“The Exodus” Excised

“The Exodus” was the seminal two part episode that killed Professor Arturo while simultaneously shredding the likeability of the other Sliders. Members of the defunct Earth Prime forum discussed the possibility of trimming both parts into one regular-length episode: could doing so salvage the episode from its own rotten legacy? Several efforts were produced, with this┬áthe one developed by Earth Prime.

The combined episode sheds a lot of the friction and nonsense while preserving some sense of dignity for Arturo’s demise. The remaining Sliders are no longer at each other’s throats, and much of the offending science that permeates the original has been removed. For a more complete list of the changes, see below.

List of Changes

Caution: Don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled by new version. Major changes are in bold.

  • The assaults are gone. All of Rickman’s attacks and his Gulf War infection have been removed.
  • The Professor now says “Incoming!” after exiting the vortex.
  • The bum and his crazy rant have been eliminated.
  • The teaser now ends on Jariabek’s death.
  • The Sliders’ first encounter with Maggie has been removed. No need for silly theatrics, greatly reduces the adversarial relationships that exist in the two-parter. Dialogue from this scene has been moved to the beginning of the first act.
  • The initial Rickman/Maggie scene has been trimmed: the explanation of Maggie’s shift from fighter pilot to intelligence officer is unnecessary exposition.
  • Wade’s stupid “like a neutron bomb” comment has been removed from the Cal Tech scene. Of course it’s like a neutron bomb; Arturo said that just moments before.
  • Interrogation scene is halved. All of Maggie’s ridiculous posturing has been removed, greatly tightening the scene.
  • Some of Rembrandt’s wanderings have been trimmed.
  • Maggie’s mispronunciation of Jariabek has been removed.
  • Malcolm’s reveal that his stepmother is in a coma has been removed for reasons seen above.
  • Maggie no longer has a relationship to Jensen. Any scenes detailing their marriage or courtship are gone. Aside from one shot showing the two of them looking at each other (which was a continuity error in the broadcast version), they simply work together.
  • The “globular cluster” line has been removed. Now the pulsar is just the lead piece of a collapsing galaxy. Still wrong, but not as wrong.
  • Wade’s talk with Rickman has been shortened.
  • Giant World is truncated. It was originally removed in its entirety but the golf shot was restored so that the re-cut would be 44 minutes in length.
  • The assault on the gate has been moved up; the shot of Rickman loading vials into a briefcase has been removed. He appears consistently sympathetic now until the weight of the slide hits him in the third act. (“Fuck you!” can still be heard as the crowd advances on the gate, of course.)
  • Rembrandt’s chat with Malcolm in part II moves up in sequence to replace the fight they have over the picture he drew. Rembrandt looking at the children is gone.
  • The assault on Malcolm’s father and its investigation (complete with “Military Security” manila folder) are removed for reasons seen above.
  • The visit to Pulsar Double Prime is greatly reduced in length. Dialogue has been restructured to keep some of Quinn’s fun dialogue intact. The ridiculous psychoanalyis of Maggie as ultra-myopic has been discarded.
  • The reveal that Rickman is behind the assaults is gone for reasons seen above.
  • Maggie and Quinn never visit Earth Prime. Perhaps the biggest cut, but the most logical. Removing this removes a host of associated plot problems, like the horrible scene where everyone is snapping at one another, to say nothing of Jensen’s sudden hatred and Maggie’s breathing problems. Oh, and this mean Quinn never punches a doctor and says “It’s called sliding.”
  • Arturo’s pulsar updates are gone. The pulsars don’t hit until the very end, so the constant references to who is dying and when are removed.
  • Scenes of the dead extras during Rickman’s speech are removed. Two separate scenes bridging Quinn and Maggie’s return to the base and Arturo’s disbelief at the sliding power of the new wormhole become one scene.
  • Some of the sensual discussion of the natives is gone. The sensual looks remain, though, but it isn’t distracting because Maggie is not married in this version.
  • Jensen is no longer a pathetic sad sack. He takes charge and fixes the power station. He is never seen again. We are left to assume he made the slide.
  • Rickman’s assault on the Professor is limited to the dumb comments Arturo makes before the slide. Hospital scenes detailing the puncture wound reveal are gone; for all we know, the details of the assault are not clear.
  • Malcolm no longer runs off to find Rickman, because Maggie no longer requests to find Jensen.
  • The reveal of Rickman’s disease is gone.
  • Arturo’s marblemouthed assurance that Quinn and Rembrandt be friends is gone.
  • Jensen is not murdered, and Malcolm’s exclamation of the murder is removed.
  • Arturo’s death is not drawn out and melodramatic. Slowed-down footage has been restored to its original speed, and the ridiculous tracking shots of the bullet are gone. The Professor shoves Quinn out of the way and is immediately shot. Tragic, unnecessary, and unexplained.
  • All mentions of following after Rickman for his Earth Prime coordinates are removed.
  • The daytime scene of Rickman setting up slave labor is gone – how does 24 hours pass on Lost World while only minutes pass on Pulsar Prime, any way?
  • Pulsar Prime does not blow up.
  • Quinn’s confrontation of Maggie does not include Jensen’s murder. Confused by the Professor’s murder, she allies with Quinn for more honorable methods.
  • During the hunt for Rickman, the briefcase of vials is not discovered.
  • Rickman’s villain speech while holding a gun to Maggie’s head is gone – Quinn attacks him almost immediately.
  • When Quinn discusses the timer’s new tracking ability, he doesn’t thank Maggie’s husband. Those lines are cut for reasons seen above.
  • Wade’s line about not saying goodbye during Arturo’s funeral scene is gone.
  • Last, but not least, Maggie does not join the Sliders. The episode ends with Arturo’s funeral. The reason is simple: I wasn’t looking to make a continuation past this episode, I was looking to make a good episode of Sliders. This may have done the job.

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