My redemptive readings are getting me in trouble.
I’m not going to apologize for this— I have to find something to enjoy in this show. Otherwise how could I continues with this project that’d make Sisyphus blush?
Here’s the crux of the trouble: the fact that the characters don’t react enough to the horrors at hand is diminishing to the show. This isn’t something I necessarily disagree with. (Jerry O’Connell as) Quinn hasn’t shed a tear for his fallen Earth. But, speaking in-universe, he did just get a ‘new’ homeworld. He also just found out he has a brother. That’s a lot to take in. I personally thought that Quinn’s little “I have a brother!” moment in “Prophets & Loss” was super touching. I can understand why a guy would choose to focus on something like that— family— than to embrace the terror of real life.
Plus, Quinn Mallory hasn’t really been too emotive of a guy in years. When was the last time we saw him really freak out at something? When Rembrandt punched him in “The Exodus?” Yeah, I’d probably keep my feelings to myself too if that’s what was going to happen. Look, I know Jerry O’Connell is mentally showing up less and less as the show goes on. But as much as we might prefer his performance in Seasons 1 & 2, we can’t just decide that the character he portrays isn’t Quinn Mallory anymore. That’s not up to us.
Jerry is playing the character with more and more reservation, whether or not be intends to. So it’s up to us to reconcile that with the Q-Ball we used to know. It’s not hard to, really. Quinn’s seen a lot. And it’s not that happy. Half his friends are dead. So many people have died, in his eyes, because of him. He finally fulfilled his promise to his friends, only to have Home burnt to ash. To Quinn Mallory, that’s his fault. The man is nothing but guilt. The guilt of billions. It isn’t hard to imagine him bottling up his every emotion and changin his face to a nothing-grimace of emptiness.
Now, speaking out-of-universe/IRL, we now Jerry O’Connell is just bored. But it’s up to us to forget that. It’s up to us not to even know that. If the internet era has changed anything, it’s changed the idea of “behind the scenes.” The idea is irrelevant. Spoilers are almost impossible to avoid. Characters’ fates are decided by contracts, and we are now unavoidably aware of this.
So I truly believe it’s our job as fans to be gracious to our show. We have to accept what our show’s become. We don’t have to love it by any means. Plus, if we actually spent a lot of time watching Quinn & Rembrandt weeping through the vortex, would that really serve the show?
Plus, the arguments of emotionlessness aren’t exactly true— at least not yet. Rembrandt is showing emotion. And Quinn is worried about him. And I’m sorry, y’all, but Quinn speaks out loud about finding Wade. And saving Earth Prime. (He does suggest that they put off that particular mission, but only because of the dynamics of sliding.) I was stunned when I heard him say all that. The season’s reputation is so overpowering it’s tainting my expectations. This hour is a character hour, and it’s full of the kinds of moments that apparently never happen on this show anymore.
I can understand the dilemma. The sliders aren’t superheroes. The Kromagg Dynasty is a deadly military force. Their power is absolute. The best part of “Invasion” was that they don’t, in any way, defeat the Kromaggs. They escape because they were meant to. This season’s overarching goal of locating an anti-Magg weapon makes sense because they really do need more than just themselves to defeat this force of nature.
But the Kromaggs also need to seem at least remotely capable of defeat for our characters not to give in to despair. But it’s also for us to maintain belief in the story. “Invasion” also got a lot of its mileage from the Kromaggs being unknowable. “Common Grond” gets flack for humanizing the Kromaggs, but the fact of the matter is that the ‘Maggs were cratered as soon as we saw them speak in “Genesis.”
Of course, Season Four’s slashed budget doesn’t help this ‘race’ either. I’m sure it’s very hard for an actor to take himself seriously when he looks in the mirror and sees a goofy pig-ape dude staring back at him. He looks like a joke— it’s a safe bet he’ll act like a joke. So here we meet the first of oh so many brain dead Subcommanders, chipping away the viability of the Kromagg Dynasty as an enemy, one stilted delivery at a time. But while Krolak is awful, Kromanus, or more accurately, Stephen Macht, is very much not (this dude was almost cast as Captain Picard, so I think y’all better recognize).
The writers want to try something out. They want to see how much of the hour they can hang on the ‘new’ enemy. In order to do this, though, you need to have a clean slate of a character. And so while it might seem like not much time has passed before the Kromaggs got a soul, that’s really only if you’re seeing them through a fresh pair of eyes: in this case, Maggie’s.
