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What Scott Bakula Really Thinks About Quantum Leap’s Original Cliffhanger Ending

Is Scott Bakula happy with how Dr. Sam Beckett ended up?

By Trent Moore

The original Quantum Leap series ended abruptly after being cancelled during the end of its fifth season, with the series’ creators opting to wrap the story up with a now-iconic title card to let viewers know what happened next for the show’s two beloved protagonists.

But looking back all these years later, what does star Scott Bakula think about how Dr. Sam Beckett’s story was left hanging?

The original Quantum Leap ran for 97 episodes and five seasons from 1989-1993, starring Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a man who leaps through time and drops into people’s lives to right wrongs one person at a time. The late Dean Stockwell starred alongside Bakula, playing his advisor and friend Al Calavicci, who appears to Sam as a hologram during his leaps.

For More on Quantum Leap:
Scott Bakula Looks Back on Quantum Leap 35 Years Later: “The Fans Cared”
Quantum Leap Season 2 Finale Makes Huge Callback to Biggest Moment From the Original Series
Late Quantum Leap Author Matt Dale Honored With an “In Memory”: Details

How Did the Original Quantum Leap End?

Quantum Leap

The original Quantum Leap series ended with Sam learning how to seemingly control his leaps, as he decides to leap to a moment in the past to inform the love of Al’s life to wait on him while he’s a prisoner overseas. In the original timeline, she gives up on Al and moves on. But thanks to Sam, she decides to wait on Al to return — a move that changes the trajectory of all their lives.

The series ends there, though as it wasn’t planned as a series finale, it leaves many questions unanswered. So the creators added title cards to the ending to tell viewers how things ended up down the line. We learn that Al and his would-be wife are married and lived happily ever after, and most importantly, we learn that Sam never did return home. 

What Does Scott Bakula Think of Quantum Leap Ending?

Scott Bakula Headshot

In an interview with Vulture around the original series’ 30th anniversary, Bakula opened up about where he thinks Sam ended up after the finale, and seemed at peace with the fact that Sam never did make it home and seemingly chose to continue leaping through time and helping those in need. 

“He’s still out there doing his thing. I like that sentiment that there’s a Sam Beckett out there and he’s doing right by a lot of people,” Bakula said. “There are a lot of people who make a difference every day, and take time to look at other people and not just assume that they know better. So I like that idea. Is it sad that he never gets home? Yes. But sometimes, there’s greater work to be done.”

Of course, NBC also has a new Quantum Leap series that has run for two seasons, which follows a new leaper and team. Though in-canon on the new series, Sam remains lost in time. So yes, that original series finale decision is still intact all these decades later.

Stream the original Quantum Leap series on Peacock, along with the revival series.