8 Sad Truths You Realize When Re-Watching Quantum Leap – We Minored in Film
Scott Bakula as Dr. New Orleans,” “Star Trek: Enterprise” stars as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist caught in a time warp, who leaps into the bodies of different people in different time periods in order to “put right what once went wrong.
Friday, January 16, Geek Dave stepped into the Quantum Leap Accelerator and discovered 10 things you may not know about the classic television series.
Oh boy! Quantum Leap can trace its origins back to the original series of Battlestar Galactica, which Donald P. Bellisario produced and wrote for. After the series was cancelled ABC received thousands of letters from a coordinated campaign of fans who wanted their favourite show back. So Bellisario, and original Battlestar creator Glen A. Larson, were tasked with reviving the franchise on a fraction of the budget.
They came up with Galactica , which was originally centered around time travel and returning changes in Earth’s history back to normal. However, due to cost constraints and studio interference the whole time travel side of the series was dropped, but Bellisario liked the idea and continued to work on a way to bring it to the screen.
A decade later Quantum Leap began. Scott Bakula was the first actor cast, and was asked to read with all the actors under consideration for the part of Al. This group included Malcolm McDowell, but Bakula said that out of everyone considered he immediately felt a connection with Dean Stockwell, and so actively lobbied the producers to cast him as Al. An offer was made to Dean Stockwell, but according to Stockwell himself his friend Dennis Hopper advised him not to take accept it because he “shouldn’t do television so soon after being nominated for an Academy Award” Best Supporting Actor for Married to the Mob.
Thankfully Stockwell didn’t take his friends advice, and ended up being nominated for four Emmys and four Golden Globes one of which he won for his role as Al. Surprisingly one of the most famous phrases associated with Quantum Leap, “Oh boy! Donald P. Bellisario liked it so much that it became the signature final line of every subsequent episode, when Sam finds himself in a new body.
Another aspect of the show which was put in place by a cast member has a bit of a devious story behind it. When developing the character of Al, Dean Stockwell suggested he should “always be seen with a cigar”, which he very often was. After the series ended Stockwell admitted that he’d only offered up the idea in the hope of getting himself free cigars!
As you know, Doctor Sam Beckett theorised that one could travel within his own lifetime. The character was born on August 8th chosen by Bellisario by reversing the last two digits of his own year of birth – August 8th , and leaped into every year from ’53 right through to at least once across the five seasons the show ran for, except the years , , and In case you’re wondering the most popular ‘leap’ year was , with Sam visiting eight different times.
Sam actually leaped beyond his day of birth a total of four times. Two of those leaps were to , when he was conceived but not yet born Play It Again, Seymour – April 14th , and The Americanization of Machiko – August 4th , so technically it was still in his lifetime, but the other two were pretty much defying the rules of the Quantum Leap Accelerator!
The writer’s got round this by ‘explaining’ that Sam’s great-grandfather had a very similar genetic profile and blood type to him! There were a whole load of story ideas which were pitched but for one reason or another never made it to the screen, some of the more interesting include; Sam leaping into Robert F. Magnum P. Bellissario, and it’s said that he’d written the script for the episode and had approached John Hillerman and Roger E Mosley to reprise their characters of Higgins and TC, with Tom Selleck also on board for a cameo.
Why it never came to light is a mystery. Both Scott Bakula and Donald P. Bellisario have spoken about their upset over the final episode of Quantum Leap. With ratings declining, and the series narrowly avoiding cancellation the previous year, Bellisario was asked to write an episode that could function as either a season finale cliffhanger or as an end to the show.
Bellisario completed his script and presented it to NBC executives who then turned around and assured him, the cast and the crew that the series would be renewed for a sixth season. After production had finished on season 5, and that final episode was in the can, complete with the cliffhanger ending, NBC changed their minds and decided to cancel the show after all.
None of the regular production crew were involved in the re-editing of the ending which showed title cards revealing the fate of Sam and Al. Bellisario later revealed that his original plan for the end to the show was to have Al and Beth as an old married couple discussing how they would locate Sam who had leaped again. As for that cliffhanger which was never shown, it saw Sam leaping into a space station in the distant future!
In season 6 ,Al would’ve gone on to become a leaper himself to rescue Sam
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Time travel with Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett as he tries to find his final leap home on Quantum Leap. Watch seasons 1 and 2 free on qzbasy.me Created by Donald P. Bellisario. With Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt, Dennis Wolfberg. Scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in the past. Get ready for an adventure of many lifetimes with the ground-breaking sci-fi classic, Quantum Leap. With the complete series box set, you can now leap through.
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Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap. As played by the square-jawed Scott Bakula , Sam may have looked rugged but he was also relatable, a goofy but indefatigable do-gooder with six different doctorates, some sick kickboxing moves and a core decency so unshakeable it could apparently survive the existential trauma of frequent temporal displacement. After a haywire physics experiment in sends him ping-ponging within the span of his own lifetime, Sam finds himself zapped abruptly into strangers like a one-sided Freaky Friday. Des-res to desperate:
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Friday, January 16, Geek Dave stepped into the Quantum Leap Accelerator and discovered 10 things you may not know about the classic television series. Oh boy!
HOWTO VIDEO: 10 things you might not know about QUANTUM LEAP – Warped Factor – Words in the Key of Geek.
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