Sure, Maggie’s seen the ‘Maggs. She’s seen what they’re capable of. She’s beard what Quinn & Rembrandt have told her. But she’s never met them, not really. Sure, they killed Marta, but they were breaking out of jail at the time, with gunfire coming from human sympathizers as well as Kromaggs. Maggie’s the only character who doesn’t really have any preconceived notions about the Kromaggs.
Plus, it’s not like we’re being asked to forgive the entire Kromagg Dynasty of its sins. We’re being asked to relate to one Kromagg. That’s fine. If there’s any sin the episode really commits, it’s that it comes too early in the run. It can’t come too much later— the ‘Maggs still have to be fresh in Maggie’s thoughts, and still sort of unknowable. Having this episode run 3rd opens up something that could end up being a problem for the show.
The reason Star Trek’s Borg stopped being terrifying wasn’t because the writers gave them a soul— it was because by the time we got to the end of Star Trek: Voyager, we’d seen them so fucking much. Seeing a Cube (or a Sphere, or a Queen, or a Transwarp Network or Whatever) stopped meaning “oh, shit.” It started meaning “not again.” Having the Kromaggs show up so soon collapses the Multiverse in on itself. I understand, from a story perspective, the fact that we have to keep up with our new enemies, in order to give them any sort of power. But only having one episode pass between Magg-Centric Episodes only serves to make it seem like there’s divine interference going on (which y’know, there just might be).
But let’s step away from that (it’s a problem that hasn’t happened yet, and has no place in this review). There’s something pretty amazing going on that doesn’t really draw attention to itself: the fact that the show uses Maggie as its emotional center. Maggie, who when we met her, was a soulless nearly-evil woman who thought nothing of the emotional torment she caused to those around her. The fact that the word ‘sympathy’ can be used in the same room as this character now is a true testament to the writers, and to Kari Wurher.
Which isn’t exactly to say that she can carry a scene entirely. She’s helped immensely by being in the same room as Stephen Macht— she has no choice but to step it up a notch. But Kari still has trouble with enunciation, with getting her lines out in a natural way. But she’s softened her approach to playing Maggie in a much-needed way, and she does so while still maintaining a consistent character of “Maggie Beckett.” It’s all in the eyes, really. Kari Wurher might not be able to act with her mouth (and I don’t mean that in a “Season Three” kind of way), but she’s actually pretty adept at acting with her eyes. It’s small, and you have to be looking at them (which you know isn’t where the show wants you to look), but it helps invest in a character that before was absolutely un-investible.
The ostensible ‘theme’ of the hour is ‘the old warriors spar.’ Maggie & Kromanus spend a sizable chunk going back and forth about what it “means” to be a soldier, a true warrior. Despite Kari’s A for Effort this week, I’m never really going to buy Maggie as a credible soldier. But at least we get a mention of her husband? PHHHT. RIP STEVEN.
Anyways, this conversation is a feint. The real juxtaposition the episode wants us to make is between Kromanus and Rembrandt. They’ve both been ravaged by war, and they’re both crippled with regret. Sure, we’re happy of Kromanus’ regret (and we’re still not entirely sure what Rembrandt’s dirty secret is), but there’s still the fact that they’re going through the same emotions. War has hurt them. What we see in this episode is how they both deal with these feelings— how they adapt to the brutal change in their lives.
Kromanus, love it or hate it, is actually the figure of Hope in this episode. He abhors the revenge-fueled turn the War has taken. Sure, the outcome will be the same (decimation of humanity), but the road to that outcome is without honor. He’s seen what desperate people do: it’s what cost the Kromaggs their homeworld. (Which, actually, seems to be a shocking amount of foreshadowing as to the destructive properties of the Voraton Device [SPOILERZ.])
Rembrandt, on the other hand, is flying off the handle, yelling and shooting and making painfully obvious Nazi allegories. Sure, the experiments the ‘Maggs do in “the Pit” are horrifying, and Production made the right call in spending seemingly every cent of their budget on this dude’s horrifying makeup:
— but — Rembrandt puts the group in needless danger countless times. And even though he’s proved right (semi-unfortunately), he only finds out about the experiments because he snoops around, trying desperately to find a reason not to trust the Kromaggs. So when Kromanus pulls an about face, and shows mercy to the humans, committing suicide to right the wrongs of the Dynasty, Rembrandt is blind to this.
