Quantum Leap: Season 3, Episode 21

Nuclear Family - October 26, 1962 (15 May 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 91 users  
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Sam must deal with the panic associated with the Cuban Missile Crisis as a Flordia fallout shelter salesman.



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Title: Nuclear Family - October 26, 1962 (15 May 1991)

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Episode cast overview:
Timothy Carhart ...
Mac Ellroy
Burt 'The Turtle' Rosencranz
Kim Flowers ...
Kate Ellroy
Stevie Ellroy
Candace Hutson ...
Kimberly Ellroy (as Candy Hutson)
Delia Salvi ...
Mrs. Kingman
Patrick M. Bruneau ...
Eddie Ellroy


Sam leaps into the body of Eddie Elroy, a college student who is visiting his brother in South Florida during the height of the October missile crisis in 1962. Eddie's brother Mac sells bomb shelters for a living and the crisis is proving to be good fodder for increasing sales. Al tells Sam that that evening the Elroys' neighbor, Burt Rosencranz, will be shot as he tries in a panic to force himself into the bunker during what they all think is a nuclear attack. As a result Mac goes to jail and the family is destroyed. Sam tries to allay everyone's fears by suggesting it will all blow over but they are all genuinely scared and preparing for the worse. Just as President Kennedy goes on television to announce a resolution to the confrontation, there is a power blackout leading them all to believe they are under attack. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1960s | number in title | See All (2) »




Release Date:

15 May 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to a family constituting a father and mother and their children as opposed to an extended family. See more »


Dr. Sam Beckett: [pitching an atom bomb shelter] There you have it: the Ellroy Super-Deluxe, designed to let you sit back, relax and survive in style. So, what do you think?
Mrs. Kingman: I think your pitch need work.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Yeah, well, i'm not really much of a salesman. It's kind of my first day here.
Mrs. Kingman: No, we don't need so much space. It's only me and my husband. We only have so much from his pension and what I make teaching piano.
Dr. Sam Beckett: Mrs. Klingman, you don't have to worry. They're not going to attack us.
Mrs. Kingman: [shudders and moans sadly]
Dr. Sam Beckett: What...
See more »


References Mister Ed (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't Judge an Episode by its Plot Summary!
5 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As I type this on July 5, 2014, the overall IMDb average rating for this episode is an 8.1 out of 10. I'm going along with the other IMDb folks on this one and give it an 8 although a 7.5 would be more accurate but is not a choice.

Despite how silly the plot synopsis seems, once again, the wonderful cast and crew of QL rises well above and beyond to deliver a story that had me on the edge of my seat more than once.

Since I was born only seven months before the culmination of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I have no memory of living through it although in reality, I did. Thank goodness a seven month old baby doesn't remember things! But I'm sure my parents and family WERE quite concerned especially BECAUSE they had a seven month old -- their first and only child.

Writer, Paul Brown and director, James Whitmore, Jr along with the entire QL crew, did a fairly superb job capturing the dear of that generation by creating a story line around one family who had two young children and who lived through that nightmarish hell in 1962.

While definitely not on my top-10 list of QL episodes (maybe not even my top-20!), I still believe this episode IS a winner in its own right and worth watching.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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