This tape has some more Quantum Leap episodes, starting with Future Boy. Sam leaps into a 1957 science fiction TV show, as Future Boy, the sidekick to Captain Galaxy. Captain Galaxy goes off script, describing a more peaceful, positive future than the writer of the show has written.
Al tells Sam that he has to save the life of Moe Stein, the actor playing Captain Galaxy (Richard Herd) – but he can only do this by having him committed.
Stein has started developing actual theories of time travel, and as he discusses them with Sam, it seems they are very close to Sam’s own theory, on which the show is predicated.
When he’s actually committed, he escapes from the court and rushes home to use his time machine. as the special effects imply, it almost works.
There’s a fabulous moment at the end, when he announces he’s not going to do the show any more, he answers one last letter, from a young Sam Beckett, asking him to explain his theory of time travel. As he explains it, Sam leaps. A lovely closed loop.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd November 1992 – 21:00
The next episode is Black On White On Fire in which Sam leaps into the body of a young black medical student, in love with a white girl, whose brother doesn’t approve of the relationship. It’s also the eve of one of the biggest riots in the civil rights movement, in Watts.
There’s a lot of stock footage of the riots, plus what looks like specially shot scenes of mayhem – which might have been shot for the programme or it might be from another drama about the riots. If it’s new material, it looks like this was an expensive episode, but none of the footage includes any of our featured characters, so I’m suspicious.
I think the dramatic arc of this episode is a little contrived, but it’s ultimately moving, and Scott Bakula does some fine work.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th November 1992 – 21:00
Something frothy in the next episode as Sam leaps into the body of a chippendale dancer. This episode is called Private Dancer, set in 1979 at the height of Disco.
This episode co-stars Fame’s Debbie Allen, who also directed the episode.
Sam has leaped to help a deaf girl, Diana (Rhondee Berlaut) who works in the disco, to prevent her from falling into a short life of prostitution and death from Aids.
Heidi Swedberg, Susan off of Seinfeld, plays a woman who promises to book her to dance, but is actually going to pimp her out.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 17th November 1992 – 21:00
The next episode is another musical story, as Sam leaps into the body of a pianist. Scott Bakula has a good singing voice. And the song he sings throughout the show is familiar, so I must be remembering it from watching it the first time.
This is a slightly silly story, as Sam is reunited with his old writing partner, he’s being chased by unknown bad guys, and she’s pathologically unlucky.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th November 1992 – 21:00
After this, trailers for Nice Town, and Bookmark with PD James.
Then, recording stops, and underneath is part of Newsnight, featuring the story about arms exports to Iraq by Matrix Churchill. The tape ends after about 20 minutes of this.