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Jumping for Joy.
Quantum Leap - Series 1 (DVD)
Member Name: ryanando
Quantum Leap - Series 1 (DVD)
Date: 09/07/08, updated on 09/07/08 (147 review reads)
Advantages: Great story lines, brill acting
Disadvantages: The future is grim.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summary: A brilliant TV show from the late 80's