Warning: The following contains spoilers from Monday Quantum Leap premiere.
In Quantum Leap‘s first episode, Ben Song (played by Raymond Lee) made an unauthorized jump and ended up in the body of a would-be diamond thief in 1985. The details of why he jumped remain unclear, but we now know that Al’s daughter Janice Calavicci is there on the somehow involved.
At the end of the hour, Herbert “Magic” Williams (Ernie Hudson) revealed that Janice wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and participate in the new Quantum Leap project. However, the Department of Defense denied her concerns about her emotional ties to Al (played in the original series by Dean Stockwell), who died last year, and Sam (Scott Bakula), who never came home. On the night of Ben’s jump, Janice sent Ben urgent messages to do this now because they were “out of time”.
According to showrunner Martin Gero, we’re just getting started with Janice. “The Calaviccis play a big role in season 1,” he tells TVLine. “Georgina Reilly, who plays Janice, will make a heavy return on the show.”
NBC’s New Look at Quantum Leap was developed while Stockwell was alive, and producers always knew the Calavicci family would be an important part of the story. But after Stockwell’s death in November 2021, the way the show interacted with Al’s character evolved.
“The dream was always to have Dean possibly a small part in the show,” Gero said. “But when he died, it was important for us to preserve that character’s legacy in the show in a real and profound way.”
Read on for more tidbits from showrunner Martin Gero and stars Raymond Lee and Ernie Hudson.
Gero on Quantum LeapLinks to the original series: “The show is its own thing, but we have this really beautiful connection to the past that informs everything we do, and in a way that I think will reward viewers of the old show, but new viewers who may not be able to see all 90 -plus episodes seen from Quantum Leap. It’s a really cool story and it’s going to some really great places, and I can’t wait for you all to see some more of Georgina as Janice Calavicci.”
Lee about Addison tells Ben, who lost his memory, that she was originally meant to jump and that Ben would be her hologram: “It’s up to Addison to reveal what she can reveal, as there are some things that are better left unsaid for Ben’s own benefit and health and well-being. Maybe she knows a reason why he would? [make an unauthorized jump], but it might not be right for her to tell me. But there is so much to discover there, so much drama.”
Hudson on his costar Lee: “He’s someone you can identify with. Scott Bakula, whom I loved so much [him in the original], he was so funny and crazy and charming, but he was that guy you liked. He would be in these situations, but it was hard not to feel for him, and I think Raymond has a lot of that too.”
Gero on including Easter eggs throughout the series: “We try to have a few every day” [episode], and there are some iconic props that will eventually make their way back into this show’s canon as well. This show is being made by fans of the original show, and it’s also being made by the people who made the original show, so that connection to the old show is very palpable.”
What did you all think? Quantum Leaps first episode? Rate the premiere below and mute the sound in the comments.