ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT QUANTUM LEAP [Image]

Index

The CQs consisted of 42 files (plus this index) answering various questions about the tv series Quantum Leap, organized into eight subjects.  (I wrote these long before I ever heard the term FAQ, and stubbornly refuse to rename them.) They were originally written for Prodigy in 1992-1993, but were revised and expanded many times through about 1996.  All CQs were written by Karen Funk Blocher except where otherwise noted. 

The following is a complete listing of the CQs, which are no longer being updated. An * indicates that this section is currently online.  I will probably upload Part Eight if I can access my old files. Click on the headings or questions marked with * for the corresponding questions and answers.

*Part One: Real People

*QUESTION #1: IS THAT REALLY SCOTT SINGING? WHAT'S HIS BACKGROUND ANYWAY?

*QUESTION #2: DEAN STOCKWELL...WHERE HAVE I SEEN HIM BEFORE? by Nancy Henderson (update by Karen Funk Blocher)

*QUESTION #3: WHO IS DONALD P. BELLISARIO? WHAT ELSE HAS HE DONE?

*QUESTION #4: WHO IS DEBORAH PRATT? HAS SHE EVER ACTUALLY APPEARED ON QUANTUM LEAP?

Part Two: Real Life (no longer available)

QUESTION #5: WILL QUANTUM LEAP BE BACK? WHEN AND IN WHAT FORM? by Karen Funk Blocher and Margaret Colchin

QUESTION #6: WHAT BOOKS HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED ABOUT QUANTUM LEAP? WHAT OTHER QL MERCHANDISE IS AVAILABLE? by Karen Funk Blocher & Margaret Colchin

QUESTION #7: WHAT IS THE SAGA CELL? HOW MANY VERSIONS OF IT HAVE THERE BEEN?

QUESTION #8: WHAT QL FAN CLUBS AND NEWSLETTERS EXIST THESE DAYS?

QUESTION #9: WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS STUFF? by Karen Funk Blocher and Nancy Henderson

*Part Three: Sam & Al

*QUESTION #10: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SAM'S EARLY YEARS?

*QUESTION #11: WHAT DEGREES DOES SAM HOLD, AND HOW MANY DOCTORATES DOES HE HAVE, ANYWAY?

*QUESTION #12: HOW MANY LANGUAGES DOES SAM KNOW? WHAT ARE THEY?

*QUESTION #13: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT AL'S BACKGROUND?

*QUESTION #14: HOW MANY TIMES HAS AL BEEN MARRIED? TO WHOM?

*QUESTION #15: WHY IS AL SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT SOME THINGS AND NOT OTHERS? IS SAM IMMUNE TO SUCH BELIEFS?

*Part Four: Project Staff

*QUESTION #16: WHO IS GOOSHIE? ISN'T IT SPELLED "GUSHIE?"

*QUESTION #17: WHO IS TINA?

*QUESTION #18: WHY IS ZIGGY CALLED "HE" IN EARLY EPISODES AND "SHE" IN LATER ONES? WHEN AND HOW DID IT CHANGE? WHO IS ZIGGY ANYWAY?

*QUESTION #19: WHO IS DONNA ELESEE AND HOW DID SAM END UP MARRIED TO HER?

*QUESTION #20: WHO IS SAMMY JO FULLER? HOW OLD IS SHE IN 1999 (AS OF THE END OF "TRILOGY")?

*Part Five: Project History

*QUESTION #21: WHAT'S THE STAR BRIGHT PROJECT? HOW DID SAM MEET AL?

*QUESTION #22: HOW AND WHEN DID SAM START LEAPING?

*QUESTION #23: WHAT (OR WHO) IS G/T/W (GTFW)?

*QUESTION #24: AL SEEMS TO HAVE A DIFFERENT HANDLINK IN SOME EPISODES. HOW MANY HANDLINKS HAVE THERE BEEN? WHEN AND HOW DID IT CHANGE?

