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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Review of Episode 1 of the New “Quantum Leap”

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Promotional poster for “Quantum Leap”

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I’ve been a long-time fan of the original Quantum Leap (1989-1993) starring Scott Bakula and the late Dean Stockwell so naturally when the series relaunch starring Raymond Lee and Caitlin Bassett was announced, I was curious. At first, I had no intention of watching the show. So many reboots and remakes of classic TV shows and films lately have been total disasters so why would I waste my time on another one?

Like I said, I’m a fan of the original show, but I can’t say I’ve seen every episode. I don’t recall seeing the series closer at all, and maybe I should since it’s rather infamous. NBC cancelled the show with no warning at all, and after Sam (Bakula) changed history saving Al’s (Stockwell) marriage, there was only a text notice at the end saying that Sam (misspelled last name because they did it in a hurry) never made it home.

Bakula and Stockwell lobbied NBC for years to do a made-for-TV movie to resolve the show but they always said no. That might be one of the reasons why Bakula refused any connection with the new show.

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Book Review of “Out of Time” (2022) by Dave Sinclair

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Cover art for Dave Sinclair’s “Out of Time”

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I don’t remember what made me buy Dave Sinclair’s time travel/spy book Out Of Time: An Atticus Wolfe Novel. It’s the first of the three-part series (somehow, I think readers expect series these days rather than standalone books). I suppose it was the theme. An MI6 agent in 2024 is suddenly thrust backwards in time to London, November 1963 and joins the same agency, encountering all manner of anachronisms from sixty years in the past.

Atticus Wolfe is an accomplished MI6 agent currently in London. He’s been stalking an international terrorist named Omar Ganim who has been raiding various scientific organizations and is believed to be building a devastating weapon. Wolfe has been unsuccessful in finding Ganim, that is until a twist of fate puts him behind his quarry on a street. With no time to call for help, Wolfe pursues and corners Ganim. He finds Ganim apparently ready to activate a bomb.

Wolfe plays for time, trying to talk Ganim down. Ganim insists he’s not a terrorist or murderer. He appeals to Atticus as a man of color, who, like him, has never experienced justice from the white system. He says he’s going back to fix the mess that the French and English made of the Middle East. There seems to be an explosion.

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Film Review of “DC League of Super-Pets” (2022)

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Movie poster for “DC League of Super-Pets.” (CNS photo/Alon Amir, Warner Bros.)

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Who knew the first movie I’d see in the theater since Rise of Skywalker (2019) would be DC League of Super-Pets (2022). Let me explain.

My son and his wife went on a camping trip, so they dropped my seven-year-old granddaughter off at my wife’s and my house at 9:30 Saturday morning. My wife suggested we go see a movie together. After searching for what was available for kids, I wanted to see Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). She’d already seen it but hadn’t seen the Super-Pets movie yet. Of the two, I knew “Minions” had better reviews, but what the heck?

As far as my overall impression of “Super-Pets,” let’s just say it was fun for seven-year-olds.

Actually, in many ways, it was pretty standard fare for a “buddy” movie. You have two buddies, in this case Superman (voiced by John Krasinski) and Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and then a woman, Lois Lane (voiced by Olivia Wilde) gets in the way. Krypto gets jealous and that’s what causes all of the problems.

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Review of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (2021)

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© James Pyles

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I finally managed to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) when I found the Blu-ray at my local public library. Actually, like the blurb says on the Blu-ray cover, it is “perfect.”

Not absolutely, but it was an amazing experience, especially for a film that is so different from the original (I still haven’t seen the 2016 gender-flipped reboot and we will speak no more about it here).

First of all, McKenna Grace totally nailed it as Igon’s nerdy granddaughter Phoebe. I was a little dubious about a bunch of kids trying to be Ghostbusters, but I really loved how the film pulled it off.

It’s such an unlikely setting, a rural town and former mining community in the-middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma, but it worked.

Callie (Carrie Coon), Igon Spengler’s (the late Harold Ramis) daughter and her two kids Phoebe and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) are evicted from the apartment somewhere (the location is never disclosed), and go to the only place left to them. A year ago, Igon died and Callie hopes to sell his farm to recoup her losses. No such luck.

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Book Review of “Infinity Engine: Transformation Book Three”

infinity engine

Cover art for Neal Asher’s novel “Infinity Engine”

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It’s been three-and-a-half years since I first started this trilogy with Dark Intelligence and almost three years since I read and reviewed part two, War Factory. Now I wrap up Neal Asher’s Transformation trilogy with Infinity Engine.

The hardest part of reading these books is keeping track of all of the characters. In Book One, Thorvald Spear seemed to be the central character and he still receives a lot of the focus, but the Black AI Penny Royal (I love the name) is the intelligence that is manipulating all of the other characters and circumstances to their own ends.

A main component was introduced in the last book, “Room 101,” a former weapons factory orbiting a supergiant star that, according to Penny Royal’s design, is being remade into something radically different.

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Review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The First Season

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If you follow this blog, you know I’ve been reviewing, episode by episode, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Basically, it’s Kurtzman NuTrek designed to appeal to the old school “Star Trek” fan like me. Did it work?

Sort of.

First of all, let’s be clear that you can’t make a television show (or any art form) in 2022 and have it seem like it was created in 1966. All art is a reflection of its time. If you remade films like Casablanca (1942) or Gone With The Wind (1939) today, they wouldn’t be anything like the original classics because approximately eighty years have passed.

So expecting SNW to be like the original Star Trek starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy is completely unrealistic.

That said, I totally miss that era in science fiction and in television in general.

There’s almost no way to compare the two shows and yet, it begs the question was SNW “Star Trek?”

What makes Star Trek “Star Trek?”

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