How Does the New ‘Quantum Leap’ Compare to the Original?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Quantum Leap, Season 1, Episode 1, “July 13th, 1985.”]
NBC‘s new Quantum Leap series has arrived and is paying homage to its predecessor, while also paving a new path for its own hero, Ben Song (Raymond Lee).
But how does it stand up next to the original Quantum Leap which followed the adventures of Scott Bakula‘s Sam Beckett? That’s for fans to decide. In the premiere episode, “July 13th, 1985,” Ben finds himself being lured away from his and fiance Addison Augustine’s (Caitlin Bassett) engagement party by some urgent texts from an unidentified individual.
When Addison and Ben’s colleagues realize he’s missing, they discover he’s leaped into the body of a man participating in a robbery back in 1985, hence the episode title. The catch? He didn’t warn anyone and can’t remember his true identity once in this body and time period.
Much like Sam’s old pal Al (Dean Stockwell, to whom the episode was dedicated), Addison locates Ben in 1985 and tries helping him through her hologram form. Utilizing the help of supercomputer Ziggy, once more, Ben is able to avoid death and manages to help a man who is down on his luck, escape a fatal ending.
Not dissimilar to Sam’s adventures, Ben believes helping the individuals he comes into contact with could bring him back home, even if he can’t quite remember what it includes. The theory may prove to be easier said than done as by the end of Episode 1, Ben isn’t brought back home, but instead thrust into the body of an astronaut who is blasting off in a different year.
Meanwhile, back in 2022, Ben’s colleagues uncover the possible identity of the mystery woman who may have helped Ben leap in the first place — the daughter of Stockwell’s Al. Although she remains offscreen for now, her role would be the show’s direct tie-in to the original run as the closest relative of Al.
So, what did you think of the new series which is a follow-up to the late 90s favorite? Did it pay enough homage to Sam and Al, while also creating something new and interesting? Let us know in the reader poll, below, and sounds off in the comment section.
Quantum Leap, Mondays, 10/9c, NBC
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