  • The manila folders read Del Monte Suspended Animation Clinic and Storage.
  • The suspended animation tube reads Haf-99435.
  • Who’s been frozen? Luther Bates McCorkin, aged 54. He died of congestive heart failure. He was an aluminum siding salesman and a Shriner.
  • The poster in Rembrandt’s shrine reads:Rembrandt Brown
    The Cryin’ Man
    His Latest Album on
  • Rembrandt’s Caddy still reads “CRYNMAN” as its license plate.

Character Information

  • Mallory has worked a chain gang.
  • Jack Bigelow is a forensic paleontologist with the University of the Yukon.
  • Gwen is one of Bigelow’s best students.
  • Bigelow always insists on providing his associates with plenty of food and water.
  • Rembrandt doesn’t agree with Bigelow’s methods.
  • Rembrandt is The Voice.
  • Alt-Rembrandt released an album on Onslaught Records prior to the Cataclysm. Titled “Don’t Make Me Cry,” it sold 500,000 copies and was awarded gold record status.

Money Matters

The Sliders get food, water and safe lodgings as long as they help with the archaeological dig.

Notable Quotes

  • “I know it’s not fair, but personally, I blame this on Mallory.” — Maggie, about their slide into the middle of the desert.
  • “If it’s got to be a desert, why not a desert resort? Golf course, swimming pool, drinks in coconuts, hot and cold running maids.” — Rembrandt, on their predicament.
  • “Well… I’ve dug a few ditches in my time.” — Mallory, alluding to his shady criminal past.
  • “You think we should tell the professor that the only religion practiced in here involved a lot of scotch and soda?” — Mallory, upon discovering that the Chandler is part of the dig.
  • “I think it’s some kind of ceremonial goblet. Probably used in rituals conducted in this very room.” — Professor Bigelow, ‘analyzing’ a beer mug.
  • “Until I can take it apart to study the mechanism, let’s call it the ‘coin operated time dispenser.'” — Bigelow, on a parking meter.
  • “I just had a warm, fuzzy thought… what if our duplicates died here?” — Mallory.
  • “‘By morning it should be thawed enough.’ He’s talking like it’s nothing but a Thanksgiving turkey.” — Rembrandt, about the body in suspended animation.
  • “Well, that’s sort of royalty.” — Mallory, on the discovery that the frozen guy was a Shriner.
  • “Wow. A Hard Rock Cafe; literally.” — Maggie, off Rembrandt’s “shrine.”
  • “Come on, guys. The man needs some time with an old friend.” — Maggie, to Mallory and Diana, giving Rembrandt some space with his 70s Cadillac.


  • Shouldn’t Sliders from 400 years ago have a flip-phone timer like the one Quinn developed?
  • Likewise, why would the Sliders assume that doubles of Maggie, Mallory and Diana would even be in the group?
  • If Diana is 100% certain that the timer they find in the Chandler is their timer, why not keep it for spare parts instead of tossing it in the rubble?
  • Why would there be a shrine to Rembrandt in Los Angeles? Shouldn’t it be in San Francisco, or, dare I say, Motown?
  • After 400 years, wouldn’t English have evolved just a little bit?
  • Little coincidental that the Chandler is the first building uncovered in the wasteland? You’d think they’d find San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Barbara, etc. first as they make their way down.
  • How exactly do they light the undercarriage of Rembrandt’s car? Maybe the same power source that keeps the cryobed functioning after 400 years?


  • Rembrandt’s shrine rocks.
  • The Tolucans, some mythical tribe, take their name from the Toluca Lake region of Los Angeles, which, incidentally, is in Burbank and close to Universal Studios.

History Lesson

Much like the 1980s World visited by Quinn and company in The Guardian, this earth follows Herbert Van Meer’s theory of straight relativistic time dilation. Somehow, the development process of this world has been accelerated 400 years, placing events of the 1990s in the 1590s. Our pathetic civilization has been labeled the Renaissance by archaeologists studying the time period.

Apocalypse World had a similar level of technology as Earth Prime until some unknown cataclysm radically altered the climate. A physical process known as procession, in which the earth’s poles actually rotate around the axis every 23,000 years, may be the cause, but the most likely cause is human interaction with the environment. The result of the cataclysm is total wasteland in North America below Montana. Canada and Alaska are temperate zones.

Los Angeles, which is a natural desert, is a desert again, and it’s buried under sand. It is referred to as the Badlands and is a dangerous place to travel through. The Tolucan mythology of the region holds the underground city as sacred and the aboriginal tribes that live amidst the dunes will do anything to protect it. Apparently the Tolucans hid a hoard of gold in the underground city. Settlements in the northern regions end at Seattle.

The Inside Slide

“We just did a show in which the Chandler Hotel is an archaeological dig,” says Bill Dial. “Somehow it’s 400 years off from our time, and it’s layered over with sediment and our people get to be part of this dig. When they go and see it’s the Chandler, they find a beer mug that the archaeologist decides is a sacrificial goblet, then they have a big debate over what a parking meter might have been: ‘It sells time… but to what end’! It’s really our take on how these funny archaeologists can find one pot and then invent an entire civilization!”

Guest Stars

In Brief

Teleplay by Tim Burns and Bill Dial
Story by Chris Black
Production # E0817
Network # SL-516
Directed by Teynaldo Villalobos
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Casey Brown



In Review

Really Bad

For a science fiction show, the production team seems very hostile to science. Bigelow is treated like a villain for doing his job. He’s attempting to find out what happened to the world and he’s being thwarted by the superstitious and the incurious.

Read the review »


The Sliders are shocked to find the Chandler Hotel a part of an archaeological dig beneath a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles desert.

Timer Status

For the first time in a long while, it's doin' good.