101 "The Pilot Episode" aka "Genesis"

The original airing was 8pm to 10pm eastern time. In syndication, NBC broke the episode into two parts; the second part beginning at the scene with Sam and Al in the Air Force hangar where Al reminds Sam of his string theory for Quantum Leap.

Leap Dates:

September 13, 1956
August 26, 1968

Episode Adopted By: R. Joy Helvie
Additional info provided by: Deborah Hendryx & Brian Greene


Dr. Sam Beckett, being pressured by the threat of loss of funding for his time-travel project code named "Quantum Leap", decides to hop in the nuclear accelerator prematurely...and vanishes into the past.

He awakes to discover that he is an Air Force test pilot named Tom Stratton. But that's about all he knows. He has amnesia and can only remember portions of his life. He can't even remember his last name. And to make things worse, he doesn't even have his own reflection in the mirror. Everyone sees the physical aura of Tom around Sam's body.

Enter Al, a friend from his own time that appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. Al informs Sam that the project has gone "a little ca-ca." Best he can tell, God or fate or time has grabbed Sam and now he must put right a wrong in the life of Tom Stratton in order to leap back home. He has to break mach 3 in the experimental X-2 jet and live, since in the original history, Tom died in the test.

Later in the episode, Sam leaps again, this time into the life of a ballplayer named Fox. Here Al tells Sam his last name, and he is able to contact his father who is still alive at the time.


Audio from this episode
Opening Credits Score
Ending Credits Score
Video: The String Theory
   Watch on YouTube


The Pilot Episode: First Leap - Tom Stratton

The Pilot Episode: Second Leap - Tim Fox




"The Pilot Episode" First Leap - Tom Stratton

TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date

Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Miscellaneous Trivia

Kiss with History
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Quotable Quotes

Say What?
Synopsis - First Leap as Tom Stratton

Production Credits

Production # 86289

TV Guide Synopsis - Part 1:
Debut: Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) learns the hard way that you can’t go home again when a botched time-travel experiment has him pin-balling through the past 30 years, assuming the identities of people he never knew and getting no help from the Observer (Dean Stockwell) his holographic partner in the experiment. In the Opener, Sam turns up in 1956 as a test pilot with a pregnant wife.

In Part 1 of the series opener, a botched time-travel experiment bounces Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) back to 1956 and into the body of a test pilot with a pregnant wife (Jennifer Runyon). Al: Dean Stockwell. Capt. Birdell: John Allen Nelson. Dr. Burger: W.K. Stratton. Weird Ernie: Bruce McGill.


Edwards Air Force Base; Blockfield, California

Leap Date:
September 13, 1956

Captain Tom Stratton

Broadcast Date:
March 26, 1989 | 8:00pm EST - Sunday


"Que Sera, Sera" by Doris Day
"The Howdy Doody Show" theme song"
"Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley
"Moonglow" theme from the movie "Picnic"
"Friendly Persuasion" by Pat Boone
An original song from Velton Bunch and the Dovetones plays on the car radio
Burmashave jingle
"Ooby-Dooby" by Roy Orbison


Kiss With History:
Sam started the idea for Trivial Pursuit
, suggests the idea of white lines striping on a road, mentions electric razors and the word "nerd" before they were invented or popular.

Project Trivia:
Handlink: 1/4 inch thick/flat, transparent black plastic, black data screens, few buttons. This is the only time we see this version of the handlink.

Imaging Chamber Door: invisible, manually opened/closed

Project phone #: 555-2231

Any interference in the Leaping process could kill the Leaper

Al and crew cannot give Sam any information about their present that Sam does not remember

Gooshie is Ziggy’s programmer/he’s a little guy with bad breath

Ziggy is a hybrid computer

The sound of Al's Ferrari Testarossa engine and accelerator are the same ones used for K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider!

Project Quantum Leap is located in a cavern in New Mexico.


Sam Trivia:
Grew up on a dairy farm in Indiana.

Has a sister named Katie.

Katie married Lieutenant Jim Bonnick.

Katie, Jim, and Sam’s mother have lived in Hawaii since Sam’s father died in 1974.

Does not know how to fly.


Al Trivia:
"Be-bop-a-lu-lu" got him through some long, cold nights at MIT.

Smokes cigars.

Appears to Sam in the form of a neurological hologram.


Al's Outfits:
1) Black tux
, white coat, white scarf, silver shoes Project Star Bright pin.

2) Red pajamas, white robe with black & white polka dots and stripes.

3) Pink shirt and gray jacket.


Tina (picked up on the road. This is not Dr. Tina Martinez-O’Farrell).

Danessa (Lithuanian, worked in chem. lab at M.I.T.)

Martha, who Al met after the Laker game.

Brenda, a cute girl who works in coding at Project Quantum Leap.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
The band heard on the radio when Sam is driving with Peg is by “Velton Bunch and the Dovetones”, named for Velton Ray Bunch, who composed score music for the series.

The Burma Shave signs on the highway were fashioned after a real campaign by the shaving cream brand.

The name Jim Bonnick, is also a character name in Bellisario's television series, "Magnum, P.I." in the episode Mac’s Back.

The sound effects from Al's car were used for KITT on the television series Knight Rider.

Samantha Stratton, the baby named for Sam Beckett at the end of the first leap returns in the 2022 Quantum Leap series episode, "Atlantis."

Deborah Pratt's voice is looped over the women who plays Tina!


