Old 08-10-2003, 12:56 AM   #1
leaper1
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Default A question for Don Bellisario

Chatting to Sue last night about things we were writing set me thinking.
In terms of Starbright Project time, Sam is still working on Quantum Leap being an observation of the past - this was his intention before it 'went a little ca-ca'.
So when the project was set up, this was what they anticipated - right?
In which case, how come in Star Crossed, Al tells Sam that it was one of Sam's rules that they should not profit/benefit (cant remember exact wording) personally from Leaping?
It doesn't really make sense that Sam would make a rule like this if he didn't expect to be able to interact and change the past.

What do you guys out there think?
Is this a continuity boo-boo on Don's part, or did Sam think all along that he would be changing history?

I am really surprised that I have never seen this point raised before.
There are so many smart people out there who have looked at Quantum Leap in great depth over the past ten years, I can't believe nobody else spotted it.
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Old 08-10-2003, 04:57 AM   #2
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If things went as expected, whereby the StarBright Project Leapers {Assuming that the project ended up with more than just Sam as a leaper} could only observe, and were incapable of affecting the past, There could still be situations which these individuals could profit/benefit from what they observed.

For example, if a leaper observed an occurance where Something extremely valuable ended up being hidden. Obviously, if this thing remained hidden from that point till the present, the Leaper could, upon his/her return, retrieve the valuable, and cash it in, thereby Profitting from the Leaping experience.


Now, with Sam's High morals, this definetely would be forbidden, especially if the items were truly owned by someone else. So, the rule that you mentioned is extremely logical, and more than likely set up to prevent the corruption of the people working at StarBright.

:;
-Lou
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Old 08-10-2003, 07:47 AM   #3
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How do you know that the Starbright Project was designed as a time-travel project?

Starbright Project leapers? I'm not sure where that came from either.

The Starbright Project is only mentioned in the show three times, I believe, and details of what it involved are not ever given.

Now, in all my research for my fan-fiction series, The Starbright Project, people have speculated that SBP may have been a project to develop an interstellar drive (long range space travel aircraft or transport of some kind) and this is how I approached it.

We know that Sam's body leaps... but do we know that switching places with a person in the past was intended? Maybe it was part of the "ca-ca" side of things that went wrong on that first leap. Maybe it was originally intended that the leaper would go back only to observe his/her surroundings but things got messed up when GTFW intervened and this is why he is put there in someone elses place to right the wrongs.

What do you think?
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:18 AM   #4
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I believe you're right about Project Starbright, Brian. It somehow involved outer space. I don't remember the exact details though.

But I do remember reading somewhere that Project Quantum Leap was supposed to allow people to observe the past rather than interact with it. But that doesn't make sense now either. Why would there be an accelerator chamber AND an imaging chamber? What would be the purpose of the waiting room? I'm sure THAT technology was there when Sam leaped the first time. It had to have been.

So, I don't know where I heard/read about that. Anyone have any thoughts on it?

In Peace,
Shane
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Old 08-10-2003, 08:03 PM   #5
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It might be "Prelude" that you're remembering, Shane. It's said in there that SBP had to do with lightspeed space travel.

The only explanation I've been able to think of to reason the building of the Waiting Room, etc. is this:

The Waiting Room was originally just some storage area, never meant to house a "visitor". Or, it was meant to be a debriefing-type area for each time the Leaper was finished observing the past. Maybe it was built in order to help doctors evaluate the Leaper's psyche after each "session".

The Accelerator Chamber and Imaging Chamber... well, I've never really been able to figure those out.

Joy
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Old 08-10-2003, 10:58 PM   #6
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The Rod vaguely remembers SBP being some form of space travel as well, as for the whole waiting room thing, The Rod agrees with Joy.

Perhaps there was never originally meant to be a waiting room, perhaps it was meant for something else, and due to the "ca-ca" it officially became the waiting room.

For some reason, The Rod has it in mind that PQL was meant as an observation post for the past. The leaper never actually mean to actually travel time, but to observe it, along with the observer and anybody else n the imagine chamber.

Where did He get that from??

But wait a minute, if Sam was never meant to travel time, why did PQL have a (faulty) retrieval program?

hmm.....
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:07 AM   #7
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LOL, I knew this would be an interesting debate Helen.

As for the Imaging Chamber that can be easily be explained, that's where the Leaper/Observer would be viewing the past from, right?

But for the Accelerator Chamber, hmm, wouldn't that be used to accelerate "time"? So why on earth would Sam actually jump into the Accelerator Chamber in the first place?

Perhaps a hasty mistake on Sam's part there, and that's why everything went a little ca-ca.

Anyone else??

This is turning out to be "Question Time for Don Bellisario" hehe.
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Old 08-11-2003, 04:38 AM   #8
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Hmmm... Perhaps it was REALLY dark in PQL and Sam THOUGHT he was entering the imaging chamber. Only too late did he realize his mistake.

lol

Interesting someone mentioned the retrieval program. So, we've explained the Waiting Room and the Imaging Chamber. Those explanations work for the handlink as well. As for Sam and Al being connected, didn't they use parts of their brain to make up Ziggy's personality? Kind of like an advanced AI? So that might explain that too. PQL being an observation post even explains why Ziggy has so much access to human history.

