10 thoughts on “The New Quantum Leap Has Retconned How the Leaps Occur

  1. I figure it happened for the same reason it happens in comic books: an editor wasn’t paying attention. It is their job, or a producer’s job, to keep that stuff straight. While it is nice when a writer or writers have avid working knowledge of a show from 25 years ago, that’s not entirely their job. The editor and producers are the stewards, and that’s one area where they may have slipped. Or not cared.

  2. I had always thought only Sam’s consciousness traded places with the person. Wasn’t there an episode where the person looked at his reflection in the Waiting Room and it was Sam’s face looking back?

  3. I think so, Tom, but it’s definitely Sam’s body, I think. I remember the episode where he leaps into the the body of the guy who lost his legs, and at the very end of the episode he stands up and the people in the past just see a legless guy floating in the air. Something tells me that wouldn’t have worked too well if he were in the actual guy’s body.

  4. Since the new show features more of the QL Project, the switching would mean having to include more waiting room scenes like in the Lee Harvey Oswald episode. Maybe the showrunners thought that would be too much given all of the big mysteries going on on the Project side.

  5. Well it didn’t make a lot of sense the original way: Sam can fit into their clothes, he never has problems from being a different height (adjusting a car seat, say). But yes, it is a retcon.
    One thing that occurred to me watching the latest episode is that “If you don’t change the past, you’ll be stuck here” makes no sense at all. I understand it adds to the drama but it leaves the other party stuck at the project in the present (classic Leap) or out of their body (current version). Why would the higher power running the leaps do that to them?

  6. I believe the genius of the original series was that Sam retained his physical abilities and body because only the”aura” of the person he was replacing remained. Hence, he was able to perform martial arts, play piano, and have legs when he was supposed to be a paraplegic. This added a certain advantage for him in the various situations.
    In this new series, I don’t understand how the two bodies have “merged”.

  7. I remember the Dr. Ruth episode from the original where she gives Al a therapy session in the waiting room.

    I always wondered if (A) the normal timeline was altered in some way and the leaper is correcting it or (B) the leaper is being used to alter time into a better version.

  8. I don’t think Magic’s explanation discounts the existence of a Waiting Room. He could have simply forgotten it after leaping back. In fact the memory of Sam’s face could be from the waiting room experience.

    I don’t see this as a retcon so much as a change the new version has consciously made, a different way of leaping. And honestly I get why they did it. Because the original show version requires you to understand that the leaper takes on the “physical aura” of the leapee and I remember it took up 5 questions in the alt.tv.quantum-leap FAQ to explain it. (and it still makes my head hurt to be honest). And honestly, until Sam leapt into a pregnant woman in season 4 it never explained how the leap worked– aside from the leapee going to the Waiting Room, it was largely assumed Sam was in the body of the person he leapt into. (In fact in What Price Gloria, the first time Sam leaped into a woman in Season 2, Al said he saw Sam as the Leapee!)

    I’m of two minds about it. On the one hand I think having the leaper leap into the body is honestly how I would say 90% of casual viewers believed was going on, so it’s cleaner. But on the other hand, I think they’re limiting themselves dramatically especially since they’re doing more in the Project in the modern version. Killing Time shows how cool the leapees being in the future could be.

    But mostly I’m bugged why they couldn’t just address this in dialogue. All it would take is to say “Back in Sam Beckett’s day, they used to have a waiting room for the people he leapt into. But that was before Ben figured out Quantum Enganglement, which makes the leap more precise.” Or something like that.

  9. The original show was completely inconsistent about whether Sam switched places with people or switched consciousnesses. The writers or the original show even said that they didn’t have a firm answer about which it was and it changed based on whatever worked for a particular episode.

    The new show just decided to pick one and stick with it.

  10. The way I figure things, it’s not a retcon; it’s that the new Quantum Leap project has different and better tech than what Sam Beckett had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *