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THE QUANTUM LEAP FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST
Other Quick Reference Documents:
Created by: Quantum Buc (firstname.lastname@example.org) and
Debbie Brown (email@example.com)
With assistance from: Vicky Sailer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lisa (Vicky's officemate)
Sally Smith (email@example.com)
Audrey Urling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and many other members of the QL/usenet community
Occasional references from _Harry and Wally's
Favorite TV Shows_, H. Castleman & W. J. Podrazik,
Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1989
Updated by: Tracy Finifter (email@example.com),
Cheryl Bellucci (firstname.lastname@example.org),
and Robin C. Kwong (email@example.com)
Based on Previous Revision by: Sally "Lucky Bitch" Smith
Last Revision Date: July 3, 1995
Reply to: Robin C. Kwong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Changes in This Version: addition of #43; minor corrections
This is a reference file that is meant to answer those questions most
frequently asked about the US television program, Quantum Leap. It
also attempts to catalog the information viewers have been able to
glean from individual stories and other, official and non-official
sources. Permission is granted to distribute this file UNMODIFIED to
other networks and BBSs. Rights to modifications to this file is
reserved by the updater(s).
Note: you may freely copy and distribute this guide for personal use
provided that it be distributed in its entirety, with all original
author and copyright information intact. Any sales of this document or
use of it in a for-profit project are expressly forbidden, without the
specific consent of the authors.
Another FAQL exists, created specifically to deal with those questions
that involve detailed spoilers of various episodes. Questions that are
answered here in the regular FAQL and which are elaborated upon in the
other will include a note to check the SP for further details. The SP
also contains additional questions.
Credit: I have attempted to give proper credit to those contributing
to text in this FAQL. Initially, I did not want to credit my own text,
but then discovered there was no other feasible way to distinguish
the new text from the original and to give proper credit to past FAQL
keepers. All uncredited text belongs to these past keepers. By
keeping the sources of information documented, later confusion/
complications can...theoretically...be avoided. Minor revisions to
original text also remain uncredited for practicality's sake.
Credits are given in [square brackets] following individual
paragraphs, since often there was more than one contributor to a
Table of contents:
Y'Know, Maybe This Quantum Leaping Isn't Such A Bad Deal After All:
1. Who controls the leaps?
2. When Sam looks at himself, what does he see?
3. Can Sam die during a leap?
4. Why could Sam see when he "replaced" a blind man? Would he be able
to hear as a deaf person? In other words, is it Sam's mind that's
leaping, or his body?
5. What does the leapee remember about his experience after he
6. There is no number 6.
7. Can anyone see Sam as Sam, rather than as the leapee? Can anyone
other than Sam see Al?
8. Why can't Sam leap back beyond his own lifetime? (or, why can't he
leap into the far past)?
9. What would happen if Sam failed to do what he was there to do?
10. How is it that when Sam leaps into a leapee who is shorter/smaller
than he is, people around him don't notice a difference in size?
11. Has Sam ever leapt outside the United States? Into foreign
12. Why couldn't Sam leap into the future (post-90's)?
13. Who are the "evil leapers"?
14. How much time passes between leaps?
15. Does time pass differently at PQL than it does for Sam?
Meanwhile, Back at the Project:
16. When is Al's "present"? Or rather, in what year did Sam start
17. When Al looks at Sam, what does he see?
18. Who is in the "Waiting Room"? What does it look like?
19. What is the Imaging Chamber?
20. Can anyone else at the project go into the Imaging Chamber and see
21. How does Ziggy know so much about people's lives in the past?
22. Who is this "Gooshie" that Al keeps talking to?
23. If Al is a hologram, why does he cast shadows?
24. Since Al is a hologram, we always see the neat effects of cars
driving right through him, etc, so how can he sit in the car and
travel within it too?
25. Why is Ziggy sometimes referred to as "he" and at other times
26. How is the Head Programmer's name spelled? What about Donna's last
And In Our Own Universe:
27. Who is this Sally Smith person and why does she know so much about
the behind the scenes goings-on of Belisarius Productions? Why is
she called "Lucky Bitch"?
28. What about other inconsistencies that I've noticed in QL?
29. What are "Leapheads"?
30. So what's the story with that episode titled "The B**giem*n" and
why do Leapers refuse to mention it by name?
31. I remember watching a time travel show in the 60's, Time Tunnel.
Anyone else remember it?
32. Isn't Quantum Leap just like that other time travel show,
33. Is Scott Bakula really as nice as he seems to be?
34. Does Scott Bakula do his own singing on the show?
35. What are these abbreviations you people keep using?
36. What's the significance of the word "height"?
37. What members of the QL staff and crew have appeared in the show?
38. Wasn't the guy who played Al the bartender in the last episode the
same actor who played Weird Ernie in the first episode?
39. What's the latest information on Scott, Dean, and QL?
40. Are there Quantum Leap conventions?
41. Who do I write to get a Quantum Leap movie? And how can I write to
the cast and crew now?
42. How long did QL originally run?
43. Is there really an Elk Ridge, Indiana?
1. WHO CONTROLS THE LEAPS?
Nobody knows. Sam and Al know that it's not Ziggy or anyone at
Project Quantum Leap. Al told Sam in the pilot that Sam's leaps were
out of the project's control, so Sam and Al hypothetize that it's Him
who is controlling things.
