Total Recall: Sliders “Desert Storm”

Sorry for missing a week last week but everyone at Everything Action has been pretty busy with school, work or a combination of the two but Sliders is back this week with an episode that became infamous because guest star Ken Steadman was killed in a dune buggy accident while filming.

The Sliders find themselves in the middle of  a barren desert on a seemingly waterless, abandoned Earth.  They find some evidence that people are on this Earth but it’s a foreboding, burned out truck wreck.   Arturo is not doing well do to both the heat and his medical condition but the gang eventually stumbles onto a town.  The gang tries to get some water at the local cantina but they learn that the monetary system on this Earth is barter based and the gang doesn’t really have anything to barter with.  Bartender Diggs jokes that they could set off to find the mystical, water filled society of Eden.  At a table nearby, the Sliders notice a girl bound and gagged and seemingly in need of help.  That notion is confirmed when Wade gets a telepathic message from the girl begging for help.  Wade convinces the guys to help the girl out and they manage to knock out and tie up the guy holding the girl hostage.  The girl introduces herself as Devon and she joins the gang to get back to her friends, a group of desert marauders led by a man named Cutter.  The gang is able to trade Devon’s crystal necklace for a fully equipped monster truck and the group sets out into the desert.

A few hours later the gang is attacked by a group of crossbow wielding motorcyclists.  While the gang tries to fight them off, Devon tries to tell them that these are her friends.  She is finally able to get Quinn to start and she’s reunited with Cutter and his crew.  Cutter agrees to let the Sliders camp with them for the night and Devon reveals that she has the power to find water with her mind.  Later that night, Jeremy, the man who kidnapped Devon, sneaks into the camp and takes who he thinks is Devon but is actually Wade.  The next morning, Wade tries to escape but Jeremy stops her.  He’s disappointed to find it’s Wade instead of Devon and explains to Wade that he and Devon are both members of a tribe called the Water People and that Cutter kidnapped Devon when she was young.  The Water People’s home is the mystical land of Eden.  Jeremy and Wade start to drive back to Cutter’s camp but run out of gas and have to hoof it.  Luckily the gang, minus Devon, stumbles across them.  After recapping what Jeremy said, the gang decides to help him get Devon back.

The gang sets up an ambush on a ridge and Wade communicates with Devon telepathically to tell her where they are.  When Cutter goes to investigate, the gang overpowers him and grabs Devon.  Cutter, in a rage, heads back into town to gather his gang to go after her.  He finds Diggs and takes back Devon’s crystal necklace, which he realizes is some sort of homing beacon that emits a noise that gets louder the closer you get to Eden.  Jeremy is simultaneously explaining the same thing to the Sliders gang.

A short time later, the gang arrives at a nondescript pile of rocks that Jeremy reveals as the entrance to Eden.  Being back home, Devon has a flashback about the day she was taken and remembers everything, including the fact that Cutter killed her father.  The gang heads underground to Eden and finds that it’s a lush jungle, full of waterfalls of delicious water, friendly people and a Master Healer.  Quinn convinces Arturo to see the Master Healer for his condition but Arturo is highly skeptical.  The Master Healer works his magic and tells Arturo that if he believes he can be healed, he will.  Arturo humors him but still sticks to his logical guns.

With a few minutes left before the slide, the gang says goodbye to the Water People and heads back out to the desert.  While the gang is waiting for the countdown, Cutter and his group suddenly attack.  Wade communicates with Devon to let them back in and the gang barely makes it back inside ahead of Cutter.  Unfortunately, Cutter uses Devon’s crystal to reopen the door and the whole gang storms inside.  The Water People have one of the tunnels rigged to collapse and they do just that, killing the entire gang except Cutter, who manages to grab Rembrandt and use him a hostage.  Cutter storms into Eden and demands that Devon come with him.  She agrees to go with him but then uses one of her newly rediscovered abilities to knock him out by holding onto his face.

With a couple seconds left, the gang has to slide in Eden and they head out.  Sometime later in town, Cutter is at Digg’s cantina with barely any memory of where he was or what he was doing.

Overall, not a bad episode of Sliders.  The main complaint would be that because of Ken Steadman’s death, the ending feels extremely rushed as his obvious replacement is the one who has to do the final confrontation and they seemingly wanted to get through it as quickly as possible so people wouldn’t notice the switch as much.  The episode is a fine take on the Mad Max/post apocalyptic genre.  Next week the gang goes medieval as they take on dragons and sorcerers on a Fantasy based Earth.

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