‘Quantum Leap’ Showrunners on the Season 2 Finale and Hopes for Season 3


[Editor’s note: The following contains major spoilers for Season 3 of Quantum Leap.]



The Big Picture

  • The Season 3 renewal status for ‘Quantum Leap’ is likely not to be decided until May.
  • Series showrunners Martin Gero and Dean Georgaris are considering what the potential of having two leapers could look like.
  • There was always a plan in place to have Ben and Addison reunite in some way.


The Season 2 finale of the NBC series Quantum Leap gave fans what they’d been waiting and hoping for, just maybe not in quite the way they expected. That also led to countless new questions, the answers to which could make for a very interesting Season 3, which has not yet received a green light from the network. There was a lovely mix of the team on this series working together with the legacy of the original in a way that felt emotional and heartwarming in all the right ways.

After screening the final episode of the season, Crumpa got the opportunity to chat with showrunners Martin Gero and Dean Georgaris about all the major events and how they played out, the questions they hope to answer if they get to move forward with Season 3, whether Ben (Raymond Lee) and Addison (Caitlin Bassett) were fated to be together, how kindness can change the world but it doesn’t always come free, whether that old handlink device was really a prop from the original series or a replica, and how they decide which aspects of the Universal Studios Backlot Tour they can work into episodes.


Quantum Leap (2022)

Set 30 years after Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished, follows a new team that must restart the project hoping to understand the mysteries behind the machine and its creator.

Release Date
September 19, 2022

Creator
Donald P. Bellisario, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

Cast
Raymond Lee , Caitlin Bassett , Mason Alexander Park , Nanrisa Lee

Seasons
2

Fans Will Likely Not Hear About a Season 3 Renewal for ‘Quantum Leap’ Until May

Raymond Lee as Ben Song in Episode 13 of Season 2 of NBC's Quantum Leap
Image via NBC

Crumpa: When you have a finale that does something this major, it’s always more reassuring as a viewer and fan to already know that you’ll be getting a next season to find out what it all means. Last season, we knew there was going to be a next season. Without that Season 3 renewal yet, where does that leave things? Will you find out soon? How long do we have to hold our collective breath waiting?


MARTIN GERO: I think we’re gonna have to hold our breath until May. I think we’ll find out in and around the Upfronts with everybody else. It was extenuating circumstances that we got to know so early last time. We now have to just wait our turn like everybody else. We’re raring to do a third season. We know what the shape is. We obviously know where it starts. And so, fingers crossed.

If you do get to keep telling the story, will we now have two leapers? Will we learn how that’s even possible? Would this just be very crowded leaps between two people and however many holograms? Are these all questions that you’ve thought about and already have answers to?

DEAN GEORGARIS: Yes.

GERO: It’s really hard to say because, honestly, it’s very early stages, and also, it hasn’t been approved widely. We have a very clean vision, but we need to go through the proper channels to make sure that everyone else agrees. We’re as excited about Season 3 as we were about Season 2, and you just saw how fun Season 2 was.


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When you got to where you knew what this ending was and started thinking about what could come next, there are just so many questions. I had tons of questions.

GERO: That’s the sign of a good jumping off point. When we’re looking for how we epilogue or tease an idea, the sign that it’s a good one is questions. What does that look like? What happens if they get split up? Do they jump to different time periods? Are they always together? Are they sometimes apart? What about the rest of the team? How does this work with the team? With all that stuff, you’re like, “Great! Those are all episodes. All that stuff is in the show.”

Normally, you have one or two questions, but with this, there are so many. When you have all those questions, do you narrow it down and start by focusing on one or two things? Do you have to know the answers to everything?


GEORGARIS: We go through a brainstorming process. We can’t get too specific, so using Season 2 as an example, we knew we wanted to split Ben and Addison up. That was the first thing we knew, but we didn’t know how to do it. And then, Martin called me and said, “What if three years went by for one of them?” And then, we built that out and suddenly knew we wanted to see Ben touch somebody and hug somebody. We wanted a season about sacrifice because there’s a price to pay for all the things they’re doing. So, essentially we brainstorm and get a shape and a theme of what we want to do, and then we start laying down track. Certain ideas stick, like Hannah stuck right from the beginning. Jeffrey was pretty early on, as was Tom. Those were early choices. I don’t even remember some of the little branches that we trimmed away. It’s the same process for every season. At least, that’s the way Martin and I like to do it. Every season needs to be its own story, but you want it to feel like part of a great series of books.


‘Quantum Leap’ Fans Were Always Going to See Ben and Addison Reunited in Their Love

Caitlin Bassett as Addison in Episode 13 of Season 2 of NBC's Quantum Leap
Image via NBC

You went into the season knowing that you wanted to have Addison and Ben apart, but had you always felt that they were destined to be together. Regardless of how great Hannah and Tom were, was the goal always to circle back to the two of them?

GERO: Yeah, absolutely. That’s why it was so hard to talk to people about Season 2. People were so upset that Ben and Addison weren’t together, and I wanted to be like, “Just wait. There’s a moment you’re gonna love so much.” It’s a tricky thing because we want to service our audience, but our audience just wants a conflict-less love story and that doesn’t make great television. Shippers are actually masochists that think they’re sadists. They wanna be tortured a little bit. We’re just trying to hurt them the right way without losing them. We don’t wanna cross any lines. For us, the biggest success of the season and I’ve heard so many people say over these last few episodes is, “I’m kind of bummed that Tom didn’t work out and that they broke up. It was sad.” Once you realize that he’s a guileless guy that is trying to help somebody through an enormous amount of grief and also suffering from an enormous amount of grief himself, it allows a complexity in character that we so desperately need. Now that they can occupy a physical space again in Season 3, it’s not cut and dry. It’s not a foregone conclusion that they’re just gonna kiss and everything’s gonna be okay. They have some shit they need to work out and that’s gonna be fun watching too. This season has made next season really special, I think.