He’s blind because he sees Wade in every face he sees. He’s looking for reasons to hate the ‘Maggs when he stalks those corridors, but he’s also looking for Wade. So when he meets Penny, a test subject with pep and strength and youth and a great haircut, all he sees is Wade. So he fights hard to save her, threatening himself, threatening the group, and sure, kind of threatening Penny, too. He’s doing it out of revenge, but also out of shame. He left Wade behind, he says, and there is honest pain in his eyes. But that pain is guiding his mission so fiercely that he can’t see the consequences of his actions. He accuses Quinn of wanting to abandon Rembrandt’s Earth (to which Quinn beautifully replies “it was my Home, too”), and goes on rage-benders trying to avenge every person ever who ever lived.
It’s a complicated thing for the show to throw at us. But Kromanus’ “even a warrior tires of pointless bloodshed” line, while very silly, is actually quite deft in that it underscores a possible future for Rembrandt. But at this point, Rembrandt won’t hear it. He can’t see past his rage. His hatred for the Kromaggs isn’t going to get him anywhere. Or if it does, it will get him, and everyone else, killed.
This episode isn’t about Kromanus. It’s about Rembrandt.
Of course, it’s hard to actually see that without looking very, very hard. There’s subtlety in the script, but once it leaves the page it’s lost in an ugly miasma of overscored and overdirected nonsense. Every shot seems to last too long, like it’s waiting for a voiceover that will never come. It reminds me of that quote from Chapterhouse: Dune that I quoted in my review of “Slide Like an Egyptian”—
Intentional detail in everything although sometimes you had to dig for it. Budget dictated reduced quality in many choices, endurance preferred over luxury or eye appeal. Compromise, and like most compromise, satisfying no one.
In honesty, this is the only way to appreciate Sliders as it’s become. It isn’t a show for everyone. But below all the painfully dated decisions and lack of cohesion, there’s a wonderful show. It’s hours like “Common Ground” that underline this fact so completely. If you want to watch a show that actually has a lot to say about humanity and how we deal with extreme tragedy, then you can find all that in Sliders. But if you want to see emotionless schlock, that’s up to you too.
But I’m choosing the former. And I think you should, too.
Next Week: Rembrandt makes a really funny dick joke (Virtual Slide).
|Previous: I Believe In Myself (Prophets & Loss).||Next: Reality Hasn’t Done Much For Me Lately (Virtual Slide).|
Well, your reviews should portray your reactions and impressions.
Yes, in “Common Ground,” the sliders mention Wade — but they never try to use what (little) leverage they have with Kromanus to ask what state she’s in. They say they might — but they don’t. I find it hard to believe the sliders wouldn’t at least *ask*, especially when a high-ranking Kromagg feels somewhat indebted to them. However angry Rembrandt might be this week, his anger feels like it’s focused on the wrong issue; he’d be trying to get into their records, trying to find Wade. As intense as Rembrandt’s rage is in this episode, it is very awkward to see it show up *after* “Prophets and Loss” and after the teaser of *this* episode showing him lightheartedly cheerful. The idea that he’ll only show this darkened spirit when it’s a Kromagg episode is absolutely bizarre to me.
The real-world issue here is that every effort to find Wade is doomed to failure with the actress having cut her ties to the series. But that’s the fault of a production that carelessly alienated yet another core cast member and didn’t bother to even ask her to do an exit story. And it’s the fault of a showrunner who chose an exit for Wade that’s essentially an unresolved plotline that can only be dealt with if the alienated actress returns. This is why the plot doesn’t work; Wade is written out of the series but left alive and in a horrible situation that requires the sliders make rescuing her their top priority, except the sliders can’t ever succeed.
It’s a problem with “Prophets and Loss” and “Common Ground” and it will be a problem in the two subsequent episodes that (poorly) deal with Wade. But the issue is downplayed and ignored so much that it doesn’t really affect the overall execution and plots of the mostly standalone episodes of this season.
