[ EARTH 69 ]

Episode 2.7 | Murder Is Bad

    This episode was intended as an homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series. Of course, Peck's idea of an homage is to rip off the plot and setting wholesale, then add insult to injury by naming every single character after someone from the original work.

    We begin with a rough landing into a pile of garbage, where Maggie takes the opportunity to mime a lewd act with a banana peel. The trio then immediately heads to a seedy bar, where Elston Diggs explains this world's restrictive dress code.

    Diggs was described by Tracy Torm as a "chameleon" whose personality is different on each Earth. Peckinpah dropped the "personality" part but liked the "chameleon" idea, and gave the character shifty, reptilian eyes and the ability to morph into objects around him.

    Upon heading out Maggie is arrested for being far, far too sexy to be seen in public (keep in mind Peck is writing this) and sentenced to work in the 1890s London-themed Chandler Hotel & Fantasy Camp, playing the part of a prostitute. As could be imagined, but should not be if you've eaten in the last half hour, it doesn't take her long to warm up to the job.

    Trying to rescue her (for reasons unknown), Quinn and Rembrandt discover there is a madman loose in the park: Rickman, who somehow faked his death falling over the cliff last season. The fact that this mirrors Sherlock Holmes' adventure in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" is only mentioned about 7,394 times.

    Upon reuniting, the trio understandably tries to escape. However, the Chandler's insane manager, Mr. Dominion, is fanatical about keeping visitors from leaving and sends the fearsome Sir Arthur Conan the Barbarian to stop them. With the help of a lovable computer-hacking leprechaun (and a blatant product placement), the Sliders call on "Lucky Charms" cereal to send him back where he belongs.

    Rickman is apprehended and sent to another fantasy camp, this one for people with such overdeveloped irony glands that they commit crimes in Sherlock Holmes theme parks. Every day at Irony Camp, prisoners must sit through six screenings of "The Worst of Seinfeld" and fall asleep to Alanis Morissette's seagull impressions disguised as music. Now isn't that ironic?

    A subplot about a cute kid vacationing in the park who steals the timer and later has to win his freedom in a pod race was trimmed, because Peck couldn't think of any movie it paid homage to. Years later, when Star Wars Episode I was released, he would be kicking himself.

    Most Peckesque exchange of dialogue:
    MAGGIE: I won't miss at this range!
    QUINN: Neither will I!
    RICKMAN: Well that makes two of us!

    No-one is actually murdered in this episode, but as Peck sagely noted, "Murder being bad is an important message, and it's one I'm glad we seized the opportunity to get across."

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