Quantum Leap was one of the few series that was able to complete their entire season before both the Writers’ and Actors’ strikes. Since the series was renewed early on, showrunners Martin Gero and Dean Georgaris and their team were quick to write up the next season.
“This show has not been affected by the strike all that much,” Gero tells The Nerds of Color. “Because we were picked up so early, we were able to have those eight episodes ready to air now, which is incredible. And now, through a miracle, both strikes have ended thankfully.”
With the conclusion of the writers’ strike, Gero and Georgaris can now talk about the rest of the reason as it reaches its’ halfway point. Gero says the last episode of this half will be in December and will return with new episodes in January. He is grateful to his team for getting all the episodes wrapped in a timely manner.
“We’ve actually had more time this season than we ever had in the first season,” Gero explains. “I think you really see it in the effects of the show and some of the life-finishing aspects of the show. It feels like it’s up another notch just because we weren’t in a panic rush to get the shows on the air.”
For a series like this, everything has to be thought of thoroughly as it deals with different points of history. This season has seen Ben (Raymond Lee) traveling to Area 51 during the height of the UFO sightings and then leaping to the LA Riots – now known as the LA Uprising. And, throughout his travels, the overarching story remained.
“At the start of every season or at the end of the first season, we have brainstorming boards,” says Georgaris. “We’ve got the cool places or kinds of leaps we’d like to see and then we lay out the character stories for the season – the three year time jump and what that means for Addison (Caitlin Bassett). We’ll see [both Ben and Addison] in [episode] two and they’ll struggle in three and four. It’s a really fun process. The good news is that we can do almost anything as long as we can afford it. The bad news is we can do almost anything. So it can be paralyzing sometimes, but it’s ultimately very, very fun. Very exciting.”
The Nerds of Color asks all the burning questions you want to know about this season – including if they have seen the many theories from the fans. Also, are Ben and Addison endgame?
The Nerds of Color: I want to talk about the elephant in the room. I need to talk about Hannah (Eliza Taylor). Ben meets the same girl twice in the leap over time. She’s this beautiful genius who also feels something for Ben. The thing is, he leaps depending on where he’s needed and when he’s needed. So how would this work? How would he regularly see her? Is Ziggy throwing Ben a bone?
Dean Georgaris: Exactly, those questions. That’s exactly right. Is Ziggy doing this for Ben? Is there a greater purpose? One could argue that he runs into her in [episode] three to set up a successful leap in episode six, and they save the world and that could be the end of their story. But, maybe. that wouldn’t be as entertaining as if it’s not the end of their story.
Martin Gero: I don’t think it’s a secret that we’re gonna be seeing more of Hannah this year. I don’t know. Ziggy is like an all knowable thing. I don’t want to ruin anything. But there’s a purpose to it. There’s a purpose to it.
There is a theory. I want to know if you heard this theory going around the internet. “Hannah is one of the founders of the Quantum Leap program.” Is there any validity to that?
Gero: No, but great guess. What’s been fun for us is that there’s been so many articles on fan theories. I don’t think anyone’s gotten it, but some of them were pretty good. That would have also been a good version of it. We’re so proud of our [Quantum Leap] family for really coming up with so many great takes on who [Hannah] is. It’s been really great to see that electricity in the community.
Ian (Mason Alexander Park) did the most desperate thing that they could do: open Ziggy up to outsiders, in order to save their friend. What can we expect from this storyline – especially from Ian’s partner, Rachel (Alice Kremelberg)? This is the first time we get to see a non-binary couple together. It’s amazing, but it also worries me, because can we trust Rachel?
Gero: Well, the storyline is incredibly important to the season. First and foremost, it will play throughout and, because of that, I’m somewhat limited [in what I can tell you]. But we can trust Rachel. We’re not planning on a heel turn for Rachel. Rachel and Ian’s relationship is hopefully going to survive this. I think it speaks to how much they are both afraid of Rachel’s boss who will play a bigger role in the back end of the season.