I’m not keen on “Common Ground,” personally. As you say, the Kromaggs look ridiculous. They worked better when they were an aloof presence, seen at a distance, communicating with the sliders through stooges and henchmen, otherwise silent and implacable. The more we see them, the more they talk, the more obvious it is that they’re now just generic villains on a generic science fiction series. The way they come off in Seasons 4 – 5, the Kromaggs seem the product of writers who’ve fast-forwarded through an episode of STAR TREK and are trying to imitate what they think Klingons are like.
As for Jerry, I don’t think he was bored. I think he was tired from writing, producing and directing. I think he was hungover from the LA nightlife. And also, at the time, Jerry was an actor whose best performances had been within a strong ensemble that benefitted from direct and careful casting to produce strong chemistry between each actor. Quinn was just as reserved in Seasons 1 – 2, but the material gave him strong moments to show off his intellectual acumen and also contrasted him with the Professor’s bombastic scenery chewing and Rembrandt’s comedy. Quinn’s overall decline as a character isn’t just due to Jerry’s performances; the structural problems with the Season 4 cast and the increasingly careless scripting for Quinn contribute as well.
With three episodes, Season 4 established what it was going to be. There would be some interesting and even spectacular ideas for standalone episodes, but ongoing characterization would be ignored, raised awkwardly, then ignored again. Kari Wuhrer (and are you deliberately mis-spelling her name?) really shaped up with Season 4. Marc Scott Zicree did a lot to overhaul this character and turn her from a Baywatch babe into an enjoyable presence and Kari worked really hard to turn Maggie around. I find Kari’s performances this year to be extremely charming and likable and there are times when without her and Cleavant, there would nothing onscreen to hold my attention.
Your next three reviews will be for episodes I find very entertaining, followed by one I find mediocre, followed by three I really like, followed by an inconsistent run of episodes that will end in a whimpering disaster of a season finale. But while there are flashes of the core concept and values of the series as it began, I find myself enjoying the good episodes as installments of a generic sci-fi show, not as SLIDERS. I don’t recognize much of the show anymore; I don’t relate to the characters, I don’t enjoy the premise. I’m watching for the actors and for an occasionally well-executed sci-fi plot.
And I guess I think the opening three episodes of Season 4 are the place to raise these issues of how Season 4 relates to Seasons 1 – 3 before these matters cease to be relevant.
I don’t think it’s silly that Rembrandt wouldn’t be actively trying to find Wade in every world they land on. He’s clearly going through post traumatic stress, but he’s also hiding something. He’s actively trying to block out a lot. But when he’s faced with the Kromaggs (IE, a “kromagg episode”), he has no choice but to face all these demons. And since he still spends most of his time trying to be ‘good old Remmy,’ the vast difference in personality makes sense. It’s what people do when they have a job to do, when they have a life to live— they bottle it up, they box it in.
But everyone has a breaking point, and the ‘Maggs will always be Rembrandt’s. When you live a life on the fly, there’s no time to sit down and hash out your feelings— and that’s something that’s been discussed on the show before. Rembrandt freaking out is just like Wade freaking out in “Sole Survivors”— totally understandable.
I have to admit, when I first saw this episode I had what seems to be the typical reaction to the humanizing of the Kromaggs. I couldn’t get past it, thought they were just watering down a cool villain and wanted the ‘maggs from Invasion back.
After reading your review though, I might have to circle back and give this episode another viewing.
As for Rembrandt’s “awkward” display of rage and hostility, I actually found that part not only sensible, but logical. After all, he spent months in a Kromagg prison camp. It makes sense for him to become irrational and filled with hatred at every site or thought of them. He knows what they did to Wade, and who knows what mind games they played on him. The fact that it’s so at odds with his otherwise jovial demeanor makes it more plausible to me. Like the mere sight of a Kromagg flips his berserker switch.
For me, the awkwardness is more to do with the episodes *surrounding* this episode rather than this episode itself. Last week, Rembrandt wasn’t traumatized. This week, he is. Next week, he won’t be. That’s my problem: Rembrandt lost his world, his friends, his family and Wade. This should be central to this now *extremely* tragic character, the crux of his arc for the entire season. These issues should be present even when the Kromaggs are absent.
