Fans of the NCIS franchise were shocked a few days ago when it was revealed that NCIS: New Orleans, the second spinoff of the super long-running mothership series, would be leaving the air after its current seventh season. Star Scott Bakula has now been a major part of three shows with very dedicating followings, and while a lot of fans would like to see him return to his Star Trek: Enterprise role of Captain Jonathan Archer, there are many who would also like to see Bakula take up his Quantum Leap mantle as Dr. Sam Beckett again. Now, after the cancellation of NCIS: NOLA, Bakula is talking about a possible Quantum Leap return.
With the end of NCIS: New Orleans coming up so fast, it's only natural for everyone who's been watching Scott Bakula run things as Special Agent Dwayne Pride for seven seasons to wonder what he might do next. And, if you've been a fan of his from way back, there would be a pretty big question mark where Quantum Leap is concerned. There have been rumors and even tentative plans for a reboot, revival or movie for many years, and when asked about any renewed possibility by TV Line, Bakula said:
That show is very special to me, obviously, so I would wish whoever did it luck. I mean, the idea of walking in another man or woman’s shoes is so relevant and so important right now. We’ve become so divided in our world that the ability to cross that line of politics and just deal with the humanity and the individual person who’s sharing a moment on the planet with you is really relevant. There was also a quaintness about the show, because it had this period feel because Sam traveled anywhere within his own lifetime. That made it feel a little old fashioned, but I would hope that they get the truth of it and the sentiments of it right, and not try and make it slick.
Scott Bakula makes a very good point when talking about what he thinks would be most important if someone were to get a reboot of Quantum Leap off of the ground today. In case your memory for the 1989-1993 series, which aired on NBC, is a bit fuzzy, Bakula's Sam was literally able to live life by "walking in another man or woman’s shoes," after the scientist had an experiment in time travel go wrong and he was stuck randomly "leaping" into the bodies of strangers who'd lived during his lifetime, and using his time there to fix historical wrongs.
Sam was able to experience a wide variety of personal trials and triumphs, and through the lens of several different viewpoints, whenever he leapt into another person's body and life. Viewers who tuned in weekly loved not knowing where Sam was going to end up next or what he would learn while there, and seeing if he would ever get closer to being able to find a way home permanently. Unfortunately, Quantum Leap was cancelled after Season 5, and fans were told in the finale that Sam was never able to return home to stay.
That ending was, of course, met with very mixed feelings, which has kept fans wanting more from the series for almost 30 years. And, as Scott Bakula noted, the messages which were often found in Quantum Leap are still (unfortunately) unbelievably relevant right now, so his hope is that any new series would continue to lean into that.
When asked if he'd want to see the original show's mythology continued, like maybe picking up with any potential children Sam had during his adventures (which include two leaps home), Bakula said:
So, there certainly is a child that could’ve come from any of those trips back. That’s one of the ideas, and it seems like a good idea. We all know that Sam’s still out there, and I always tell people that should be comforting — that he’s still out there fixing things that once went wrong.
Oh, the idea of being able to go back and fix what you (or someone else) messed up certainly is "comforting," Scott Bakula. But, we'll just have to wait and see if Quantum Leap does, in fact, give us a chance to live out those fantasies once again. In the meantime, you can watch Bakula wrap up his time on NCIS: New Orleans, which airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on CBS, with the finale airing on May 16.