Just about everything has been or is being rebooted or remade these days, including plenty of stuff no one asked for. And yet there are still a few obvious properties that are screaming for a modern update, including one of my favorite high-concept 80s shows that I just know will kill if they ever get around to it. And now it sounds like they might eventually make a new Quantum Leap happen!
Quantum Leap was the shit back in the day. NBC’s hour-long drama starred Scott Bakula as a scientist from the near-future who was bouncing around in time, “leaping” into other people to solve some problem with the help of his hologram friend Al (Dean Stockwell), big or small, only to leap into someone else. The show was a lot of fun, though definitely a bit hokey by today’s standards, and I’ve always felt like an edgier, more grown-up version made perfect sense. Maybe we’re finally gonna get it!
According to Bakula’s recent chat on Bob Saget’s Here For You podcast, behind-the-scenes rights issues have prevented a potential remake from materializing. But he’s been chatting with series creator Donald P. Bellisario about it all.
“I think we are definitely living in the reboot era as you’re aware of. There’s very significant conversations about it right now going on. But, I don’t know what it would be. I don’t know who would have it. The rights were a mess for years. I don’t know if they’re even sorted out now. That’s always been the biggest complication,” Bakula, who has gone on to star in NCIS and Star Trek spin-offs, told the Full House star.
Conversations have been happening for years, but between rights issues, star availability, and other considerations, a new Quantum Leap has yet to materialize, despite Bakula’s clear desire to make it happen (“Sam’s still out there.”) If it does happen, though, he wants to make sure it doesn’t get too edged up.
“There was also a quaintness about the show, because it had this period feel because Sam traveled anywhere within his own lifetime,” the actor said. “That made it feel a little old fashioned, but I would hope that they get the truth of it and the sentiments of it right, and not try and make it slick. Sam was this naïve kid who just happened to be a brilliant scientist who stumbled on something and all of a sudden was thrown into all of these different lives and worlds and people and situations that he never could’ve imagined growing up in. I would just hope that they would try and keep that, but you know, I don’t know what they’ll do.”
One of the problems with the original show – and many network shows back in the day – was bloat. There were too many episodes, and while most of them were entertaining (it was rare that I would flip past a QL episode and not stick around to finish it), it meandered, and it ended rather abruptly. In today’s streaming age, a shorter, more focused run is the norm. Why can’t Quantum Leap take advantage of that?
Here’s hoping they eventually do!