Season 1 Episode 5

The Prince Of Wails

Aired Unknown Apr 12, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
91 votes
  • 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.


    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.
  • 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.
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