Today, I explain how Quantum Leap reworked its original pilot episode into its sixth episode.
Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of pop culture history that interests me that doesn’t quite fit into the other features.
I let people know last night that they should make a point to watch the sixth episode of the current Quantum Leap series while keeping in mind that it was originally going to be the pilot of the series, so keep an eye out on how they reworked things.
So how did it all go down?
For the most part, I think it was handled well. Obviously, all of the 2022 sequences were scrapped and shot anew, but otherwise, I think they really only had to do a single earthquake reshoot at the very beginning of the episode, with the conversation between Ben and Addison about the rogue leaper that Ben ran into in the previous episode. Otherwise, the rest of Ben’s leap looked pretty much like it was probably originally filmed.
The key part of the episode was when Addison’s handlink was buggy early in the episode, and she had to swap it in for an older model for the rest of the episode. That was the big sign. All of the scenes with Ben in the past with the OLD handlink were the scenes that were originally shot for the pilot, and they had to explain why Addison was using a different handlink than she has been using. Very clever, really.
So yeah, beyond that, once Ben was filled in by Addison as to how he leaped in the original pilot, him saving the family during the 1989 earthquake probably stayed almost entirely the same. Do note that the one major sign that it was still meant to be a pilot episode was the scene where Ben remembers his mom, and tries to call her, but can’t remember the number, but Addison takes pity and gives it to him and he calls his mom before he leaps. That’s a mirrored scene (mirror image, you could say, if you wanted to be cute) of the original Quantum Leap pilot where the same basic thing happens with Sam and his dad (with Al supplying Sam with his name, “Sam Beckett,” which Sam had not yet remembered, so that Sam can ask the operator to connect him with John Beckett). Although in the original, Sam got to actually have a real conversation (posing as a relative), while here, Ben only gets to her his mom’s voice before he leaps.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other interesting bit about pop culture that you’d like me to discuss!