In the series finale, we get an ambiguous glimpse of the supposed
controller, but the exact nature of this controller (and in fact of
this entire episode) is still under heavy debate. (see SP#2) [Robin C.
2. WHEN SAM LOOKS AT HIMSELF, WHAT DOES HE SEE?
He sees himself, Sam Beckett - unless he looks into a mirror. Then he
sees the leapee.
3. CAN SAM DIE DURING A LEAP?
According to Don Bellisario, yes he can.
4. WHY COULD SAM SEE WHEN HE "REPLACED" A BLIND MAN? WOULD HE BE ABLE TO
HEAR AS A DEAF PERSON? IN OTHER WORDS, IS IT SAM'S MIND THAT'S LEAPING, OR
Sam is physically leaping through time, his mass being exchanged with
that of the leapee. Sam, not sharing the handicap, will not exhibit
it. Sam's entire body and soul trades places with the leapee, although
the physical aura stays around.
To quote The Source Himself (Don Bellisario):
"...when Sam leaps in and bounces somebody out, I like to think of it
this way: ... if that person was hit by a car and they broke their leg
and hit the street and then Sam leaped in, Sam would not have a broken
leg. But if Sam leaped in and was crossing the street and was hit by
the car, then Sam would have the broken leg."
In other words:
He does not share handicaps or injuries suffered by the leapee before
his leap in, but will sustain injuries suffered while he is there.
The fact that it is Sam's entire body that is leaping is supported by
a great number of episodes: "The Wrong Stuff," "Nowhere to Run,"
"Blind Faith," "Runaway," "Trilogy part 3," "Pool Hall Blues," "The
Color of Truth" (Jesse Tyler was revealed to suffer from rheumatism in
"Shock Theater," which Sam gave no indication of being affected by in
this ep), and probably any episode in which he is a woman and does
things beyond her normal physical strength. (Yes, this even includes
"8 1/2 Months" (see SP#8).) This is also supported by the fact that
Sam sees himself unless he looks in a mirror. [Kwong]
Also, it is stated that Sam and Al are linked via their mesons and
neurons, which are physical entities. If Sam does not leap physically,
then this link would be lost. [Kwong]
The fact that certain individuals--including himself--can see Sam
indicates that there is something behind the aura for them to see.
The explanation for why Sam seems to be unaffected by the size
difference between him and the leapee is theorized in question 14.
There is *no* clear evidence given in any of the episodes to support
the theory that Sam's mind is leaping. [Kwong]
See also SP#7.
5. WHAT DOES THE LEAPEE REMEMBER ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE AFTER HE RETURNS?
This is also not known. The only time we've seen this occur was in
the episode "Double Identity," where Sam leaped to replace another
body and the original host returned. He APPEARED to have no memory of
anything after he was leaped into. It has been stated that the leapee,
while in Sam's body back in the Waiting Room, has a 'swiss-cheesed'
memory, much like Sam received upon his initial leap. Because of the
ultramodern hospital-like atmosphere of the waiting room, many of the
leapees believe they have been abducted by aliens. Deborah Pratt says
that as the leapees return, they pick up some of Sam's memories of
what happened, but they believe the events happened to them.
It would probably also wreak havoc for the top-secret nature of PQL of
all the leapees remembered enough facts for them to compare notes. Not
to mention the possible serious repercussions of "The Leap Home part
1" and "A Leap for Lisa." [Kwong]
Don Bellisario believes a lot of these people ended up writing books
about UFOs. :-) [Finifter]
6. THERE IS NO NUMBER 6.
[This is a net.Leapers "in joke" that started on Monty Python's
7. CAN ANYONE SEE SAM AS SAM, RATHER THAN AS THE LEAPEE? CAN ANYONE OTHER
THAN SAM SEE AL?
Small children, the "mentally absent", animals and people near death
can see him [And pretty blondes with very low IQs, if Dean Stockwell
got his way :-)]. Al has explained that children and animals see
things as they really are because they exist in a natural alpha state.
Also, if a person's brainwaves were sufficiently in tune with Sam's,
that person would be able to see and hear Al too.
8. WHY CAN'T SAM LEAP BACK BEYOND HIS OWN LIFETIME? (OR, WHY CAN'T HE LEAP
INTO THE FAR PAST?)
This is all part of Sam Beckett's String Theory. A person's lifetime
is like a string - one end of the string is one's birth, the other
end, one's death. Tie the ends together and ball up the string, and
all the days of one's life touch all the other days of one's life. If
one can loose one's self from the string, one can Quantum Leap from
one day to the any other. On one occasion (so far), Sam was able to
leap back to a time before the date of his birth due to an accident
that occurred during a leap out in the middle of a thunderstorm. Al
and Sam leaped together and wound up trading places, Al in the past,
Sam in the future. This "simo-leap" caused an exchange of subatomic
matter between Al and Sam allowing Sam to leap back into Al in the
year 1945. It isn't known at this time if this exchange of matter will
be permanent (therefore allowing Sam to leap even further back) or if
it was cleared up when Sam leaped back.
