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Critics say ‘Quantum Leap’ has humor & heart; Raymond Lee is 'a worthy successor to Scott Bakula'
NBC’s revival of Quantum Leap premieres tonight!
Any series that builds off of a show that comes before it can’t help but be compared to the original. Critics are making that comparison for NBC’s new Quantum Leap, and it sounds like many of them believe that the new show is just as fun as the original.
“This 2022 Quantum Leap stays true to the overall vibe of the 1989 version — there is heart! There is hope! — and it does this while also building out the story around it a bit more,” wrote TV Guide’s Maggie Fremont, who added that the more we see of this Quantum Leap world will work in the show’s favor “as it differentiates itself from what came before.”
The premise of the new show builds off the original series, where Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) “jumped” into different people across time. The 2022 show has a similar basic construct with Raymond Lee’s Dr. Ben Song being the physicist stuck leaping into different people in different time periods.
**SPOILER WARNING! Minor spoilers below for the premiere episode of NBC's Quantum Leap!**
In the new show, however, we also see the team from Dr. Song’s contemporary time working to get him back. It also finds Ben with complete memory loss after his initial jump, which means that he doesn’t know that Addison (Caitlin Bassett) — the woman from his time that helps him out in holographic form — is actually his fiancee.
“The possibilities are vast and the ideas elastic,” wrote John Anderson at The Wall Street Journal about the premise of the show as well as the mysteries it sets up. Brian Lowry at CNN.com also agreed that “oscillating between past and present does add a bit more dimension to the framework, which still boasts the procedural component of Ben helping a different person each week before leaping into a new setting.”
Lee also received high praise from critics for his portrayal of a man with no memory sent back in time to inhabit other people's bodies. Fremont called his performance “charming” and commended how Lee “believably navigates the serious and the silly, and he is instantly someone you want to root for.”
Lowry also called Lee a “solid lead,” and TVLine’s Dave Nemetz said he was “a worthy successor to Scott Bakula, juggling action, comedy and drama with ease” before adding that “his considerable chemistry with Bassett, and Ben and Addison’s unique bond, are the biggest selling points so far.”
Quantum Leap premieres tonight on NBC at 10 p.m. ET. New episodes will exclusively head to Peacock the day after they air.