Quantum Leap Reboot (spoilers allowed)


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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It is possible they might.

They might. I just said I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.

Personally I've always been a fan of shows that can do religious themes well (Babylon Five would be another show that really impressed me with how it handled religion).

Indeed. Remarkable in that the vast majority of it was written by JMS himself, who is an atheist.

I think it depends on how it's done, how well it serves the show, etc. Whether it is done from a theistic or non-theistic standpoint, I just find it makes for compelling programing for me.

Fair enough.

But.. it raises questions. Like, in the first series... if we say that Sam is guided by God, then apparently God only feels a need to fix things in the USA - the overwhelming majority of his leaps are in the US. He does leap outside the US at least once - to Vietnam, into "Magic", and American soldier, the guy who now runs the project in the reboot. Maybe there were other leaps into other countries, but for me to have missed or forgotten all of them says to me there could only be a handful.
 

payn

Legend
They might. I just said I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.



Indeed. Remarkable in that the vast majority of it was written by JMS himself, who is an atheist.



Fair enough.

But.. it raises questions. Like, in the first series... if we say that Sam is guided by God, then apparently God only feels a need to fix things in the USA - the overwhelming majority of his leaps are in the US. He does leap outside the US at least once - to Vietnam, into "Magic", and American soldier, the guy who now runs the project in the reboot. Maybe there were other leaps into other countries, but for me to have missed or forgotten all of them says to me there could only be a handful.
I think that might have more to do with it being an American television show. They wanted folks to relate to American issues. Also, budget at the time probably wouldn't have allowed them to go globe trotting. Now, if I'm mistaken and they literally point out that the jumps are all American by Gods direction, then yeah that's pretty bad.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think that might have more to do with it being an American television show. They wanted folks to relate to American issues.

Oh, of course. In the late 80s and early 90s, few noticed that.

But the world has changed. Scifi has changed. We are more critical of media choices. We are apt to be very critical of media choices that involve religion. The personal faith of a character is actually usually fine. But if the show's mythology has heavy religious implications, we are apt to be critical.

Not saying it cannot be done. It can be, and has been, done. I'm saying it is a risk they may not be interested in taking.
 

They might. I just said I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.



Indeed. Remarkable in that the vast majority of it was written by JMS himself, who is an atheist.



Fair enough.

But.. it raises questions. Like, in the first series... if we say that Sam is guided by God, then apparently God only feels a need to fix things in the USA - the overwhelming majority of his leaps are in the US. He does leap outside the US at least once - to Vietnam, into "Magic", and American soldier, the guy who now runs the project in the reboot. Maybe there were other leaps into other countries, but for me to have missed or forgotten all of them says to me there could only be a handful.
I agree with the above poster: it was more about it being an American show trying to focus on history the audience would be more familiar with at that time.
 

Ryujin

Legend
I agree with the above poster: it was more about it being an American show trying to focus on history the audience would be more familiar with at that time.
And like many shows it was aimed largely at the American Midwest, so that colours how things are presented.
 



Zaukrie

New Publisher
I'm hoping it isn't a hand of god thing this time, though it is a sequel..... I've never understood how changing the past doesn't change the present, so I wonder if they'll get into that?
 

payn

Legend
American produced TV in the 80s and early 90s was not known for its presentation of foreign lands or cultures, if that's what you mean.
No, I meant was the outside of North American audience even considered as a market when writing and producing.
 

Ryujin

Legend
No, I meant was the outside of North American audience even considered as a market when writing and producing.
Not much at all, really. That sort of thing has more recently been driven by things like streaming, which didn't exist then.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm hoping it isn't a hand of god thing this time, though it is a sequel..... I've never understood how changing the past doesn't change the present, so I wonder if they'll get into that?

So, by and large, changing the past DOES change the present. At one point Sam chooses to not save Al's first marriage, because that change would have unpredictable impact on the Quantum Leap Project, and thus everything Sam had done so far in the series.

Often, the changes in history are largely personal - much of the original Quantum Leap is personal stories about the well-being of individuals. Like, does a particular nun get to build a chapel that has become her life's dream, or not?

When the results would be visible to the public, they are generally changes into the world the audience already knows (and often the one Sam knows).

For example, in an episode I watched just last night, Sam thinks he's there to get the guy he's jumped into to marry a woman. Then, it looks like he's there to make sure she marries this other guy. This is a typical QL story. But then, he leaps after he gives a young man named Buddy that's helping him out that maybe the song he's noodling with should be about a girl named "Peggy Sue". The implication being that Sam put Buddy Holly on the right track.

Never mind how a-historical that is. The episode is explicitly set in 1956. By 1956, Buddy Holly wasn't noodling on a guitar and running odd jobs for a veterinarian. He was opening for Elvis and Bill Halley and the Comets. And never mind that this means Sam is setting Buddy up for death a mere three years later in 1959...

