5 Quantum Leaps with Dr Song

By Gen Terblanche26 March 2024

5 Quantum Leaps with Dr Song

Why go back in time if you can’t bring back a dinosaur, prevent 9/11, or shoot Hitler? Sci-fi fans aren’t the only ones asking the big money questions – like why time-hopping physicist Dr Ben Song’s (Raymond Lee from Top Gun: Maverick) time travel missions seem like the historical equivalent of saving a cat that’s stuck up a tree.  

So it’s a shock but not a surprise when Quantum Leap Season 2 begins, and Ben finds out that the massive, technologically cutting edge Quantum Leap Project has been mothballed during his latest mission. He’s been declared missing or dead for the past three years, and the project has been cut down to just Ian (Mason Alexander Park) – the chief architect behind Quantum Leap’s AI – and one computer that he checks occasionally, on the sly.  

Billy Lush as Vince, Janet Montgomery as Rebecca, Andy Bean as Ganz, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song in Quantum Leap S2

For real Quantum Leap fans, though, that metaphorical cat stuck up a tree is the whole point of the project. Aren’t ordinary people just as valuable as superstars, politicians, royals, astronauts and generals? All we ask is that Ben wears a funny costume, tries a new skill, and explores a new niche of hidden history in each episode. So as the silent partners behind Quantum Leap funding, we’ve taken a leap into five of Ben’s missions coming up this season, and come back with proof that they’re worth keeping the lights on for.  

Watch Quantum Leap S2 on Showmax now. New episodes Tuesdays. 

1. 1949, New Mexico: Season 2, episode 3 

Eliza Taylor As Hannah Carson in Quantum Leap S2

Alien and X-File lovers, how about a little trip to Starlight, New Mexico and some UFO action connected to a secret military base? This episode has a sci-fi look and feel as Ben leaps into the body of US government UFO investigator Robert Cook, who’s looking into how aliens allegedly caused an accident. Ben winds up being the one to convince a US General to move their secret project stealth and night-vision technology projects away from Starlight and take it to a new base in Groom Lake, Nevada, which will later become known as Area 51.

It’s a fun dive into real-life UFO lore as Robert Cook works for Project Sign, the precursor to the better-known Project Blue Book. This episode also features Ben’s first meeting with mathematically-minded waitress Hannah Carson (Eliza Taylor).  

2. 1961, Egypt: Season 2, episode 8

While a distressing number of Quantum Leap missions take place in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, episode 8 takes us to Egypt for a globetrotting Cold War cat and mouse game between the CIA and East Germany’s Stasi (in real life, the Stasi helped train Egyptian State Security agents during the late 1950s).

The series’ production shot these scenes on location with the help of the Egyptian government and museums. And we get to see Ben slip into the body of a CIA agent as he finds himself reconnecting with Hannah Carson. Take the leap with Ben to see the Great Pyramids and the sphinx at Giza, along with the streets of Cairo … as they were in 1961.  

3. 1692, not-quite Salem: Season 2, episode 7 

Witchcraft! In his deepest leap back into history to date, not only do we see Ben walking around in full servant women’s Puritan costume, he also gets accused of witchcraft almost immediately for saving someone with CPR. And he seals his fate of being burned at the stake by being an “outspoken woman” with, um, imaginary friends, in ye evil old science-hating days.

It doesn’t help his case that ever since he leapt into the body of the servant girl Goody Smith, she’s been acting kind of self-assured, kind of possessed and talking about weird things like chemistry. Episode writer Margarita Matthews balances humour and insight while crafting an episode that mirrors how fear and ignorance creates violence in the modern United States.  

4. 1992, Los Angeles: Season 2, episode 5 

On 29 April 1992, a jury acquitted four LAPD officers of using excessive force during the arrest of Black driver Rodney King, despite the fact that the assault was caught on camera by a bystander, George Holliday. The tape supported the local community’s claims that the LAPD under Chief of Police Daryl Gates (1978 to 1992) were responsible for repeated violent, racially motivated attacks and harassment. The televised verdict led to a six-day riot, which swept through Los Angeles and particularly impacted the Koreatown area where the shooting of Latasha Harlans has already set the Black and Korean residents on edge.  

Quantum Leap dumps Ben right in the middle of the riots, in the body of Daniel Park, son of a Koreatown shoe shop owner (sneakerheads can keep their eyes peeled for some vintage styles like LA Gear sneakers and Jordans). It’s flashback time for Magic (Ernie Hudson), too, and he later tells Ben about his experiences during the countrywide race-based riots of 1967. And of course Ben goes into the leap with his knowledge of the modern-day Black Lives Matter protests.  

5. 1955, Princeton University: Season 2, episode 6 

It’s an Indiana Jones adventure meets Cold War spy thriller episode as Ben uncovers a nest of Nazis at Princeton University in 1955 while investigating the murder of a professor who was corresponding with Albert Einstein (who worked at Princeton until his death in 1955). Since we’re at a university, Ben’s going to run into the intriguing Hannah Carson again, and the two will collaborate on their own top secret project involving the mathematics for the Quantum Leap project as Ben lets her into his time travel secret.  

Aside from expanding the series’ lore, the episode dives into the secret history of Project Paperclip, which saw the US government secretly recruit 1 600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians at the end of WWII, including prominent Nazi party members – who were involved in experimentation on concentration camp victims, and the use of enslaved people in factory work – like Wernher von Braun, Walter Schreiber, Hubertus Strughold, and Arthur Rudolph. Episode writer Drew Lindo researched this episode with the help of Dr Stephanie Diem through the Science and Entertainment Exchange. Look out for a thank you in the form of Dr Diem’s name on an office door in Project Matterhorn! 

Science, history, comedy, romance and adventure all in one? There’s always time for a Quantum Leap.  

Watch Quantum Leap S2 on Showmax now. New episodes Tuesdays. 

Read more about Quantum Leap Season 1 and more time hopping entertainment on Showmax.  

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