Stand Up – April 30th, 1959

Listen to the episode here.

You are about to witness the strength of Bob Saget.

Leapers! We’re back this week to talk about Season 4, episode 21, Stand Up – April 30th, 1959. Sam leaps into Davey Parker – one half of the comedy duo Parker and MacKay (Saget). Despite a rough start with Sam leaping in mid-routine, the duo get a shot doing their act in Vegas, thanks in no small part to their third, Frankie Washarskie (Amy Yasback). Sam has to get Mack and Frankie to admit their love for each other, but also prevent MacKay from being offed by a mob boss who has his own eyes on Frankie.

We talk about how this episode is a return to form after a few off-kilter stories, and how – Thank Ziggy – we finally have a well-written Al for the first time in a while. 

Stick around till the end for a special song featuring Mr. Saget, or watch here:

As always, we frequently reference Al’s Place, the Quantum Leap Wiki, The MacGyver Project, and Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap.

The Curse of Ptah-Hotep – March 2, 1957

Listen to the episode here.

On April 22, 1992, the most consequential episode of Quantum Leap, nay, the most consequential episode of TV ever, aired on NBC: “The Curse of Ptah Hotep”.

Sam leaps into Dale Conway, an archeologist who, along with his partner, Dr. Ginny Wills, has just discovered the tomb of King Ptah-Hotep. The hieroglyphics on the wall tell them whoever disturbs the tomb will be swallowed by death, and it appears he starts making good on his promise as members of the crew start dropping as quick Al’s one liners. 

We discuss an episode that is easily the love child of “A Potrait for Troian” and “The B**gieman”. We talk about the practice of “white-washing” in TV and movies, and we do some deep, deep fan-wank tying this episode to the the Evil Leaper project.

Hope you enjoy!

Moments to Live – May 4, 1985

Listen to our episode here.

Oh, boy, has it been two months since our last episode? The time flies. But we’re back, talking about Season 4’s “Moments to Live”. Sam is Kyle Hart, 1985’s hottest U.S. soap opera star. When Sam is kidnapped by a mentally-ill fan determined to have a child with Kyle, he must prevent Kyle’s original fate of being shot in the head with a shotgun. (Seriously!) Frequent guest host, Chris Steward returns to take on some thorny issues in this darkly comedic episode – including sexual assault, mental illness, and classist stereotypes, and their depiction in entertainment. Oh, yes, and how David Hasselhoff is HUGE in Germany. Shake off the jet lag in the modem of your floppy disk and strap in for an interesting discussion!

***As always, we frequently reference Al’s Place, the Quantum Leap Wiki, and Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap.

It’s a Wonderful Leap – May 10, 1958

Image courtesy of “The MacGyver Project”
Listen to the episode here.

Hop in, Leapers. We’re going to the Big Apple, 1958, in a Yellow Cab driven by none other than Dr. Sam Beckett. Al’s by his side, of course, plus a guardian angel (Whose guardian angel is she anyway?) named Angelita who can dish out the barbs as good as she gets. Sam’s there to help a cabbie win a contest – a coveted NYC taxi medallion is the prize – without getting mugged and shot like in the original history. We dig into an episode that is for all intents and purposes the Liz Torres Hour, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, we can’t talk about this episode without talking its now infamous Kiss with History.

***

As always, we frequently reference Al’s Place, the Quantum Leap Wiki, and Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap.

Ghost Ship – August 13, 1956

Things are getting spooky and wet, but we’re flying high in the Goose! This week we take a look at the 16th episode of season 4, “Ghost Ship”. Sam is in the pilot seat again, but this time he’s not the only one. Al gets spooked by the Bermuda Triangle, an appendix bursts, a WW2 vet is seeing a long-vanished ship, a feminine hygiene product is put to innovative use, and we’re experiencing glitches in the matrix. Join us for another adventure along with Sam and Al as things get a little weird and we go up and down and all over the place to find meaning in the paranormal experiences in the Devil’s Triangle… Hurricane Alley… roughly 1 million square miles of ocean… The Bermuda Triangle!

Running For Honor – June 11, 1964

Leapers! We are FINALLY back with a new episode. Coincidentally, just in time for the start of Pride Month, we’re discussing Quantum Leap’s infamous “very special gay issues” episode, “Running For Honor – June 11, 1964”.
Sam leaps into Tommy York, a naval academy track star. As Tommy, Sam must help his friend Phillip, who was expelled from the academy because he was gay. In the original history, Phillip was killed by “The CHAIN”, hate group comprised of naval academy students. Or was he?
When the CHAIN catch Sam (as Tommy) with Phillip after his expulsion, his own sexuality is called into question. Sam must fight to keep Tommy’s place in school, confront the CHAIN, and also confront even Al’s homophobia and his views on whether gay people should serve in the military.
As we always do, we contextualize the episode – from the time period it took place, when it was written and produced, and how it holds up today.
CONTENT WARNING FOR THIS EPISODE: Discussion of suicide, and hate crimes against LGTBQIA persons

Supplemental Info: This is the LA Times article we reference throughout the episode: NBC Takes Hit Over Gay Issue on ‘Leap’ Show

Reference Material:

Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap

Al’s Place: Running For Honor – June 11, 1964

Unchained – November 2, 1956

Listen to the episode

Or is this episode called “Unchained Melody”? Sam leaps into Chance Cole, a prisoner on a Southern chain gang in 1956. Cole is shackled to fellow inmate, Jasper Boone, who has been wrongfully imprisoned for series of store robberies. Somehow, Sam and Al must prove Jasper’s innocence from inside the prison.

We discuss the episode (Sam thinks it’s solid, Dennis, not so much), talk about the episode’s hat tips to “The Defiant Ones” and “Cool Hand Luke”, and continue to discuss some conversations in the Facebook group surrounding the show’s 30th anniversary

A Single Drop of Rain – September 7, 1953

Sam leaps into Billy Beaumont, a traveling huckster who promises to literally make it rain. Sam arrives as Billy and his assistant, Clinton, are pulling into Billy’s drought-ridden hometown of Clover Bend, Texas. In the original history, the drought continued for several more months, and Billy left town with his brother’s wife, Annie. Can Sam and Al change history and actually bring rain to Clover Bend?

Dreams – February 28, 1979

Sam leaps into Jack Stone, a Malibu, California police detective. When Sam finds an eviscerated body immediately after leaping in, his psyche is thrown into turmoil, giving him nightmares and possible visions of his own impending death, even as he tries to solve the woman’s murder.

Our “guestiest guest” Chris Steward returns to discuss an episode that is kind of Quantum Leap’s take on “West Coast Noir”.