313 "Future Boy"

Leap Date:

October 6, 1957

Episode adopted by: Rebekka E.
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


Leaping into the television character of 'Future Boy', Sam must find a way to prevent his co-star, Moe Stein, from being committed to a mental institution because of his "wild" theories about traveling in time. Now... where did Sam get the idea for his string theory?


Audio from this episode
Video from this episode

See our special page dedicated to Richard Herd (Moe Stien) featuring photos with Al's Place Bartender, signed photo, Future Boy costume design art, and the silver paper hats shown in this episode!


TV Guide Synopis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date
Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Kiss with History
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Say What?
Quotable Quotes
Best Scene
Synopsis & Review
Production Credits


Production # 66417

TV Guide Synopsis (TVGuide.com):
Sam appears in the '50s as "Future Boy", the sidekick of TV's "Captain Galaxy", who, off-camera, is a troubled eccentric with time-travel dreams of his own.

TV Guide Synopsis (Original):
Sam (Scott Bakula) goes back to the future when he appears in the 50’s as “Future Boy,” the geewhiz kid sidekick of TV’s “Captain Galaxy,” who offcamera is a troubled eccentric with time-travel dreams of his own.

St. Louis, Missouri

Leap Date:
October 6, 1957

Name of the Person Leaped Into:
Kenny Sharp AKA Future Boy

Broadcast Date:
March 13, 1991 - Wednesday

Project Trivia:
Moe almost has Sam’s string theory completed. 

Moe's gyroscope controller looks very much like the gummi bear hand link.

Sam Trivia:
He knows the names of the 3 stooges. 

Sam wrote to Captain Galaxy when he was a young boy. 

Sam looked in the mirror twice in this episode.

Al Trivia:
Al was going to appear in court against his ex-wife.

Al went through 2 cigars.

Al appears 5 times and uses the imaging chamber door twice.

Al's Women:
During his alimony hearing, Al seduces his 4th wife.

Al’s Outfits Worn in the Episode:
He first wears a black suit with a white shirt and striped white, gray, and black tie.

A green, red, and checkered black and yellow shirt, and sleeves with yellow in the middle and a gold leopard print tie. Also featuring two sunglasses pins.

Miscellaneous Trivia: 

Moe talks about going back in time from Friday to Wednesday, because you missed your favorite television program. This is tonge-in-cheek, as Quantum Leap had recently been moved from Friday (and then a two-month hiatus) back to it's original Wednesday slot on NBC!

Scott Bakula injured his foot in the production of "Runaway" and a few lines were added to this episode to explain his limp as he stumbles out of the space vehicle at the beginning of the episode.

There were talks of creating a spinoff series with Moe Stien and his daughter in Milwaukee, according to Richard Herd.

Captain Z-Ro was a real show! Check out the info on it here.

Multiple references to the "Back to the Future" trilogy can be found in this episode including Moe's line, "See you in the future," the goggles and white coat Moe wears, and "Future Boy" is what young Doc calls Marty in 1955!

Kiss With History:
The Sputnik satellite, mentioned in this episode, launched two days later.

Regular Cast:
Scott Bakula
Dean Stockwell

Guest Stars:
Richard Herd as Moe Stein / Captain Galaxy
Debra Sticklin as Irene Kiner
George Wyner as Ben Harris
Alan Fudge as Dr. Richard Sandler
David Sage as Judge
Nicholas Shaffer as Roger
Jason Kincaid as Caped Futurite
John Christian Grahs as Small Boy
Jesse Switzer as Kid
Matt Marfogolia as Kenny Sharp (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:

Richard Herd as Moe Stein / Captain Galaxy: Born on September 26, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts, he was the son of Katherine (Lydon) and Richard Herd, a railroad engineer and WWII vet, who died when the boy was quite young. The younger Herd suffered from bone marrow cancer which affected the growth of his legs as a child. As a result, he was educated at the Industrial School for Crippled Children during his formative years. Luckily, loving care and several operations saved his legs from deformity. Making a highly inauspicious film debut in the minor role of a coach in the film, Hercules in New York (1970), which was the showcase debut for the massively-muscled Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard didn't settle in Hollywood, until the mid 1970s, after replacing actor Richard Long (who died before filming began) in the role of Watergate figure James McCord in All the President's Men (1976). Although Richard made a handful of other movies throughout the rest of the decade (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), F.I.S.T. (1978), The China Syndrome (1979), The Onion Field (1979)), he appeared with much more frequency on TV, playing stern, authoritarian types on episodes of Kojak (1973), The Rockford Files (1974), The Streets of San Francisco (1972) (starring the similar-looking Karl Malden), Rafferty (1977), Eight Is Enough (1977) and Starsky and Hutch (1975), as well as in the TV movies Pueblo (1973), Captains and the Kings (1976), The Hunted Lady (1977), Dr. Scorpion (1978), Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978), Terror Out of the Sky (1978), Marciano (1979) and, most notably, Ike: The War Years (1979), in which he portrayed General Omar Bradley.

