Picks and Pans Review: Tempting Fate

updated 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sun., April 5, 9 p.m. ET)


Sliders, which slid off the FOX network last summer and onto the Sci-Fi Channel (new episodes start June 8), clearly inspired this intriguing TV movie about a burned-out L.A. surgeon seeking a fresh start in a parallel universe. "I don't have the life that I want," complains Dr. Ben Creed (Tate Donovan), whose old girlfriend Melody (Grace Phillips) is happily wed to someone else. Fortunately, Ben's physicist pal Emmett (Matt Craven) has invented a gateway to an alternate Earth, a kinder, cleaner world where cars are community property, crime is nonexistent, and Elvis has not left the building. On his first visit, accompanied by another friend (ER's Abraham Benrubi), Ben discovers that his counterpart was killed in a war with Libya, leaving behind a widow—the mirror image of Melody—who hasn't remarried. So who can blame the guy for crossing over again and pretending to be her mistakenly presumed dead spouse? You don't have to be a Sliders fan—The Twilight Zone will do—to figure out that this idyllic otherworld has a sinister underside. Back in our world, it still makes for good, creepy fun.

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