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Quantum Leap

TELEVISION | NBC’s reboot of a sci-fi classic lacks what made the original show entertaining

Ron Batzdorff/NBC via Getty Images

<em>Quantum Leap</em>
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Rated TV-PG
➤ NBC and Peacock

Nothing sells these days like nostalgia, so NBC’s revival of the classic show Quantum Leap should have been a surefire hit for the network. It offers nostalgia by bringing back a beloved series while at the same time evoking even more nostalgia in each episode by time traveling through America’s recent past. The bad news is this new incarnation of Quantum Leap lacks what made the original series entertaining.

In the original series, which ran from 1989 to 1993, Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) was a brilliant physicist who’s stuck leaping through time, righting wrongs with the help of his trusty sidekick Al (Dean Stockwell), who appears to Sam as a hologram. Now, Ben Song (Raymond Lee), another brilliant physicist, has made the same mistake, getting stuck leaping through time, righting wrongs assisted by his trusty sidekick Addison (Caitlin Bassett), who appears to Ben as a hologram.

The new series goes wrong in trying to up the stakes. The fun repartee between Sam and Al has been replaced with tedious earnestness between Ben and Addison, who happen to be affianced. In the original series, Sam and Al were the only main characters. The cast in the revival has been expanded to five, apparently so that NBC could check the de rigueur diversity boxes.

Those extra characters need something to do, which robs the series of its fun. The new Quantum Leap spends half of every episode following the members of the project. They want to unravel the mystery of why Ben “leaped” prematurely and to figure out how to bring him home. It turns out office intrigue and physics babble isn’t nearly as entertaining as time traveling to help people.

Recently revived series

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  • Masters of the Universe / 2021
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  • Rugrats / 2021
  • Saved by the Bell / 2020
  • Animaniacs / 2020
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars / 2020

Collin Garbarino

Collin is WORLD's Arts and Culture Editor. He is a World Journalism Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University graduate, and he teaches at Houston Baptist University. Collin resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas.



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