The Reduced SFX Company presents five years of Quantum Leap in one, handy, bite-sized script(opens in new tab)
SYNOPSIS OF SHOW: DR SAM BECKETT, theorising that one could TIME-TRAVEL within his own lifetime, steps into the QUANTUM LEAP ACCELERATOR and VANISHES. This is, in retrospect, a BAD MOVE. For the next FIVE SEASONS, SAM keeps waking up in BODIES that aren't his OWN, spending at least 30 seconds each episode trying to copy the movements of the PERSON IN THE MIRROR so we know it’s HIM.
The only companion on his journey is AL, who remains in contact with the FUTURE and talks to a GIANT SUPERCOMPUTER named ZIGGY. AL is probably a CYLON.
SAM BECKETT wakes up inside a BODY that is not his OWN.
SAM: Oh boy.
RANDOM STRANGER: That's easy for you to say, you filthy murderer! Police! Police! Someone call the police!
SAM looks down and he is standing over a BODY. He has a SMOKING GUN in his hand. He RUNS AWAY.
SAM: What I really need now is a hologram from the future to tell me what to do next!
AL appears from NOWHERE. It is amazing that SAM doesn't hear him coming because AL is wearing a VERY LOUD SHIRT.
AL: Sam, Ziggy says there's a 90% probability you're here to clear this poor schmuck's name.
SAM: Great! How do I do that?
AL: I have no idea.
AL: Why don't you go find this guy's girlfriend and shtup her while I do some research?
SAM finds the guy's GIRLFRIEND and shtups her, although because he is a VERY NICE MAN this somehow isn’t CREEPY. Although it really is, if you THINK ABOUT IT.
THE GUY'S GIRLFRIEND: Wow, Billy, you're being so much nicer to me today. It's like you're a new man or something!
SAM: Er, yes, aren’t I just?
SAM has lots of AWKWARD CONFRONTATIONS with people he doesn’t know but the MAN HE JUMPED INTO does know. Along the way, AL gives him RANDOM CLUES and HINTS which eventually, after what seems like FOREVER, help him clear the MAN HE JUMPED INTO’s name.
SAM: Is there any way Ziggy can figure out how to do this stuff any quicker? What a crap supercomputer! Who on earth built it?
AL: You did. You’ve forgotten because when you leaped it Swiss-cheesed your brain.
SAM: Oh. So why did I build a computer that can only come up with answers to my questions after I’ve all but figured them out myself?
AL: It’s easy, you chump: because otherwise we wouldn’t have a show.
SAM: Right. Uh-oh, I think I’m leaping again...
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside a WOMAN.
SAM: Oh boy.
Because SAM is a GOODY GOODY, he refuses to do what ANY MAN ALIVE would do and spend the ENTIRE EPISODE PLAYING with his new LADY BITS. Or if he does, we don’t get to SEE IT. Instead he tries to fix whatever went wrong in the WOMAN HE LEAPT INTO’s life.
AL: Okay, you’re in 1959 and this woman is the victim of sexism in the workplace. Ziggy says she will never amount to anything because of her mean boss. Maybe you’re here to give her a future?
SAM: You know, Al, don’t you think it’s strange that I’m leaping through time doing good deeds that all seem to have a strong moral message? Who is controlling my leaps?
AL: Search me. What keeps me up at night is how you keep Butterfly-Effecting the future. What if you change something back here that wipes out the future I know? I learned from Star Trek that meddling in the past was bad, but this show says it’s the best thing ever!
SAM: Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll never meddle in your life, Al.
AL: You’d better not!
SAM is approached by the WOMAN HE LEAPT INTO’S MEAN BOSS. He tries to HARASS her. SAM hits him with his HANDBAG and the MEAN BOSS is so shocked he never HARASSES her again.
SAM: Did I do it?
AL: Ziggy says she goes on to run her own business. She’s happy and it’s all because of you.
SAM: What a relief! It’s really difficult walking in heels. I hope I don’t jump into a woman again.
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside a CHIMPANZEE.
SAM: Oh boy.*
*Translated from chimp.
SAM and the CHIMP HE LEAPT INTO are in a research laboratory.
SAM: This is ridiculous. I’m wearing a nappy! One day I’ll go on to Captain the USS Enterprise and here I am now in a nappy ! The dignity!
AL: Ziggy says you’re here to stop Bobo the chimp dying. Heh, you should see how freaked out Bobo is back in our waiting room.
SAM: Wait, everybody I leap into ends up in the future? What do you tell them? How do they handle all this? Don’t they freak out when they leap back and everything’s changed?
AL: The writers never really bothered explaining it. Who cares?
