Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top secret project, known as QUANTUM LEAP. Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Beckett, prematurely stepped into the Project Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Fortunately, contact with his own time was made through brainwave transmissions, with Al, the Project Observer, who appeared in the form of a hologram that only Doctor Beckett could see and hear. Trapped in the past, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, putting things right, that once went wrong and hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap home.
Time travel is a favorite theme of science fiction television, and in Quantum Leap, it's not controlled. Dr. Sam Beckett, after losing control of a test run of Project Quantum Leap, finds himself leaping from one situation to another within the span of his own lifetime. Of course, he does have a sidekick in Al, his holographic buddy from the future who gives him the background on each situation.
The show was similar to an anthology since Sam was in a completely new situation each episode. It often undertook moral commentary by having Sam leap in as a black man in the racist South, a KKK member, a possibly gay military school student and several women. It was well-written and relied heavily on character development and so the stories were enjoyable. The talents of Scott Bakula were showcased and allowed the show to be more versatile.
Though the premise of Quantum Leap was science fiction, there were usually only hints of science fiction in the individual episodes. There were a few science fiction-themed episodes, such as the Evil Leaper episodes. Sam learned to adjust to the sudden time/place changes and Al always got to say the things we are too polite to say because no one could hear him except Sam. The series is enjoyable to watch over and over because the stories are timeless and there is no technology to become dated.
Quantum Leap Cast & Crew List:
Quantum Leap (1989-1993) IMDB Listing
... Dr. Samuel Beckett
... Al Calavicci
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