Quantum Leap (2022)
Ben Song leaps from body to body putting right historical mistakes with the help of his colleagues and friends.
Spoiler Level: Mild
The original Quantum Leap ran for five seasons on NBC from 1989 to 1993 and starred Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett who leaped through space and time into other people’s bodies through history to correct historical mistakes. He is aided by his best friend, Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell) who guides him through history in the form as a hologram that only Beckett can see. Leaping is limited to Beckett’s own life span, meaning he is not able to leap to a time before he was born or after his death. The new series is not a strict reboot, but a continuation of the original story. A new team is attempting to correct the problems with the original experiment that Sam Beckett never returned to his own time from. Doctor Ben Song (Raymond Lee) heads the team along with Herbert ‘Magic’ Williams (Ernie Hudson), the only character so far to have been represented in the original series. Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett), Ben’s fiancé and team member was the one originally intended to do the “leaping”, but for some mysterious reason, Ben leaped on his own and it is now up to the rest of the team to try to get him back, while helping him correct historical mistakes. A side effect of leaping is memory loss of who you are. So Ben does not remember anything about his personal life. Addison guides him as a hologram, the same way Al guided Sam. The pilot episode has Ben as a getaway driver on a heist involving the Hope Diamond and the need to save a single life of a troubled man in a perilous predicament.
I enjoyed the first series, which featured a mix of humor, drama, commentary, science fiction and even a bit of horror, and the show has a cult following, so there is no doubt that the new series will be harshly judged. That being said, I liked the Pilot of the new series, but it wasn’t with out its shortfalls. First, Raymond does a great job as Ben, he seemed more than capable of carrying the show and tackling both the humor and drama that the part demands, but there wasn’t anything really unique about him. There was a quirkiness and sparkle that Bakula had, that isn’t quite there in Raymond. Hopefully he finds it in the coming episodes. Ernie Hudson as the head of the program is a wonderful choice and Ernie won’t disappoint. The rest of the supporting cast is interesting and I like that we get to see a bit more of Ben’s own time and not just the timeline that he jumps into. Caitlin Bassett does her best as Addison, but she is a bit bland and again, nothing unique. Having Addison and Ben in a romantic relationship adds a great dynamic, especially since Ben can’t remember it, but I am not sure that is enough to compensate for their bland personalities. I do like the added mystery behind why Ben unexpectedly leaped without telling anyone else on the team.
The production design is good, and the special effects are all quality, although nothing really that we haven’t seen before. Both the main plot and the subplot, which I assume will be the common thread that runs through the season, were interesting with intrigue, action, drama, and humor. The script, on the other hand, felt a little clunky. It fell into the pitfall that many pilots fall into, with trying to pack as much information into the episode so the audience doesn’t feel lost. This can lead to dialogue feeling forced and disingenuous. It wasn’t bad, and I have seen worse, but it just wasn’t handled as well as it could have been.
Overall, the episode is fun and well performed, but lacked the magic sparkle that the original series had. A common mystery plot, that most likely will be the thread running through the season, is a great addition to the series.
Quantum Leap: History Repeats Itself
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 8/108/10