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Quantum Leap

Season 2 Episode 10

Catch A Falling Star

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Dec 06, 1989 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
65 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

May 21, 1979: Sam leaps into Ray Hutton, the understudy for the role of Don Quixote just seconds before curtain time. His mission: prevent the drunken star from falling and seriously injuring himself during a benefit performance of "Man of La Mancha". Sam isn't helped by the presence of his former piano teacher, on whom he once had a crush, and who now appears to have caught the star's eye as well.moreless

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  • When Sam (Scott) sings, he is a star

    I agree with skippercollecto's entire comment about the episode Catch A Falling Star. In fact, I bought the CD of the sound track of songs from this episode and other shows after hearing Mr. Bakula sing. And his acting to be an actor just shows what ability he has. In other words, like the greatest actor of all, Mr. Jimmy Stewart, said that a good actor doesn't need to act. He should be the character he is to perform. And that's how Mr. Bakula acts.

    I also think that when Sam is speaking to Al (another of my fave guys!) about Nicole, it definitely feels and looks like true feelings of love. Of course, this is an example of his being such a consummate actor.moreless
  • Sam becomes an actor in a small town theater company which is putting on a production of "Man of La Mancha." Sam's character is playing the lead role of Don Quixote.moreless

    "Catch a Falling Star" is my favorite episode of "Quantum Leap." The first time I saw it, when it originally aired, it blew me away. For days afterward, I went around singing songs from "Man of La Mancha." I was delighted when several episodes of "Quantum Leap" were put on VHS in the mid-1990s, and I acquired "Catch" almost immediately.

    One of my favorite genres of movies is musicals, and that's probably why this episode captured my imagination so much. Also, I believe that some of the lines that Sam says weren't just Scott Bakula acting. They feel very real, as if Scott himself were saying the lines in real life.

    There is a sentence in the complete episode that is usually omitted in syndication, and it's an important line relating to the entire series. Al mentions that the Quantum Leap scientists would often sing songs from "La Mancha" as they were doing their early experiments and preparations--in other words, they were working on what was probably an impossible dream to accomplish.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Sam: (To Al) I can't have a life. All I do is live someone else's life; right their wrongs, fight their fights. Geez, I feel like I'm Don Quixote.

    • Al: Gee, that's pretty good acting, Sam. I'm impressed. That is, if you're really acting...
      Nicole: What do you want of me?
      Al: What do you want of her?
      Sam: Nothing.
      Nicole: Liar!
      Al: I'm with her.

    • Al: I've seen that look before, Sam.
      Sam: What look?
      Al: That last-night-the-earth-moved look.

    • Al: Are you going to be alright?
      [Parodying the Man of La Mancha.]
      Sam: What matter wounds to the body of a knight-errant? For each time he falls, he shall rise again and woe to the wicked! Al?
      Al: Here, your grace.
      Sam: My armor, my sword.
      Al: More misadventures?
      Sam: Adventures, old friend.

    • Sam: [as Don Quixote] I have already seen thee in my heart.
      Nicole [as Dulcinea] Your heart doesn't know much about women.
      Sam: It knows all, my lady. They are the soul of man, the radiance that lights his way. A woman is... glory.

    • Sam: Don't you think you've had enough.
      John: Dear boy, one can never have enough.

    • John: One cannot have misadventures on wine spritzers.

    • John: [drunkenly singing] This is my quest, to get to the bar. No matter how crowded. No matter how far.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Ernie Sabella (Manny), who played Sancho Panza onstage in this episode, later played the same character in the 2002-2003 Broadway revival of "Man of La Mancha" (opposite Brian Stokes Mitchell as Cervantes/Quixote).

    • Scott Bakula is a big fan of actor John Cullum, and says that the first show he ever saw on Broadway was "Shenandoah" (for which Cullum won the first of his two TONY AWARDS as Best Actor in a Musical).

    • Guest Star John Cullum also directed the episode "All Americans," later in this same season.

    • John Cullum has played the lead role in "Man of La Mancha" many times, beginning with the original Broadway production (he was original star Richard Kiley's last alternate and first replacement), and most recently in a national tour in the mid-1990s. But this episode represents the only time his performance as Cervantes/Don Quixote was captured on film or recorded commercially.

    • In the VHS and DVD editions, the episode ends with all the cast members taking a bow on stage to a real audience.

    • Guests Cullum and Turner would later appear together as regulars in Northern Exposure.