Movies & TV Shows

Quantum Leap 2022 Makes Sam Beckett’s Disappearance Even More Mysterious

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Quantum Leap episode 3.NBC’s Quantum Leap relaunch is making Sam Beckett’s disappearance even more mysterious. “Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished.” Those words heralded every episode of the classic Quantum Leap series, and sadly Sam Beckett’s adventures never ended. When Quantum Leap came to a conclusion in 1993, viewers were simply given a title card revealing he never found his way home.


NBC’s new Quantum Leap series had styled itself as a continuation of this story, with Dr. Ben Song deciding to follow in Sam’s footsteps. His motives remain something of a mystery, but it’s becoming clear this is all about the original Quantum Leap project. Ben has even been secretly conspiring with the daughter of Sam’s best friend, Al Calavicci, who acted as Sam’s holographic guide in his temporal misadventures. This has led some viewers to theorize Ben’s entire mission is a (likely ill-advised) attempt to rescue Sam Beckett.

Related: Quantum Leap 2022’s Al Reveal Perfectly Uses The Original Series’ Ending

Oddly enough, though, the Quantum Leap relaunch is managing to make Sam’s disappearance all the more confusing. The original series appeared to suggest Sam’s leaps were coordinated by an external agency, and the cliffhanger ending featured an encounter with the being apparently responsible – strongly implied to be God Himself. In contrast, however, the Quantum Leap relaunch has revealed leaps are controlled by a program running through Ziggy, the supercomputer running the project. This naturally raises the question of just what went wrong with Sam’s original program, and – rather more disturbingly – what happened when the first Quantum Leap was shut down, and Ziggy was turned off. It’s entirely possible this brought an end to Sam’s leaps, leaving him stranded in whatever body he happened to be occupying.

Why NCB’s Quantum Leap Relaunch Has Changed Sam Beckett’s Story

The cliffhanger ending of the original Quantum Leap series is generally regarded as one of the most frustrating in TV history, so it makes sense for the relaunch to rewrite it. In truth, the quasi-supernatural element never really sat well with the science-fiction franchise, and writers had often struggled to figure out how to navigate it ahead of the series finale. The modern relaunch has pivoted even more towards the sci-fi, with the narrative split between Ben’s adventures and the present-day Quantum Leap team, allowing for a consistent supporting cast, so the introduction of a God figure would feel like an even more awkward fit.

This new approach may also support the theory the relaunch is all about Sam Beckett, because it may imply he is now in a fixed point in spacetime. While it’s true Scott Bakula (who played Sam) has so far refused to return, this may not always be the case, allowing for his story to be wrapped up once and for all. If he is indeed at the heart of the story, then he could be the mysterious “ultimate destination” Ben is attempting to reach in Quantum Leap 2022.

Episodes of Quantum Leap release on NBC on Mondays at 10 PM ET. Episodes are available for exclusive streaming on Peacock the next day.

Next: Quantum Leap 2022 Forgets The Original’s Most Effective Trick

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