Time travel is a favorite theme of science fiction television, and in Quantum
Leap, it's not controlled. Dr. Sam Beckett, after losing control
of a test run of Project Quantum Leap, finds himself leaping from one situation
to another within the span of his own lifetime. Of course, he does have a sidekick
in Al, his holographic buddy from the future who gives him the background on
The show was similar to an anthology since Sam was in a completely new situation
each episode. It often undertook moral commentary by having Sam leap in as a
black man in the racist South, a kkk member, a possibly gay military school
student and several women. It was well-written and relied heavily on character
development and so the stories were enjoyable. The talents of Scott Bakula were
showcased and allowed the show to be more versatile.
Though the premise of Quantum Leap was science fiction, there
were usually only hints of science fiction in the individual episodes. There
were a few science fiction-themed episodes, such as the Evil Leaper episodes.
Sam learned to adjust to the sudden time/place changes and Al always got to
say the things we are too polite to say, because no one could see him, but Sam.
The series is enjoyable to watch over and over because the stories are timeless
and there is no technology to become dated.