Hear My Song – Quantum Leap – Inside Victor Lewis Smith – tape 1614

First today, Hear My Song, in which Adrian Dunbar runs a dance hall, but isn’t quite successful at booking the big acts. The group that owns the hall are going to sack him, but then he manages to book legendary Irish tenor Josef Locke, who has been unable to perform publically in Britain because he’s wanted for tax fraud. William Hootkins plays Locke.

William Hootkins

David McCallum is the police inspector who has been pursuing Locke. But he tells Dunbar that this Locke is a fake.

David McCallum

Another person who knows Locke from time gone by is the mother of Dunbar’s girlfriend, Shirley Anne Field, who had a brief affair with Locke years ago.

Shirley Anne Field

And when she tells the assembled audience that Locke isn’t Locke, Dunbar’s dancehall collapses into debt. So he returns home to Ireland where, with the help of old friend James Nesbitt, goes looking for the real Josef Locke.

James Nesbitt

They find him in the shape of Ned Beatty, and after a bit of curmudgeonly sparring, Dunbar persuades him to come to the UK for a performance.

Ned Beatty

It’s a fairly slight film, but it’s based on a true story.

After this, recording switches to BBC2 and Quantum Leap with the episode Lee Harvey Oswald. After a montage of pictures of John F Kennedy and Oswald growing up, it finishes to the famous picture of Oswald holding his rifle, and that’s the point at which Sam jumps into him. But this jump is different. Sam can speak Russian.

Over the course of the show, Sam keeps leaping into different stages of Oswald’s life, and Oswald’s personality keeps taking over Sam’s. Al thinks he’s there to uncover the conspiracy.

The tension mounts as he leaps closer to the event. Will Sam be able to change history in a profound way?

But the ending is neat and clever. At the last minute, as Sam is still under the influence of Oswald’s mind, Al gets through to him and he leaps into the body of a secret service agent, who prevents Jackie Kennedy from also being killed by Oswald – as had happened in the pre-Sam Quantum Leap history.

Historical note: This episode was broadcast on the 30th anniversary of the assassinatiob of JFK.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd November 1993 – 20:30

After this, there’s a trailer for The Buddha of Suburbia.

Then, an episode of Inside Victor Lewis Smith, a rather less successful radio-TV transfer than KYTV. It was always going to be hamstrung by VLS’s reticence to actually appear in-vision, leading to a very poor framing device (him in a full-body bandage) that doesn’t lend itself to many good jokes.

Featuring in this episode, Chris Langham.

Chris Langham

Nickolas Grace and Moya Brady

Nickolas Grace and Moya Brady

And Annette Badland

Annette Badland

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd November 1993 – 22:00

Recording stops just after this programme.

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3 comments

  1. I used to love (well, really appreciate) VLS’s shows because of his incredible eye for archive footage. You see this stuff all over clip shows now, but back then it was a genuine novelty and he had access to some amazing stuff.

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