Two Kromaggs from the episode
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Written by||Tracy Torme`|
|Directed by||Richard Compton|
|Guest stars||Una Damon as Mary|
Jason Gaffney as Prisoner
Robert Lewis as Mr. Clarke
|Original airdate||June 28, 1996|
|List of Sliders episodes|
Invasion is the ninth episode for the second season of the science fiction television show Sliders. Arturo, Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade first encounter the Kromaggs, an aggressive race with sliding (interdimensional travel) technology.
For a change, Rembrandt has a soft landing that doesn't require him to aim for Professor Arturo - on the last world, he bought knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet. Gaining their bearings, the Sliders find graffiti in an amusement park that refers to people known as Kromaggs: "KROMAGGS RULE" and "THE END IS HERE!" are among the messages in the deserted San Francisco they appear to have landed in. Quinn finds that something is emitting the same frequency that the timer uses, and he follows the signal to find a low-flying glider that prepares to bear down on him. Quinn uses the timer to emit an electromagnetic pulse that causes the ship to crash, killing the pilot.
Surveying the wreckage of the ship, Quinn and Arturo discover it to be constructed from organic metal. Just then, an escaped inmate from Gatehaven Mental Hospital (Wade notices an ID bracelet) tells the Sliders that the Kromaggs will be coming for them after they brought "the manta to its knees." Questions about the Kromaggs reveal that they deported and enslaved the population of this alternate earth, released the inmates, and are from Earth itself. Ignoring the apparent ramblings of the madman, Quinn and Arturo enter the ship, still believing it to be extraterrestrial in origin. Inside they discover the dead alien pilot; Quinn expresses guilt, but Arturo tries to alleviate this by reminding him that the pilot was a soldier. Arturo studies the body and finds a wristband (possibly a Kromagg version of a dog tag), which, when removed, sets off a screeching alarm attracting other Kromaggs to the area two minutes before the slide, where they comment in the meantime of the hideous ape features of their pursuers and that of the dead pilot. Arturo and Rembrandt make it through the vortex while Quinn and Wade remain behind just long enough to see another Kromagg vessel emerging from a red vortex high above them. Quinn notes that the Kromaggs are Sliders too just before he and Wade jump.
While enjoying a meal in New France (the French were the dominant colonizers of the New World here), Arturo realizes that the mental patient was factual in his claims that the Kromaggs are as much Earthmen as they are, and deduces that they are from an Earth that followed a different evolutionary path, one in which a race of "killer apes" long ago killed early human ancestors and became the dominant species. Following the signal from the dead pilot's wristband that Arturo has kept, the Kromaggs track the Sliders and abduct and take them to one of their conquered worlds, Earth 113, for study. The Kromaggs' intermediary, a translator named Mary, explains that they are "prisoners... guests of the Kromagg Dynasty," claiming that they killed a member of a race that brought peace to Earth.
As the first human Sliders that the Kromaggs have ever encountered, Arturo, Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade are subjected separately to interrogations on Earth 113 to make them reveal where their home Earth is. Despite Rembrandt's reunion with his father (actually a double from another conquered Earth) and the Kromaggs' power to plant suggestions in their minds, he and the other Sliders are unable to reveal what they do not know, since they are sliding randomly. Quinn, while walking in the garden with Mary between interrogations, is told the truth about the Kromaggs real intentions and history: they are a military government that used sliding technology to unite the tribal Kromaggs under one government. On traveling to other worlds, the Kromaggs discovered nearly all of them were dominated by homo sapiens and, out of fear and for revenge, they set out to conquer other Earths. Mary then slips a pass key that can open his and his friends' cells. Quinn offers to take Mary with them, but she, like other conquered humans, is conditioned to regard the Kromaggs as her superiors in all things.
With Mary's help the Sliders retrieve their timer, but she is fatally wounded by the Kromaggs as they slide back to New France (the timer's counting down to the next slide from that world since they were brought by the Kromaggs to Earth 113). After they arrive safely, it is revealed that the Kromaggs intentionally let Arturo, Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade escape with a tracking device implanted in one of them, hoping it will lead them to their Earth. For a job well done, Mary is allowed an hour in the garden. She is alive and well, but sheds a tear as she bows to her masters.
- "Invasion" is the only episode of Sliders to receive an Emmy nomination, for "Outstanding Sound Effects in a Series".
- The Kromaggs in this episode were created by the makeup team of The X-Files who were fans of the show.
- Due to interference from FOX, the first season's recurring character of Conrad Bennish Jr., played by Jason Gaffney, was not allowed to be brought back to the series. In a sly subversive move, Tracy Tormé cast Gaffney as the eyeless, unnamed Kromagg prisoner as a nod to fans without telling Fox.
- The Sliders are told that the Kromaggs will not dignify the human language to speak it, but one is heard speaking English in the final scene. Though not as obvious onscreen, this was a twist emphasized in the script, not a continuity error. However, this aspect is not referenced when the Kromaggs' reappear later in the series.
- Arturo is seen wearing glasses during this episode, which may be an indication that he is in fact the double from "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome". In that earlier episode, when looking through the Professors belongings, Wade comments, "I didn't know the Professor wore bifocals." This may have been meant as an indication that the Professor's double did, whereas the original may not have. This Arturo not only does, but had them with him when sliding from the Earth with the Azure Gate Bridge.
- A major plot hole never addressed in the episode or any following it is how Quinn was able to activate the timer prematurely. In fact, he even attempts to do so again later in New France before he and the others are subdued. (Not a Plot hole... the timer CAN be activated prematurely, but it is highly inadvisable, and the idea was the timer was less activated and more creating an anti-resonance pulse due to the harmonics of the same frequencies)
- There's a large time shift from day to night outside the ship, while inside, no more than a few seconds have gone by. (Not actually a goof. Wade and Rembrant's simultanious scenes talk about how long it has been, and Arturo and Quinn are shown examining extensively inside before finding the body)