Scott Bakula

Scott Stewart Bakula was born on October 9, 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Sally (Zumwinkel) and J. Stewart Bakula, a lawyer. He is of German, as well as Czech, Austrian, Scottish and English ancestry. He comes from a musical family. In the fourth grade, he started a rock band and wrote songs for them, he later sang with the St. Louis Symphony. He studied Law at the University of Kansas until his sophomore year when he left to pursue acting. In 1976, he was first hired professionally in the role of Sam in "Shenandoah" and went to New York. After several small roles on television, he starred opposite Dean Stockwell in the science fiction series Quantum Leap (1989). Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who was trapped by a malfunction of his time machine to correct things gone wrong in the past. He won a Golden Globe in 1992 for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series - Drama for Quantum Leap (1989) and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1988. He also starred in the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) as Jonathan Archer, the captain of Earth's first long-range starship. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, California and has a farm in upstate New York.

Dean Stockwell

Dean Robert Stockwell grew up in North Hollywood, the son of Broadway performers Harry Stockwell and Elizabeth "Betty" Stockwell (née Veronica). His vaudevillian father was a replacement Curly in the original production of "Oklahoma!". He was also a decent tenor whose voice was used for the part of Prince Charming in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Dean's mother was a one-time Broadway chorine who used the stage moniker "Betty Veronica." His older brother was the actor Guy Stockwell.

At the age of seven, Dean made his stage debut in a Theater Guild production of Paul Osborn's The Innocent Voyage, in which his brother was also cast. The play ran for nine month. Dean was eventually spotted by a talent scout, and, on the strength of his performance, was signed by MGM in 1945. Under contract until 1947 (and again from 1949 to 1950), Stockwell became a highly sought-after child star in films like Anchors Aweigh (1945), with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, The Green Years (1946) and Song of the Thin Man (1947). His impish, dimpled looks and tousled brown hair combined with genuine acting talent kept him on the box office front line for more than a decade. Having won a Golden Globe Award as Best Juvenile Actor for Gentleman's Agreement (1947) (on loan-out to 20th Century Fox), Stockwell went on to play the title role in an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1950). He came to admire his co-star Errol Flynn as a sort of role model. Thereafter, Stockwell segued into television for several years until resurfacing as a mature actor in Richard Fleischer's Compulsion (1959), (based on the infamous Leopold & Loeb murder case), co-starring with Bradford Dillman as one of the two young killers, and Orson Welles. He had already played the part on Broadway in 1957, on this occasion partnering Roddy McDowall. His last film role of note in the early 60s was as Edmund Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). Despite developing a drinking problem on the set (for which he was chastised by Katharine Hepburn), Stockwell gave a solid performance which he later described as a career highlight.

Stockwell dropped out of show biz for some time in the 60s to join the hippie scene at which time he befriended Neil Young and Dennis Hopper. Later in the decade, he made a gleeful comeback in low budget psychedelic counterculture (Psych-Out (1968)) biker films (The Loners (1972)) and horror comedies (The Werewolf of Washington (1973)). Keeping a considerably lower profile during the 70s, he became a frequent TV guest star in popular crime dramas like Mannix (1967), Columbo (1971) The Streets of San Francisco (1972) and Police Story (1973). By the early 80s, work opportunities had become scarcer and Stockwell was compelled to briefly sideline as a real estate broker. He nonetheless managed to make a comeback with a co-starring role in the Wim Wenders road movie Paris, Texas (1984). New York Times reviewer Vincent Canby wrote of his performance "Mr. Stockwell, the former child star, has aged very well, becoming an exceptionally interesting, mature actor." Stockwell subsequently enjoyed high billing in David Lynch's noirish psycho-thriller Blue Velvet (1986) and received an Oscar nomination for his Mafia don Tony "The Tiger" Russo in Married to the Mob (1988). His television career also flourished, as cigar-smoking, womanizing rear admiral Al Calavicci in the popular science fiction series Quantum Leap (1989). The role won him a Golden Globe Award in 1990 and a new generation of fans. When the show ended after five seasons, Stockwell remained gainfully employed for another decade, still frequently seen as political or military authority figures (Navy Secretary Edward Sheffield in JAG (1995), Defence Secretary Walter Dean in Air Force One (1997)) or evil alien antagonists (Colonel Grat in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), humanoid Cylon John Cavil in Battlestar Galactica (2004)).

Outside of acting, Stockwell embraced environmental issues and exhibited works of art, notably collages and sculptures. In 2015, he was forced to retire from acting after suffering a stroke. Stockwell died on November 7, 2021 due to natural causes at the age of 85.


Guest Cast:
Jennifer Runyon as
Peggy Stratton
John Allen Nelson as Capt. "Bird Dog" Birdell
W.K. Stratton as Dr. Berger
Larry Poindexter as Capt. Tony LaMott
Bruce McGill as Weird Ernie
Barbra Horan as Tina
David Trent as Capt. Doug Walker
James F. Dean as Dr. Blaustein
Lela Ivey as Lucy
Dennis Wolfberg as Gooshie
Lydia Cornell as Sally
Christine Poor as Jeanie
Christian Van Dorn as Mikey Stratton
Layne Beamer as Tom Stratton (Mirror image)
Deborah Pratt as Voice of Tina

Guest Cast Notes:

Jennifer Runyon as Peggy Stratton: Jennifer Runyon was born on April 1, 1960 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is an actress and producer, known for Ghostbusters (1984), A Very Brady Christmas (1988) and Up the Creek (1984). She has been married to Todd Corman since March 9, 1991. They have two children.

John Allen Nelson as Capt. "Bird Dog" Birdell: John Allen Nelson was born on August 28, 1959 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for 24 (2001), Crisis (2014) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015). He has been married to Justine Eyre since September 23, 2007. He was previously married to Åse Samuelsson.

