Will Sam Beckett Return Home? NBC Orders Quantum Leap Reboot Pilot

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Ryan Thomas Riddle, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. Astra

    Astra Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Germany as well.
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not bad. Not great either. I'll give it a few episodes and see. So far the weak link appears to be the writing (I can tolerate the janky VFX given it's not really a VFX type show.)
    The logic of the original show was always sketchy at best. IIRC the general idea is that the Leaper is always physically switching places with the person they're leaping into (with the leapee being conveniently deposited at PQL.) Were it gets weird is the whole mirror image thing where everyone; including the two temporally displaced persons, cameras (but somehow not animals, very small children, or the mentally unwell?) sees the image of the original person in their place.

    I mean on the one hand; points for respecting the conservation of mass, but on the other it takes a LOT of handwaving to justify the rest of that.

    Not sure which way they're going here, but you'd think it would have come up in the episode is they had a random amnesiac guy from the mid-80's to deal with on top of everything else. So odds are the explanation for where the other person goes will probably be "something-something-neural-quantum-entanglement-something-something-four-dimensional-physics-something-something-don't-think-about-it."
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022 at 9:08 PM
  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To go back to the whole 1995-2022 thing, since this was announced, I've found it a bit odd that they are setting it in a regular modern 2022, rather than a 2022 that looks like it's 30 years after the original's version of 1995.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, the goal with a revival is always to bring in a new audience, not just to cater to the aging, shrinking fanbase for the original. So the first priority is to make it accessible to newcomers. And as I said, it made more sense to be "futuristic" with a setting that was very rarely seen and needed to stand out than it does with a setting that's featured every week.

    And any discrepancy can be explained by the timeline altering in response to Sam's (or others') leaps. Or it could just be that the bits of futurism we saw in the original were fads, and eventually their technology converged with ours. Though that wouldn't explain Ziggy seeming more like a conventional computer mainframe than the neural tissue-enhanced AI of the original.
     
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  5. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In-universe we can just view that 1990s as a weird period for fashions and advanced computer tech. The glowing Lego computers went away after 1999 once the craze in the industry died off and so did the bizarre fashion choices sported by characters like Al.
     
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  6. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    They all fell victim to the Y2K bug.
     
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  7. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Those computers weren't considered Y2K compliant. ;)
     
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  8. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My head canon will always be that "our" present day is the result of the accumulated butterfly effects of all of Sam's leaps, and that the weird "80's fashion turned up to 11 with blinky lights" version of the 1990's was incrementally removed from the timeline. So what this new lot know/remember of that period lines up with the real 1990's, except all the key events around Project Quantum Leap still *happened*. Probably the best supporting evidence of that is the Jackie Kennedy thing.

    Not that the internal logic of the old show held up to much scrutiny. There should have been all kinds of weird paradoxes going on; one that jumps to mind is that one time Al disappeared from the timeline and was replaced by some stereotypical English butler person. Logically that should have altered the outcome of EVERY one of Sam's prior leaps one way or another. Up to and including the Project being possible in the first place, since Al was supposedly a key part of getting the Pentagon the fund the thing.
     
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  9. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Always nice to see Artim & Jack O'Neill again :D
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OK, that works.
     
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  11. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder if we could have possibility of the impact of "Magic" on the funding of the program? Sam leaped into his place in 1970 and ultimately saved Sam's brother's life. His brother at the end of the leap knew it was Sam and called him 'little brother' right before he leaped (and Magic returned from the Waiting Room)

    Who knows what Magic and Sam's brother then talked about or maybe pieced together. He obviously got to a high enough status to be head of the new project Quantum Leap in 2022. Maybe he went through officer's school and rose in ranks in the military, maybe he ended up serving in Congress, who knows... but the alterations that Sam caused in the past may have changed the 'original players' who started/funded/agreed to fund to the project, but in their place you had others. Like the biological daughter (who would be around 55 now having said by Al to be a technician on the 90's project)

    So new/altered funding possibilities, a massively intelligent person who was involved with the project (after Sam changed the past) who wasn't previously part of it
     
  12. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I wouldn't consider Tom calling Magic 'Little Brother' as proof that he somehow knew that Magic was actually Sam. The way I see it, Tom was making reference to the fact that in '69 Sam had gone on and on and on about Tom hiding in a hole on a certain day, positive he'd be killed otherwise. And then Magic goes ahead and saves his life on that very day.
     
  13. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Stealer of all the cookies in time and space Premium Member

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    In the old series didn't Sam meet his wife at a point in time before they were married, Donna I think her name was.
     
  14. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, he spends time with a college-aged Donna in the second episode of the series, Star-Crossed.
     
