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Quantum Leap - Series 1 (DVD)

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Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 1989 / Director: Chris Ruppenthal, John Cullum, Paul Brown (III), Bob Hulme, Stuart Margolin, Anita W. Addison, Christopher Hibler, Michael Vejar, Ivan Dixon, Harvey S. Laidman / DVD released 08 November, 2004 at Playback / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      01.03.2010 17:58
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      Great show that captures the imagination

      When I was younger I would have to say that one of my favourite sciene fiction series was Quantam Leap. I wasn't always that into science fiction like Star Trek all that much although did watch it, but Quantam Leap just captured my imagination for some reason and I absolutely loved it. I think it was just the idea and at the time was pretty original and the only thing that came close was probably Back to the Future. This was a little different though.

      So what is Quantam Leap all about? Well the whole series is about a scientist by the name of Sam Beckett. He has created a time machine. But this is no ordinary time machine and unlike in Back to the Future where Michael J Fox time travels as himself, in this unique series Sam can travel in time by throwing his soul into another persion in the past. Sam then walks around as that person and when he looks in the mirror he will not see himself but will see that person he has jumped into. However, the mind and actions are all his. The specific reason in this captivating series is that all the people he jumps into have a problem that needs to be rectified so he is helping as he goes along through time.

      To help him in his cause to put things right that once went wrong is his hologram friend called Al that only Sam can see or hear. Al tells him how his actions affect that person's life for the better or worse. Only once he has rectified that person's life can he leap again and leaps to the next person in time.

      I think it's fascinating and to be honest I've always felt that it's not really about the science or the time travel but more about the human stories involved every episode and how he helps people and their lives get back on track. He is like the human version of Lassie if you will. I found myself warming to the character of Sam and the way he is portrayed is as a very believable individual who really cares about other's feelings and wants to do what is right.

      The show dealt with so many issues over it's course and the only shame was that it didn't go on longer. I think it only ran for four seasons. It was always original every episode and I always found myself wanting to see who he would jump to the next week. As well as covering some very serious issues there was always an element of humour and comedy in the programme every week which gave it a nice mix.

      If you've never seen Quantam leap I really recommend you watching it to see what it's all about and where better place to start than this complete first series on DVD at under £10

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      28.02.2009 18:20
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      Excellent first season of a sci-fi series

      Quantum Leap is a time-travelling TV drama series that ran from 1989 to 1993. The show had five seasons in total before ending its airing. It got a little tired of ideas in the end, and it was time to call it a day. A year or so ago, I spotted the complete season 1 on DVD for a mere £5, and just had to have it, but it is only more recently that I have gotten around to watching it.

      The basic premised is that Sam Beckett, a physics genius, has created a device that can send someone leaping through time, stopping at various intervals and assuming someone's persona for the purposes of his 'mission'. Each leap is determined by whether Sam can alter the course of history for the better, and lends an ear to the notion of guardian angels and a higher being dictating the way events take place.

      Season 1 starts off rather slowly with Genesis, Parts 1 & 2. I'm sure that, back in 1989, it was a rather interesting and modern concept, but the special effects look a little tired, and the acting from Scott Bakula as as Sam seems a little wet. This sharpens up about halfway through the double episode, so that by Part 2 I was enjoying myself. Sam is aided through time by Al, who appears from Sam's lab as a hologram. Dean Stockwell plays Al, and does a fine job.

      There are only 9 episodes in the season, and it is thus a very short one to start off with. Watch out for Teri Hatcher popping up as one of Sam's old flames who he meets before they actually met (if you see what I mean!). Particular episodes on this disc that stand out are How The Tess Was Won, where Sam finds himself a vet in 1956 who must become a cowboy, and also The Right Hand Of God, where Sam leaps into a boxer who must win the big fight to save a religious community.

