Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Oh Boy
June 25, 2013 2:31 PM   Subscribe

"Oh boy" (slyt)
posted by mediocre (40 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I ran across this and it just made my day. God I loved Quantum Leap. I made my mom let me stay up one hour later then normal on Tuesdays so I could watch it. A concept that has such possibilities, in-universe mechanics that worked well enough, even if the time travel concept/execution doesn't stand up to questioning.. How fucking HUGE must the chamber that Al works from to follow Sam around the way he does? He will walk with him for miles without resetting his placement relative to Sam, as it were. Did Al see Sam or the Leapee? What happened when the Leapee goes back, with the unlikely story of having been picked out of time and space and taken to the future? And since Sam never once goes into the future, and the string theory (not, not that string theory) time travel mechanics of Quantum Leap dictate that one can time travel within their own lifetime, so when Sam stepped into the Accelerator did that actually kill him, leaving his essential Sam-ness to traipse about time in different bodies? And who the hell was that Evil Leaper? How did a parallel Project Quantum Leap develop, with evil intent no less?

I know the books try to resolve some of those questions, but the Prelude novel was just so poorly done I try to forget I even read it. Though Mirrors Edge, the finale of the book line that was supposed to tie up the continuity into a neat bow did so rather nicely and even managed to explain the alternate Project Quantum Leap.
posted by mediocre at 2:40 PM on June 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Giving a teaser of the next episode at the end of every episode was pretty brilliant.
posted by grog at 2:48 PM on June 25, 2013


Is there a streaming service that has this? I've been wanting to watch it recently.
posted by codacorolla at 2:54 PM on June 25, 2013


> What happened when the Leapee goes back, with the unlikely story of having been picked out of time and space and taken to the future?

I was thinking about that the other day - you could have a sidequel called "Quantum Left" which follows each person just after Sam Beckett leaps out of them. The confusion. The people thinking they're awesome. Perhaps problems when they are not as awesome as Sam was.
posted by memebake at 2:58 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Though Mirrors Edge, the finale of the book line that was supposed to tie up the continuity into a neat bow did so rather nicely and even managed to explain the alternate Project Quantum Leap.

Any chance of a synopsis? I'm unlikely to read a TV-tie-in book, but I'd kinda like to know.
posted by Leon at 3:01 PM on June 25, 2013


I always thought the "leapee" had amnesia, sort of like Sam's Swiss Cheese memory. They'd come to back in their own body and have a murky sense that time had passed, but no memory of what happened. Or alternately, they'd remember doing the things that Sam did (since he was using their bodies and brains), but not remember why they did those things.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quantum Leap was the first hour long show that I watched in its entirety in repeats on sequential days, essentially getting to watch the whole series over the course of a half a year or so. After, alas, it was canceled. I was so into it that I teared up at the end of the last episode when he leaps to talk to Al's wife. I was a wreck the next night when it started over with episode one.

Every now and then noise is made about creating a sequel or a new series or something. I have almost no faith that anyone would do it right - ie, the way I would do it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and this link is great.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2013


Man, I loved Quantum Leap so much when I was teenager, not least because it was the only TV show my mother and I could watch together. I loved science fiction and fantasy (still do) but my mum has absolutely no interest in it, although once she got past the time-travel framing device, she liked the kinds of stories QL told within each episode, so the show sat balanced very neatly at the exact place our TV-watching interests overlapped.
posted by meronym at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2013


I've been working through the first two series box sets recently, and its really interesting to re-watch Quantum Leap 20 years later. Some of the episodes have amazing imagery - e.g. Season 2 "Another Mother" - in which Sam is a woman - has an attempted rape scene, which is chillingly acted out even though Bakula is basically in drag. Season 2 "Jimmy" has Sam in the body of a young man with Down's Syndrome and despite the anachronistic language is a very subtle portrait of the life of someone with learning difficulties.

Some parts of the production and script would be considered pedestrian by todays standards. But what really shines through is that if Sam Beckett is a superhero, his main power is emotional intelligence. Despite him being a genius, and a martial arts expert, usually each episode is resolved by Sam talking to people. Sometimes its a little pop-psychology, sometimes its a bit deeper. But there's something completely un-cynical about the way his character is written that you just dont tend to see in films and TV these days.
posted by memebake at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Or alternately, they'd remember doing the things that Sam did (since he was using their bodies and brains), but not remember why they did those things.

Kind of like a really positive and helpful form of poession!
posted by The Whelk at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


( this is what I like to imagine I'm doing to my sims when I force them to act a certain way, no no no you're doing it wrong let me just command your very will for an hour or so.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kind of like a really positive and helpful form of possession!

