Monday, March 6, 2023

RW521 - Quantum Leap Revival S01E01-02 - July Atlantis


In this weeks episode of The Quantum Leap Revival, Cory and Tom try to remember why they leaped and launched as they discuss season 1 episodes 1 & 2, July 13th, 1985 and Atlantis.

July 13th, 1985:

Written by: Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt

Directed by: Thor Freudenthal

Airdate: September 19, 2022


Within a dark computer-filled room, a woman works frantically at a computer, before suddenly texting someone named Ben Song. Ben is currently at a party with his fiancée Addison, celebrating their engagement, and the couple are surrounded by friends, as well as several coworkers, notably Security Chief Jenn Chou, Tech Advisor Ian Wright, Lead Programmer, and Project Head Herbert Magic Williams. Ben reluctantly gives a touching speech about the romance of science, specifically how once two particles share a space they are no longer separate entities, even when separated by great distances. As the two decide to meet up away from the party, Ben receives the text from the mysterious woman and leaves suddenly, heading off to the building that houses his newest project, Quantum Leap. Ben steps into the Quantum Leap Accelerator and vanishes.

Ben leaps in to find himself behind the wheel of a car as the man in the passenger seat asks him if this is worth it, before putting on a mask, grabbing a gun, and entering a bank. Ben looks into a mirror to see not his own reflection, but that of a stranger. As he looks around at the world outside, he sees telltale signs that he appears to be in the 80’s. As he looks at his driver's license, identifying him as Nick Rounder, he turns to see Addison, but he doesn’t recognize her. Before she can explain, the man from the car rushes out of the bank with two others in tow as an alarm blares behind them. Addison tells him she’s a hologram from the future, that he traveled to the past, and he has to drive away right now, as she instructs him quickly on how to drive a stick shift and helping to lose the cop cars behind them. Ben finds a minute to talk with Addison but before she can explain more, she disappears.

Back in 2022, Ian explains that Ziggy, the supercomputer that controls Quantum Leap, is offline due to some new code uploaded by Ben. Apparently, he wrote and installed an entirely new operating system before leaping, years before they were ready for human testing. Meanwhile, Magic is heading off questions from the government about the sudden power surges, and Addison convinces him to not tell them what happened, fearing they will shut the program down. Ian manages to get the imaging chamber back online, allowing Addison to return to Ben in the past.

Addison calls Ben out on leaving without telling anyone and he admits he probably deserved that, and says he’s ready to return home. Addison explains that he isn't in control of that, and explains how the project was started by Sam Beckett who ended up leaping around in time, helping others, in the hope that one day, his next leap, would be the leap home. Ben tells her to ask Beckett what he did to get back home and she reveals that he never did return home. She tells Ben of his work on the project over the last five years, trying to fix the project and the leaping mechanism, but also the new code he installed. He’ll need to now figure out how to help the person he leaped into.

As Addison heads back to the future for more info, Ben is called in to hear about the next step in the criminals’ plans. The leader, Cole, is wary of Nick’s odd behavior, but the man from the car, Ryan, has his back and steps up for him. He then learns that Ryan is with Cole in order to get money to pay for his wife’s medical issues, having been dropped from their insurance after she got sick, and going into debt after mortgaging his restaurant and being shut down by the bank. Addison then shows up to let him know that later that night, Ryan is supposed to be shot dead.

Ryan and Ben go to talk with Horace, a man who has made a replica of the Hope Diamond, but he wants to raise the price and has his men hold them at gunpoint. Ben learns he speaks Romanian, and lightly threatens Horace, getting info from Addison about his life, and bluffing their way out. 

Back in the future, Jenn reveals that they found some security footage and a shot of a ring, recognized as military by Magic. Jenn asks to be fired for allowing a breach of this size, but he refuses,  commending her on finding their first good lead.

Ben meanwhile tries to get Ryan to not go through with the plan, promising to help him find a different way to help his wife. He agrees and they go to confront Cole, but Cole turns the tables on them, revealing that they have learned that Nick Rounder is actually an undercover cop named Matt Shaw. Cole secures Ben in the back of the restaurant while they go to continue their heist, with Ryan in tow.

Back in the future, Ian is trying to pull themself together from an anxiety attack. Magic lets them all know that the Hope Diamond on display at the Smithsonian is actually a fake, something he learned from his years working in Washington. They reason that if they can stop the theft, it would save Ryan’s life and possibly allow them to retrieve Ben.

