Well here we are, the triumphant return of one of my favorite series of all time, Quantum Leap. Sadly, it seems as though Scott Bakula will not be a part of the show, and even sadder, Dean Stockwell passed before he ever had the opportunity. BUT, both Sam & Al get some mentions in the very first episode of this continuation/soft reboot.
The first episode is titled “July 13, 1985.”
“A new team assembles to restart the Quantum Leap project. Lead physicist Ben Song takes an unauthorized leap into 1985 as the team scrambles to figure out what happened and how to get him back.”
The very first scene is of someone who we don’t get the most clear look at, but seems to be in the middle of some big server room. This scene is super important, because I think it sets the stage for a “feel” that seems to be much different from the original. This first episode, more specifically this first scene, makes it seem like this season will focus much more on the mystery of who this is, why Ben leaped, and trying to get Ben home. This is a pretty big deviation from most of the original Quantum Leap, where the focus was mostly on the “leap of the week.” Whether this is good or bad, is really up to you, but it seems to be the way that most series are going these days.
The next scene(s) is all about setting up the relationship between what will be our two main characters in the series. We do also get some introductions to the rest of the Quantum Leap team, but we also get that throughout the rest of the episode, and this makes me feel as though we’re going to be jumping in and out of multiple team member’s lives, instead of keeping the focus on Ben & Addison. We also, never got a real introduction to the relationship of Sam & Al like we do here with Ben & Addison. Again, not sure if the slow burn/learning from the original will be better or worse, but we’re supposed to quickly feel that Ben & Addison love each other, and this, I assume, is what will be the glue during all of their leaps. All of this relationship building feels much more important than the actual leap of this episode. We’re re-establishing this world, and who these new people are within this very familiar world.
Speaking of the actual leap. Ben, after some very freaked out texts from our mystery character, steps into the Quantum Leap accelerator, and vanishes…..He wakes to find himself in the past, July 13th, 1985 to be exact. He’s there to help pull of a heist for the Hope diamond, BUT to make sure that one of the thieves, was originally died, survives the heist. Again, while this is an ok first leap, and it’s entertaining, it definitely takes a back seat to establishing ourselves in this world once more. We see what it’s like for Addison to be a hologram, and she informs the audience that it was her that was supposed to be the leaper, and Ben was intended to be her hologram. This will be important, as they’ll need to work to build that backwards relationship together, and forgot what they’ve prepared themselves for in the past/future. At the end of the day, Ben makes the save, and gets to experience being the good guy!
While this is all going on, again, we learn about team Quantum Leap. Ian will serve as the Gushy in this new team, and is working on getting Ziggy up and running when we first meet the character. “Magic” serves as the lead on security for the project. Still not sure whether he knows that Sam leaped into him at some point, or if that has been kept from him. Jenn serves under Magic as the head of security for the building. She offers to quit after it’s found that Ben snuck our mystery character into the building without Jenn finding out. This would lead Magic and Jenn to find out the our mystery character is none other than the daughter of Al Calavicci. Seems as though she was denied a chance to be on the new team, because of the circumstances surrounding her family and Sam. Those are our major players for the time being, and that revelation is what leads us to the end of the episode.
I really enjoyed this first episode of this new series. Yes, this new adaptation has many new variances to the older series. The technology is different/newer, and it will take some time to get to know the new team, and time to fall in love with the Ben/Addison pairing. But, it feels like they’re going to pay homage to the original quite a bit, and they’re not going to stray too much. I’m excited for the next episode, and excited to see where season 1 takes us!