Note: this article was also published on SciFi4Me.com.
Time travelers of the early ’90s, rejoice! Sam Beckett will finally be leaping to a Blu-ray player near you! The anthology science fiction show Quantum Leap is getting a re-release on DVD and a first ever release on Blu-ray on February 7, 2017.
Originally airing on NBC from 1989 to 1993 for a total of five seasons, Quantum Leap was created by Donald P. Bellisario, and starred Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, a scientist who created a way to travel in time. Originally set to be just an observer, he unfortunately gets ‘stuck’ in the past as one of the people in history. Whether it’s just his mind or his whole body that was ‘leaping’ is up to much debate among fans, as the evidence changed depending on the episode.
He finds out that he can’t ‘leap’ out of the situation until he somehow ‘fixes’ history (“putting things right that once went wrong”). This fixing of history is helped through a hologram of the project observer, Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell). Sam keeps leaping, being led by what the fans humorously nicknamed GTFW (God, time, fate, whatever), hoping that each time will be what is needed for him to get home. In an extremely controversial series finale, Sam does not leap home.
In the release announcement, as a way to put right something that once went wrong, Mill Creek Entertainment stated that “The vast majority of the ORIGINAL MUSIC has been restored for our release!” Much of the music from the series had been replaced in its initial VHS and DVD release, most notably a vital scene with Al dealing with the fact that his first ex-wife had declared him dead while he was MIA in Vietnam. Many fans (myself included) were upset by this change, and so are rejoicing that this sounds like it has been resolved. No news if the DVDs or Blu-rays will have any special features, either in commentaries from Bakula or Stockwell or in ‘behind the scenes’ material.
The premise of the series, while based on time travel, was less science fiction and more straight drama, using the format to cover things from racial tension to Vietnam. What science was involved in the how and why of Sam’s leaping was hand waved away as ‘future technology’, as it took place in the ‘far off future’ of 1995. As the premise technically changed from week to week, it was really only Bakula and Stockwell in the show, with Bakula doing most of the work. The show used Bakula’s theatre background extensively, having him sing multiple times (they even released a soundtrack!).
The show received 17 awards over its five seasons, from Emmys to Golden Globes to Quality TV Awards. And in 2004 and 2007, TV Guide ranked it 15 and 19 retrospectively on their list of “Top Cult Shows Ever”. The show continued on in book and comic format, and there are continued rumors of the show being revisited or rebooted in today’s nostalgia craze.
The new release will be on 18 discs, and run for $99.95 for the Blu-ray and $69.98 for the DVD. You can pre-order either on Amazon.com.