I remember when I first watched the pilot episode of this back in 1990 (I checked) on BBC2, typically back then it took a year for American television to find it’s way over the Atlantic. Immediately I was hooked and even my parents watched it in and out. Straight away I fell in love with the iconic theme tune from Mike Post and it was one when hearing it, I would get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing a great story would be about to be told.
We begin with the introduction of Admiral Al Calavicci, a Vietnam Vet and notorious ‘ladies man’. Al is contacted and told that his best friend Dr. Sam Beckett had been working on their top secret time travel experiment and things had gone wrong. Sam had been transferred into the past and would ‘leap’ from one body to another righting wrongs and his only back-up was Al who appeared in the form of a hologram back at the laboratory.
One thing creator and show runner Donald P. Bellisario never shied away from was controversial and difficult subjects to cover in the show. Episodes featured racism, pregnancy, the Vietnam war and even the touchy subject of the JFK assassination. It was all handled in the unique Quantum Leap fashion with the practically perfect central performances of Scoot Bakula (Sam) and Dean Stockwell (Al) plus you would never get bored (and laugh) at poor old Sam when he jumped into a woman and played the role in drag.
The boxset here from Fabulous Films comprises of all five seasons (97 episodes) spread across 22 discs. Extras wise there are a few introductions on some episodes and a retrospective documentary, although not particularly comprehensive they’ll okay. What is nice though is the quality of the episodes presented. Quantum Leap is constantly rerun on TV and Universal have obviously remastered the episodes into HD from their original 4:3 showings.
The show is one of my all time favourites and I count it up there with the likes of Buffy and Only Fools and Horses. It’s a fantastic collection of quality TV and there are always rumours stating it may return for a film or a limited series. This may or may not happen but we’ll always going to have these 97 episodes (and various novels and comics) to constantly enjoy the adventures of Sam and Al. We should always be grateful for that.
- Starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell
- Various Guest Stars include Teri Hatcher Roddy McDowall Neil Patrick Harris Bruce McGill