Season 1 Episode 5

The Prince Of Wails

Aired Unknown Apr 12, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
91 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The sliders arrive on a world where the British have taken over America. Arturo's counterpart is a powerful figurehead in this government, but the sliders quickly discover that he is also behind a plan to take the BSA's throne.

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  • The British States of America

    The British won the American revolutionary war. America is now ruled by a prince, who has been letting a tyrannical Sheriff (Professor's double) rule with an iron fist. Who will stand up for true, justice and the American way?

    "The Prince of Wails" is a good, season one Sliders episode. It is certainly possible that the British could have won the revolutionary war, but this would probably mean that modern America would be ruled by a parliamentary democracy. Despite the bad understanding of British political history, this is a fun episode to watch, especially as the Prince (with the help of Wade) begins to realize that he needs to play an active role in establishing representative government, the rule of law and justice.

  • Another downer of an episode that was clearly aired out of order. Especially since it begins with a scene that clearly dovetails with the end of the episode Fox chose to air after this one.moreless


    Jonathon Rhys-Davies chews up the scenery here in a dual role playing this sliding self and the Sheriff of San Francisco in the British States of America world. The episode begins humorously enough (after the flooded San Francisco teaser) with the overtly stereotyped brits deferring all common sense to the man they believe is the Emperor equivalent of their city. (Just why Rhys-Davies makes me think of an emperor... well maybe it's his bulk.)

    Anyhow, a fairly standard episode that seems to be lacking in originality. After all, only recently we slid to Soviet San Fran, and now we get British San Fran. Surely German San Fran can't be far behind.

    On the upside, the cast has gelled nicely by this point. It's a shame the ratings weren't doing the same. I can't remember what the competition on the big three was on Wednesday nights - but I strongly recall I preferred this show - and I was barely in Fox's desired demographic.moreless
  • The sliders arrive on a world where America is under British rule.

    The slider arrive in the British States of America where Arturo's double is the Sheriff of San Francisco and heavily involved in a plot to kill Prince Harold, heir to the British throne.

    Mistaken for his double Arturo at first takes advantage of the wealth of the role but soon realises that as a man of power they must try to keep a low profile.

    But things are not as easy as that and they find themselves caught up in the plot against Prince Harold who Quinn rescues from assassination only to find themselves face to face with the Oakland Raiders, a group of rebels who want to change the way the country is being run.

    Quinn convinces them that they are bringing Arturo and Harold as prisoners and that he, Wade and Rembrant would like to join their cause.

    When the real Arturo makes a live appearance they are convinced of the truth about their prisoner being a double. However they still have Harold and wish to hold him for ransom, even though the sliders have told them that by handing him over they will be signing his death warrant.

    Taking an active part in the revolution the sliders set about saving the Prince and bringing democracy to the world before they move on.

    This episode is one with another good idea for what could have happened if the British had won the Revolution and America had never gained its independence. However as a Brit I found this episode to be extremely insulting as the typical British stereotype was alive and kicking. Just once I would like to see a British slant on a US show that is at least vaguely realistic. For the benefit of the US, we do have a government here, we are allowed to vote, and contrary to popular belief the Royal Family does not control the country and have not had the type of power attributed to it in shows such as this since over a hundred years before the American Revolution.

    This is a particular pet peeve of mine and ruined much of this episode for me.

    The other reason I am marking this so low is due to the startling similarity between this episode and the second half of the pilot.

    - A world with the US under the rule of another country.

    - The US wanting to break free of that rule.

    - Arturo a leader on the opposite side of the revolution.

    - The sliders using Arturo and his double to their advantage.

    To have such similar storylines in episodes so close together in the series was very disappointing. The fact that they were shown out of order and it should have been even earlier quite frankly makes it even worse.

    A disappointing episode so soon in the series.moreless
Cleavant Derricks

Cleavant Derricks

Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown

Jerry O'Connell

Jerry O'Connell

Quinn Mallory

Sabrina Lloyd

Sabrina Lloyd

Wade Wells

John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies

Professor Maximillian P. Arturo

Ben Bode

Ben Bode

Prince Harold III

Guest Star

Sherman Howard

Sherman Howard


Guest Star

Liz Sheridan

Liz Sheridan

Ms. Miller

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The BSA Today newspaper is dated early February. However, the Casual Talk: The Recorder of the Nation paper has the date of 24 March.

