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Old March 13 2009, 12:05 AM   #1
Aquehonga
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Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Had QL came on in March 1969 & went off in May 1973.

Who would the cast of this Quantum Leap have been?

Robert Culp, William Windom, Dean Spockwell, Michael Douglas or, someone else not suggested here, as Dr. Sam Beckett. Beckett's bio is basically the same except either WWII or Korea are the war which affected his family directly. Instead of Vietnam.

Martin Balsam, Abe Vigoda, Jackie Gleason, Jonathan Harris, or, someone else not suggested here, as Al. Al in this is either a WWII or Korean War vet. Instead of Nam.

The role(s) of Deborah Pratt on QL, both onscreen & off, could've been provided by Majel Barrett in this imaginary 1969-1973 QL. Unless you can think of someone else.

What do you imagine this Quantum Leap would've been like?
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Old March 13 2009, 12:09 PM   #2
The Laughing Vulcan
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

It would be a little like The Time Tunnel


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Old March 13 2009, 01:05 PM   #3
Aquehonga
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

The Laughing Vulcan wrote: View Post
It would be a little like The Time Tunnel

I've seen Irwin Allen's The TIME TUNNEL

Caught it on AmericanLifeTV Network last year.

Still comes on there Thursday nights at 9: pm.

Dean Spockwell may've been on TTT in a guest-role. Maybe

TJ Hooker would've made a good Sam on an early 70's QL also.
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Old March 13 2009, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

It would have been cheesy(er) as network TV was mostly unsophisticated at that time, with MASH and All In The Family yet to arrive on the scene...
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Old March 13 2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

The history, the controversial subjects wouldn't be touched on or have as big as an impact.

It might be like the Twilight Zone or campy like Star Trek. Sam would probably be able to go home every week in his hi-tech time chamber.

Robbie the robot would be his A.L.(artificial lifeform)
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Old March 13 2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

In the very best possible version that could have been made then... the 'kisses with history' would have the central aspect of the series's format. Every leap would have had to have had an easily explained impact on keeping history 'on track' - if Sam jumped into a local doctor, he'd deliver Mrs Truman's baby Harry; if he was a sailor on a World War 2 patrol boat, he'd be instrumental in his skipper JFK's survival after its sinking... etc.
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Old March 13 2009, 09:40 PM   #7
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Uhh... it's Dean Stockwell, not Spockwell. He doesn't have pointed ears.

And in 1969, William Windom would've been 46, closer to Al's age than Sam's. And he was definitely more the grizzled sidekick type than the leading man type.

And they did make QL 20 years earlier, and called it The Time Tunnel. Honestly, they have exactly the same setup. The main difference is that TTT was about travelling between different important historical events that could be represented by stock footage from old movies, while QL was an anthology disguised as an ongoing series, dropping its lead character into different dramatic situations at various points in recent history but shying away from big events.

If QL had been made in 1969, it probably would've been less like QL and more like TTT. Part of the reason for QL's format was that it was a reaction to decades of time-travel stories that focused on big historical events. To some degree, it was specifically trying to be different from TTT and other shows and films that used that cliche. 20 years earlier, it wouldn't have been seen as such a cliche, and television and popular culture in general wouldn't have been at a point where they sought to deconstruct previous pop-culture cliches.

On the other hand, QL's pseudo-anthology drama approach is very '60s in its way, reminiscent of shows like The Fugitive. So maybe a show using its format, taking a more grounded, dramatic approach and keeping the sci-fi elements (and associated expense) to a minimum, could've come along in the '60s, if it had occurred to someone to try it. Maybe Rod Serling could've pulled it off. It would've been seen as a very innovative approach to genre TV, bringing a new maturity to it, but that very maturity would've made it much harder to sell the idea to executives with preconceptions about what sci-fi was like. On the other hand, the pseudo-anthology format could've helped sell it, since it's a format the execs were already familiar with.
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Old March 14 2009, 01:54 AM   #8
Aquehonga
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Uhh... it's Dean Stockwell, not Spockwell. He doesn't have pointed ears.

And in 1969, William Windom would've been 46, closer to Al's age than Sam's. And he was definitely more the grizzled sidekick type than the leading man type.

And they did make QL 20 years earlier, and called it The Time Tunnel. Honestly, they have exactly the same setup. The main difference is that TTT was about travelling between different important historical events that could be represented by stock footage from old movies, while QL was an anthology disguised as an ongoing series, dropping its lead character into different dramatic situations at various points in recent history but shying away from big events.

