This episode first aired in the UK 22nd December 1999 on Sky 1 and in the US on the Sci-Fi Channel 21st January 2000

[The Sliders in 'Dust'] Writer: Teleplay by Tim Burns and Bill Dial, Story by Chris Black
Director: Teynaldo Villalobos
Guests: Ken Jenkins (Jack Bigelow), Elizabeth Lackey (Gwen), Marco Rodriguez (Escobar)
* Pre-sliding, Remmy was in the music business and he was quite an able musician,but as all do, he had his peak some while before he Slid.

Additional Notes:
* Bigelow is the name of the writer who penned, The Dying Fields, The Chasm and Please Press One. He is not generally seen as the greatest of writers.
* In Starburst #250, Bill Dial said this of this episode: "We just did a show in which the Chandler Hotel is an archaeological dig. Somehow it's 400 years off from our time, and it's layered over with sediment and our people get to be part of this dig. When they go and see it's the Chandler, they find a beer mug that the archaeologist decides is a sacrificial goblet, then they have a big debate over what a parking meter might have been: 'It sells time... but to what end'! It's really our take on how these funny archaeologists can find one pot and then invent an entire civilization!"

The Sliders have already vortexed in. They're in a kind of mountainousy desert landscape. Looks quite hot. Maggie is using Mallory as a scapegoat for everything, just to agitate him and let out her frustration. There are other people around who watch them, but the Sliders don't notice. There are three days until the Slide and they desperately need water.

[The Sliders in 'Dust'] They see a camp below them at the bottom of the mountainy things. They make their way down because they desperately need water and that looks like the only way they'll get it. It turns out to be an archaeological dig, and the head man is named Bigelow and his second is a woman anmed Gwen. They are invited to stay and have some water, as long as they agree to help on the dig. Bigelow says he had just found the remains of a very old, but very advanced, civilisation. And he invites them in the undergroundy bit to have a look. They have a lot of problems finding workers to assist in the 'Badlands' so their help is appreciated.

Bigelow leads them underground - where it is much cooler - to a building. The Sliders are shocked when they discover that this building is The Chandler Hotel. It's thought by the archaeologists, Bigelow in particular, that this was a meeting place, perhaps one with religious significance. The Sliders not to share what they know just yet. Diana surmises that there must have been some kind of catastrophe on this world to cause such a thing. Gwen thinks this may be part of a larger city, rather than an isolated building. Bigelow then finds a beer tankardwhich he believes could be a kind of ceremonial goblet, used in this very room (the bar)!

Gwen takes them to a place to dig. She's a little suspicious of their actions since they said they went for a hike, but there are no hotels within 4 days travel from this dig. Backed into a corner, they say they're on a secret mission, sent by the government in Mexico.

One of the locals on the dig, who are known as packers, keeps looking at Remmy.

Some others of the team of archaeologists return with an artifact. The Sliders stay sitting at their table for the moment and talk. It seems this world was high-tech a long time ago, well, some 400 years, and they overdeveloped and then there was the 'Cataclysm.' Archaeologists find out about the old technologies and try to restore it. They're called to go and look at what was brought back... the archaeologists are having an ickle argument over what it was for. It's a parking meter. The Sliders try to suggest that without giving away they know what it is through other means.

Gwen and Bigelow are still suspicious of our Sliders and don't believe their story. Bigelow decrees that they can stay if they cause no trouble, but they must be kept an eye on.

Next day, the Sliders are once again at the dig. They can't tell all they know. Mallory wants to because he doesn't think they bought the story, but the others don't think it's a good idea. Then they find a timer, just like theirs, buried in the ground (or was it in a drawer?). They hide it, not thinking it a good idea to pass it over.

The major archaeological team break through to what's thought to be a tomb and everyone, including the Sliders, gathers in to look. It's a dark cellar-y place. There's no treasure, but there are cannisters of some kind a pathetic little booby trap. Just beyond the booby trap there's a body, trapped in suspended animation. Bigelow thinks it would be someone special... perhaps royalty. When Maggie challenges this assumption, using her own knowledge, Remmy accidentally lets out the real name of the 'parking meter' which the archaeologists didn't previously know. Diana has to get them out of it by saying that they discussed last night that she remembered reading something similar in Canada where they taxed time or something. Bigelow wants to do an autopsy as soon as the body is unfrozen, and it has to be done here. He doesn't care that this person may still be alive.

The packer who was staring at him earlier talks to Remmy and persitently calls him 'eminence' He says that spirits from the 'Cataclysm' were trapped here and that Bigelow is offending them. If Bigelow destroys the Guardian, Bigelow himself will be destroyed and Remmy is the only one who can stop it all.

Bigelow sets out the body to thaw. He and Gwen talk to the Sliders outside round a table in the almost dark. They try to persuade him not to go ahead with it because of the offense, but they don't succeed. In turn, the archaeologists try and get information out of the Sliders. Finally, they tell them the truth, and Bigelow and Gwen find it even more incredible. They don't believe them at all, and they are told that though they can stay the night, from tomorrow they are on their own. Bigelow will stay in the chamber overnight to protect the body.

Bigelow is in the chamber in his own. He hears noises, but can see no one. Then he is attacked from behind.

In the morning, the sliders (and everyone else) are woken by a ruckus. All the packers and mules are gone, and they are left with only a little food and water. They find Bigelow and tell him what happened. The body has gone. However, Diana finds it back where they originally uncovered it. Everyone apart from Bigelow wants to leave it there, but he pulls a gun on them. He's really not happy with the Sliders and leaves them trapped underground. With them there and the packers gone, Bigelow starts to measure the body in autopsy.

[The Sliders in 'Dust'] Diana is convinced that the timer they found is theirs, somehow. Maggie discovers a filing cabinet nearby. It doesn't appear to be part of the Chandler, but of a building next door. When they check, the body is just that of a rich man who wanted to be cryogenically frozen. They then find a handy cave-tunnel and use that to get out. When they reach the outside, they are surrounded by the local tribe. One of them is Escobar, the packer who spoke to Remmy at the dig. Remmy talks to them. He is some kind of icon to them, 'The Voice.' They think he was sent to preserve the sanctity of the shrine. They want him to lead them to stop Bigelow. The Sliders are taken to the locals camp-y thing, which is in a cave and are given water. Remmy doesn't want to lead an attack, but Maggie thinks he should do something. Bigelow has found the Chamber of Guardians which is sacred to these people.

Remmy arrive at the dig with his followers. They don't attack, but Remmy warns Bigelow of a rather big scuffle. The locals win when necessary. Rembrandt is allowed into this shrine because he is 'The Voice' and the other Sliders too because they are with him. They go inside and there they find a shrine to Remmy, or more accurately, his double on this world. Many things in there, his Caddy included.

Bigelow leaves the dig and won't return because of the locals. After he has gone, the Sliders Slide in front of the locals.

Did You Notice?
* The list of worlds since Mallory joined that Maggie reels off are: toxic world, Kromagg world, a couple of war worlds, a world of corporate girants - literally!
* The beer glass is a 'ceremonial' goblet from the late-renaissance period, probably late 16th Century, which may have been used in rituals.
* The catastrophe may have been due to the poles switching places or an axial shifting.
* 16th Century glass handles were only made after 1590 when the big blast furnaces went into production.
* The nearest hotel to the dig is in Seattle, 4 days trek away.
* The only part of the badlands which are habital are the fringes. The locals there are called packers and they are hired at archaeological digs for labour.
* The temperate zones of this world are Canada and South America. Anything South of Montana is desert.
* the Cataclysm caused an ecological disaster. This world developed to at least our level 400 years ago, and it appears it overdeveloped.
* The 'coin-operated time dispenser' (parking meter) is also from the late-renaissance period.
* Diana keeps the apple she picks up when examining how much food is left, the others drop them back.
* Their timer is lit, but the one they find is not.
* The frozen man is Luther Bates McCorkin, 54, and aluminiun siding salesman and shriner as well as a congestive heart failure sufferer. His reference number is HAF-99435. Also in his file are medical charts and notes.
* Remmy is 'The Voice.' The one who sang of old lives, harbourer (?) of new lives, the return of the land to health.
* In the locals' cave place, there is a black and white photo of Remmy in a frame surrounded by loads of candles.
* In the actual shrine, there are these things: suits (gold and green), numerous posters, a lot of candles, photos, documents, records ('Don't Make Me Cry,' 800,000 copies sold), a guitar, the CADDY!
* One of the posters reads:
Rembrandt Brown
Cryin' Man
Two shows
His latest album on
Onslaught Records

