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Quantum Leap reboot begins filming as Ernie Hudson joins cast… but no Scott Bakula return, it seems

March 20th, 2022 by Marc Comments

Talk about your glass os half full/half empty scenario.

Let’s take a Quantum Leap back a bit, shall we? Last September (here) we learned that a Quantum Leap return was likely from original show star Scott Bakula saying: “There’s very significant conversations about it right now going on.”

Then, in January, we learned that a new series was likely to happen and Bakula was indeed looking like a possible return – but we’ll get back to that soon.

In the original 80s and 90s series saw Bakula playing brilliant scientist Sam Beckett who, along with Al Calavichi, played by the late, great Dean Stockwell, developed Project Quantum Leap, a government-funded time travel experiment. Sam jumped into the time accelerator and vanished, lost in time. However, Al was eventually able to find Sam who was now able to embody other people and was on a mission that saw him leaping throughout time from person to person, helping people and making the timeline a better place or, as the show said, putting right what once went wrong. In the end, Sam was lost in space and would forever be a cosmic Lone Ranger of sorts. It was one of the saddest, and yet hopeful, show finales of all-time.

However, now we learned a few new things.

Firstly, the new show’s pilot has started filming:

This is great news, as we Leapers have been waiting a long time for this show to return to our TVs.

Next up, we learned that the show will mostly be made up of relatively unknown actors along with one of our all-time favourite actors, Ernie Hudson! Yes, the Ghostbusters star will be in the new show according to this new cast photo:

The image also includes Made For Love star Raymond Lee who will play Dr Ben Seong “a scientist and man of faith. He’s a world-renowned physicist working on a time travel project known as Quantum Leap,” it also features theatrical actor Mason Alexander Park who we believe is playing the character of Ian Wright who designed the Quantum Leap AI and “who prefers the company of computers to that of other people”. There’s a full breakdown of all the new characters below.

We know that the series will pick up years after the original and will see a new team trying to work out what the original project was and what happened Sam Beckett.

That time Sam almost leaped into Magnum P.I.

The official synopsis reads:

It’s been 30 years since Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished.

Now a new team has been assembled to restart the project in the hopes of understanding the mysteries behind the machine and the man who created it.

Embracing the iconic series’ signature blend of humor, heart, and history, this reboot expands upon the Quantum Leap universe, taking us on a thrilling journey across space and time, exploring the timeless notion of what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes, and the enduring value of changing lives for the better.

Lee plays the lead, Dr. Ben Seong, a world-renowned physicist working on a time-travel project known as Quantum Leap who gets stuck in the late 1980s with amnesia after using the technology.

Hudson portrays Herbert “Magic” Williams, a Vietnam veteran and head of the time travel project at Quantum Leap. Using a bit of politicking and his military know-how to keep the Pentagon at bay, Magic buys the team some time to rescue Ben but expects answers once he’s back.

FTN interviews the great Ernie Hudson.

The interesting thing is that Herbert ‘Magic’ Williams was a character in the original series who featured in the episode The Leap Home PtII (here), he was a friend of Sam’s brother’s who was called Magic because he escaped death twice in Vietnam. Sam had leaped into Williams to save his brother’s life in the war… could this be the connection? Does he perhaps remember the project or Sam helping him? This is intriguing, indeed.

As for the full character line-up, this is what we know (here):

Dr. Ben Seong 
Ben is a first-generation American, a world-renowned physicist, and a man of faith. He’s also working on Quantum Leap, a time travel project. But when he uses the project on himself, he’s transported back to the late 80s and struck with a bout of amnesia – forgetting what made him time travel in the first place.
The casting for Ben calls for a man in his mid 30s to early 40s, of AAPI or MENA descent.

Addison is a smart, witty, fearless ex-military operative who now serves as a project lead at Quantum Leap HQ. She’s in charge of the technology they use to communicate with the past, and tries to rescue Ben from his time-flung existence.
The open-ethnicity casting for Addison calls for a woman in her 30s.

Ian Wright (Alexander Park)
Quantum Leap’s nonbinary chief architect of the AI program, who prefers the company of computers to that of other people.
The open-ethnicity casting calls for a person in their 20s, and encourages non-binary actors to submit.

Herbert “Magic” Williams
A Vietnam vet and current head of the time travel project at Quantum Leap. Herbert “Magic” Williams uses his no-nonsense personality and aura of control to keep the Pentagon at bay while the team tries to rescue Ben.
The casting calls for a black man in his 60s.

Head of security at Quantum Leap HQ. Described as quirky but formidable, she makes it her mission to figure out how Ben could have both leapt back in time and erased all evidence of the leap in the future.

A mysterious woman who was working with Ben in the present before his leap through time, whose true motives remain unknown. The role is described as a recurring guest spot, casting a white woman in her 40s.

A wife attempting to ask her husband for a divorce. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize Ben currently occupies her husband’s body. The open-ethnicity casting calls for a woman in her late 30s.

We also know that Ziggy, the AI from the original series, will be in the new series and will need to be rebooted at the beginning of the first episode and it seems that the handilink that Al used all the time, left, will be there too and is described as “a smartphone on steroids. And it’s colorful”.

It also seems that in the show we will learn that Al, like Dean Stockwell, died shortly before the project was restarted and he will be mentioned in the show, as will Sam.

However, we’re hearing that Bakula is sadly not going to be involved after all… but we’re holding out hope that, if the project revolves around Sam and Al, as it should, we’ll see Bakula back in some form, should the series get a run longer than just this pilot after all, the showrunners of the series, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, DO want him back.

We’re hearing the show is being made by people who love the original series and is firmly set in the same world – and spirit: “You, you fan of the classic series, you’re in good hands, because the producers love, love the old show. And while they are branching off, and they’re doing something new, they are going to treat our old characters and the old feel of the show with love.”

We’re certainly excited… but we know that disappointment is always a reality with these things.


Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….