If QL had been made in 1969, it probably would've been less like QL and more like TTT. Part of the reason for QL's format was that it was a reaction to decades of time-travel stories that focused on big historical events. To some degree, it was specifically trying to be different from TTT and other shows and films that used that cliche. 20 years earlier, it wouldn't have been seen as such a cliche, and television and popular culture in general wouldn't have been at a point where they sought to deconstruct previous pop-culture cliches.

On the other hand, QL's pseudo-anthology drama approach is very '60s in its way, reminiscent of shows like The Fugitive. So maybe a show using its format, taking a more grounded, dramatic approach and keeping the sci-fi elements (and associated expense) to a minimum, could've come along in the '60s, if it had occurred to someone to try it. Maybe Rod Serling could've pulled it off. It would've been seen as a very innovative approach to genre TV, bringing a new maturity to it, but that very maturity would've made it much harder to sell the idea to executives with preconceptions about what sci-fi was like. On the other hand, the pseudo-anthology format could've helped sell it, since it's a format the execs were already familiar with.
Thank you for your feedback Christopher

I didn't realize William Windom was 46 in 1969

William Windom is tad older than I thought. Windom played the U.S. President in "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" didn't he?

As you & The Laughing Vulcan pointed out, Irwin Allen's "The Time Tunnel" was essentially a 60's QL. TTT reruns air Thursday nights on AmericanLifeTV at 9: pm.

I saw TTT for the first time last year on that cable/satellite network. IMO, TTT is a great idea, but disappointing in it's execution. Some episodes had me thinking & saying to myself.

As you suggested, Rod Serling could've made a quality '69-'73 QL. If Mr. Serling were unavailable, John Newland, Joseph Stefano or Ben Brady would have made good choices as executive producer for a '69-'73 QL series.

Christopher, are you related to Tony?
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Old March 14 2009, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

^Tony Bennett's real name is Anthony Benedetto. We're not related.
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Old March 14 2009, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Uhh... QL was an anthology disguised as an ongoing series, dropping its lead character into different dramatic situations at various points in recent history but shying away from big events.
They did do the JFK assassination, though, didn't they? IIRC, they took a position very contrary to that then popular in the media (Stone's JFK, Ruby, etc) by having Oswald as the assassin.
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Old March 14 2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Since I first saw this thread I have been trying to think of who would have been an appropriate actor to cast as Sam Beckett back in 69.

I was completely stumped until I just had this idea -

Bill Bixby

I am partially basing this on the fact that he also starred in a pseudo-anthology drama The Incredible Hulk. Bixby had a similar likable "Every Man" quality which kept viewers interested in mostly new characters and situations each week.

But also he would have been the perfect age in this period. While his role as David Banner was nearly a decade away in 1969 Bill Bixby was still only 36.

He was primarily know at that time for starring in a Sitcom. Which would have been approprate. While QL tended to be drama the role of Sam Beckett often required comedic reactions to the situations he found himself in.
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Old March 14 2009, 07:57 PM   #12
Aquehonga
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Tony Bennett's real name is Anthony Benedetto. We're not related.
I knew Tony Bennett's real moniker.

I was just being silly

My bad

I would've added more Bennetts to my goofy question, but none came to mind
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Old March 14 2009, 09:07 PM   #13
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

^Not even Harve, of TWOK fame? Tut, tut!
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Old March 14 2009, 09:38 PM   #14
Christopher
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
... QL was an anthology disguised as an ongoing series, dropping its lead character into different dramatic situations at various points in recent history but shying away from big events.
They did do the JFK assassination, though, didn't they? IIRC, they took a position very contrary to that then popular in the media (Stone's JFK, Ruby, etc) by having Oswald as the assassin.
Yes, but that was a major exception to the show's usual rule, which is why it's so well-remembered. And Bellisario made that exception largely in response to Oliver Stone's JFK, which had come out the previous year; Bellisario had actually been slightly acquainted with Oswald in the '50s (I believe their meeting is dramatized in the episode), was convinced he acted alone, and wanted to counter the conspiracy-theory rubbish in Stone's film.


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^Not even Harve, of TWOK fame? Tut, tut!
As it happens, Harve Bennett has a son who shares my first name and my year of birth. That's part of the reason I use my middle initial in my professional byline -- so Trek fans won't think I'm that Christopher Bennett. (And Harve Bennett's real name is Harve Bennett Fischman.)
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Old March 14 2009, 10:12 PM   #15
Aquehonga
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Re: Quantum Leap: what if it had been made 20 years earlier?

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
^Not even Harve, of TWOK fame? Tut, tut!
How fallible of me

Man, what a dumb oversight

Yup, Harve Bennett, who played a SF Admiral in STV:TFF yes?
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