As for those cases where Sam leaps before his own birth ("Play It
Again, Seymour," "The Americanization of Machiko"), it is possible
that Sam's lifetime is not defined by his birth but by his conception,
since these dates are within 9 months of his birth. However, the DITTC
seems to apply most appropriately here. [Kwong]
The "within your own lifetime" principle is also broken in "Leap
Between the States," where it is theorized that the genetic similarity
between Sam and the leapee enables him to leap very far before his own
9. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SAM FAILED TO DO WHAT HE WAS THERE TO DO?
Again, nobody knows. One theory that we have was that he would be
trapped in the past forever, replacing the host. This, however, is
doubtful. Another theory that we have had was that he would leap into
another's life to attempt again to fix "that which has gone wrong".
Things seem to change a little at the end of the fourth season when
Sam states that success is not required for a leap-out, which seems to
violate the precedent set by previous episodes, notably "Genesis." At
any rate, these statements only reflect the fact that PQL can merely
*theorize* on the leaping process. It is possible that this question
will not be answered satisfactorily simply because GTF will not leap
Sam into situations which he cannot handle. (see SP#5) [Kwong]
10. HOW IS IT THAT WHEN SAM LEAPS INTO A LEAPEE WHO IS SHORTER/SMALLER THAN
HE IS, PEOPLE AROUND HIM DON'T NOTICE A DIFFERENCE IN SIZE?
I belive it is a question of topology. I'm not very good at it, but
consider the following argument. The QL maps everything from a
different time into a frame of reference relative to Sam. (And vice
versa for the host.) Sam doesn't see what really happens, but rather
what happens relative to his host. [Doug van der Veen]
It's all a matter of relativity. Consider a spaceship 10 meters long.
Send it off at 99.4% of the speed of light and it will seem to be only
1 meter long to anyone still on earth, while still seeming like 10 to
those on board. Gravity can do the same sort of thing; put an object
deep into a gravity well and it will seem shorter. The point is the
ship is in a different 'reference frame' than the earth, and the
object in the well is in a different frame then the observer floating
outside it, and things like length (also duration) are not the same
across reference frames. [Larne Pekowsky]
So here's the theory: when Sam leaps his whole body leaps (explaining
things like "Blind Faith"), but it is mapped into a different
reference frame. If you look through a warped piece of glass, things
seem to be a different size and shape. The same thing happens with a
warped region of space (cf. "Gravitational Lenses.") When Sam leaps
the space containing him is warped in such a way that not just length,
but all physical properties are altered. And, of course, the only
person in Sam's reference frame is Sam, so when he looks at himself he
sees what he has always seen, but when he looks in a mirror the
photons have passed between frames, and so he sees the leapee.
To answer the original question, when Sam, 6ft, has leaped into
someone 5ft7 and is talking to someone, they look at the leapee's
eyes, he sees them looking at his eyes, and likewise he looks down,
but the person he's talking to sees the leapee looking straight. Which
is really right? Neither, or both! It's the same as asking 'how long
is the spaceship really.' The answer is completely dependent on what
frame you're in because certain physical properties have no absolute
As for how this ties into superstrings - current thought is that
strings don't just define particles, but also in some sense define
space and time themselves (ref: "Superstrings: A Theory of
Everything?" edited by PCW Davies). When Sam leaps he takes the
strings comprising his body and 'soul,' into a region of space made up
of the strings of the person he's replacing. [Pekowsky]
11. HAS SAM EVER LEAPT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES? INTO FOREIGN NATIONALS?
Sam has leapt outside the United States a total of 7 times:
* "The Leap Home II - Vietnam": The Mekong Delta, South Viet Nam
* "Ghost Ship": Over the Bermuda Triangle, flying to Bermuda
* "The Curse of Ptah Hotep": Egypt
* "Lee Harvey Oswald": Japan and Moscow, U.S.S.R.
* "The Leaping of the Shrew": The Aegean Sea
* "Blood Moon": England, U.K.
12. I READ THE QL PRIMER AND I UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF TIME STRINGS WITH
THE PARTS OF THE STRING TOUCHING OTHER TIMES, AND HOW THE RULE IS THAT SAM
CAN ONLY LEAP TO TIMES THAT OCCUR DURING HIS OWN LIFE-TIME. MY QUESTION IS,
WHY CAN'T SAM LEAP INTO THE FUTURE? BY THE FUTURE, I MEAN THAT PERIOD OF
TIME BETWEEN THE FIRST LEAP AND SAM'S DEATH.
Sam's leaping into post-'90s time would seem to fit within the
definition of "his own lifetime," since one's birth as well as death
would constitute one's entire lifetime. This was stated as much in
"Genesis" ("One end of this string represents your birth; the other
end, your death. You tie the ends together, and your life is a loop.
Ball the loop...and the days of your life touch each other out of
sequence. Therefore, leaping from one point in the string to
another--" "Would move you back and forth within your own lifetime.").
With this in mind, then, "future" leaps would seem to be possible.