W.K. Stratton as Dr. Berger: W.K. Stratton was born on August 2, 1950 in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. He is an actor, known for Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011), Shoot 'Em Up (2007) and Machete (2010). He is married to Maureen Denise Lacoste.Appeared in the pilots of four different series created by Donald P. Bellisario: Magnum, P.I. (1980), Airwolf (1984), Quantum Leap (1989) and JAG (1995). Holds the unique distinction for having "flown" (in character) a Corsair, a Viper, and Airwolf. (three aircraft used in Bellasario productions).

Larry Poindexter as Capt. Tony LaMott: The son of Tony Award winning lighting and set designer H.R. Poindexter and opera singer Sue Ann Poindexter, he began acting in college, then appeared in summer stock in his native Texas at the Dallas Summer Musicals, as well as the St. Louis MUNY, Atlanta's Theatre Under the Stars and The Kenley Players in Ohio.First jobs in Los Angeles were with Franklin R. Levy and Catalina Production Group (which included a young producer named Leslie Moonves), as both an actor and production co-coordinator. He has continued to produce theatre and film concurrently with work as an actor, also working as a Casting Director, 2nd Unit director and associate producer. He won an Ovation Award for his performance in "Reefer Madness", and has been nominated multiple times - most recently for co-authoring the new rhythm and blues musical, "The Devil You Know".He was lead singer and songwriter for the band "The High Lonesome" in the early '90's, playing throughout the Southwest before landing a recording deal with local indie label, Spark Records. Their music, as well as additional songs he's written, have been featured in many films and TV shows. He's in the process of writing the new Texas Roadhouse Musical "Cadillac Jack's". He continues to produce and develop theatre in Los Angeles and New York - most recently as an Executive Producer on Broadway's "The Cher Show" and the upcoming "Saved By The Bell, The Musical".

Bruce McGill as Weird Ernie: Bruce McGill grew up in San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Adriel Rose (Jacobs) is an artist, and his father, Woodrow Wilson McGill, is a real estate and insurance agent. He graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School San Antonio, where he acted in the department of theatre, and from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in drama. His love for acting stems back to elementary school. He is related to former Texas State Senator A.R. Schwartz. McGill has starred in many films. His role as "D-Day" in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), taken out of desperation as a young unemployed actor, ended up being his most well known. His long acting career also includes films, Wildcats, The Last Boy Scout, My Cousin Vinny, Cliffhanger, Timecop, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Sum of All Fears, along with many others. McGill starred in many television roles, including portraying the Boston Police Homicide Detective Vince Korsak on the TNT television crime drama, Rizzoli & Isles. The character of Korsak is the mentor and friend of Detective Jane Rizzoli, portrayed by Angie Harmon. Director Michael Mann,considers McGill a favorite, having worked with him on The Insider, Ali and Collateral. He has also appeared in four HBO TV films, CIA Director George Tenet in Oliver Stone's film W and, also, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. McGill has been married to his wife Gloria since 1994.

David Trent as Capt. Doug Walker: David Trent is known for Chaplin (1992), Quantum Leap (1989) and Fools of Fortune (1990).

James F. Dean as Dr. Blaustein: James F. Dean is known for Doctor Dolittle (1998), Raising Cain (1992) and Seinfeld (1989).

Lela Ivey as Lucy: Lela Ivey (born June 26, 1958, in New York City) is a veteran actor of the stage as well as a character actress of the small screen and cinema. Ms. Ivey is a  graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYC). For 25 years she eked out her living as mostly a supporting or bit part actress working in television, and film while building a rather impressive theatre resume while living both in New York City and Los Angeles. Some favorite stage roles include "The Waiting Room" at the Mark Taper Forum for which she received a Los Angeles Ovation Award nomination and "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" at the Los Angeles Theatre Center for which she received a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award nomination. She also appeared at the Ipswitch Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in "Liberties Taken", directed by Julie Taymor. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), AEA and AFTRA. Ms. Ivey is also currently serves an adjunct faculty member at Lansing Community College.

Dennis Wolfberg as Gooshie: Dennis Wolfberg was born on March 29, 1946 in New York, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Quantum Leap (1989), The Clairvoyant (1982) and Teacher Teacher (1990). He was married to Jeannie McBride. He died on October 3, 1994 in Culver City, California, USA. He taught for 12 years in the NYC school system. Both in the northeast Bronx at P.S. 71 and later in the South Bronx before leaving for a full-time comedy career in 1979. Though he battled cancer for at least two years, he continued to work through the end of August. At the time of his death, he was negotiating a deal for his own TV show. Buried in Hillside Memorial Cemetery. He appeared at clubs in Washington, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Florida and New York, and a representative said he was twice named America's top male comic in votes by club-goers and owners nationwide. In 1990 he won an American Comedy Award as best male stand-up. Became a fixture on "The Tonight Show" and starred in an HBO special in early 1992. He also had a recurring role as a strange scientist on NBC's "Quantum Leap," and in April 1993 "Entertainment Tonight" aired "A Day in the Life of Dennis Wolfberg," focusing on his  relentless touring schedule.

