Saturday 4 April 2015

Pseudo-nostalgiafest: Sliders

Last year I fancied a bit of pseudo-nostalgia, and started buying up DVDs of Sliders. If you never saw that show, the premise is that a brainy chap (with remarkably large biceps for someone whose main activity is supposed to be lifting a calculator) invents a device which allows him to travel between worlds. He accidentally gets sucked into a parallel world along with his professor, his co-worker, who has a crush on him, and a down-on-his-luck singer. They keep trying to get home, and fail because that way the show keeps going. Each world they get to is different in some (usually really implausible) way. It's a scream.

The backstory to this particular episode is that the team slid onto a world about to be wiped out - by wandering quasars transiting the solar system, if memory serves - and while there the Professor was murdered by a baddie, Colonel Roger Daltrey from The Who, or perhaps the Professor had some fatal illness and was doomed to die anyway.Anyway, said miscreant fled, having sucked out bits of many other people's brains to sustain himself - yes! - and the team recruited local military officer Kari Wuhrer to help them track him down and stop him. He keeps one step ahead of them, and they get caught up in other adventures. Watching these episodes together produces a lot of comedy, as the writing teams on different episodes either didn't communicate or nobody cared. That was one of the last episodes I watched when I was younger, presumably because I went off to uni shortly afterward, and had no TV. Today's students are doubtless aghast or amused at such a notion.

In the previous episode the evil colonel had persuaded some locals to protect him, and they had captured Kari Wuhrer. First the poor dear was tied up in her underwear, and then she was clothed in some sort of One Million Years BC bikini. My brother and I, in between laughing and feeling sorry for the actress (we are complicated people, clearly), theorised that this might have been an attempt to revive flagging ratings. In this episode she ambled about in denim shorts and an abbreviated t-shirt which exposed her midriff. On the other hand, she did get to beat up the stereotypical foul-mouthed chap who gave her lip.

In the previous episode Quinn Mallory, the aforementioned inventor of the technology, had emphasised the importance of the team sticking together unless it was absolutely necessary that they split up, as they need the magic (ahem, scientific) world-hopping device he carries to move between worlds. In this episode the team have split up so that he and the singer can have a holiday in this world's super-Mexico. Essential stuff, you'll surely agree.

Their plane having been overbooked, they are now unable to get back to the girls in time, and are attempting to persuade a lady with a private flight to let them aboard when suddenly the local police arrive, guns blazing. They get onto the plane, and it turns out that the pretty lady is a scientist, bringing back rare snakes for scientific research to prevent Alzheimer's or something. Snakes On A Plane! Unluckily, a stray police bullet blew off the lock of one of the boxes, and the snake escapes, slaying the pilot, causing the light aircraft to crash-land. They all survive unharmed, although the male snake is now loose somewhere. Quinn and Rembrandt/Remi (the singer) agree to carry the box containing the other snake for the scientist. Small pretty women can't carry large boxes. To be honest, that's a big snake, so the two men should be a bit whiny, but if that were my first complaint, it would be a bit late.

The girls rent an aeroplane, knee its misogynistic mechanic-cum-owner in the lower half of his body when he suggests they "pay" him for fuel, and fly south toward our pair of men. They land at a tiny airfield, locate a handsome fellow called Carlos, who later turns out to be a psychotic criminal waiting for the lady scientist (who is no scientist!) to land. He sends them ahead to the truck, kills and partially dismembers her would-be accomplice, and then leaps into the truck to lead them on.

The two men and the not-scientist accidentally wander onto a criminal druglord's territory. In this world tobacco is illegal, and TEA agents (if you don't laugh at this, you are not British. Frankly, how Americans could keep a straight face is beyond me) were killed storming such a compound just the other week. The male snake handily slays their pursuers, and Remi begins to divine its implausible status. This is a psychic snake, and subsequently we learn it can command or control other snakes. The trio hole up in a snake-infested mansion, where they keep being surprised by snakes. It's a bit like going to pet your dog, and then screaming that a canine is running toward you.

The psychotic Carlos has by now been so odd that the ladies have knocked him out, not left him with vengeful townsfolk, not tied him up, taken him with them, and left him unguarded in the back of the truck. Whichever world Kari Wuhrer is from, their officer training system needs improving. He breaks loose and pulls a gun on them. The villainess lays the blame on the team in a sensible and craven attempt to save her life from the nutter. Fortunately, at this point the psychic male snake causes the other snakes to knock down a door. The snakes just lie there, demonstrating their utter failure to commit to the Craft. The villain is squashed by the male snake, the villainess flees, but the snakes crash her truck, and the team leap to the next world. It's initially clear that Quinn is helping the lady For Science! but then Remi complains, and apparently we're supposed to understand Quinn wants to have sex with the villainess. Conversely, Officer Incompetent wants Carlos for sex, but then realises he's a bad egg, and hits him on the back of the noggin. Disjointed is probably the best summary of this bizarrely bad (and therefore amusingly good!) episode.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...