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4 things we want to see in the new 'Quantum Leap' series
Oh boy! Quantum Leap is coming back — here's what we hope will be in the show's new iteration.
Fans of Quantum Leap, the early ‘90s show starring Scott Bakula and the late Dean Stockwell, leaped for joy this week when news broke that the series will be coming back to NBC.
While NBC has only ordered a pilot episode for now, we can’t help but speculate about what we hope the new Quantum Leap series will include if it does get picked up, especially since we know it will be more of a sequel than a reboot, as it’s set 30 years after the original show.
Here are the top four things we want to see in the new edition.
1. Bring back Scott Bakula and pay homage to Dean Stockwell
Scott Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett on the original Quantum Leap, a man who leaped into different people across space and time and tried to right some specific past wrong. The series finale had Sam still out there, continuing to leap into other people’s lives. Any sequel has to account for Sam's whereabouts, and Quantum Leap fans will no doubt want to see him back as well. The good news is that while Bakula has yet to be officially confirmed to return, he has said that he was privy to earlier talks to bring the show back, so hopefully there's a good chance we'll see him in the new show.
The other main character on the original show was Stockwell’s character, Al Calavicci. Al was Sam’s dear friend on the Quantum Leap project and helped Sam wherever he jumped to, albeit in holograph form. The duo was the heart of the original series, and since Stockwell sadly passed away last year, we hope the new show will at least recognize his character in some way.
2. Give us a new leaper
We not only want Bakula back, but we also want at least one new leaper as well! It’s been 30 years since the show was on the air, and things have changed in the Quantum Leap world as well as in our own. Perhaps the new show could have Bakula passing the torch to a new leaper in some way, or maybe that will be the new duo — an older Sam Beckett and a younger leaper trying to learn the ropes.
Whatever the setup, having a new leaper with a different background than Beckett’s would give the show more dimension and more story to tell.
3. Keep the adventure-of-the-week plot structure
The original series largely kept to the formula of having Sam jump into a new person each week, without an overarching storyline for a season. That was fairly common for shows at that time but since then, many series have adopted an overarching story arc that unfolds from episode to episode. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that format, and it makes for great television. Part of why Quantum Leap worked so well the first time, however, is that it jumped around each week, putting Sam into new lived experiences and facing new challenges he’s never had to deal with before. If the new show can’t help but have an overarching storyline, the weekly adventures should remain at the forefront of the series and not an afterthought.
4. Like the original, have the new show acknowledge the issues we face
Quantum Leap at its best explored several issues that have impacted the U.S. including racism, misogyny, rape, homophobia, war (particularly Vietnam), and many others. The sequel should continue that tradition and have the new leaper and/or Bakula jump to events that have happened since the show ended in 1993 and that still impact us today. Let’s see stories with a leaper during hurricane Katrina or a school shooting, traumatic events that shape who we are as a country, for better or worse. The best sci-fi explores the issues that impact us today, and Quantum Leap fell in this category while still giving us moments of levity, something that’s also sorely needed these days. Let's hope the new show follows in the original's footsteps.