Quantum Leap – tape 1521

Some more Quantum Leap here. In Running for Honour, Sam leaps into the body of a navy cadet who may or may not be gay, but his fellow students think he is, and don’t like the idea.

Neither does Al, for that matter. Suddenly he’s rather homophobic, and doesn’t think gays should serve.

This isn’t a bad ‘issue’ episode and addresses not only homophobia in the military, but also the morals of ‘outing’ other people. And I like the last lines. Sam and Al (who admits he has changed his mind on the subject as a result of the people they’ve seen) are talking about whether the cadet Sam leapt into is gay or not, and Sam’s last line before he leaps is “Does it matter?”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th June 1993 – 21:00

The Next episode is Roberto! Sam has leaped into the body of a thinly disguised Geraldo Rivera type. According to Genome, I’ve skipped over a whole bunch of episodes, which would also explain why the leap intro here doesn’t match the outro from the previous episode.

The X-Files’ Jerry Hardin guests.

As does American talk show host Dr Laura Schlessinger. One of those US cultural touchstones that we didn’t really get.

This is a nice cross between Geraldo Rivera and The China Syndrome.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th July 1993 – 21:00

The next episode is It’s A Wonderful Leap. Same leaps into a taxi driver, and the first thing he does is run a woman over. She’s a spanish woman called Angela, played by Liz Torres, and Sam can’t understand how she’s unharmed by being run over.

The title is a bit of a giveaway. She tells Sam she’s an angel. There to stop something bad happening to him.

But I think the show got this story all wrong. At one point Sam is driving a businessman and his young son to a meeting and Sam starts telling them how there’s going to be a lot of new buildings in future. Then we learn that the young boy is Donald Trump, with his father.

So Sam clearly was there to kill young Donald Trump before he could wreak havoc on the world. Missed opportunity there, Mr Beckett.

Another nice enough story, Torres gets to do some singing, which is lovely, and it gets extra points for the moment at the end when Angela calls Sam ‘Sam’. “Who did you think I was here to look after?”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th July 1993 – 21:00

The final episode on this tape is Moments to Live. Sam leaps into the body of a doctor, just as a patient of his dies, earning the anger of her family.

But it’s a neat fake, as he’s an actor playing a doctor. This episode sees another appearance from actor Brian George, playing Sam’s agent Ben, who we last saw in LA Law, and who is more familiar as Babu, the restauranteur in Seinfeld.

Here he has an English accent, which is a surprise when I’ve only seen him playing asian roles, but he grew up in London, so this is probably his natural accent.

Another face familiar from LA Law is Kathleen Wilhoite, who plays a woman who won a competition to meet Sam the actor.

She and her husband kidnap Sam and take him to their house in the middle of nowhere. She wants him to give her a baby.

I do like the way the this show can set up a serious situation, but frame it as vaguely comic, before resolving it in a thoughtful, human way.

But poor old Kathleen Wilhoite, once again cast as the person with mental issues.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd August 1993 – 21:00

After this, recording continues for a moment with a trailer for Staircase Night on BBC 2.

There’s also a trailer for The Fishing Party, an old Brian Glover Wednesday Play. Then the tape ends.



  1. It would have been so much better if the UK had never “gotten” Jerry Springer et al…

    It does unfortunately make sense that someone as devotedly heterosexual as Al might be a bit homophobic.

  2. Interesting to see Trump appear in Quantum Leap, because I’ve often wondered how many of the famous faces that Sam encounters in the past were alive at the time of broadcast (and whether they were ever consulted about their appearance). The only one I knew of up until now was Stephen King, in an episode I think this blog has covered before.

    If they were told during production, I don’t think King would’ve been thrilled about his appearance, whereas I think Trump would have demanded to film a cameo.

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