Dean Stockwell has always had an unusual screen
persona – from "The Boy with Green Hair" (1948), which he did as a
child; to "Compulsion" (1959), which he did as a young man; to the
more recent "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Married to the Mob"
But even for Stockwell, "Quantum
Leap" is a little outside the norm. For one thing, it's his first TV
"I can see that one series could
be different from another, but I definitely like this one," he says.
"I enjoy the heck out of it. I'd like to do it for the full five or six
For another, his character is a hologram.
"I stand up all the time. I never lean on anything," he says.
The NBC series regularly airs
Wednesdays, but this week, dubbed "Quantum Leap Week," it will air
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as well.
One of the reasons Stockwell is so enthusiastic
about "Quantum Leap"
is his co-star, Scott Bakula.
"In the first season, when I
began to realize how well we were working together and how much I liked him,
I would think to myself, `Jeez, what if it had gone the other way and I'd
signed on for a series and I found out I hated the guy, or he hated
Stockwell says. "It would be
The series features Bakula as a young
scientist who is trapped in the past. Every episode, Sam temporarily
"leaps" into the body of a new person living sometime in the past
35 years, frequently so he can avert an oncoming tragedy. His only guidance
comes from the sometimes unreliable Albert (Stockwell), who lives in the
present, has a strong regard for the opposite sex, and appears to Sam as a hologram.
There's only one period that
Stockwell, who has lived through all the years covered in "Quantum
Leap," feels the show doesn't do well.
"The toughest era is the 60's
with the hippies and flower children," he says. "Whenever that's
involved, it doesn't seem right. Even though you dress them and put Afros on
the black guys and put signs in their hands, the life or magic is
This past season ended with an
unusual cliffhanger. After Sam "leaped," both he and Albert landed
in the 40's, (before Sam was born). As the show concluded, it became apparent
that it is Albert who has landed in that period, and Sam is now a hologram.
That opens up some intriguing possibilities. Might the role reversal last an
"I don't know about an entire
season," says Stockwell. "I think two episodes at the most. But
we've established a precedent that this could happen. So at any given