However, since now the m.o. of the Project has changed slightly due to
the interference of GTFWhoever, it just might not be practical. That
is, Sam leaps in order to right some wrong, often using his knowledge
of the future to solve the problem -- or at the very least, the fact
that he's from the future enables him to recognize the fact that there
*exists* a problem at all (preventing something from happening that
the original host didn't see coming up the first time around). In a
"future" leap, Ziggy would be useless in terms of obtaining data, Al
would be reduced to being only able to offer moral support or an extra
pair of eyes, and Sam would be just as clueless about the situation as
the original leapee was (and probably even more so). The sheer
impracticality of these conditions would then cut down quite a bit the
probability of a "future" leap. [Kwong]
Then again, if Sam does do a "future" leap, would that give away the
fact that he's not going to die in any other leap before the Project's
"real time" reaches that date? [Kwong]
13. WHO ARE THE "EVIL LEAPERS"?
We first see Alia and Zoey in the fifth-season episode "Deliver Us
From Evil" and later in "Return" and "Revenge." Apparently they have a
means of leaping which contains notable parallels to PQL--including a
holographic chamber, handlink, holding area, and a controlling
computer named Lothos--and in fact seem to act as something of a
counterpart. Beyond the fact that they clearly do not have Sam's good
intentions where leaps are concerned, not much more is known about
them. (See also SP#2.) [Kwong]
There's been a lot of discussion on the net from time to time
regarding this topic, and it is some people's opinion that PEQL
(Project Evil Quantum Leap) is run by Satan himself. [Finifter]
14. HOW MUCH TIME PASSES BETWEEN LEAPS?
Time between the leaps is instantaneous for Sam. For those back at
PQL, the gap seems to vary. We've heard mention of gaps as long as six
days, and were even once treated to the sight of an instantaneous leap
in from the point-of-view of the Waiting Room. It would appear that
the lengths of the between-leap gaps for the PQL staff are random.
15. DOES TIME PASS DIFFERENTLY AT PQL THAN IT DOES FOR SAM?
We've never seen an indication that it does. At most, there is a time
difference resulting from, say, Sam leaping into Smallville at 9am
while back at the Project it's 11:30pm...the kind of difference one
would get when trying to place a long-distance call to someone in
another time zone. There is no indication that an hour's length for
Sam is not the same as an hour's length for the PQL staff. [Kwong]
To state it more specifically, once Sam leaps in and PQL locates him,
his "clock" and the Project's "clock" become locked in synch. As in
the Smallville example above, if Al steps into the Chamber at 11:45pm
(PQL time), he will only be able to contact Sam at 9:15am (Smallville
time). Note that the Chamber becomes useless unless there is a leaper
to focus on. [Kwong]
16.WHEN IS AL'S "PRESENT"? OR RATHER, IN WHAT YEAR DID SAM START LEAPING?
Through various little hints and clues, the date of Sam's first leap
has been determined to be 1995 (seven years after our present, since
Quantum Leap premiered in the spring of 1989). This date was confirmed
in the fifth season episode, "Killin' Time." Al's "present" tended to
jump around a bit during the course of the series. Through arithmetic
or direct statements, it was 1997 in the third season finale, then
1999 for the fourth season opener. Then in the fifth season opener,
the date was given as a few months *before* the fourth season opener,
with references to events from the fourth season. [Finifter]
From direct statements in one episode, we know the building of the
Project was begun in 1989. [Kwong]
17. WHEN AL LOOKS AT SAM, WHAT DOES HE SEE?
Al sees the leapee, initially. In the episode entitled "What Price,
Gloria", Al was out of control at seeing Sam as the gorgeous
secretary. Al probably recognizes Sam because they are linked through
their brainwave transmissions, which is what is used by the project to
locate Sam in time.
This then appears to change through the seasons. Later episodes begin
to hint that Al sees Sam as Sam. By the fifth season, this is stated
explicitly to be the case. A possible theory is that, after the whole
mess in "What Price Gloria," Al had Gooshie re-configure the IC to
show him Sam's image only. [Kwong]
18. WHO IS IN THE "WAITING ROOM"? WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The leapee. To everyone at the Project (with the possible exception
of Al (see #2), the leapee looks like Sam. The waiting room has been
described by Don Bellisario as being a sterile, hospital-like room
where the leapee is examined by the Project's medical staff. We've
seen it a few times and it's big and blue, and located at the end of
an isolated ocrridor. Once we got to see (and HEAR) the leapee when
she entered the imaging chamber with Al, and she looked to us like the
image Sam saw in the mirror. This is probably due to the same
mechanism that allows us to see Sam as Sam [Bellisario's rules :)].
The leapee is occupying Sam's aura, not his body (see #8). The
audience sees the leapee in the WR. [Kwong]
19. WHAT IS THE IMAGING CHAMBER?
This is the only place where Al can go to talk to Sam. Its
construction allows a holographic image of Al to be generated for
transmission into Sam's optic and otic neurons in the past, and for
Sam and his surrounding images to be projected onto Al's neurons.
Speculation (and a quote from Don) has it that this is a very large
and cavernous room judging from the amount of walking Al can do
without bumping into walls and the sound of the door as it slides open
and closed. We've seen it once, and it is large and blue, similar to
the Waiting Room. [Finifter] Since Al is a hologram, the fact that he
seems to be able to walk up and down stairs in several episodes is
probably a script glitch. [Kwong]
20. CAN ANYONE ELSE AT THE PROJECT GO INTO THE IMAGING CHAMBER AND SEE SAM?
Only when Al is touching an object will it be visible to Sam (and
us). In more than one episode, Al brought an object into the Imaging
Chamber for Sam to see (this is beyond Al's clothing, cigar and
handlink). Skin to skin contact must be needed for another person to
be seen in the Imaging Chamber. Dr. Beeks, by holding Al's hand was
seen by Sam [and us :)]. In one other episode (Killin' Time), a quick
jury-rigging job by Ziggy enabled Gooshie (see question 19) to contact
Sam via the hologram/brain-wave process, but the image broke up a lot.