Lydia Cornell as Sally: Lydia Cornell, a women & children's advocate whose great-great grandmother was Harriet Beecher Stowe, is also an award-winning director, writer, actor, and recovery speaker. She works with the Auschwitz Memorial to combat the terrifying rise in antisemitism and has been Invited to contribute her writings to the International Museum of Peace, which houses letters from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Teresa and Maya Angelou. With 20-34 million viewers Tuesday nights on ABC prime time, and more in worldwide syndication, Best Actress nominee for AFI at Method Fest and People's Choice Award winner Cornell is best known for her starring role on the hit ABC series "Too Close for Comfort" as Emmy legend Ted Knight's daughter 'Sara'. More recently seen on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Variety's Power of Comedy, and the Kelsey Grammer Comedy Hour, she has over 200 shows and films in 27 countries to her credit. She won Best Director Honors at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and for Best Comedy Film at Paramount Studios UIFF (United International Film Festival) for directing the SAG film "It's My Decision." In 2024, she was named a finalist in the Catalyst Studios "Empowering Women's Script Competition" for her feature-length screenplay 'Venus Conspiracy.' In 2023, she costarred in a new film 'Something About Mother,' with Lawrence Hilton Jacobs and Jayne Kennedy, directed by Millena Gay and produced by Noreen McClendon. Cornell wrote and directed the acclaimed stage show "Relationshop;" wrote "Venus Conspiracy" and is set to direct "The Awesome Adventures of Frankie Stargazer." Cornell received the Southern California Motion Picture Council's Golden Halo Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first Elizabeth Montgomery Humanitarian Award (2018.) One of TV's most popular sex symbols, she is now a writer, director, mother, comedienne, talk show host, women and children's advocate, teen mentor and inspirational public speaker. Sober since September 11, 1994, she had a "catastrophic spiritual awakening" that changed her life. An addiction and recovery expert, she sponsors and mentors young women who are suffering from addiction and depression. With over 300,000 followers on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and other social media, she also hosts a mental health podcast called "Godshots® all about synchronicity. (Miracle or mere coincidence?) Her Beats 'n Eats Stitcher award-winning podcast on iTunes started in 2013. Her articles have appeared in People, US, Herald de Paris; A&E Biography, Huffington Post, Editor & Publisher, Macon Daily, and Lone Star Icon. She is the author of an upcoming book of hilarious Hollywood horror stories, and a book series based on her US Trademark "Godshots® as well as two upcoming books. Cornell is creating a new comedy series for 2024 based on her upcoming book. She is also in development on a reboot of "Too Close for Comfort" with the original producers of the show (D.L. Taffner, LTD.) based on a pilot script written by Cornell and her partner Lawrence H. Levy, an Emmy-nominee and WGA award winner. Lydia is a lecturer at the LMU School of Film and Television, teaching Acting and Directing for Screenwriters. She is also an inventor and has a show ready for Discovery Channel. Fact Check: Lydia Cornell went through a frightening incident with a stalker, a convicted felon who posed as a disabled war hero and JAC-C military attorney. He sued Kelsey Grammer, falsely using Lydia Cornell's name to get publicity. Cornell never sued Kelsey, hough this was falsely reported in the tabloids and various news outlets. "Kelsey and I both knew the truth all along. We ran into each other at Soho House and discussed how we had both been duped by this stalker but the tabloids refused to correct the story."

Christine Poor as Jeanie: Christine Poor is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Last Rites (1988) and Wise Guys (1986).

Layne Beamer as Tom Stratton (Mirror image): Layne Beamer was born on December 26, 1958 in Arcadia, Ohio, USA. He is an actor, known for The Thin Pink Line (1998), Quantum Leap (1989) and One False Move (1991).

Deborah Pratt as Voice of Tina: Deborah M. Pratt is an American Director, Writer, Producer, Singer, Dancer, and Actress. After graduating from Webster University with a degree in Psychology and Theatre, she won a nationwide talent search and came to Hollywood under contract to NBC. She wrote songs and sang on multiple albums, started acting, writing and producing. After starring in multiple pilots and writing for the shows she had been reoccurring on, she co-Created, worked her way through the ranks and became Executive producer and head writer on the iconic series Quantum Leap (1989) for NBC for which she penned 25 episodes and co-wrote an additional 15. She Executive Produced and worked as the head writer for Tequila and Bonetti (1992) for CBS. Ms. Pratt co-Created for television and Executive Produced The Net (1998) for USA network. She wrote for multiple television series. As a writer, Ms. Pratt sold features to Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox animation. She is a proud, award-winning graduate of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women and made her directorial debut with Cora Unashamed (2000) was for the BBC, PBS, and Masterpiece Theatre's The American Collection. Deborah is a five-time Emmy nominee, a Golden Globe nominee, and recipient of The Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film, The Angel Award, The Golden Block Award, and Five Black Emmy Nominees Awards. She has written to direct multiple feature films including the biographic screenplay for her epic, 17th century love story "Chevalier & Antoinette" and "Heartswear" about Black, Chicago attorney Mattie Tatum who returns to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to defend and save her White, childhood best friend Nadine Palmer for the murder of her abusive husband. Deborah a published novelist, she breaks the mold of science fiction and creates a genre of science fantasy with the soul bending tale of a new earth and the key to human empowerment. The books are intricately layered with scientific fact and imaginative fantasy. "The Vision Quest" (TheVisionQuest.com) is an exhilarating journey into the future of our world. The story begins in a unified, utopian society and, thanks to the biological machines we created, becomes a dystopian world at war with our mechanical creations for the salvation of humanity. Ms. Pratt is a pioneer in trans-media entertainment and is developing the Vision Quest world she's created in her books across multiple entertainment platforms. Her latest book series is "Age of Eve" and The Tempting; Seducing the Nephilim is in stores. Deborah was on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America and is an active member of the DGA, SAG, PGA, WGA and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She lives in Los Angeles, fights for women and minority rights in the entertainment industry and has two children; Actress, Troian Bellisario, and Computer Engineer, Nicholas Bellisario.

Guests Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes:
W.K. Stratton also appeared in the episodes "Good Night, Dear Heart," and the trilogy episodes "One Little Heart," "For Your Love," and "The Last Door." He was also the radio dispatcher voice in "Hurricane" and "Black On White On Fire."

