Quantum Leap is an American science-fiction television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who leaps through spacetime during an experiment in time travel, by temporarily taking the place of other people to correct historical mistakes. Dean Stockwell co-stars as Admiral Al Calavicci, Sam's womanizing, cigar-smoking companion and best friend, who appears to him as a hologram.
|Created by||Donald P. Bellisario|
|Narrated by||Deborah Pratt (Intro)|
Scott Bakula (Episodes)
|Theme music composer||Mike Post|
|Composer(s)||Velton Ray Bunch|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||97 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Donald P. Bellisario|
|Production location(s)||California, USA|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Belisarius Productions|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||SD: 4:3 (broadcast/DVD release)|
HD: 16:9 (streaming)
|Original release||March 26, 1989 –|
May 5, 1993
Quantum Leap follows the narrative of Dr. Sam Beckett (Bakula), a physicist who has become stuck in the past as a result of a time-travel experiment gone wrong, and his attempts to return to his present, the late 20th century, by altering events in the past for the better, with the aid of a hologram of his friend Admiral Al Calavicci (Stockwell), monitoring him from Sam's present.
In the series premiere, Sam has theorized the ability to travel in one's own lifetime and is the lead scientist of the government-funded Project Quantum Leap, operating from a secret laboratory in New Mexico; Al oversees the project for the government. When Al learns that funding for the project is in danger of being pulled because no demonstrable results have come from the project, Sam takes it upon himself to step into the Quantum Leap accelerator to prove that the project works; unfortunately, he does this well before the project is ready to be demonstrated, and is sent into the past. When Sam gains consciousness, he finds himself suffering from partial amnesia, and is more surprised to find that his appearance to others, including what he sees in the mirror, is not his own face. He finds that Al has come to his aid as a hologram that only Sam can see and hear, as it is tuned to his brainwaves. Al, working with the project's artificial intelligence Ziggy (voiced by Deborah Pratt), determines that Sam must alter an event in the current period he is in so as to re-engage the Quantum Leap process and return home. Al helps Sam overcome some facets of his "Swiss-cheese memory" and provides information on history as it originally happened. He also updates Sam on future events and relates possible outcome-probabilities using a handheld communication device in contact with Ziggy. The device is often temperamental and must be struck a few times as it emits electronic beeping and whirring sounds before the information is revealed. With Al and Ziggy's help, Sam is able to successfully change history, and then leaps out, only to find himself in the life of someone else in a different period of time.
Episodes in the series subsequently follow Sam's reaction to each leap (typically ending the cold open with him uttering "Oh, boy!" on discovering his situation), and then working with Al and Ziggy to figure out his new identity and who he needs to help to "set right what once went wrong" and trigger the next leap. An episode typically ends as a cliffhanger, showing the first few moments of Sam's next leap (along with him again uttering "Oh, boy!" on discovering his situation), which is repeated in the following episode's cold open. Though initially Sam's leaping is believed by Al and the others on the Quantum Leap team to be random, the characters come to believe in later seasons that someone or something is controlling Sam's leaping, and this is a central focus of the show's finale episode, "Mirror Image".
When Sam leaps, his body is physically present in the past, although he appears to others as the person into whom he leaped. In one case, after leaping into a Vietnam veteran who has lost both legs, Sam is still able to walk normally, but appears to others as if he is floating. Sam's body and mind may become jumbled with those into whom he has leaped. In one situation, he leaps into a woman near the end of her pregnancy and feels her birth pains, while in another episode, he leaps into Lee Harvey Oswald and feels an intense pressure to assassinate John F. Kennedy, despite knowing that it is the wrong thing to do. Similarly, the persons into whom Sam has leaped are brought into the future, where they appear as Sam to the others; they are normally kept in an isolated waiting room to prevent them from learning anything about the future, and they return to their own time when Sam leaps.
In most of Sam's leaps, the changes he makes are small on the grand scale, such as saving the life of a person who might otherwise have died, or helping making someone's life better. Selected episodes, however, demonstrate more dramatic effects of his time travels. In one episode, Sam's actions ultimately lead to Al's death prior to the project, and Sam finds himself suddenly aided by a new hologram, "Edward St. John V" (played by Roddy McDowall), and must work to prevent Al's death. In another episode, when again the project's funding is threatened, Sam helps a young woman successfully pass the bar; this results in her becoming one of the members of Congress who oversees the project and aids in the restoration of its funding. In the episode involving Lee Harvey Oswald, while Sam and Al do not prevent the assassination of Kennedy, Sam's actions prevent Oswald from making a second shot that killed Jacqueline Kennedy in the original fictional history.
