Quantum Leap

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Friday 12:00 AM Mar 31, 1989 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
97 votes
  • Sam gets to change his own history for the better

    Sam leaps into a University professor who is into more then just literature. He has an unsavory reputation for seducing female students and (apparently) has a collection of some very kinky stuff (alas, only Al gets to see it).

    Officially, Sam is here to persuade a student to start up a relationship with a University athlete, rather then becoming another one of the professor's conquests.

    However, Sam meets the woman (as a student) who would later become the love of his life. In the original history, Donna left Sam at the alter and -- despite the rules to the contrary -- Sam decides to reunite Donna with her father, based on the theory that Donna the family reunion will ensure that she is not afraid to marry Sam in the future.

    One of the big rules at the Quantum Leap project is that the time traveler are not suppose to fix or enhance his or her own personal history. Al reminds Sam of this, and tries to persuade him to stick with the official reason for the leap.

    Yet, the love that Sam felt for Donna (which his 'swiss-cheesed' brain remembered) conquers all. With a little --- coded -- help from Al, Sam is fix what went wrong for both students. Initially, Sam is not sure if he has succeed, but in a later episode we learn that Donna did marry Sam.

    This is a nice episode. The story forces forces Sam to confront the ethical challenges that stem from time travel and their are a few funny moments with Al.

    The "brush with history" -- namely the scandal that brought down President Nixon, is also a nice story element.

    My main complaint is that I am not sure how realistic the situation with the professor is. Sam remarks at how the campus atmosphere is much more conservative (for the 1970s) then he would have initially thought.

    I am not sure that -- in the real world -- a professor at a private and 'straight laced' University (in the early 1970s) would be allowed to "carry on" with his students, to the point where he got his own closet full of adult toys.

    I appreciate that they are consenting adults, but I would assume that (even in the 1970s) the University administration would be worried about potential accusations of sexual harassment or a professor academically favoring students that he is sleeping with.

    It is possible that the University administration is ignorant about the situation or just "looking the other way", because the professor is popular or well published. However, it always seemed a little off.
  • 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...

    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.
  • 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.