Lela Ivey appeared in "Permanent Wave" as Chloe.

Bruce McGill apeared in the series finale, "Mirror Image" as Al the Bartender.

Quotable Quotes:
But you hate dancing.
Maybe I never had the right incentive.
-- Peg and Sam, "Genesis"

I'm in a real identity crisis here, Al!
-- Sam, "Genesis"

It's bad enough that I have to give Dick & Jane explanations to the President- now I have to give them to you, too.
-- Al to the very swiss-cheesed Sam, "Genesis"

Ain't that a kick in the butt!
-- Al, "Genesis"

Okay, it's not a dream. It's a nightmare. And if it's a nightmare, sooner or later, there's going to be a b**gieman.
-- Sam, "Genesis"

I'm stuck in '56 with a brain like swiss-cheese and YOU'RE having technical difficulties'!
-- Sam, "Genesis"

You're part of a time travel experiment that went a little ca-ca.
-- Al, "Genesis"

Please God, I'd like to wake up now.
-- Sam, “Genesis”

When it comes to quantum physics, you're still a mental slug.
-- Al, "Genesis"

You're best bet is stop moving until all electrical activity in the brain ceases.
That's called "death."
--Al and Sam, "Genesis"

~Sam: You know my name!
Al: I'm not that wasted. "Genesis"

Say What?

Tina, who Al meets near Project Quantum Leap, is on restricted government property. How is the there?

Peg says she got the shaving cream from the PX, but this is an Air Force base. It would have been called a BX.

Sam is quite obviously clean-shaven, but proceeds to shave anyway.

The Howdy Doody Show was broadcast on Saturday mornings at 10 AM in 1956, and would not have been on the TV that morning.

The stock footage used for the plane is flipped, showing a reverse Air Force logo.

The radio changes versions between shots in the kitchen.

When the pilot of the X-2 makes a turn above Mach 2, how did he just forget not to do that?

Al reflects at least three times during the episode, including the plane's wing.

The pieces of the plane fall straight down, instead of being spread out over a larger area.

Synopsis - First Leap as Tom Stratton:

Al is driving along an isolated highway in the desert. He stops his car to flirt with an attractive woman standing at the side of the road and offers her a lift. The woman notes distant blue flashes in the sky and remarks that this was the same location where the first atomic bomb was tested. Al attempts to distract her until he is interrupted by a call from Gooshie, who frantically informs him that Sam Beckett has stepped into the accelerator and is "leaping." Al says Sam can't because the project isn't ready yet. He warns Gooshie not to interfere with the process, as this could kill Sam, and races back to the project. Sam, meanwhile, revels in the moment, just before disappearing.

Sam awakens in the year 1956, suffering from total memory loss. He is confused to discover that his name is "Tom" and that he has a pregnant wife named Peggy, or "Peg" for short, as Tom calls her and a son named Mikey. He is further shocked by his reflection in the mirror, which he insists is not him. Sam begins to convince himself that he is dreaming and that, as long as he goes along with the dream, he will soon wake up.

Sam further discovers that his complete identity is Tom Stratton, an Air Force test pilot, and that his best friend is Capt. Bill "Bird Dog" Birdell, a cocky, womanizing pilot. Birdell pulls over the side of the road to chat to an attractive young woman and brags about how he and Sam are the only pilots "brave enough to fly the X-2". Sam tells Birdell he cannot fly, but Birdell thinks he is playing a gag and decides to go along with it. When they reach the Air Force base, Birdell and the other pilots pretend that flying has affected their memory, convincing staff Doctors "Weird Ernie" Ernst and Berger to conduct a research project studying the matter.

Al shows up as the meeting disperses, but Sam does not recognize him. Sam and Birdell suit up into their pilot outfits and prepare to take off. Sam notices Al standing at the back of the plane and asks Birdell if everyone on board is secure. Birdell looks around but cannot see anybody. Birdell leaves Sam alone in the cockpit, and Sam begins to panic, unable to steer the plane. The plane spins on its side and begins to descend. Birdell returns to the cockpit and resumes control. Sam insists he cannot fly, but Birdell is still convinced that he is joking.

A third pilot, Capt. Tony LaMott, enters the X-2, which is lowered from the plane Sam and Birdell are piloting. Tony intends to race the X-2 up to Mach-3. However, before it is able to reach the desired speed, the X-2 spins out of control and is moments from exploding. Just before the X-2 erupts into flames, Tony is able to eject and safely glide back to land.

That evening, the pilots and their spouses socialize at a local bar. Peg notes that Sam is uncharacteristically quiet and is puzzled when he asks her to dance, something Tom cannot do. Sam notices Al yet again, standing at the other side of the room. Sam asks Peggy is she can see him but she is unable to. Sam realizes that Al must be the key to finding out who he really is and approaches him. He asks Al if he is dead and has been reincarnated as Tom Stratton. Al cannot believe that Sam has no memory of who he is, though when Al calls him "Sam" he knows that's his real name, but nothing more. Al leaves the bar and walks outside, disappearing into thin air through an invisible door.

Driving back home, Peg is worried about Sam, as he is behaving oddly. Sam tells her he is not Tom Stratton and that he is not a pilot, nor does he have any recollection of her or Mikey. Peg becomes upset, and Sam decides to recant his confession, pretending that, in fact, it is all a joke he is perpetrating. Peg is relieved, but Sam remains unsure of what to do.

