Since the announcement of the Quantum Leap reboot, fans of the original TV series have been eagerly waiting to hear whether Scott Bakula and his character Dr. Sam Beckett from the original series would be making an appearance. Thankfully (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), the wait is over, as Bakula recently shared a somewhat vague update on Twitter regarding his involvement, or rather lack thereof, with the reboot series set to premiere on Sept. 19 on NBC.
According to Bakula, he was shown a script for the reboot back in January, but for unspecified reasons made the “difficult decision” to pass on the project. He made it clear that he has “no connection with the new show, either in front of the camera or behind it.” But just because he decided not to return, doesn’t mean that he harbors any ill-will toward the cast or creators behind the Quantum Leap reboot. Bakula ends his thread of tweets saying that “I am crossing my fingers that this new cast and crew are lucky enough to tap into the magic that propelled the original Quantum Leap into the hearts and minds of generations past and present. I wish them good luck and happy leaping!”
While Bakula is the only one who truly knows why he decided not to reprise his role as Dr. Beckett, it’s nice to know that he wants the series to succeed on its own, and that there aren’t any negative feelings about the series moving on without his involvement. As he mentions in his thread “the idea of anyone ‘leaping’ around in time and walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, remains a very appealing concept and so worthy of exploration, especially given the current state of mankind.”
The original series, which ran from 1989-1993, focuses on Dr. Beckett, who develops the ability to leap through time after his experiment doesn’t go quite as planned. It’s not his body that moves through time, but rather his consciousness as he inhabits the body of another person during each “leap.” While on these time-traveling adventures, Beckett has the opportunity to fix things in the past, hoping that resolving the issues at hand will allow him to return to his own body and time.
The Quantum Leap reboot seems to be following a similar formula, as the official synopsis says, “It’s been nearly 30 years since Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. Now, a new team, led by physicist Ben Song (Raymond Lee), has been assembled to restart the project in hope of understanding the mysteries behind the machine and the man who created it. Everything changes, however, when Ben makes an unauthorized leap into the past, leaving the team behind to solve the mystery of why he did it.”
Given that the original series’ finale never sees Dr. Beckett return home, it’s unclear how the reboot would have brought him back, even just for a brief cameo. Maybe restarting the machine would bring him back for a moment, or maybe Ben was set to run into Dr. Beckett’s consciousness in the past where they would do a dual version of the “look into the mirror and see your true self” thing. But unless Bakula changes his mind during Quantum Leap’s run, it looks like we’ll never know for sure.
The Quantum Leap reboot premieres on Sept. 19 on NBC.