Addison tells Ben that in the original history, Matt was given the slip but Ryan was found shot later that night, resulting in Matt resigning. As the two argue about how to get Ben out of his restraints, she reveals that she was supposed to be the leaper and that Ben was supposed to be the hologram. Once out of his restraints, Addison prompts him to call the cops for backup but he realizes that if he does, Ryan will also be arrested, his wife will die, and his daughter will grow up without both parents. Addison pleads with him to call so they can get him back home, but he knows a way to save Ryan, and can’t put that aside to save himself.

At the big event showcasing the Hope Diamond, Addison explains what the original plan was for the heist. Ben goes into action, stopping one of the members from completing his part of the mission. He tries to convince Ryan to stop, but is interrupted in order to delay another member from completing her mission. He tries to negotiate with her but she fires a gun off, causing people to panic and run outside towards some planted explosives. Ryan decides to help Ben, worried about killing hundreds of innocent people, and together they manage to get the explosives down a manhole cover where it explodes without injury to anyone.

Ryan heads home as Addison tells Ben that Cole’s crew was arrested, and after Ryan cuts a deal with the police and tells his story, the community helps them all out, with the hospital paying for his wife’s treatments, and eventually regaining his restaurant back. Ben and Addison share a moment as she recalls what he said at the engagement party, and he begins to leap.

Addison rushes back out of the imaging chamber as her and the crew anxiously watch Ziggy crunch numbers to retrieve Ben, but an error appears, indicating that they lost him. Magic begins to head off to Washington to brief The General in person but Jenn stops him. She tells him that the ring seen in scrambled security footage has been traced back to Al Calavicci, someone who was involved in the original Quantum Leap project. Magic realizes the mystery woman is Al’s daughter, Janis, who wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps and become involved with the project, but the Department of Defense had concerns about her ties to Al and Sam.

Addison returns to her and Ben’s apartment, and finds a message to her from Ben, saying that he can’t explain why he decided to leap, but that it has to be done now, and that it’s bigger than both of them. 

Meanwhile in the past, Ben leaps in to find himself in the body of an astronaut, about to launch into space.

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben?
Nick Rounder / Matt Shaw
Where is Ben? 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When is Ben? 
July 13th, 1985
  • Closest Previous leaps- 
    • NA
  • Closet location to Sam Beckett-
    • S03E03 "Leap of Faith" Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1963
  • Closet time to Sam Beckett-
    • S03E15 “Piano Man” November 10, 1985, Tularosa, New Mexico
    • S04E13 "Temptation Eyes" February 1, 1985, San Francisco
    • S04E19 "Moments to Live" May 4, 1985, Los Angeles (closest)
    • S05E14 "Dr. Ruth" April 25, 1985, Manhattan

Michael Malarkey played Cole. His largest was in Project Blue Book as Captain Quinn (a tough US Air Force officer and a skeptical scientist Alan Hyneck, Close Encounters terminology guy, investigate UFO and alien conspiracies as Cold War paranoia spreads, mixing the UFO reports with historical events). He was also in the Vampire Diaries as main character Enzo in the later seasons.

Michael Welch played Ryan. He has been the lead in a number of lesser known movies on Lifetime, and what appears to be direct to video or direct to free streaming sites like Tubi. The Final Wish is a horror movie about a young man returning home to help his mother after her husband passes away and he discovers a mysterious object there. Other movies include, I’ll Be Watching, Who’s Stalking Me, Before Someone Gets Hurt, and Home By Spring (guest starring Mary Margaret Humes, lifetime movie). He also played Hansel in Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (a brother and sister battle a witch who lures teenagers into her suburban home with her special blend of marijuana where she then proceeds to kill and eat them to maintain her youth and beauty).

Unsung Hero: Dax Campbell was Nick Rounder. Only 7 credits to his name. He is at the top of the cast list for Detective Knight: Independence. The poster shows Bruce Willis but in the cast list, Bruce is shown as playing Detective James Knight and is listed last. (Detective James Knight's last-minute assignment to the Independence Day shift turns into a race to stop an unbalanced ambulance EMT from imperiling the city's festivities. The misguided vigilante, playing cop with a stolen gun and uniform, has a bank vault full of reasons to put on his own fireworks show... one that will strike dangerously close to Knight's home).

