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1x03 "The Right Hand of God"


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Leap Date:
October 24, 1974

Episode adopted by: R. Joy Helvie
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


Knocked out just as he leaps in, Sam has become Kid Cody, a boxer who's contract is owned by a group of nuns. Complicating things is a fight promoter who is forcing the Kid to throw his matches for profit. And then there's the girlfriend who wants him to retire from boxing all together.

Now he must somehow win the championship to build the nuns a new chapel and maybe save a soul or two along the way.

Audio from this episode:

Al: You're in big trouble, Sam.

Episode Menu

TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date
Synopsis & Review

Project Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode
Kiss with History
Miscellaneous Trivia
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guest Who Appeared in Other Episodes of Quantum Leap
Say What?
Quotable Quotes
Production Credits


Production # 65002

TV Guide Teaser:
Sam leaps into 1974 and assumes the identity of a glass-jawed boxer whose contract is owned by two nuns hoping to finance a chapel for the poor. Sister Angela: Michelle Joyner. Dixie: Teri Copley. Roscoe: Jonathan Gries. Sister Sarah: Nancy Kulp. Sam: Scott Bakula.



Sacramento, CA

Leap Date:

October 24, 1974


larence "Kid" Cody

Broadcast Date:

April 7, 1989 - Friday

Synopsis & Review:

Sam leaps into Clarence "Kid" Cody during a qualifying match for the heavyweight boxing championship. Little does Sam know that the match is fixed in Cody's favor, so Sam is able to knock out his opponent with only a mild, defensive jab. After the match, his trainer, Mr. Gomez, says it is their last fight together, as Cody's contract has been inherited by a group of nuns, led by Sister Angela and Sister Sarah. Sister Angela is excitedly placing her hopes in Sam that he will win the championship, so the nuns can build a chapel to help the poor. Despite his reservations, Sam muses to Al that his mission must be to win the championship match.

Upon returning to Cody's apartment, Sam is ushered into the limo of Jake Edwards, a crooked boxing promoter who fixes matches for profit. Edwards has set up Cody's last ten victories but now wants him to lose the championship fight. Sam attempts to get out of the situation by suggesting he might retire. However, Edwards threatens that one of his goons will shoot him in the knee caps if he opts out of the fight.

Sam backs down from his retirement idea and is dismissed by Edwards, who tells him he will be in touch to tell him which round to take a dive in. Sam returns to the apartment and converses with Cody's girlfriend, Dixie. Dixie is a stripper who is helping Cody save money so they can both buy a donut shop together. However, Cody owes money to local bookie, Roscoe, which Dixie repays. Sam then tells her he must move in with the nuns so he can train for the championship fight.

Al suggests to Sam that his best shot for leaping is to win the championship. Al, who reveals he was once a boxing champion as a teenager, offers to train him. However, Sam knows he needs a real trainer, not a hologram, so he seeks out Gomez for help. Gomez refuses, stating he is tired of training boxers who take dives. Edwards approaches them and reveals he once owned Gomez and regularly paid him to take dives. Ashamed and angered, Gomez decides he will in fact train Sam.

Gomez commences the training by having Sam spar with church priest, Father Mulrooney. However, Mulrooney easily defeats Sam and knocks him out. Gomez realizes Sam is in need of serious training. With both Gomez and Sister Angela's help, Sam undergoes an intense exercise regime to help get him into shape. While they are jogging, Sam asks Sister Angela why building the chapel is so important to her. Sister Angela tells him that when she was a girl, her family was killed in a fire and she ended up homeless. Her life was changed when she was taken in and cared for by the nuns. Since then, she has vowed to build a chapel as a shrine to commemorate her family, as well as to help destitute people like she once was.

Al tells Sam that in the original history, Cody took a dive and lost the championship, thus Sister Angela never got to build the chapel and realize her dream. Sam is now determined to win the fight for her. But when Mr. Edwards learns of Sam's plans, he instructs him to take a dive in the first round. Sam tells Mr Edwards he will decide which round to bet on. However, Edwards eventually refuses and sends a message along with payment, via Sister Angela, reiterating his instruction for Sam to take a dive in the first round. Sister Angela becomes convinced that Sam is nothing but a cheat and retreats into disillusionment. Sam tells her he is not the same Kid Cody who took dives in previous matches and asks her to keep faith in him.

