Quantum Leap Pilot Review!!

Hello Televisual viewers and welcome to the House of Macleod’s TV review!

First and foremost let me apologize, I’ve been off with the worst cold in history which has prevented me from looking at anything with a light in it because it burns the eyeholes. Thank you for your patience and if you are sitting quietly we can continue.

As you have no doubt gathered from my various ramblings on the subject, Quantum Leap is one of my favorite all-time shows. I’m a massive geek for it. I’ve seen all the deleted scenes. I’ve seen the alternate secret ending that was somehow left on the cutting room floor. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve traveled through time on a whirlwind adventure with Dr Sam Beckett and Rear Admiral Upper Half Albert Calavicci and I’ve loved every minute of it on repeat on TV, VHS, DVD and eventually Blu-ray. So when I heard that NBC was doing a reboot, I was naturally crushed. Why NBC? Why? There are plenty of classic NBC shows you could reboot. Columbo, The Golden Girls, I dream of Jeannie, Hell you could even reboot Wings. But why touch a classic show like Quantum Leap? What’s your problem NBC?

But then one magical day it was announced that the planned reboot was not in fact a reboot but a continuation. The sixth season if you will. This brought my hopes up. Although my disdain for modern television is well noted, over the last few years there have been some excellent shows and the likes of Rings of Power and House of the Dragon have shown the ability to bring that cinematic flair to the small screen is still alive and well. I woke up this morning at five am, as previously mentioned I have a super terrible cold and a result of this is some erratic sleeping hours. So I got my ass out of bed, made myself some coffee, grabbed a man-sized box of Kleenex (for my nose) and fired up my DVR. There it was. Quantum Leap, S01e01. I was both excited and terrified at the same time. If I watch it and I hate it, does it tarnish one of my favorite shows? But what if I like it? Decisions, Decisions. I looked at my remote, took a sip of coffee, thought fuck it and pressed play. I won’t lie to you. It was pretty good.

The opening prologue was a black screen that mirrored the final message at the end of season five regarding Sam never leaping home. However this time, we are treated to almost the same dialogue that opened the previous show but slightly different, this one informing us that thirty years have passed since Sam’s fateful leap. I freaking loved that. The episode opens at a party that Dr Ben Suong is holding to celebrate his engagement with his colleague Addison. This party sequence nicely introduces us to the whole team, which I found to be a little too on the nose but when you are short of time and you have a story to tell… Anyway, Ben then receives a series of mystery text messages telling him things like “It has to be now” and “Our window is closing” and rushes off, ditching the party and its guests. He then stuffs a bunch of mystery coding into Ziggy, then promptly jumps into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanishes.

Ben awakes on July 13th, 1985 to the usual ‘Swiss cheese’ brain with no memory of who he is, so he checks his wallet and looks at his driver’s license. Nick Rounder is his name and apparently being a getaway driver is his game! Oh Boy! Speaking of 1985, the show really goes all out to let you know what period it is. From the Goonies in the cinema to Live Aid on the…um….Mini TV? Soon enough Addison reappears as a hologram that only Sam…er…Ben can see and hear and informs him of his situation and the fact that Ben was supposed to be the man in the chair and she was supposed to be the leaper but as they can ‘t change their situation, for now, they’ll just have to make do. Ben quickly realizes that he is an undercover cop and the reason for his leap is to stop fellow criminal Ryan from getting shot and killed during a heist to steal the famed Hope Diamond. I won’t however go into this in too much detail because as you know, a spoiler is one thing but a plot description is another. There is a lot of exposition here but I get the feeling that once the newer audience is caught up on the rules this will definitely lessen. I like the pairing of the two and I feel there may be some genuinely funny and touching moments ahead. Back in 2022, we get more of a chance to meet the new team and check out the project’s new digs. It’s pretty swanky let me tell ya! Ziggy is even more of an advanced AI and it’s all holograms and touchpads. Very cool indeed. I wasn’t disappointed and I’m glad about that.

The show is not only respectful of its roots but it comes across as a genuine continuation, which I really did feel. Look, it’s tough to judge a show on its first episode, I personally like to give it at least four episodes before I’ll call it quits, but for a pilot? This wasn’t half bad.

So, in my snot-filled fever dream, I turned off my TV and went back to bed. Smiling in the knowledge that NBC hadn’t let me down. Maybe this leap would be the leap home…

The House of Macleod’s official score is 9/10. Al would be proud.

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