The Future of Quantum Leap and Other Stories

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Promotional image for the television show “Quantum Leap.”

If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you know I’ve been watching and reviewing the 2022 continuation series Quantum Leap starring Raymond Lee, Caitlin Bassett, and Ernie Hudson. As far as I can tell, the series was originally green lit for eight episodes but was recently given an extension for a full 18. We know the description for the already shown episodes of course, but episodes 9-18 remain undefined at IMDb.

This is probably good since the show has introduced a collection of mysteries such as why Ben (Raymond Lee) leapt in the first place, what his relationship is to the mysterious Janice (or Janis) Calavicci (Georgina Reilly), and the secret around the leaper from the future Richard Martinez (Walter Perez). All that and, in the episode O Ye of Little Faith, Janice shows up as a hologram to warn Ben about something, but he leaps before she can tell him what…or who to be worried about. Eight episodes is just barely enough to get all that started.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep8 “Stand by Ben”

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Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Stand by Ben”

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I just finished watching the new Quantum Leap season 1, episode 8 Stand by Ben. I suppose that’s a play on the title of the 1986 film Stand by Me starring Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix. This episode certainly milked  a lot of teenage angst films from the 1980s.

Except Ben leaps into July 10, 1996 into a 16-year-old kid named Ben “Klepto” Winters as he and three other teens steal a car and escape a juvenile detention boot camp. The kids are happily planning what they’re going to do with their futures when there’s a blowout and the car tumbles down a ravine. Miraculously, they’re all okay, but this is just the beginning.

Oh, Spoiler Alert!

Addison shows up and explains that in the original timeline, the kids are reported missing on a school nature hike and die of heat exhaustion. The real story in the timeline is the kids walk away from the car wreck, split up to go their separate ways and die of the same death. The school covers it up, and the head of the school Sullivan (Eric Lee Huffman) files an insurance claim for his wrecked vehicle. So much for the kids.

What? After the kids boosted the car in front of everyone, the school couldn’t have called the cops and have the car pulled over? That’s the first thing I’d do, especially since each of these kids is identified as a juvenile criminal. Of course there could have been other reasons as outlined below.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep7 “O Ye of Little Faith”

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QUANTUM LEAP — “O Ye of Little Faith” Episode 107 — Pictured: Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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I just finished watching (Tuesday night, Nov 1) Quantum Leap’s season 1 episode 7 O Ye of Little Faith, which is an interesting title since faith is mentioned and yet largely discounted, particularly by Ben.

This is the Halloween episode (the original series had several supernaturally themed episodes) since it was first aired yesterday (as I write this) on October 31st. It also heavily draws from The Exorcist (1973). So much so, that I was surprised that at some point during the episode, Ben didn’t mention it (although if he were born in the mid-1980s and generally pursued a career in science, he may not have gotten a taste for horror films).

Ben has leapt into a Catholic Priest, Father James Davenport, a specialist in exorcism from Baltimore. The city he’s visiting isn’t mentioned, but the year is 1934, during the great depression.

He’s met at the door by the victim’s mother Lola Gray (Elyse Levesque) and the household maid Magda Pardo (Colleen Foy). Lola says she’s gotten much worse and bids the Priest enter.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep6 “What a Disaster!”

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Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “What a Disaster”

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I just finished watching Quantum Leap Season 1, Episode 6 What a Disaster!. Ben leaps into John Harvey in San Francisco just seconds before the October 17,1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. But that’s not where the episode starts.

Oh, spoiler alert!

It starts at the end of Ben’s last leap in the old west when he is confronted by another leaper who knows who Ben is and threatens Ben if he doesn’t stop following him. Then Ben leaps into John. He is at a bar and his wife Naomi (Jewel Staite) asks “John” for a divorce. Ben sees the World Series on TV, sees the clock, and realizes what’s going to happen. He warns everyone to get outside just as the initial quake hits.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep5: “Salvation or Bust”

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QUANTUM LEAP — “Salvation or Bust” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Yaani King Mondschein as Frankie, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song, Nicole Alvarez as Valentina — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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This week, Ben Song takes his biggest leap ever, back to 1879 in the old west. specifically to a town called Salvation. He finds himself as an old Mexican gunslinger named Diego De La Cruz (Alberto Manquero) whose granddaughter Valentina (Natalia del Riego) has called him out of his retirement in San Francisco to come back and defend their town.

Diego had left Salvation after his wife and son (who was the first mayor of Salvation) were killed. Salvation is a unique town in the west relative to the 21st century because it’s more progressive and inclusive than most cities in the first world are today. But, in this case, true to many western TV and film tropes, the evil railroad company wants to drive the population out and take their land. Actually, the episode is loaded with old western tropes. Oddly though, although the bad guys are all white, they don’t hurl even a single racist or sexist insult to the townspeople, which is pretty strange.

The railroad has hired wanted gunman Josiah McDonough (William Mark McCullough) and his gang of violent miscreants to “convince” the inhabitants to clear out. Ben has leapt into the body of the aging and alcoholic Diego his granddaughter believes can defend the town. The only problem is that Ben is a total pacifist and hates guns and violence (which didn’t seem to bother him in the episode Somebody Up There Likes Ben when he had to beat a boxer to unconsciousness, but never mind that…character traits and personal histories appear out of nowhere in this episode).