(see SP#4, SP#13)
21. HOW DOES ZIGGY KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIVES IN THE PAST?
Ziggy is hooked up to every major database of the late '90s. It's
amazing, when you think about it, just how much is REALLY known about
you that is stored on computers.
22. WHO IS THIS "GOOSHIE" THAT AL KEEPS TALKING TO?
Gooshie is Ziggy's programmer, a short guy with bad breath. We used
to see him very briefly in profile wearing a headset in the opening
title sequence as Sam is leaping out and in the pilot and the episodes
"The Leap Back," "Killin' Time," and "Mirror Image." He was played by
the late Dennis Wolfberg.
23. IF AL IS A HOLOGRAM, WHY DOES HE CAST SHADOWS?
The shadows are holograms, too, and are generated and projected by
Ziggy as part of the process, of course. [Sally Smith]
Seriously, while Al may not cast shadows, Dean certainly does
(especially since-- as QL's director of photography Michael Watkins,
ASC once put it-- "Dean likes to talk with his hands so much that he's
a pretty active shadow anyway."). It's simply physically impossible to
eliminate them all. Also, there are times when having Al not cast a
shadow would actually make him look fake--like a pasted-on cut out
effect instead of a real person. [Sally Smith]
Any instances of Al's reflection appearing on objects, or things
reflecting off of Al's outfits, probably fall under the same category.
24. SINCE AL IS A HOLOGRAM, WE ALWAYS SEE THE NEAT EFFECTS OF CARS DRIVING
RIGHT THROUGH HIM, ETC, SO HOW CAN HE SIT IN THE CAR AND TRAVEL WITHIN IT
Well, when Al appears to be riding in the car, what's actually
happening is that he's merely placed his image within the car and set
it (his image) to track along with Sam's traveling. This same
technique also allows him to track alongside the outside of moving
vehicles as well. I'd assume that he's standing the entire time he's
"riding," which also accounts for why he often seems to be facing a
different direction than one normally would while riding in a vehicle
(i.e. straight ahead). [Kwong]
25. WHY IS ZIGGY SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS "HE" AND AT OTHER TIMES "SHE"?
What follows is a segment of an interview with Donald Bellisario that
describes why and when Ziggy moved from being a 'he' to a 'she'. The
transcript has been moved around a bit so that it makes sense in this
Int stands for Interviewer speaking, and Don for Donald.
Int: I think I've caught you in one error.
Don: What's that?
Int: Ziggy. Ziggy was referred to as a male, until the "Leap Back"
when Ziggy has a female voice.
Don: Yeah, Ziggy was referred to as a male through every show. Heh,
heh, heh. Yeah. But Ziggy turns out to be a she. It's not an error. We
just decided to make Ziggy a female. I mean, it wasn't like, "Oh God,
we didn't think of that!" We thought of that first thing, right off
the bat, and said, "Oh, who cares?"
If you want me to PCR [see below] that one, I'll tell you that Sam
didn't remember that Ziggy was a female until he came back, and Al,
not wanting to spoil anything for him or throw more of a load onto him
that he already had, just rode along with it. How's that?
[Another part of the same interview]
Don: ...Sometimes you get things you want to do creatively and you
don't have the reason for them. It's what I call PCR.
Don: Post-Creative Rationalization. Heh-heh. It really is. "Why does
it happen? Why?" Uhhhhhhhh, because, because - he can only leap within
his own lifetime! [Referring to an earlier question]
And then, out of that came my string theory about how it all works.
So it was all stuff I knew I wanted to do. When you create something,
and people ask you how it works, to justify it, you go back and figure
it all out. And you PCR.
There you go! So, Ziggy changed sex in the Leap Back simply because
Don thought it would be a good idea! You can find the above transcript
in the "Quantum Leap Book" (ISBN 1-85283-866-3). [above answer
supplied by R. D. Gregson]
There seems to be a very neat order of transition when it comes to
Ziggy's various sex changes. Before the opening of the fourth season,
Ziggy was always referred to, and assumed to be, a male. Then in the
fourth season opener, we learned Ziggy had a female voice, but was
still referred to as "he" throughout the season. In the fourth season
finale, Sam tells St. John that "Al called her Ziggy," and the
reference was always female from that point on. [Finifter]
26. HOW IS THE HEAD PROGRAMMER'S NAME SPELLED? WHAT ABOUT DONNA'S LAST NAME?
Dennis Wolfberg's character is spelled "Gooshie" in "Genesis," and
"Gushie" in "The Leap Back" (all other appearances list Dennis in the
beginning credits, rather than by character name). This was probably
due to an oversight. The official spelling is not known. [Kwong]
The official spelling of Donna's last name *may* possible be gleaned
from closed-captioning or a copy of the script. Does anyone have the
relevant episodes handy? The Chunovic book spells it "Eleese," but
keep in mind that the validity of the book's contents are suspect.
