[ EARTH 69 ]

Episode 2.9 | Revenge of the Jocks
With Special Guest Star Robin Williams as "Creddy FrŁeger"

    On an Earth where degenerate nerds hold the power to invade dreams, only a small band of jock freedom fighters battle for liberation from the tyranny of the geeks. Peckinpah claimed this to be based on his own experiences in high school, until the patent unreality of nerds oppressing jocks forced his tearful confession at a press conference that he had never been to high school. After failing Grade Three on twenty-eight occasions, he was placed by his parents into a remedial school for terminal nincompoops.

    Within days, further revelations in the media forced Peck to reveal that he was not even brought up by his parents. In fact, he was raised by apes in the jungle and never attended school of any sort.

    Within hours, the simian community launched an outraged press release denying responsibility for Peckinpah's upbringing.

    In any case, this awful episode is completely unremarkable, except perhaps for the scene in which Quinn believably attributes the Dream Nerds' powers to hypnotic suggestion coupled with psychoactive drugs. Of course, the very next scene has the Nerds holding fingers to their temples and humming to telepathically reach their victims.

    Also memorable, I suppose, is the bit where someone asks why Colleen has apples growing out of her clothes. Rembrandt explains, "She's Amish."

Episode 2.10 | Mork and Maggie
With Special Guest Star Robert Englund as "The Big Giant Mork"

    After a sojourn on yet another "Hawaii world" (Peck's staple when he can't think of a throwaway alternate history, since at least he can put Maggie in a bathing suit), the Sliders land in the middle of a Ggamork war zone. Although they are safely sheltered within an abandoned warehouse, with sufficient food to last the slide, Maggie insists on heading out to save the life of a Ggamork general (the Big Giant Mork.) She gives as her reason "moving the plot along."

    Of course, the Mork rewards her by securely locking the sliders in solitary isolation, with "solitary" defined as "all in the same cell" and "isolation" defined as "right next to a conveniently placed ventilation shaft leading outside."

    From here, the show was going to be a deeply affecting tale of Maggie finding "common ground" with the Big Giant Mork, set against the backdrop of the impending doom of all humanity. Peck considered this, and it just wasn't... big enough. The impending doom of all humanity simply didn't have that vital, essential spark that makes for good drama.

    Then Peck saw the ad campaign being worked up for the ep: "Beauty... Versus Beast." And he knew what he had to do.

    Following their escape, the Sliders find themselves in an enchanted mansion with singing teapots and candelabras as their only visible companions. Their every need is attended to by a mysterious stranger lurking in the shadows, whose identity is (thought by Peck to be) concealed by a scarf over his mouth. It might have worked if they'd put him in something other than a Mork general's uniform.

    I'll let you deduce the rest, except for the surprise ending: Maggie, betrothed to the Big Giant Mork (and still wearing her bathing suit at the wedding), guns him down just as they're about to seal their vows. "He was ugly!" she explains. "Of course he was evil!"

Episode 2.11 | Way Out East

    You might notice that "Way Out West," on our world, has initials that spell "WOW." Whereas "Way Out East," on Peck's world, spells "WOE."

    While riding a stagecoach on a Western world, filmed at Universal Studios' "Back to the Future III" attraction, Colleen tumbles off into the bushes. The others leave her for dead and head into town.

    Colleen is rescued by a struggling businesswoman, Priscilla Hardup-Forcash, who lives with her son Jamie on a ranch. Priscilla's husband was murdered by the gangster known only as "Mr. G.G.A. Mork," leaving his semiconductor manufacturing plant in his widow's inexperienced hands.

    Colleen has an extremely sappy scene holding hands with Jamie, which is to say she secretes sticky resin from her branches when he touches her.

    Meanwhile, Maggie is offered a job as a lounge singer. She angrily refuses and nearly knees her would-be employer in the crotch, until he backs down and lets her be a lap dancer instead. At this point it is revealed, for no reason whatsoever, that the Sliders have landed in New Jersey.

    Quinn is framed for murder by Mr. G.G.A. Mork, who assumes Quinn's form and shoots a man dead. Maggie rushes to the real Quinn and tells him the story. "Either you've got one nasty double on this world," she theorizes, "or this is yet another Mork episode."

    However, it turns out Quinn really did shoot the man, for paying too much attention to Maggie during a previous performance. He tries to pin the crime on Rembrandt, and they both end up sentenced to death.

    Jamie steals a gun, planning to shoot Mr. G.G.A. Mork. However, Quinn convinces him to kill his mother instead. "There'll be less repercussions, and hey, she's blonde!"

    Just as Quinn and Remmy are about to be hanged, Colleen rides into the town square in an inspiring fashion. Despondent, the bad guys give up and let the two condemned men go.

    The original teleplay had Quinn risk his life in a showdown, by putting his gun down and delivering a speech about how humans weren't created to kill each other. In Peck's rewritten edition, everyone grabs apples off Colleen and hurls them at the villains. Rembrandt triumphantly cries, "How do you like DEM apples??"

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