Quantum Leap

Season 1 Episode 9

Play It Again, Seymour

Aired Friday 12:00 AM May 17, 1989 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
96 votes
  • In 1953, Sam leaps into a Bogart-lookalike private eye, whose partner has just been murdered, who is in a romance with the dead man's wife, and who is followed by an over-enthusiastic idolising paperboy. Not bad, but my least favourite of the season...

    I suppose "Play It Again, Seymour", is a fair episode in itself. It is by no means 'Quantum Leap's weakest episode, not by a long shot. But, for some reason, this one has never really done as much for me as the other episodes from the show's short but excellent first season.

    The story, with Sam leaping into a 'Casablanca'-esque scenario, is okay I suppose, but to be honest I never found it all that interesting, and the plot was a little dull at times for my personal taste.

    There are several versions of this episode; the DVD version uses the re-edited version with pre-opening credits lead in scene, and the second season version of the opening credits. I don't know why this was included on the DVD version, but I like to have everything as originally broadcast. (Though I suppose when considering some of the musical changes on other episodes, this is a relatively small quibble).

    This is probably my least favourite episode of QL's first season. Not to say that it's *terrible*, but most of the other episodes are of such high quality that this one rather pales in comparison, in my opinion. Personally I wish that the season had finished on the far stronger (and more audience pleasing) previous episode, "Camikazi Kid".

    As I say, not the worst ever 'Quantum Leap' instalment, but I can only muster myself to give this one a lower than usual 7/10 – and that is for the few good moments.

    -----First season review-----
    Considering it was only brought it in as a mid-season replacement, the first season of 'Quantum Leap' really hit some giddy heights.

    Its strongest episode is definitely the classic "The Color of Truth", with Sam leaping into a black servant in the 1950s Deep South. Personally, I would rank the lovely "Camikazi Kid" as coming in a close second.
    Not sure what I'd rank in number three position; the likes of "The Right Hand of God" and "Double Identity" both have their strong points. As covered in my above review, "Play It Again, Seymour" is the only episode that I didn't fully take to. Although it might well have fared better tucked into one of the longer season's runs, as the finale to the (great) first season, to me, it feels somewhat of a damp squib; I really wish they have closed with "Camikazi Kid" instead.

    The nature of 'Quantum Leap', with Sam's "swiss cheesed" brain, and jumping into a different scenario every episode, meant that the show was allowed to experiment, and this format allows to find it's footing more gradually than other shows. But even so, for the most part, it feels to have been on form from the off, with nearly all instalments feeling as if they would fit in at just about any point of the show's five season run.

    The season has some interesting religious overtones. Creator Donald P. Bellisario also included such overtones in other hits, including 'Magnum, p.i.' and his original version of 'Airwolf'. But they are particularly prominent in QL's first season, and at some points, we almost wonder if God is just bouncing Sam around in time, putting him in awkward situations, simply as a joke.

    I really enjoy the quirky comedy-drama nature of these early episodes. As the show progressed, it would develop more towards serious and more far-reaching storylines. Of course, this was needed for the show's growth and to keep it fresh; but at the same time, it is the delightfully quirky nature of these early instalments that I really remember from the series.