Edit
Quantum Leap (TV Series 1989–1993) Poster

(1989–1993)

Trivia

Sam leaped beyond his date of birth a total of four times. In Quantum Leap: The Leap Back - June 15, 1945 (1991), Al and Sam traded places due to an accident, which allowed for leaping within Al's life. In Quantum Leap: The Leap Between the States - September 20, 1862 (1993) revealed that Sam's great-grandfather had a very similar genetic profile and blood type. In Quantum Leap: Play It Again, Seymour - April 14, 1953 (1989) and Quantum Leap: The Americanization of Machiko - August 4, 1953 (1989), he hadn't been born yet but had already been conceived. Since he was able to leap into his great-grandfather, that would already allow him to leap outside of his own lifetime.
This trivia item contains spoilers. Click to view
Jump to: Spoilers (1)
Scott Bakula ad-libbed the line "Oh boy!" at the end of the first episode. The producer liked it so much that it became the signature final line of each episode, as Sam finds himself in a new body.
Al's cigar was the idea of actor Dean Stockwell, who said it was "a good way to get free cigars for five years".
Scott Bakula was the first actor cast, and thus was asked to read with actors under consideration for the role of Al Calavicci. Bakula immediately felt a connection with Dean Stockwell during his audition, and lobbied the producers to cast him as Al Calavicci.
According to Dean Stockwell, his friend Dennis Hopper advised him not to take a role on television so soon after being nominated for an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor for Married to the Mob (1988)). Stockwell took the role anyway and was nominated for four Emmys and four Golden Globes (and won one in 1990) for his role as Al.
The character Sam Beckett was ranked #12 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (August 1, 2004 issue).
Sam Beckett leaped into the year 1958 eight different times, which made it the most leaped into year during the series' entire run.
Quantum Leap (1989) came close to being canceled in its third season due to low ratings. However, a letter writing campaign helped save the series and enabled it to continue for two more years.
There were several ideas for episodes which ultimately were never used. One had Sam leaping in as Robert F. Kennedy. Another idea would involve an animated episode. The producers even toyed with the idea of leaping Sam in as a baby (this was to be the story of the 14th issue of the Quantum Leap comic book, but production ended after issue 13). Also, Donald P. Bellisario wanted to do an episode where Sam leaps in as Thomas Magnum (from Magnum, P.I. (1980)). It is unclear why that episode never materialized, although in an earlier episode, a character is seen watching Magnum, P.I., thus establishing that series as fiction within the Quantum Leap universe.
Scott Bakula did his own singing in episodes in which Sam leaped into musical performers, or was otherwise called upon to do. Prior to his work on television, Bakula had done extensive work in musical theatre.
Donald P. Bellisario's favorite of all his television series.
Deborah Pratt the series narrator and voice of Ziggy, also wrote and executive produced the series. She was married to Donald P. Bellisario when the series aired.
In an interview conducted shortly after the series ended, Scott Bakula was asked if there were any particular historical figures or events he would have liked to see Sam involved with. Bakula said he would have liked to have done something with the Kennedys unrelated to the assassination or relationship with Marilyn Monroe.
Sam Beckett leaped into every year from 1953 through 1987 at least once, except the years 1977, 1984 and 1986. Sam has leaped into the years 1862 and 1945, the only times that he has leaped out of his lifetime.
Though no special mention is made during the series, with the exception of Gooshie, Project Quantum Leap is run almost entirely by women. They include: Dr. Donna Eleese, Sam's wife, also a physicist; Dr. Beeks, a medical technician; Teena Martinez, Al's girlfriend and assistant programmer; an unnamed military envoy; and, though she is never seen, Dr. Sammy Jo Fuller, Sam's daughter sired during a leap, also a physicist. In addition, Ziggy, the sentient computer that controls the project, displays female characteristics.
Almost immediately after the series was canceled, producers announced plans to continue with a television series (or perhaps theatrical) movies. Scott Bakula expressed optimism in the projects and stated that he and Dean Stockwell wanted to continue in their roles. Nothing came of the plans, the closest being an announced movie for the Sci-Fi Channel in the early 2000s which was never produced.
