8.1/10
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97 user 45 critic

Quantum Leap 

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Scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in the past, "leaping" into the bodies of different people on a regular basis.
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Popularity
915 ( 34)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



5   4   3   2   1  
1993   1992   1991   1990   1989  
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 16 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Scott Bakula ...  Dr. Sam Beckett / ... 97 episodes, 1989-1993
Dean Stockwell ...  Admiral Al Calavicci 97 episodes, 1989-1993
Deborah Pratt ...  Narrator / ... 65 episodes, 1989-1993
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Storyline

Doctor Sam Beckett led a group of top scientists into the desert to research his theory that a man could time travel within his own lifetime. Unfortunately, in order to save his funding, he was forced to enter the accelerator prematurely and vanished. He then found himself in someone else's body with partial amnesia. His only contact from home is Al, a holographic image only he can see and hear. Setting right things which once went wrong, Sam leaps from life to life, hoping each time that this is the final leap home. Written by Kevin <Kibble@vm.temple.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Viajeros en el tiempo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(97 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout the series, Sam Beckett often encountered 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. See more »

Goofs

Al was referred to having orbited the Moon as a NASA Astronaut. NASA's Apollo program, under which the manned Moon launches occurred, took place during the time frame in which Al was established to have been a POW/MIA during the Vietnam War. See more »

Quotes

Sam: I'm running track, Al.
Al: Oh, well look, you pump your arms and you pump your legs and drive through the tape.
Sam: You were a runner too?
Al: No, but it sounds good, doesn't it?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The show has a variety of saga sells (opening narrations) and opening credits. In terms of opening credits and saga sells, there are:
  • 1. the pilot opening (no saga sell; just a sequence shown of flying through clouds)
  • 2. the season one opening (Sam discusses the events of the previous episode)
  • 3. the season two through four opening (the saga opening credits as used in syndicated airings of the show)
  • 4. the season five opening (the same opening credits as seasons two through four, but with a new rendition of the theme song)
  • 5. the final episode opening (the opening credits from season five, but with the original rendition of the theme song)
  • The saga sell variations:
  • 1. narrated by Lance LeGault, starting with ANOTHER MOTHER
  • 2. narrated by Deborah Pratt, starting with ALL AMERICANS
  • 3. narrated by Deborah Pratt (with a Ziggy-esque computerized echo effect added to her voice), starting with HER CHARM
  • 4. the syndicated version (Deborah Pratt narrated)
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Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: Let's Stay Together (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Prologue (Saga Sell)
Written by Mike Post and Velton Ray Bunch
Performed by Velton Ray Bunch with Deborah Pratt (voice over)
Courtesy of Music Corp. of America (BMI)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The greatest TV show ever. Could teach a thing or two to many feature films.
10 June 2007 | by SqueeleSee all my reviews

As a moviegoer, I don't have a great esteem for television. Sure, it has spawned many good shows, and cult characters. But I rarely felt the need to watch EVERY SINGLE EPISODE, afraid of missing even one. And believe me, I'm no short-sighted elitist.

But Quantum Leap is an absolute classic. It's got Heart, great characters, ambitious stories, and it's both accessible and clever. It may not be the strongest Sci-fi concept, but it's the most likely to reconcile the fans of Star Trek AND Magnum P.I. Who could've imagined that?

Donald Bellisario created a true gem of a show, centered around Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) a scientist whose time-travelling theories are backed up by the military, represented by the retired Navy Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell). The experiment goes wrong, and Sam is sent in the past, with most of his scientific knowledge and memories temporarily erased. His body vanished, his mind now trapped in other's bodies, and Sam soon discovers that a "superior authority" can transfer his mind from time to time, only if he manages to "fix what's broken" and give his "host" a better life. Al can communicate with him through holographic form (only noticeable by children, animals - "and blondes, too") in order to help Sam to complete his mission, whether it's to inspire a song to an artist, defend the case of a young Black in a Southern State court during the segregation days, or help a journalist to obtain a Pulitzer Prize while covering the war in Vietnam.

The variety and humanity of the show is what makes it stand above the others. Some episodes are light and humorous, when others are darker, even tragic. Some conclusions are bittersweet, and help the main characters to evolve slightly, but regularly throughout the show. What helps even more is the fantastic chemistry between the two main characters. Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell have found the role of their lives, delivering touching, funny, overwhelming performances, sometimes in the course of only one episode! They're brilliant, as well as the writing, and art direction who recreates every decade from the 50's to the 80's (and sometimes beyond!) perfectly.

As for the ending... without spoiling it, it's by far the most astounding, bold and emotionally charged episode ever produced in the TV history, as far as I know. So many TV shows end up in disappointment (while so many don't even bother to give us a finale, at all...). "Quantum Leap" ending is rewarding, and intriguing. It's ambitious, happy and sad. It's both on the human scale, and larger than life.

Oh boy, what a show.


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