Quantum Leap Podcast - Richard Herd Interview

Never finding the one support role that might have made him a character star, Richard nevertheless was featured impressively on all three mediums for over four decades. On stage, he appeared in a pre-Broadway tryout of "On the Waterfront" and played, to great applause, in productions of "Other People's Money" and "The Big Knife". His finest hour on stage, however, would come with his portrayal of the epic film producer in the one-man show "Cecil B. DeMille Presents", which he has toured throughout the country. On TV, Richard has guested on most of the popular TV programs of late, including Desperate Housewives (2004) and CSI: Miami (2002) and is probably best remembered for his recurring roles as "Admiral Noyce" on SeaQuest 2032 (1993), as Jason Alexander's boss "Wilhelm" in the sitcom classic, Seinfeld (1989), and as "Admiral Owen Paris" in Star Trek: Voyager (1995). A few of his lightweight cinematic crowd-pleasers include Private Benjamin (1980), Deal of the Century (1983), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) and Sgt. Bilko (1996). More recently, he also had a memorable bit in the Oscar-winning horror film Get Out (2017). Married briefly at the age of 19, Richard remarried and had two children (Richard Jr. and Erica) by his second wife. That marriage also ended in divorce, but his third (in 1980), to actress Patricia Herd (Patricia Crowder Ruskin), lasted. Patricia has a daughter from an earlier marriage. Making his final film appearances in the Clint Eastwood vehicle The Mule (2018) and the baseball biopic The Silent Natural (2019), Richard was diagnosed with cancer and died on May 26, 2020, at age 87.

I had the chance to meet Richard and he gave me these authentic items:

Real prop photo of Time cadet headband

Captain Galaxy & Future Boy Costume Designs

Debra Sticklin as Irene Kiner: Debra Stricklin is known for Quantum Leap (1989), How to Make an American Quilt (1995) and The Equalizer (1985). She guest starred in two unrelated television series featuring a regular character named Sam Beckett: China Beach (1988) and Quantum Leap (1989).

George Wyner as Ben Harris: A native of Boston and graduate of Syracuse University, George has worked extensively in TV and film since 1972. Notable film work includes the Coen Brothers' best-picture nominee A Serious Man (2009) as Rabbi Nachtner, Mel Brooks' Spaceballs (1987) as Colonel Sandurz, and his To Be or Not to Be (1983). Among other dozens of film credits are the classic Fletch (1985) and Fletch Lives (1989), The Devil's Advocate (1997), and Trouble with the Curve (2012). George has guest starred on over 150 TV shows, and has been a series regular on nine. He is perhaps best known for his six seasons as Deputy D.A. Irwin Bernstein on Hill Street Blues (1981). Appeared on The Rockford Files (1974) four times, in four different roles, between 1975 and 1977. Distantly related to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also a close friend. First major title role was in The Odd Couple (1968) in 1971. Appeared in the final episodes of All in the Family (1971) and Soap (1977). Has played rabbis in many movies and TV shows, including Do Unto Others (1999), Circumdecision (2008), I Don't (2007), A Serious Man (2009), Chapter 3: A Prostate Enlarges (2018), Three Dots (2018), and The Circumcision (2021).

Alan Fudge as Dr. Richard Sandler: Wichita, Kansas-born Alan Fudge was an American actor with scores of television credits, including, notably Man from Atlantis (1977), Eischied (1979), Paper Dolls (1984), and Bodies of Evidence (1992). He made guest appearances on such shows as Banacek, Kojak, Marcus Welby, M.D., Little House on the Prairie, The Streets of San Francisco, Hawaii Five-O, M*A*S*H, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, Wonder Woman, Lou Grant, Knots Landing, Magnum, P.I., Cagney & Lacey, The A-Team, St. Elsewhere, Highway to Heaven, Dallas, MacGyver, Dynasty, Matlock, Falcon Crest, L.A. Law, The Wonder Years, Murder, She Wrote, Northern Exposure, Home Improvement, Beverly Hills, 90210, Baywatch, Dawson's Creek, and 7th Heaven. Died on October 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

David Sage as Judge: David Sage is known for The Birdcage (1996), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Quantum Leap (1989).