During the championship fight, Sam's opponent is Tiger Joe Jackson. Initially, Jackson gains the upper hand and knocks Sam down. However, seeing Sister Angela's disappointed expression in the crowd, Sam gets back up. At his instruction, Dixie streaks for the crowd, creating a diversion which allows Sam to overcome Jackson. Finally, with Al's help, Sam applies the finishing jabs and manages to knock Jackson out, winning the match. After the match, Dixie tells Sam they have won $48,000 for betting the correct round in which Muhammad Ali would defeat George Foreman in their famous bout, which had occurred that day. It was this round, in fact, which Sam had asked Edwards to bet on earlier but Edwards had refused.

Sam and Dixie plan to apportion $20,000 of the winnings for themselves, $20,000 for the nuns and the rest for Edwards, as repayment for the money he gave Cody to take dives. Dixie and Edwards leave the room to collect their money from Roscoe, who placed the bet. Meanwhile, Sister Angela enters the room and apologizes to Sam for doubting him, as well as thanking him for winning the championship so she can now build her chapel. With that, Sam leaps... Source


"Dancing Machine" by The Jackson Five
"Amazing Grace"
"Takin’ Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive
"You Don’t Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce
"Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Project Trivia:

Handlink: thicker, fully black plastic, more screens/lights, more bright buttons

Al's house is outside the Project.

Al Trivia:

His neighbor sleeps in the day/rebuilds car at night; Al has a house outside the PQL complex.

He snores.

He was Golden Gloves Regional Champion at age 16.

Al's Outfits:

1) Peach shirt
, gold & copper jacket, black slacks, leopard-print suspenders, gold shoes, black tie w/silver stripes at tip

2) White suit, white blouse, white shoes

3) White blouse, red slacks, checkered suspenders, red fedora w/black band, white/black/yellow/red tie

Al's Women:

Denise - met at party, she’s writing his life story.
Tina - girlfriend; sometimes cheats on her.

Kiss With History:

Sam bets on the Muhammad Ali / George Foreman fight and wins.

On television, the Watergate scandal investigation is ongoing.

Miscellaneous Trivia:

The crew arranged for some stripping nuns to visit Dean Stockwell on his birthday.

Guy Stockwell is Dean Stockwell's brother.

Guest Cast:

Guy Stockwell as Mr. Jake Edwards
Michelle Joyner as  Sister Angela
Teri Copley as  Dixie
Alex Cólon as Gomez
Nancy Kulp as Sister Sarah
Lewis Arquette as Father Muldooney
James Cavan as Chalky
Vinnie Curto as Link
Rocky Giordani as Bartender
Jonathan Gries as Roscoe
Roger Hewlett as Tiger Joe Jackson
George King III as Black Fighter
George O’Mara as Referee
Michael Strasser as Clarence "Kid" Cody (mirror)
Daniel Valdivia as Ring Announcer

Guest Cast Notes:

