Quantum Leap

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trekker4747, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Kansas City
    That's how I read into the ending of the series, from what I recall of it "God" tells Sam that he's controlling his leaping and choosing what/where/when he wants to go. That "Sam Becket never lept home" was because of SAM's choice at least on some level (consciously or not) and what he wanted to do.

    The dynamic between Sam and Al is what really makes the show Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell really play off one another very, very well. You also have to love the "futuristic" outfits Al wears.

    It's also interesting to note that Sam was changing history into "our" history from "his." We know this from the episode where he was sent back to save Jackie O, who originally died along with Kennedy in Sam's timeline.

    Again, good show, though the one aspect I never thought made sense was Sam leaping back physically and the "aura" of the leapee being a "disguise" for him. I never understood how this made Sam able to fit into the clothes of women, teenagers, chimps and just in general people of different sizes than him. When he's these other people how to maintain their hair and look well and how when there's physical interaction between Sam and someone native to the time-period they don't notice their loved one/acquaintance feels different. The idea brings up too many problems.

    There's also an "unsettling" (for me) scene in early Season 2 where Sam is leapt into a teenager and the leap ends when he kisses a potential romantic interest for his host. The kiss goes on a bit long and... is awkward for an adult man and a (presumably) teenage girl.
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Just dramatic license, really. :shrug:
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Remember the time Doc Beckett was in the "aura" of a double amputee and it looked like he was hovering when he was using his Sam legs that weren't covered up with is Vet aura... Or was it that the vet's Aura painted over Sam's actual legs becuase it beleived that it had Phantom limbs?
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The Ashley McConnell tie-in novels took the opposite interpretation, that Sam's mind was leaping into their bodies. Which doesn't explain episodes like the one where he was able to walk in the body of a double amputee. The McConnell books were sort of an alternate take on the series and characters, but an interesting one.
  5. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 7, 2011
    Just finished season 2 in my current rewatch. This time it really struck me that this is a series full of the sort of stuff I really don't like. The lead character is a goody-goody, it's often overly sentimental, can be quite moralising, the rules of the time travel don't make any sense (is he in their body or his own? That sometimes doesn't stay consitent even within the same episode- like him leaping into a pool player with poor eyesight whilst keeping his own 20/20 vision but wearing the leapee's presumably strong perscription glasses with no problems at all) and is based around a nostalgia for American history that I'll really not old enough to remember. I should, in theory, despise it as much as that Touched By An Angel crap that used to clog up Saturday afternoons on ITV. Or Timecop: The Series.

    But I really, really, really love this series. You've got two exceptional main actors, with Backula especially making far more of the potentially bland Sam than's on the page (watch him play a monkey convincingly and wonder what went wrong with Captain Archer), generally smart, funny scripts that can go into serious places without it getting too Moral of the Day. And the fact it often addresses the problems of the past stops it being too Peter Kay.

    It also has two moments that genuinely make me well up everytime I watch them, despite my cold dead heart. The first was the end of the episode M.I.A, which again should be really cheesy but Dean Stockwell is just extraordinary and it's utterly heartbreaking.

    The second, unsurprisingly, is when this moment is revisited at the end of the last episode.

    And it's really is more of a bittersweat ending than an out and out downer. Al gets happiness, Sam makes the choice to go on helping people (which is exactly right for his character), the main sorrow to counter than just comes from the breaking up of the team rather than it being an out and out disaster for everyone.
  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2001
    Burlington, VT, USA
    I haven't seen most of the series, but I remember it being very emotional when Sam performs "Imagine" for his younger sister before John Lennon has done it himself. IIRC she starts out thinking he's BS'ing her, then gets more than a little freaked out.

    I hope I'm remembering that correctly.
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Kansas City
    Sounds about right. IIRC Sam is trying to "fix" his family as his past self, preventing his father from dying due to his health (the way he eats? Smoking?) preventing his sister from eventually meeting an abusive spouse but somehow in trying to "fix" things he makes them worse. I think he, on some level, convinces his sister that he's telling the truth and she freaks out of the whole "Paul is dead" thing in playing a Beatles record backwards and Sam assures her Paul is alive and well and continues his career into the far way future of 1995. ;)

    I agree, there's a lot of very tropy things there but somehow Backula and Stockwell just make it work by being great leading men and really the only series regulars. (Gooshie and other PQL persons (notably the voice of ZIGGY are only seen a few times, IIRC.)

    It also has one of the better theme songs of TV shows of the era.

    It's shlocky, it can be preachy, it's very vague in the "rules" of Sam's leaping and it expects quite a bit from the viewer on who, or what, is controlling Sam's leaping. But somehow, on some level the series mostly works.

    On Christopher:

    Yeah, I've mostly felt it was a better idea that Sam's mind or spirit is leaping. (A metaphysical and not physical concept) as this clears up a lot of the problems with "how" Sam is able to so easily fit into the roles/clothes of his host and how everyone doesn't notice he doesn't feel different. (Auras only can do so much. ;)) And while it causes problems for the episodes where Sam's physical body is needed to do things (the amputee scene) that can "more easily" be explained away by some-sort-of telekinetic process. He can stand on two legs because as far as his mind/spirit is concerned he HAS two legs, regardless of the reality of his host. Still a stretch, sure, but I think a bit less of one that what we actually had to do.

    Watching the episode "Jimmy" right now and whooo... This episode would not go far today considering it's pretty liberal use of the "R-Word" people freak out about so much these days.

    On another note, Netflix is a very shitty way to watch this series given how many episodes are missing. I even think the episodes are arranged out-of-order which is easy to pick up when the next episode is hinted at when Sam leaps at the end of each episode.

    Still, for what's there I'm enjoying revisiting the series on NF.
  8. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 10, 2003
    In your Mind!
    Hulu plus has all the episodes, watched Mirror Image the other day (still love that episode) where it is unavailable on Netflix.
  9. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 19, 2001
    This is quite strange. Internationally, Netflix has quite a limited selection compared to the US, but I seem to have all of the Quantum Leap episodes. Some of them are out of order, but this is due to production order vs. airdates I think.