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Quantum Leap


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#1

mara

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:57 AM

I never really made the Sam Beckett=Mary Sue connection before reading this thread. I mean, I knew that he was the perfect fan-fic crossover character, and had read some good 'Sam leaps into show xyz and keeps it from shark-jumping'. But calling him a Mary Sue really helped me put my finger on what used to irk me about some of the episodes, when his intervention seemed like he was a tool for alleviating a writer's white-guy guilt, or a sort of presumptuous hindsight like the writer was saying "If I'd been around, I could have save Monroe, Jackie O." etc.

I adored QL though. I'm especially fond of the episode where Al became the leaper, because sometime before the episode aired I'd been speculating with a friend about future episodes we'd love to see, and I'd brought up how funny it could be if they switched places, so when it actually happened at the end of Shock Theater, I just about died laughing. And I loved most of the drag episodes (though the one with the bra-burning housewife was one of my least favorites. Not a good look for Scott)

I can't wait for the dvd's. I really hope that they use the original season 1 opener, though. I know they redid it for season 2 and onward, and I always found the second version too over the top somehow (too emotional?). It's been so long since I heard the original, that I can't really remember what it was, but I just remember watching the season 2 premiere and cringing at the change. But the Deborah Pratt interview I saw about the season 1 dvd mentioned re-doing the 'saga sell', which made me nervous.
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#2

cbe

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 1:33 PM

Does anyone know if Sci-fi will be resurrecting this show? I would love to see it again.
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#3

keckler

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 1:56 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by "resurrecting" but Sci-Fi has been airing the old episodes for a while now.

For instance, on January 21st, Sci-Fi is airing all the eps between (and including) the premiere and ep 1.4. On Feb. 11th, they're airing ep 1.5-2.1.

Edited by keckler, Jan 3, 2004 @ 2:06 PM.


#4

cbe

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 3:17 PM

Thanks for the info. I'll mark the date on my calendar.
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#5

Willowbrook

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 9:49 PM

De-lurking for just a second...

What annoyed me most about the final episode wasn't that Sam never returned home, because it always seemed to me that Sam made that decision. I was annoyed that Sam fixed Al's history. While it seems nice from a sentimental perspective, it changes the entire character of Al. Now, when I go back and watch old episodes, I have to remind myself that the "new" Al wouldn't say or do half of the things he did. He certainly wouldn't be womanizing the way he was, and much of his cynical edge would most likely be lost. I hate when shows feel the need to rewrite their own history (for example, Angel and Voyager.) Other than that, I loved the series, and I was pissed when it got cancelled.
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#6

mara

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Posted Jan 12, 2004 @ 11:31 PM

I was annoyed that Sam fixed Al's history. While it seems nice from a sentimental perspective, it changes the entire character of Al.


I had a similar feeling -- I felt that by giving Al back his marriage to Beth, and the ominous "Sam Beckett never returned home" placard, it meant that Sam had erased their friendship. And, as important as Beth had been to Al, he'd proven over and over in the series that Sam was now the most important person in his life. In a way, I felt like it cheapened the sacrifices that Al had made, like giving up his shot at getting liberated in the Vietnam episode.

But I was also upset at the idea of Sam never returning home. I mean, aside from the fact that his poor wifey was left with nothing but Ziggy and the constellations, it was drummed into our heads every week in the opening credits that Sam is wishing for that 'leap home.' I agree that his decision to continue leaping was a noble act and a kind of logical progression in his growth as a heroic character, but it just did not satisfy me as an ending for the series.
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#7

keckler

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 1:48 AM

Al wouldn't say or do half of the things he did. He certainly wouldn't be womanizing the way he was, and much of his cynical edge would most likely be lost.


Wait, I'm confused. The Al I knew always made it obvious in word and deed that he had quite an eye for the ladies -- Sam was always trying to keep him from spying on some when they undressed.

