RAFU STAFF REPORT
NBC has confirmed that the 2022-23 TV season will include a new version of “Quantum Leap,” a science fiction show that ran for five seasons from 1989 to 1993.
The original series starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, whose experiments in time travel resulted in him “leaping” temporarily into the bodies of other people in the past (within Sam’s lifetime) in order to set right things that had gone wrong. His co-star was Dean Stockwell as Al, a friend from the present who appeared to Sam as a hologram to explain what was going on. Only Sam could see and hear Al.
The audience would see Sam, but everyone around him would see the person whose body he was inhabiting. In one episode, Tamlyn Tomita played a psychic who was able to perceive Sam’s presence.
Many fans were disappointed by the series finale, in which it was stated that Sam never made it back home.
The new show is set 30 years later, with a new team reviving the Quantum Leap project to solve the mysteries of the machine and the man who created it. The lead character, Dr. Ben Seong, is both a man of faith and a world-renowned physicist. He gets stuck in the 1980s with amnesia.
Dr. Seong is played by Raymond Lee, who is known for his roles as Arlen Lee in “Mozart in the Jungle” and Duc Bayer-Boatwright in “Here and Now.” He was a series regular on “Kevin Can F**k Himself.” His other credits include “How I Met Your Mother,” “Scandal,” and the upcoming movie “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Of Korean descent, Lee was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles as a child. While in college, he switched majors so that he could study acting more extensively.
The cast also includes Ernie Hudson (“Grace and Frankie,” “Ghostbusters”) as Herbert “Magic” Williams, the lead of the new Quantum Leap program and a Vietnam veteran whom Sam leaped into in the Season 3 episode “The Leap Home Part 2”; Maxon Alexander Park (“Cowboy Bebop”) as Ian, chief architect of Quantum Leap’s AI program; newcomer Caitlin Bassett as Addison, who operates the state-of-the-art technology used to communicate with an individual traveling into the past; and Nanrisa Lee (“Bosch,” “Star Trek: Picard”) as Jenn, head of security at Quantum Leap HQ.
It’s not clear if Bakula will make a guest appearance. He has since starred in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Men of a Certain Age” and “NCIS: New Orleans,” and is starring in a pilot for another series, “Unbroken.”
Stockwell passed away last November at the age of 85. He and Bakula were reunited in episodes of “Enterprise” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”
The showrunners include Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (“God Friended Me,” “La Brea”), with Deborah Pratt (the narrator and the voice of Ziggy the computer in the original series), Martin Gero (“Blindspot”) and original series creator Donald Bellisario as executive producers.
The new show is set to premiere in September, airing on Monday nights.