Because of the time-travel aspect, many episodes allude to famous people or incidents indirectly, such as Sam suggesting to young Donald Trump that New York real estate will be valuable in the future, suggesting the lyrics of "Peggy Sue" to a teenaged Buddy Holly, showing young Michael Jackson his signature moonwalk dance for the first time, giving Dr. Henry Heimlich the idea for his namesake maneuver by saving him from choking, and setting in place actions that lead to the discovery of the Watergate scandal. Two notable episodes place Sam directly at the center of significant historical events, one being the leap into Oswald. In "Goodbye Norma Jean", Sam appears as Marilyn Monroe's bodyguard, who saves her life and convinces Marilyn to remain alive for her starring role in The Misfits. Other episodes explore the past of the main characters, such as Sam saving his brother from being killed in the Vietnam War, and saving Al's marriage to Beth.
In the final episode, "Mirror Image", Sam leaps through spacetime as himself (without replacing another person), arriving at the exact time of his birth, where he meets a mysterious barkeep (Bruce McGill, who also appeared in the first episode in a different role). The barkeep is aware of Sam's situation and assures him that Sam himself controls the very nature and destinations of his leaps ("to make the world a better place"), and that Sam is always able to return home at any time he truly wants. In the final episode's epilogue, Sam is shown to leap back to visit Al's wife Beth as himself again, assuring her that her husband (who was a prisoner of war at the time) will return home to her; this results in Al and Beth remaining happily married in the future, while Sam continues leaping, never returning home.
In each episode, a different cast of guest characters appears, mostly the ones whom Sam replaces with his leaps. Several other characters are referred to regularly throughout the series, but are mostly unseen.
The main premise for Quantum Leap was inspired by such movies as Heaven Can Wait and Here Comes Mr. Jordan. It may also evolved out of an unused Battlestar Galactica story that was proposed for the Galactica 1980 series. Series creator Donald P. Bellisario saw its concept as a way of developing an original anthology series, as anthologies were unpopular with the networks.
The theme for the series was written by Mike Post. It was later rearranged for the fifth season, except for the series finale episode, which featured the original theme music. Scores for the episodes were composed by Post and Velton Ray Bunch.
A soundtrack album was first released in 1993, titled "Music from the Television Series Quantum Leap", dedicated to John Anderson, who played Pat Knight in "The Last Gunfighter". It was released by GNP Crescendo on CD and cassette tape.
|1||Prologue (Saga Sell)||Mike Post, Velton Ray Bunch
Deborah Pratt (voice over)
|2||Quantum Leap (Main Title)||Mike Post||1:15|
|3||Somewhere in the Night||Scott Bakula||3:32||Piano Man|
|4||Suite from the Leap Home||Velton Ray Bunch||3:37||The Leap Home, part 1|
|5||Imagine||John Lennon||3:05||The Leap Home, Part 1|
|6||Sam's Prayer||Velton Ray Bunch||1:52||A Single Drop of Rain|
|7||Blue Moon of Kentucky||Bill Monroe||1:41||Memphis Melody|
|8||Baby, Let's Play House||Arthur Gunter||2:13||Memphis Melody|
|9||Shoot Out||Velton Ray Bunch||3:03||The Last Gunfighter|
|10||Medley from Man of La Mancha||Scott Bakula||6:18||Catch a Falling Star|
|11||Bite Me||Velton Ray Bunch||3:29||Blood Moon|
|12||Alphabet Rap||Dean Stockwell||2:05||Shock Theater|
|13||Suite from "Lee Harvey Oswald"||Velton Ray Bunch||14:55||Leaping on a String|
|14||Fate's Wide Wheel||Scott Bakula||3:05||Glitter Rock|
|15||A Conversation with Scott Bakula||Scott Bakula (interview)||12:02|
|16||Quantum Leap (Prologue and Main Title Reprise)||Mike Post, Velton Ray Bunch||2:20|
The Quantum Leap series was initially moved from Friday nights to Wednesdays. It was later moved twice away from Wednesdays to Fridays in late 1990, and to Tuesdays in late 1992. The series finale aired in its Wednesday slot in May 1993.
The most frequent time-slot for the series is indicated by italics:
In the United Kingdom, the show began on BBC Two on February 13, 1990 , airing Tuesday evenings at 9:00PM. The final episode was scheduled to be aired on June 14, 1994, but altered schedules after the death of British dramatist Dennis Potter earlier that month delayed the airing until June 21, 1994.. Repeat episodes continued on the channel at various times until December 28, 1999 . It has since aired several times on satellite and cable television, rerunning late at night on television channel Cozi TV.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the entire, digitally remastered, Quantum Leap series on DVD. There was some controversy when fans discovered that many songs had been replaced from the soundtrack due to music rights issues. For the fifth season, Universal included all of the original music.  
