How the New Quantum Leap Differs From the Original Series in Terms of Changing the Future
Today, I explain how the new Quantum Leap differs from the original Quantum Leap in terms of changing the future.
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As all regular viewers of the new version of Quantum Leap (which just finished its first season on NBC, and is already well into filming Season 2, as a lot of shows are filming ahead of schedule because there’s possibly a writer’s strike coming) know, the biggest difference between the shows by far is the fact that the original Quantum Leap starred only Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, the man leaping through time, and Dean Stockwell as Admiral Al Calavicci, who is Sam’s only contact to his time period, who appears to Sam as a hologram (and tells Sam what Sam needs to put right what once went wrong before Sam can leap to the next point in time, hoping that eventually, the leaps will bring him back to his own time period), and the new series has multiple cast members, as it features a lot of time at the new Project Quantum Leap.
One of the side effects of this change is that the new series had adopted a new approach to how the present day is affected by what happens when the leaper (in this new series, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song) does in the past.
In the original series, when Sam changed things to a statistical certainty, they would change in the future, like when Sam leaped into a young Al, and accidentally was going to get Al convicted of a murder he did not commit, so Al was replaced by St. John (Roddy McDowell) as Sam’s guide.
In the new series, it doesn’t matter what the odds say, the only things that actually change for the people in the present is when Ben does something in HIS past in the past. In other words, if Ben was a cop and fatally shot a bad guy who wasn’t killed in the original timeline, then that would change in the present, since it was a concrete thing that happened in Ben’s chronology (We saw this when Ian remembered when the girl whose father Ben leaped into hit a game-winning shot. That was a concrete event, so Ian now remembered it happening in their past). However, if Ben took a gun and fully INTENDED to shoot the bad guy who wasn’t killed in the original timeline, even if there was a certainty that Ben WOULD do it, it wouldn’t actually change the present until Ben literally DID do it (and so Ian didn’t remember any other changes to the girl’s history as Ben went through various situations in the past).
In other words, the new series is not accepting anything in the past as an actual certainty until it actually happens in Ben’s timeline, while the original Quantum Leap would allow for statistical certainties to change things in the present. That was notable in the episode where Ben’s actions frequently changed Naval events, and yet Magic didn’t remember any of the changes in the present (the show had previously established that the person inside the imaging chamber who communicates with Ben wouldn’t remember the changes as they happen, so Addison wouldn’t remember anything that changed with her father, who was on the ship Ben leaped onto).
However, that doesn’t get into the “Quantum Bubble,” so I’ll give that its own post!
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