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‘Quantum Leap’ review: Raymond Lee stars in a modest upgrade as 1990s series plunges again on NBC



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The process of trying to develop the original story and at the same time recreate it became a leap that initially came out of the reach of “Quantum Leap,” an NBC remake of one of the more provocative concepts from the original series. golden years of networking. Set behind “The Voice,” the film seems destined to grab viewers’ attention, but despite a host of mysteries, that won’t stop some from jumping out quickly.

Building on the original program, the concept featured a team of scientists and military personnel working on a project that Dr. Sam Beckett (originally led by Dr. Scott Bakula) pursued in the previous series, before disappearing in the mid-1990s.

Here, physicist Ben Song (Raymond Lee) makes the leap into a special effects-enhanced accelerator that sends him back into the lives of others – in this first episode, a the driver went on vacation in 1985.

As with the previous series, the show takes a considerable amount of pleasure in setting the historical moment, with songs by the likes of David Bowie and Duran Duran setting the mood. (It also happened the year before the Fox network launched, so for NBC in terms of its place in the less competitive TV landscape, happier times.)

Here, however, Ben’s jump proves a mystery to his colleagues, including his fiancée Addison (Caitlin Bassett), who in this story serves as the hologram that emerges. present to support him even as the team returns home are working to decipher both why he took the risk without informing them and how to bring him back.

Recently featured in “Top Gun: Maverick,” Lee creates a solid lead and swings between past and present adding a bit of dimension to the framework, which still boasts Ben’s procedural component helping one different person each week. before jumping into a new context. At home, the team is led by a professional soldier (Ernie Hudson), while Addison struggles with Ben’s lost memories and what to tell him about their relationship.

However, “Quantum Leap” stood out in its day by using the then ambitious format to explore social and historical issues. Even then, the show was never really a huge hit, even though it lasted for five seasons before ending unsatisfactorily.

While the premise was prominent at the time — representing the kind of unorthodox rotation that late NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff liked to do — its formula used the past as a window into the present. at feeling less special now and balance that with the sequential component of feeling a bit tense at first blushing.

Recycle familiar titles that have become a tried and true method cut through the clutter of the program, and by that measure, “Quantum Leap Forward” starts with a certain advantage. But the clock is ticking, and in the current TV environment, the time may not be right for it.

“Quantum Leap” premieres September 19 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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