‘Quantum Leap’ Reboot Has 2 Major Differences From the Original Series

NBC is bringing back Quantum Leap from the past. The original series ended in 1993 so it’s been almost 30 years. This Quantum Leap reboot isn’t just a straight remake though. It is a continuation, with 2 major differences from its predecessor.

'Quantum Leap': Caitlin Bassett and Raymond Lee discuss the mission in 1985
Caitlin Bassett and Raymond Lee | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Quantum Leap showrunner Martin Gero was on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel on Sept. 15. He shared the two major updates that will be most noticeable to fans of the original. Quantum Leap airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

You’ll need to watch this ‘Quantum Leap’ in order

One of the brilliant parts of the Quantum Leap concept was that each episode was a self contained story in a different time period. You could watch them in any order. One change Gero made was elaborating on the story of the team in the present day, which you saw in the first episode. That story continues chronologically, so you will have to watch this Quantum Leap in order to follow the present-day story.

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“The original Quantum Leap is basically an anthology series, with, like, a very thin through line,” Gero said. “Obviously a lot of character development but not a lot of serialized story.  And I think everyone kind of felt from the studio side, the network side,  everyone kind of felt like it needed some sort of serialized aspect and how do we do that?”

The present day story is a mystery 

Every time Ben leaps back into the past, he will find out his mission and set right a historic wrong. But, in the present, he’s left his team with some problems to solve. Herbert “Magic” Williams (Ernie Hudson) leads Addison (Caitlin Bassett), Jenn (Nanrisa Lee), and Ian (Mason Alexander Park). They’re all regular characters who appear each week trying to figure out why Ben leaped before the project was ready. 

“Why did Ben leave?” Gero said. “What’s going on? Like, why didn’t he tell anyone? That mystery pulls you through week to week without alienating casual viewers. So the idea is for it to be pretty balanced. It will mostly be the leaps. Every now and again, if there’s, like, a huge event that needs to be talked about in the present day, it gets closer to, like, 40% of the episode. But the show’s called Quantum Leap, and we’re going to be focusing predominantly on the leaps.”

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The original show had one great episode where somebody in the future escaped and Al (Dean Stockwell) had to find him. We got to see more of the present/future in that episode than any other. So the new Quantum Leap exploring its version of 2022 is exciting. 

“Because of that balance, that serialized mystery is not carrying the weight of the show, right? Like, the fun of the show are these leaps and then the serialized aspect is just a glorious, delicious icing on top of the cake. Why Ben left is the big question for this first season that we will absolutely answer.”

This ‘Quantum Leap’ has romance too 

Another complication this Quantum Leap adds is the relationship between Ben and Addison. Addison becomes Ben’s hologram in the past. Ben doesn’t remember her at first, but she’s got to watch him hang out in the past. In the original show, Sam could romance a new love interest in every year. Ben already has someone in the present.

Ben will remember that he’s in love with Addison pretty quick because we didn’t want to stretch that out too much. And we think, honestly, that’s information the audience has, so we want to get that information to Ben pretty fast. From that point on, the relationship gets way more complex, because it’s, like, the long-distance relationship from hell. I mean, they’re separated by time and space, not just onto separate coasts with a bad time difference. Like, this is a huge time difference. And they can’t touch so that type of story is actually incredibly touching and very emotional and, like, occasionally very sexy, if I do say so myself. It’s just like there’s a heat between these two characters.

Martin Gero, Television Critics Association panel, 8/15/22

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