What led to that ultimate decision to have Addison and Ben leaping together? Did you ever consider swapping him out for her, or was it always the plan to get them both into at least the one leap that we see them in at the end of Season 2?

GEORGARIS: As undramatic as this answer sounds, thinking back on it, it was always the plan. As we were wrapping up Season 1, we started to think about where we were gonna end it and where we were gonna start the next season. We’ve spent 30-something episodes getting an audience invested in our two leads getting together, we split them apart, and we made them sacrifice an awful lot. Kindness feels like it can change the world, but it doesn’t always come free, and sometimes it’s important to portray that. We wanted to reunite them as promised, just not in the way you expected.

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I really love that the finale gave us moments where not only this team was fully working together and on the same page, but they were working with Janis and Beth, which tied in the original series, and they had help from Hannah. How challenging was it to tie all of that together, so you could bring in the old with the new and put as many of your characters in the same room as possible?

GERO: Honestly, it wasn’t that it was easy. The hard part was obviously laying the foundation for all of this to work. This episode is all payoff. The payoff is easy if you set out the dominoes right. The hard part is really the early part of the season where you’re trying to get everyone in the right position so that we can have this really satisfying finale. That’s the tricky part. The hard part of this kind of storytelling is that you want the journey to be as satisfying as the finale, but thankfully, we knew where we were going. So, it was about, when do we break up Tom and Addison? When should we introduce Jeffrey as a character? Are we doing 13 [episodes], or are we doing 18? We needed to wait until we knew what our episode count was to then lay all the groundwork. And then, once that was done, the final episode actually happened very quickly because we had been talking about setting up these moments for a year.


Caitlin Bassett as Addison Augustine, Mason Alexander Park as Ian Wright, Nanrisa Lee as Jenn Chu, and Ernie Hudson as Magic in Episode 13 of Season 2 of NBC's Quantum Leap
Image via NBC

It’s a silly question, but was the device that Janis gives Addison a real prop from the original Quantum Leap, or did you have to make a replica of that?

GERO: It was a replica. I’ve held one of the original ones. It was a joy. Don’t quote me on this, but I think one of them is in the Smithsonian, in the TV section. And then, (executive producer) Deborah [Pratt] has one. They’re very fragile. They’re 30-year-old pieces of acrylic. So, we made a new one just in case it got dropped. When I held one of the originals, it still lit up and everything. It was amazing.

Once you start to realize that Gideon and Jeffrey are the same person and you see flashes back to certain things, the performance lined up in such an incredible way. When did you realize that was actually working and was going to pay off in the way that you had hoped?


GERO: When we saw the cut. We were hoping, but you just never know if it’s gonna work. We thought it would, but it worked so brilliantly. Dean was on set when James [Frain] was giving that performance and I was just getting texts like, “Holy shit, it’s gonna be so good.”

GEORGARIS: There are these touchstone scenes, starting in [episode] 209, that you actually had to film back then, like the argument between Hannah and Josh, for example. We would see the little pieces and see the actual dailies, and every time we saw the pieces, the pieces were really good. And so, you’re just like, “Please, can we just get another good piece?” And then, when we saw it assembled in the cut, it was one of the rare times where I actually believed I was watching someone through time. The Jeffrey/Gideon character, I legitimately felt like what James Frain was able to pull off, in particular, but all our Jeffreys, was pretty remarkable.


‘Quantum Leap’ Showrunner Martin Gero Wants to Use Every Aspect of the Universal Studios Backlot Tour Possible

Raymond Lee as Ben Song and Wyatt Parker as Jeffrey Nally in Episode 13 of Season 2 of NBC's Quantum Leap
Image via NBC

I am somebody who has spent an ungodly amount of time at theme parks, so I’m very familiar with the Universal Studios backlot. I loved the use of the Studio Tour flood in an episode, and I recognized the Bates Motel. How do you figure out where to put that stuff in? Are you always looking for ways to use different aspects of the theme park? And are there ones that you haven’t used that you’d still like to use?

GERO: I’m the annoying one. I love Universal Studios. It’s the highlight of my career to be able to shoot a show at Universal Studios. I am occasionally deeply unreasonable about how much of the backlot I wanna use, for instance that flood. That episode, to me, was about being able to shoot that flood sequence. We were breaking it and they’d be like, “It just doesn’t really make sense to have the flood in here right now.” And I was like, “Then, we don’t have it. Let’s figure out a way to do it.” But also, our show is trying to punch outside of its way on a budgetary level. And so, having access to this incredible toy chest that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, frequently Dean and I will just drive around in a golf cart and be like, “Is that an episode?” That’s production value we couldn’t have on the show otherwise, so let’s make that a show. I haven’t gotten Jaws in there yet, but aside from that, I wanna use it all.


GEORGARIS: Don’t be surprised if a group of people get stranded at a small fishing lake.

GERO: I remember that tour so vividly. I was 18 when I first went on it. I asked them to run for the lake back there that they used to film all the boat stuff on. We got relatively close to filling that up and shooting a whole boat sequence on there. That’s the point of making a show like this. We wanna do stuff that honors the way they made stuff back then and honors the space that we’re in.

I love every second of that and want Season 3, just to see how you work Jaws in.

GERO: I’m working on it.

Quantum Leap is available to stream on Peacock. Check out the Season 2 trailer:

Watch on Peacock

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