Quantum Leap

Season 1 Episode 1

Genesis (1)

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Mar 26, 1989 on NBC
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Episode Summary


September 13, 1956: Although the Project Quantum Leap isn't ready yet, Sam Beckett doesn't listen to supercomputer Ziggy, hops into the Accelerator and leaps. As Tom Stratton, an Air Force test pilot, Sam finds his memory Swiss cheesed, with only enough left to know that he is not where or when he belongs. Al explains that the Project has gone awry and that the only way Sam can leap out is by flying the X-2 to Mach 3.


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Who was the Episode MVP ?

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Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

John Allen Nelson

John Allen Nelson

Captain "Bird Dog" Birdell

Guest Star

W.K. Stratton

W.K. Stratton

Dr. Berger

Guest Star

Newell Alexander

Newell Alexander

John Beckett

Guest Star

Dennis Wolfberg

Dennis Wolfberg


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Trivia: When Sam first wakes up, the song in the background is Que Sera Sera. A particularly relevant line in that song is "The future's not ours to see..."

    • When Peg and Tom are doing the shower/mirror scene the head movements made by Peg are not the same as in the mirror.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Sam: Given enough time, you can get used to anything. Even a nightmare.

    • Al: Isn't it great? I mean, isn't this just great? Brings back so many old memories. Hey, have they got "Be-Bop-A-Lula" on there? Got me through some long cold nights at MIT. "Be-Bop" and a little Lithuanian girl named Danesa.

    • Sam: (looking up) Please, God. I'd like to wake up now.

    • Al: My name is Albert... Albert what, I can't tell you because it's restricted. Most of what you're gonna wanna know is restricted. So it'll be easier for us if you don't ask a lot of questions.
      Sam: What are you?
      Al: That's a question, Sam.

    • Sam: What's my last name?
      Al: If you can't remember, I can't tell you.
      Sam: It's important.
      Al: But it's also on top of Ziggy's no-no list, double-starred.
      Sam: Why?
      Al: I can't tell you that either.
      Sam: Well what the hell can you tell me?
      Al: Basically, what you already know--that you're, uh, part of a time travel experiment... that went a little caca.
      Sam: "A little ca-ca?" How little ca-ca?
      Al: Well, you're here, which is a biggie. I mean, that's a first. It's Nobel Prize time.

  • NOTES (7)

    • The futuristic sound of the engine of Al's car at the very beginning of the story, is taken from that of K.I.T.T.'s in Knight Rider. The sound of Al's car accelerating also incorporates K.I.T.T.'s turbo boost sound, with a couple of other effects mixed in.

    • Injoke: Sam mentions that his sister's second husband was Lt. Jim Bonnick, and the couple moved to Hawaii. This is an injoke to Bellisario's previous program, Magnum P.I.. Jim Bonnick was a con-man played by Jeff MacKay, and who was a lookalike for series regular Lt. McReynolds (also played by MacKay). Hawaii was the setting for the series.

    • Filmed with the assistance of the Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base.

    • When NBC reran this episode in the summer of 1989 with the other season 1 episodes, they cut it down to 90 minutes by cutting out the Ken Fox storyline and cutting from the leap out of Tom Stratton directly into the leap-in preview of the next episode.

    • Scott Bakula (Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett), Dean Stockwell (Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci), Dennis Wolfberg (Gooshie) and Bruce McGill (Weird Ernie) all appear in both the first and the last episodes of the series.

    • No episode title was shown during the two-hour airing of this episode. It simply went by the title "Quantum Leap." For syndication, the episode is cut into two one-hour segments. The break occurs just after the point where Peggy kisses Sam and then realizes something is different. Some other two-part versions, such as the one shown several times by BBC Two in the United Kingdom, make the break between episodes as Sam gazes in awe at the X-2 jet; Part 2 resumes in the same scene, as Al appaears.

    • The short opening sequence for this episode is replaced by the fourth season opening sequence when aired on the Sci-Fi Channel.


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