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.
We often talk on this show about Quantum Leap episodes that haven’t aged well, especially with our more socially-conscious 2018 sensibilities. Here’s one that is – all too unfortunately – very timely. It almost feels like it could have been written today.
Sam leaps into Ray Harper, a young black medical student living in Watts, Los Angeles on August 11, 1965 – the day the Watts Riots begin. As Ray, Sam must help provide medical care to Watts citizens affected by the riots while trying to keep his white fiancée, Kim, safe. He also has to deal with Ray’s militant brother, Lonnie, who wants Ray to abandon his plans of leaving Watts with Kim for a medical internship in Boston, stay in Watts and help his own people.
L.A. actor, LaMont Anthony Hendrix joins us to discuss the episode – his first episode of QL ever.
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.
Sam is Peter Langly, an FBI agent assigned to Dana Berenger, a woman in the Federal witness protection program after having testified against her former boss and criminal, Nick Kochifos. In the original history, Dana was killed by Nick, who had somehow been able to find her twice before despite her being in witness protection. Sam must figure out if there is a mole in the FBI giving information to Nick, and prevent Dana’s death – the time of which keeps changing every time he makes a change in history.
Sam leaps into Dr. Timothy Mintz, a paranormal investigator helping a woman named Troian Claridge determine if her dead husband, Julian, is trying to make contact with her. Spookiness is definitely afoot, and Sam must determine if there’s a ghost, or a flesh-and-blood person out to harm Troian.
Sam Fain hates this episode, Dennis loves it, and frequent guest host, Christopher J. Steward is pulled in between. We also manage to cover The Twilight Zone, Of Mice and Men, and The Drew Carey Show.
Sam makes special mention of a Twilight Zone podcast, and you can find more info here: http://thetwilightzonepodcast.com/
Sam leaps into the life of Ray Hutton, an understudy in a touring production of “Man of La Mancha”, in 1979 Syracuse, New York. Al tells him he is there to stop the show’s boozing lead actor from taking a fall during a performance that will shatter his leg and end his career, but Sam is distracted by another objective: He is reunited with Nicole, his own piano teacher from his teenage years, who has been cast as an understudy in the show opposite Ray – and Ray and Nicole happened to have had a romantic relationship years ago at Julliard, a relationship Nicole seems interested in re-sparking. Now as an adult, Sam is presented with an opportunity he didn’t have when he knew her before.
Chicago playwright, Brooke Allen, and returning guest, Jessica Conger, join us to discuss the episode. Theater stories abound! Also, we dive deep into the moral implications of having sex with someone while inhabiting the life of another person.
Sam leaps into Leonard Dancey, a lawyer in 1957 Louisiana. Talk about a poorly-timed entrance: He arrives just as the leapee is being asked for Guilty or Not Guilty plea for his client, a black woman named Delilah Berry. Delilah (Lila) is on trial for the murder of Houston Palmer Carter. When Sam looks at her and makes a split-second decision to plead Not Guilty, he changes history, and sets out to prove her innocence.
Guest Christopher J. Steward returns to help Sam Fain and Dennis discuss the episode.
Content warning: Strong language and themes in regards to the discussion of racism.