Sam awakens in the middle of the night and recovers a portion of his memory. He recalls that he grew up on a farm in Elk Ridge, Indiana with his parents and sister, Katie. He also remembers that his father died in 1974, but that being 1956, his dad must still be alive. Sam attempts to phone his family but he cannot remember his last name, thus is unable to reach them.

Mikey enters the room carrying a fishing rod and reminds Sam that they had a fishing trip planned for the day. Sam takes Mikey fishing and, while leaving him to fish further upstream, encounters Al again. Sam tries to touch Al, but his hands go through him, as Al explains that he is a man in the present day but appears to Sam as a neurological hologram. Al also explains that Sam is part of a time travel experiment that "went a little caca" and that he has traded places in time with Tom Stratton. He says Ziggy attempted to retrieve Sam in the morning, but Sam was unreachable. In order for Sam to leap, everyone in this time zone must believe he is Tom Stratton. Ziggy will next attempt to retrieve Sam on Tuesday, however, this is problematic for Sam as he is scheduled to fly the X-2 on Monday.

Sam is enjoying a family barbecue with friends. He notices that Peg appears nauseous, but she insists that she is fine.

Sam is walking around the hangar at the Air Force base, inspecting the X-2 he is scheduled to fly on Monday, when Al appears. Al explains to Sam the "string theory of time travel," how the Imaging Chamber functions and who precisely is controlling Sam's leaps - an unseen force, whether it be God or time or fate. Al also tells him that in the original timeline, Tom Stratton was killed while attempting to fly the X-2 to Mach-3, so all Sam has to do in order to leap is survive the flight. Despite Sam's reservations, Al assures him that he himself was once a pilot and that he will help guide him through the entire exercise. Sam begins to accept the plan.

As Monday arrives, Sam returns to the Air Force base to submit his memory test. Doctors Ernst and Berger inspect the submission and find that it is filled with bizarre answers that suggest Sam is from the future. The two conclude that the entire memory loss theory was simply a joke all along.

As Sam steps into the X-2, he becomes nervous as Al is nowhere to be seen. The X-2 is lowered from another plane and launched into the sky. Sam starts to panic and attempts to tell his operators that he cannot fly, until Al shows up and instructs him on how to steer the X-2. As it starts to speed up beyond Mach-1 and Mach-2, the X-2 begins experiencing turbulence. Suddenly, Sam and Al hear a bubbling noise, and they realize the heat from the engine is boiling the plane's fuel. The warning light flares on the instrument panel, informing Sam he has a fire. Al urgently tells Sam to eject.

Moments later, the X-2 explodes in the sky, and the debris crashes to the ground. The sound of the distant explosion shocks Peg, who is in the kitchen of her home, worried for her husband. Sam, however, managed to eject from the plane in time and floats safely to earth in a parachute. An entire crew of Air Force paramedics rush out to collect him. Sam is frustrated that, despite accomplishing his mission, he has still not leaped.

Sam is taken to the hospital, where he is told that Peg went into premature labor after hearing the X-2 explosion. The hospital doctors tell him that, once labor begins, it cannot be stopped, so that the baby will need to be delivered prematurely even though it is unlikely to survive. Sam, remembering that he has medical knowledge from the future, knows this notion has been proven false and instructs them to administer an alcoholic solution intravenously to Peg. The procedure works successfully. Peg is inebriated, but the labor stops. Sam gives the thumbs-up to Mikey and Birdell, assuring them that Peg and the baby are okay. Then, suddenly, he leaps. Source

For the second leap summary, scroll down.

The Quantum Leap Podcast:

Syndication Edits:

Thanks to Matt Dale for edit info. When the episode was split into two parts for syndication and repeat viewing, several scenes were trimmed to fit in the standard slot for a 1 hour episode.

13m47s: Cuts straight from “Ain’t this a kick in the butt?” to exterior of Tom’s house, losing Al walking after Sam and three stock clips of planes (29s lost).

17m12s: Cuts straight from “I can’t fly” to Bird Dog looking at the flight controls, losing a stock shot of the plane (4s lost).

17m58s: Loses a little of the stock footage of the plane, then Peg cleaning up (4s lost).

18m27s: Skips from “Roger mother hen, you are clear to drop” to discussion in the plane, skipping Weird Ernie knocking himself on the head, walking away and then staring into the skies, plus one stock plane shot (18s lost).

36m57s: Adds a fade to black after “nothing cures a cold faster that a fishing trip” where there was none before, then skips the stock footage of the lake (5s lost).

38m09s: Loses the first 7s of Sam walking into frame before meeting Al.

42m02s: A fade to black is changed to a cut, straight from Sam smiling to a shot of the desert (4s lost)

45m49s: Skips Ernie apologising to Sam and the Berger-Ernst Engramic Standard introduction scene, losing 1m31s and going straight to a fade from black as Sam approaches the X-2.

54m19s: Skips Sam returning his answers to the Engramic Standard, Sam approaching the X-2 and several pieces of plane stock footage, going straight to two shot of the X-2 prior to the discussion about Marilyn’s boobs, with a cutaway to Sam between these two shots also lost (loses 50s).

57m5s: Goes straight from Weird Ernie’s colourful comments over the radio to stock footage of three planes, missing out the reaction to the Engramic Standard (loses 27s)

58m:32s: Misses more about the Engramic Standard and Sam having his helmet put on, skipping from having his breathing apparatus attached to more stock footage (loses 50s)

74m28s: Shaves off two shots of Sam looking uncomfortable and the dog continuing to bark, losing 6s and jumping straight to the coach turning around.

76m43s: Skips from “it may have seemed like a couple of minutes to you” to “I’m in a real identity crisis here, Al”, missing the description of the party (loses 26s).

