NBC’s Quantum Leap reboot features Dr. Ben Song following the footsteps of Sam Beckett, the protagonist of the original Quantum Leap series. A question that is bound to come up while watching the show’s first episode is where and when Dr. Ben Song leaps to after the end of Episode 1.
A big spoiler alert is underway. So, if you haven’t watched the first episode of Quantum Leap, RUN!
The first episode of Quantum Leap ended with Dr. Ben Song jumping into the space shuttle, Atlantis, which apparently kept him in the year 1985.
Let’s start from the beginning. The original Quantum Leap series ended in a cliffhanger, leaving the scientist Sam Beckett floating through time, correcting wrongs on behalf of what was hinted at as being God Himself.
Thirty years later, the NBC version of the same sees another scientist, Dr. Ben Song, relaunch this project. Unfortunately, the project has gone horribly wrong and Dr. Song might share the same fate as Sam Beckett.
The concept that makes Quantum Leap different from a typical run-of-the-mill time travel show or film is hidden in the concept of time travel itself. Most time travel movies facilitate a person to travel back and forth in time. But in Quantum Leap, time travel is a mental phenomenon.
Like Sam Beckett in the previous version of the show, Dr. Ben Song is also leaping from one mind to another, possessing the bodies of different people at key events.
The first episode of Quantum Leap reboot transports Ben to the year 1985, where he manages to prevent the theft of the Hope Diamond and then hops back into the space shuttle, Atlantis. Back in Atlantis, it is quite unclear which voyage he is participating in. So, guessing the time is difficult.
The real-life history of Atlantis gives us some important insights into the timeline. Atlantis, the fourth shuttle constructed and commissioned by NASA, embarked on its first voyage on 3rd October 1985. It flew again within a month but was grounded after the infamous Challenger disaster. Atlantis went on several other missions until it was decommissioned in 2011.
In Episode 1, the technology shown seems to belong to a time when Atlantis was in its early days. So, our best guess is that Ben is still in the 1980s.
How Quantum Leap’s Atlantis Compares with Real-World Disasters
The original Quantum Leap series has always followed the pattern of exploring real-world disasters through time travel. If NBC’s version follows the same recipe, then the inclusion of Atlantis becomes really interesting.
Atlantis, over the years, has been a part of several disasters and near-misses in real life. In the second flight itself, a problem concerning the blow-back of hot gasses was encountered but NASA didn’t take it seriously. Three months later, the Challenger had the same problem and we all know the catastrophe that followed.
Three years after that, Atlantis suffered several structural damages during a launch mishap that could’ve become fatal. Luckily, it didn’t.
Quantum Leap will surely avoid rewriting history by including real-world events like the Challenger and Columbia disasters in the story. But we can confidently say that Ben will surely avert many fictitious disasters that bear a close resemblance to real-life ones.
The cliffhanger ending of the original Quantum Leap series hinted that Sam Beckett’s chronicles were going to be more significant with time, and Ben could well have picked up from where Sam left off. If this is to be so, then we are in for a lot of major twists and turns in world history!
About Quantum Leap
Based on the 80s science fiction series of the same name, Quantum Leap is a revival series created by Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt.
The series follows the events thirty years after Dr. Sam Beckett disappeared into the Quantum Leap accelerator. The project has been revived and a new team has been tasked with solving the mystery of the machine.
The show premiered on September 19, 2022 on NBC.