Detective Knight: Independence serves as the last film in the Detective Knight trilogy as well as one of the last movies Bruce Willis worked on before retiring from acting. Two other detective knight movies came out in 2022.


Written by: Robert Hull

Directed by: David McWhirter

Airdate: September 26, 2022


Ben leaps in to find himself as an astronaut just seconds away from a launch into space and panics. The shuttle safely makes it into orbit with his three fellow crew mates, Samantha Stratton, Max, and Commander Jim Reynolds.

Meanwhile, Addison confides in Ian that she got a message from Ben and just found a flash drive, but before they can check it out, Magic calls them to the office. Magic reveals that they discovered Janis Calavicci’s involvement in what happened with Ben, and Addison says she will ask Ben what he knows, but Magic and Jenn tell her not to, fearing that Janis could be the one manipulating Ben, and that the reasons could be malicious. Ben, not remembering why he leapt, may be the best safety guard they have at the moment.

Back in the past, Ben uses the shuttle bathroom to talk with Addison who tells him he is David Temura. Ben remembers that he idolized David, having similar childhoods and career plans. Jenn commands Addison to not continue this line of questioning, but Addison presses on. The only thing that Ben can remember, however, is that David died on this very mission. Addison starts to help him perform David’s duties, when suddenly alarms start blaring and Max realizes that the payload doors are jammed, which causes the shuttle to go into a deadly spin. Samantha manages to get the ship under control, but not before Commander Reynolds is hurt and unconscious. 

Samantha talks with Ben about how this is her first flight and Reynolds last, and as her mentor, he wanted to be here for her on this mission. Max tells them that Reynolds is stable and they discover that when the payload shifted, it jammed the doors, which triggered the thrusters to fire, inadvertently rupturing an oxygen tank, and leaving them with just 6 hours of oxygen. Despite saving David from the explosion, Addison reports that Ziggy says something’s changed.

In 2022, Magic seeks out Beth, Al’s wife, for information about Janis, but she tells him that she hasn’t heard from her in over a year since Al died.

Jenn meanwhile notices some suspicious behavior concerning Ian and another fellow worker who they enlisted to help with Addison’s flash drive, and she laments that Ben isn’t around to pull them all together seeing as how Magic and Addison are at odds. She adds that she knows about the flash drive and wants them to convince Addison to turn it over.

Ben asks Addison why she isn’t showing him more things from his life in an attempt to get his memory back and she admits that the rest of the team doesn’t want her to do that. Ben understands why and turns the conversation to her, noticing her engagement ring but they then get the classified information about how David dies now: on a spacewalk. Samantha calls Ben up to the bridge and lets him know that she is making the call to return home but first he is going to need to manually eject the damaged module by doing an emergency spacewalk. With Addison’s help, Ben successfully completes the mission but the debris that was supposed to originally kill David appears earlier than expected. Ben narrowly dodges it and is safe, but Addison suddenly panics as she reports that since the debris missed him, it ended up damaging the shuttle’s heat shields and that all of the crew will now die on re-entry to earth.

Ian tells Addison that they think the reason she kept the drive secret from Magic is not because she doesn’t trust him, but rather that she is worried about what she might find out about Ben after the drive is decrypted. 

Magic reprimands Jen for not cutting off Addison when she tried to help Ben remember things, but they are interrupted when they get a report that Beth just called Janis and they have their address and phone number now. They go to her house, with Jenn telling Magic to be more gentle with Addison, especially given what she is going through, that they’re a team and she needs to be a part of decisions. As they enter her house, they discover that she was recently here and find a trap door, leading them to Janis’s computer hideaway. They discover notes written in Ben’s handwriting and that Janis knows they are there, while Jenn begins working on removing the hard drives from the computers. Janis contacts Magic and tells him that Ben came to her for help and tells him to stay out of their way, telling he should leave now. Suddenly computers begin sparking as Magic realizes she is going to burn up the basement as they get away, just narrowly extracting a drive. 

Back in the past, Max is adamant that the tiles don’t matter, but Addison confirms that a shuttle with this exact type of damage burned up on re-entry in the future. Samantha comes up with the idea to try and navigate to the Mir space station and ask the Russians there for their help, which gets Ben and Addison’s full support, however Reynolds has awakened and makes the decision to attempt re-entry. He and Samantha argue about it and she calls him out in treating her like a rookie rather than the professional she has become but he refuses to listen, with Samantha storming off. Ben follows her and finds out she is going to open the payload doors and force Reynolds from starting their re-entry. Ben reports this to Reynolds, hoping that he will see that Samantha is willing to risk her life and career because she understands what is going on while Reynolds himself was unconscious up until a few minutes ago and that she is here because he trained her to be the best. Reynolds takes it all under consideration and ultimately decides to abort and follow Samantha’s lead. With their comma down however, Ben is nominated to do another spacewalk in order to manually adjust an antenna to communicate with the Russian astronauts.

