Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
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Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979 

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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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 ...
Muleteer (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Jay Horton ...
Muleteer (in 'Man of La Mancha')


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

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Release Date:

6 December 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1967 when the Boston Red Sox surprised everyone by winning the AL pennant their theme song was The, Impossible Dream. See more »


Manny reads a newspaper with the headline "Transit Strike Over." However, the New York City transit strike did not begin until April 1, 1980, more than ten months after the events of this episode. See more »


Sam: What is she doing in Syracuse?
Al: I bet a lot people ask themselves that question.
See more »


Features Quantum Leap: So Help Me God - July 29, 1957 (1989) See more »


Man of La Mancha (I Don Quixote)
(partial) (uncredited)
from the musical "Man of La Mancha"
Sung by John Cullum and Ernie Sabella
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the finest episodes in Quantum Leap
11 June 2011 | by 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.

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