The tagline is there: Putting right what once went wrong. What they don't tell us is how it went wrong. At least, until the Evil Leapers show up...
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
So, by and large, changing the past DOES change the present. At one point Sam chooses to not save Al's first marriage, because that change would have unpredictable impact on the Quantum Leap Project, and thus everything Sam had done so far in the series.
I recall the episode where Sam was a newlywed to a woman with a jealous ex and he thought he was there to not get killed. But he was really there to help his wife pass a law exam. In the present, Al was facing an oversight panel shutting down funding for the Quantum Leap project. Just as the funding is to be cut, the lead of the panel is instantaneously replaced by the present version of the wife, who approves the funding. By helping her pass the law exam, Sam got her legal career started, which led to her entry into politics.
At least, until the Evil Leapers show up...
Oh yeah I forgot about her. Wonder if they will follow up with that in the new series?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
American produced TV in the 80s and early 90s was not known for its presentation of foreign lands or cultures, if that's what you mean.

yeah as a non-American I never found that a problem - we accepted it was an American show. I was always more amused about things like the World Series being exclusively US based teams in a sport only played by Americans. Touched by an Angel was another with a overt religious theme and America apparently has lots of problems

but then Dr Who has the same focus on the UK, so its not just American shows
 
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Ryujin

Legend
yeah as a non-American I never found that a problem - we accepted it was an American show. I was always more amused about things like the World Series being exclusively US based teams in a sport only played by Americans. Touch by an Angel was another with a overt religious theme and America apparently has lots of problems

but then Dr Who has the same focus on the UK, so its not just American shows
Doctor Who is generally tongue-in-cheek about it. I remember rolling my eyes so hard that I almost gave myself whiplash when I first say, "Independence Day" in the theatre and they essentially showed the whole world waiting, until the US figured things out with the aliens.

"Touched By an Angel" also came to my mind, during this discussion.
 

yeah as a non-American I never found that a problem - we accepted it was an American show. I was always more amused about things like the World Series being exclusively US based teams in a sport only played by Americans. Touched by an Angel was another with a overt religious theme and America apparently has lots of problems

but then Dr Who has the same focus on the UK, so its not just American shows

Highway to Heaven was another one
 

amethal

Adventurer
yeah as a non-American I never found that a problem - we accepted it was an American show. I was always more amused about things like the World Series being exclusively US based teams in a sport only played by Americans. Touched by an Angel was another with a overt religious theme and America apparently has lots of problems

but then Dr Who has the same focus on the UK, so its not just American shows
Yeah, we took it for granted that an American show would focus on American stuff, and make little or no concessions to foreign viewers. Which is perfectly fine - Quantum Leap may have been the first time I'd even heard of Buddy Holly; I learnt a lot from watching it.

It does make me a little bit sad when American TV shows "Americanise" their British characters. (I assume they do the same for all foreigners, but I don't have enough cultural knowledge to notice.) By which I mean when British characters use American words for things, and display attitudes which are unusual for the people they supposedly are. Seems like a missed opportunity for American viewers to learn something.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
yeah as a non-American I never found that a problem - we accepted it was an American show.

Yeah, in the 90s, that'd be expected. Like, I thought nothing at the time.

But now, a show with the position that God is taking action to make things better, but only in the US, would be... a source of significant criticism.

And I'm not saying that those of you who live in other countries would complain. I'm saying that the scifi culture in the US is not so much on the American Exceptionalism train these days. If you do stuff that has implications, folks here are going to point them out.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Yeah, in the 90s, that'd be expected. Like, I thought nothing at the time.

But now, a show with the position that God is taking action to make things better, but only in the US, would be... a source of significant criticism.

And I'm not saying that those of you who live in other countries would complain. I'm saying that the scifi culture in the US is not so much on the American Exceptionalism train these days. If you do stuff that has implications, folks here are going to point them out.

I haven't watched a lot of QL so, this is just based off what I'm reading in this thread.

It sounds like the main character was American. As such, he may not have spoken other languages. That severely limits where he can actually travel and help out.

Also, perhaps in the future there are other leapers (as the sequel show already has another one), and each of them can go help out whatever nation they are from??

Perhaps, the main character being an American is sent to help out American problems, but if they were from another location they would help out with that locations problems?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I haven't watched a lot of QL so, this is just based off what I'm reading in this thread.

It sounds like the main character was American. As such, he may not have spoken other languages. That severely limits where he can actually travel and help out.
Sam speaks "seven modern languages and four dead ones.” He can read Egyptian hieroglyphics

the new go is identified as speaking a few languages too, including Romanian
 

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