On February 7, 2017, Mill Creek re-released Quantum Leap - The Complete series on DVD and also released the complete series on Blu-ray for the very first time. The 18-disc set contains all 97 episodes of the series as well as most of the original music restored for all seasons.
|Season - DVD name||Episodes||DVD release date|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season 1 - The Complete First Season||9||June 8, 2004||November 8, 2004||May 2, 2005|
|Season 2 - The Complete Second Season||22||December 14, 2004||October 31, 2005||February 7, 2006|
|Season 3 - The Complete Third Season||22||May 10, 2005||December 12, 2005||June 7, 2006|
|Season 4 - The Complete Fourth Season||22||March 28, 2006||June 26, 2006||November 2006|
|Season 5 - The Complete Fifth Season||22||November 14, 2006||December 26, 2006||February 21, 2007|
|Seasons 1–5 - The Complete Series
(The Complete Collection)
|97||November 4, 2014||October 8, 2007||N/A|
Despite its struggling start with poor broadcast timings, the series had gained a large 18–49 demographics of viewers. The finale was viewed by 13 million American households. In 2004 and 2007, Quantum Leap was ranked #15 and #19 on TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever."
|1989||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Roy H. Wagner||Genesis, Part 1|
|Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series||Virginia Kearns||Double Identity|
|1990||Quality TV Award||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Scott Bakula|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series,
Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Michael W. Watkins||Pool Hall Blues|
|1991||Quality TV Award||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Scott Bakula|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Dean Stockwell|
|Edgar Award||Best Television Episode||Paul Brown||Good Night, Dear Heart|
|DGA Award||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series' - Night||Michael Zinberg||The Leap Home, Part 2 - Vietnam|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series||Gerald Quist
|The Leap Home, Part 1|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Series||Michael W. Watkins||The Leap Home, Part 2 - Vietnam|
|1992||Quality TV Award||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Scott Bakula|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama||Scott Bakula|
|1993||Quality TV Award||Best Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Scott Bakula|
|Young Artist Award||Best Young Actress Guest-Starring in a Television Series||Kimberly Cullum|
|ACE Award||Best Edited One Hour Series for Television||Jon Koslowsky||A Song for the Soul|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Editing for a Series,
Single Camera Production
|Jon Koslowsky||Lee Harvey Oswald|
Innovation Publishing produced a series of comic books which ran for thirteen issues from September 1991 through August 1993. As with the television series, each issue ended with a teaser preview of the following issue and Sam's exclamation of "Oh, boy." Among the people Sam found himself leaping into in this series were:
|1||"First There Was a Mountain, Then There Was No Mountain, Then There Was"||High school teacher named Karen Connors in Memphis, Tennessee.||March 25, 1968|
|2||"Freedom of the Press"||Death row inmate named Willie Jackson, who must prevent a murder on the outside.||June 11, 1962|
|3A||"He Knows If You've Been Bad or Good ..."||Part-time Santa Claus, who goes by the name of Nick.||December 20, 1963|
|3B||"The Infinite Corridor"||Student at MIT named Matt Randall, who is researching quantum physics.||April 2, 1968|
|4||"The 50,000 Quest"||Contestant amid the quiz show scandals.||August 15, 1958|
|5||"Seeing is Believing"||Newspaper reporter/columnist, who responds to a girl seeing a UFO.||November 14, 1957|
|6||"A Tale of Two Cindys"||Teenage girl with an identical twin sister.||February 12, 1959|
|7A||"Lives on the Fringe"||Professional golfer with the Mafia after him.||1974|
|7B||"Sarah's Got a Gun"||Bus driver, who discovers child abuse.||May 19, 1953|
|8||"Getaway"||Bank robber, while the leapee tours the Project with Al.||1958|
|9||"Up Against a Stonewall"||Sequel to "Good Night, Dear Heart." Stephanie Heywood is released from prison after serving twelve years for manslaughter.||June 22, 1969|
|10||"Too Funny For Words"||Stand-up comedian, who befriends a fading silent movie star.||June 13, 1966|
|11||"For the Good of the Nation"||Doctor studying the effects of LSD on human subjects.||July 1958|
|12||"Waiting"||Gas station attendant with a lot of time on his hands.||April 24, 1958|
|13||"One Giant Leap"||An extraterrestrial aboard an orbiting spaceship.||June 5, 1963|
|||"Two Dweebs and a Little Monster"||Not published|
Few of the comic stories referenced episodes of the television series, with the exception of the ninth issue, "Up Against a Stonewall."