      The programme is a brainchild of Donald P Bellisario, and although this season is very short, it is highyl entertaining, even after the shaky start. I really got into it this time, when I watched it ten or fifteen years after watching it for the first time. It has made me hungry to get the sceond season, which does feature a full season quota of 22 episodes. This first season disc came in a traditional cardboard case as opposed to the more common plastic disc case. There are three separate slots for each DVD, although there is no paperwork or documentation explaining what is going on. There are, however, some extras, with each disc featuring an episode insight, explaining the course of the filming and what the aim was each time. The first disc also contains a mini-documentary entitled A Kiss With History: Remembering Quantum Leap, which is thoroughly interesting and recaps people's thoughts on the show at the time and what it means now.

      Overall, it was excellent for the price, and even at a full price, whatever that may be, it is still a great first season of a sci-fi show. It did get off to a shaky start for me, but I loved it once it got going and Bakula relaxed more into the role. Recommended!

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        14.01.2009 22:12
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        Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, etc

        I was so excited when I bought this DVD. I sat through the whole first season in a few days.

        ~The programme~
        Quantum Leap is a secret government project. When the funding is about to be cut (in the future - not the present when the programme was made), the leading scientist decides to test the machine. When Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) awakes back in 1956, he discovers that he is a test pilot and has to test a fighter jet - but he has no idea how to fly. Sam discovers that he has actually "leaped" in to the body of another person. Everybody around Sam can see and hear the person he has "leapt" in to.
        Al Calavici (Dean Stockwell) appears to Sam in the form of a hologram. Nobody can see or hear Al except Sam. Al attempts to help Sam "right a wrong" and when this is done, Sam leaps in to the body of another person with another wrong to right.

        ~The DVD~
        Presented across 3 DVDs, these nine episodes are in different packaging to subsequent seasons which is a bit annoying. However, it is not so different to look completely out of place. The extras in this box set are quite lacklustre. We only have a documentary with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell remembering the program, and a piece of trivia for each episode from Scott Bakula.

        ~What I thought of it~
        I love this programme. I originally started watching it when it came on TV in 1987, and I relished each new episode. Having not seen most of them for a long time, I really enjoyed watching them again.

        I particularity enjoyed the pilot episode (both parts) as you can see how much thought went in to this program and both leads work very well with each other from the first scene. The Color (sic) of truth is also another strong episode, with the theme of racism set in 1955 America, where it is the norm for black people to be subservient to the whites.

        The episodes in the first season are:

        Genesis, Parts 1&2
        Star Crossed
        The Right Hand of God
        How the Tess Was Won
        Double Identity
        The Color of Truth
        Camikazi kid
        Play Again Seymour.

        If you ever think about buying a Quantum Leap box set, the first season is definitely the first to buy as it skilfully introduces all the elements that make the programme so good. This is especially true if you have never seen it before.

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          12.12.2008 11:45
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          A classic sci-fi show starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell.

          Quantum Leap was my favourite show when I was a kid and I still love it today. After watching scractchy VHS tapes and endless repeats of the show on TV I was mega excited when it eventually came out on DVD.

          The premise of the show is that a genius in 1999 called Dr Samuel Beckett, invents a time machine as part of a top secret project called 'Project Quantum Leap'. Bursting with the joy of his own success and swept away by an inflated ego, Sam jumps into the time machine before it's been fully tested to make sure it won't malfunction. Sam 'leaps' into the past, waking up in a strange house in the 1950s. When he looks in the mirror he sees a different face. In a sense it is only his mind that has time travelled - inhabiting someone elses body. The effects of time travelling seem to have made Sam lose some of his memories and he doesn't recall the project or even his own name.

          Another member of the project Admiral Al Calavicci, who is also Sam's best friend, is able to project a holographic image of himself back in time to wherever Sam has gone. When Al appears to Sam however, the time traveller can't remember him and mistakes him for a ghost or a 'bogeyman'!

          Sam is so fearful of his situation that he just wants to leap back home right away but the folks back in 1999 can't seem to get the time machine working again. A masterful organic computer back at the project headquarters, which is known as 'Ziggy', suggests Sam might leap out of the body he is in if he corrects something that wrong in the lives of the family of the man he has leaped into.