*QUESTION #25: WHAT IS A "KISS WITH HISTORY?" WHAT "KISSES" HAVE THERE BEEN?

*QUESTION #26: WHY DO THEY KEEP CHANGING THE RULES ON QUANTUM LEAP? WHY WAS IT OKAY FOR SAM TO CHANGE HIS OWN HISTORY BUT NOT OKAY TO CHANGE AL'S HISTORY UNTIL "MIRROR IMAGE?"

*QUESTION #27: WHERE IS PROJECT QUANTUM LEAP? HOW IS IT LAID OUT? WHY DOES THE PROJECT LOOK DIFFERENT IN DIFFERENT SEASONS' EPISODES?

*Part Six: How and Why

*QUESTION #28: HOW OLD ARE SAM AND AL? HOW FAR BACK IN TIME CAN SAM LEAP?

*QUESTION #29: WHY DOESN'T SAM EVER LEAP TO 1995 OR LATER, ASIDE FROM "THE LEAP BACK?" WHAT YEAR DID "THE LEAP BACK" HAPPEN?

*QUESTION #30: WHAT HAPPENS TO TIME AND THE UNIVERSE ITSELF WHEN SAM CHANGES HISTORY?

*QUESTION #31: WHY CAN'T THEY GET SAM HOME BY PUTTING THE LEAPEE IN THE ACCELERATOR, TARGETED ON SAM?

*QUESTION #32: WHAT IS THE IMAGING CHAMBER? WHAT IS A NEUROLOGICAL HOLOGRAM?  WHY DOES AL CAST A SHADOW?

*QUESTION #33: WHAT HAPPENS IN BETWEEN LEAPS? HOW DOES THE PROJECT FIND SAM WHEN HE ARRIVES?

*Part Seven: Body...

*QUESTION #34: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, SAM'S WHOLE BODY LEAPS? BUT I THOUGHT....

*QUESTION #35: WHAT IS THE "ILLUSION OF THE PHYSICAL AURA? HOW DOES IT WORK?

*QUESTION #36: WHO DOES SAM LOOK LIKE TO AL? WHO DOES SAM LOOK LIKE TO SAM? WHO DOES EVERYONE LOOK LIKE TO EVERYONE?

*QUESTION #37: IF IT'S SAM'S BODY, THEN HOW CAN THE LEAPEE'S PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES AFFECT HIM?

*QUESTION #38: HOW DID SAM AND ALIA SEE EACH OTHER? WHY COULDN'T AL SEE ZOEY? HOW DID ALIA'S LEAPEE GET TO THE WAITING ROOM?

Part Eight: & Soul

QUESTION #39: HOW IS SAM INFLUENCED BY THE PERSON HE LEAPED INTO?

QUESTION #40: WHAT DOES SAM REMEMBER AFTER CHANGING HISTORY?

QUESTION #41: WHAT DOES AL REMEMBER AFTER SAM CHANGES HISTORY?

QUESTION #42: WHAT DOES THE "LEAPEE" REMEMBER AFTER SAM CHANGES HISTORY?

All CQs © 1996 by Karen Funk Blocher except as noted on individual files.


Part One: Real People

QUESTION #1:
IS THAT REALLY SCOTT SINGING?
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT HIM?
by Karen Funk Blocher

Yes! Scott Bakula is an accomplished singer, dancer, and pianist, and plays some guitar also. Scott did all his own singing on the show, and that's him playing the piano or guitar in "Blind Faith," "Catch a Falling Star," "The Leap Home" and other episodes. Due to the necessities of tv, Scott's singing was usually done in a recording studio rather than on a soundstage. And yes, the guest stars in "Catch a Falling Star" did their own singing too--also prerecorded. Scott did some of his own stunts on QL, and directed three episodes, "Permanent Wave," "Roberto!" and "Promised Land."

