The King is Back

Quinn makes his lawyer look like a fool when his “I’m not from this dimension” defense succeeds as he slides out of a vandalism conviction and into Rembrandt’s wildest dreams — an America where he’s bigger than Elvis. With his alternate long dead, Rembrandt decides to claim the mantle for himself and aligns himself with Captain Jack Brim to organize his huge comeback special. This doesn’t set very well with two people: the deranged former Spinning Top Maurice Fish, and the very much alive Rembrandt Brown. Rembrandt is abducted by Fish and threatened with death if he doesn’t sign over the legal rights to his songs. As the “real” Rembrandt and the others try to find and rescue him, Captain Brim is forced to stall for time with a rowdy audience. Is this the life Rembrandt is destined for? Or will the King take back his throne?

Worlds Visited

Law and Order World

Don’t try to spray paint a freeway overpass — Proposition 199 and a media-hungry judge could sentence you to death by lethal injection.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Cryin’ Man World

Rembrandt’s solo act was a bit more popular here. Akin to Elvis, The Cryin’ Man was considered the de facto King of Rock and Roll until his mysterious death.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Ice Cream World

On this world, Rembrandt and Quinn have jobs as cycle salesmen for King Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts.

Read the full Travelogue entry »


  • The timer which reads 18 seconds until the slide during Quinn’s sentencing.
  • The Cryin’ Man convention is at the Oakland Hilton.
  • “Tears In My ‘Fro” entered the charts at #4 and went on to hold the #1 spot for nine weeks.
  • On the news, the Sliders are caught on video by a tourist from Cincinnati named Marc Freedlander. The newscaster mentions that it will rival the Zapruder film in historical importance. Abraham Zapruder was the Dallas clothing merchant who shot the famous film of JFK’s assassination.
  • Newscaster Penny Jensen works for the SFN network, channel 43.
  • Acts that Captain Jack Brim manages include country-western Chinese sensation Walon Chung, and the Bass Ace who’s a hit on the senior citizens’ circuit.
  • The Sliders stay in room 12 at the Motel 12.
  • Maurice Fish’s red Cadillac convertible has personalized license plates that read KRI BABY with a registration sticker that expires in September.
  • Rembrandt’s double has appeared on the cover of Tempo Magazine.
  • Maurice Fish’s old house is at 1913 South Bell Terrace in East Oakland, but now he’s living near Telegraph [street] at the intersection of Povill Street in a red house on the south corner, named after Executive Script Consultant Jon Povill (who also wrote Luck of the Draw).

Character Information

  • The first single that Rembrandt released after he split from the Spinning Topps was “Tears In My ‘Fro.” It failed to chart.
  • Rembrandt can cry out of each eye individually.
  • Arturo jokes that he only sings opera in the shower after he’s thought to be Luciano Pavarotti.
  • After he left the Spinning Topps to go solo, Captain Jack Brim begged Rembrandt to take him on as a manager but Rembrandt refused.
  • Boxers or briefs? It seems Arturo prefers boxer shorts.
  • Rembrandt has thought of making the big time ever since he was a kid.
  • Rembrandt’s standard play list includes the songs “Tears In My ‘Fro,” “Love Explosion,” “Cry Like A Man,” “Explosion of Love,” “I’m A Tear Jerk,” “Head Butt Me,” “Weeping Wall Of Tears,” and “Who Stole My Woman?”

Money Matters

  • The Sliders check into a hotel room.
  • After Capt. Jack offers Rembrandt one million dollars per song for his concert Wade remarks: “A million dollars a song? We’d never have money problems again that’s for sure.”
  • On Ice Cream World, Rembrandt and Quinn must get jobs as ice cream vendors.

Notable Quotes

  • “You’re popular here, which means this can’t possibly be our Earth.” — Arturo, to Rembrandt.
  • “Gentlemen, check your flies.” — Arturo, in response to the laughter brought about by Rembrandt’s uncanny resemblance to the King.
  • “He was a jerk but … maybe I made a mistake.” — Rembrandt, wondering what his career would have done if he hadn’t turned down Capt. Jack Brim’s request to be his manager on Earth Prime.
  • “Stand back! Or I’ll slice him like a biscuit.” — Maurice, to the other Sliders while holding a straight razor to Rembrandt’s neck.


