In the winter of 1991, Quantum Leap came this close to being cancelled. Luckily, a huge letter writing campaign with messages from over 50,000 fans brought the show back from the brink. On March 6th, the show returned with 8 1/2 Months.
Sam leaps into Billie Jean Crockett, a 16-year-old pregnant teenager in Claremont, Oklahoma. In the original history, Billie Jean gave her baby up for adoption, but came to regret the decision and the spent the rest of her life trying to find her child. Al says Ziggy is there to keep Billie Jean and her child together. On top of that, Sam is feeling pregnancy and labor pains!
Sam Fain and Dennis are joined by their wives, Jessica Conger and Betsy Frymire, to discuss the episode. Both are moms…Jessica gave birth just a few weeks ago!…and they bring their perspectives to the episode.
Sam leaps into Reginald Pierson, the personal valet of Michael Blake, a ruthless New York City businessman. As Pierson, Sam must save Blake’s soul by way of “Scrooging” him, showing him his past, present, and – by way of Al in ridiculously bad make up and costume – his future.
Sam Fain and Dennis discuss what may be well Sam Beckett’s most awkward leap in ever, unfortunately timely jokes about Russia, and their own favorite Christmas memories.
Sam leaps into Darlene Monte, a beauty pageant contestant on her way to compete in the Miss Deep South competition. There, he meets another contestant, Connie Duncan, who is going to disappear before the competition begins after being seduced into taking nude photos by Clint Beaumont, the pageant’s photographer. Sam must change her fate, while not altering history for Darlene – in the original history, she placed third, and used the scholarship award to go on to become one of the top women cardiologists in the country.
Sam and Dennis are joined by Kelly and Megan (please don’t say “Megan, Kelly”!) of the comedy podcast, The Courtesy Flush. They help us pick a part an episode that certainly means well, but has some problematic content looking at the episode through a 2018 lense. Enjoy them on this episode, and check out their show as well.
Programming note: We had some sound issues with this episode. Sam did some incredibly diligent work to fix what he could, but Kelly, Megan and Dennis are quiet in some segments.
After being told Tom is still killed in Vietnam despite Sam winning his high school basketball season opener and the promise Tom made, Sam leaps into Tom’s Navy SEALs squad the day before he is killed, giving him another chance at saving his brother.
Jessica Conger, and also Laurence Brown of Lost in the Pond, joins us once again to discuss this under-appreciated second part of the third season opener, and he explains how M.I.A., The Leap Home, Part 1, and The Leap Home, Part 2, have a lot of similarities to the original Star Wars trilogy.
It’s a bittersweet homecoming when Sam finds himself in his 16-year-old self, on the last Thanksgiving his family has before a number of tragedies overwhelm them: His brother, Tom, will die in Vietnam in a few months; his dad will die of a coronary in three years, and his younger sister, Kate, will elope with an abuser. Ziggy says Sam is there to help his high school basketball team win the first game of the season, which will lead to better lives for everyone on the squad. But Sam, obviously, has other ideas about changing his family’s future.
Laurence Brown of Lost in the Pond and Jessica Conger join us to discuss the third season premiere. This episode was a very special episode for us, and we hope you enjoy our discussion.
If there’s an episode of Quantum Leap that needs no introduction, it’s this one, but here goes: Sam leaps into undercover detective, Jake Rawlins. Al tells Sam he’s there to stop a woman named Beth from making the mistake of her lifetime – having her husband, who is missing in action in Vietnam, declared dead and remarrying.
Sam and Dennis discuss one of the most iconic episodes of the series, going on some deep “fan wanks”, especially in the matter of Skagg’s wife, Lisa, and if she may be the same notable Lisa we meet later in the series. Dennis has an a issue with the story he first sees as a plot hole, but Sam has an explanation that makes Beth and Al’s story all the more sad.
Sam leaps into Phillip Dumont, who’s aboard the RMS Queen Mary, departing New York, there to stop his ex-wife, Catherine’s, impending wedding. She is about to marry Vincent Loggia, *ahem*, Vinny the Viper, in an arranged marriage aimed at saving the family business. Years ago, Phillip went missing while sailing, and Catherine’s dad had their marriage annulled. In the original history, Catherine married Vinny, Phillip committed suicide (or did he?), and Catherine died of a broken heart a couple of years later. Ziggy says there’s an 83% chance Sam is there to change that.
We gush a lot over the amazing costumes from Jean-Pierre Dorléac, who was nominated for an Emmy for this episode. We also discuss the strange foreshadowing this episode does for a future story of Al’s, and how the show in old-school, standard definition is like listening to great music on vinyl.
Sam is a bouncer named Buster, helping a stripper with the stage name of Bunny O’Hare (played by Julie Brown) either rescue a baby to return to her rightful mother, or outright kidnap it. Sam is not sure, but more and more truth is revealed as Sam and Bunny and baby Christie make their way from Texas to Clayton, New Mexico with the baby’s father on their trail.
Sam Fain and Dennis discuss the episode, and take their usual tangents to talk about how Dr. Beckett has the tendency to fat shame some of his leapees, agism, sexual politics, and the patriarchy.
Sam leaps in Victor Panzini, a trapeze artist in a small time carnival. Sam is there to prevent Victor’s sister, Eva, from dying while performing the same high-difficulty “triple” that killed their mom a year ago. Sam must catch her himself, while fighting his own fear of heights.
This is a pretty straightforward plot, leaving Sam Fain and Dennis to talk about some other high-minded questions, like how weird is it that Sam Beckett sleeps in the nude, and what is the benefit of the understood rule that if Sam fails a mission, he is stuck in that person’s life forever?
This week, we are excited to bring you our interview with costume designer and author, Jean-Pierre Dorléac. His body of work spans four decades, including his favorites The Blue Lagoon and Heart and Souls, his Academy award-nominated work in Somewhere in Time, and of course, Quantum Leap, for which he was Emmy-nominated four times.
We talk extensively about his career, much of it chronicled in his 2015 book, The Naked Truth: An Irreverent Chronicle of Delirious Escapades (link below), which spans the years of 1973 to 1985. We also talk about his first novel, Abracadabra Alakazam, and his next upcoming fiction novel. We chat about some of his favorite films and TV shows he’s worked on, and of course, his work on Quantum Leap. He talks about Scott Bakula making him drive 45 minutes to the set to make sure his ass looked good in a diaper in The Wrong Stuff, what it was like to work with and dress Dean Stockwell in those outrageous outfits, and intricate details that went into costuming not just Scott Bakula, but his rotating cast of mirror image counterparts.
We had a lot of fun talking with Jean-Pierre, and we hope you enjoy.
You can learn more about Jean-Pierre and his work at his website: http://www.jean-pierredorleac.com/
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/spclsmthin
You can read more about and purchase his books at: http://www.jean-pierredorleac.com/index.php/books/