Scott Bakula was born October 9, 1954. The son of a corporate lawyer, Scott grew up performing in all the non-professional venues one might expect of a talented kid growing up in the St. Louis area--singing in church, a rock band in the fourth grade, playing the piano from an early age, school plays and so on. He also played a lot of sports, including varsity soccer and tennis in high school.

Scott went to the University of Kansas to study business and pre-law like his father and brother, but dropped out and moved to New York in 1976 to try his luck as an actor. He soon got a job in a road company of Shenandoah, a musical he appeared in several times over the years. Scott's first Broadway show was Marilyn: An American Fable, in which he had a featured role as a singing Joe DiMaggio. In 1980, Scott performed in a musical called The Baker's Wife in Cincinnatti, co-starring with Krista Neumann. He married Krista the following year. They also appeared in Nite Club Confidential together. Scott and Krista have two children, school-aged daughter Chelsy (sic) and young son Cody. Unfortunately, Scott and Krista were divorced in 1995. Scott reportedly has a third child now with actress Chelsea Field.

By 1985 Scott was also doing tv, including a Folger's commercial ("Decaffeinated coffee? And I'm waking up?") and one for Canada Dry Ginger Ale called "Spring Dance." Scott's first tv series, Gung Ho, premiered on ABC December 5, 1986, with Scott in the role Michael Keaton played in the film. It died quickly. Between then and QL's premiere in 1989, Scott starred in two unsold pilots/tv movies, I-Man (1986) and Infiltrator (1987). He also starred as Bud Lutz in the short-lived CBS series Eisenhower & Lutz (1988), made four appearances as Mary Jo's cute but morally bankrupt ex-husband Dr. Ted Shively in Designing Women (1986-8) and guest starred on Matlock and My Sister Sam (both 1987). He also appeared in The Last Fling (1987), a tv movie starring John Ritter.

During this period Scott also returned to the New York stage to star in Romance/Romance and Three Guys Naked From the Waist Down, both of which were released as cast albums. Both albums (CD and tape) have been out of print in the U.S. for some time now, but were reissued as imports in 1993. Scott was nominated for a Tony in 1988 for Romance/Romance, and performed two songs on the awards show with co-star Alison Fraser, "I'll Always Remember the Song" and "It's Not Too Late." Romance/Romance consisted of two one-act pieces: "The Little Comedy," in which two rich strangers meet in turn-of-the century Vienna while disguised as poor people, and "Summer Share," in which two old friends come dangerously close to adultery as their spouses sleep. The Tony went to Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera.  Three Guys Naked From the Waist Down was a somewhat bawdier musical about stand-up comics on the brink of stardom.

In 1990, Scott acted in two theatrical films, both comedies. His role in Steve Martin's film L.A. Story ended up on the cutting room floor, but Scott had fifth billing in Carl Reiner's film Sibling Rivalry, playing a neglectful gastroenterologist husband to the frantic Kirstie Alley. In 1991 Scott had top billing in Necessary Roughness, playing overage collegiate quarterback Paul Blake. Scott also starred in the NBC tv movie In the Shadow of a Killer, which aired in 1992. This was the true story of a policeman whose fellow officers ostracize him over his views on capital punishment.

Since Quantum Leap wrapped in the spring of 1993, Scott has appeared on a Carol Burnett tv special and in several tv movies. In the 1993-6 tv seasons, Scott appeared on Murphy Brown in the recurring role of Peter Hunt, hotshot "scud stud" reporter and Murphy's onetime fiance. Scott also starred in Prowler, a CBS television pilot which did not make the schedule for the Fall '95 season and was never aired. Scott played "a top-ranking Los Angeles police detective" named John Harcher who is "drawn to macabre cases" following his wife's death. Scott also starred in a two-part tv movie revival of The Invaders, which aired on Fox in November 1995.  He returned to series tv in Fall 1996 with the CBS spy series Mr & Mrs Smith, in which Scott starred as the pseudonymous industrial spy Mr Smith opposite Mario Bello's Mrs Smith. Unfortunately, the show was in a terrible time slot and was canceled just as it was finding its "legs" dramatically.

