Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top secret project, known as "Quantum Leap". Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Beckett prematurely stepped into the Project Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Fortunately, contact with his own time was maintained through brainwave transmissions with Al, the Project Observer, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Doctor Beckett can see and hear. Trapped in the past, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap, will be the leap home.
And it was with those words that tv viewers set off on a journey that spanned five years and saw many wrongs righted courtesy of the smart, charming, and big-hearted Dr. Sam Beckett. Played by the immensely likable Scott Bakula, viewers found themselves captivated by the vast array of talents he displayed every week as he seamlessly morphed into each new character. Jumping into the body of a woman, a disabled person, and a variety of ethnicities, it was easy to believe that Sam was exactly what others saw him to be. Bakula inhabited each new character wholeheartedly, showing himself to be a man full of heart and soul. While some episodes were pure fun, some conveyed a message that made for an even more satisfying episode, one that left viewers hopeful.
With the airing of the final episode "Mirror Image", it appeared that the journey of Sam Beckett was coming to an end but viewers were left a bit cheated, feeling conflicted by a storyline that left them with more questions than answers. Dr. Beckett deserved better in my opinion (particularly with the misspelling of his name in a sentence that wrapped up his story before fading to black) and it was with great hope that his storyline would one day be truly resolved.....
It's been 30 years since the polarizing end to the original Quantum Leap and viewers have now been rewarded with a reboot of the series...and I'm once again conflicted by what's on the screen. The doctor doing the leaping this time around is Ben Song, played by versatile actor Raymond Lee, who's earnest but doesn't have near the commanding presence of Dr. Beckett. Whereas the original show spent most of the episode in the time period leaped into, this show spends half its time in the current time period trying to determine what drove Ben to leaping in secret. It's a distraction at times, and lessens the impact of what Ben is trying to accomplish for the person he's leaped into. It gives an air of blandness to these early episodes and is something I hope is addressed. Aiding the doctor this time around (again as a hologram) is Ben's co-worker and fiancée Addison, played by newcomer Caitlin Bassett. In the original show the connection between Sam and Al was a true delight with witty banter and their obvious caring about each other. Ben and Addison's connection feels flat in comparison, with no sizzle coming from this engaged couple. Others looking into the secretive nature of Ben's leap are an eclectic collection of individuals with Herbert "Magic" Williams (played by Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters fame) and Ian Wright (played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park) the standouts for me. The mystery surrounding Ben's leap has loosely tied itself to the past by involving Al's daughter, but believe me when I say that I'd much rather have Sam Beckett be the connection as viewers need to have a more satisfying conclusion to Dr. Beckett's storyline. There was real heart and soul in the original show which is missing here and is what's holding the show back. Viewers need to feel invested, to care about the outcome of the leap, and I hope the writers start digging deeper to make us start caring...about the leap and the future of the show itself. For now, I'm left a bit disappointed and definitely nostalgic for what could have been with this show.
My rating for this is a C-