Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
1 user 3 critic

Play It Again, Seymour - April 14, 1953 

Sam leaps into a private detective who looks just like Humphrey Bogart.


Aaron Lipstadt


Donald P. Bellisario (created by), Scott Shepherd (teleplay) | 4 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Scott Bakula ... Dr. Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell ... Admiral Al Calavicci
Claudia Christian ... Allison Grimsley
Willie Garson ... Seymour
Paul Linke ... Lionel
Tony Heller Tony Heller ... Nick Allen
Steve Nevil Steve Nevil ... Chuck
Don Keith Opper ... Crooner
Richard Riehle ... Lt. Lannon
Jeanette Miller ... Old Lady
Don Maxwell Don Maxwell ... Policeman
Kevin Mockrin ... Woody Allen
Barbara London Barbara London ... Mama
Ron Ulstad Ron Ulstad ... Bandleader
Hap Lawrence ... Bartender


It's the early 1950s an Sam has leaped into the body of a New York City private detective, Nick Allen. Apart from the fact that Allen bears a striking resemblance to Humphrey Bogart, Sam feels that he has leaped into a cheap pulp novel, something that proves to be all too accurate when he realizes he knows the story and is constantly having a sense of déjà vu. With his partner murdered, Sam has to not only find the murderer but launch the career of a prospective writer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

17 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The April 14, 1953 headline of "The New York Times" states that the Brooklyn Dodgers are playing their season opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In reality, the Dodgers played their opening game for the 1953 season against the Pirates on that date. The Dodgers defeated the Pirates eight runs to five. See more »


Obvious use of stunt double in the elevator shaft. See more »


Admiral Al Calavicci: Sam, I think...
Dr. Sam Beckett: Don't say it, Al.
Admiral Al Calavicci: ...this is the start of a wonderful friendship.
Dr. Sam Beckett: You couldn't resist, could you?
See more »


References The Big Sleep (1946) See more »


Blue Moon
Music by Richard Rodgers (1935)
See more »

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User Reviews

S1: A little soapy at times, but does well by focusing on Sam/Al and constructing around that, not just the drama of the week – although also then doing that too
18 September 2016 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

There is always a bit of trepidation when it comes to revisiting a show which you last watched in your childhood; often you remember stuff with overly affectionate memories. With Quantum Leap this was less the case, since I remember it as a weekly show on BBC2, and although I watched it each time, it was not something that really left a big mark on me. It is interesting to view it back with a slightly more critical eye, to see how the first season is constructed.

The starting point is very much Sam, Al, and the project. The main stories tend to be a little on the soapy side, and mostly they are strong enough to really make you care about the characters or their situation on a very deep level. It is wise then that Sam and Al are strong characters, because our engagement with them brings us into any specific story. This also explains some of the seemingly weaker decisions – eg the chance that Sam would leap close (and unrelated) to a previous (future) partner is unlikely, but it does help us engage with him (and is certainly more interesting than the story he actually is there for). There are some weaker episodes in terms of resolution (Piggy Sue is not funny enough as an idea to cover for it as the end of an episode which was otherwise a so-so romance). Mostly though it is fun enough.

The performances are likable even if a bit soft. Bakula is a good lead; likable and quite easy to watch. Meanwhile Stockwell is fun even if some of his non-PC mannerisms are a little dated now, and perhaps limit him as a character of fun. The always changing support cast are mostly pretty good, doing solid jobs with no time to develop a character. For sure it is broad perhaps, but they are background and at least they mostly avoid full-on cliché (although sometimes this is the goal, and it works). It never totally shakes off the soapy element of many of the stories, but it has good core focus to draw the viewer in, and is delivered with a good ear for humor and drama to make for easy entertainment with lots of potential.

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