Scott has also been involved in five theatrical films since the cancellation of QL. The first of these was the Bruce Willis film, Color of Night, in which Scott played a psychiatrist. Another film, A Passion to Kill, had a limited release and is now on video. More recent films include My Family, aka Mi Familia (as "a token white guy") and Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions (as detective Harry D'Amour). Still to come is the animated feature Cats Don't Dance (due out March 1997), in which Scott plays a song and dance cat trying to make it in Hollywood. Scott has his own production company, Bakula Productions Inc., in association with Warner Brothers, under which auspices he hopes to reprise his Niteclub Confidential role on film. And he is interested in doing QL films.

Scott won VQT's Best Actor in a Quality Drama award for four years in a row (1990-93) for his role on Quantum Leap, and another VQT award in 1994 in the Best Specialty Player category for his role as Peter Hunt in Murphy Brown. In 1995 Scott was once again nominated by VQT members for Murphy Brown, but did not win. Scott has also won a Golden Globe and a Man/Woman of the Year award for his work on Quantum Leap, plus three Emmy nominations and two additional Golden Globe nominations.

Scott has also been active on the charity front, often appearing in AIDS-related fundraising events. He has appeared at least twice in celebrity hockey games for the T J Martell foundation, and starred in a one-night only benefit performance of Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle at Carnegie Hall. (Anyone Can Whistle is now available on CD.)  In 1993 Scott also spearheaded the "Dump Weldon" environmental campaign to protect scenic Ojai Valley.

Is Scott as nice a person as he seems? Yes! Virtually every encounter I have ever had, heard about, or read about all indicate that Scott Bakula is very nearly as nice as the character Sam Beckett. Scott Bakula has not one iota of conceit. Every bit of praise he gets he turns into appreciation for others. If fans like him, he says it's because they like and respect the character of Sam; and he's quick to praise Dean and Don and the other writers, performers, crew and staff, and even the fans. When the four founding members of Project Quantum Leap first met Scott in August, 1990, he asked if we were on vacation, and was amazed to learn we had driven 9 hours to L.A. with the "Impossible Dream" of trying to meet someone from the show. When he signed my script, he wrote, "Thanks for coming all this way!"  This was a guy who was up for a Best Actor Emmy the following week!  I've also seen Scott go over to child extras on the set and exchange pleasantries with them.

QL Executive Coordinator Harriet Margulies told us in 1992 that she couldn't think of anything Scott can't do or any faults she's ever been able to find. He is indeed "too good to be true," as Harriet said herself (and Scott had called Harriet the same thing on an autographed picture to her). I'm sure he's human, gets tired, maybe snaps at someone once in a while, but really and truly, if there's a nicer or more talented person on the planet I've yet to meet him or her. However, Scott is not Sam Beckett!  Scott is more easygoing and funnier than Sam, very intelligent but not a megagenius as Sam is. He's also subject to the same pressures as other actors, marital and otherwise. Scott's a talented actor and a nice man, but he's neither a god nor a middle-aged boy toy.

Oh, one more thing--Scott's white forelock is apparently genetic, and first appeared when he was four years old. He had been "helping" a neighbor paint, and Scott's mother thought at first that Scott had gotten paint in his hair! Unfortunately, it's often dyed out of his hair these days.

[Profuse thanks to Ann Raymont, Margaret Colchin, and many others for much of the information presented in this answer.]

© 1992-1997 Karen Funk Blocher (revised 1/22/97)


QUESTION #2:
DEAN STOCKWELL...
WHERE HAVE I SEEN HIM BEFORE?
by Nancy Henderson

The answer to this question seems almost infinite. He has appeared in over 60 movies and nearly as many tv shows!!!

