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Series / Quantum Leap (2022)

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Dr. Ben Song risked everything when he used the Quantum Leap Accelerator to travel back in time. Now our team is working to find out why. As he leaps between bodies with no memory of who he is, he still has one hope: that his next leap will take him back to the place and people he calls home.
Opening Narration by Addison

For the original series, see Quantum Leap.

Quantum Leap is a continuation of the original Time Travel anthology series (1989-1993) which began airing on NBC on September 19th, 2022, featuring a new leaper, Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) and a new holographic observer, Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett), whom he was engaged to prior to leaping. Additional cast include Magic Williams (Ernie Hudson), who Sam Beckett leaped into in the original series, and new head programmer Ian (Mason Alexander Park). Their mission is to understand the original Project Quantum Leap and find Sam Beckett, who infamously never returned home.note  When Ben prematurely leaps, he finds himself in the same situation as Sam, while Addison and the new project team try to find out why he leaped early and bring him home too.

The series was initially ordered for 12 episodes, with 6 more added when it proved popular. NBC later renewed it for a second season on December 12, 2022.


This show provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Averted in season 1. Unlike the original series, which took place roughly six to seven years after the broadcast date, the "present" day of this series is set in the year each episode is broadcast. However, season 2 starts with a three year Time Skip, so now the trope applies again.
  • Alliterative Name: Addison Augustine.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not said who, if anyone, is aware that the Calavicci family exists only because of Sam's leap at the end of "Mirror Image."
    • Averted as of the end of season 2, when Beth and Janis reveal that information and Magic says it wasn't on record - so nobody at Quantum Leap knew.
  • Anti-Nepotism: The government specifically kept Al's daughter Janis out of the restarted project because she was too close to the events of the original series; however, it's further revealed in "Somebody Up There Likes Ben" that it was actually her mother, Beth, who insisted that Janis be kept out of the project because she was too obsessed with recovering Sam.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • At one point during the boxing match in "Somebody Up There Likes Ben", Ben gets clocked upside the head and briefly blacks out on the mat, causing him to have a flashback of his life prior to leaping, where he was in bed with someone. At the start of the next episode, "A Decent Proposal", Addison learns from Jenn that six months prior to his first leap, when he was attending a convention in San Diego, he left early to meet with someone (with Addison and Jenn both agreeing that it was likely Janis). During this episode, Ben sees more of that flashback... only for it to be revealed at the end that the woman he was with was actually Addison; the flashback plot point wasn't to suggest he was cheating on Addison before leaping, it was to establish that Ben was about to remember his relationship with her.
    • It's assumed throughout the first half of the first season that Ben and Janis had tracked down Sam Beckett and were conspiring to reach him. Janis even explicitly tells her mother that she intends to succeed where Al failed, and Magic tells Ian that he restarted the project to try to bring Sam home. However, Ben eventually remembers his true reason for leaping — he has to save Addison's life.
  • Breather Episode: Although there's a rather emotional confrontation in it, "Lonely Hearts Club" is a mostly lighthearted leap and comes before the grueling "One Night in Koreatown."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Or rather, cat ears. Addison finds Ian wearing cat ears while attempting to fix the Imaging Chamber problems. Ian tells Addison that they keep the cat ears around for "emeowgencies."
  • Call-Back:
    • Magic Williams, whom Sam had leapt into to save his brother's life in Vietnam, appears as the project director. Magic explicitly confirms that he is aware of his connection to the original project and restarted it to bring Sam home in gratitude for saving his life.
    • The third episode, "Somebody Up There Likes Ben", opens with Ben leaping into a boxing ring and taking a punch, just like the beginning of the original series' third episode, "The Right Hand of God".
    • Ben enters a house tied to the supernatural, and the last digit of the address, 669, flips over to make 666. The same happened in "The Boogieman".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Ben leaps wearing a Fermi suit, as Sam did in "Genesis" and "The Leap Back" (and as the leapees wear in the Waiting Room in later seasons).
    • When Ben is talking to the bank robbers in season 2's "Ben and Teller", he tells them it's not his first bank robbery, referencing how he leapt into a bank robber in the first episode.