Nicholas Shaffer as Roger: Nicholas Shaffer was born on March 15, 1951 in the USA. He is an actor, known for Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Quantum Leap (1989) and LAX (2004).

Jason Kincaid as Caped Futurite: Jason Kincaid was born on March 8, 1952. Former Stage name was Lou Manor 1968-1974. Best known for playing Sam Brady on All My Children 1982-84, Tom Hughes on As The World Turns 1984, ER Doctor on Nightside 1980, Rudy's Senate aide Cantone on Rich Man Poor Man Book 2 1977, Norman Lansworth on the James Stewart Show 1971. Earned a BA in 1999, and MA in 2002. Since 2000 he has been a university professor.

John Christian Grahs as Small Boy: John Christian Graas was born on October 10, 1982 in Los Angeles County, California, USA. He is an actor, known for Kindergarten Cop (1990), It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992) and The Sunchaser (1996).

Jesse Switzer as Kid: Jesse Switzer is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Jonathan Stone: Threat of Innocence (1994) and Children of the Dark (1994).

Matt Marfogolia as Kenny Sharp (Mirror image): Matt Marfoglia is known for Quantum Leap (1989) and Head of the Class (1986).

Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap Episodes:
Richard Herd also appeared in the series finale, "Mirror Image", as Seymour "Ziggy" Ziganovich.

Say What?
Al's reflection can be seen in the dressing room mirror when he is laughing at Sam's character name, Future Boy.

There is a cue card shown during the filming of the Mr. Scrubbo commercial, but Sam never reads the words, "Thats why..."

Quotable Quotes:
It’s a time machine!
Are you sure it doesn’t make cappuccino?
-- Moe and Al, "Future Boy"

I'm dressed like a giant TV dinner, talking to a hologram!  Now what does that make me?
-- Sam and Al, "Future Boy"

Let's say it's Friday at 8 o'clock, and you want to go back to Wednesday at 10, because you missed your favorite television program...
-- Moe, describing the timonometer, "Future Boy"

Before we sign off, we have time for one last letter ...  Today's letter is from little Sam Beckett of Elk Ridge, Indiana, Sam writes: "Dear Captain Galaxy, could you please explain your theory of time travel to us ...
--  Captain Galaxy, "Future Boy"

According to my gyrograph, we are aboard a futuristic cruise ship in the year *1987*!
-- Captain Galaxy, "Future Boy"

How come you can never find a time machine around when you need one?
-- Moe, "Future Boy"

Don't tell me, let me guess -- you've been invited to a costume party and you're going as a baked potato.
-- Al, "Future Boy"

Boy, if only the guys at MIT could see you now.
-- Al to Sam, who is dressed as a scouring pad, "Future Boy"

Look, time is like a piece of string.  One end of the string is birth, the other is death.  You put them together, and life is a loop.
Sam, that's your theory!
If I can travel fast enough along the loop, I will eventually end up back at the beginning of my life.
He's almost got it!
-- Moe and Al, "Future Boy"

Let's say we examined each others' briefs and decided to call it even.
-- Al, "Future Boy"

Looks like Ziggy had a sloppy floppy on this one.
-- Al, "Future Boy"

Moe...Moe...Moe...Larry?...Curly?  nyuk nyuk nyuk.
-- Sam, "Future Boy"

Activate the time machine.  Stand by the time accelerator.
-- Captain Galaxy, "Future Boy"

Shakespeare wrote dialog, Ben Harris writes television.
-- Moe, "Future Boy"

Don't be ridiculous, kids love violence.
-- Ben Harris, TV writer, "Future Boy"

I should have stayed in radio.
-- Ben Harris, watching Mr. Scrubbo, "Future Boy"

Quantum leap?
Quantum leap ... I like that, I like that a lot.
-- Sam and Moe, "Future Boy"

Boy, if only the guys at MIT could see you now.
-- Al (to Sam dressed up as Mr Scrubbo), "Future Boy"

Your honor, Moe Stein is a dreamer.  Are we going to punish people for that?  Because if we are, we're gonna' need a much bigger room than this.
-- Sam, "Future Boy"

Sam, hurry up before he turns himself into a french fry!
-- Al, "Future Boy"

It's a chicken... an upside down chicken.
-- Sam, "Future Boy"

Best Line:
Al: "Don’t tell me let me guess, you’ve been invited to a costume party and you’re going as a baked potato."

Best Scene:
The Mr. Scrubo commercial.