The series actually traces its roots to the original Battlestar Galactica (1978), which Donald P. Bellisario wrote and produced for. The series' revival spin-off, Galactica 1980 (1980) was to originally center around time travel and returning changes in history back to normal. The concept was dropped after the pilot, but Bellisario stuck with the concept to develop into Quantum Leap. The concept of Sam inhabiting the identity of another person to incorporate change for the better was partly inspired by the movie Heaven Can Wait (1978), which in itself was practically a "word for word" remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), with the one exception of changing the lead character from a prize fighter, in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, to a Los Angeles Rams quarterback in Heaven Can Wait.
Scott Bakula (Sam Beckett), Dean Stockwell (Al Calavicci), Bruce McGill (Weird Ernie / Al the Bartender) and Dennis Wolfberg (Gooshie) are the only actors to appear in both the pilot Quantum Leap: Genesis: Part 1 - September 13, 1956 (1989) and the finale Quantum Leap: Mirror Image - August 8, 1953 (1993).
Dean Stockwell was the first to "Leap" through time on the episode of The Twilight Zone (1959), The Twilight Zone: A Quality of Mercy (1961), playing a war-hungry United States lieutenant in August 1945.
Ranked #15 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (May 30, 2004 issue).
Throughout the series, Sam Beckett meets many "future" famous people including: Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Stephen King, Donald Trump (I)', Marilyn Monroe and Bill Clinton, as well as leaping into Ruth Westheimer, Lee Harvey Oswald and Elvis Presley.
Donald P. Bellisario established Sam Beckett's birth year 1953 by reversing digits of his own birth year 1935.
Sam Beckett and series creator Donald P. Bellisario both share the same birthday of August 8.
In the first few episodes of the series, Al exited the Imaging Chamber by an unseen door which opened like a regular door with a turning knob. By the middle of the first season, the effect was changed to the standard rising door with the blue light shining beyond it.
Quantum Leap (1989) has several references to producer Donald P. Bellisario's previous series, Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982), including a character named "Gushie". Quantum Leap: Ghost Ship - August 13, 1956 (1992) featured Captain Cutter, who was the main character in Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982),
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Season One's cliffhanger into Season Two was the teaser for Quantum Leap: What Price Gloria? - October 16, 1961 (1989). The next season, three other episodes premiered before "What Price Gloria?" aired.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Scott Bakula would subsequently star on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001). A number of actors who appeared on "Quantum Leap" also made appearances on various Star Trek series. Most notably, Terry Farrell and J.G. Hertzler and Marc Alaimo who co-starred on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Robert Duncan McNeill who co-starred on Star Trek: Voyager (1995) each made guest appearances on "Quantum Leap". Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Quantum Leap: A Leap for Lisa - June 25, 1957 (1992) both had a character named Commander Riker.
Sam has leaped out of the United States seven times: in Quantum Leap: The Curse of Ptah-Hotep - March 2, 1957 (1992) he leaped into Egypt, a plane over the Bermuda Triangle (Quantum Leap: Ghost Ship - August 13, 1956 (1992)), In Quantum Leap: Lee Harvey Oswald - October 5, 1957 - November 22, 1963: Part 2 (1992) he leaped into & the Soviet Union, a raft in international waters (Quantum Leap: Leaping of the Shrew - September 27, 1956 (1992)), England (Quantum Leap: Blood Moon - March 10, 1975 (1993)), and Vietnam (Quantum Leap: The Leap Home: Part 2 (Vietnam) - April 7, 1970 (1990)).
The episode Lee Harvey Oswald was written by Donald Bellisario after over hearing his children talking about the movie JFK. He always believed that Oswald was the lone gunman. He based this on a conversation with Oswald in the late 50's when both were in the Marines. The meeting was part of the second part of the episode with Matthew Charles Nelson playing Bellisario.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the first season, the prologues explaining what Quantum Leap was about were done by Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett. By the time season two began, the narrations were done by Deborah Pratt as the voice of Ziggy.
Al Calavicci drives two different Ferraris in the series: in Quantum Leap: Genesis: Part 1 - September 13, 1956 (1989), he is in a red 1987 Testarossa (which is shown from very low angles so as to keep the identity of the car hidden), and in Quantum Leap: Killin' Time - June 18, 1958 (1992), he is driving a rare 1981 Berlinetta convertible.
Malcolm McDowell auditioned for the role of Al Calavicci, which would have made him a time traveler for the second time. The first time was Time After Time (1979). An actor of a similar last name (with a difference of only one letter) but no relation, Roddy McDowall didn't play Al, but was his replacement as a holographic contact in Quantum Leap: A Leap for Lisa - June 25, 1957 (1992).
In the episode "Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979", Ernie Sabella plays Manny who in "Man of La Mancha" plays Sancho Panza. Many years later, Sabella played the role of Sancho in the Broadway revival of the musical.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Sam Beckett is revealed to have attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his friend and guide Al Calavicci is mentioned to have also spent some time there.
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Al's Calavicci call-sign (pilot nickname) is "Bingo".
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Throughout the series, Sam Beckett often encounter implied younger versions of various celebrities and other figures (Buddy Holly, Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, Stephen King, Sylvester Stallone, Bill Clinton and others). Writers had proposed scenes for others, but the series was unable to get proper authorization from the people or their estates to depict them.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell would later reunite in the first season episode of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Star Trek: Enterprise: Detained (2002).
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the Season Two episode "All Americans", Al Calavicci correctly predicts the Pittsburgh Steelers would be playing in SuperBowl 30.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Inspired the song "I Always Feel Like I'm Gonna Quantum Leap" by Bonecage.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Over the course of the series, Al is seen by people other than Sam in nine episodes: by Teresa Bruckner in Quantum Leap: Another Mother - September 30, 1981 (1990), by Maggie Dawson in Quantum Leap: The Leap Home: Part 2 (Vietnam) - April 7, 1970 (1990), by Michael Blake in Quantum Leap: A Little Miracle - December 24, 1962 (1990), by Maria in Quantum Leap: Last Dance Before an Execution - May 12, 1971 (1991), by Tibby Johnson and two other mental patients in Quantum Leap: Shock Theater - October 3, 1954 (1991), by several young children in Quantum Leap: Justice - May 11, 1965 (1991), by Angelita Carmen Guadalupe Cecelia Jimenez in Quantum Leap: It's a Wonderful Leap - May 10, 1958 (1992), by Laura Fuller in Quantum Leap: Trilogy: Part 1 - August 8, 1955 (1992) and by Jessica Elroy in Quantum Leap: A Tale of Two Sweeties - February 25, 1958 (1993).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Sam leaped into ten non whites: Jesse Tyler in Quantum Leap: The Color of Truth - August 8, 1955 (1989), Eddie Vega (who was Caucasian but not white) in Quantum Leap: All-Americans - November 6, 1962 (1990), George Washakie in Quantum Leap: Freedom - November 22, 1970 (1990), Charlie "Black Magic" Walters in Quantum Leap: Pool Hall Blues - September 4, 1954 (1990), Herbert "Magic" Williams in Quantum Leap: The Leap Home: Part 2 (Vietnam) - April 7, 1970 (1990), Ray Harper in Quantum Leap: Black on White on Fire - August 11, 1965 (1990), Jesus Ortega in Quantum Leap: Last Dance Before an Execution - May 12, 1971 (1991), Cheree in Quantum Leap: A Song for the Soul - April 7, 1963 (1992), Roberto Gutierrez in Quantum Leap: Roberto! - January 27, 1982 (1992) and Nikos Stathatos in Quantum Leap: Leaping of the Shrew - September 27, 1956 (1992),
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The show's theme song was revamped for the final season. However, the original version of the theme song was used for airings of that season's episodes in the syndicated versions.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Samuel Beckett was also the name of a famed prolific Irish writer and author. Some have seen similarities between the series and some of Beckett's work, notably his play Waiting For Godot. However, it is unclear if the naming of the character and/or perceived parallels were intended or coincidental.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Donald P. Bellisario and Scott Bakula have both expressed their ire with the NBC network over the series finale. Originally, Bellisario was asked to write an episode that could function either as a season finale cliffhanger, or as an end to the series. When Bellisario complied, the cast and crew were assured of the series renewal. In the eleventh hour, NBC decided to cancel the series after all, and reedited the ending with title cards revealing the fate of Sam and Al. This was one of at least four endings, at least two of which were filmed. If the series was to end, Bellisario originally planned to have Al and Beth as an old married couple discussing how they would locate Sam who had leaped again. Had the series continued, Bellisario planned to have Sam leap into a space station in the distant future, and Al becoming a leaper himself to rescue Sam.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page