          Sam's task in the 'pilot' episode is literally to become a pilot and to fly a plane faster than one has ever flown before. He then has to save the life of his 'wife's unborn child. When Sam achieves this he leaps - not home to 1999 however, but into another time and another body. The same situation occurs: in order for him to leap again he must put something that went wrong in history right. In doing this, Sam hopes he will keep leaping forward in time until reaching 1999 again.

          This show really works because of the casting of Scott Bakula as Sam and Dean Stockwell as Al. Bakula is a handsome, strapping fellow who plays Sam as a vulnerable geek. I recall Al calling him 'Mr Morals' and refering to him as a boyscout. Sam's innocence is a big appeal. There is not one bone in his body that is bad and his hero status is undeniable. Al, on the otherhand, is a lot more sassy and frisky. He too is a good guy but he is a little more streetwise and cautious about other people's motives. Al's sense of humour and his jokey attitude to sex and women is an obvious contrast with the way Sam thinks and acts. It is also a curious notion that a man of such high standing career wise could be so wild and wacky.

          This odd partnership between the two main characters allows scope for comedy and interesting, challenging interactions. Al antagonises Sam and Sam chastises Al. In the end, though, the pair completely understand one another. Al is, in a sense, a guardian angel to the hero. The friendship is heart-warming and there is obvious chemistry between the two actors. I'm not sure how much of the script was improvised but when these two talk in a scene it often sounds so natural. They seem to bounce ideas and smiles off one another.

          The storylines in the eight episodes of the first season were played out in a lighthearted manner. The episode 'Color of Truth' deals with racism and is probably the most hard-hitting and serious episode of the bunch. The other episodes have comedy value but also deal with serious issues like the Vietnam war, domestic violence and mob rule. Still, I think this is the most carefree of all five seasons of the show.

          Both Bakula and Stockwell are able to play comedy and tragedy and this versatility is very appealing. Bakula's ability to transform himself into the character Sam leaps into each episode is also very admirable.

          The first season contains some top class episodes including my favourite 'Camikazi Kid'. There are some recognisable guest stars throughout the season too.

          The DVD contains a documentary called 'A kiss With History: Remembering Quantum Leap' which sees interviews with the creator and the stars. There are also several snippets of interviews with Bakula and Stockwell which are either placed at the beginning of an episode or are found as easter eggs around the discs. It is dissapointing to me that the actors are never interviewed together - I would have loved to have seen that chemistry back!

          An inspirational show to me - it made me feel that I should always stand up to the bad guys in life no matter what.

          The DVD boxset of Series one is available on Region 2 and 4 PAL.
          Certificate PG.

          Episodes:

          Pilot,
          Star Crossed,
          The Right Hand Of God,
          How The Tess Was Won,
          Double Identity,
          The Colour of Truth,
          Camikazi Kid,
          Play It Again Seymour.

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            06.08.2008 06:07
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            If you like sci-fi and time trave, then give this a try.

            This was a programme that I watched whilst at school, which we would then discuss the next day. I decided to buy it as it reminds me of my school days, plus I had been waiting for the BBC to repeat it and they have still not done.

            The main character is Doctor Sam Beckett who, along with a group of top scientists, is researching his theory that a man could time travel within his own lifetime. But to save his funding, he is forced to enter the accelerator prematurely and vanished. He found himself in someone else's body with partial amnesia. The only contact he has from home is Al, a hologram image that only he can see and hear. To move from one body to the next he has to set right things which once went wrong, Al providing all this information for him, although not always the right information. Sam is in constant hope that the next leap is his final leap home.

            The show was created by Donald P Bellisario, who also worked as a writer on Magnum P.I., Airwolf, Battlestar Galactica, Jag and Navy NCIS.

            The extras on this are great, about the series as a whole and the ideas behind it. Before each episode you can choose for a little insight into the episode, Al's crazy clothing and cameo appearances. I know that there iss probably something I forgotten, but there is that much material.

            What I like about this programme is how it's a lot more than sci-fi, which is something that puts a lot of people off. Due to the time travel it can be classed as a period production, and it also covers other genres - comedy, romance, sport and action. It also covered changes in society, equal rights for women, black people and foreign people, prohibition and religion. There are some episodes which are beneficial for people who are studying about certain years through history or just want to know more.
            What it does well where others have failed is that it gets the years right. If the story is set in the sixties then it has the right music, clothes, food, tv, famous people and language.

