Season 1 Of The Quantum Leap Reboot Will Be Walking A 'Tightrope' With Its Writing

A large part of my childhood was spent in front of our living room television, absorbing whatever show my mom was engrossed in at the time. Luckily for me, she had pretty awesome taste, so I grew up on shows like "The X-Files," "Twin Peaks," and "Quantum Leap." The first two series are widely known and appreciated for their long lasting impact on episodic television and the sci-fi genre as a whole, but "Quantum Leap" has largely slipped out of the popular consciousness — until now.

NBC has decided to gift us all with a "Quantum Leap" reboot, which premiered earlier this week on NBC. Loyal fans of the original series are undoubtedly interested to see what a fresh creative team and a new leading man can bring to the show, but reboots of older fan favorites are always tricky business. NBC knows it will have to walk the fine line: keeping a well-established fanbase entertained, without alienating new fans with a bunch of lore and backstory.

Tightrope writing

The original series of "Quantum Leap" chronicled the adventures of Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) and his sidekick, Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), as they travel through time. Each episode showed Sam's consciousness in a different time and body, where he usually saved lives and averted disasters.

Although the original series never quite reached the heights of "The X-Files," it has a dedicated following. In a recent press event, showrunner and EP Martin Gero spoke about his plans to reinvent "Quantum Leap" without alienating the existing fanbase:

"The show is so iconic and beloved, it felt crazy to just do a version with a new Sam and a new Al. It would set up to fail, essentially. For all of us that were involved at the beginning, it really made sense for this to be a continuation of the story with a brand new set of characters — one that could honor the old show, pay service to the old show, but have a really low bar for entry for new viewers. And I think that's the tightrope we're walking, right?"

Gero thinks the best way to accomplish this is to introduce audiences to new characters that exemplify the same core values of the originals:

"Deborah Pratt, one of the original creators and executive producers of the show, was with us every day on this version. We're so lucky to have her. She really says that the four tenets of 'Quantum Leap' are hope, heart, humor, and history, and [new lead character] Ben (Raymond Lee) really inhabits the first three of those. He's an incredibly hopeful character. He has a tremendous heart. The show is about empathy at its core, and he has a ton of that to give."

"Quantum Leap" airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC, and episodes are available the following day on Peacock.