Guy Stockwell as Mr. Jake Edwards: Although younger brother Dean Stockwell is perhaps the better known actor of the two, Guy Stockwell was a strong, seriously handsome and highly reliable performer over the years, appearing in over 30 films and 200 television shows. The son of Broadway singing baritone Harry Stockwell, his mother, Elizabeth Margaret Veronica, a former chorus girl/dancer who once went by the stage name of "Betty Veronica," sent both Dean and Guy to an open call for a 1943 Broadway show entitled "The Innocent Voyage," which was to star famed acting teacher Herbert Berghof. The play needed about a dozen children and, by chance, both boys were cast. Dean went immediately into films for MGM and became a popular post-war child star while Guy had to wait until adulthood before coming into his own. Following high school he attended the University of California where he majored in psychology and philosophy. Guy started his career off in minor film and TV bits, then was given his big break in 1961 as a regular cast member of the outdoor sea adventure Adventures in Paradise (1959) as first mate to star Gardner McKay. He played the role for one season. Following that in 1963 he became one of 11 performers who made up the company for Richard Boone's television anthology series. Guy became a Universal contract player in 1965 and went straight into several standard tales of adventure and intrigue, including The War Lord (1965), Tobruk (1967) and Blindfold (1966). Initially promoted as a dashing Errol Flynn type in swordplay adventures and outdoor epics, the studio had him star in the remake of Gary Cooper's French Foreign Legion classic Beau Geste (1966) opposite another film up-and-comer Doug McClure. He co-starred with McClure again, this time as the villain, in The King's Pirate (1967) while vying for beauties Jill St. John and Mary Ann Mobley. He also earned the role of Buffalo Bill Cody in a remake of Cooper's The Plainsman (1966). Playing a villain again in the glossy soaper Banning (1967) with Robert Wagner and Ms. St. John, most of Guy's high-profile roles came off routine at best and the films failed at the box office. He made his last picture for Universal co-starring with Anthony Franciosa in In Enemy Country (1968) before his contract ended. Guy subsequently gravitated towards the small screen and local stage. He created the Los Angeles Art Theater along the way where he played leading roles in well-received productions of "Hamlet" and his own adaptation of "Crime and Punishment.". Gaining respect in later years as an acting teacher, he wrote a textbook for actors called Cold Reading Advantage (1991) and taught acting (as an alumnus at the University of California) for two years in their masters program. Subsequent character parts in films were a bit offbeat to say the least, having gained some weight over time. He was also involved in extensive voice-over work. Married and divorced three times, he had two children, Doug and Victoria, by first wife Susan; an adopted son, Kerry, by second wife Sandy; and had several stepchildren by his marriage to third wife Olga. Guy suffered from diabetes in later years and died of complications in 2002. He was 68.

Michelle Joyner as Sister Angela: Michelle Joyner was born on September 17, 1961 in Sacramento, California, USA. She is an actress and director, known for Cliffhanger (1993), Outbreak (1995) and Quantum Leap (1989). She has been married to Robert H. Egan since 2001. They have four children.

Quantum Leap Podcast: Michelle Joyner Interview

Teri Copley as Dixie: Teri Copley was born on May 10, 1961 in Arcadia, California, USA. She is an actress, known for Brain Donors (1992), Quantum Leap (1989) and Hunter (1984). She has been married to Charles Wahlheim since 1992. She was previously married to Christopher Mayer and Micki Free.

Alex Cólon as Gomez: Supporting actor Alex Colon launched his film career in the early 1970s appearing in dramas ranging from religious tract The Cross and the Switchblade (1970), to the gentle comedy Harry and Tonto (1974), to the fact-based made-for-TV action movie Raid on Entebbe (1976). Colon made his final film appearance in The Getaway (1994). Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Colon moved to New York to become a stage actor in 1970. He made his Broadway debut playing a mouthy delivery boy in Neil Simon's drama The Gingerbread Lady in 1970. In addition to acting, Colon directed the occasional theatrical production in New York, Southern California and Puerto Rico.

Nancy Kulp as Sister Sarah: Nancy Kulp wore many hats: Publicity person, actress, linguist, would-be politician, and teacher. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kulp attended college in Florida, then headed for Hollywood to work in publicity for the movies, not star in them. Soon after arriving in Hollywood, Kulp was convinced by director George Cukor and casting director Billy Gordon that she should be in front of the camera, not behind the scenes. She then began a solid career as a character actress in films and television, including two memorable roles: on The Bob Cummings Show (1955) as bird-loving "Pamela Livingstone", and on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) as the long-suffering, lovesick, and bird-loving "Miss Jane Hathaway". After the Hillbillies ended its 9-year run, Kulp found work in theater, Broadway, and television, and dabbled in politics, making an unsuccessful 1984 run for Congress in Pennsylvania. Later, she taught acting and retired to a farm in Connecticut and, later, Palm Springs, where she died of cancer in 1991.

Lewis Arquette as Father Muldooney: Lewis Arquette was born on December 14, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Little Nicky (2000), Waiting for Guffman (1996) and Tango & Cash (1989). He was married to Brenda Denaut. He died on February 10, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

James Cavan as Chalky: James Cavan is known for Remington Steele (1982), Quantum Leap (1989) and The Woman in Red (1984).

Vinnie Curto as Link: Vinnie Curto is known for Barb Wire (1996), Bad Blood (1994) and Night Rhythms (1992). Professional boxer 1972-1996; record 61-10-3.
Vinnie currently resides in Studio City, California.