He was born Robert Dean Stockwell on March 5, 1936 in Hollywood, CA. His father Harry is best known as the voice of Prince Charming in the 1938 Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. His mother, Betty Veronica, had worked on Broadway and in Vaudeville. Harry took Betty, his eldest son Guy, and Dean on the road to Chicago and Boston. Then Betty and her sons settled in New York and the Stockwells soon divorced.

Dean was cast in his first Broadway play in 1942, Innocent Voyage. This lead to some work in radio and finally a screen test with MGM. In 1945 Anchors Aweigh began a string of successful films that hoisted Dean into child stardom. His acting style appears innate, and there are glimpses of his genius in early films such as Kim, The Boy with Green Hair, The Happy Years, Gentlemen's Agreement, etc.

He made an estimated 22 films in the next 9 years and was critically revered, but he felt trapped in the studio system and once his contract was up, he set out to find himself. He attended college briefly under an alias and took odd jobs. He experienced life from a different perspective than his working childhood had allowed him.

In 1957 he returned to the screen, soon taking on dramatic roles in films such as Sons and Lovers, Compulsion, and Long Days Journey into Night. The latter two were favorites at the Cannes Film Festival, both winning the combined cast awards for Best Actor. His return to films was short-lived. The 1960's drew his attention, and he once again went in search of himself. He made some important friends along the way, such as Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper.

His third attempt at Hollywood proved less successful. He got leading roles in small budget films, and an occasional small part in a bigger box-office draw. During this time, he appeared in many tv shows and did some dinner theater. The tide turned in 1983 when Dean had decided to retire from show-business and move to Santa Fe, NM to raise a family with his second wife, Joy Marchenko. (Dean was briefly married to actress Millie Perkins in the early 1960's). He placed an ad in Variety stating, "Dean Stockwell will help you with all your real estate needs in the new center of creative energy." Ironically, this brought his name up in the business and soon he had a small part in David Lynch's Dune, and a larger role in Paris, Texas, another Cannes favorite. (The Cannes film festival has been good to Dean both professionally and personally. I've read that he met Joy there. Dean has 2 children with Joy, Austin and Sophia.)

He then received roles in a myriad of films, such as To Live and Die in LA, Beverly Hills Cop II, Gardens of Stone, Banzai Runner, and Palais Royale. Two of his briefest appearances are classics: his role of Ben, the "whacked-out pansexual" in David Lynch's 1986 film, Blue Velvet and his portrait of Howard Hughes in Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

In 1988, Dean's career came full circle as he landed the comical role of Tony Russo, the Mafia don in Married to the Mob. He was nominated for an Oscar for this role but lost to Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. It seemed now that Dean could write his own ticket, and what he wanted was a tv series. When Donald Bellisario heard of Dean's interest in tv, he cast him as the wisecracking, lovable hologram Al on Quantum Leap.

In 1992 on Leap Day, Dean received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his film efforts. Money was raised for Dean's Star through a recycling effort created by his fans. Environmental issues are a primary concern to Dean. He spoke to Congress about the dangers that CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) pose to our diminishing ozone. Often when he appears on tv talk shows, he informs the audience of what we can do to help with environmental problems. His revived fame has allowed him this podium to disseminate such vital information.

In recent years, Dean has appeared in Robert Altman's The Player, the Dennis Hopper film Chasers, an unsold pilot called In the Mood, the four-hour Stephen King miniseries The Langoliers, and numerous tv movie and guest star roles, including a starring role as a postal investigator in Unabomber: The True Story. His most recent film roles include that of "a sleazy private detective" in the Ellen DeGeneres movie Mr. Wrong, and that of Captain Binghampton in thremake of McHale's Navy. tentatively scheduled for a Spring 1997 release.  Dean also has a role in the upcoming Harrison Ford movie AFO, which is currently in production at this writing. Four other recent films, The Last Resort, Midnight Blue, Living in Peril, and Sinbad, have not yet found distributors for theatrical release. On the tv front, Dean currently hosts the limited series Popular Science on The Learning Channel.  Dean currently does not have a publicist, but promises to hire one "if I'm in something I really believe in."