SAM: But it’s like half of the story is missing every single week!
SAM and the CHIMP HE LEAPT INTO get up to all sorts of WEIRD SHIT until finally SAM changes history.
AL: Bobo survived!
SAM: Yes! Can I leap now? Though after this, I’m kind of scared of what I’m going to leap into...
AL: My money’s on you leaping into something totally crazy, like a Cornish pasty.
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
SAM: Oh boy.
AL: I said “pasty”, not “patsy”!
SAM can’t seem to hear AL and gets caught up in the life of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. This is WORRYING, because it means SAM will SHOOT JOHN F KENNEDY. What’s more WORRYING is that this episode is actually quite DULL.
AL: Sam, don’t do it! Don’t shoot!
Just in the NICK OF TIME, SAM leaps out of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and into a SECRET SERVICE AGENT, who then saves JACKIE KENNEDY’S LIFE.
AL: In the original timeline, Jackie was killed too. You saved her life!
SAM: That’s great!
AL: I guess this means you have the power to change huge events in history without there being any paradoxes or problems or moral implications. Star Trek was completely wrong all those years.
AL: Just don’t do anything with my timeline, okay?
SAM: It’ll never happen, Al.
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside a young version of AL.
SAM: Oh boy.
AL is on trial for MURDER. SAM accidentally gets him the DEATH PENALTY and suddenly AL’S HOLOGRAM disappears and is REPLACED by RODDY MCDOWALL.
RODDY MCDOWALL: Hello, I’m your new hologram guy. I used to be a chimp, too. Let’s bond!
SAM: Er... hi?
RODDY MCDOWALL: I’ll be here for exactly 30 seconds, just long enough to make you wonder what this show would have been like if you’d hired me instead of Dean Stockwell. Are you aware that he’s a Cylon, by the way?
RODDY MCDOWALL disappears and AL returns. SAM clears his name and ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
AL: Please don’t change my timeline again.
SAM: I promise I won’t. Really. Never.
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside JIMMY LAMOTTA, a young man with DOWN’S SYNDROME.
SAM: Oh boy... wait... hang on, this feels familiar...
STRANGE THINGS are happening. SAM has already fixed JIMMY’S LIFE but it’s all unravelling. Eventually we DISCOVER that this is because there is a HOT EVIL LEAPER at work.
HOT EVIL LEAPER: I will put wrong what once went right!
SAM: That is so not cool!
HOT EVIL LEAPER: You can’t stop me! I’m evil!
SAM: Search your feelings! You’re a nice person inside, in addition to being hot!
HOT EVIL LEAPER: ...
HOT EVIL LEAPER: You’re right, what I’m doing is wrong! Also, I love you!
SAM: I love you too!
They are SOULMATES, destined to be together. SAM is actually MARRIED but we’ll just PRETEND that isn’t the case and you just IMAGINED that ENTIRE EPISODE with his POOR WIFE in it. Really, it NEVER HAPPENED. SAM leaping through time SLEEPING WITH LOTS OF WOMEN and falling in love with a HOT EVIL LEAPER isn’t ADULTERY at all. Or perhaps, if he really is WORKING FOR GOD, this means GOD APPROVES OF ADULTERY.
Our heads HURT.
SAM: So wait. If the Hot Evil Leaper is leaping through time doing evil things, and I’m leaping through time doing good things, who’s controlling us? Is it God and the Devil?
MYSTERIOUS BARTENDER: Hello, I’m a mysterious bartender who may or may not be God.
SAM: Oh wow, is this the final episode? But I have so many questions!
MYSTERIOUS BARTENDER: And I won’t answer any of them. But answer me this: do you want to leap home now?
SAM: Woohoo! Hell yeah!
MYSTERIOUS BARTENDER: Or you can meddle with Al’s timeline again, this time to make sure his wife doesn’t give up on him while he’s a prisoner of war and they can live happily ever after together.
AL: What was that? Are you meddling with my timeline again?
AL: Goddamn it!
SAM: I think you’ll like this one, though. Also, it will make the audience cry.
SAM glows and LEAPS. He finds himself inside HIMSELF.
SAM: Hello, Al’s wife. He’s still alive, you know.
AL’S WIFE: In that case I will wait for him, he’ll come home and we’ll have lots of kids and a long and blissful marriage! It will be perfect!
THE AUDIENCE: [Weeps]
SAM: Told you they’d cry.
A CAPTION appears on the SCREEN: DR SAM BECKETT NEVER RETURNED HOME.
THE AUDIENCE: [Weeps]
SAM: Oh shit. [Weeps]
Script by Jayne Nelson