"YOUR MOTHER KNITS SOCKS IN HEAVEN, FATHER KARRAS!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Oh Boy" (slyt)
posted by flarbuse at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really liked the show, but I also wondered about what the heck happened when Sam leaped away and the person he replaced was put back in their own life. If they ever dealt with that at all, I never saw it. (It seems like such an obvious potential storyline that I figure the show's creators must have discussed it, but they couldn't think of an explanation they were happy with.)

As for the question of how Al is able to follow Sam around, maybe it was one of those Star Trek holodeck deals, where he could walk around in a very enclosed space and the computer would create a sort of treadmill for him him so he never felt like he was standing still. Or maybe Al's physical body stood still the whole time, but we were seeing a kind of mental projection of him.

Sam was an interesting hero. He was a gentle soul, always in a (quite understandable) panic, not really your standard tough guy type at all. It seemed like fate was always forcing him to try on these personas he wasn't comfortable with (pregnant women, monkeys, etc.) and he would learn to adapt to somebody else's life and care about their problems, without ever actually meeting them. I remember one episode where Sam leaped into the life of a beauty queen, and Al spent the whole hour crushing on him! That gave Bakula and Stockwell some fun stuff to play, that week.

A quick look at the Wikipedia page reveals that for a time Quantum Leap was airing opposite Wiseguy and China Beach. And this was before DVR!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can I tell you the thing I most disliked about Quantum Leap? It was the way the "unknown force" treated Sam Beckett. This guy was an Einstein level genius who wanted to travel in time, and what did the unknown force do? It gave him his wish, but in a totally uncontrollable and unexplainable way. He couldn't quantify the leaps or stop to think about what was happening. It was just one crazy adventure after another, and it was left up to the people back at the Project to figure out the science stuff that he'd devoted his life to. If Sam had been given any quiet time to rest (and the memories that he was missing), he may have come up with a way to stop the leaping.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2013


The 'unknown force' was a network executive, so it all makes sense really.
posted by unSane at 4:07 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is there a streaming service that has this? I've been wanting to watch it recently.
Seasons 1 & 2 are free on Amazon Prime, with Seasons 1-5 on Netflix.

Like memebake, I've enjoyed seeing how they weave in little bits of social commentary and incorporate Sam as so many different characters in a fairly well-done way. Also, marathon watching the first couple of seasons has given me the biggest crush on Al.
posted by bizzyb at 4:17 PM on June 25, 2013


Oh, boy. I haven't seen an episode of Quantum Leap in 20 years or so, but I can still recite the opening narration by heart.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:39 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh Boy! (slyt)
posted by Teakettle at 4:42 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Oh Boy" (slyt)
posted by xedrik at 5:31 PM on June 25, 2013


God I loved Quantum Leap.

God I hated Quantum Leap! (That's bolding in case you missed it.)

Well, until I decided Sam just had to be batshit crazy and that the show would pan out in the final episode and Sam would be there saying, "They say she's the same, but she's not! They say she's the same, but she's not! They say she's the same, but she's not!" Instead this was a season finale of Roseanne. You get the show you deserve, not the show you want. In short, Roseanne was a better show than Quantum Leap.

Your seconds can call on mine in the morning.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:07 PM on June 25, 2013


I discovered this video recently!

It was a related video to this great Delocated clip (SLYT)
posted by ACair at 6:35 PM on June 25, 2013


Oh Boy (slyt)
posted by Melismata at 7:07 PM on June 25, 2013


Man, even with the mystery meat framing, I just knew this was going to be about Quantum Leap. Such a simple yet iconic phrase.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:16 PM on June 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


...because even 20 years ago, NOBODY said "oh boy" when surprised or disturbed... but it helped define the Sam Beckett character and kept the network censor away so they could get into deeper shit...
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:36 PM on June 25, 2013


Loved the show. Got in trouble with my non for ditching family events to watch it (in reruns!) Defended its merits hotly when my favorite teacher in 6 th grade said it was for kids. Read the novels. Wrote fanfic. Had VHS tapes of my favorite episodes. Even made an audio tape of one I could listen to in the car on a road trip.

