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Volume 1,  No. 1
September 1991
Quantum Leap ™ & 1991 Universal City Studios, Inc


George Broderick, Jr.
Mark Jones
Vickie Williams
Scott Rockwell
David Campiti & George Broderick, Jr.

Excerpt from this issue

Next issue leap-in page


March 25th, 1968
Memphis, Tennessee

As a twenty-four year-old white female teacher with predominately black students, Sam is presented with three obstacles. First, he must find a way to hold the attention of his students, allowing them to pass the exams. Second, in doing this he can turn around the life of the teacher he has leaped into so that she takes the correct career path. And third, he is in a position to save the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. just days before his assassination - but is Sam really there to save him?

Summary by mshirley27

"It all started when a time travel experiment I was conducting went...'a little caca'. In the blink of a cosmic clock, I went from quantum physicist to Air Force test-pilot. Which could have been fun...if I knew how to fly. Fortunately, I had help – an observer from the project named Al. Unfortunately, Al's a hologram, so all he can lend is moral support. Anyway, here I am, bouncing around in time, putting things right that once went wrong, a sort of time traveling Lone Ranger, with Al as my Tonto. And I don't even need a mask..."

"Oh Boy"

Sam Beckett leaps into Memphis remedial education teacher Karen Connors on March 25th, 1968, three days before Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated!

airdave's Quantum Leap #1 - "First There Was a Mountain, Then There Was No Mountain, Then There Was" review

If I Had A Hammer...

First, take a moment to appreciate the C. Winston Taylor cover. It's pretty cool. Sam leaping, with both Leaper and Observer looking on.

Mark Jones and George Broderick, Jr. lay out the series premise across a couple of pages before jumping into the story. The title comes from the Donovan song from August, 1967, There is a Mountain. Donovan captures the Buddhist theme in the lyrics. Originally from Quingyuan Weixin, the saying goes, "Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers."

Broderick's script finds Sam leaping in as Karen Connors, a high school remedial education teacher, three days before the assassination of Martin Luther King. He knows there's some significance to being in Memphis in March of 1968, but his "Swiss cheese memory" is no help. It's not until Al mentions more cultural events, especially Elvis - "The King" - that all the pieces fit into place. It is difficult for Sam to be so close, and yet, unable to do anything to avert such a huge tragedy.

What is always enjoyable about Quantum Leap is a sense of Faith. Sam and Al acknowledge that a higher being or power is directing Sam's leaps. Sam is a Guardian Angel. It is not so much the big historical events, but the singular, individual events that he can have the most impact on. Rather than saving Dr. King, his purpose is for Connors' class to pass the boards, the program be renewed for another term and Connors to be a success.

The critical moment comes when Sam encounters one of Connors' students near the Lorraine Motel. As Karen Connors, he's in jeopardy from local toughs.

Can Sam make a difference?

The painted artwork, page design and layout may take some adjusting to; however the story is Classic Quantum Leap. Sam is presented with a near impossible challenge, and together, he and Al must figure out the solution.

It's a solid, four-star story.