Before I start with the history of the episode, let me comment on the title. This was actually the working title of the episode. It was originally one of Peckinbraga's jokes, after receiving several proposed stories about the Civil War in the mail. Unfortunately, they forgot to change the working title and it actually stuck onto the final copy.
Also, unfortunately, this episode really isn't even about the Civil War.
The second legitimate script that Peckinbraga received had to do with the Civil War. The Confederacy had won the war, and slavery was declared legal until the late 1990's. The underground railroad was now nationwide, and had strong roots in California. Rickwoman's double was a leader in the railroad, and the episode was going to revolve around the "gentle" side of Maggie's archenemy.
Of course, Peckinbraga didn't understand any of this because the only history they knew was from Mel Brooks' "History of the World Part 1". And, of course, now the continuity said that Rickwoman and Maggie were friends.
Yeah, they looked up "continuity" in the dictionary.
They didn't know what the Confederacy was, but at one point in the script, it was referred to as "the South." But they thought it was too crazy that Mexico would win the Civil War, so they changed it to Britain. Which made since because Braga hadn't broken out the British accent in a few episodes.
So, Maggie and Rickwoman start the episode singing the theme to "Laverne and Shirley" (they WERE enemies at some point, right?). Suddenly, without any vortex, they appear on a train. Rickwoman is dressed up as a conductor, and she's running as fast as she can for the locomotive of the train.
Why? Because if she doesn't toot the horn, Britain will win the Civil War again.
And even Mel Brooks wept...
Of course, Captain England (clever name, no?) is in control of the locomotive. Of course, Captain England is played by Braga. He decided that Captain England would look better with a mustache, but they didn't have any way to attach it to his face (and Braga produces less testosterone than a five-year-old girl, so growing one was out of the question).
So, for the entire episode, Braga is HOLDING his mustache on.
Rickwoman and Captain England get in a wrestling match for control of the Wonder Whistle, and they are on the verge of killing each other. When, suddenly, Maggie realizes that they're on a train full of board games (as cargo).
So, she recommends that the war be determined by a best-of-nine tournament of board games.
So, Peckinbraga manage to take a page from "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey", a movie that even James Lipton couldn't praise without cracking a smile. Kudos...
So, the second Civil War between the Ununited States (alt-history, folks. They had a Civil War, so they weren't really united. I think they got you...) and Pretty Good Britain (okay, this makes no sense, I'll admit) will be determined by board games.
And Patton rolled in his grave just a little.
After forty-five mind-numbingly boring minutes of board games (in which the camera rolled on one shot the entire time), Rickwoman won a game of "Hands Down" to save California.
Of course, they never actually blow the whistle (which was supposed to actually do the saving). And, again unexplained, Rickwoman and Maggie somehow end up on horses riding into the sunset.
Again, no sliding. No vortex. No story, really.
This show IS called Sliders, isn't it?
Next Week? Stay tuned for the return of the Kromaggs. Get your go-karts ready for some action!!!!