87m46s: Misses a little of Al watching Sam, the lightning and Al’s reaction to it, and the announcer (loses 11s).

88m05s: Misses the coach telling Sam to “be patient out there” (loses 6s).





"The Pilot Episode" Second Leap - Tim Fox

TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date

Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Kiss with History
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guest Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes
Quotable Quotes

Say What?
Synopsis - Second Leap as Tim Fox

Production Credits


TV Guide Synopsis - Part II:
Conclusion. The shock of Sam's flight sends Peg into early labor. Later, Sam confronts his past after leaping into a baseball player. Peg: Jennifer Runyon. Dr. Burger: W.K. Stratton. Al: Dean Stockwell.

In Season Two, a repeat of "Genesis" brought this TV Guide ad:

Broadcast Date:
March 26, 1989 - Sunday

"The Yellow Rose of Texas" is sung by John Allen Nelson.


Kiss With History:
Sam teaches Peggy a modern way of breathing during labor called Lamaze.

Al says "You know who that kid kind of looks like out there? According to the script, it's supposed to be Tom Seaver, although at this point in time, Seaver is playing for the New York Mets.


Project Trivia:
Handlink: 1/4 inch thick/flat, transparent black plastic, black data screens, few buttons

Dogs can see Sam and Al.

When Sam leaps from one place to another, it’s simultaneous. But for the Project, the time between varies (this time was six days).

Ziggy is referred to as a "he"; he can be depressed; he has a big ego


Sam Trivia:
Is a medical doctor; went to pre-med.

Created Ziggy; Quantum Leap is his project.

Holds 6 doctorates; quantum physics is his specialty.

TIME Magazine called him the next Einstein.

Last name is Beckett.

His grandmother (or mother; John called her "Mom") won a blue ribbon 10 years in a row at the Elk Ridge County Fair for her pumpkin pie.

His great uncle’s name is John; he moved to Australia when Sam’s father was just a boy.


Al Trivia:
Is an ex-astronaut.

Has an ex-wife.


Al's Outfits:
1) Silver bomber jacket, black bolo tie, purple dress shirt, black slacks, silver shoes.


Al's Women:
Martha (met at a party; took to Lakers playoff)
Brenda (took her into the fileroom)


Guest Cast:
Newell Alexander as John Beckett
Lee DeBroux as Coach
Doug Cox as Sportscaster
Hank Robinson as Umpire
Patrick Cranshaw as Old Man
Brent Chalem as Batboy
Adam Affonso as Young Sam Beckett
Mike Greenwood as Matt
Dave Duensing as Clyde
David Dawson as Barnes
Kevin Johnson as Pepper
Ken Martin as Tim Fox (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:

Newell Alexander as John Beckett: Newell Alexander's stage credits include the original productions of Del Shores' "Cheatin'," "Daddy's Dyin' Who's Got the Will?" (and also the film version), "Sordid Lives" (and also the film version) and "Southern Baptist Sissies". Newell's TV work includes recurring roles on Big Love (2006) for HBO, Arrested Development (2003), Alias (2001) and Walker, Texas Ranger (1993). He is a principal member of the "L.A. MadDogs", one of the industry's busiest voice-over groups (Ray (2003), Shark Tale (2004), Shrek (2001),  Shrek 2 (2004), Madagascar (2005), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), among others). Has has also voiced commercials for such companies as Smith Barney, CVS Phamacy, Cool Whip, Aleve, Pfizer, Acura, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo Bank and Washington Apples. Newell is the George W. Bush sound-alike for MoveOn.org. He plays Gen. Sam Houston as the host of the Texas History Museum's "Texas Hall of Heroes" at the State Capitol in Austin. He has produced and performed in 33 hour-long radio dramas for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage for PBS. Newell performed as Neil Young's opening act "Dan Clear" for 70 shows in 1983-84. He and his wife Rosemary share five children and seven grandchildren.

Lee DeBroux as Coach: Lee de Broux was born on May 7, 1941 in La Mesa, California, USA. He is an actor, known for RoboCop (1987), Pumpkinhead (1988) and Chinatown (1974).

Doug Cox as Sportscaster: Doug Cox attended USC, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema. Just out of college, he joined The Groundlings, one of the foremost comedy/improv troupes, where he wrote and performed for over 12 years. Doug has made dozens of appearances on television, in films, and on stage. He co-wrote four episodes of the groundbreaking "Pee-wee's Playhouse," two of which received Emmy Award nominations. He also has a long term (business) relationship with Elvira Mistress of the Dark, writing live shows, screenplays, video and television material. He has written and directed over 50 corporate shows and videos. In addition, Doug wrote, produced and directed the independentfeature film "Shrink Rap."

Hank Robinson as Umpire: Tall (6'1"), tough, and burly actor, extra, and baseball player Hank Robinson was born Henry Ford Robinson on March 27, 1923 in Covington, Tennessee. Robinson grew up on a sharecropper farm in rural Tennessee and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Hank spent thirteen seasons playing in the minor leagues in such places as Hollywood, Denver, Gladewater, Yakima, Little Rock, Saginaw, Lake Charles, Galveston, and Laredo. Robinson worked as a security guard at MGM before embarking on a career as an extra in the mid-1960's. Hank frequently popped up as cowboys on various Western TV shows and made often uncredited cameo appearances in a handful of movies. Not surprisingly, Robinson in the latter part of his acting career landed occasional credited roles both in film and on television alike in which he was cast to type as a baseball umpire. Moreover, Hank also scouted and coached young baseball players in both California and Nevada as well as was an avid golfer. Robinson died at age 89 on April 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was survived at the time of his death by his wife Mildred, daughters Carin and Debra, son Robbie, and three grandchildren.