#8

Ailiana

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 7:36 AM

But a lot of Al's womanizing, and sexualization/objectification of women is traceable to his broken heart when he returned from years in a POW camp to find out that his wife (whose memory had kept hiim going) had given him up for dead and married someone else.
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#9

ionee24

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 8:37 AM

...and his so called "best friend" skip his turn to receive quantum help to save his older brother.

ETA: I love Dr. Beckett and all but that was the most cruel cosmic joke ever. I don't care if he in fact erased their frienship with that last leap, the "Sam Beckett never returned home" was the best thing he did for Al given the circunstances.

Edited by ionee24, Jan 13, 2004 @ 8:41 AM.

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#10

Sea

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 3:35 PM

I vividly remember screeching in outrage at the "Sam Beckett never returned home" placard. Blech.
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#11

RiverThames

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 5:24 PM

...and his so called "best friend" skip his turn to receive quantum help to save his older brother.


A reason why I love the "trilogy" of MIA/Leap Home/Vietnam. I think Al is pretty aware that the POW to be saved is him, and that would be all he has to tell Sam to send him charging to the rescue, even though it would likely cost Tom his life. I love it when he says, "What the hell. I get repatriated in four years."
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#12

mara

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 9:52 PM

I vividly remember screeching in outrage at the "Sam Beckett never returned home" placard. Blech.


I think I just sat there in stunned, teary disbelief. I'd always looked forward to Sam and Al finally getting to HUG each other after all those years of incorporeality, and then they went and ended it with a great big placard saying NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. Not only did Al never get to welcome Sam home, that placard to me said that Al was never going to figure out what had become of Sam (if the memory of their friendship hadn't been swallowed up by the alternate timeline, that is), and had never had a chance to say goodbye. The last conversation they had in the episode had no closure. Sam got closure, making the choice to go on leaping, and starting it off with getting Beth back for Al. But the last Al saw of Sam was him seeming to be in the middle of a nervous breakdown, and then he would have been gone entirely, and Al would think he'd failed him and never know that Sam was leaping voluntarily.

Maybe that's what really burned me about the episode. I didn't think that Al would remember both timelines (since he wasn't participating in the leap) so as far as he'd know, he would always have come home from Vietnam to find Beth waiting for him. So he'd never know what Sam had done for him, he'd only know that he'd failed to get Sam home.
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#13

nqllisi

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 7:04 AM

But did it say that Al was no longer going to be leaping with Sam? Whether or not you add "Sam's unconsciousness" to the God, Fate, Time, whatever scenario, I think that the QL project was still going to be facilitating his leaps.

Sad as all heck, maybe, but I still think the end is perfectly appropriate. Real heroes make real sacrifices.
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#14

keckler

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 3:39 PM

Plus, didn't it leave the show open for follow up? I mean, who would be that interested in the revival of a show when they thought everything was tied up neat and tidy? And, it elicited a deep emotional reaction from viewers -- something SOME shows around here could learn about.

#15

nqllisi

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 4:06 PM

Hmmm, which shows could you possibly mean?

Yeah, I think having an ambiguous, unsettling ending has made the show stick in people's minds even more than it would have just on the basis of being a really good show.
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#16

Hobbes16

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 4:49 PM

Sad as all heck, maybe, but I still think the end is perfectly appropriate. Real heroes make real sacrifices.


Word. I thought the ending was perfectly sad and perfectly appropriate, too.
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#17

mara

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 7:53 PM

But did it say that Al was no longer going to be leaping with Sam?


The more I think about it, I'm not sure exactly how I reached that conclusion nqllisi. Aside from ye olde epilogue-placard-of-crushing-doom.

Maybe it was also a problem of expectations. Like when a show goes into a long hiatus period on a cliffhanger, and you have many weeks/months to imagine what's going to happen when the series picks up, but then when it does the episode glosses over some subplot that you had imagined the heck out of? So I'd had years of looking forward to a great reunion scene, only to find I'd never get to actually see it. I know it's a noble heroic ending for Sam, but I can't help that it left me feeling betrayed by the show's writers.

