Old 03-07-2013, 05:40 AM   #1
Lightning McQueenie
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Default Continuity Errors in Quantum Leap

I thought it might be fun to point out Continuity Errors that have appeared throughout the series of Quantum Leap. This isn't a thread for criticism, it's just to point them out and, for a bit of fun, to come up with ways we can explain them...

For starters, in Genesis and the rest of Season 1, the Imaging Chamber door is invisible and opens by being pulled. From Season 2 onwards, the door is an automatic door that slides upwards and Al literally steps "out of the blue".

Maybe we could explain this by the project being given extra funding in Honeymoon Express, they decided that the Imaging Chamber needed an upgrade?
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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One I just noticed the other day when G4 aired 'Thou Shalt Not' again. At the end of the previous episode when Sam leaps in Karen is singing one prayer. But at the beginning of the actual episode when Sam leaps in the congregation is singing another one. Not really sure how that can be explained in canon. In real life they probably realized they'd chosen a song that Sam wouldn't be joining in at the last minute on in the teaser so they fixed it to be a song where he would join in on the syllable "nu".

Also, in 'Double Identity' when Sam finds out it's 1965 he starts thinking about what he remembers about his own life and tells Al he was in the 4th grade which would make him 9 at the time. Since we know Sam was born in 1953 he would have actually been 11 and in the 6th grade at least. Easily explained by Sam's Swiss-cheese memory and Al chose not to correct him -this is early in Sam's leaping so they were still sticking carefully to the rules, which they loosened up a little about later maybe because now Diane McBride was the head of the committee and she was more open-minded about the project and gave them more leeway.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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An other continuity error is that in "What Price Gloria", Al reveals to Sam that he sees Sam as the leapee (which caused problems between them because Samantha was so beautiful), but later in the series, such as "Miss Deep South", it's revealed that Al sees Sam as Sam (referring to him as Scarlett O'Hara on steroids). It's also referenced later that Al sees Sam as Sam.

My theory is that after what happened in the Gloria leap, Al had to have Ziggy tweaked so that the brainwave connection between him and Sam would enable him to see Sam as Sam, to avoid anything like that happening again. Still, could we imagine how hilarious it would have been with Sam leaping into a beauty queen in Miss Deep South and Al seeing him as Darlene? Hahaha


Another continuity error is the introduction of the Gummy Bear handlink. We see Al break the brown handlink in "The Great Spontini" and have to change to the Gummy Bear version, but he was using the Gummy Bear version in some previous episodes as well (can't remember them off the top of my head). My theory is the "The Great Spontini" was meant to be the episode where the handlink changed, but the airing needed to be pushed back for whatever reason. Another possibility is that there were actually numerous handlinks that were able to be used and for different purposes. I think this is a better explanation because we see Gooshie using a brown version of the handlink in a later episode (I think "Killing Time"). Since the Gummy Bear handlink doesn't have a screen like the previous one, but can project images, the output is probably projected onto a hologram that only he can see, so as to prevent Sam from possibly reading information that he should not be reading...
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:38 AM   #4
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Here are some continuity errors I thought of regarding the Imaging Chamber:

In "Star Crossed", Al comes into the Imaging Chamber with the committee members. He establishes that the committee members can only see and hear Al and are unable to see the hologram around him. This is also backed up in "Honeymoon Express" when Al explains to the committee that he's the only one who has had contact with Sam since he leapt. When the committee members drag Al out of the Imaging Chamber, it's a bizarre image of Al being dragged by invisible forces.

In later episodes though (starting with "Blind Faith") it's established that anything Al touches becomes visible to Sam. So shouldn't the committee members have become visible when they dragged him off?

A possible explanation is that technically the committee members weren't touching Al, but rather his clothes, but still, we can see Al's shoes even though he wears socks between them...

Another error regarding the Imaging Chamber is that in "Shock Theatre", Dr Beeks is brought into the Imaging Chamber with Al so that she can assess him after his brain was fried. Even though Sam can see Dr Beeks when Al is touching her, by what we saw in "Star Crossed" with the committee members, Dr Beeks should NOT have been able to see Sam or anything around him. And yet, she communicates with him (albeit non-verbally), so she clearly does see Sam and everything around him...