Patrick Cranshaw as Old Man: Joseph Patrick Cranshaw was an American character actor from Oklahoma. He is well-known for playing fraternity brother Blue from the Todd Phillips comedy film Old School. He had minor roles in many other shows and films including Seinfeld, Air Bud, Herbie: Fully Loaded and The Dukes of Hazzard. He passed away in December 28, 2005 due to natural causes.

Brent Chalem as Batboy: A native of Westlake Village, Los Angeles, he was a popular child actor in the '80s, although he only had very small roles in nearly all but two of the movies he appeared in. He can be seen playing the (almost) central character "Horace" or "Fat Kid" in The Monster Squad (1987). He appeared in TV roles such as Quantum Leap and Dance Til Dawn in 1988 and 1989. His career as an adult never took off after the '80s, and he began to study law whilst working for a legal firm in the United States. On the 9th December 1997, he died of pneumonia in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of just 22.

Adam Affonso as Young Sam Beckett: Adam Logan aks Adam Affonso is known for Alias (2001), Quantum Leap (1989) and Born on a Black Rainbow (2015).

Mike Greenwood as Matt: Mike Greenwood is known for Quantum Leap (1989) and Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation (1992).

Dave Duensing as Clyde: Dave Duensing is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Perfect Opposites (2004) and China Beach (1988).

Ken Martin as Tim Fox (Mirror image): Ken Martin is known for The Closer (2005), A Song for You (1993) and Quantum Leap (1989).

Guests Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes:
Hank Robinson plays an umpire again in "Play Ball." 

Adam Affonso played Young Sam again (this time as Sam's mirror image) in "The Leap Home."

Quotable Quotes:
I knew how it was going to end when I took Brenda into the file room . . . but I still took her.
-- Al, "Genesis"

You know, maybe this quantum leaping isn't such a bad deal after all.  Getting a chance to put things right, to make the world a better place - who knows what I can accomplish before I'm done.
-- Sam Beckett, "Genesis"

No wonder they're in the basement, they have all the enthusiasm of a $10 hooker.
-- Al, "Genesis"

Say What?

In the mirror shot, Fox's jacket has a "B" facing the correct way, instead of being reversed. This is due to the mirror shots being filmed with two sets mirroring each other, with the actors on each side of the glass.

The synchronization of the mirror shots are not done very clean.

You can see Scott Bakula's reflection slightly in the double set glass.

Detailed Synopsis - Second Leap as Tim Fox:

Sam finds himself in 1968, having leaped into baseball player Tim Fox. He is soon joined by Al and learns that while no time has passed for him, for everyone else, it's been six days since he leaped (with the team at Project Quantum Leap spending most of the time celebrating). Al explains that Fox is a minor league player who was sent up to the majors but was sent back down after an injury to recover and wasn't picked back up afterwards. His team is playing the final game of the season and, according to Al, are destined to lose, which will make Fox retire. Sam asks Al why he didn't leap home, but Al and Ziggy are still unsure. Al tells Sam that he did manage to change history in regards to Tom Stratton; not only was he not killed, but the stress caused Peg not to give birth to a stillborn daughter. Having saved Tom, Sam also saved his daughter (who, funnily enough, was named Samantha) with Al noting that someone wanted the two to survive. Sam does know now, however, that he is a medical doctor. Al says that, actually, Sam holds six doctorates, one of which is indeed medicine, and his specialty is in quantum physics. Al reveals that Sam was a prodigy, touted as the next Einstein, and Quantum Leap is his own project. He also wryly notes that Sam is the only person who could have figured out how to get himself home. Sam is despondent, as he can't even remember his own last name. Al takes pity on Sam and disobeys Ziggy's orders by telling him his name is "Sam Beckett."

Armed with his knowledge, Sam is able to call home to Elk Ridge, Indiana and have a tearful conversation with his father, John Beckett. Sam now realizes that his ability to travel in time is a gift, and ponders what greater things he might be able to accomplish in his travels.

As Sam returns to the field to bat, the coach tells him it is his last game and he is badly hoping they will win. Sam is now determined to change history and win the game. Sam does not manage to hit the ball, though due to unexpected fumbling and mishaps from the opposing team, Sam does manage to score on a dropped third strike, and three throwing errors to win the game. His entire team laud Sam as a hero, and Sam leaps.

Personal Review:

Coming soon

Production Credits:

Music by: Mike Post
Edited by:  George R. Rohrs, Mario di Gregorio
Art Director: Cameron Birnie
Director of Photography: Roy H. Wagner a.s.c.
Supervising Producer: John Hill
Co-producer: Deborah Pratt
Produced by: Harker Wade
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by:
Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by: David Hemmings

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producer: David Bellisario
Unit Production Manager: 
William Beudine, Jr
First Assistant Director: Tom Connors
Second Assistant Directors: Jim Turley, Bob Webb
Casting:  Maryann Kohler
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Dorleac
Costume Supervisors: David Rawley, Donna Roberts-Orme
Make-up: Steve Gautier
Hairstylist: Virginia Kearns
Sound Mixer: Ronald L. Collins
2nd Unit Director: David Jones
Sound Editor: Vic Lackey
Music Editor: Susan Mick

Panaflex ®  Camera and Lenses by: Panavision ®

Air Force Technical Adviser: Chuck Davis

Titles & Optical Effecta: Howard Anderson Company

With grateful appreciation to: The Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base

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 © 1989 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

Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography 1989

Fate's Wide Wheel Podcast:

The Quantum Leap Podcast live viewing for 35th Anniversary of Genesis:

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