Created by Donald P. Bellisario
Starring Scott Bakula & Dean Stockwell
- All twenty-two second season episodes
Released by: Universal.
Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans should own.
It’s the far-flung future (1999!) and Dr. Sam Beckett (Bakula) is heading a team of scientists experimenting with time travel. Pressured to speed up the project’s results or lose funding, Sam steps into the quantum leap accelerator and is whisked back in timeâ€¦and into someone else’s body! His only contact with the future is libido-entrenched Al (Stockwell), one of his team members, whose image is projected as a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. Eventually Sam realizes that there some kind of force moving him throughout time to correct things that went wrong the first time around. Each time he does, he is transferred to another time and another body, and the cycle begins again.
[ad#longpost]I love this show, and I always have. Even though it sounds corny, it’s funny and very original. One of the things I admire the most about whoever came up with the concept is the almost non-existent cast–because Sam leaps all over time, the only consistent characters are him and Al and everyone else involved is a guest star (including Michael Madsen, Janine Turner and Chubby Checker in this season). This means there can be very little character development and pretty much no continuous plot lines, which requires the writers to be on their game every episode.
Considering this, each episode is remarkably imaginative and fresh–with so little to build on, it’s like writing a pilot or a mini-movie each time. At this point I would usually talk about how Season 2 is different from the other seasons, but because each episode is so insular, it doesn’t really work that way.
Of course there are some problems with the logic of the series, such as how neither Sam or Al are affected in any way by the things Sam changes (no ripple effect there, I guess), or how the database that Al gets all of his futuristic information from includes details that couldn’t possibly be recorded, but the show is entertaining enough to get you past all that. There are a few deep moments (which both Bakula and Stockwell handle well), but on the whole, the show is pretty light and just plain entertaining.
Sadly, the features here are diminished from the previous set. No featurette, no trivia, no intros. It would have been nice to get a commentary out of our two stars (I hear Bakula’s schedule has just been freed up), or even something from creator Bellisario while he’s still with us. Without such, this is for hardcore fans. And I should know, being one myself. If you’re not one, just rent it for nostalgia’s sake.