Quantum Leap: Season 2, Episode 10

Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979 (6 Dec. 1989)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Sam must save an alcoholic actor from a fall during a performance of "Man of LaMancha." His old piano teacher is also present and finds Sam's host very attractive.


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Title: Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979 (06 Dec 1989)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John O'Malley / Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote
Michele Pawk ...
Nicole / Aldonza / Dulcinea
Manny / Sancho Panza
Maria Lauren ...
Michael Carl ...
Ray Hutton
Marshall Borden ...
Dr. Carrasco (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Rand Hopkins ...
Pedro (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Michael DeMarlo ...
Jay Horton ...
Jon Huffman ...


Sam leaps into the body of Ray Hutton, a working actor in the touring company of Man of La Mancha. He's the understudy to a renowned actor, John O'Malley, who's a bit of lush. His task is to keep the man from suffering a tragic fall during an upcoming performance. Sam is distracted when he sees his first love, Nicole, his one-time piano teacher. Although only 15 years old at the time - and she 25 - Sam adored her. She also at one time had a relationship with Ray Hutton and Sam is having difficulty differentiating between the two. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

6 December 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Cullum was the alternate Cervantes/ Don Quixote during "Man of La Mancha''s original run on Broadway. Cullum would sometimes play the role during weekend matinées, while Richard Kiley, the show's original Cervantes/ Quixote, played it during evening performances. See more »


Shortly after John O'Malley's accident near the end, when Sam looks out across the stage at Dulcinea dancing, you can see the figure of Nicole standing on the opposite side of the stage (wearing a pink dress), but she is supposed to be on stage playing Dulcinea. This was obviously taken from an unused scene shot during the first performance at the beginning of the episode, with Michelle in the role of Dulcinea and Nicole watching in the background. See more »


Admiral Al Calavicci: You gonna be all right?
Dr. Sam Beckett: [quoting loosely from "Man of La Mancha"] What matter wounds to the body of knight-errants? For each time he falls, he shall rise again and woe to the wicked! Al...
Admiral Al Calavicci: Here, Your Grace.
Dr. Sam Beckett: My armor, my sword.
Admiral Al Calavicci: More misadventures?
Dr. Sam Beckett: Adventures, old friend.
See more »


References South Pacific (1958) See more »


Man of La Mancha: Overture
Music by Mitch Leigh
Heard offscreen
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the finest episodes in Quantum Leap
11 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Quantum Leap was one of the finest series on television. In my mind it is up there at the top alongside The Prisoner.

While there wasn't a bad episode in Quantum Leap, and the first and last episodes are certainly the most wonderful, this episode is a masterpiece.

There is often some special element, some fantasy we might all have about time travel. Here it is the crush he had on his piano teacher as a teenager, who he meets again as an actor who had been her lover. So he is in a situation to at least partially realize his dream of telling her he loves her. Who hasn't wished he could travel in time and do that?

What makes this episode special are the many layers of the story, Sam as time traveler, as Sam the kid music student in love with his former piano teacher, Sam as the actor Ray Hutton still in love with her, Sam transformed into an actor who plays a love scene with her, and Sam as Don Quixote.

When you hear Sam singing "The Impossible Dream" from Man From La Mancha the lyrics fit both Sam's endless quest as time traveler, as well as his predicament in his current situation, in love with Nicole, yet from a certain distance:

To dream ... the impossible dream ... To fight ... the unbeatable foe ... To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ... To run ... where the brave dare not go ... To right ... the unrightable wrong ... To love ... pure and chaste from afar ... To try ... when your arms are too weary ... To reach ... the unreachable star ...

And then there is the plot of the episode, itself, which is complex and sophisticated -- for a television show, and good enough for a Broadway production. The acting was as good as it gets, on TV or anywhere.

I see Paul Brown is the writer of this episode, and about half the episodes in the series. That's quite a prolific schedule, with no sacrifice of quality whatsoever. I'm very impressed. I only wish there had been twice as many episodes in the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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