Warning! This article contains spoilers for Quantum Leap episode 2The showrunner of Quantum Leap comments on whether Scott Bakula will appear in the new NBC series. Unfolding in the present day, the new Quantum Leap picks up the action thrity years after Dr. Sam Beckett (Bakula) stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. Although the reboot introduces a new protagonist, featuring Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song, it is deeply connected to the original and endeavors to discover the reasons behind Beckett’s mysterious disappearance.
That deep connection could be seen in Quantum Leap episode 1. The premiere quickly establishes the premise, showing Ben as he jumps through time into the body of someone else and attempts to help them through their troubles. But it also includes several direct references to Beckett, and concludes with a twist that turns the original’s history into another direct plot point. This continues into the show’s second installment, which brings back Susan Diol as original Quantum Leap character Beth Calavicci.
In an interview with Collider, Martin Gero addresses whether Beckett will be one of the original Quantum Leap characters to appear in the reboot. The showrunner mentions he has an idea that would allow Bakula to reprise his famous role, and that he’s mentioned it to Donald P. Bellisario and Deborah Pratt — producers on both the original and the reboot. Gero says that, nonetheless, he respects that Bakula might not want to return to the world of Quantum Leap. Gero’s comments are included below:
I will respectfully always ask him to do the show. I have a very, very good idea that Deborah (Pratt) knows about and that Don (Bellisario) knows about. I think it could be really exciting. But I also completely respect his wishes. He knows our enthusiasm for him. He knows our enthusiasm, our love, and our reverence for the old show. It’s a no right now. It would be pretty amazing to have him back, but I don’t know what that timeline looks like, or even if it’s possible.
Bakula has clearly stated that he’s not involved with the reboot, which Gero reiterates, but a huge part of the story is connected to finding out what caused Beckett’s disappearance and what happened to him all those years ago. This leaves the door open for the actor to appear down the line, if circumstances change and a deal can be worked out. It’s also possible that Bakula’s appearance is being considered for later on in the new Quantum Leap, when the reboot decides that it needs a boost or a big surprise of sorts to keep viewers invested.
Early on in its run, with only two episodes aired so far, the Quantum Leap reboot is attempting to find the balance in honoring its legacy and establishing a new path. The mysterious character of Janice, played by Georgina Reilly, serves as a big example of this. She’s the daughter of Al Calavicci (the late Dean Stockwell), with a murky history and even murkier motivations, and she leads to Beth’s appearance in episode 2. For now, since it sounds as though Bakula might not be appearing anytime soon, Janice will be the clearest link between the two versions of Quantum Leap.