27. WHO IS THIS SALLY SMITH PERSON AND WHY DOES SHE KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT THE
BEHIND THE SCENES GOINGS-ON OF BELISARIUS PRODUCTIONS? WHY IS SHE CALLED
Hey, that's TWO questions! Sally Smith is our own "Set Elf",
otherwise known to the less fortunate of us as the "Lucky Bitch" who
resides somewhere in the Bay Area of California. Through some kind of
divine providence, she has been granted the blessing of frequent
visits to the set of Quantum Leap where she communes with the shining
lights of Leapdom and imparts her learnings unto the less fortunate of
us on the net (this is where the "Lucky Bitch" comes from). This
blessing comes with a price however, in the form of air fare, gasoline
and phone bills that when combined, resemble the national debt. This
price she pays gladly so that she may share her visits and info with
us both on the net and formerly in her mailing list. Unfortunately for
all of us, the frequency of her visits have been greatly reduced due
to a new studio policy that restricts visits to the sets in their
domain. [!@#$%^& legal nozzles. Sally Smith]
28. WHAT ABOUT OTHER INCONSISTENCIES THAT I'VE NOTICED IN QL?
"Don't investigate this too closely." --Don Bellisario, 3/17/90
29. WHAT ARE "LEAPHEADS"?
There is no such creature as a Leaphead. This is a word coined by a
NBC employee referring to a Leaper, which is a Quantum Leap fan.
"Leaper" is the preferred term, used by the fans themselves and the
cast and crew of Quantum Leap when speaking about the fans. The
prevailing attitude is, "if 'Leaper' is good enough for Don Bellisario
and company, it's good enough for us".
30. SO WHAT'S THE STORY WITH THAT EPISODE TITLED "THE B**GIEM*N" AND WHY DO
LEAPERS REFUSE TO MENTION IT BY NAME?
[Episode title edited for net.safety] This episode first aired near
Halloween 1990, and from the first time it aired, weird events have
been associated with this episode. As an example, this episode seems
to have the highest incidence of VCR/cable/local station failure than
any other episode aired. There have been numerous reports of VCRs
cutting out during the taping of this episode, local stations and
cable companies dropping their signal. Even mentioning it by name is
hazardous, as one net.Leaper can attest. This hapless individual (who
knew better) was bandying about the name of this episode. He lost his
job AND his net.access. Its mention has been known to cause power
failures and auto breakdowns, so it's best to just refer to it as "The
Halloween Episode". Leapers everywhere will know of what you speak. By
the way, cameras and recording equipment also tend to act strangely
around Chris Ruppenthal, the writer of this episode. Since it aired,
his nickname has been "Ruppenboogie". He _is_ kind enough not to say
the title of the episode around the fans, though director Joe
Napolitano does. Mention of all this merely causes Chris to laugh
As long as we're on the subject of Chris, Joe, and weirdness, let's
note that the episode "The Curse of Pt*h-H*tep" appears to cause
earthquakes in Southern California -- the large quakes of Apr. and
June 1992 coincided with the two showings of this episode. Pretty
scary, huh, kids?
31. I REMEMBER WATCHING A TIME TRAVEL SHOW IN THE 60'S, TIME TUNNEL. ANYONE
ELSE REMEMBER IT?
Ah yes, Irwin Allen's Time Tunnel. This was a show about a secret
government funded time travel experiment in which a young researcher
sends himself back in time in an effort to prevent the project's
funding from being cut. This, the two men travelling through time, and
the efforts to retrieve them are the only things this show has in
common with Quantum Leap (which only has ONE man travelling through
time, his companion is firmly rooted in the future, but I digress). In
the Time Tunnel, time travellers Anthony Newman and Doug Phillips
unfailingly arrived at historical events and desperately tried to
influence events based on their knowledge of the outcome. They always
failed. This is a show where the time travellers would find themselves
at the Roman coliseum one week, and in Napoleon's army the next, THEN
tripping to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is drastic time changes
like this that Don Bellisario wanted to avoid when he imposed the
'within his own lifetime' rule. He felt the huge differences in time
settings were distracting and unrealistic. :-)
32. ISN'T QUANTUM LEAP JUST LIKE THAT OTHER TIME TRAVEL SHOW, VOYAGERS?
Phineas Bogg with the assistance of companion Jeffrey Jones are time
travellers who find themselves trying to fix history, or to 'put
things right' when 'people become displaced in time and find
themselves a half-step away from a totally different destiny' [Harry
and Wally]. In one episode, Franklin D. Roosevelt became a movie
director and it was up to Phineas and Jeffrey to set him on the right
course to the presidency of the United States. This is another show
that would find its heroes travelling to far-flung places and times, a
plot device that Don Bellisario wanted to avoid.
