Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
2 user

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.


Donald P. Bellisario (created by), Paul Brown

Watch for Free

on IMDb Freedive





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Bakula ... Dr. Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell ... Admiral Al Calavicci
John Cullum ... John O'Malley / Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote
Michele Pawk Michele Pawk ... Nicole / Aldonza / Dulcinea
Janine Turner ... Michelle
Ernie Sabella ... Manny / Sancho Panza
Paul Sand ... Charlie
Myra Turley ... Dolores
Maria Lauren Maria Lauren ... Anita
Michael Carl Michael Carl ... Ray Hutton
Marshall Borden Marshall Borden ... Dr. Carrasco (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Rand Hopkins Rand Hopkins ... Pedro (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Michael DeMarlo Michael DeMarlo ... Muleteer (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Jay Horton Jay Horton ... Muleteer (in 'Man of La Mancha')
Jon Huffman ... Innkeeper


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) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This show featured the play "The Man of La Mancha" and the song "Dream the Impossible Dream". Both held special significance to the Quantum Leap cast & crew in that the series equates to Don Quixote's & side kick Sancho Panza's chivalrous pursuit righting wrongs. The song's lyrics often capture the impossible endeavors and requirements of characters Sam Beckett and RADM Al Calavicci. 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: [reminiscing about musicals] Oh, Oklahoma! That's how come he was hummin'...
Admiral Al Calavicci: [sings] "Chicks and dogs and pigs better scurry..."
Dr. Sam Beckett: Ducks.
Admiral Al Calavicci: "When I..." Ducks?
Dr. Sam Beckett: It's ducks and geese, not... pigs and dogs.
Admiral Al Calavicci: Ducks?
Dr. Sam Beckett: Yeah.
Admiral Al Calavicci: Are you sure it's... it's not pigs and dogs? They scurry too.
See more »


The impossible Dream
(partial) (uncredited)
from the musical "Man of La Mancha"
Music by Mitch Leigh
Parody lyrics by uncredited lyricist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

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

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Recently Viewed