Synopsis & Review:

Sam leaps into Future Boy, the sidekick of 50's TV superhero Captain Galaxy. Al informs Sam that Moe Stein (played by Richard Herd), Captain Galaxy, is mentally unstable and that Sam is there to have Moe committed to prevent him from accidentally killing himself while trying to hop a train. Therefore, it initially looks like Sam has to help Moe's estranged daughter Irene get him put into a mental hospital as he is a danger to himself.

Sam doesn't think Moe is unstable and he feels that he is there for another purpose and that having Moe committed is not necessary. After talking to Moe, Sam learns that he is building a time machine and that Moe's theory of time travel is an incomplete version of Sam's own String Theory, which was the basis for Project Quantum Leap. Sam shares the rest of the theory.

Sam represents Moe in a mental competency hearing, but Moe loses and is ordered committed to a mental hospital. Before he can be taken into custody and committed, Moe escapes and races back home to try his time machine, the Time-o-nometer. At first it looks as though Moe is going to Leap the same way Sam does, but the machine doesn't work.

Moe explains to Sam and Irene why he wanted to travel in time; when Irene's mother discovered she was pregnant, Moe was ready to give up acting and settle down. However, a rave review he got for a theater performance caused him to be inundated with job offers and Moe, feeling a duty to provide for his family, took them and spent much Irene's life on the road. Moe now regrets not having been there for her and wants that time back. Irene tearfully forgives her father, and decides not to send him to the hospital.

Moe decides to move in with Irene, bringing Captain Galaxy to an end. Al tells Sam that Moe has a happy retirement living with Irene. At the end of the final episode, Captain Galaxy responds to one last reader letter (sent by none other than a young Sam himself) and explains his theory of time travel that now includes what Sam shared earlier. Before Sam can react to this, he leaps. Source

Personal Review by Rebekka E:

I think this is one of the best episodes, because somebody else almost leaps in it. The string theory is taught to young Sam through this episode but it is also taught by Sam, too.

Personal Review by Brian Greene:

Certainly a favorite episode for me! It has the right balance of comedy and heart. Richard Herd brings his character forward and makes you want to cook your own upside-down chicken! A very relatable character and the story here flows so well. Having met Richard personally twice, this adds even more enjoyment of this episode. Fans call this a classic, and I couldn't agree more!

Production Credits:

Theme by: Mike Post
Music by: Velton Ray Bunch
Co-Executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Co-Executive Producer: Michael Zinberg
Supervising Producers: Harker Wade
Co-producers: Paul  Brown, Jeff Gourson
Produced by: Chris Ruppenthal
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by:
Michael Switzer

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producer: 
James S. Giritlian
Executive Story Editor: Tommy Thompson

Director of Photography: Michael Watkins, A.S.C.
Production Designer: Cameron Birnie
Edited by: Robert E. Pew
Unit Production Manager: Ron Grow
First Assistant Director: Paul Sirmons
Second Assistant Director: Rob Mendel
Casting by: Ellen Lubin Sanitsky
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Dorleac
Costume Supervisors: David Rawley & Donna Roberts-Orme
Sound Mixer: Mark Hopkins McNabb
Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth
Sound Editor: Paul Clay
Music Editor: Donald Woods

Panaflex   Camera and Lenses by: Panavision

This motion picture is protected under laws of the United States and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.

Copyright 1991 by Universal City Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Bellisarius Productions and Universal, an MCA Company

Quantum Leap Podcast - Future Boy

Listen to The Quantum Leap Podcast on this episode here:

Grab your pyramid hats, time cadets! It’s time for another thrilling adventure with Captain Galaxy and Future Boy!

Holy smokin’ retro rockets! It’s a Future Boy extravaganza as special guest and episode writer Tommy Thompson joins Quantum Leap Podcast hosts Allison Pregler, Christopher DeFilippis and Matt Dale on a journey back through time — to relate some amazing behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the making of this season three classic.

But there’s more! The Quantum Leap Podcast is especially proud to present an interview with Captain Galaxy himself, Richard Herd! Chris spoke to Richard about his roles on two iconic episodes of Quantum Leap and his distinguished acting career.

There’s also a super-cool extended edition of Hayden McQueenie’s Quantum Deep!

Then stand by the time accelerator, and activate the thermal reaction switch for a big announcement about the future of the Quantum Leap Podcast!

Until then, we’ll see you in the future!

Let us know what you think!

Leave us a voicemail by calling (707) 847-6682.

Send in your thoughts, theories, and feedback, voice memos, MP3s & email to quantumleappodcast@gmail.com.

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