    • A few episodes later Ben mentions he has experience with hospitals while helping a man into an ambulance, referencing his time as a doctor in season 1's "Paging Dr. Song".
  • Distant Sequel: The original's "present" was the mid-1990s, while this series's "present" is the early 2020s.
  • Downer Beginning: Downplayed: Sam still hasn't leapt home by the time the revival starts. And between the end of the original show and the start of this one, the original Project shut down shortly after "Mirror Image", and Al died in 2021, with the implication being that Sam never got to say goodbye (and Al had become obsessed with bringing his friend home). Not only that, but when Ben leaps for the first time, he does so during his engagement party.
  • Driving Question: Why did Ben leap? What is the specific point in time he hopes to reach and why?
  • Driving Stick: In "July 13th, 1985", the first person Ben leaps into is a robbery getaway driver, and his vehicle uses manual transmission. Ben never learned how to drive a stick shift, as Addison reminds him due to his swiss-cheese memory.
  • Gender Bender: In the first season, Ben leaps into six women: Eva Sandoval, Alexandra Tomkinson, Mallory Yang, Kamini Prasad, Aleyda Ramirez, and Lois Mitchell. Ian even lampshades this when Ben leaps into Eva.
    Ian: The first time that Ben's having a gender creative experience, I have to be off troubleshooting Ziggy.
  • Generation Xerox: In a professional sense, the project team has similarities to its forebears.
    • Ben is a temporal physicist, omniglot, has a photographic memory, and uses the Accelerator before it is ready, just like Sam.
    • Addison is a hologram and veteran of the armed forces, just like Al. She's also the leaper's lover working at the project back in the future, just like Donna Eleese-Beckett.
    • Like Al, Magic is a former Navy admiral who helps oversee a top-secret government project.
    • Ian is the lead programmer who works directly with Ziggy, and who provides the observer with logistical support, just like Gushie.
  • Have We Met Yet?: Richard Martinez, aka "Leaper X," knows who Ben is, but Ben doesn't know him at all. Magic and Jenn later go to meet Martinez in the present day, and find that he doesn't know anything about leaping, likely meaning that he becomes a leaper at some point in the future.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Like in the original series, the leaper suffers from a Swiss-cheesed memory.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The first two episodes spoil the ending of the original Quantum Leap for anyone who hasn't seen it — namely, that Al and Beth stayed married and had children together, and that Sam Beckett never made it home.
  • Leave No Man Behind: When Magic explains his own personal history to Ian in "A Decent Proposal", he mentions how he eventually stumbled across the files for Quantum Leap after it had shut down; upon seeing Sam's picture, he realized he was the man who wound up saving his entire platoon back in Vietnam, and realized he needed to revive the Project so that he could get the man who saved his life back home. He even outright connects it to the Navy SEALs' credo: "Nemo resideo."
  • Lie to the Beholder: Just like Sam Beckett before him, Ben both looks and sounds like his leapee to other people. The only people who see him as Ben are Addison (or anyone in the Imaging Chamber), Martinez, and possibly a delirious Daisy Gray. Naturally, the same is also true for Martinez.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Ben doesn't tell the Project team why he leaped, so they're left trying to figure it out. In a twist, Ben himself is locked out of this information as well due to his Swiss-cheesed memory. The only person who isn't locked out is Janis, and she spends most of the first season refusing to say anything.
    • Invoked for Ziggy in "The Friendly Skies" after they are determined to be The Mole within the project. Magic makes the decision to have Ziggy shut down, as she is keeping logs of the Project's movements and passing them along via The Slow Path to whoever is colluding with Martinez at the Project in the future.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Ziggy's penchant for this is parodied when Ben leaps into a shuttle astronaut.
    Addison: If you fail, there is a 100% chance this ship will crash.
  • Magic A Is Magic A:
    • Ben's leaps are only able to go outside of his own lifetime thanks to some special code he uploaded into Ziggy that allows him to slingshot further into the past. Ian later theorizes that this could also potentially send Ben to the future as well, which should be impossible.
    • Ben and the leapee are in the same place at the same time due to quantum superposition, with Ben even retaining the leapee's physicality and muscle memory — which is great when he leaps into an athlete, but not so much when he leaps into a middle-aged man — while still surrounded by the leapee's aura.
