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SYFY WIRE Quantum Leap

'Quantum Leap' boss says NBC revival will address Sam's leap into Magic from the OG series

Ernie Hudson's character goes back more than 30 years in the QL universe.

By Josh Weiss
QUANTUM LEAP Season 1 Episode 1

Did you know the character played by Ernie Hudson in NBC's Quantum Leap revival goes back more than 30 years within the world of the show?

Herbert "Magic" Williams first appeared in the original iteration of the series in the 1990 episode entitled "The Leap Home, Part II," where Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) travels back to the days of the Vietnam War, leaping into the body of Herbert "Magic" Williams, who served in the same Navy SEALs platoon as Sam's older brother, Tom.

This will actually be addressed by Williams in the fourth episode of the revamp. “[Magic] does explain, from his point-of-view, that leap,” showrunner and executive producer Martin Gero (Blindspot) teased during a recent interview with TVLine. “Ernie [Hudson] gives this phenomenal monologue. It’s so beautiful. It might be my favorite scene of this first chunk [of episodes]. It’s really, really special.” He also went on to tease an adventure in the Old West — circa the 1870s — come Episode 5. “We’re telling some stories that have not been told about the West, and that is very exciting for us."

Actor Raymond Lee (Kevin Can F**k Himself) leads the revival as Dr. Ben Song, the latest physicist to find himself lost in the ever-flowing stream of past events. While we don't know why Song made the decision to leap in the first place, we do know that he had help from Al's daughter, Janice Calavicci (played by Georgina Reilly), who was rejected from from participating in the Quantum Leap project years before. Hoping to get Ben back to the year 2022, Magic assumes control of the QL team — Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett), Ian Wright (Mason Alexander Park), and Jenn (Nanrisa Lee) — and keeps the U.S. government from asking too many questions.

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 the show.

“She’s been a real connection to the past show and is there every day with us,” Gero said of Platt's involvement. “As a fan of the original show, I don’t want anyone to mess it up. To be able to have Deborah… She’s been banging this drum for 20 years, being like, ‘We got to bring the show back.’ It’s so exciting, not only to do it, but to be able to do it with her.”

New episodes of Quantum Leap premiere on NBC every Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern. The season premiere is now available to stream on Peacock, which also has all five seasons of the OG show.