How Quantum Leap’s Original Co-Creator And Director Was Influenced By The Bear And Jon Favreau's Chef For Season 1’s ‘Family Style’

Raymond Lee in Quantum Leap on NBC
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Quantum Leap Season 1 episode "Family Style." Read at your own risk!

One could say that Dr. Ben Song's latest leap in Quantum Leap was out of the frying pan and into the fire, especially given the restaurant setting of "Family Style." Ben found himself in the body of the daughter of a restaurant worker, whose family's Indian restaurant was struggling to stay afloat after the death of her father. The hour had all the makings of a great episode that both fans and foodies would enjoy, and that's thanks in part to how executive producer and director Deborah Pratt pulled from The Bear and Jon Favreau's Chef for inspiration

Deborah Pratt was a co-creator of the original Quantum Leap and is currently an executive producer of the revival. She also directed the latest episode, "Family Style," and was kind enough to break down the episode for CinemaBlend in an interview. Pratt spoke about filming the the kitchen scenes, and how she had the team working to create shots that were similar to some of the most iconic scripted cooking shows and films out there: 

I got to be in this funky, fabulous kitchen with, you know, three cameras. I kept saying to everybody, ‘Okay, so here’s what’s going to happen. Every time we’re doing a setup, break off C camera and go shoot the flames coming on. Everything from like, you know, The Bear to Chef. Every food show you’ve ever seen, I said I wanted to have that feeling of what it’s like to be in a kitchen.

The Bear and Chef are two of the top options when it comes to making an episode involving food. It's cool that a series like Quantum Leap can pull from memorable works that have nothing to do with science fiction, and utilize that inspiration to bring a more authentic feeling to its weekly adventures. 

Indian food played a large part in the Quantum Leap episode, but there was a lot to get through. The episode also touched on Ben's past trauma from his mom's passing. Plus, Ian was confronted by the team for being a possible traitor, and viewers witnessed some problems that immigrants face when coming to a new country. Deborah Pratt spoke about how it all fit together to make a great episode of the NBC series: 

I read the script and I went, ‘Oh my God. This is a true, all the way through, Quantum Leap.’ It has heart, it has humor, it has history, it has hope. It has a great personal story for Ben and a great timely story with immigration. What is it like to be an immigrant family from another country trying to make it in America? I was thrilled to be able to direct it and bring all those threads together.

In the end, Ben was able to pull it all together and move on to his next leap. Viewers saw Ben transported to a naval warship, where he'll come in contact with a person with a very personal tie to his actual life. The Rookie and Arrowverse alum Brandon Routh will join the series to play Addison's father. It's a big jump from Indian food to war games in the Navy, but if any series can pull it off, it's Quantum Leap. Personally, I'm curious if this next adventure will bring us any closer to understanding why Ben leapt and how it relates to an imminent threat involving Addison. 

Quantum Leap airs on NBC on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET. Those behind on the season can always catch up with a Peacock Premium subscription. Based on all we've learned so far, they may want to before we get to the season finale. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.