    • Addison tells Ben that in order to leap out, he has to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. When he asks why, she says that she and the Project don't know; based on how Sam Beckett did it, that's just how it apparently works.
  • Meaningful Name: The closed captions spell Al's daughter's name Janis Calavicci, invoking the Roman god of time Janus.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future…: While not unusual for the original series, this series delves more heavily into B-plots surrounding the Project team back in 2022.
  • Merged Reality: In "Atlantis," Ben leaps into an astronaut aboard Atlantis alongside Samantha Stratton, and the two work together to save the shuttle. Sam helped make sure she was born healthy all the way back in the pilot, as a clear example of what the Bartender said in "Mirror Image:"
    "The lives you've touched touched others. And those lives, others. You've done a lot of good, Sam Beckett, and you can do a lot more."
  • Mission Control: Addison is the face and voice of the Project for Ben, working with him to find solutions to his leaps. She's supported directly by Ian, Jenn, Ziggy, and to a lesser degree, Magic.
  • More Diverse Sequel: The show has no straight white men as main characters, starring a Korean man, two women (one of which is Asian), a Black man, and a non-binary person.
  • Multi-Gendered Outfit: Ian Wright is nonbinary, played by a nonbinary actor, and their clothing and accessories choices reflect a mix of masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral styles that vary over the years in which Ian appears.
  • Mythology Gag: The famous Opening Narration from the original series is quoted by Addison, and also appears in the Opening Monologue, the intro version removing most of the references to Sam and all references to Al.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Just like Sam with his father, Ben realizes he never got to say goodbye to his mom before she died. But what makes things worse is that their last conversation was a vicious argument over him bringing home a report card with all Ds, with the implication being him saying he hated his mom before leaving their apartment was what caused her to keel over dead.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Some early trailers showed Ben leaping into football star Joe Montana, a paratrooper during Desert Storm, and a female rock star. None of them became actual episodes.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: As of the second season, the "present day" at the Project takes place in 2026.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sam saving Al and Beth's marriage in "Mirror Image" has now indirectly led to Ben getting stuck leaping around in time himself, as Ben had colluded with their daughter Janis Calavicci.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The current Project has revived Sam Beckett's work without fully knowing how the accelerator works, and they can't ask him because he's still lost in time. All they really know is that Ben has to Set Right What Once Went Wrong in order to leap. In addition, Ben and Janis made some kind of modification that allows Ben to bypass the lifetime limitation and slingshot around, but Ben's Swiss-cheesed memory doesn't remember what he did, and Janis has kept mum.
  • No Time to Explain: Since Ben's in the middle of a getaway when Addison first finds him, she says she'll explain everything later.
  • Number of the Beast: At the end of "What a Disaster!" and beginning of "O Ye of Little Faith," the house that Ben enters is 669, and the "9" comes loose and flips over to become a third "6".
  • Office Romance: Addison and Ben met while working on Project Quantum Leap, fell in love, and got engaged.
  • Omniglot: Ben, according to Addison in the first episode. In addition to English, he is seen speaking fluent Romanian, Spanish, and Latin; he is also fluent in Korean as a Korean immigrant.
  • One-Steve Limit: Played with in episode 8, "Stand by Ben". Ben Song leaps into a kid who is also called Ben, which initially confuses him that people might know who he is.
  • Ontological Mystery: In the tradition of Sam Beckett's leaps, Ben has to figure out whom he has replaced, where he is, when he is, and why he is there.
  • Opening Monologue:
    • The first episode starts where the last series ended with a Title Card, this time quoting the original Opening Narration and read by Deborah Pratt. At least this time they get Sam's name right.
      In 1995, theorizing that one could time travel within their own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap Accelerator and vanished.
      After years of attempting to bring him home, the project was abandoned...
      Until now...
    • Every other episode features an opening narration by Addison, which is seen as the page quote above.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: There's a few differences between the new Project's leaping and the old project's:
    • For one, there's no longer a "waiting room" and temporal switcheroo occurring, as was the case with Sam. Rather, Ben and the leapee are in the same place at the same time due to quantum entanglement, with Ben gaining the leapee's muscle memory and physicality in addition to his own. However, Ben is still obfuscated by the leaper's physical "aura" like Sam was, meaning other non-leapers generally only ever see him as the leapee.