I suppose a possible explanation for this could be just that the project workers decided it was imperative that Dr Beeks be able to examine Sam, so they tweaked around with how the Imaging Chamber worked so that visitors would be able to see Sam too (and later, such as in "Raped", be able to hear what is happening in the hologram as well, and have Sam hear the visitor as well).

Thoughts?
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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I love all your explanations!

Another continuity error of course is in "Good Morning Peoria" where Sam is rigging the copper and Al turns blue and says "Sam, I'm gonna leap." He sees himself turning blue.

But in "Mirror Image" Sam ask Al if he turns blue with electrical energy when he leaps and Al responds that he doesn't know, he returns to the empty imaging chamber when Sam leaps.

Another tweak by Ziggy and the gang between seasons?
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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I love all your explanations!

Another continuity error of course is in "Good Morning Peoria" where Sam is rigging the copper and Al turns blue and says "Sam, I'm gonna leap." He sees himself turning blue.

But in "Mirror Image" Sam ask Al if he turns blue with electrical energy when he leaps and Al responds that he doesn't know, he returns to the empty imaging chamber when Sam leaps.

Another tweak by Ziggy and the gang between seasons?
Maybe not so much a continuity error as it is Al making a joke with Sam in Good Morning Peoria, or possibly Al telling a fib to Sam in Mirror Image, just because if Al told him what he really knew Sam might end up more hysterical than he already was...
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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...just because if Al told him what he really knew Sam might end up more hysterical than he already was...
That's my take on that, too.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
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In "Star Crossed", Al comes into the Imaging Chamber with the committee members. He establishes that the committee members can only see and hear Al and are unable to see the hologram around him. This is also backed up in "Honeymoon Express" when Al explains to the committee that he's the only one who has had contact with Sam since he leapt. When the committee members drag Al out of the Imaging Chamber, it's a bizarre image of Al being dragged by invisible forces.

In later episodes though (starting with "Blind Faith") it's established that anything Al touches becomes visible to Sam. So shouldn't the committee members have become visible when they dragged him off?

A possible explanation is that technically the committee members weren't touching Al, but rather his clothes, but still, we can see Al's shoes even though he wears socks between them...
Yeah, this one is tougher to reconcile. Even if the committee members were only touching Al's clothes Sam should have been able to see them because the clothes are touching Al's body. Hard to explain in canon except that maybe between this episode and "Blind Faith" they tweaked things back at the project and made improvements in the neural link between Sam and Al so that Sam not only saw Al but the things Al was touching. Although Sam could always see Al's cigar so there's still inconsistency.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:45 AM   #9
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Yeah, this one is tougher to reconcile. Even if the committee members were only touching Al's clothes Sam should have been able to see them because the clothes are touching Al's body. Hard to explain in canon except that maybe between this episode and "Blind Faith" they tweaked things back at the project and made improvements in the neural link between Sam and Al so that Sam not only saw Al but the things Al was touching. Although Sam could always see Al's cigar so there's still inconsistency.
At least in Quantum Leap, since the project is continually growing, we can usually throw away the continuity errors as simply the project tweaking them to make life easier for themselves and Sam. Also, many can be explained away by Sam's swiss-cheesed memory. At least the continuity errors don't constitute major plot holes like they do in other series...

It's also quite possible that later, when the Imaging Chamber had been tweaked so that visitors could see Sam and the hologram around him (like Dr Beeks could) that committee members were occasionally brought in, just as proof that Sam actually leapt. I'm not sure how long Diane McBride would have allowed the project to be funded on blind faith (one year is one thing, four years is another).

Another continuity error I thought of is that after Sam and Al simo-leapt, when Sam leapt back, he had no memory of this event. Also, if we take Sam's experience of the "reverse swiss cheese effect", Al should lose his memory of the leap as well. But in later episodes (Dreams, LHO) they talk about the Simo-leap. I think Sam might have regained small pieces of his memory about the simo-leap (such as being the hologram, not being back with Donna), but it's hard to believe that Al would remember Sam having Al's lecherous nature. All Al really should remember is the fact that he leapt, not so much what happened during it. Then again, maybe this can just be explained by Al having read a record of what happened during that leap in Ziggy's memory banks...
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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It's also quite possible that later, when the Imaging Chamber had been tweaked so that visitors could see Sam and the hologram around him (like Dr Beeks could) that committee members were occasionally brought in, just as proof that Sam actually leapt.
That makes sense, both that they would have improved the technology by then and that they would bring committee members in occasionally to prove the success of the experiment and that it was still going on.

Because Sam leaped before they were ready, they were forced into in extremis situations where they had to think quickly and come up with solutions immediately. So they ended up improving the project much more drastically and quickly than they would have if he had waited. Sam's leaping pushed everyone to do better, sooner.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:11 AM   #11
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An other continuity error is that in "What Price Gloria", Al reveals to Sam that he sees Sam as the leapee (which caused problems between them because Samantha was so beautiful), but later in the series, such as "Miss Deep South", it's revealed that Al sees Sam as Sam (referring to him as Scarlett O'Hara on steroids). It's also referenced later that Al sees Sam as Sam.

My theory is that after what happened in the Gloria leap, Al had to have Ziggy tweaked so that the brainwave connection between him and Sam would enable him to see Sam as Sam, to avoid anything like that happening again. Still, could we imagine how hilarious it would have been with Sam leaping into a beauty queen in Miss Deep South and Al seeing him as Darlene? Hahaha
I think, at some point, Al had mentioned that most of the Project staff had implants (although I'm not sure if that was in the series, or one of the novels). It's quite possible that, due to the events in "What Price Gloria?" that Dr. Beeks had been the one that ordered a modification to Al's implant to where he could see Sam for himself in the imaging chamber, and then also see the Visitor for themselves in the Waiting Room. She'd be fine if Al oogled over a beautiful woman in the Waiting Room, but not over Sam himself!

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Another continuity error is the introduction of the Gummy Bear handlink. We see Al break the brown handlink in "The Great Spontini" and have to change to the Gummy Bear version, but he was using the Gummy Bear version in some previous episodes as well (can't remember them off the top of my head). My theory is the "The Great Spontini" was meant to be the episode where the handlink changed, but the airing needed to be pushed back for whatever reason. Another possibility is that there were actually numerous handlinks that were able to be used and for different purposes. I think this is a better explanation because we see Gooshie using a brown version of the handlink in a later episode (I think "Killing Time"). Since the Gummy Bear handlink doesn't have a screen like the previous one, but can project images, the output is probably projected onto a hologram that only he can see, so as to prevent Sam from possibly reading information that he should not be reading...
You can probably chalk this one up to NBC itself. They did this with the A-Team and Knight Rider as well.

The studios will create the shows in what is considered as a production order. But, when it goes to the network, they can change things around and that becomes the broadcast order.

For example, with the A-Team, the Grey Team was supposed to technically be the last episode, but then they found another one (Without Reservations) and they aired it after the Grey Team.

In that respect, the episode with the older handlink likely had been done earlier in the production order, but NBC edited the Leap In and Out to accommodate the order in which they wanted to air the episodes.

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Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie View Post
In "Star Crossed", Al comes into the Imaging Chamber with the committee members. He establishes that the committee members can only see and hear Al and are unable to see the hologram around him. This is also backed up in "Honeymoon Express" when Al explains to the committee that he's the only one who has had contact with Sam since he leapt. When the committee members drag Al out of the Imaging Chamber, it's a bizarre image of Al being dragged by invisible forces.

In later episodes though (starting with "Blind Faith") it's established that anything Al touches becomes visible to Sam. So shouldn't the committee members have become visible when they dragged him off?

A possible explanation is that technically the committee members weren't touching Al, but rather his clothes, but still, we can see Al's shoes even though he wears socks between them...

