Why ‘Quantum Leap’ Original Fans Will Love the New Series

NBC brought back shows like Will & Grace, Heroes. Its Peacock streaming service did Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster. One of the shows fans kept asking for was Quantum Leap. Well, they finally did it. Quantum Leap is back in a new continuation of the original series. And there are several reasons fans will love this new version. 

'Quantum Leap': Raymond Lee looks to his right
Raymond Lee |: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Quantum Leap showrunner Martin Gero was on a Television Critics Association panel with the cast on Sept. 15. Gero was careful not to spoil the new show. But, he shared some details that will make original Quantum Leap fans very happy. Quantum Leap airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

‘Quantum Leap’ still has the morals of Sam Beckett

In the original Quantum Leap, Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) time traveled into a different era every week. He would address issues of racism, sexism and other social justice issues, educating people of eras on the cusp of major change. That has not changed with the new leaper, Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee), traveling through time. 

“I think the show is a wonderful representation of ironically modern-day morals, right?” Gero said. “So I think we have evolved and so has the show and the stories that we hope to tell on them.” 

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Sam actually leapt into the bodies of Black men or even women and experienced what they went through. It was groundbreaking in the ‘90s. Gero said Ben leaps into a woman in episode 4 of his Quantum Leap.

‘Quantum Leap’ has not forgotten Sam Beckett

There have been previous attempts to revive Quantum Leap. At one point, Syfy was developing a complete remake that started over and never mentioned Sam Beckett. Gero did not want to ignore what came before.Speaking for fans, nobody wants a Quantum Leap without Sam Beckett. At least in this one, Ben is traveling through time looking for Sam. 

“From the beginning, like, the show is so iconic and beloved, it felt crazy to just do a version with a new Sam and a new Al,” Gero said. “Like, it would set up to fail essentially. And so for all of us that were involved at the beginning, it really made sense for this to be a continuation of the story with a brand new set of characters, one that could honor the old show, pay service to the old show, but have a really low bar for entry for new viewers.”

It’s not easy leaping through time 

In that way, Gero made his job a lot harder. He has Quantum Leap canon to abide by, while still making a new show. 

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“That’s, like, the tightrope we’re walking, right?” Gero said  “Like, we want all of the rabid fans of Quantum Leap to watch the show and have it feel like Quantum Leap.  Like, yes, this is Quantum Leap. It’s an evolution of Quantum Leap, but it feels that way. But, also, there’s an enormous amount of people that are vaguely familiar with the title and are just going to check the show out clean, and we didn’t want to weigh the showdown with a lot of mythology immediately that would make it feel like, oh, I need to watch 90plus episodes of Quantum Leap before I can start this.”

There are some direct references to Sam and Al (Dean Stockwell) in the premiere of Quantum Leap. Die hard fans can look forward to more backstory along the way.

“You can start fresh and then slowly, over the course of the season, there’s an enormous amount of backstory and mythology from the original show that we’re really excited to share with fans,” Gero said. “But it’s done in a way that will feel like a different view on past events for our old fans, so it’s new information for them.  And for our new fans, it just feels like we’re still in the middle of the story and it’s coming out organically.”

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