This show may have more than I previously realized to do with my eventual choice of career... Physics research.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:36 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


My 3 favorite Quantum Leap moments:

1. When Al intervenes so that Sam's brother doesn't die in Vietnam. The price of his sacrifice: spending 5 years as a POW. When asked by Sam why he did it and that he could have been free, Al drops his wacky persona and gets dead serious: "I was free. In here." (Pointing to his head) *chills*

2. When Sam leaps into Lee Harvey Oswald. At the end, Oswald's personality is "taking over" Sam's and he's about to shoot JFK all over again. It's the end if the episode and Sam/Oswald is in the Texas School Book Depository with the gun ready to fire. Al is running around trying to figure out some way of reaching Sam when he shouts in desperation, "Sam! It's 1963! Your dad is still alive. He's riding a tractor and he's still alive!" The memory of his father is the one thing that finally breaks the spell and Sam suddenly leaps into the body of the Secret Service man who jumped on top of the limo. His whole mission had not been to save JFK, but to save Jackie. *tears*

3. When Sam leaps into the body if a man named Jimmy who has Down's Syndrome. He's lying in bed with his nephew, who asks him for a story. Sam gently begins: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, Far away..." *smiles*

Oh boy, indeed.
posted by zooropa at 7:44 PM on June 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also, that Halloween episode with the devil seriously creeped out my 10-year-old self.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:28 PM on June 25, 2013


Trivia - Scott Bakula plays the voice of Jake Gyllenhaal's dad in Source Code, and when Jake phones him, well, listen for yourself.
posted by memebake at 1:32 AM on June 26, 2013


I always assumed we were being given an eye into the mind of the delusional sam. Just like I did with Life on
Mars.
posted by BenPens at 3:24 AM on June 26, 2013


This is great timing. I was trying to describe my life to someone the other day as "It's like I wake up every single morning and find I have Quantum Leaped into this suburban provincial housewife and mother-of-two, and you know 'Oh boy!'"

Wasted eloquence on someone born in 1984.
posted by Catch at 3:34 AM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


More trivia: Dean Stockwell has been in two movie versions of The Dunwich Horror. In the first, a theatrical release, he played Wilbur Whately. In the second, for USA Networks, Dr. Armitage.
posted by JHarris at 4:29 AM on June 26, 2013


Also, Gooshie was played by Dennis Wolfberg, a great standup comedian who I've posted about before, who sadly died young.
posted by JHarris at 4:35 AM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ursula Hitler: [Sam] would learn to adapt to somebody else's life and care about their problems, without ever actually meeting them.

Yes, thats it - another element of his emotional intelligence, in each episode he very quickly ends up caring about the things his host would care about, and not just because he's trying to get to the next leap. Then by doing that he's able to say the right things to the right people.

I suppose the whole thing could be seen as a metaphor for being an actor/actress - each week being thrown into a new role and having to empathise with the situation and put in a convincing performance. Perhaps that was why it made such a good show - at its core, its all about acting/roleplaying through empathising, which is a very ancient part of human culture.
posted by memebake at 9:31 AM on June 26, 2013


Any chance of a synopsis?

Sam leaps into the body of an eccentric millionaire, only 6 months removed from Sams "present" as it were. It is revealed that Project Quantum Leap has been running for 5 years since Sam's initial leap. Meanwhile back in the waiting room the millionaire seems improbably calm about what is happening to him and is subtly getting into everyones heads asking questions about the nature of Quantum Leap. Sam is dealing with some millionaire drama, unaware that funding for Quantum Leap is at risk and the whole program is in danger of shutting down at any moment, which would presumably leave Sam stranded and alone. There is an attempt to re-create the program execution that successfully sent Sam back with some no-name QL scientist at first but because Ziggy's circuits are specifically tuned to Sam and Al's brain patterns it is unsuccessful. Really unsuccessful, the Leapee ends up dying after being lept into for about 10 seconds. For some reason I can't remember everything is going to hell in the Leapees time. The millionaire, it is revealed was familiar with Project Quantum Leap, and was trying to recreate his own version of it to save his deceased wife before he was ever lept into. Eventually, Al goes into the Accellerator and tries again in one last desperation attempt to retrieve Sam but it is ultimately unsuccessful. The book takes place between the second to last episode and the series finale and ends with Sams leap as himself into the Al's Place bar in which the finale takes place in.
posted by mediocre at 3:17 PM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


That sounds really interesting, mediocre, thanks.
posted by JHarris at 4:49 PM on June 26, 2013


I tried rewatching these a couple of years ago and I didn't think it had aged very well at all. It was a sad realisation, because it had been one of my favourite shows in the 80s. I ended up watching MacGyvers instead.
posted by lollusc at 5:22 AM on June 27, 2013


I tried rewatching these a couple of years ago and I didn't think it had aged very well at all...I ended up watching MacGyvers instead.

Whoa, pot to kettle.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:52 AM on June 27, 2013


Back at a sci-fi convention I went to in the early 90s, one of the dealers' room vendors had a rack of bumper stickers, one of which was "Lieutenant Commander Data, why did you just say 'oh boy'?"

A lot funnier in retrospect.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:52 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older President of the United States Barack Obama unveil...  |  "After she passed, the chimps ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments