Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
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Black on White on Fire - August 11, 1965 

As a black medical student during the 1965 Watts riots, Sam must save his white fiancée.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Gregory Millar ...
Lonnie Harper
Corie Henninger ...
Susan Brewster
Sami Chester ...
Bebe
...
Papa David Harper
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Police Captain Paul Brewster
LaVerne Anderson ...
Sheri
...
Mama Harper
Montrose Hagins ...
Matty
...
Young Woman
Jon Berry ...
Police Sniper
...
Ray Harper
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Storyline

Sam leaps into the body of Ray Harper, a promising African-American medical student who has the opportunity at an internship at a Boston hospital. Ray currently lives in Watts and it's the eve of the 1965 race riots. He's engaged to Susan, a white girl, and faces not only her father's wrath but that of his brother Lonnie and his friends. Al tells him that his purpose is to keep Ray and Susan together but there is a chance that Susan might die in the riots. As the violence and race hatred grows, both Ray and Susan must face the challenge of each communities prejudice. Written by garykmcd

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Details

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original history, Ray Harper and Susan Brewster broke up after the Watts riots in August 1965 while Ray gave up his dream of becoming a doctor. See more »

Goofs

When Al orders Sam to keep Susan safe at Ray's home, he tells him it is apartment 218. However, when police later break into the same apartment in order to save Susan from Lonnie, the number of the door is clearly 217. See more »

Quotes

Susan Brewster: [of Lonnie] He doesn't wanna be stopped, Ray. He wants to die.
Admiral Al Calavicci: I think she's right, Sam, I think he wants to be a martyr.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Is that right, Lonnie? You want to be a martyr?
Lonnie Harper: Me, a martyr? Oh, hell, man, Watts is full of martyrs. They don't need me to join 'em.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Then why?
Lonnie Harper: I'm tired of talkin' about 'why'.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Tired or scared?
Lonnie Harper: I ain't afraid o' nothing.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Except living.
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Soundtracks

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
(uncredited)
Written by James Brown
Performed by James Brown (1965)
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User Reviews

 
Embarrassing
18 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is my least favorite episode of Quantum Leap. Its devoid of the usual intelligent and creative storyline that made me a fan. This silly episode is another over done, melodramatic, interracial love story. Unfortunately, the script and story is so embarrassingly bad that its difficult to watch. The episode takes place during the Watts Riot. But the story completely misses the point of that tragic historical event. The blacks are shown as the bad guys and racists while the whites are shown as the victims. Talk about total role reversal! All the black characters are either militant thugs or martyrs. Why couldn't the writers have written this episode where the black character is a hero? And the white girl is portrayed as this loving, kind, person who wants to help blacks but is discriminated against due to the color of her skin. Are they serious? Its absolutely asinine. And they use a talent like CCH Pounder to play a stereotypical "black mom" character who looks down on her own people rather then taking up arms against her oppressors. In one scene she holds a gun against her son's friend but wont take up arms against the whites who killed her husband. Just a shamefully bad episode.


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