The innovative series Quantum Leap really hit its stride in its third season, producing a number of excellent episodes along with some interesting twists – and it start’s with Sam leaping in to himself as a boy – and can he change his own past? Quantum Leap Season 3 hits the streets Tuesday.
It was Season 3 when I was able to consider myself a full-time leaper. I didn’t watch the show full-time before that – probably because I hadn’t really been aware of it at first, and then caught it occasionally and slowly got hooked. By the end of the second season, I was in.
Season three starts off with a double-whammy – a two part episode, “The Leap Home”, with Sam leaping in to Sam – as a high school senior, about to play the most important basketball game of the season, which he lost the first time. But can Sam change more of that? His father would die in a few years, his sister would marry a man named Chuck with a drinking problem, and his brother Tom is shipping out to Vietnam – from which he never returned. How much can – or should – Sam change?
Following that, same then leaps in to his brother Tom’s SEAL unit, where he again has a chance to save his own past – but at what expense? Tia Carrere (Relic Hunter), Patrick Warburton (The Tick), and Andrea Thompson (Babylon 5) appear in this episode.
And from there, the season rolls on. Some highlight episodes: “The Episode that Shall Not Be Named” (not its true title – long-time Leapers will know why, but I want my web site to stay up), a very creepy episode with a creepy twist; “Miss Deep South”, with Sam as a beauty pageant contestant; “Black on White on Fire”, in te middle of the Watts Riots; “A Little Miracle”, a twist on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; “Private Dancer”, with Sam as male dancer “Rod the Bod”, helping a deaf dancer get her shot (watch for Debbie Allen (Fame); “Glitter Rock”, with Sam as the lead singer in a glam-rock band; and “Shock Theater”, with Sam as a mental patient receiving shock treatments, resulting on a very interesting twist for Season 4…
An interesting episode for me was “The Great Spontini”, as it brought back a childhood memory. I remember watching a show early in the morning one day as a kid, in which Bill Bixby played a magician (I was actually convinced he was a magician for years afterwards). The only thing I remembered was that there was this contraption where a magician would lay down on it shackled, and another layer with spikes would drop down from above after a timer ran out, and a magician was killed by it. Later research showed this was the series The Magician, and I saw it some years later on the SCI FI Channel (back when they showed short-lived shows). This episode had the EXACT SAME contraption – and even referenced Bill Bixby and the show. Suddenly that childhood memory had been confirmed.
Read my Season 2 review for reference.
Packaging: Where Season 2 discs came in a simple cardboard folder inside the slipcase, Season 3 has each disk in its own slip plastic jewel case. Better protection for the discs, but perhaps not as glitzy. The slipcase retains the cool reflectivity. Discs are double sided, so you have to flip to view another set if episodes. 3/5
Video quality: Improved over Season 2. 4/5
Extras: Same as Season 2 – that is to say, absolutely none. Disappointing that they still haven’t added anything, but at least this time it didn’t mention that there was when there wasn’t. N/A
Navigation: Same as Season 2. Each disc has 4 episodes, which you can “Play All” or select individually, with episode descriptions. 2/5
Overall: Still have to give this show a 5/5, with this probably being the best overall season of the show.
Final score: 3.5 out of 5 (0.25 improvement from Season 2), but that’s not counting the lack of Extras again. Hello, Universal? Please give us something. I understand Scott Bakula has some free time 🙂