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1. What's Quantum Leap?
Quantum Leap is a science fiction/drama series created by Donald P. Bellisario in which a quantum physicist by the name of Sam Beckett (portrayed by Scott Bakula) leaps about in time to put things right that have once gone wrong. He's accompanied by project observer Albert Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), who's projected into the past as a neurological hologram. The series was aired from 1989-93 on NBC and has 96 episodes in 4 1/2 seasons.
2. Why is it that some people say it had 97, 96 or 95 episodes?
That depends on how you count. If you count Lee Harvey Oswald and the pilot as one episode each, you get 95 episodes. But if you say, hey, LHO was twice as long as the others and should be counted as two, you have 96 episodes. Now, they always aired the pilot as a movie where I live, but I think it was split up in reruns somewhere. There, that makes it 97.
3. Who controls Sam's leaps?
According to Ziggy, the project's parallel hybrid computer with an ego matching Barbara Streisand's, Sam's leaps are controlled by an unknown power such as God, Time, Fate or Whatever (aka GTFW).
In the final episode, Mirror Image, barkeeper Al claimed Sam was controlling the leaps himself.
If you ask me, though, there hasn't been enough evidence to proof either theory for certain. There have been episodes where it seemed that some greater power had a hand in this. It's unlikely that Sam has control over the place and time he leaps to, because he can't possibly know where there's something to do.
But of course you could still assume that Sam's 'control' over the leaps means that he, though not able to choose his destination, can choose if he wants to go on leaping or go home.
4. Is Sam leaping physically or mentally?
Even though most QL novels claim differently, Sam's clearly leaping physically. The best evidence to that is when he leaped into blind concert pianist Andrew Ross but could see, and it has been directly said more than once.
Bellisario usually explains it like this: "If that person [the Leapee] was hit by a car and they broke their leg and then Sam leaped in, Sam would not have a broken leg. But if Sam leaped in and was hit by the car, then Sam would have the broken leg."
Then there is the business with Sammi-Jo. How could she be Sam's daughter if it wasn't his body that leaped?
5. Who's the leapee?
The leapee is the person Sam replaces. He or she stays in the Waiting Room while Sam lives their lives and corrects their mistakes. To everyone in the present, the leapee looks like Sam for he wears Sam's aura.
Like Sam, the leapee's Swiss-cheesed. How much they remember after returning to their own time wasn't said.
Mafia hitman Frankie, however - the only leapee we ever saw returning after Sam leaped out - seemed to remember nothing at all and thought it was the day when he leaped out.
6. When looking at Sam, what does Al see?
That depends. In the episode What Price, Gloria, Al clearly said that he saw Samantha, not Sam. Later, though, it was first hinted at and then stated that he sees Sam as Sam.
7. When looking at himself, what does Sam see?
When looking at a reflecting surface, Sam sees the leapee. Otherwise he sees himself.
8. What's this thing you call Imaging Chamber?
The Imaging Chamber is the room where Al is projected into the past. When we once saw it, it was a room next to the Control Room that's all neon blue. (Some people think it's white and it's just the light that makes it look blue, though). I think they must have pulled some neat trick with the floor that allows Al to walk longer distances without hitting a wall. I mean, that room can't be this large.
9. Can other people go into the Imaging Chamber and see Sam?
Another person that goes into the Imaging Chamber must touch Al skin-to-skin to be able to see - or will be seen by - Sam. (Shock Theatre) Same for objects that Al takes along.
A person, though, can be seen but not heard by Sam. (Whether they hear Sam wasn't said, but it's unlikely.) They fixed that later when Sam had to testify in court and it would have taken too long for Al to delay what the leapee said to Sam. (Raped).
In Killin' Time, Gooshie acted as observer when Al chased Stiles. So it is possible to project other people when Al isn't there. But the connection was lousy since the chamber is tuned to Sam's and Al's brainwaves. (When they projected Gooshie to Al, he couldn't see him at all.) This problem didn't appear when they projected Sam to Al in The leap back.
10. How was the project planned originally?
Well, I'd assume it was always Sam that was supposed to leap. At least everything is tuned to his brainwaves. Yeah, Al's too. At least it was possible to leap Bingo into the past as well (A Leap for Lisa). Guess that was necessary to get a good connection over the Imaging Chamber.
They obviously didn't plan for a backup observer, for it gave them big trouble to project Gooshie.
They have a retrieval program that was supposed to get Sam home, but it doesn't work.
Al was surprised when Sam told him in the Pilot Episode that he had lost his memory. So they didn't expect that, obviously.
11. What's 'Project Evil Quantum Leap'?
It's a time travel project similar to Sam's. A leaper named Alia travels in time to carry out a task. She's accompanied by a hologram named Zoey.
But opposite to Sam, Alia leaps in time to put wrong what once went right. It seems the project is controlled by a computer called Lothos.
Obviously, they avoided some mistakes made at Quantum Leap. So it's possible to retrieve the leaper, have someone else leap (Zoey) or project others into the past without trouble (Thames).
I think it's save to assume that 'Evil QL' starts out from a time that parallels that of QL or even lies in their future. They seem to know quite a lot about it and it's quite obviously based on Sam's project. Zoey, e.g., knew that Al was an admiral, which Sam hadn't mentioned to any of them.
12. How can Ziggy know so much about the people in the past?
Ziggy has access to all data bases and computer systems she needs.
Moreover, there's the leapee who's probably able to fill them in on some details. That is, if he hasn't Swiss-cheesed it out or refuses to talk because he thinks he was abducted by aliens.
13. How expensive was Project Quantum Leap?
The Project took $43 billion during construction and takes $2.4 billion each year. (Honeymoon Express)
14. Can anyone else aside from Sam see Al? Can anyone aside from Al see Sam as Sam?
Animals, children below the age of five, dying people and people that are mentally unstable can likewise see and hear Al and Sam.
People who have similar brainwaves to Sam's can see and hear Al.
Psychics can sense Al's presence but cannot see or hear him. One could see Sam for who he truly was, most just sense that he's been living many lives.
In A portrait for Troian, Dr. Mintz's equipment made it possible for others to hear Al. They never figured out how that worked, though.
15. Is it possible that Sam dies during a leap?
According to Bellisario, yes.
16. Where did Sam leap outside the USA?
North Vietnam in The Leap Home, Part II
Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda Triangle in Ghost Ship
Egypt in The Curse of Ptah Hotep
Atzugi, Japan in Lee Harvey Oswald
Moscow, Russia, USSR in Lee Harvey Oswald
Aegean Sea in Leaping of the Shrew
near London, England in Blood Moon
17. What's "The Halloween Episode"?
That's the nickname superstitious leapers have given the episode The Boogieman for it is said that saying the name out loud was bad luck. In fact, this whole episode is said to be cursed. Reportedly, it has the highest rate of cable outages while aired, VCR failures while taped and computer breakdowns when keyed.
Personally, I never had any problems with this episode. It's one of my favorites and I have taped it without problem, seen it and said the name hundreds of times without any trouble. But you may like to be careful. You never know, do you?
Actually, I had far worse problems with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (a short-lived series starring Scott Bakula). My VCR went nuts when I taped it and I had no sound. I never found out what was wrong with the thing. When the series was rerun, our whole electric system broke down right at the time I was watching it. I don't really believe in curses, but this was weird.