“Mr. Pavarotti is an Italian. He speaka likea this. Do I speaka likea this? No. Why? Because I am an Englishman, you blistering idiot!” — to hotel clerk Gomez Calhoun, who makes the mistake of referring to Arturo as Mr. Luciano Pavarotti.


  • When Wade slides into Cryin’ Man World, you can see her bounce off a trampoline that is mostly off-screen.
  • In an editing error, while the alternate relaxes in his lake-side cabin, he sees a television commercial promoting the king’s comeback special but the commercial says it is on tonight. In reality, the concert is the next night.
  • Twin brother or not, Clinton Derricks-Carroll bears little resemblance to Cleavant Derricks.


  • The judge on Law and Order World bears an uncanny resemblance to Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson.
  • On the television in the hotel room, Quinn and Wade watch “Skipper’s Island,” which is essentially “Gilligan’s Island” except the roles are reversed; Gilligan is the grumpy slave-driver while the Skipper is the bumbling idiot.
  • In Captain Jack Brim’s office, the Del Rubio sisters sing a few lines from the hit song “Whip It” (reached #14 in 1980) by the group Devo. Episode composer Mark Mothersbaugh fronted that band with his brother Bob in the late ’70s.

Rewind That!

Though it is not widely picked up by viewers, the people behind this episode intended the home video footage of the Sliders to mimic the famous Abbey Road photo of The Beatles, walking in single file in a cross-walk.

History Lesson

When Rembrandt split from the Spinning Topps in the 1970s, he went with manager Captain Jack Brim instead of Artie. Brim brought a lot of publicity and fame to Rembrandt. As a result, he became the undisputed king of rock n’ roll. Tired of the publicity, Rembrandt went sponge fishing and disappeared eight years ago. He hasn’t been seen since and is presumed dead.

Other minor historical differences include:

  • “Gilligan’s Island” on our world is “Skipper’s Island” here, and the Skipper gets about as much love as our Gilligan did.
  • On this world Michael Jackson was a member, split from and then rejoined the rap group Public Enemy.
  • Rembrandt had Maurice Fish, a member of the Spinning Topps, institutionalized.

The Inside Slide

This episode, along with Last Days, ranks as Tracy Tormé’s favorite episodes from the first season.

· · ·

One element of the series which Tormé is especially fond of is the inclusion of throwaway gags and parodies within each episode. “That’s one of the icons of the series that everybody looks forward to, our ‘cross-cultural allegories,’ as we call them. I would love to do more, but one out of every two things we want to do is squashed for legal reasons.

“In ‘The King is Back,’ for example, we had a small group of Mexican boys, called Pequerio, whose manager has them singing Led Zeppelin songs in Mexican. It was a takeoff on the the group Menudo that was pretty popular years ago, but we couldn’t get the rights to do any Led Zeppelin songs, so that had to go by the boards.”

· · ·

Tormé says he named the unseen character of Marc Freedlander after a good friend whom he attended film school with.

Guest Stars

Special Guest Appearances by:




  • The two men whose pictures are used in Capt. Jack’s talent album.
  1. Clinton Derricks-Carroll, Cleavant’s twin brother, is an accomplished stage performer and got Cleavant his first major acting job in the stage production of “Hair.” Clinton would return for the second season Sliders episode Greatfellas and the third season’s The Prince of Slides.
  2. Tom Pickett returns briefly in Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome.
  3. MCA and Fox list this character as Pam Jensen.
  4. William Sasso returns as Gomez Calhoun, the role he originated in Fever and continued in Time Again and WorldTime Again and World, Gillian of the Spirits and Greatfellas.

In Brief

Written by Tracy Tormé
Production # 70408
Network # SL-109
Directed by Vern Gillum
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Edited by Leon Seith



In Review


Everyone always assumed Rembrandt Brown’s biggest mistake was leaving the Spinning Topps for a solo career. That is, everyone but Rembrandt. What if he was right all along and it was his choice of agents that made all the difference? Forget Elvis Presley. The Crying Man is taking center stage.

Read the review »


It looks like the King is back when Rembrandt is mistaken for a long-deceased rock legend, but an old enemy would like to see the Crying Man disappear again – permanently.