            This is why I would reccommend this series to people - it's a lot more then sci-fi. With great acting, writng, production and director this series deserves a lot more credit then it was even given.

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              09.07.2008 03:44
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              A brilliant TV show from the late 80's

              ---We gather here today...---

              As I type, I am off work, ill. Hay fever (or gay fever as my predictive text on my phone keeps making me type) has grabbed hold of my head today. Unlike every other day, the antihistamines haven't hit in in the face. In fact, they have hardly tickled it in a jovial manner. So, not particularly wanting to be electrocuted mid call by a snot covered computer or the prospect of putting people on hold while I gouge my eyes out and have a sneezing fit, I called in sick. I may have to deal with a borage of sh...er...unpleasantness when I return tomorrow, but hey ho, that's life.

              Being off sick, this means I'm sitting in the house doing nothing. In an attempt to KEEP doing nothing, I turned to reviewing. It's been a while (Ok, so, less than a week hardly constitutes a while. Hello, my name is Ryan and I'm an addict. I will only stop when I finally get a mention on the community page for being amazing and then I shall slink off into the night, never to be heard from again.) and there are dishes to do. Reviewing or dishes? Hmmm.

              From childhood I've always been a bit of a geek. I'm cool with that though. Geeks get way more action than the cool people. Fortunately I'm also entirely sarcastic, so it tempers my geekery. Sometimes, however, the inner geek wins.

              The geek was strong in me when I began watching Quantum Leap as a kid. Every night I would come home from school, hog the television and eat junk. I'm starting to see why I was a bit tubby as a child...

              In the last couple of years I've lost some weight, but still love Quantum Leap. Having a crappy job means I can't come home and watch it on the T.V. so I decided to see if it was available on DVD. I was in luck, they had started releasing them and were up to season 3. Being sensible, I decided I'd start with season 1. What a good idea that was too!

              ---It All started when...---

              I can sense by now that a few of you don't really have a clue what the programme is about. So I shall tell you a few things. First of all, its made by Donald P. Bellasario, the guy behind Magnum PI, JAG, NCIS and he worked on the original Battlestar Galactica. He's cool.

              Now for what its actually about. Scientist Dr Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula in his uber hot days) is at the head of a time travel experiment that went "a little bit ka ka" (their words not mines). It has left him jumping around in time, landing in other peoples bodies and having to do some heroics before he will leap on again. It's an odd concept, but the programme explains it a whole lot simpler than I can. On his journey, he has a guide from the future helping him, Al (Dean Stockwell), who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. Al also provides a fair amount of comic relief since he is possibly the biggest pervert slash womaniser on the face of the earth and loveable with it. Again, explained a lot better in the series!

              ---I've forgotten who I am---

              Series one is quite short. It has 9 episodes which is a crime really. Each episode lasts about 45 minutes and will have you hooked (or else I will hunt you down).

              The Pilot episode, Genesis, is a great start to the Series. Sam starts the experiment and leaps into the body of a test pilot on September 13, 1956. What we soon find out is that the leaping process leaves a few holes in Sam's memory. He wakes up next to a heavily pregnant woman, has no idea where he is, or even what his second name is. Sounds like a scary end to a great night out to me. The next shock he gets is when he looks in the mirror. In stead of his own, hunky face, staring back at him is the face of the person he has leaped into, Tom Stratton.

              Through the course of the episode Sam learns that Tom Stratton originally died attempting to fly an experimental plane and that Sam's mission (they assume) is to fly the plane at Mach-3 and live. Throwing a guy who doesn't know how to fly into a plane and telling him to break mach-3 and live...well that's just pure comedy.

              The episode pretty much sets everything up for the viewer in a very easy to grasp fashion. There's not a whole lot of science-babble so anyone can view and enjoy.