    • Ben is also able to leap outside of his own lifetime, a feat previously deemed impossible aside from a couple of exceptions, thanks to some new code he uploaded into Ziggy just before using the accelerator. Ian likens Ben's ability to do this to a gravity assist, in that Ben is slingshotting himself through time to get to a certain end point. Ian further theorizes that Ben may be trying to get to the future, which they explicitly mention should be impossible with conventional leaping.
    • Ben — and by extension, Addison and the rest of the team monitoring the Imaging Chamber — is able to immediately see other leapers' real identities without making physical contact with them, and vice versa. This is in contrast to Sam and Alia (and later Zoey), who had to make physical contact first in order for them and their holograms to see each other's real forms for the rest of the leap.
  • Precision F-Strike: Ben's variation of Sam's famous "Oh boy!" catchphrase shows up in the second episode as a Curse Cut Short version of "Oh shit!"
  • Random Transportation: During the first season, even though Ben's leapees appear to be random, each of his temporal destinations were specifically targeted with the new code prior to his stepping into the accelerator. However, during the second season, Ben's leaps are completely random.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Jenn tries to resign for being unable to stop Ben from leaping. Magic shuts her down immediately and tells her they need her to fix things.
  • Retcon: A minor one. In episode 12, Addison sneaks Ian into the imaging chamber so they can watch the basketball game together. In episode 15, Jenn and Addison both being in the imaging chamber causes glitches which means Addison has to leave to maintain the connection, which wasn't an issue before.
  • Retroactive Precognition: Ben uses information gathered in the future by the Project team to help him in his leaps. It typically comes in handy in a pinch, but it almost comes back to bite him in "Ben Song for the Defense" when he gets his leapee's partner fired from her ADA job when it's suspected that she leaked case information to Ben.
  • Running Gag: Magic frequently complains how all the Timey-Wimey Ball and Technobabble gives him headaches.
  • San Dimas Time: Just like with Sam and the previous project, once the Project and Ziggy have a lock on Ben, they maintain a 1:1 sync with him for monitoring, and any of his changes in the past will affect 2022 concurrently. For instance, Ian and Addison notice the moment Ben changes history and a webpage disappears.
  • Sequel Non-Entity:
    • Members of the previous Project Quantum Leap, like Gushienote , Tina, Dr. Beeks, Donna, or Sammie Jo, are not present and have not been mentioned.
    • Averted with the Evil Leapers, who get a brief mention late in the first season. When the Project Team first discusses the origin of "Leaper X", they theorize that it could be a foreign power's leaping project, a private corporation's leaping project, or even their own project somehow. However, they don't mention or allude to Lothos, which is later blamed on a misfiled report from the original project.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Could it be Quantum Leap without this?
    • In the first episode Addison tells Ben that he has to do this in order to leap, because that's how it worked for Sam Beckett, and they don't know why.
    • The team concludes that if Martinez is using the same technology, then this is also how he is able to continue leaping. However, Martinez has twisted the concept: instead of actually helping as many people as possible (like Sam and Ben), he coldly focuses on the calculated objective of the leap, and will harm anyone who gets in the way without another thought. Janis eventually tells the team that Ben has to sabotage one of Martinez's leaps in order to prevent Martinez from leaping ahead to murder Addison.
  • Shout-Out: Ian Wright's name is a reference to the two schoolteachers who traveled with the first Doctor in Doctor Who: Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright.
  • Spin-Offspring:
    • Janis Calavicci is the daughter of Al from the original series.note .
    • Samantha Stratton, the astronaut who appears in the second episode "Atlantis", is the daughter of Tom Stratton, the very first leapee from the original series. Sam saving Samantha's life during her time in utero was his first mission.
  • Spot the Thread:
    • Jenn is quickly able to identify Janis's ring as one worn by Al.
    • During his leap into Father Davenport, Ben wakes up in a version of Daisy's room with Addison physically present. Ben deduces that he's definitely not home, meaning that Addison logically shouldn't be physically present, and concludes that he's been drugged and is dreaming. He then uses this dream time to help deduce what is going on with Daisy.
