'Sliders' Launches Itself Into Emptiness
March 22, 1995
Los Angeles Times, Home Edition; Calendar, Page 9
By Howard Rosenberg

At last, a series about a wormhole.

Fox is in its sci-fi, otherworldly mode. Earlier this month it launched "VR.5," an exciting hour of electro-glow virtual reality whose protagonist zooms herself to five-dimensional realms without leaving her apartment. Great fun.

Now comes "Sliders," a banal bore of a mishmash adventure series starring Jerry O'Connell as a genius grad student named Quinn Mallory, who discovers a way to visit parallel Earths by whooshing himself through a space portal known as a "wormhole." It beats studying.

Whooshing with him in the bloated two-hour premiere are a computer technician (Sabrina Lloyd), a cartoonishly pompous college professor (John Rhys-Davies) and a black former rock and roller (Cleavant Derricks) whose Samboesque subservience is an insult to African Americans.

Apparently unable to return home, this foursome appears doomed to live in space limbo, sliding from one version of Earth to another.

Tonight, after fleeing a glacially frozen Earth, they land on another Earth and hook up with revolutionaries battling the brutish, Cold War-style Soviets who rule the place.The episode's mindlessly violent centerpiece is a rescue-shootout that catches Quinn and his pals in a cross-fire of hot lead, commissars and caricatures. What can you say? It's badsky.

* "Sliders" premieres at 8 tonight on Fox (Channels 11 and 6).

The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times, 1995. lat32295


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