I agree “Common Ground” showcases Rembrandt’s tragedies well and that Cleavant’s performance is stunning. “Virtual Slide” and “World Killer” will also mention the Kromagg invasion. But the majority of the season treats these horrific experiences as footnotes. Most Season 4 episodes use standalone plots that don’t capitalize upon these issues for drama and conflict. There will be no arc to show Quinn and Rembrandt dealing with any of it; the issues will be de-emphasized and then ignored (unless you count the limp climax of “Requiem”). The focus will be on the standalone plots rather than (non-)continuing characterization.
Would it be depressing to put the Kromagg invasion and the emotional damage front and center? Well, as a viewer, I felt crushed and traumatized by losing Arturo, losing Wade and losing home. When watching every subsequent episode, these losses are first and foremost in my mind. The reactions the series provokes in me are so incongruous to what I’m mostly seeing onscreen that I have trouble relating to the characters.
Part of the reason why I’m especially down on Season 4 this month — I’ve been watching FRINGE, Season 5. FRINGE’s season premiere showed our world dominated by an invasion force with the main characters losing their homes, families and friends. This was not ignored next week; the characters continued to do their jobs but with a more desperate, haunted edge. With each episode *central* to the alien occupation. FRINGE also had a character who in many ways served Wade’s role being executed by the aliens. This was not forgotten by next week; the grief and vengeful rage this provoked are now the driving force of the season’s arc. It is central. It is essential. It is not something awkwardly shoved aside so that the season can do a Western without any messy emotional consequences.
We can all agree that FRINGE’s new season is a lot like Sliders S4 done right. But to compare the two is unfair— Television today is miles ahead of where it was in 1998. They’re both great shows, but they are both great shows of their time. I’m sure in 2036, there’ll be a really great genre show that’s a lot like Fringe is today, but even more unafraid to take leaps and bounds with serialized storytelling.
But semi-serialization is all over shows in the 90s, genre or otherwise. Take The X-Files, which is still probably Slider’s closest peer even in S4. Remember Scully’s abduction baby, Emily? Well if you were watching the show past Season 5, you probably wouldn’t remember that child. But having a child was something very dear to Scully, but she only deals with it for the episodes that Emily appears in. She’s never mentioned again.
That’s an extreme example, but even then, you’ve got the many times that the X-Files are ‘shut down.’ Does that effect the show in any meaningful way? No— they’re still investigating spooky cases, and they mention how boring working for the FBI is once or twice an episode. But it doesn’t really change the show. Most writers in the 90s weren’t going for extreme change yet. The X-Files couldn’t even commit to killing the Smoking Man. And likewise, Sliders isn’t ready to commit to such extreme change yet, either.
But, to be honest, just the fact that they did so much to change Quinn’s backstory, and have Earth Prime be overrun by Kromaggs, and to allow for these extremes in Rembrandt’s personality— these are actually pretty bold moves for Television in the 90s. The show is still ambivalent about it— hence an episode like “Prophets & Loss” being wedged between “Genesis” and “Common Ground.” And yes, it’s a drag that Wade’s off the show for such petty reasons, but we should probably be thankful that they even mention her at all after “This Slide of Paradise.”
The thing is, Season 4, for all the awful things that it does to the characters, is still harkening back to the old days: Sliding as a thing of wonder, of infinite possibilities. That’s why you get “Prophets & Loss.” That’s why you get “Way Out West.” The show still wants to have fun. But it also wants to be serious. It may not nail the balancing act every week, but it’s trying.
Sliders is a show that, whether they meant to or not, bridges the gap between TV of the 90s and TV of the 2010s. It’s not really fair to hold Sliders up to it’s children— we should more appreciate it for birthing the shows we love today.
I would rather they had just killed Wade in “Genesis.” It’d be better to have her die offscreen, let Rembrandt rage, let Quinn cry. Follow up on it with Rembrandt and Quinn cynical and heartbroken in “Prophets and Loss,” crushed again when they fail to save anyone from the incinerator — only to have their faith renewed when they save Samson along with themselves and Samson uses his return to create peace. Make Wade’s scarce mentions through Season 4 indicate how painful her absence is for Quinn, for Rembrandt, and for us. But even then — why do this in the first place? Why have home invaded?