    • In "The Friendly Skies," Cory notices that the seal on the emergency equipment locker has been broken, leading Ben to discover a cache of passports and money.
  • The Team: Played mostly straight, although it is a variation in that Ben primarily interacts with Addison.
    • The Hero: Ben, who becomes the quantum leaper, to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
    • The Lancer: Addison, who directly assists Ben with his leaps in order to bring him home.
    • The Heart: Magic, who restarted the Project in order to retrieve Sam out of gratitude for saving his and his squadmates' lives in 1970. He is polite and honest, relies on all of the team's expertise while fending off any Obstructive Bureaucrats, and gives advice whenever the situation warrants it.
    • The Smart Guy: Ian, the lead programmer, who works directly with Ziggy, manages the project's various Phlebotinum Breakdowns, and pieces together theories of where and when Ben may be leaping to.
    • The Big Guy: Jenn, the head of security, who helps the Project investigate the mysteries surrounding Ben's leap, Janis, and "Leaper X."
    • Sixth Ranger: Janis, who begins working with the team in order to help Ben, and determines the identity of The Mole.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: While the show does appear to follow the same broad aversions of Stable Time Loop as its predecessor, Ian also briefly wonders if meeting Sergeant Martinez in the present will lead to him becoming "Leaper X" in the future. Jenn doesn't even want to discuss the possibility.
    Jenn: Ian, I can't tie my brain in pretzels about what gonna happen in the future. We need to focus on the present and get back to Ben and Addison in the past.
    Ian: Our lives are so insane.
    Jenn: Yeah, I heard it.
  • Title In: Each leap into The '90s has included the year on screen in large text at the beginning. "Let Them Play" also includes one showing the year (2012) and the name of the high school.
  • Tragic Intangibility: A major part of Ben and Addison's relationship as leaper and hologram means that they can't touch, which is definitely Played for Drama given that they were just recently engaged to one another.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Ben's pre-leap video message to Addison says that his reason for leaping is bigger than any of them. Later on, Ben remembers that he leaped in order to save Addison from something, Janis alludes to a greater "war," and Martinez says that he has a "greater mission." Possibly justified, though, if Janis' warnings that any details spoken out loud could trickle forward to the future are to be believed.
  • The Vietnam Vet:
    • Magic, which we already know from the original series.
    • In "Somebody Up There Likes Ben," the leapee's brother, Daryl Hill, is a Vietnam veteran who is shown to be suffering from PTSD, and who gets mocked for his service by the leapee's boxing opponent. Addison explains that Daryl eventually committed suicide in the original history.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?:
    • Variation: When Magic explains to Ian how Sam had leapt into him back during his tour in Vietnam, he explains how he remembers it. Namely, after feeling a sort of nudge in the back of his head, he accepted that nudge, causing him to black out. When he came to a day or so later, he found out that he had apparently saved his entire squad from an ambush. He tells Ian that he initially thought this gap in his memory was due to battle fatigue.
    • The same variation is revisited when Dottie tells Magic and Jenn that the week of March 13, 2022 is a blank for her. Magic concludes that she was a leapee during that time, and is astonished to find that a future version of Ian was her leaper.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The team is flabbergasted when Ben makes his unauthorized leap, and Addison calls him out for it, only softening a bit when she sees that Ben's memories are Swiss-cheesed. Later on, after he reveals that he leaped in order to save Addison, she furiously calls him out for having kept that from her; even Magic says he wanted to throttle Ben for not trusting the Project team with that info.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: The updated Accelerator Chamber features a set of rings that rotate around the leaper.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In "Salvation or Bust," McDonough says that he doesn't like killing women or children, but adds that he's sometimes forced to out of self-preservation.
    • In "Stand By Ben," Sierra Academy's overseers don't have any problem harming the kids in their charge. Ringer even forcefully prods a teenager's broken ankle just to make sure she isn't faking.
  • Xanatos Gambit: After Ben leaps, Janis allows Jenn to take a hard drive of data back to the project, knowing that Ian would connect it to Ziggy to try and make sense of it, and includes a Trojan horse program that would provide backdoor access to Ziggy, which allows her to predict the project team's next moves.