Quantum Leap

Season 3 Episode 5

The Boogieman

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Oct 26, 1990 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
74 votes

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Episode Summary


October 31, 1964: Things do more than go bump in the night when Sam leaps into Joshua Rey, a horror novelist, on Halloween. Although Ziggy claims he's there to prevent the death of a church deacon, things go awry when a string of people connected to Joshua suddenly begin to die under very strange circumstances.


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  • the devil is pissed at sam

    this episode is simalar to deliver us from evil with the evil leaper puting wrong what once when right exept the devil is doing that instead of alia every is geting killed by the devil the devil was in the form of al and was tring to confuse sam n n n n n n n n n n n n nn n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n nmoreless
  • Drawing on early American religious traditions, \"The Boogeyman\" affirms that the purpose of Sam\'s leaps through time is to fight the Devil.

    This episode draws on the unique spin of American literary tradition on ancient Western religious superstitions dealing with the Devil. In so doing, it illustrates much of what shaped American character, even into the modern day. This is one of the episodes that digs deep and finds gold.

    \"The Boogeyman\" manages to utilize spooky cliches in fresh ways, so that they become scary again. Not only that, but the chosen cliches hold \"cliche\" status precisely because they touch upon struggles that are common to all of us, as we each battle our own Devil. Any work of literature (including screenplays) that can accomplish this task is worthy of being put into the same category as Shakespeare.

    Like the Bard, this episode plays to all varieties of viewer -- someone who has never gone to college can enjoy it as much as the philosopher; not only that, but they can both \"get it.\" The story is relevant to both of them.

    It is also a wonderful, thrilling story -- simply a pleasure to watch. The writing is smooth, the plot is seamless, and the acting is (ironically) some of the most natural of the entire series.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Paul Linke

Paul Linke

Sheriff Ben Masters

Guest Star

Fran Ryan

Fran Ryan

Dorothy Jaeger

Guest Star

David Kriegel

David Kriegel


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Quite possibly, this is Sam's shortest leap, from his viewpoint, since the whole episode seems to have been a dream or something. The actual leap only lasts a few minutes.

    • That snake was not a black mamba. Black mambas are actually grey, with no white markings, and are proportionally much longer and thinner than the snake used in the episode.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sam: The problem with Quantum Leaping is it often left me feeling like a scarecrow. With my head all full of stuffing, and no idea as to why I was really there.

    • Al: Sam, I don't like things that... fly around without wings!

    • Al: Well, what are you waiting for, Sam?
      Sam: Uh, women and holograms first.

    • Sam: You go back to sleep, okay, and, um, I'll be back to check on you later.
      Mary: Promise?
      Sam: Cross my heart and hope... to limbo. The Bahamas.

    • Sam: When I was growing up, Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. Trick or treat, we used to say. Of course, back then, we always expected a treat and if we did play a trick, it was always funny and harmless. But tonight, there were no treats. There were no tricks. There was only death.

    • Mary: Who are you?
      "Al": Yin and yang, good and bad. God...
      Sam: The Devil.
      "Al": In the flesh, so to speak.

    • Sam: Why are you doing this?
      "Al": To put an end to your meddling. Who gave you the right to go bungling around in time, putting right what I made wrong?
      Sam: I'm just trying to get home.
      "Al": Well, you're not going to make it!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Kiss with History: Young Stevie will grow up to become the famous author Stephen King, a few of whose books are inspired by Sam's telling of what happened in the house, including The Dark Half, Carrie, Christine and Cujo.

    • Starting with this episode, Al has a new handlink. The one in previous episodes was a plain, brownish-clear controller with lights inside controlled by a switch on the side. The new handlink, which will be used throughout the rest of the series, is replaced with a multi-colored pink, yellow, and green controller which resembles translucent blocks.

    • Strange things have been reported to have happened to during the original airing of this episode. Things like VCRs cutting off some of the episode and cable going out, and similar phenomena. As a result, Chris Ruppenthal, this episode's writer, has been nicknamed "Ruppenboogie".


    • Throughout the episode, allusions are made to the following Stephen King books:
      - Christine (a red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury with "a mind of its own")
      - Carrie (someone telekinetically throwing kitchen knives)
      - The Dark Half (Sam saying there were two Als and one tried to kill him)
      - Cujo (Stevie's pet St. Bernard)

    • AlYou're a second-rate H.P. Lovecraft.
      Referencing the famous horror author who created the Cthulhu Mythos: a series of horror stories that told of ancient alien demi-gods locked up on Earth and sometimes freed by human meddling. Many authors consider Lovecraft a major influence on their works, including Stephen King, who has done several Lovecraft-like stories.

    • Al: This is like The Exorcist, Sam.
      Referencing the 1973 film based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty. The novel and movie chronicle the problems of Regan MacNeil, a teenage girl who is possessed by a demon, Pazuzu. Fathers Merrin and Karras are summoned to exorcise the demon.

    • Sam: Unbelievable. I've leaped into The Addams Family.
      Referencing the cartoon characters created by Charles Addams for The New Yorker from 1938 until 1988. The macabre family includes father Gomez, mother Morticia, children Pugsley and Wednesday, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, butler Lurch, and handyman Thing (although none had names in the magazine cartoons). The cartoon series has since spawned two TV series, animated cartoon appearances, and several movies.