Rocky Giordani as Bartender: Rocky Giordani is known for Three Fugitives (1989), After Dark, My Sweet (1990) and Stormquest (1987).

Jonathan Gries as Roscoe: Jon Gries was born on June 17, 1957 in Glendale, California, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Men in Black (1997) and Get Shorty (1995).

Roger Hewlett as Tiger Joe Jackson: Roger Hewlett was born on May 2, 1958 in Joliet, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for Road House (1989), Leprechaun 3 (1995) and Changeling (2008).

George King III as Black Fighter: George King is known for Man of the Year (2006), Hairspray (2007) and Fever Pitch (2005).

George O’Mara as Referee: George O'Mara was born on January 4, 1956. He is an actor, known for Payback (1999), Rocky III (1982) and Changing Hands (2010).

Michael Strasser as Clarence "Kid" Cody (mirror): Michael Strasser is known for Last Man Standing (1996), Bride of Re-Animator (1990) and The Boost (1988).

Guests Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes:

Jonathan Gries appears in "Glitter Rock" as Flash McGrath.

Say What?

The boxing posters are set differently in the mirror and non-mirror shots.

Neither Sam or the fighter he's portraying is heavy enough to fight in the Heavyweight division.

The cardboard that Al lays down on moves slightly under his weight.

Al appears while sleeping. Did he go in there and instead of first talking with Sam, he fell asleep in the Imaging Chamber?

The handlink disappears when Al and Sam faux box in the ring.

Sam's mouthguard magically reappears after knocking out his opponent.

Quotable Quotes:

He's got more holes in his muffler than you've got in your memory.
-- Al, "The Right Hand of God"

People with monogamous relationships don't wake up with guilty consciences.
They don't have any fun either.
-- Sam and Al, "Right Hand of God"

You know I have a feeling that between you and I and a couple of guardian angels, we're going to get this job done.
-- Sister Angela, "The Right Hand Of God"

Well, in case you and Ziggy haven't noticed, they're all unscheduled stops.  The only thing I'm scheduled to do here is get my brains knocked out.
-- Sam, "The Right Hand of God."

When I was 16, back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the planet, I was a Golden Gloves regional champ.
-- Al, "The Right Hand of God"

When you're fighting for the Lord, you get inside tips.
-- Sam, "The Right Hand of God"

Sugar glazed, jelly filled with sprinkles on top!
-- Dixie and Sam, "The Right Hand of God"

Maybe that's all winning is... having the right person believe in you.
-- Sam, "The Right Hand of God"

What unknown variables?
Well, if we knew the unknown, the unknown wouldn't be unknown.
-- Sam and Al, "The Right Hand of God"

Production Credits

Music by: Mike Post
Edited by: George R. Rohrs, Lawrence S. Breslow
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:
John Hill
Directed by: Gilbert Shilton

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producer: David Bellisario
Unit Production Manager:
Paul Cajero
First Assistant Director: Bruce A. Humphrey
Second Assistant Director: Roberto Villar
Casting: Melissa Skoff, c.s.a.
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Executive Story Consultant: Deborah Arakelian
Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Dorleac

Costume Supervisors: David Rawley & Donna Roberts-Orme

Sound Mixer: Ron L. Collins
Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth

Casting Associate: Debi Manwiller
Sound Editor: Sam Gemette
Music Editor: Susan Mick

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 © 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



In the third installment of The Quantum Leap Podcast, Albie and Heather discuss the Season One episode four "The Right Hand of God". There's first impressions, an episode recap, thoughts and opinions, listener feedback, an essay and much more.

Get your ringside seats, because we’re Revisiting The Right Hand of God!

Go a few rounds with Allison Pregler, Matt Dale and Christopher DeFilippis to discuss Sam’s Leap as a washed-up boxer who must help some nuns raise enough money to build a new chapel.

We also have an interview with Christopher Kirby, the actor who played the original Herbert “Magic” Williams in The Leap Home Part II: Vietnam. Our very own Hayden McQueenie caught up with Chris to discuss his time on Quantum Leap and how he feels about his character coming back in the QL reboot.

Tell us what you think!

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