33. IS SCOTT BAKULA REALLY AS NICE AS HE SEEMS TO BE?
Yes, yes a thousand times yes. A perfect example of just how nice,
patient, hardworking and DECENT this man is is his appearance at the
QL screening for the fans in LA back on February 25, 1991. He had put
in a hard day on the set working on the episode "Last Dance Before an
Execution", a very emotionally intense, exhausting episode when he had
to appear at the screening to answer questions (with the BGU, Deborah
Pratt and Dean) and to meet the fans. He was pleasant and open with
the fans, even joking with people and accepting small gifts and hugs
with aplomb. Afterward, he was mobbed by (literally!) hundreds of
mostly female fans who requested his autograph and their picture taken
with him. He spoke to each person and smiled for the cameras. He is
truly a sweet, gracious person, traits which are shared by the rest of
the people associated with this production.
Any further elaborations can be filled in by FAQ # 27, the LB herself.
[Why, thank you, Debbie...] Another example is the UCLA screening of
11/25/90. Scott had been to New York City and back that weekend
(appearing in the Macy's parade), had put in a long day at work and
was in a great deal of pain from an injured ankle. But he walked out
on stage and answered questions like he hadn't a care in the world and
afterwards signed autographs until co-executive producer Michael
Zinberg literally picked him up off the floor and took him away,
telling him he had to go to work the next day. Then there was the
convention...well, you get the idea. [Sally Smith]
34. DOES SCOTT BAKULA DO HIS OWN SINGING ON THE SHOW?
You betcha. Scott is an accomplished singer (1988 Tony nomination for
"Romance/Romance"), pianist (see "Blind Faith"), songwriter (he wrote
the lyrics to the song "Somewhere in the Night" from "Piano Man"),
dancer, and all-around athlete. Let's put it this way -- if you think
Scott's doing it (and it's not wildly dangerous) -- it's him.
35. WHAT ARE THESE ABBREVIATIONS YOU PEOPLE KEEP USING?
Whoops, sorry! GTF means "God, Time, or Fate" -- whatever "unknown
force" is leaping Sam around. BGU (coined by Warren J. Madden) stands
for "Big Guy Upstairs", and depending on context, that either means
GTF or Don Bellisario.
PQL, IC, and WR refer to "Project Quantum Leap," "Imaging Chamber,"
and "Waiting Room" respectively, but that's pretty straightforward.
The symbol **" is no longer in so much use but refers to the ascii
representation (courtesy of Deb Brown) of the ASL symbols for "Quantum
Leap" as shown in the episode "Private Dancer." [Kwong]
Some more abbreviations that are commonly used, usually referring to
specific episodes that, for one reason or another, get mentioned more
frequently than others:
* MI = "Mirror Image"
* THL = "The Leap Home"
* LHO = "Lee Harvey Oswald"
* TLB = "The Leap Back"
36. WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WORD "HEIGHT"?
This was mentioned on E!'s Behind the Scenes on QL as being an
in-joke among the QL cast and crew: whenever the word "height" is
mentioned, all those within earshot repeat it. [Kwong]
This joke shows up occasionally on QL-related posts on the net,
usually resulting in waste of bandwidth as others reply to the joke.
Not that it isn't fun, but please, if you're tempted to follow up a
posted "height!" with one of your own, consider the chain reaction you
may be initiating/perpetrating. [Kwong]
37. WHAT MEMBERS OF THE QL STAFF AND CREW HAVE APPEARED IN THE SHOW?
* Deborah Pratt as Troian Giovanni Claridge in "Portrait for Troian"
* Don P. Bellisario as Timothy Mintz/mirror in "Portrait for Troian"
* Paul Brown as Julian Claridge in "Portrait for Troian"
* Don P. Bellisario as guy at the bar in "Mirror Image"
* Jean-Pierre Dorleac as guy who says "Butcher, baker..." in "Shock
* Rob Mendel as hippie guy in "M.I.A."
* Chris Ruppenthal as Joshua Raye/mirror in "The B**gieman"
* Harker Wade as Dylan Powell/mirror in "Temptation Eyes"
* James Whitmore, Jr as Clayton Fuller/mirror in "Trilogy Part I"
and as police captain in "Mirror Image" and as Bob Crockett in "8
38. WASN'T THE GUY WHO PLAYED AL THE BARTENDER IN THE LAST EPISODE THE SAME
ACTOR WHO PLAYED WEIRD ERNIE IN THE FIRST EPISODE?
Yes, that was indeed Bruce McGill who played both parts. It is
interesting that his part in "Genesis" was not alluded to in "Mirror
Image" as were many of the other recurring characters. Bruce McGill
also appeared in several episodes of another Belliario production,
"Tales of the Gold Monkey". [Bellucci]
Other guest stars have also played recurring characters or multiple
39. WHAT'S THE LATEST INFORMATION ON SCOTT, DEAN, AND QL?
New information as of June, 1995:
The latest QL novel from Ace, "Pulitzer" by L. Elizabeth Storm,
is currently available in bookstores. "Quantum Leap: From A to
Z" by Julie Barrett is set to be released around Labor Day.
"Double or Nothing" by C. J. Henderson, the ninth novel, is
scheduled for early November; "Odyssey" by Barbara E. Walton is
scheduled for February 1996. [Kwong]
The following information is forwarded (with permission) from the
Project Quantum Leap newsletter (see the list of newsletters/zines/
clubs in the ql-archive for more info). This info is current as of
December, 1994. [Kwong]
Project Quantum Leap will be organizing a pro-movie letter writing
campaign. At this time, it is scheduled for the third week of January.
Address and more info on a later update.