Now we'll have to examine the Accelerator Chamber and the Retrieval Program. Let's not forget the fermi suits.

This IS a good debate.

In Peace,
Shane
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Old 08-11-2003, 06:35 AM   #9
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Not sure about the Fermi suits. The only reference to "fermi suit" I can find on Google is mentions from different QL fan fics!

However, here's a cool site I found when searching for just "Fermi". It's really interesting.

www.fnal.gov/

Joy
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Old 08-11-2003, 06:41 AM   #10
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Cool, Joy....
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Old 08-11-2003, 09:15 AM   #11
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Hmm, you know, I never really thought about this either. But I might have a theory...

Maybe it was meant to be sort of like A Christmas Carol... Sam would travel back in time, but AS a hologram, unable to interact but to merely observe the past unseen. One thing I noticed in the series was that all 3 rooms (Waiting Room, Accelerator, and Imaging Chamber) were all-blue (or white?) rooms. And it might just be me, but it seems like the Control Room is situated in the center of all 3 rooms. This leads me to believe that all 3 rooms are connected somehow, probably separated by walls. But then again, all those corridors look alike, so I could be mistaken.

It's interesting, because the VS story I'm working on actually mentions that Sam was originally meant to observe the past, not interact with it. It's a very minor detail, has no effect on the plot, but I might now consider revising that part slightly. Which episode was it mentioned that Sam was originally meant to observe? I don't remember. Because if it was an early episode, it's possible that it could have been something as simple as an inconsistency. There WERE a couple of those when the show began after all.
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:46 AM   #12
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Ok, sorry about the confusion between Starbright and Quantum Leap as Projects, that was just me badly wording things, and was basically because this came out of a SBP discussion in the first place.

I think that as far as the layout goes, the accelerator chamber is in the form of a huge ring (as they use when accelerating atoms) and it surrounds the imaging chamber - which is a vast cavern. I agree that the Waiting room would be close, possibly just the other side of the Control Room, and that it may well originally have had another purpose but was adapted because of circumstances when things went ca-ca.

I may have answered my own question by looking at all your theories.

Yes, Sam originally intended only to observe, but by physically travelling back in time, as himself, taking a sort of reporters role, and swearing by his own rules not to interact with the people of the past with his knowledge of the future.
Thus he would have needed to step into the Accelerator Chamber, would have needed the retrieval programme, and would have needed Al to use the Imaging Chamber so that the Project could monitor and record what he was 'witnessing'.

Hmm, made y'all put your thinking caps on, didn't I? Hehehe.

Helen
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:27 PM   #13
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OK, now this is bugging me. Maybe one of you can help me out.

Which episode was it that mentioned PQL being used to observe rather than interact? Was it in one of the books or on the actual show? I just can't remember. I've puzzled 'til my puzzler is sore.

It's driving me CRAZY! lol

In Peace,
Shane
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:42 PM   #14
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This is an awesome point you've made, Helen. I always thought that, from what we saw in "The Leap Back", the Imaging Chamber is to the left of the main control console (looking at it as we do in the episode), and the Quantum Leap Accelerator was on the right (that's where Al is taken out by Tina and Verbina).

In addition, I deduced that the Waiting Room was located outside of the Control Room, nearby of course.

However, I am as confused as you, Shane, about this observation/leaping distinction. I have only read three of the novels cover to cover, and in none of them did it mention Sam originally wanting to "observe" the past in any fashion. I don't recall that being stated in any episode, either.

I always thought that Sam's objective was to leap into someone in the past, and then be retrieved at will. However, he screwed that up when he told Peggy Stratton that he wasn't her husband, apparently. I can see the other side of the die (to "coin" a new phrase! ho ho ho, I kill me!), where Sam wanted to observe by leaping physically as himself into the past, and then have Al linked to him in the Imaging Chamber to help him out.

Hmmm... glad to finally get that down on "paper". <L> I've thought about this for a long time. Tear it apart and tell me I'm wrong, or agree with me. Either way, let's discuss this until we can figure it out! <G>

... Mike. ^_^
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:56 PM   #15
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I really seem to recall the whole observing vs. interacting thing being discussed in "Prelude". Just not sure exactly where in the book.

And on the subject of the way the AC, WR, and IC are located, here's my rendition of the Control Level of PQL:

www.geocities.com/the_vac...lexus1.jpg
(you have to highlight, copy, and paste the URL addy into a new window... stupid Geocities)

I have a better version lying somewhere amongst my papers, but I haven't been able to get it scanned and cleaned up. But, the above graphic pretty much covers the general idea I had.

Joy
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:03 PM   #16
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Yeah, you'll find the "interaction" thing in Chapter 18 of Prelude.

Quote:
What if he could say. Tom. don?t go to Vietnam? Would he sacrifice here and now for that?

He closed his eyes and drew a deep, shuddering breath. Yes. He would sacrifice everything, even the Project itself, for that chance, except? It wouldn?t be simply his own "here and now" that would go away. It would be other people?s futures, too.

It was all moot anyway. The theory said that he could Observe, see and hear but not touch, not interact. Not change. The computer hadn?t been built even yet that would allow time to change. It would have to stand outside Time itself for that to happen.

Here and now would just have to remain intact. He was stuck with who he was and what he was and where he was.
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