“Quantum Leap” hit its stride during the third season. The show had dramatic episodes just as powerful as season three but this was the most consistent season for this classic TV series. During the third season Sam leaps into a KISS type rock star (complete with dramatic make up and with Scott Bakula doing his own singing!); into himself at 16 where he must change an event in his own past; Sam also leaps into a Navy Seal in Vietnam serving under his older brother where Sam faces a unique dilemma. Is Sam there to save the life of his older brother (who is fated to die the next day), insure the success of the mission or for some other mysterious reason? The series at its best managed to convey the best elements of drama: Sam never knows why he’s there and what he has to correct which leads to many emotionally powerful and genuine feeling moments during the third season. What brought the best episodes home were the performances by the series two mainstay performers the marvelous Scott Bakula (“Enterprise”) and acerbic Dean Stockwell as Al who appears only as a hologram and must guide Sam with information from the future.
If Sam Beckett had been able to truly leap back through time during his life time he would have been able to foresee the licensing agreement issues that prevent his TV series from having the original music in it and prevented it from being replaced. Some of the original music survives but it depends on how instrumental it was to the episode. By the way, Bakula’s nice performance of “Imagine” is intact for “The Leap Home Part I”.
Aside from an occasionally grainy or soft episode, “Quantum Leap” looks exceptional here. While there are still analog flaws in the form of occasional dirt and irregularities in the prints used, the colors are bright, image quality sharp and vivid (with the exception of those episodes using stock footage). The 2.0 stereo soundtrack also sounds quite crisp and vivid. Dialogue is, for the most part, very clear and the music comes across with nice presence.
I was hoping that Sam would figure out how to hide some extras from the past for Universal to find when transferring this to DVD. We get an episode guide on disc three that lists which episodes are on which discs (which might be an extra if it served any useful purpose such as having trivia about each episode). We get an onscreen synopsis for each episode before playing the episode and a synopsis on the back of each slimline DVD holder. The big difference here is the redesigned packaging. Gone are the accordion holders which threatened to scratch the dual layered, dual sided discs for each season. Instead, we get individual slimline holders for each disc along with a synopsis on the back of the holder giving a brief description of each episode (much like the DVD version included as well). Missing, however, are some of the promo photos that adorned the accordion style holders. I miss them. It’s a pity that Universal chose not to adorn the inside of the paper sleeves in each slim line holder with photos for the inside. It does appear that these are the uncut original episodes as they aired on NBC.
This is an area where Universal continues to lag behind just about every studio. Would it have hurt Universal to provide commentary by Scott Bakula (particularly since he recently filmed a cameo for the new “Quantum Leap” TV show), Dean Stockwell (he appears in the new show as a regular) or even creator Bellisario? “The Leap Home” parts 1 and 2 would have been a perfect set for commentary tracks.
“Quantum Leap” continues to look nice in its DVD transfer but it seems that Universal is rushing out “product” which really does a disservice to the fans. This particularly set was designed to coincide with the release of “Enterprise” on DVD and the last two episodes of “Enterprise” airing on UPN. Synergy can be everything but it can also add up to nothing particularly when “product” is rushed out to meet a predestined release date or tie in. Universal, please do it right for the last two sets of the series. This fine series and its fans deserve better.
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I have a few issues with this set. First the discs are DVD-18 (i.e. dual-layer, double sided). I have four DVD players and the discs won’t play in three of them. They will play on the fourth, but it “hiccups” and hangs for a minute or more on pause randomly. Sometimes it will just skip around 5-10 minutes randomly making them impossible to watch. I bought the set when it came out and have only made it through four episodes.
Second, the touchy subject of the music. I have to side with the “why bother” camp. If you aren’t going to do the set right, I don’t want it. I’ve been tivo’ing and DVR-ing season 4 & 5 off Sci-fi, just for this reason. They won’t get anymore money off of me unless they release them right. It wouldn’t be so bad if they subbed out lesser known bands/music from each era to save on money, the feel would still be the same, but the muzak pieces are an abomination. The biggest offender(from season 2) is Ray Charles’s “Georgia.” This song is integral to the character of Al and is even revisited in the finale. The scene in question is(was) very moving and touching. Now it is a hollow shell of its former self. Just an example of how music changes the show.
For those that think it is only a couple minutes of music, think again. Here is a complete listing of the replaced music:
THE LEAP HOME PART II – VIETNAM
“Wild Thing” Performed by: The Troggs (OMITTED)
“Raindrops” Performed by: Dee Clark (OMITTED)
“Someday We’ll Be Together” Performed by: Diana Ross & The Supremes (OMITTED)
“I Wish That It Would Rain” Performed by: The Temptations (OMITTED)
ONE STROBE OVER THE LINE
“Stop in the Name of Love” Performed by: Diana Ross & The Supremes (OMITTED)
“You Really Got Me” Performed by: The Kinks (OMITTED)
“Locomotion” Performed by: Little Eva (OMITTED)
MISS DEEP SOUTH
“I’m Walkin’” Performed by: Fats Domino (OMITTED)
“Splish Splash” Peformed by: Bobby Darin (OMITTED)
BLACK ON WHITE ON FIRE
“My Girl” Performed by: The Temptations (OMITTED)
“Ooo Baby Baby” Performed by: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (OMITTED)
“Tracks of My Tears” Performed by: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (OMITTED)
“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” Performed by: James Brown (OMITTED)
“Baby, I Need Your Lovin’” Performed by: The Four Tops (OMITTED)
REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE
“Jailhouse Rock” Performed by: Elvis Presley (OMITTED)
“The Great Pretender” Performed by: Freddie Mercury (OMITTED)
“Be-Bop-A-Lula” Performed by: Gene Vincent (OMITTED)
“Crazy” Performed by: Patsy Cline (OMITTED)
“Our Day Will Come” Performed by: Ruby & The Romantics (OMITTED)
“Moon River” Performed by: Audrey Hepburn (?) (OMITTED)
“Walk Like a Man” Performed by: Frankie Valle and The Four Seasons (OMITTED)
“Ladies’ Night” Performed by: Kool & The Gang
(OMITTED in the leap ending from “Future Boy”)
“For the Love of Money” Performed by: The O’Jays (OMITTED)
The US version is cut. I ordered the UK Region 2 version and it is NOT CUT!!! All music content is correct!!!! Most DVD players now play any region DVDs. If you dont have a region free player just Decrypt and burn them without a region and that works to.