All Season 4 had to do was keep Quinn sliding. I realize I’m taking light entertainment way too seriously, but at age-13, it was painful to rewatch a faded VHS recording of the Pilot and think Wing and Bennish and Jake are all dead. It was bad enough that we lost the Professor and Wade; did even reruns have to now be tainted with bitterness? Every time we watch “Obsession,” we should think Wade was better off staying with Derek rather than a gang rape victim and being turned into a jukebox? Every time we see Quinn promising Wade and Rembrandt we’ll get them home, we should cringe? If this was the show hearkening back to the old days, then the series had a terminal public relations problem. The show turned the past into a sick joke and turned the future into a nightmare — and then it had the sheer gall to act like it was no big deal. Thankful? I was disgusted.
If they weren’t going to give these massive changes the attention they required — why make them? Why not make ones they could actually address? If the show wasn’t equipped to follow through on the aftermath of having home invaded just to keep the show going, why not just have mechanical failure force Quinn to continue random sliding? And why not just leave Rembrandt and Wade safe at home, why drag the characters through even more horror and misery? The contracts were in flux after Season 3; they weren’t obligated to bring Sabrina or Kari or Cleavant back as regulars.
I hope you understand that I’m raging about this here because it would be rude to rage about it next week. These issues ultimately have little bearing on whether or not “Virtual Slide” and “World Killer” and “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” are any good or not. But that just leaves me wondering why they created these issues in the first place.
True, but it just depends on how you view, life events, since the Sliders never stay in one place long, nor are they surrounded by things or people that remind them of the past, grieving is not really a big process, you can tell that Rembrandt, the guy that always showed a yest for life is dealing with it the best he can, and unless he has it right up in front of him, he tries to go on like it never happened, when Kromaggs get involved he is the 1st to want to find a weapon or find Wade.
To an extent it make some sense Quinn has never been an emotional guy, he is a supper genuineness in his early 20’s, The Professor, yes he would show his emotions, so would The Crying Man, and Wade. Quinn has always been stone cold, now he would get excited early in the series and have fun, but shedding a tear, those are few and far between, and that has a lot to do with bottling it up inside, like it or not him and Rembrandt get along but their not best buds, a best bud is someone you can tell anything to, and that doesn’t come along often( the closest he had was Wade and that relationship was strained with the addition of Maggie). Rembrandt is more like that guy he is friends with because he is part of a group. We all have that friend, that when everyone is hanging out we have a good time, but one on one, don’t really have much in common we can talk but, their isn’t a emotional bond….Yeah, Quinn and Rembrandt have been through a lot and would both jump through hoops to save each others lives, but that doesn’t mean Quinn is just going to sit down and have a deep emotional conversation, You got to figure, Rembrandt doesn’t make it easy, from blaming him(rightly so)for being on this adventure, to punching his lights out, to showing him he’s a racist bastard, it’s going to be a strained relationship, also in chance Rembrandt gets to leave the group and chase tail he goes for it(again can’t blame him).
Maggie, she is so above Quinn in the non-attainable, plus yes now she is coming out of her emotional shell, but come on their is no way you would of shared with the Maggie from Season #3 the lady he has dealt with for almost a year, break down and show her your weakness and she will grad your heart and stomp on it.
Now, you got Quinn’s personality he is a bottler, he bottles up all that is bad, if he wasn’t sliding, he would be at home doing mad calculations, anything to keep his mind of the horrors he has caused and to keep the depression down, I would do the same, when you face death of someone as close to you as your father, sometimes you work so hard that you don’t want to stop, because if you stop then your brain starts to work on you and you will start to stare out into the world and see where you are at and why are you in this place and why does everyone else have what you don’t have…like it or not the lost of The Professor started him down this rode, being made a leader at a young age with no training, to 3 people that depend on you and 2 of witch with Military training and more years under their belt then you would make it hard, finding out your Sliding device, didn’t lead them home to a happy ending, the dying wish of your mentor, would cause you to crack more, Your best friend and the person that has always brought joy in your life(Wade) is gone to an unspeakable place, The world you knew will never be the same, would make you Crack even more, your Mom is not your Mom, their is hope that if you find your brother and continue sliding you can journey to this fantasy land, where their are no bad guys, your dad and mom are alive, and you have a brother… all the things Quinn said he wanted, plus as an added bonus you can take Maggie and get the wife and kids he wants….so any deviation in this new path to happiness, will not be accepted especially if it means getting captured and tortured again by the Kromaggs, he did that for a couple hours no way is the chosen one going through that again.
I know there are a lot of parallels to X-Files, but I also think about Buffy the Vampire Slayer a lot in these cases too.