There have been occasional announcements of plans to revisit or restart the series. In July 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel announced its development of a two-hour television film based on Quantum Leap, which it was airing in reruns at the time, that would have served as a backdoor pilot for a possible new series, with Bellisario as executive producer. During the TV Guide panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, Scott Bakula said that Bellisario was working on a script for a projected Quantum Leap feature film. In October 2017, Bellisario confirmed at the L.A. Comic Con that he has finished a script for a feature film.
Adult Swim's Robot Chicken has parodied the show on at least two occasions. Once, showing the character of Sam Beckett leaping into a woman who appeared to be a sex worker. On another episode, a character is shown 'leaping' into other characters and his reflection is not his own. This episode also features an opening theme similar to Quantum Leap.
Seth McFarlane's Family Guy has referenced the show on at least 3 different episodes. 'The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz,' Peter Griffin is shown going door to door as a Jehovah's Witness and says that Jesus, "would travel from place to place putting things right that once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap would be the leap home"; then the show cuts away to an animated Jesus 'leaping' into a scene. In 'The Kiss Seen Around the World', Al the hologram is shown entering a scene like he would on Quantum Leap and character Neil Goldman asks, 'Al, why haven't I leaped?' In the episode Back to the Pilot, Stewie says he learned the rules of time travel by watching the show.
On June 16, 2016, Scott Bakula made a brief reprise of his role as Sam Beckett on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Colbert made a reference to an episode where Sam Beckett has leapt into the body of a 1950s New York cab driver, whose comment about investing in New York real estate is heard by a young Donald Trump. Using a handset to talk to Ziggy, Colbert leaps back as a hologram to help Sam Beckett attempt to change the future.
Rear Admiral Upper Half Albert "Al" Calavicci, USN, is a fictional character on the science fiction television series Quantum Leap, played by Dean Stockwell.Ashley McConnell
Ashley McConnell is an American author. Her first novel, Unearthed, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers of America. In addition to horror, she has published numerous fantasy and media tie-in novels, including several for the television shows Quantum Leap, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1, and several short stories.Dean Stockwell
Robert Dean Stockwell (born March 5, 1936) is a retired American actor of film and television, with a career spanning over 70 years. As a child actor under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he first came to the public's attention in films such as Anchors Aweigh (1945), The Green Years (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Kim (1950). He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Married to the Mob (1988).
As a young adult, he played a lead role in the 1957 Broadway and 1959 screen adaptations of Compulsion and in 1962, Stockwell played Edmund Tyrone in the film version of Long Day's Journey into Night. He appeared in supporting roles in such films as Paris, Texas (1984), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Blue Velvet (1986), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), The Player (1992), and Air Force One (1997).
His television roles include playing Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci in Quantum Leap (1989–1993) and Brother Cavil in the Sci Fi Channel revival of Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009). Following his roles on Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica, Stockwell appeared at numerous science fiction conventions.Donald P. Bellisario
Donald Paul Bellisario (born August 8, 1935) is an American television producer and screenwriter who created and sometimes wrote episodes for the TV series Magnum, P.I. (1980), Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982), Airwolf (1984), Quantum Leap (1989), JAG (1995), and NCIS (2003). He has often included military veterans as characters.Doosan Fuel Cell America
Doosan Fuel Cell America (formerly ClearEdge Power, Inc.) is a fuel cell manufacturer focusing on the stationary fuel cell. It is headquartered in South Windsor, Connecticut, U.S. The company employed 225 people as of August 2011. It closed its operations in Connecticut in April 2014, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2014. The company has been merged with Fuel Cell Power under a new name Doosan Fuel Cell .Good Night, Dear Heart
"Good Night, Dear Heart" is a 1990 episode of the American science fiction television series Quantum Leap. Lead character Sam Beckett "leaps" (travels through time) to 1957, into the body of a mortician investigating the death of a young German immigrant woman. What at first appears to be a suicide by drowning turns out to be foul play. The episode, the 17th of season 2, was written by Paul Brown and directed by Christopher T. Welch. It aired originally on March 7, 1990.
Paul Brown won an Edgar Award for Best Episode in a TV Series for writing "Good Night, Dear Heart". The character Stephanie Heywood was later featured in an issue of the Quantum Leap comic book series.James Whitmore Jr.
