What is the ‘Quantum Bubble’ on Quantum Leap?
Today, I explain what the “Quantum Bubble” was on the Season 1 finale of Quantum Leap.
This is And of Course, a feature where I spotlight particularly convoluted or outlandish resolutions to plots (typically used as hand waves).
SPOILERS FOR QUANTUM LEAP SEASON 1 FINALE FROM APRIL 3, 2023!
Okay, as I was JUST writing about, in the current Quantum Leap TV series, changes that Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) make in the past are reflected in the future as soon as he makes them happen concretely in the past. In other words, if he shoots someone in the past, that bullet wound would exist in the future as soon as he actually does it.
However, in the Season 1 finale, the show couldn’t have that happen for the sake of the plot, so it introduced a new concept called the “Quantum Bubble.” It’s a totally pulled out of nowhere idea, but whatever, it works!
When Magic (Ernie Hudson) asks Janis Calavicci (Georgina Reilly) why the things Ben did in 2018 haven’t affected them in the present yet, Janice explains, ”
Because we’ve never directly messed with our own timelines before. Until Ben finishes the leap, everything is in flux. The phenomenon is called…”
Magic interrupts her to say, “Don’t tell me. Nanowave nullifier. Space-time suppressor.”
She finishes, “Quantum bubble.”
So there ya go, a new bit of Quantum Leap lore!
If anyone else has a suggestion for an interesting piece of “pulled out of the air” plot resolutions, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe I’ll feature it in a future And Of Course.
2 thoughts on “What is the ‘Quantum Bubble’ on Quantum Leap?”
Actually, quantum bubble or time bubble is not new. I, myself, independently came up with it in the mid-90s during one of my world building sessions. (I didn’t even know quantum physics yet, I just called it time bubble.) But, there are others who also came up with it independently, yet our explanations are similar, actually almost identical.
The quantum/time bubble theory has been around earlier than the mid-90s. It is actually one of the easiest explanation to avoid a grandfather paradox. Many scifi authors used it but did not use the word “bubble” in their works, so it seems rare, but it’s not.
There are a lot of ways to explain it, and Quantum Leap gave the simplest and shortest explanation I’ve ever seen.
I was actually very surprised QL used the word “bubble”, and they have the same idea how it works. Writers should use the word more frequently because it helps the audience not familiar with it to easily grasp the concept.
For example, in the Korean drama, “Sisyphus: The Myth”, the writer did not use that word/phrase, so most of the audience were confused. I’ve even seen a lot of time travel fans calling the writer as a ‘failure’ or ‘have no experience in time travel fiction’ and this and that.
I explained what a quantum/time bubble is (and others who had a similar understanding), and more people appreciated the show, because it now makes sense. (My blog post about it is here: https://im.youronly.one/snoworld/%EC%8B%9C%EC%A7%80%ED%94%84%EC%8A%A4-sisyphus-the-myth-2021-explained-logically-2021100/ )
Imagine if QL did not use “quantum bubble” and did not explain it in a simple way the way they did. We will more likely see a lot of reactions on how the episode can not work because grandfather paradox, or “time travel doesn’t work that way” (the usual reaction I see).
Kudos to them. Now, the quantum/time bubble ‘theory’ will gain more attention, and hopefully, more people (especially fans of time travel) will recognise it easily even if the same phrase/words are not used.
There are just different ways of explaining it, and it’s rare to see the word “bubble” used.
It sounds like they’re leaning into Tennant’s Doctor Who’s “timey wimey ball” theory of time travel. 😀