I'll just keep my fingers crossed that we really will be getting dvd's in the next year or two. I want to see the episodes without the syndication cuts for time. (I especially remember spotting the cuts during the Samantha Stormer episode -- like Al ogling Sam in the bathtub.) I would hope for a tv-movie or revival of the series, but as much as I'd like some more closure, I think I'm too afraid of it sucking to get completely behind it.
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#18

sonneta

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 8:28 PM

Have you guys heard anything about the QL TV movie supposedly (?) coming out this year? There's an IMDB listing and some speculation on the IMDB listing. Is this for real? And, if so, how much will it suck?
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#19

keckler

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Posted Jan 14, 2004 @ 9:02 PM

Sonneta, if you read a few pages back in this thread, you can see what some of our speculations are in relation to that very topic.

#20

RiverThames

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Posted Jan 15, 2004 @ 9:41 AM

The more I think about it, I'm not sure exactly how I reached that conclusion nqllisi.


When the episode first aired, it was a pretty common specualtion. Many people felt that saving Al's marriage to Beth would write Al out of PQL, or somehow set Sam adrift to leap without any homebase support.
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#21

nqllisi

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Posted Jan 15, 2004 @ 10:04 AM

I guess I never made that assumption because I knew that they'd intended to have another season with both lead actors. Since they were obviously planning on keeping Al around, I never considered any other scenarios.

A nice hug would have been good, though.
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#22

ionee24

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Posted Jan 15, 2004 @ 6:33 PM

Sad as all heck, maybe, but I still think the end is perfectly appropriate. Real heroes make real sacrifices

SO WORD on that one!

I admit I was mad, I cried for every moment Sam’ll never have/had with his wife, the hug he’d never share with Al, the “genious” daughter he’ll never met (that obviously got forever stuck with the job of bringing him home), and felt disappointment cuz he went through all of this to save the life of a brother he’ll never get the chance to see again anyway. He won to never enjoy the sheer victory of it.

Then again I hated “trilogy” cuz - no matter how amnesic - Sam WAS married at the time he had his daughter, the “leap home” cuz his brother was more important for him than the life of the postumous pulitzer winner (who took Al’s picture) and his best friend and all those other moments when he could’ve done something for Al’s and he didn’t.

I know it's a noble heroic ending for Sam, but I can't help that it left me feeling betrayed by the show's writers.

Despite it all I wasn’t. Al’s wife really loved him as much as Sam’s wife did (the one with "commitment issues" who may not even marry him if he wouldn’t have jumped) but she really believed herself a widow and Sam never told her otherwise when he had the chance. Al made the call for him on Vietnam. This was Sam’s chance to do the right thing, and he went for it. Mom told me back then that he may never had the chance to see his best friend again but he was there every time Al had a daughter and every day he share with Beth, that maybe Dr. Beckett never came home but he made one for everyone around him and it was okay to cry for it but not to be angry cuz knowing that everyone he ever love was fine because of him was the ultimate reward.

Edited by ionee24, Jan 15, 2004 @ 6:36 PM.

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#23

Dani257

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 3:03 AM

What Mara said about him never returning home.

I mean, the show is rooted in fantasy. Wishfulfillment, really. Everyone's lives gets fixed because of one man, and he gets what? Squat. Never being able to settle down, never even having a choice of where he moved to or moved into, and if reuniting Al and Beth meant that Al never joined Quantum Leap, he doesn't even have anyone to help him as the leaps got harder, or to just be a familiar face.


Plus, didn't it leave the show open for follow up?


"Never" seems pretty final to me.

Then again I hated “trilogy” cuz - no matter how amnesic - Sam WAS married at the time he had his daughter


But, the amnesia absolves him of blame, I'd say. How can you fault a man for cheating on a wife he doesn't even know exists?

the “leap home” cuz his brother was more important for him than the life of the postumous pulitzer winner (who took Al’s picture) and his best friend and all those other moments when he could’ve done something for Al’s and he didn’t.