James Allen Whitmore III (born October 24, 1948), better known as James Whitmore Jr., is an American actor best known for his role as Captain Jim Gutterman on the television program Baa Baa Black Sheep, and (since the 1980s) a television director. He is the son of actor James Whitmore.List of Quantum Leap characters
The following is a list of characters from the sci-fi/drama Quantum Leap, created by Donald P. Bellisario.List of Quantum Leap episodes
Quantum Leap is an American television series that first aired on NBC from March 1989 to May 1993. The series was created by Donald P. Bellisario, and stars Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett. This list is in chronological order of broadcasts.Quantum Leap (season 1)
The first season of Quantum Leap ran on NBC from March 26 to May 17, 1989. It consists of eight episodes. The show, a late-season replacement, was recognized with a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series, for the work on "Double Identity".Quantum Leap (season 2)
Season two of Quantum Leap ran on NBC from September 20, 1989 to May 9, 1990. It consists of twenty-two episodes. During this season, Dean Stockwell won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. "Pool Hall Blues" received an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series. "Good Night, Dear Heart" received an Edgar Award for Best TV Series Episode.Quantum Leap (season 3)
Season three of Quantum Leap ran on NBC from September 28, 1990 to May 22, 1991. It consists of twenty-two episodes. The season's two-part premiere episode received two Creative Arts Emmys, with part one recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series and part two recognized for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series. The second part also earned Michael Zinberg a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Shows – Night.Quantum Leap (season 4)
Season four of Quantum Leap ran on NBC from September 18, 1991 to May 20, 1992. It consists of twenty-two episodes. Scott Bakula won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Drama for this season's work.Quantum Leap (season 5)
Season five of Quantum Leap ran on NBC from September 22, 1992 to May 5, 1993. It consists of twenty-two episodes. An episode from the show's final season received another Creative Arts Emmy Award, this time for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production (episode "Lee Harvey Oswald").Richard Herd
Richard Herd Jr. (born September 26, 1932) is an American actor in television and film. He is well known in the science fiction community for his role in the 1983 NBC miniseries V and the 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle, as John, the Visitors' Supreme Commander. Other major genre roles include recurring parts on the NBC series seaQuest DSV as Admiral William Noyce, on Star Trek: Voyager as Admiral Owen Paris, the father of Tom Paris, and as George Costanza's boss Mr. Wilhelm on Seinfeld. In two guest appearances on Quantum Leap, he played children's show host "Captain Galaxy" (Moe Stein), a would-be time traveler, and a miner named Ziggy Ziganovich. Herd has appeared at a number of fan conventions on the basis of his science fiction roles.Sam Beckett
Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett is a fictional character and the protagonist on the science fiction television series Quantum Leap, played by Scott Bakula.Initially, the audience knows very little about Sam, much as Sam knows little about himself due to holes in his memory dubbed the "Swiss cheese effect" -- a side effect from the time travel (and an effective trope to allow the writers to add to Sam's character as the show went on). Eventually, it turned out that Sam was a true Renaissance Man, equally good at math/science and the arts. His skills allow him to adapt to the various situations that he finds himself in, although many of those situations still take Sam off guard with comical results.
Sam tends to fall in love easily, yet be naive about women; his traveling companion Al Calavicci has playfully called him a "Boy Scout."
Sam also learned painful things from his past that likely inspired him to travel through time in the first place. Sam tries to do the right thing no matter what, although when the leaps hit close to home, he tends to lose perspective and make irrational decisions; at those times, he requires Al to guide him back to the right path.Scott Bakula
Scott Stewart Bakula (; born October 9, 1954) is an American actor, singer and director. His primary lead roles were in two science-fiction television series: as Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap, and as Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise. For Quantum Leap he received four Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award.
Bakula starred on the comedy-drama series Men of a Certain Age, and guest-starred in seasons two and three of NBC's Chuck as the title character's father Stephen J. Bartowski. From 2014 to 2015, he played entrepreneur Lynn in the only two seasons of the HBO show Looking. In 2014, he began playing Special Agent Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride on NCIS: New Orleans.Sinclair QL
The Sinclair QL (for Quantum leap), is a personal computer launched by Sinclair Research in 1984, as an upper-end counterpart to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The QL was aimed at the serious home user and professional and executive users markets from small to large businesses and higher educational establishments, but failed to achieve commercial success.The Quantum Leap
The Quantum Leap is a sculpture situated next to the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom. It was created to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of evolutionist Charles Darwin, who was born in the town in 1809. The sculpture was unveiled on 8 October 2009 by Randal Keynes, a great-great-grandson of Darwin.
Television series created by Donald P. Bellisario