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“Theorising that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished... He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home…”

“Oh boy…” – Doctor Sam Beckett

Created by the prolific Donald Bellisario (‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Magnum, P.I.’, ‘Airwolf’, ‘JAG’, ‘NCIS’, etc.), ‘Quantum Leap’s entertaining blend of drama, comedy, science-fiction, social commentary and nostalgia has something for everyone; not only does it appeal to a broad range of viewers, but its self-contained stories and helpful expository opening voice-over enable even the most casual viewer to grasp what is going on without the need to have seen any other episodes.

Ably holding his own in the role of Doctor Sam Beckett – and, by proxy, the many people he leaps into – is Scott Bakula (‘Enterprise’, ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’, ‘Murphy Brown’), whose do-good nature always leads him to try and help people, no matter what it takes – even if it means he will never return home. Sam is a likeable hero, although his high standards of morality and decency render him a fairly two-dimensional character, to the point that even Al criticises him for being too much of a ‘boy-scout’. A much more interesting and entertaining character is Al Calavicci, Sam's womanizing, cigar-smoking, fashion-victim, holographic best friend, superbly played by television veteran Dean Stockwell (‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘JAG’, and many, many, more).

The show’s anthological format ensures that viewers are treated to a different story every episode, with Sam finding himself thrown into the lives of a variety of men, women, children – even a chimp! However, the constantly-changing supporting cast and lack of character development in its regulars (due in part to Sam’s ‘Swiss-cheesed’ mind, a side-effect of his leaping) also has a negative effect: some episodes feel too lightweight, while others are far too worthy and preachy, and after a while it becomes difficult to care about the fate of the people into whom Sam leaps when one knows they will probably never been seen again; the show also lacks a sense of danger, as Sam always leaps away before he can be killed, irrespective of whether or not his mission to change history is a success.

That being said, there are many great episodes, those of the fifth season being undoubtedly the best; by this point in the show the producers’ original concept of stopping Sam leap into anyone famous is thrown out of the window, and Sam finds himself in the bodies of Lee Harvey Oswald, TV ‘personality’ Doctor Ruth, and even the king of rock n’ roll himself, Elvis Presley. The sci-fi aspects of the show are also ramped-up, and we finally get to spend more time with the personnel of Project Quantum Leap, and encounter Sam’s counterpart, an ‘evil’ leaper who works for the forces of darkness, as opposed to the (ahem) “higher power” that Sam believes is responsible for his own missions.

Unfortunately, after five seasons ‘Quantum Leap’ was cancelled, which meant that the cliff-hanger episode, ‘Mirror Image’ (an incredibly odd story that unsuccessfully attempts to emulate ‘Twin Peaks’), had to be hastily revised at the last minute, and so the show ended with a caption informing its loyal followers that Doctor Sam Beckett never returned home...

Ever since then there have been talks of a television movie, but after all this time, it still hasn’t happened. So Sam is still out there, destined to spend the rest of his days leaping from life to life, putting things right…

Quantum Leap - Season 1
Quantum Leap - Season 2
Quantum Leap - Season 3
Quantum Leap - Season 4
Quantum Leap - Season 5

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Legal Bit: 'Quantum Leap' is a Registered Trademark of MCA / Universal Studios. The 'Quantum Leap' logo and all images from the television series are copyright MCA / Universal Studios unless otherwise stated, and no infringement of copyright is intended; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, lost in time, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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