I’m undecided if the Quantum Leap producers actually might see the longer term, or in the event that they’re simply actually good at pivoting, however it appears vital that the newest episode of the revived present has Ben leaping into Area Shuttle Atlantis simply hours earlier than the US Area Program launches a twice rescheduled Artemis I from Cape Canaveral, laying the groundwork to deliver us again to the Moon.
Following the sample of the primary episode, it’s starting to appear like this model of Quantum Leap takes place in an alternate universe. The unique present used to play a bit free with real-life historical past – and never simply with the “kisses with historical past” (Buddy Holly, Marilyn, Stephen King, and Michael Jackson, to call a couple of). The distinction is, if what we noticed appeared inaccurate, that was the ‘as soon as went mistaken.’ And often no matter Sam ‘made proper,’ was the historical past we remembered.
In all probability probably the most notable of those was the double leap within the JFK episode. After a number of hops inside Lee Harvey Oswald’s life, Sam is catapulted out, proper earlier than taking the deadly shot, right into a Secret Service agent, who manages to save lots of, in Al’s phrases – “Your swiss-cheesed thoughts most likely would not keep in mind this, however the first time, Oswald killed Jackie too.”
However whereas the explosion in Philly in 1985 nonetheless occurred on the present, it didn’t in actual life. Worse, it kinda takes away from the very actual explosion a pair months prior, when police bombed the MOVE headquarters in a row home, finally killing 11 folks.
On this second episode, Ben leaps into the Area Shuttle Atlantis, on a mission in 1998 to assist assemble the Worldwide Area Station (ISS). Whereas the dates match up for constructing the ISS, Atlantis was not utilized between 1997 and 2000. It was truly Endeavour that dropped off the primary US items of the ISS in December of 1998. The plot factors of the mission within the episode do really feel impressed by Atlantis’ 1997 mission, which included docking with (spoilers) and a joint mission.
Historical past Doesn’t Want To Be Rewritten
And in case you assume I’m being nit-picky – I’m. It is a time journey present about historical past. One of many earmarks of the unique present was its adherence to historic details, even whereas telling an amazing, compelling story. I perceive the need to play quick and free with the details once you’re attempting to attach audiences with emotional beats. However Quantum Leap has at all times been extra historic fiction than straight-up science fiction. And at the moment, the place geekdom is supreme and actually every thing that may be damaged down and debated in an article or YouTube video is, repeatedly, that is precisely what’s going to endear the present to followers or ship them scrambling.
There’s additionally a query of false illustration. Within the episode, Ben feedback that he was impressed to grow to be a physicist by the very man he leaped into. However he didn’t leap into Ellison S. Onizuka, the primary American in house of Asian origin (who later died within the Challenger catastrophe), or Ed Lu, whose first shuttle mission ALSO shares similarities with plot factors of the episode. No, he leaped into and is impressed by a fictional particular person. So as a substitute of taking the possibility to spotlight an precise Asian astronaut – whose actual life would have been an inspiration for Dr. Ben Tune – and giving asian children watching the present somebody to look as much as who seems to be like them, the producers bobbled the ball.
Historic issues apart, the present is actually pleasing. We get some implausible views of house, strong performances from the visitor solid, together with Narcos’ José Zúñiga as Mission Commander, and the present once more manages to match and echo the themes between the occasions of Ben’s leapee life and who he was previous to the leap.
That’s most likely the saving grace for the overly-packed present. Different reviewers have identified that the unique had two leads – Sam & Al, whereas the brand new present has 5, and time cut up between the current and the previous takes away a number of the magic of the leaps.
I agree, to some extent. I benefit from the “again at house” solid, though I do want they’d spend extra time in Ben’s world. The traditional Quantum Leap might take the time to actually discover particular themes and historical past, and would depart Sam on his personal fairly a bit. To this point, we not often see Ben with out Addison, and so they’re spending a good period of time coping with the query of why Ben leaped, and I’m guessing it received’t be resolved till the thirteenth or perhaps twenty second episode, in the event that they get the again 9 pickup (or are even planning on doing greater than 13 this season).
And that finish reveal will probably rely upon whether or not or not somebody’s been… as an instance deceptive on their social media.
Who’s Who and Why
It doesn’t assist that they’re spending their time pursuing Admiral Al Calavicci’s daughter, Janis, who’s an astrophysicist. It’s good to lean into these connections with the unique. The one downside is, superfans of the present know that there was already an achieved astrophysicist within the continuity of the present – Sam’s daughter Sammie Jo, conceived throughout a leap. Co-creator Deborah Pratt even claimed to have pitched the concept of a continuation with Sammy Jo on the heart a couple of years earlier than this iteration was green-lit.
On a aspect observe, I’ve a concept that perhaps Sammy Jo’s unintentionally liable for the ‘evil leapers’ Sam encountered in season 5 – perhaps even constructing Lothos (the anti-Ziggy), for comparable causes that Janis Calavicci was rejected from the brand new challenge. However that’s simply me.
Thank God, the producers of the revival had the sense to take a web page from Cobra Kai – bringing Susan Diol again to play Beth Calavicci. Georgina Reilly, who made her bones on the BBC present Murdoch Mysteries performs the youthful Calavicci, though we get to see barely a glimpse extra of her on this episode than final.
Oh, and when are we going to listen to Ziggy, or have her be an even bigger a part of the present than the pc that retains taking place? A lot for probably the most superior AI perhaps ever…
As I discussed, the house base solid cope with an identical subject because the folks on the shuttle – belief points and being current, but separated by baggage and perspective. After it being talked about a couple of occasions in 2022, Ben demonstrates his powers of unity by bringing the shuttle crew collectively and launching on a semi-dangerous try to salvage the mission, after Addison efficiently helps him keep away from the destiny of the person he leaped into.
That mentioned, the stakes don’t really feel as sturdy right here. Whereas they’re allegedly life and loss of life, there are occasions once you marvel, watching it, if the characters know they’re in potential peril. The present remains to be getting its footing, and, I feel, relying too closely on the thriller in 2022 (they’re positively devoting extra time to it than the leaps themselves) – one thing even LaBrea dealt with higher, a minimum of within the pilot (even when I can’t stand the present).
Right here’s the query – will the present final past the 4 episodes NBC presently has slated? Or will it disappear quicker than the Ironsides reboot? Fingers crossed NBC offers it an opportunity to grow to be a Seinfeld, not a Swamp Factor.
This text was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Paul Rose Jr has labored as TV Information Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Practice Conductor, amongst many different issues. He’s the previous TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns extra books, DVDs, and comics than most individuals have seen of their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he workout routines his inventive muscle writing screenplays and performing in movie and tv in Los Angeles, CA.