Season 4 Episode 1: The Leap Back
Throughout Quantum Leap we’d been told that Sam came from our “future” and, barring a brief appearance in the pilot, this is our first full look at it. Everything is neon and gummy bear computers and so beautifully colorful. It also gives us our first look at a large majority of the people working at the Project which we’d only heard Al speak about previously. Since the new series will be spending a heavy amount of time at the Project, the sequences of this episode set there should prove highly influential. Sure, they’re only tantalizing glimpses but bigger franchises have been built from smaller pools of references.
“The Leap Back” also reveals that Sam has a wife, Donna, who he previously had no memory of. She’s been working to get him back but, despite a brief return, he’s soon lost in time once again. Her pain at his loss and determination to find him could inform the Project side of the story in the new series and the characters within it.
Season 5 Episode 5: Killin’ Time
Quantum Leap’s final season ramped up the lore and this entry gave us a look at the future outside the Project. It’s supposedly the mid to late ‘90s but that didn’t stop the show from going all in on the weird neon and bright colors for all things future. It wouldn’t surprise us if the new series moved away from that aesthetic (after all, time has moved on in universe) but come on, who needs colorless rooms with banks of monitors? Go full lego gummy bear block!
The episode also has a leapee escape the Project and he does not react well to the future. Since all the scenes at the Project can’t just be the team standing around computers looking for Ben, this episode could provide inspiration for plots those characters will need to deal with. (We also listed it as one of the top 10 episodes of Quantum Leap.)
Season 5 Episode 7: Deliver Us from Evil
While a sequel to a previous episode, the main draw of this entry is that it introduced the concept of the “Evil Leaper.” While Sam is out there putting right what once went wrong, there’s another leaper, Alia, changing history for the worse. This was without question the biggest addition to the lore of Quantum Leap, adding in a whole other Project and leaper that was in direct opposition to Sam.
We aren’t sure exactly how serialized the new series will be but it’s a confident guess to say that it won’t be as episodic as the original show was. Ben facing off against evil leapers is just too tantalizing and we expect them to make an appearance sooner rather than later.
Season 5 Episodes 16-17: Return of the Evil Leaper/Revenge of the Evil Leaper
A deeper exploration into the evil leapers, this time providing clues as to just how horrific it is working at the “evil” Project. It’s implied that the devil is behind it, as God was previously suggested to be behind Sam’s leaps. The show wisely never confirms these either way, but with so many dramas striving to have “lore” that fans can get invested in, it’s more than likely the new series will try to definitively answer the question of who (or what) was controlling the leaps.
It would also be fascinating to see if the new series played up the idea that a rival Project is out there changing history. Why? For what purpose? The “good” Project wasn’t trying to change history (for the most part), they were just trying to get Sam back home! What does the “evil” Project have to gain? Are they protected from the changes in history? How many leapers are out there?