Another error regarding the Imaging Chamber is that in "Shock Theatre", Dr Beeks is brought into the Imaging Chamber with Al so that she can assess him after his brain was fried. Even though Sam can see Dr Beeks when Al is touching her, by what we saw in "Star Crossed" with the committee members, Dr Beeks should NOT have been able to see Sam or anything around him. And yet, she communicates with him (albeit non-verbally), so she clearly does see Sam and everything around him...
If you look at the episodes where something or someone appeared in the Imaging Chamber with Al, there was actual contact with his skin - he touched it with his hand, or held the hand of the other person. It can explain why you see the cigar in his hand, whenever he's in the Imaging Chamber.

In Star Crossed, the outfit he wore had long sleeves and was pretty flowing, and the committee members never actually had skin-to-skin contact. That in and of itself made the difference there, and allowed for Al to be dragged out without seeing who was actually doing so.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:49 PM   #12
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I think, at some point, Al had mentioned that most of the Project staff had implants (although I'm not sure if that was in the series, or one of the novels). It's quite possible that, due to the events in "What Price Gloria?" that Dr. Beeks had been the one that ordered a modification to Al's implant to where he could see Sam for himself in the imaging chamber, and then also see the Visitor for themselves in the Waiting Room. She'd be fine if Al oogled over a beautiful woman in the Waiting Room, but not over Sam himself!



You can probably chalk this one up to NBC itself. They did this with the A-Team and Knight Rider as well.

The studios will create the shows in what is considered as a production order. But, when it goes to the network, they can change things around and that becomes the broadcast order.

For example, with the A-Team, the Grey Team was supposed to technically be the last episode, but then they found another one (Without Reservations) and they aired it after the Grey Team.

In that respect, the episode with the older handlink likely had been done earlier in the production order, but NBC edited the Leap In and Out to accommodate the order in which they wanted to air the episodes.



If you look at the episodes where something or someone appeared in the Imaging Chamber with Al, there was actual contact with his skin - he touched it with his hand, or held the hand of the other person. It can explain why you see the cigar in his hand, whenever he's in the Imaging Chamber.

In Star Crossed, the outfit he wore had long sleeves and was pretty flowing, and the committee members never actually had skin-to-skin contact. That in and of itself made the difference there, and allowed for Al to be dragged out without seeing who was actually doing so.
Yes, but that doesn't explain why we can see Al's shoes, because technically they wouldn't be directly touching his skin either (unless he never wears socks, but this is doubtful...) Though what you say about the outfit being flowing might be correct, maybe he was dragged out by the clothing rather than by being physically dragged.

Another continuity error I thought of is that in Mirror Image, he has no idea what it looks like for someone to Quantum Leap, even though he should have been able to witness both Alia and Zoey leaping out in Revenge of the Evil Leaper. I suppose this can be explained by Sam's swiss-cheesed memory, or perhaps he was so distracted at the time he simply missed both leap-outs...
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I thought of another continuity error. It is established in the series that it is Sam's body leaping around, and so Sam is not affected by any injuries obtained by the host before the leap, but is affected by any injuries he obtains during the leap. This is backed up in Revenge of the Evil Leaper when we see Zoey shot and leapt out, and the host Myers returns unharmed.

However, in Black on White on Fire, Sam is beaten to a bloody pulp and is heavily bruised at the end of the leap. So when he leaps, he should still have these injuries. However, in the next leap he is completely healed...

A theory that I like is that in Genesis, we're informed that even though the leaps are instantaneous to Sam, it is not to the project, which means Sam must be in some sort of limbo between leaps. Perhaps he simply was kept in limbo long enough to be healed.

This brings up another continuity error. At the end of Dr Ruth, we see Dr Ruth leap out of the Waiting Room and be instantly replaced by the vampire. This contradicts what is established in Genesis. However, it's possible that we simply saw a sped-up version of this leap in the Waiting Room, or perhaps in this case Sam didn't need to travel as far in space and time (although he does leap to another country...)
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