However, the Russian astronauts aren’t responding to the hails and Ben realizes that the astronauts are likely sleeping at this time of the night. He decides to unclip his safety tether and makes a jump for the space station, almost missing it but manages to knock on the walls and wakes up the Russians who help save the crew. Addison reports that everyone returns home safe, with Stratton becoming a shuttle commander and David becoming one of the first astronauts to live on the international space station. 

Ben asks what are the chances of leaping home and Addison admits it’s 50/50 but that she will be with him every step of the way as he leaps. 

Back in the future, Addison reports to Magic that Ben is still out there and he apologizes for how he had excluded her. Together they go to see what Ian and Jenn recovered from Janis’s hard drive but it was encrypted. In need of a key to get into the drive, Addison reveals the flash drive she found, reasoning that it is likely the key, and is no longer scared of what she might find out because she knows who Ben is even if he doesn’t right now. Looking at the newly unlocked files Ian realizes that Ben’s code is trying to leap him to a very specific time and place. 

Elsewhen, Ben leaps in to find himself about to be hit by a very aggressive boxer.

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben?
David Tamora
Where is Ben?
Space Shuttle Atlantis
When is Ben?
March 7, 1998 (just under 13 year leap forward)
  • Closest Previous leaps- 
    • NA
  • Closet location to Sam Beckett-
    • S04E07 "The Wrong Stuff" 1961 Cape Canaveral, Florida (Space Program)
  • Closest time to Sam Beckett-
    • S04E01 “The Leap Home” September 18, 1999, Stallions Gate, New Mexico

Georgina Reilly plays Janis Calavicci. Before QL, she had a main cast recurring role in 67 of 250+ episodes of The Murdoch Mysteries (in the 1890s, William Murdoch uses radical forensic techniques for the time, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders), and the series The Baker and the Beauty. She was the lead in Goalie (biopic of the life of legendary NHL goaltender Terry Sawchuk), Paradise Pictures (follows an ambitious group of people in 1940’s Hollywood), This Movie Is Broken (in Toronto in 2009, a man tries to come to terms with his feelings for his childhood crush as they attend a concert by the band Broken Social Scene), and Pontypool (a radio host interprets the possible outbreak of a deadly virus which infects the small Ontario town he is stationed in).

Commander Reynolds was played by Jose Zuniga. Most recently he was in the movie Sound of Freedom (the story of Tim Ballard, a former US government agent, who quits his job in order to devote his life to rescuing children from global sex traffickers) and Reefa (Israel spray paints a wall which would command immediate respect from his peers, but a fatal encounter with a police officer leaves his family and friends devastated, the Miami community outraged, and the country reeling from another case of police brutality). He had a recurring role in season 5 of The Expanse, as well as in Agents of Shield and Narcos. 

Samantha Stratton was played by Carly Pope. Her most famous role is likely that of Sam McPherson in Popular (two girls who despise each other, due to being on opposite sides of the "popularity fence", are forced together upon learning that their parents are getting married). She did some Hallmark movies as a lead, and had a recurring role in one season of Arrow and one season of Suits, as well as a number of one off guest spots and lead roles in Canadian based shows and movies. The Collector is one such show which focuses on a man who makes a deal with the Devil to spend more time with his true love but then to avoid going to hell himself becomes a collector of souls for the devil, albeit with the additional clause of having 48 hours to redeem each person’s soul before they are sent to hell forever. She was also in the movie The Nemesis Game (an introspective university student with an unhealthy interest in riddles and puzzles becomes involved in a sinister mind game that results in murder).

Stratton is likely Captain Tom Stratton’s daughter from the Quantum Leap series premier, “Genesis.”

Unsung Hero: Tadamori Yaga was David, and he’s had a couple dozen roles, but all are mostly on shorts, one off guest spots, a featured extra, or lower down on the cast list.

Further Resources:

Quantum Leap IMDb

Quantum Leap Wikipedia

Original Series IMDb

Original Series Wikipedia

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