Friday, October 10, 2014

Quantum Leap: the Movie

Like many people, I found the ending of Quantum Leap unsatisfactory. I've long had an idea for a story that would wrap it up both more neatly and provocatively.

And by the way, if anybody from the copyright holder (or anybody who knows somebody...) happens to be reading: I disclaim all rights in this idea. Use if freely. I'd far rather see this made than get paid (although a "from an idea by..." credit would be nice.)

[fade to black]
Open on: the same set and title card that closed out the original TV series.

 Burn in: Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.
[crossfade to]
Burn in: ...Until today

Open on Sam, emerging from a leap. He is in an anonymous office bathroom, could be anywhere in America, any time from the 1980s to the present day. POV over his shoulder, he looks into a wall mirror and sees...

…himself, as young as he looked at the beginning of the project.

Sam: Oh boy!


The story then unfolds: after many years of leaping, Sam has somehow leaped into his own body. It is 1999 [the "present day" of the project in the original series], just a few days before the experiment that launched his first leap. And Sam has just days to decide: knowing what he knows now, does he take the leap or not? If he does leap, he knows he may never get home again. This may be his one and only chance to break out. But if he doesn't leap, does he change history and erase all the good he has ever done? He has no idea... and no help (at first).

Back in his own timeline [our present day], a long-retired Al dozes in a chair. The QL project was shut down years ago. They had lost contact with Sam, and after months with no sign of him, everybody had assumed he was lost in time. The one exception: Al never gave up hope, and even though the project is mothballed, he still has the comm device gathering dust in a drawer of his desk.

And after all these years it blinks into life, and starts bleeping, waking Al.

So now Al, with the help of a grown-up Sammy Jo, tries to reboot Ziggy, contact Sam in 1999, and figure out the consequences of his decision. But the closer they get to the choice to leap or not, the more erratic and unhelpful Ziggy becomes: instead of converging, her predictions and probabilities are bouncing wildly, as every choice Sam makes seems to involve terrible paradoxes and instabilities. Whatever Sam chooses seems to be wrong...