Nancy Henderson (update by Karen Funk Blocher 1/22/97)

© 1992-1997 Nancy Henderson & Karen Funk Blocher


QUESTION #3:
WHO IS DONALD P. BELLISARIO?
WHAT ELSE HAS HE DONE?
by Karen Funk Blocher

Donald P. Bellisario ("ll" in the last name, no final "us") is the creator and executive producer of Quantum Leap. He has written such landmark episodes as the pilot, "The Leap Home" (both parts), "The Leap Back," "A Leap for Lisa," "Lee Harvey Oswald," "Mirror Image" etc. As the ultimate authority with the final say on everything that appeared on QL, Don Bellisario has been rather controversial at times, whether he's defending episodes like "Running for Honor" and "The Wrong Stuff," challenging the opinions of others with his take on JFK's death, or just driving fans happily crazy with end-of-season cliffhangers and the arcane and ever-evolving "Don Bellisario's Laws of Quantum Leaping" as revealed in the episodes.

An ex-Marine pilot and ex-advertising copywriter, Don Bellisario broke into television drama with a script for Stephen J. Cannell's Baa Baa Black Sheep (1976-8). Don's first script to air on the series, by then known as Black Sheep Squadron, was "Wolves in the Sheep Pen" on January 4, 1978. This sale led to Don becoming a producer on the series. Much of the cast of this show went on to become what I call "Belisarius Players," appearing in later Bellisario-produced series as either guest stars or regular cast members, and in one case (James Whitmore, Jr.) a director and sometime associate producer.

Don Bellisario went on to become a writer-producer for Glen Larson's Battlestar Galactica and its revival, Galactica 1980 (ABC). The collaboration between the two producers and Universal led to their next project, Magnum, P.I., which Don Bellisario and Glen Larson co-created in 1980.

Magnum, P.I. was the biggest hit either Larson or Bellisario had ever had, and the show that established Donald P. Bellisario as a successful creator-producer in his own right. Don was executive producer for most of the 1980-88 CBS series, which starred Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, John Hillerman as Jonathan Higgins II, Larry Manetti (who later appeared in "A Tale of Two Sweeties" on QL) as Rick Wright, Roger E. Mosley as T.C., and Jeff MacKay (also of Black Sheep Squadron and Tales of the Gold Monkey) as Mac Reynolds (and later as Jim Bonnick). Tom Selleck took over from Bellisario as executive producer toward the end of the series.

Don Bellisario has also directed one theatrical film, Last Rites (1988), about a priest, a woman, and the Mafia. It was not as big success critically or commercially. But it was as a change of pace from the dark tone of that film that Bellisario first devised Quantum Leap.

Other shows created and produced by Donald P. Bellisario include:

Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982-83): pre-WWII Indiana Jones-style adventure in Bora Gora in the Pacific. The star was Stephen Collins (Captain Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture ) as pilot and ex-Flying Tiger Jake Cutter. One of the co-stars was Roddy McDowall ("A Leap for Lisa") as Bon Chance Louie, the plane was Cutter's Goose (seen in "Ghost Ship"), and there was a character named Gushie (not Gooshie). Jake's dog, the one-eyed Jack, was one of a long line of intelligent "Belisarius dogs," and would bark once for yes and twice for no.

Airwolf (CBS, 1984-86): a high tech helicopter, an adventurer and his older mentor/sidekick, and Deborah Pratt as both an actress (Marella) and a writer. Starred Jan-Michael Vincent as Stringfellow Hawke and Ernest Borgnine as Dominic Santini. One of the characters in Airwolf (the protagonist's missing brother, who appears toward the end of the series) was named Saint John, pronounced Sinjin, a name which later resurfaced in Quantum Leap's Edward St. John V. The final season of Airwolf, produced circa 1986-7 for USA instead of CBS to fill out the syndication package, replaced Stringfellow (String) with his long-lost brother Saint John and was not produced by Bellisario.

