Quantum Leap

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Friday 12:00 AM Mar 31, 1989 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
92 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

June 15, 1972: As Dr. Gerald Bryant, a literature professor at the same Ohio college attended by his one-time fiancée, Sam has to prevent an amorous co-ed from attaching to him and ruining her life. Despite threats to his job, Al gives Sam the information he needs to reunite his star-crossed lover with her father and, perhaps, giving Sam a second shot at marriage.moreless

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  • Sam leaps into an Ohio literature professor who is having a fling with an adoring student, whom he must save from ruining her life. But he believes he has leapt there to fix the future of his own future fiancée. Good first regular ep after the Pilot...moreless

    Although the production codes suggest "Double Identity" (shown in a few episodes time) to be the first produced, broadcast wise, "Star-Crossed" serves as 'Quantum Leap's first regular episode after the Pilot. And as such, for the most part it does quite well.

    Things start off as a fair but slightly "one note" story of Sam having to save the future (and possibly the life) of Jaime Lee, the adoring student with whom Sam's host is having the affair. This plot is okay, but probably wouldn't have held the episode on its own. Thankfully, things progress, as Sam realises that his future love Donna is studying at the same college and that he might be able to put her own future – and his – right.

    Leslie Sachs gives a fun if slightly campy performance as Jaime Lee; but most notable of the guest cast in this one is a very young Teri Hatcher. I've never been a particular Hatcher fan – I don't *dislike* her, but never really took to the horribly '90s 'Lois and Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman', and have never watched 'Desperate Housewives' (not my kinda show). But here, as Donna, whom is entangled in Sam's own future, she puts in a very believable and very likable performance.

    For a first standard-length episode (even if it wasn't the first film), for the most part "Star-Crossed" finds it's footing well. One thing I did find though, was that the final moments of Sam's time as Gerald, the professor, were awkwardly paced and slightly dragged out – typically, Sam would "put things right" and * leaping, but here, things seem to limp on, not really concluding things that well. (Or are we supposed to assume that he leaps just at the point that Jamie Lee and her burly boyfriend... erm... "confirm their love for each other"?!)

    After appearing as more of a "comical drunk" in the Pilot (though absolutely nothing that contradicts with the rest of the series), here Al seems to be more in the vein of what he would be for the rest of the show's run, lewd womanising stories et al. By the way, although for the most part a family show, 'Quantum Leap' often did have a slightly more adult edge, as evidenced in this story; not only Al's aforementioned tales and lusts, but also, in this episode, a glimpse into Sam's host's closet full of role-play and what appears to be bondage gear!

    Also to note is that, with this first regular episode, we get our first experience of Mike Post's perfect theme tune for the series (although some two-part versions of the Pilot substitute opening credits sequences and this tune taken from later episodes). I also really like the quirky closing credits version (also heard on the closing credits of the Pilot), used on first and some second season episodes (I missed it when they didn't use it on later seasons). This closing theme was never played in full, being edited up to fit different episodes, so I was disappointed that it wasn't included on the official soundtrack CD. (I have spliced together my own 'complete' version of this closing theme, but woulda preferred a full proper example).

    I'm not really sure how to rate this one. As I commented above, the initial story, of saving Jaime Lee, is fair, but a bit "one note" and probably wouldn't have sustained the whole episode on its own. The later developments regarding Donna certainly raise things a bit. This episode has both its pros and (mild) cons; it certainly isn't as good as some of the future episodes and definitely isn't one of my all-time favourite 'Quantum Leap' stories, but as the first regular episode after the Pilot, it does well enough. I give it 8.5/10.moreless
  • Clever Third Episode

    I think that this third episode was very good. It was also clever. Sam got to see his wife when she was younger and why she acted when she left him. He got to change the future by reuniting her with her father and they ended up getting married. We don't see that but future episodes show us that. It was also cool to see Sam make the Watergate Scandal. Overall Clever episode.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Al, dressed in his Egyptian outfit, is being dragged out of the imaging chamber we can't see the people that are touching him. This conflicts with later episodes like "Shock Theater" that shows when Al touches something or someone they become visible to Sam.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Sam: Hieroglyphics? I can, I can read hieroglyphics?
      Albert: Well, you never know unless you try.

    • Sam: It all started when a time travel experiment I was conducting went...a little ca-ca. In the blink of a cosmic clock, I went from quantum physicist to Air Force test pilot, which could have been fun...if I knew how to fly. Fortunately I had help; an observer from the project named Al. Unfortunately Al's a hologram, so all he can lend is moral support. Anyway, here I am, bouncing around in time, putting things right that once went wrong; a sort of time traveling Lone Ranger, with Al as my Tonto. And I don't even need a mask... Oh boy!

    • Sam: If you look into my eyes you'll see another soul.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The music used behind Sam's pre-credits introduction dialogue in this episode is a different version than that used for the rest of the season.

    • Sam and Donna do eventually marry, because in episode 54 (4th Season opener), Sam and Al switch places and Sam meets his wife, Dr. Donna Eleese. Al was sworn to secrecy and supposedly Sam didn't remember her because of the Swiss cheese effect, but this mission directly affected Sam's own life.

    • The hotel Sam breaks into is the Watergate hotel, which occurs on the eve of the infamous break-in.


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