“Invasion”

Episode Review


Season 2
Airdate: 6/28/96
Emmy® Nominated Episode

The Sliders land in the middle of an invasion by the Kromaggs, who intend on conquering every parallel world.

review18_1Rembrandt has had enough of the bumps and bruises from sliding, so he’s been proactive with his helmet in tow. “Rembrandt Brown Sliding Pads– a must for the serious slider.” It’s obvious at first appearance, something is not right with this new world. Complete silence, debris everywhere, and fresh paint signals the mayhem was recent. The theme park carnival setting makes things even stranger as a Kromagg manta ship in the sky interferes with the timer. I’ll explain what a Kromagg is later, lets just say it’s one of your worst nightmares.

I must admit the special effects of the Kromagg ship is done quite well. I do believe this scene was given a UFO feel because of co-creator Tracy Tormé’s interest in the subject and his past work with the movie “Fire in the Sky”. The Kromagg ship emits a ray of light similar to a bright beam that shines from beneath a UFO. This effect creates an frightening and uncertain scene among the Sliders in the opening minutes of the show. Quinn activates and aims the timer at the Kromagg ship which hurls it off in the distance resulting in a fiery crash. It’s evident things are going to take a turn for the worse.

As Quinn and Arturo examine the ship’s debris, a mentally ill patient from Gatehaven warns the Sliders of the Kromaggs. He explains they’re ruthless killers who eat human eyes. Rembrandt and Wade grow impatient and insist on leaving the area. Yet the inquisitive minds of Quinn and Arturo continue to examine the ship. It’s not long before day turns to night. They discover a Kromagg’s lifeless body inside, and remove a bracelet from the corpse. It immediately causes an alarm to sound, warning other Kromaggs of their location.

Here’s where the real fun begins. This is one of the most haunting scenes from the series so far. The Kromaggs who are ape-alien in appearance and dressed in black attire chase after the team of Sliders in the night. If you enjoy horror movies this episode is certainly a good match for you. This specific scene is pretty frightening to say the least. As the Sliders activate their wormhole to escape, Quinn and Wade discover a red vortex in the sky above. Things take a dark twist, as it’s revealed the Kromaggs are sliders.

review18_2Sliding to a new world the Professor lands into some french bread in New France World. Here’s it’s explained by Quinn and Arturo the Kromaggs are not ape, not alien, but are humans just like us. “Different Earths could have followed different evolutionary paths.” Now while I realize the Sliders do need an enemy from time to time I question whether or not the Kromaggs are the best choice. A scary ape looking creature is pulled off well here, but it seems to pull the idea of parallel worlds down to an extent. Yes the possibilities are endless, but what really catches your eye with “Sliders” is how things are the same yet with a bizarre twist, whether it be politics or pop culture.

As the Sliders finish up their meal on New French world Arturo pulls a Kromagg bracelet from his pocket to the utter dismay of Quinn. It begins flashing and soon a red portal from the sky opens as a Kromagg manta ship appears. The Sliders are rendered incapacitated and transported on a manta ship through an inter-dimensional portal to Earth 113. As they travel through the gateway, they are held captive in the ship and see an unusual sight. A human named Mary is the Kromaggs’ telepathic slave. The Sliders are interrogated and even meticulously tricked by the Kromaggs. Rembrandt meets a man that looks exactly like his father begging him to hand over information of his home world, but it’s clear the man isn’t his father. It’s these little bizarre twists that make this episode interesting. Even a reoccurring character shows up as a double too.

review18_3The Sliders make a desperate attempt to escape from their dark and disorienting prison. However, it’s soon revealed one of the Sliders is implanted with a homing device by the Krommags. With this device they can track their slides in hope of finding and destroying the Sliders’ home. This is really a brilliant idea by the writers to come up with this idea, as it gives some leeway of future episodes concerning Kromaggs. Hopefully just not too many.

The Kromagg idea is interesting but it seems to relate too closely with Star Trek or Babylon 5. For example, when you see a freaky looking creature you automatically think outer space, not a parallel earth. Not that the idea of the Kromaggs is necessarily a bad one, but the pop culture already in place doesn’t bode well for the average viewer. Overall this is a fun, scary and daring episode but hopefully its an idea that is rarely touched upon in future episodes.