That show become increasingly serialized over its run, and managed to keep story arcs in place wonderfully. I think that’s because Joss Whedon was largely in control.
There is no doubt in my mind that if Tracy Torme had been allowed to call the shots, we would be seeing a vastly improved series with actual continuity.
However, we have what we have so we must accept it and make the most of it.
I’m sorry. I can’t do that.
I was in a Best Buy today. I saw Seasons 3 and 4 on the racks. I took every copy of Season 3 and put them inside a microwave. I took every copy of Season 4 and put them behind the HIGHLANDER 2 DVDs.
No one will ever find them there. Public service. No need to thank me.
Question about the weird morphing noise when Kromaggs look human(the one that Rickman would make as well) is that a noise just for the viewing audience, or are the people on screen suppose to hear that, because it never seems to face the Sliders they never go odd noise or anything like that?
One final comment (before “Mother and Child,” anyway) — Ian asks: “If we actually spent a lot of time watching Quinn & Rembrandt weeping through the vortex, would that really serve the show?”
Well, FRINGE is in the same position Season 4 of SLIDERS is in. A beloved character was taken away far too soon. Sample dialogue from episode 5.5:
“You must face this pain together. The pain is her legacy to you both. It’s proof that she was here. And I have experience with this sort of pain and you can’t escape it by building walls around your heart or by breaking the universe or by vengeance.”
“You blame us for her death. But it is irrelevant. She was here. Now, she is simply not here.”
“Can you feel that? The pain of a piece of you being torn out?”
Many people loved Georgina Haig and Sabrina Lloyd. Nobody watching was happy to see them go. The pain and grief their absence create for the the viewer need to be reflected in the series and yes, it would enrich the show and serve it well. Most importantly, it would be cathartic for us, the audience, to see the characters in agony over losing someone, and to see how they deal with it in every single aspect of their lives.
Then how about Stargate: SGU, it has all of the elements that you say would make a great show, yet it didn’t work…I liked it, but most Stargate fans, didn’t like a show about a bunch of depressive people on a spaceship full of emotion and all the stories where continuous, it was well acted, and was filmed beautifully, even had a vortex, yet it did bad and helped to end the franchise
Never seen a single episode of STARGATE, couldn’t comment. I can only ask: did the show fail because it had all the elements I say would make a great show? Or did it fail because it was badly executed or poorly written or incapably scheduled or a spin-off of a franchise that had exhausted its audience and misjudged how many there were or what they wanted to see?
At this point, I don’t think we’re discussing financial success as much as we are creative success. FRINGE is more a failure than STARGATE could ever be; there will be no spinoffs, no DTV movies, no decade-spanning serieses (except for digital comics).
All I can really say is, by Season 4, SLIDERS was only still being made because there existed a small number of people who would watch it. Just like FRINGE. And if this small group had to watch a FRINGE without Etta or a SLIDERS without Wade, this small group also deserved to see their reactions as the audience mirrored onscreen by the characters. It would be proof that these characters mattered to both us, the fans, and the remaining characters left behind.
It is the great irony of SLIDERS that it only continued to be made for the people who obsessively loved it, but it also continued to be made by the people who determinedly hated it.
Stargate Universe had the potential. But it ruined key areas of the franchise. The first two shows and movies where all about friendship and comradely. You enjoyed the characters lives, and deaths. But SGU failed miserably in those areas. They went into unknown space. But had loads of Deux moments. Along with convenient endings. And the worst problem was the characters. By the time I watched half of season 1. I wanted nearly everyone killed off. You don’t know how much I hated Rush. I never hated anyone that much in a TV show before. To the point I refused to buy anything SGU related. It spawned a website called sgusucks.com. And everyone was happy the show kept getting worse ratings.
Almost no one was likable. People betrayed each other. Lied and let others die. In the most idiotic of ways, mind you. It had a huge cast. Most weren’t even used. And to top it off. They had these rocks that telepathically linked your body with another. And they had sex in other peoples bodies. Without consent. The show barely even used the stargates. It would be like removing the timer from sliders. And making the team total assholes to each other, every time. The show only had a handful of episodes that where good. Most of it was me rooting Rush and Young got killed off. The show ended on a unresolved cliffhanger. Just like Sliders. But in SGU’s case. No one cared if they lived or not.