              ---Oh, boy---

              Through out the series as a whole, Sam grows in front of our very eyes as he slowly starts to remember little things about who he is and where he comes from. The end of genesis sees him place a very emotional phone call to his father who he has already seen die from cancer and many other episodes let us see what a smart, compassionate man he really is. Hell, he has something like 5 doctorates in different sciences under his belt. Not bad for someone who grew up milking cows!

              This show, other than being a great piece of viewing, was also great at dealing with wider issues such as racism, homophobia, rape and sexual harassment very well. Sam never shy's away from being outspoken and it leads to much less pussy footing around the issues.

              The acting is top notch, and apparently so are the hair styles, since they have won awards for them. Not a lot can be faulted about this show. I will find something though. Let me think...

              Oh! I know! Since this show began life in the late 80's, the "future" is as far away as (wait for it) 1999. When we get the occasional glimpse of 1999 fashion on Al...well...lets just say I'm glad it's not accurate. On top of that, it's very hard to believe that Sam is actually 46. Ok, so he has a bit of grey hair, but he's way too sexy to be 46.

              Throw the special effects into the "dodgy" category too while we are there. Given they aren't awful for their time...but you might look at it and think "wow, thats crap"

              ---Does my DVD look big in this?---

              That's all your getting on the programme since I don't want to go into uber amounts of detail and ruin the whole series for you. I will now bitch and moan about the Box. Being quite short Season one is on 3 whole disks. Being that there's only three, the box folds open, revealing two large photos, one of Sam, one of Al. Brilliant stuff really. It's a very pretty box set. My problem comes more with the fact it doesn't fit with any of the later seasons. It opens in the opposite direction for a start. I will forgive it, however, just because the design as a whole is the same throughout the seasons, it is just the innards that hold the disc and the opening direction that differ.

              ---Quantum Extras---

              Season one is the only box set that comes with any extras. That makes it the best season you can buy. As with any box set I would suggest you watch the episodes before watching the extra bits. You don't want to be ruining the story for yourself after all.

              At the start of each episode you can choose to have a rather old and worn Scott Bakula telling us about the making of the episode you are about to watch. He provides some great insights while he depresses you with how old he has gotten.

              There's also a hidden extra where Bakula leaves a little message for fans. Being a total fan/geek, I got way too exited over the Easter eggs.

              ---Boring extras---

              Subtitles come in a grand total of one language. English. Not too handy if you don't speak English...but then... how exactly are you reading this review if you don't speak English? My ex flatmate loved the subtitles, mainly because he was a weirdo that you don't want to be compared with, and partly because they say "quantum whooshing" every time Sam leaps.

              As for the age rating on season one, it's PG so you can enjoy it with all your kiddies. That's assuming you have them. If you don't, steal the neighbours kids. Everyone needs to see this.

              Running time, I'm told, is about 7 hours. 6 hrs 49 minutes if you want to be exact. Well I did say it's only nine episodes!!

              I guess you'll all be dying to know how much you'll need to shell out for this piece of Cult Sci-fi, TV shaped love in a box? Well if you go on to Play.com its about 14.99. You can sometimes find it in the high street stores for around the same price though, so it's worth checking everywhere. I find that to be a tad over priced for the first season, but the other seasons are all priced the same and have a tonne more episodes, so it all evens out.

              ---The last leap will be the leap home---

              That's it. I'm not telling you anything more. Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell want you to watch this season (seriously, I asked em). They said they will do nasty things to kittens if you don't. I'm off to watch season 2 and see if I can't get any more topless screen shots of Bakula in his youth. Yum.

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                22.03.2006 20:16
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                best programe ever

                Being one of the best ever Sci-fi Tv shows, there was quite a build up of fans hopes. So first of all lets get ride of the bad points of the dvd release.

                1. Card board case
                2. Not many extras

                that’s it.

                Now for the good points. The show itself, this was one of the best shows of its time mixing Sci-fi, comedy, adventure and romance with a great story line, it follows that story of Dr Sam Becket stepping into a quantum leap accelerator and vanishes back in time, changing the past, changing the past things that once went wrong .

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              • Product Details

                Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and Vanished...He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.