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  15. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right now my main question is; does Magic even know that Sam leapt into him in 1970? I mean it's likely not a coincidence that a former leapee wound up working for the Project. My assumption was that Al recruited him at some point after '95 (or whenever the third season took place) on the pretext of them being connected by that mission, but the way they speak about Al in this episode doesn't feel like there's any direct personal connection there. So if Al did get him on the project, it was probably indirectly.

    I think it's a safe bet that they didn't just put Magic in the main cast just as an empty reference. Clearly there's more of a story to tell and they'll likely get to it eventually.

    On the other hand, IIRC Sam spilled the whole story about leaping back into himself from the future in order to try and convince Tom not to go to Vietnam. So combine that with the date, and the out of character way Magic suddenly started acting, he may have pieced it together that Sam had leaped into Magic.
    In reality though, it's mostly just a little stinger for the end of the episode and as such is deliberately ambiguous and open to interpretation. Personally I like the idea that Tom figured it out, but it could easily go either way.
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Like most fiction about time travel, the more you think about it, the more it starts to fall apart.

    The only "rule" seems to be that whatever Sam did in the past never really substantially changed the present. The QL project continued to exist and it seems that history never received great "jolts". The same presidents, the same historical events. He never "butterflied" anything.

    As has been repeated here several times, this was not the purpose of the old series, in which time travel was little more than a pretext. But i'ts bizarre that they never worried that Sam's actions could cause dangerous changes in the present. Let's remember that several times he wasn't even sure what he was supposed to do. How did he know that helping an old lady win bingo wouldn't cause World War III?
     
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does he though? We only see him tell Tom that he can see into the future. The other characters fluctuate between referring to him traveling through time or simply seeing the future, but we never find out what details Sam gave up. (Although his sister does refer to "swiss cheese memory" so I grant you it's quite possible that he gave them a fairly full account.)

    I'm not saying it can't have happened, I'll just revert to my original sentence, "Personally, I wouldn't consider Tom calling Magic 'Little Brother' as proof that he somehow knew that Magic was actually Sam." Evidence maybe, but definitely not proof. :)
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    QL more than most. Its genre was really more fantasy or magical realism than science fiction, because there was absolutely no logic or sense to any of the "science," so it might as well have been magic. ("Neurons and mesons." The fact that apparently Sam's body was leaping but people's clothes always fit him. And so on.)


    Except in the second-season premiere, where the person he helped in the past replaced the more hostile head of the Congressional committee and renewed the project's funding. And arguably in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where Sam did make a significant change to the outcome, though there's no telling how different the original history would've been.


    Because, as you say, this wasn't that kind of show. That was what most other time travel shows and movies worried about. Bellisario wanted to avoid the usual cliches.

    Anyway, the changes Sam made were usually on a local, personal scale, things that would matter to individuals' lives but just average out into the noise on a larger societal and historical scale. People tend to misinterpret the butterfly effect. It says that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Indian Ocean could influence the formation of a hurricane in the Atlantic weeks later, not that it has to. A small influence can be amplified chaotically into a large effect, but it's probably more likely to be damped out to nothing. One pebble hitting at the right place and time can trigger an avalanche, but all the other pebbles that fell before it didn't.

    Also, given that there did seem to be some force or entity directing the leaps, that meant they were probably chosen to have specific effects and wouldn't have been anything dangerous on a global scale. At the very least, the second-season premiere suggests that they were selected to ensure that Project Quantum Leap itself continued to exist unaltered. It's like the 2002 remake of The Time Machine -- the hero couldn't unmake the event that caused him to create the time machine in the first place, since it would create a paradox.


    Narratively, I don't think they would've included that line if it hadn't been meant as an emotional payoff to the previous episode, the moment where Sam's brother finally recognized him. Otherwise it's just a random coincidence, and that doesn't make much sense as a plot device.
     
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  19. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You can still have an emotional payoff when one of the two parties doesn't know about it. Regardless of what Tom knows, he's still saying it for specific reasons that are not random or a coincidence.

    I'm not saying that other people shouldn't view it that way, I just disagree.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I figured I'd better review the scene, and I agree it's more ambiguous than I thought. I was thinking there was some moment of recognition, but it's just a throwaway line that Sam reacts to in surprise just before he leaps. So I guess you're right. At most, it's some kind of intuition that maybe Tom doesn't even recognize.

    I gotta say, though, after reading "Magic" Williams's entry in the wiki, I'm a bit uncomfortable that the character resembled the "Magical Negro" trope -- believed by his white squadmates to be a good luck charm who protected them from harm -- and was literally called "Magic." It seems pretty on the nose. But clearly Ernie Hudson doesn't have a problem with it. Maybe the new show will just tiptoe around that element.