Quantum Leap Ep 11 Has A Great Stargate Easter Egg You Might’ve Missed

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Quantum Leap episode 11The Quantum Leap revival is full of subtle and not-so-subtle nods to other shows and cultural reference points, but episode 11 featured a Stargate Easter egg that even eagle-eyed viewers may have missed. The Raymond Lee-led vehicle has so far featured trips to the 1930s, outer space, and everything in between. And yet, despite the lead’s time-traveling exploits, it’s arguably in the show’s smaller moments that it is at its strongest.

Quantum Leap episode 11’s Stargate Easter egg is no exception. In a move that will delight fans of the famous sci-fi franchise, Quantum Leap season 1 introduced a new character with tangential ties to Stargate’s legacy. While the connection may be more tenuous than other more explicit genre homages, it builds on a trend already firmly established in the reboot – using characters and character names to link both to the original show and other well-known franchises. Just as it did with the Stratton connection in episode 2, Quantum Leap episode 11 uses a character name to establish Quantum Leap as a show that’s well aware of its place within a larger genre.

Robert Picardo’s Character Is A Delightful Stargate Homage

Quantum Leap’s season 1, episode 11 Stargate Easter egg comes in the form of Robert Picardo’s character, Edwin Woolsey. Although the name might seem as throwaway and innocuous as any number of sci-fi supporting characters, the choice actually directly connects Picardo’s role to his long-running stint as Richard P. Woolsey in both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. While the two characters are connected only by their name, the creative decision nonetheless represents a pleasing nod for fans of both series that acknowledges both Stargate’s and Picardo’s significance.

Interestingly, Picardo isn’t the first Stargate actor to feature in both the venerable sci-fi saga and the Quantum Leap reboot. Episode 6, for instance, featured Jewel Staite, who played Doctor Jennifer Keller in Stargate SG-1. Episode 7 also featured Elyse Levesque, who played a leading role in Stargate Universe as Chloe Armstrong. Although this character had little crossover with Picardo’s Woolsey, both Levesque and Staite’s presence hints at a shared heritage between both Stargate and Quantum Leap.

Comparing Robert Picardo’s Two Woolseys

Aside from the name, there isn’t much to connect Picardo’s two Woolseys, save for the name. In Quantum Leap, Picardo plays a nuclear scientist at the center of an unfolding disaster at an experimental facility. Over the course of the episode, Sam Beckett’s successor, Ben Song is forced to leap into multiple people in an attempt to foil the catastrophe. As a worker on the reactor, Edwin Woolsey is virtually powerless to stop the disaster without Ben’s assistance.

By contrast, the Stargate franchise’s Woolsey is more of an administrative overseer and stickler for the rules – a far cry from an experimental scientist. In this capacity, he is often presented as a foil for some of the more maverick elements of the Stargate cast. As such, while the Stargate Quantum Leap Easter egg is a welcome feature, this isn’t a case of two characters spanning multiple shows.

New episodes of Quantum Leap air Mondays on NBC