    • When Quinn and Wade slide through the vortex, an Eaton's sign can be seen in the background. Eaton's is a popular department store in Canada, and the first two seasons were filmed in BC, Canada.

    • A boom mike can be seen in the shot near the top of the screen as the sliders are entering their new hotel room.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Arturo: And remember, the reason the sun never sets on the British Empire, is because God doesn't trust the British in the dark.

    • Prince Harold: And I am not Prince Harold, and this is not my game reserve.
      Arturo: (to himself) And you are not long for this earth.

    • Soldier: This is a restricted area. Stay exactly where you are!
      Rembrandt: Now this is like downtown Oakland.

    • Quinn: You mean the French Revolution never happened? The Russian Revolution? The Chinese Revolution?
      Wade: What about the Sexual Revolution? (Quinn stares) It's always been my favorite.

    • Quinn: How many times can I say I'm sorry?
      Rembrandt: Just keep saying it, and I'll tell you when to stop!

    • Rembrandt: Why couldn't you have pointed that thing up? It could have taken your mama with you instead of me, an innocent celebrity.

    • Arturo: What's the Sixth?
      Rembrandt: "Equal rights for all, regardless of race, religion, or musical preference."
      Arturo: It is not!

    • Rebecca: What does it say?
      Prince Harold: (opens paper that Rembrandt gave him) We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and James Brown is acknowledged as "The Godfather of Soul".
      Both: Who's James Brown?

    • Wade: I can't believe this Prince Harold guy. What an idiot! He only likes women "under 20 or over 60." And look at this. He's quoted as saying that poor people have "chosen to be poor, because otherwise, they'd be rich."

    • Arturo's Double: As part of my contract with America, I have enacted a middle-class tax cut. Starting today, you middle-income commoners will only have to pay 74% of your gross earning to my government, a generous 2% decrease.

    • Wade: Yeah, well forget about the war in France. This is the good stuff. (reads from newspaper) "The Playboy Prince Caught in a Love Nest with Teenage Vixen and Her 80-Year-Old Grandmother".

    • Driver: Perhaps you'd allow me the honor of making it up to you. Our entire hotel is at your disposal. Why don't I take you to the royal suite?
      Arturo: Well, the royal suite is probably a little more than we can afford.
      Driver: (laughs) A "little more" than you can afford? Oh, you kill me, sir. You kill me. I meant that as a pun, of course.

    • Rembrandt: (After seeing Arturo's double on television) What's gonna happen when they find out, that he ain't him?
      Arturo: I don't know. But I, for one, am certainly not sticking around to find out.
      Wade: Yes, but, for the moment you are still the sheriff. There's no sense in leaving empty handed.
      Arturo: ...Sometimes Miss Wells... you frighten me. (Picks up telephone) Yes my good man. I want a car sent around immediately. I want the trunk filled with the finest cheeses and fresh fruit that you have. I want every single contemporary periodical and newspaper... and I want all the cash from your register.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Rebecca: Look who's wandered into Raider territory.
      Rembrandt: Raiders? You're not the Oakland Raiders?
      The Oakland Raiders are a professional American Football team based in Oakland, California. They were founded in 1960.

    • The episode itself is a reference to Robin Hood.
      Robin Hood--being Quinn and his band of "merry men"--the Oakland Raiders
      The misrule of Richard's brother John--Prince Harold while Richard was away at the Third Crusade--King Thomas missing in French War
      The Sheriff of Nottingham is widely considered to be the principal villain of the Robin Hood stories--Arturo's double

    • Quinn: Rob from the rich and give to the poor!

      A reference to Robin Hood, who is known in popular culture for robbing from the rich to provide for the poor.

    • Rembrandt: And all because the junior Nutty Professor ...

      The Nutty Professor (1962) stars Jerry Lewis as a socially inept college faculty member who invents a serum that turns him into the extremely smooth, girl-chasing hipster Buddy Love. A remake of the film was made in 1996, starring Eddie Murphy.