Three On a Match (NBC, 1987): tv movie and unsold pilot, with a plot somewhat reminiscent of QL's "Unchained." Featured Deborah Pratt and a cameo with Don Bellisario on a golf course. TV Guide of February 7, 1987 listed it as having a "firm commitment" from NBC to become a new series later that year. Nope.

Tequila & Bonetti (CBS, 1991-92): Critics hated it, but the network had actually approached Don to do a series about a canine cop, and this was the result. Originally titled Tequila & Boner in pre-production, the show got its final title with the hiring of lead actor Jack Scalia. Tequila and Boner were the names of the two pushers in the "M.I.A." episode of QL, but this time Tequila was the ultimate Belisarius dog, intelligent as a human and with a voice-over of the dog's thoughts to prove it. Also starred Charles Rocket ("A Little Miracle" and "A Leap for Lisa" on QL, among many other credits) and Mariska Hargitay, and featured perennial Belisarius Player W.K. Stratton ("Genesis," "Good Night, Dear Heart," and "Trilogy"), and Terry Funk (Carl Shiloh in "Heart of a Champion") who played Sgt. Nuzzo.

Don's first post-QL project for Paramount was Crowfoot (CBS, 1994) was an unsold pilot about a Native American detective in Hawaii who doesn't want to admit that he has visions of the future. It finally aired on CBS on June 7th, 1995. The network may have decided that it either wasn't original enough or it was too mystical; certainly similar ground (if you overlook the mystical angle) was covered in Magnum, PI and the recent UPN series Marker. QL and Magnum alumni on hand included Larry Manetti (Magnum PI and "A Tale of Two Sweeties") and various behind-the-camera personnel. Also in front of the camera: sharp-eyed Leapers spotted both Don Bellisario and QL director-cinematographer Michael Watkins in one scene, ogling a beautiful woman.

Don's most recent series, JAG, ran on NBC for the 1995-6 season. The show follows the exciting if somewhat improbable adventures of two Navy lawyers working for the office of the Judge Advocate General, occasionally aided by Oliver North (of Iran-Contra fame) as "Ollie."  Although NBC has since canceled JAG, CBS picked up the series as midseason replacement. Ironically, JAGMr. & Mrs. Smith. Several major changes in casting (essentially everyone except the male lead, on three different occasions) have taken place since the series premiered.
took over the CBS time slot just vacated by Scott Bakula's recently-canceled series

Many elements of the various Bellisario-produced series tend to reoccur from series to series. Actor W.K. Stratton has appeared in nearly every series Bellisario has ever done, and many other "Belisarius Players" have appeared in two or more series. Character names such as LoNigro and Ibold and Bonnick tend to turn up repeatedly, as do intelligent dogs, Vietnam vets (often P.O.W./M.I.A.) etc.

Donald P. Bellisario has seven children, two by his third wife, actress/writer/producer Deborah Pratt. (Don and Deborah are no longer married.) Other Bellisarios involved with QL have been associate producers David and Julie Bellisario, guest actor Michael Bellisario ("Camikazi Kid," "Play Ball," "A Tale of Two Sweeties" and "Mirror Image"), and Troian Bellisario, who played the little girl Teresa in "Another Mother." Don himself has appeared as the mirror shot of Dr. Tim Mintz in "A Portrait for a Troian," and as a miner having a drink at Al's Place in "Mirror Image."

Bellisario's production company, Belisarius Productions (one l), does not own QL but produced it for Universal. This is standard procedure when a studio puts up a large proportion of the production costs of a series, with the network paying the rest. By Quantum Leap's last season, Don Bellisario had signed a deal to develop further projects for Paramount instead of Universal. This did not affect Quantum Leap, but it does mean that Don is now working over at Paramount. It was for Paramount that Don developed JAG.