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep4: “A Decent Proposal”

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From the Quantum Leap episode “A Decent Proposal.”

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Alert! Here be spoilers!

Last night I watched Quantum Leap season 1, episode 4 A Decent Proposal guest starring Justin Hartley and Sofia Pernas. Since I knew Ben would be leaping into a bounty hunter, in preparation I watched the original series episode A Hunting We Will Go in which Sam (Scott Bakula) leaps into a bounty hunter. Turns out the two episodes have little in common. I was looking for a connection.

I should have watched The Leap Home Part 2 (Vietnam) April 7, 1970 but I’ll explain that in a bit.

It was fun to see Hartley again. He played Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in the Smallville TV show. In this episode, he plays Jake, fellow bounty hunter and would-be fiancé to the woman Ben leapt into Eva Sandoval (Anastasia Antonia). Yes, this is Ben’s first leap into a woman which didn’t seem terribly awkward for him. Incidentally, Sofia Pernas who plays Tammy Jean in the episode is Hartley’s real-life wife.

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Comparing the Original “Quantum Leap” to the Current Series, Part 2

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From Quantum Leap Ep3 “Somebody Up There Likes Ben”

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Continuing to try and figure out the course of the current Quantum Leap TV show on NBC by looking at the past show, I ran across a few things such as the current show’s ratings.

According to Comic Book News, the show is hemorrhaging viewers, but their opinion is in the minority. Besides, even though the show airs on NBC Monday nights, it is available for streaming starting the next day. As far as I can find out, Episode 3 “Somebody Up There Likes Ben,” had an uptick overnight. I suppose that includes me. People could continue to view it throughout the week, or for that matte, for weeks to come.

So far, the leaps Ben (Raymond Lee) takes aren’t particularly remarkable. Episode 2 Atlantis was the most interesting thus far because Ben leapt into an astronaut just as the space shuttle was launching. Other than that (there have only been three episodes aired to date), Ben leaps into someone and helps fix a life with the help of Addison (Caitlin Bassett), much as it happened with Sam (Scott Bakula) and Al (the late Dean Stockwell).

While the original show was almost exclusively focused on Sam and Al and their adventures in the past, the current show toggles back and forth between Ben and Addison in the past and the Quantum Leap team in the present. Add to that, Al’s oldest daughter Janice or Janis (Georgina Reilly), her mysterious relationship with Ben, and how and why she seems to be manipulating Ben’s leaps.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep3 “Somebody Up There Likes Ben”

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Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Somebody Up There Likes Sam”

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I just finished watching the current Quantum Leap show, episode 3, Somebody Up There Likes Ben. It’s October 2, 1977 in Las Vegas and Ben has leapt into a boxer named Danny Hill (Jermaine Alverez Martin). Danny’s got a complicated life. He’s been trained by the old brother who raised him Daryl (Bayardo De Murguia). He’s also seeing a woman named Angela (Danielle Larracuente) who is his boxing opponent’s girlfriend. Confused, Ben gets almost knocked cold by his sparing partner.

Oh, Spoiler Alert!

Long story short, Daryl missed his shot at a boxing career because he served in Vietnam. He’s married, no kids yet, and suffers from PTSD, which was a lot less well understood in the 1970s. Addison is having a hard time pulling data from Ziggy for some reason but eventually figures out that Daryl is in hock up to his eyes and if Danny loses the championship fight the next evening, they’ll lose the gym and Daryl will commit suicide.

At this point, Addison doesn’t mention that Ben has leapt back before his lifetime, but we’ll get there.

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Review of 1993’s Quantum Leap Series Finale “Mirror Image” and What It Means for the Current Series

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Image from the Quantum Leap episode “Mirror Image.”

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I’ve been watching the Quantum Leap revival and reviewed episodes 1 and 2. I’m particularly interested in the mystery around why Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) chose to make an unauthorized leap after receiving a text message from Janice (or Janis) Calavicci (Georgina Reilly), daughter of Al Calavicci (played by the late Dean Stockwell).

However, even before seeing episode 2 “Atlantis,” I formed the same theory that every other fan has; Ben leaped in order to find Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), the creator of Project Quantum Leap who has been missing for thirty years, and to bring him home.

But there are so many missing pieces. While I watched a lot of the original series, I haven’t seen every single episode. Key among them is the controversial series finale Mirror Image – August 8, 1953. More or less for giggles, I decided to watch it last night and it does not disappoint. Further, the story and the history behind it yield vital clues as to what Ben and Janice are up to and why.

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Review of Quantum Leap Ep2, “Atlantis”

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Promotional photo for the Quantum Leap episode “Atlantis.”

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Okay, I’ll admit it. The new Quantum Leap show is growing on me. I just watched the second episode Atlantis and it was pretty good. The leap itself was intriguing, but I’ll get to that. The real gem was the secrets everyone was keeping.

Spoiler Alert: If you don’t want to know what’s in this episode, stop reading now. You have been warned.

The morning after Ben’s second leap, Ian drops by Ben and Addison’s place and sees it torn apart. Addison said that if Ben kept one secret, he could have kept others. Man, does she feel betrayed. She found a thumb drive but it’s encrypted. Ian may be a computer genius but in a fit of realism, he says that Jenn would be better suited to decrypt it. Addison doesn’t trust the team because she’s afraid Ben’s motives in leaping were bad.

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