After over 25 years, fans of ‘Quantum Leap’ may finally get a sense of closure, as a rough cut of the series’ finale has surfaced online.
‘Quantum Leap’ ran for five seasons on NBC from 1989 to 1993, starring Scott Bakula as time-traveling scientist Sam Beckett, who found himself “leaping” into the bodies of people in various time periods, during a critical point in their lives. Guided by a holographic projection of his colleague Al (Dean Stockwell) who remained in his futuristic point of origin, Sam would ensure certain events came to pass in a particular fashion to preserve history and to make sure the lives of his “hosts” turned out for the better.
Unfortunately, Sam was stuck “leaping” from life to life, with no way to return to his home time period to be reunited with his wife. ‘Quantum Leap’ had one of the most notoriously awful finales in TV history because the show was abruptly canceled. Instead of giving Sam a happy ending, the screen went black, and a message was delivered to viewers: “Beth never remarried. She and Al have four daughters and will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary in June. Dr. Sam Becket never returned home.” Beckett’s last name was misspelled.
‘Quantum Leap’ was never a ratings powerhouse and came close to cancellation a few times. Even so, the show’s creators expected to get picked up for a sixth season. When that didn’t happen, the postscript was tacked on, pleasing no one.
Even though the new alternate ending still isn’t a nice and tidy wrap-up to the series, it may still satisfy fans. In the final episode, “Mirror Image,” Sam lept into the body of Al, in order to save his marriage. In 2018, a fan bought a set of still photos from ‘Quantum Leap’ and among them were images from this alternate ending. That was the first sign of what “might have been.” Now comes this rough footage, courtesy of Reddit user Leaper1953.
Below is a transcript of the script for this scene. Obviously, the audio isn’t great in this rough video, so hopefully, this makes it more comprehensible. (Transcript courtesy of Al’s Place via Screen Rant)
Wherever he’s leaped, Sam’s still himself.
Because no one’s in the Waiting Room?
We’re starting a nano-second search in the morning but it will take months and by then, Sam will probably have leaped again.
Why months? It didn’t take you months to find him.
I made a lucky guess.
Luck, Admiral Calavicchi, had nothing to do with it. The two of you are so close, it makes me envious. (beat) You’ll find him.
How can you be so damn sure?
Beth looks to the photo in Al’s hands.
CLOSE ON THE PHOTO
of Sam and Al.
Because that’s what friends are for.
Are you a ‘Quantum Leap’ fan? Does this ending make the show’s cancellation a bit more bearable?