© 1996 Karen Funk Blocher (revised 1/22/97)


QUESTION #4:
WHO IS DEBORAH PRATT?
HAS SHE EVER ACTUALLY APPEARED ON QUANTUM LEAP?
by Karen Funk Blocher

Deborah Pratt, the co-producer of Quantum Leap during the show's first season, was co-executive producer of QL from the Season Two finale "M.I.A." through the Season Five series finale "Mirror Image." Aside from writing many amazing QL episodes, including "What Price Gloria," "Another Mother," "Black on White on Fire," "Shock Theater" and "Trilogy," she has also made several contributions to QL in her other career as an actress. She played Troian Giovanni Claridge in "A Portrait for Troian," in which then-husband Don Bellisario played the mirror shot of Dr. Tim Mintz. She also has been the voice of the saga cell ("Theorizing that one could time travel...") in every version aired since "All-Americans" in Season Two, and in "The Leap Back" she stunned Leapdom by providing Ziggy's sexy female voice. Deborah reprised the role of Ziggy in "Killin' Time."

A singer, composer, and veteran actress who has been in at least two unsold pilots among other credits, Deborah Pratt has been appearing in tv and film since the 1970's, largely in minor roles. One of these pilots was Katmandu (ABC, 1980), in which she played Kat, the beautiful body guard to a young prince and princess who are hiding out in America with Alice Ghostley and Victor Buono. She has also worked on the Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby and Dean Martin shows, appearing on the latter as a Golddigger.

A major break for Deborah came when she was cast as Marella, Archangel's assistant in Donald P. Bellisario's series Airwolf. In 1984 she sold Don a script for Airwolf, "Fallen Angel," beginning her transition from an actress in minor roles to the talented writer-producer she is today. She and Don Bellisario were later married, and had two children together, Troian (little Teresa in "Another Mother") and Nicholas (born in 1991). The couple later divorced, but both continued to work on Quantum Leap.

Deborah Pratt wrote a number of episodes for Don's series Magnum, P.I., including the episode which introduced Magnum's daughter Lily. Deborah also appeared numerous times on the series, playing Gloria the teller in the 1984 episode "Rembrandt's Girl" and a stewardess in another episode, and in a recurring role as T.C.'s girlfriend.

She also appeared in the Belisarius tv movie and unsold pilot Three On a Match, playing the sister of an escaped convict. A less memorable role was as a captured "Earther" woman in the Peter Strauss film Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, which unfortunately consisted of screaming at the aliens. In fact it was largely the lack of decent roles for black actresses which first inspired Deborah to take up scriptwriting herself, to create such acting opportunities for other artists.

It is fortunate for us that from such humble beginnings has come one of the most talented writer-producers in tv today. In November 1989 the Women In Film Festival presented Deborah with the Lillian Gish Award for Excellence for her script "The Color of Truth."

Deborah told us in a February 1993 interview that she hopes to write at least one of the QL movies if that's the form the show takes next. However, in recent years Deborah has referred all fan questions about the future of Quantum Leap to Don Bellisario.

Deborah has had a profound influence in the shaping of Quantum Leap and in trying to keep the series (and the Bellisario Laws of Quantum Leaping) reasonably consistent. She was also largely responsible for the existence of the Quantum Leap Conventions, fighting to convince Universal that there is a market for this and other QL-related side ventures (such as the Quantum Leap album).

Since Quantum Leap, Deborah has formed her own production company. When last heard from she had several projects "in the works," and had done some recent acting as well. I would greatly appreciate hearing from any fans who can confirm recent sightings of Deborah Pratt or her byline on screen.

Thanks to Ann Raymont, Deborah Pratt and the book Unsold Pilots for some of the information presented here.)

© 1997 Karen Funk Blocher (revised 1/17/97)

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