Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Unknown Mar 29, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • The Plague

    The Sliders land on an earth ravaged by a plague, and the only cure involves something this earth has not discovered; antibiotics

    I suspect that an early draft of this episode's script was about the real life hate and hysteria that surrounded people living with HIV/AIDS.

    The actual episode has the Sliders helping Quinn's double trying to find a cure for the plague, in a inhumane, segregated facility for the sick.

    Fear of getting sick, has allowed the government to erode the people's civil rights.

    Greed and corruption has stalled the corporate-medical industry from finding a cure and, thankfully, the Sliders slide into this earth.

    This is a good, early Sliders episode that is trying to interject some serious social commentary into a scifi adventure.
  • Imagine a world where antibiotics are nonexistent and the healthcare system is worse than on our world.

    After leaving a world where people in California gets rich from lots of oil, the Sliders land in a world where Quinn's double is Patient Zero for a terrible disease called the "Q." The healthcare things they show in this episode, the germ scanner in the restaurant, the thing for sale on TV, make this world a little appealing for people with OCD, which there are probably a lot of on this world. Quinn is mistaken for his double and taken by the California Health Commission. The doctors are surprised when he is not infected. After Wade gets sick and runs out of the hotel into an alley, her, Rembrandt and Arturo find double Quinn's hideaway and explain their situation to him. He explains how he was infected with the Q and released with assurance he was okay. The rich people in this world get good health treatment and the sick die. With the help of one of the doctors, Quinn escapes and goes to his double's hideout. Arturo works hard to create penicillin to cure the disease. Double Quinn explains that they never thought of looking for cures in molds because they are dirty. This is a great episode for people interested in medicine. Quinn tells Wade afterwards that sliding made a difference.
  • Manages to show three worlds of sliding - contains many elements that could be compared to the AIDS epidemic. While a downer of an episode - it becomes a standout of the show as it finds its rhythm.

    Fox's interference with the flow of this series began right out of the gate. This episode, which using's counting method (Pilot is two episodes), would have been the fifth, instead aired third - right after the pilot. To their credit, however, it was a stronger episode than the first one filmed after the series was picked up, "Summer of Love."

    This episode contains a technique used occasionally in the first season, beginning with a slide and ending with a slide that are not explored, but only used as a teaser, and to allude to the number of times the characters are sliding in their attempt to get home. The graphics in the opening scene of the oil wells are poorly done, which is a bit unusual, as the series tended to have fairly decent special effects. The teaser slide at the end, in an earth inhabited by cannibals, adds a humorous touch to an otherwise serious episode.

    The main storyline contains elements that the show didn't use enough - parodying items from current pop culture. The standout is a segment of "Amazing Bargains" which used the actor (complete with loud sweater), set (right down to the orange, blue and glass design) and bad audience reactions of the already by then used-to-death infomercial "Amazing Discoveries." (Kudos to Mike Levey for being willing to parody himself for a fledging show.) Another quick one is the "Motel 12" - is that twice as good as "Motel 6"?

    The story itself contains elements of the AIDS scare. The health organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) becomes the Orwellian California Health Commission (CHC), Q-infected Quinn (does that Q stand for Quinn?) is Patient Zero - a term that came into common use in modern times in relation to the possibility that a single person might have been the initial vector of the AIDS epidemic. (Which was well documented in Randy Shilt's book "And The Band Played On.." as well in a off-broadway drama about the disease.) The allusions continue later in the episode when it is suggested the government may have planted the disease - a common conspiracy theory in the early days of AIDS. But this is not AIDS - this is far worse, as it can be communicated by even casual contact - and Wade becomes infected at the beginning of the episode. O'Connell gets the showcase role in this episode playing both the slider being held by the government and serious, bespecaled Quinn (complete with bad hair extensions) who, though infected, really wants to help the infected die with dignity rather than cold sterile version offered by the government. Rembrandt is left with little to do, although he does have a fun scene late in the episode that reintroduces the cab driver from the pilot - which might have been better, had this episode not aired right after that one. Arturo gets to use his science knowledge in a way completely unrelated to sliding - creating penicillin from some mold he finds in the garbage. The ending has a few flaws, such as Arturo being cured with one dose of his penicillin and the lead CHC doctor removing his mask in a warehouse full of Q-infected patients - but overall, a great, if more serious than most, first season episode of the series - and one that kept this viewer waiting for next Wednesday.
  • The sliders arrive on a world where penicillin was never invented and Quinn is patient zero for a plague.

    After leaving a world where oil is making millionaires of many of the people, including Quinn, the sliders arrive on a world ravaged by a plague.

    Saved by a stranger when she steps in front of a car Wade kisses him in thanks and is shocked by his reaction to her affection. Asking her how she could do that when he was only trying to help, he runs off before she can ask what the problem is.

    All too soon she knows that the problem is that the man was suffering from The Q, a disease with no cure and one which she is now suffering from, and one which they later discover is terminal.

    Quinn and Arturo go to a pharmacy to get her some medicine but find that not only does penicillin not exist but that Quinn has been recognised as patient zero and someone has called the authorities. Unable to stop them Quinn is taken prisoner, leaving the Professor, who is also starting to feel the effects of The Q to return to the others.

    Wade quickly goes into a downward spiral as the fever rises and she begins to hallucinate. Fleeing the hotel the others give chase until they are taken in by other suffers of the disease who live in hiding with that world's Quinn who is searching for a cure.

    They discover from this Quinn that he is not a failing medical student who maliciously infected the population, but rather a victim himself.

    Working with him Arturo sets about showing him how to make penicillin in the hope that it will be a cure for the disease.

    The doctors who have taken Quinn prisoner however are puzzled to find that he has no trace of the disease in his body. With the help of Doctor Stanley he escapes from the lab just in time for Rembrant to come to his rescue and return to the others.

    This is an excellent episode in some ways and I loved the way the sliders handled the decision about whether to risk taking the plague to a new world if they could not find a cure. The idea of a world without the modern medical cures was handled very well.

    But I just can't understand the motivation for someone to deliberately set loose a plague on the world as happened in this case. A world without modern medicine would be problematic enough and unique enough for a storyline, but the lack of motivation/explanation really puzzled me.

    I also felt that this episode dragged a little at first and took a while to pick up the pace.

    However the ending was particularly good when Quinn talked about how their sliding has made a difference to the world they had been to.