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'Quantum Leap' showrunner on revival's surprising link to the late Al Calavicci
Dean Stockwell may be gone, but his legacy as Al is anything but forgotten.
NBC's Quantum Leap revival paid homage to its predecessor in last night's premiere episode with a tease of Janice Calavicci, daughter of the late Al Calavicci (played by Dean Stockwell in the original iteration of the hit series).
According to Herbert "Magic" Williams (Ernie Hudson), Janice wanted to work on the Quantum Leap project years ago, but found her request denied. The Department of Defense apparently "had concerns" regarding her personal links to Al and Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula). Nevertheless, it seems that she and the latest leaper — Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) — were in cahoots, though it's unclear why they thought it necessary for Ben to make a rogue jump in the first place. We'll know more as the story progresses, especially now that QL security chief, Jenn (Nanrisa Lee), has been tasked by Williams with locating Janice. “The Calaviccis play a huge part of Season 1,” showrunner and executive producer Martin Gero (Blindspot) teased during a post-mortem interview with TVLine. "Georgina Reilly, who plays Janice, will recur heavily on the show."
Gero went on to admit that the production hoped to recruit Stockwell for a "small role on the show" prior to his unfortunate passing earlier this summer. “When he passed, it was important for us to maintain the legacy of that character in the show in a real and profound way.”
He continued: “The show is its own thing, but we have this really beautiful connection to the past that is informing everything that we’re doing, and in a way that I think will reward viewers of the old show but not alienate new viewers who maybe haven’t seen all 90-plus episodes of Quantum Leap. It’s a really cool story, and it’s going to some really awesome places, and I can’t wait for you all to see some more of Georgina as Janice Calavicci.”
Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett), and Ian Wright (Mason Alexander Park) round out the roster of characters working feverishly to get Ben home to the year 2022.
Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (co-creators of God Friended Me and current producers on La Brea), Donald P. Bellisario (creator of the original iteration of Quantum Leap), and Deborah Pratt (writer, producer, and narrator on the original series) also serve as executive producers on this revamp, which is less of a reboot and more of a sequel. If you're a major fan of the OG series, then keep your eyes peeled for Easter eggs in the coming weeks.
“We’re trying to have a couple every [episode], and there’s some iconic props that eventually will make its way back into the canon of this show as well," Gero promised. "This show is being made by fans of the original show, and it’s also being made by the people that made the original show, so that connection to the old show is very palpable.”
New episodes of Quantum Leap premiere on NBC every Monday at 10 p.m. ET. The season premiere is now streaming on Peacock.