The Chasm

With a few hours before the next slide, the town the four landed in begins to transforms the emotions of the Sliders. Quinn exhibits symptoms of euphoria while Rembrandt, and then Maggie, become increasingly paranoid and sorrowful. The source of the personality shifts is the Chasm, a remnant of an old amusement park ride that transfers emotions from the citizens of the town to one human vessel, who, when overwhelmed by the overload of emotions, jumps into the Chasm, passing the curse along to the next intended recipient. After Rembrandt and Maggie sacrifice themselves, Quinn and Colin overcome their feelings of contentment, leap into the Chasm themselves, and destroy the technology, forcing the townsfolk to come to grips with their feelings for the first time in decades.

Worlds Visited

Chasm World

Theme park wars in Americaland. Isn’t that would Uncle Walt would have wanted? (Hey, isn’t he frozen, too?)


  • The specialty of the Sweet Shack is a wicked chocolate malt.
  • The map of town features the Temple of the Chasm, City Hall, the Hardware Store, the Sweet Shack and two cafés.
  • Coleman supplies various things to the hardware store.
  • Andy is the proprietor of the hardware store.
  • The brochure reads:Middletown Amusement Park
    Home of the World’s Happiest Ride
  • You get happy through the transmigration of bio-energy.

Character Information

  • Rembrandt is eaten up inside by the feelings that he abandoned Wade and his attempted murder of Quinn. Rembrandt knows that he was forcibly separated from Wade but can’t reconcile that with his feelings for her.
  • Despite her three friends, Maggie feels very much alone in her journeys.
  • Maggie thinks that Quinn doesn’t want her because she isn’t Wade.
  • Maggie believes that Colin is too busy getting used to sliding to notice her.
  • Knowing Steven [Jensen] was the best part of Maggie’s life.
  • Quinn’s tired of searching for his home.

Money Matters

  • Colin steals a bunch of climbing equipment.
  • Quinn and Colin eat popcorn in Middletown and they all get chocolate malts, but it’s unknown if a charge was issued.

Notable Quotes

  • “Depression… it can squeeze your soul like a vice grip.” — Rembrandt.
  • “Rembrandt was the best friend you ever had and you still want to stay here?” — Colin, to Quinn, puzzled over his brother’s desire to stay.
  • “I’m not Wade.” — Maggie. Yep.
  • “That was almost better than sliding.” — Colin, on their journey into the Chasm.
  • “All great leaps of faith look forbidding at first.” — Mrs. Meadows.
  • “Ugh.” — My gut reaction to this episode.


  • Now the Chandler set is standing in as a church interior?
  • If, as the sheriff claims, there are no mountains around Middletown, why is the hardware store stuffed full of barrels of mountain climbing material?
  • For that matter, how can there be a cave of solid rock and not have there be a mountain?
  • Why would Middletown need a sheriff for the past 23 years?
  • Why is there a hardware store in the middle of a theme park?
  • Why does a peaceful place like Middletown need guns in its hardware store?
  • For a place that siphons off everyone’s bad feelings, that sheriff sure gets pissed off pretty fast after Colin steals the rope and carabineers.
  • After Maggie, where are the Chosen going to fit in the belly of the Chasm? There are only enough pillars for that number of people.
  • Who designs a machine where all of the controls are placed inside and are only accessible by those who are in a process of cryogenic suspension and were Chosen?
  • If someone had that much frost on them, their cells would crystallize and they’d die, not fall into a cryonic slumber.
  • The readout box goes from -126 degrees to 56 and then back to -126. It also gets blown up by Maggie’s shot, is magically healed and then falls apart again.
  • Does Maggie shoot the window or the controls? Maybe she was borrowing RJ’s gun from My Brother’s Keeper, which can fire two rounds in different directions simultaneously.
  • Does Mrs. Meadow walk the Chosen from the bottom of the Chasm to the receptacle? If so, how do the frozen Chosen get up from the cryogenic bed and make it over to the pillar where they stand upright as they freeze?
  • What’s the significance of that waterfall?
  • Last one: there are at least a dozen people in the cryo chamber. Are these people supposed to stay frozen forever?


The exposition that Maggie and Rembrandt feel when they’re hallucinating is good character information, but really, did it have to be shoehorned into this miserable script?

History Lesson

This America thrives on amusement parks and rides (I guess people in the twenties had a lot more disposable income), so much so that it officially changed its name to Americaland.

In the 1920s or 1930s, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Meadows of Middletown invented a device that would literally absorb the negative feelings of people within a fixed radius and transfer them via a parallel energy field known as bio-energetic transmigration. However, these feelings needed a human host, and when Mr. Meadows created Middletown, “home of the world’s happiest ride” as a way for others to share in his invention, used park employees as receptacles for negative energy. When it simply became too much to bear, those receptacles were placed in suspended animation and a new one chosen. Eventually, however, people stopped leaving the park and settled down, turning it into a regular small town. Middletown now enjoys a police department and relatively lively economy.

The ride, now known as the Chasm, has taken on religious aspects and become the bona fide belief of the townsfolk. Outside of Middletown, other theme parks wage bitter war against each other, the battles only recently concluded.

The Inside Slide

What did Kari Wuhrer think about being over-the-top emotionally in this episode?

“I spent an entire episode crying my eyes out,” she explains. “It was horrible, I couldn’t wait for that show to be over.”

· · ·

The emotions may have made it horrible for Wuhrer, but the poor scripting and lackluster plot made it horrible for Marc Scott Zicree. He advised planning a picnic and doing that rather than watch “The Chasm” during its first run.

“It’s not one of the high points of this season,” he admits openly.

Guest Stars

In Brief

Written by William Bigelow
Production # K2817
Network # SL-420
Directed by Robert Hudecek
Music by Danny Lux
Edited by Casey Brown



In Review


Last season, Sliders delivered a particularly foul turd of an episode about a weird little town with a horrible secret. No matter – here is the sequel nobody demanded — Paradise Lost II: The Chasm. And this time, it’s personal.

Read the review »


Rembrandt and Maggie are put to the test emotionally when a short slide lands them in a town where collective bad feelings are transferred to one person, and Quinn's newfound bliss isn't helping matters.