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t want to like Tom (Peter Gadiot). But, with this episode, you guys were able to make me like Tom… which is making it so hard for us to root for Ben and Addison. What are you doing to us?
Georgaris: Great love stories have obstacles. For a relationship to really qualify as soulmates, you [have to] test that relationship. You can put people through various things. Frankly, if Tom wasn’t a great guy, that just wouldn’t be consistent with the Addison we know. If Tom was a Ben clone that wouldn’t be consistent with the Addison we know. The idea with Tom was to choose someone great because Addison would, but also as Martin likes to say, choose someone who the team loves. If her friends love him, then he’s a partner. He’s a person of value.
We seem to now be dealing with a love square (or this weird shape I can’t draw out) between Ben, Addison, Tom, and Hannah. Now with Ben and Hannah having a potential relationship, I wonder how that will affect Addison. Yes, three years have passed and she’s moved on. But, there is always that connection and she still needs to work with this guy. What can we expect from this?
Gero: Well, I think what Addison feels is the most complex question of the season. Because, what’s happening to Ben is so immediate and very clean and he’s reacting. Sometimes, very emotionally and instinctually. Whereas, Addison had three years to really think about all of this and grieve him and try to move on and then build something with someone new. Then suddenly, she’s got to be working with this guy she thought was dead. She thought [Ben] was her soulmate. She’s also so conscious that he’s in a much more terrible position than she is and has to give him the space to work. For instance, the end of episode four when he said, ‘that’s it, I’m out. I can’t have you as a partner anymore.’ It’s such a phenomenal, twisty, complicated story. Caitlin is great. Caitlin has shown extraordinary subtlety in her attack on all of this and it’s played so beautifully. We’re never mad at Addison either. Ben is, but we are not. She’s able to sell that side of it so hard. The show is obviously a love story about Ben and Addison and a grander canvas over many, many seasons. But, again, we need to be able to earn [that] soulmate [title], if that makes sense.
Georgaris: In Season 1, everything was focused on this intellectual plot puzzle. “Why this? Why that?” What’s great about season two is all of these “why this” and “how will this be there” and all these twists and turns [are] simply because four people really care about each other. There are way more twists and more sorts of surprises than in season one, but done without any particular thriller mystery secret.
It seems like everyone in the show is falling in love or in love in some sort of way – except Jenn (Nanrisa Lee). What’s up with that? I need my girl to get some. What is going on with my girl, Jenn?
Gero: Stay tuned for season three. Season three has a big love story for Jenn. Season three.
We learn a lot more about Magic and his sobriety and his newfound love in Beth. What else will we learn about Magic? Sobriety is never-ending and a constant struggle. What can you tell us about Magic and now Beth?
Gero: We’re not going to see much active struggle with Magic. That was more [of the] story we wanted to tell that spoke to how [the team] were all affected by [the Quantum Leap program ending]. They all dealt with it in their own way. There are sobriety stories that have been pulled so expertly on so many shows, so we didn’t feel it needed to be an active, ongoing thing – even though you’re absolutely right. It’s an active, ongoing thing. Magic’s arc this season is trying to figure out what it means to be the new leader of this thing and what that entails? What sacrifices does that require? It’s complicated to talk about the end of the season without seeing the end of the season or without spoiling the end of the season. He does some pretty incredible stuff towards the end of the year that I think is cool.
The crew is dealing with so much already within six episodes – we figured out the “Big Bad” and Ben’s new love interest and if that’s sustainable. What’s next for the Quantum Leap crew?
Georgaris: Believe it or not, all of those storylines and emotional [plots] are all going to weave together. They really are. We promise.
Will there be an ending of the plot/story or another question by the end of this season?
Gero: There will be an ending. What we really strive to do is tell each season as a book in a series of novels. It has a beginning, middle and end, So Hannah’s story will have an end the year in and the Rachel/Ian/Jenn story will have an end. The Ben and Addison story will have [an end]. We hope to get you excited for what our plan is for Season 3.
Quantum Leap airs on Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC. Episodes are available to stream the next day on Peacock.