Did Sam even know that saving Tom would have an effect on Al's pow status in any way? I'm not sure how to phrase it. Of course he knew Al was a POW, but did he know he was one at that exact time, and was anywhere near that location? The only time Sam willingly and consciously refused to help Al was in MIA. What other opportunities did he have to help Al and didn't? And, I can totally understand him feeling that Tom's life was more important to him than the pulitzer winner. Getting back with Beth was more important to Al than whoever Sam was supposed to help in MIA.
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#24

RiverThames

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 9:24 AM

Sam didn't know Al was one of the POWs to rescue until after the fact. As for Maggie winning the Pulitzer, she never would have won it without Sam's influence-- he's the one that got her on the mission. Else she wouldn't have gone at all, and never gotten the shot.
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#25

ionee24

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 5:24 PM

True, in a way Al's picture was the one who made her win the prize, still the fact remains that she'd have live a longer life with many more chances to win the award if it weren't for Sam.

...Everyone's lives gets fixed because of one man, and he gets what? Squat. Never being able to settle down, never even having a choice of where he moved to or moved into, and if reuniting Al and Beth meant that Al never joined Quantum Leap, he doesn't even have anyone to help him as the leaps got harder, or to just be a familiar face.

I don't know, something tells me that Al & Sam had a bullet proof friendship, that no matter what Al would still join the program and he and Sam would still be friends. After all the only "leap" that ever change anything revolving Al's involvement was the one of his martial court on military school; Nina was still there, she was marry to that other guy in charge of Ziggi's program (who was still there too), the only thing that change was the Al hologram. So for me, Sam only got to work with a happily married with 6 daughters Al instead of the womanizer with 6 ex wives one.

I'm still made because he "got squat" though ;)

...The only time Sam willingly and consciously refused to help Al was in MIA. What other opportunities did he have to help Al and didn't?

The "last leap" was a reharsal of one of the first ones, when Beth was heartbroken cuz she believed herself a widow and Al asked Sam to take her away from her second-husband-to-be. Sam didn't, he didn't even told her that Al was alive at the time, later on that's the point he chose as a "final destination" and finally ask Beth to wait a few more months.
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#26

Dani257

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 5:30 PM

The "last leap" was a reharsal of one of the first ones, when Beth was heartbroken cuz she believed herself a widow and Al asked Sam to take her away from her second-husband-to-be. Sam didn't, he didn't even told her that Al was alive at the time, later on that's the point he chose as a "final destination" and finally ask Beth to wait a few more months.


That was MIA. That was the leap where he didn't tell Beth that Al was alive. So, that's still only one time Sam knowingly didn't help Al.
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#27

bigmonster

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Posted Jan 16, 2004 @ 9:07 PM

Ya'll are being too hard on Sam. Not only did he not know that saving his brother would sacrifice Al's rescue, but he didn't know it would result in Maggie's death, either.
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#28

Dani257

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Posted Jan 17, 2004 @ 12:01 AM

bigmonster, I completely agree with you.
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#29

mara

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Posted Jan 17, 2004 @ 1:02 AM

Then again I hated “trilogy” cuz - no matter how amnesic - Sam WAS married at the time he had his daughter


Trilogy creeped me out. Not so much because Sam was still married, but because of the wierd pedophilia/incest vibe. There was something bizarre about his relationship with little Abigail, and when he leaped from being her father to being the fiancee making out with teenage Abigail squicked me out to no end.
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#30

Ailiana

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Posted Jan 17, 2004 @ 10:59 AM

It took me a while to remember which episodes were involved in "Trilogy"--until the Abigail comments. But I had no idea she was supposed to be his daughter. I really liked that mini arc, but I think it may be totally different if I think she's his kid. Where does that piece of information come from?
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