Dean has finished work on MADDONNA:UNAUTHORIZED. This is to be shown
on Fox sometime during the November sweeps. (This aired on Nov. 29,
THE LANGOLIERS will probably air during February sweeps.
Scott has wrapped LORD OF ILLUSIONS, the new Clive Barker film. It is
currently set to release on February 17th. Scott then immediately
taped two MURPHY BROWN episodes, which have already aired. Four more
are to follow this season. A PASSION TO KILL (formerly known as RULES
OF OBSESSION) opened in LA and New York only. Leapers said it was
better than reviews indidcated. It should be available on video on
January 4th. BRIDGES/MI FAMILIA/MY FAMILY (no certain title yet) is
scheduled for release in March. Scott is also still working on the
animated feature film CATS DON'T DANCE. NOWEHERE TO HIDE aired October
9th. Reviews were generally positive, with critics impressed with
Scott's performance. Scott was also seen in the new Carol Burnett
special MEN, MOVIES, AND CAROL which aired Oct. 24th. Reviews were
great although some critics seemed surprised that Scott can sing and
dance (where have THEY been?). If that doesn't seem like enough work,
Scott's Production Company, Bakula Productions, is co-producing a play
in NY. It is titled THE COVER OF LIFE. Reviews have been favorable. It
is at the American Place Theater, 111 W. 46th St.
FANGORIA magazine is doing a series on LORD OF ILLUSIONS. The
October/November issue of LADIES GALLERY has a feature on Jean- Pierre
Dorleac and his QL costumes.
Finally, in case word has not filtered through, DENNIS WOLFBERG
(Gooshie) died of skin cancer on October 3rd. He leaves three young
sons behind. Two funds have been established in his honor. If you'd
like to contribute to either, the addresses are: Wolfberg Children's
Fund, 15456 Ventura Blvd., Suite 300, Sherman Oaks CA 91403 and the
Dennis Wolfberg Melanoma/Gene Therapy Fund, c/o/ UCLA JOhnson Cancer
Center Foundation, 9-667 Lewis Factor Bldg., 10833 Le Conte, Los
Angeles CA 90024-1781. If you'd like to just send a condolence card to
the family, the address is Jeannie Wolfberg, c/o/ Shapiro/West, 141 El
Camino Dr., Suite 205, Beverly Hills CA 90212.
The above info (except where noted) was forwarded by Ava Webster, from
the PQL newsletter. The info below is from PQL's Margaret Colchin.
A Passion to Kill will definitely be available at VIDEO RENTAL STORES
on Jan. 4. It can be ordered from video dealers at a price of $92.95,
or $145 for two copies. It will be available for mass consumer sales
in 9-12 months.
Bridges/Mi Familia/My Family will be released domestically as My
Family in early 1995. (Scott has a role in this. [Kwong])
The home video of Color of Night will be available in video rental
stores in early 1995, probably in January. Firm date available in
about 2 weeks.
The Cover of Life closed on Nov. 20, but every Leaper who saw the play
said it was excellent.
The January issue of Fangoria is now in stores, and has a great
picture of Scott. Further, Vol. 26, #3 of Cinefantastique will have a
picture of Scott from LOI, and Starlog #212 is also scheduled to have
an interview and picture of Scott.
40. ARE THERE QUANTUM LEAP CONVENTIONS?
The first annual Quantum Leap convention was held in CA over Leap
weekend, February 1992, along with Dean Stockwell's star ceremony
(Hollywood Walk of Fame). The Con has been held at around the same
time each year since then. Dean and Scott have shown up (officially
and unofficially) so far each time. [Kwong]
LeapCon '96 will be the latest in this series. For more
information, send a SASE to LeapCon '96, P.O. Box 16495, North
Hollywood, CA 91615-6495. [Kwong]
EastLeap '95 is scheduled for October 20-22, in Essington, PA.
For more info, write P.O. Box 86, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 or
send e-mail to email@example.com. [Kwong]
I have also heard IndyLeap mentioned in passing; any further
information would be appreciated. [Kwong]
41. WHO DO I WRITE TO GET A QUANTUM LEAP MOVIE? AND HOW CAN I WRITE TO THE
CAST AND CREW NOW?
That's two questions again, but they're good ones. :-)
For "Quantum Leap: The Movie", write to:
Mr. Sid Sheinberg
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Don Bellisario is working at Paramount Pictures now. His address there
Donald P. Bellisario
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
As for Scott, his address is:
14431 Ventura Blvd., Suite 320
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
You can send letters, pix to be signed, and whatever else you want to
send to Scott to the above address.
42. HOW LONG DID QL ORIGINALLY RUN?
QL ran from March 26, 1989 to May 5, 1993, on NBC...for five seasons
and a total of 95 episodes. [Kwong]
Seasons one and two had a different saga cell from that of
seasons three, four, and five; season five had a different
opening theme. In syndication, episodes from season one through
four are shown with the fourth-season saga cell and theme;
episodes from season five are shown with the fifth-season saga
cell and fourth-season theme. [Kwong]
43. IS THERE REALLY AN ELK RIDGE, INDIANA?
Not anymore, but the present day town of West Lafayette, Indiana was
known as Elk Ridge until 1922, when it changed its name. Today it is
the home of Perdue University. [Finifter]