Why Quantum Leap Fans Need To Watch The NBC Revival ASAP

Raymond Lee in Quantum Leap
(Image credit: NBC)

Quantum Leap is back on television, and it’s already scored additional episode orders for its Season 1 run. It’s also garnered a solid batch of praise across the internet, with fans new and old on board with Dr. Ben Song and his quest to find a way back to his time period. Despite that, there are some people still wondering if they should catch up with their Peacock subscription or tune in for an upcoming episode, and I’m here to say they need to do that ASAP. 

As someone who watched a good chunk of the original show and is currently enjoying the revival, I’m fully on board with this new era of Quantum Leap. For those still on the fence or curious if the new series is worth their time, I can assure you there are plenty of reasons to make time for this show before Season 1 is over. 

Raymond Lee in Quantum Leap

(Image credit: NBC)

The Revival Feels Like The Original Quantum Leap, But With More Meat To It

Fans of the original Quantum Leap won’t spend long watching the revival before they recognize these two things have a lot more in common than differences. Raymond’s leaps to other individuals play out a lot like Sam Beckett’s, and thus far, the whole story progresses seamlessly into the whole “adventure of the week” format that makes the original so easy to watch. The first three episodes saw Ben hop from a getaway driver to an astronaut to a professional boxer, so yeah, there’s a lot of variety to enjoy so far.  

One thing that is different, however, is that the new Quantum Leap introduced a more serialized aspect beyond the question of whether Ben will ever get home. There’s the additional story of why Ben jumped in the first place, which is something he forgot as a result of his jump. There’s also a greater conspiracy going on behind the scenes regarding the Quantum Leap project, as Ben’s coworkers attempt to figure out why Sam went rogue and why he uploaded a bunch of new code into Ziggy, the project's AI, from Janice, Al Calavicci’s daughter. 

Quantum Leap fans get to scratch their itch for the classic adventures of the original, but also get a serialized plot that visits what’s happening outside of Ben Song’s leaps in the present day, particularly the team’s efforts to try and bring him back. What’s better is the NBC series does a great job at balancing its episodic and serialized elements, so much so that I’d reckon someone could just rewatch an episode on a whim without feeling like they need to remember everything that came before. 

Nanrisa Lee in Quantum Leap

(Image credit: NBC)

The Revival Acknowledges The Events Of The Original Series

One might assume that because Scott Bakula revealed he’s not involved in the revival that the new Quantum Leap might’ve tried to write around anything involving Sam Beckett. That’s not the case, as the series premiere doesn’t just go on to openly namecheck the original time traveler, but to confirm that downer ending of the original series. Yes, that’s right, Sam Beckett never returned home, and is either continually hopping from body to body in the present day or dead.

It’s more than just about Sam, though, as Ernie Hudson’s Herbert "Magic" Williams is in the series with meaningful ties to the original Quantum Leap. Magic is a Vietnam war veteran first seen in the original series when Sam jumped into his body during “The Leap Home (Part 2) - Vietnam.” Magic recently revealed that after he learned about the project and that he was one of the people Sam leapt into and changed the course of his life, he knew he had to get the project started again in an attempt to try and bring Sam back. 

For now, there are only a few callbacks to the original series, but they’re meaningful and substantial enough that one has to believe Quantum Leap will continue to make them should the series continue for multiple seasons. Of course, there’s one obvious way the show could acknowledge the events of the original series, which segues perfectly into the next major reason to watch. 

Dean Stockwell and Scott Bakula on Quantum Leap

(Image credit: NBC)

The Show Is Seemingly Leaving The Door Open For Scott Bakula To Reprise Sam Beckett

If there’s one thing that feels really obvious about the new Quantum Leap in these early episodes, it’s that the show is being very careful with how much information it rolls out regarding Sam Beckett. Right now, the characters theorize that he’s still out in the universe either hopping from body to body or he’s dead, which feels like the ideal scenario for fans at the moment. 

Essentially, it sets the character of Sam Beckett in a holding pattern and keeps the door open for his return should Scott Bakula find time in his schedule to join Quantum Leap. That’s assuming Bakula isn’t already secretly involved in some way, of course, though we have no real reason to assume that beyond he was originally involved with the new Quantum Leap when it was first announced. I could see why Quantum Leap wouldn’t immediately want to spoil Sam Beckett’s return, as it could undermine the new cast and make them too anxious to see Bakula back in action. Again though, this is all speculative, and we have no real reason to suspect Bakula is secretly involved in the series at the moment. 

The important takeaway here is that Quantum Leap hasn’t closed off the possibility of Scott Bakula reprising his role as Sam Beckett, which means there’s a chance it can happen. Personally, I have a hunch that whatever Ben did with that new code is going to help him attempt to triangulate where Sam is and attempt to bring him home. Of course, I could be completely off base on that, but I’m eager to learn more and see if that’s where things are headed. 

Raymond Lee in Quantum Leap

(Image credit: NBC)

Raymond Lee Is A Fantastic Lead With A Great Supporting Cast

I’m of the opinion that the original Quantum Leap was a good show made great by fantastic performances by Scott Bakula. The revival is off to a very strong start, and that’s thanks in no small part to its Dr. Ben Song actor, Raymond Lee. It’s not often I’m instantly all-in on the lead of a series and everything their character is about, but that happened with Ben Song. That’s really saying something considering his bone-headed move of jumping before the Quantum Leap tech was stabilized, but those who watch should understand quickly enough. 

And just to be clear, Raymond Lee’s performance is only bolstered by his co-star Caitlin Bassett. Their great Sam/Al-like chemistry is well worth the price of admission alone, and there’s more to love outside of that. Bassett, of course, carries a lot of the story outside of the leaps and interacts with others in the cast like Mason Alexander Park's Ian and Nanrisa Lee’s Jenn. Ernie Hudson is also an absolute gem as Magic, and will hopefully get his flowers by the time the season is up. In short, I love the talented Quantum Leap cast and can’t wait to see how much they grow in these roles as Quantum Leap continues. 

If you’re now convinced now is a great time to watch Quantum Leap, check it out on NBC Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET. It’s one of many quality shows appearing in the 2022 TV Schedule, so be sure to take a peek at that and see what else is on the way. 

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.