The King is Back

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 8, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Tracy Tormé
  • directed by Vern Gillum
  • music by Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Production # 70408
Story: The Sliders escape to a world where Rembrandt's double became the undisputed king of rock & roll, before becoming lost at sea in a boating accident. When Rembrandt accepts manager Captain Jack Brim's offer to star in a comeback concert, ex-Spinning Topp co-singer Maurice Fish threatens the return of the king, and it isn't long before everyone is seeing double....

DVD Extras (included with season 2):

  • "The Making of Sliders" featurette (14 minutes) with Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt) and writer/creator Tracy Tormé.

In-Depth Analysis Review

by Martin Izsak

WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for those who have already seen the program. To avoid the spoilers, read the Buyers' Guide version instead.

"Sliders" turns out another of its first season winners, making good on an idea so right for this show that it just had to be done.

The opening teaser is actually a bit lame though. Nearing the end of his time on yet another throw-away world, Quinn is shackled up playing the accused prisoner. While this works as a teaser, it is a tired theme on this show, reminding one of the final moments of many previous episodes that should have come up with much better concluding dynamics, and reminding one that Quinn has yet to prove himself as a hero during the concluding action of an adventure.

The main premise of the series is then spectacularly demonstrated as the sliders cross from one world to another. Nice one. Season One has been consistently generous with providing the necessary effects for this process.

The episode takes some time to slowly reveal the premise of the adventure at hand, mostly because there is just so much fun to be had with it. Our four series regulars sink their teeth into it, and deliver their usual charm and chemistry. This time they are aided by recurring minor character Gomez Calhoun who once more is there to greet them at this world's most convenient hotel. William Sasso makes his second appearance as Gomez here, gelling well enough with the rest of the cast to create a bit of a break-out performance and become more memorable to the show's audience. Thus his future longevity was well deserved.

Some of the other supporting characters in the story seem a bit more like caricatures than real people, but perhaps that's not too uncommon for the show-biz background that most of them spring from. One trusts that Tracy Tormé's connections to that world via his father Mel Tormé give him enough insight into the reality of such a world. Captain Jack Brim seems to have a personality so loud it was designed to sell itself in 30 seconds on cue like clockwork, yet Jack has a scene of being concerned for Rembrandt and taking shrewd action to that effect that goes a long way to balancing his character. Nice.

Maurice Fish, one of Rembrandt's former "Spinning Topps" background singers, is also back to give the plot a bit of jeopardy. This he does, while he and Rembrandt pile as much laughter as possible into their scenes, dark humour though it may be. Resolving this strand is a group effort, with Quinn surprisingly taking a bit of a lead in the last-minute heroics department. Not bad. Ultimately though, this is only the penultimate bit of drama for the adventure.

The real drama sustaining interest in this episode is between Rembrandt and his double, and kudos must go to the creative use of both Cleavant Derricks and his twin brother Clinton Derricks-Carroll, as the production team proceeds to create and shoot scenes that would have been a prohibitive logistical nightmare had one actor been required to play both roles. It's also such a wonderfully lovely touch to have that slightly recognizable bit of difference between our Rembrandt and his rockstar double. The audience can feel it's the same character yet not the same character in ways you also can never quite accomplish had the same actor played both roles. And the audience probably won't quite figure out why unless they closely examine the credits or get to see some DVD extras, or read reviews by knowledgeable fans like this one. Nice.

The concert itself is a good length on the screen, with excellent supporting cutaways to the three other Sliders on the sidelines highlighting and deepening the drama for the audience. Rembrandt's music is enjoyable, without being overbearing as his solo was at the end of the pilot story. This story has a very satisfying and moving finish, and feels like one of the better accomplishments of their first season adventures. Very nice for a late-season story leading into the finale.....

This story has become available on DVD. Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the U.K.

Season One Box Set for North America - New for 2012:


DVD Canada 1

DVD Canada 2

For extras, this set only includes the commentary for the pilot episode. The featurette and photo gallery montage can be found on the new Season Two set.

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Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "Luck of the Draw"

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