Cool Quotes:

"I know it's not fair, but I personally blame Mallory for this." - Maggie about everything
"If it had to be a desert, why not a desert resort?" - Remmy on where they Slide
"Think we should tell the professor the only religion practised around here involved a lot of scotch and soda?" - Mallory on the Archaeologists' assumptions.
"My theory is we should close this up and go far away." - Remmy about the Chamber
"It doesn't matter if I do; it matters that they do." - Remmy on belief
"You've obviously been in situations like this before." - Sarcastic Mallory (?)
"This is like the Hard Rock Cafe - Literally!" - Maggie about the shrine
"Everybody needs something to believe in." - Remmy... who else?

* Mallory didn't actually join, he WAS joinED.
* How did they get mud on their clothes when there's no water? The previous world perhaps.
* Diana refers to a time warp when it's not necessarily, and in fact unlikey, though there were miniscule amounts of time travel in Season 2's Time Again And World and Season 4's Roads Taken. She also later talks about the theory in The Guardian which is different.
* Why must it be their duplicates timer? Why can't other people slide? They do! And why must it be their timer?
* For that matter, what was the point of the timer?????
* They should be able to manage an ickle while without water.

My Opinion:
For the most part, I found this episode to be really really good! I loved how it handled some parts and there's only one part that really bugs me and I will bring that up. One truly classic scene and some interesting other ones :-)

Blame Mallory for everything, why not :-) I do love the banter around the slides. That was always there in the original episodes and though it's not quite back to that, there's something there. It helps the chemistry of the group, unfortunately, it's counteracted by the fact they never seem to talk about past slides before season 4.

There's that pic that I have on my site somewhere! And there are some more later. Thanks Tf, you were right on with them :-)

Cool iguana :-) Wonder how much that cost?

Oh, they're not taking the piss out of archaeologists with the beer mug and parking meter are they :-) Not that it wasn't funny though. I like the strange theories. Archaeology does interest me a lot, but I do sometimes wonder at some of the assumptions. There could be any number of things certain artifacts could be used for.

As a complete aside, I love the tops Maggie and Diana wear in this episode at the beginning. I hope I can find some like that in a shop.

It's interesting about the cataclysm. I don't know how technically accurate it is, but it does provide the premise for a very interesting episode. The way it was brought in didn't stand out as being too heavy-handed. It makes you wonder what could happen if they arrived in a owlrd in the middle of a major catastrophe. But I just found it interesting anyway. Is it trying to say that's the way we're headed or not?

lol - coin operated time dispenser. Technically accurate description I think, but it made me laugh all the same :-)

A timer? They find a timer? Now I haven't actually worked out what point this had in the episode wxcept for a little padding. Yeah, there was a Remmy here, but he wouldn't neccessarily have to have been a Slider. And it leadsd ot the only thing that really bugs me about this eppy. They automatically assume that they and their doubles are the only Sliders 'oh that means our 'alternates' were sliding 400 years ago' (approx) Why does it? It doesn't. There'll be splits for the Sliders as well as they make decisions or there's something weird going on. And even if there aren't those rules and splits, there's gonna be other people who discovered Sliding anyway. STOP BEING SO BIGHEADED SLIDERS!!!!! :-)

The cellar - cool :-) Woh! Actually a booby trap there!!!! :-)

Suspended ani? A bit pat for my tastes, but I guess it kinda needs to be there.

Was it only me and Diana who thought that the body might be back in the chamber? Oh come on!!!!

There are always nice handy tunnels for the Sliders to escape into aren't there :-) Wouldn't it be nice if things always happened like that :-)

Remmy the voice? Strangely appropriate. and as for the 'Star of the show' comment, I know I change the context, but I guess he is really. He's the mainstay.

Oh you really gotta love the shrine though. How cool is that place! THE CADDY!!!! :-) Oh that's an amazing scene. One can only imagine how it might have affected Remmy in the mental way. It must be exhilerating, shocking, exciting and creepy all at the saem time!

Gaaaa!!!! Alternate again!!!!

This episode turned out pretty well really. I did like it a lot. It intrigued me, and that's how it should be.

Alternate Earth 117
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