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Character Profile of the Month - April 2002

BECKETT, Dr. Samuel "Sam"
(Quantum Leap)
P.O. Box 555
Stallions Springs
New Mexico 87501-4893
Driver's License No: 5738457
SS# 563-86-9801
DOD Umbra #004-002-02-016
DOB: 8/8/53

Sam is a quantum physicist. He works at a secret government base 30 miles outside of Destiny County, New Mexico. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Elk Ridge, Indiana, Sam was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the age of 15. He has doctorates in music, medicine, quantum physics, and ancient languages [he can read Egyptian hieroglyphics] and is well versed in several kinds of martial arts [but he's been afraid of heights since he was 9 years old]. A winner of the Noble Prize, Time magazine called Sam “the next Einstein.”

Sam manages a classified time travel project known as “Quantum Leap.” It cost $43 billion to develop with an additional $2.4 billion in operating funds. Unfortunately, the government grew impatient and wanted to see results for their investment. Forced to prove his theories of time travel or lose his funding, Dr. Beckett entered a not yet fully operational time machine and vanished. He found himself transported some thirty years in the past occupying the bodies of strangers. The time travel experiment beamed his essence (soul?) rather than his full body and forced him to assume the identities and problems of others. If Sam looked into a mirror he could only see the image of the body he occupied. Homing in on Dr. Beckett's brain-wave transmissions, the Quantum Leap parallel hybrid project computer known as Ziggy monitored Sam's activities.

Quantum Leap's Scott Bakula

Dr. Sam Beckett in one his many assumed identities.

To keep in touch with Sam, Ziggy transmitted a hologram image from the project's Imaging and Accelerator Chambers [that only Sam, small children and animals could see]. The hologram took the image of a lecherous but likable cigar-smoking Admiral Al Calavicci who observed Sam's progress. To communicate with Ziggy, Al [“the Observer”] used a portable hand held calculator-like device. It delivered pertinent biographical information about the person's body that Dr. Beckett currently occupied. During his travels Sam had occupied the bodies of a Mafia hit man, Lee Harvey Oswald, a young and upcoming Elvis Presley and himself (Sam) as a child.

When Sam had set things right in one person's life, he involuntarily leaped through time to another body. Who or what was controlling his leaping was never fully identified. The only side effect to the transference was Sam's partial lose of memory. Upon arriving in his next body, Sam said “Oh Boy!” because he never quite knew what to expect [a man, woman, or animal?]. The worst part of the transfer was taking on the responsibilities and talents of his host. Try popping into a trapeze artist's body while in mid swing above the big top. Now that's scary.

Scott Bakula - Quantum LeapScott Bakula -Quantum Leap

Al gives Sam advice on football and boxing

Sam’s first "leap" took him to September 13, 1956 where he occupied body of Tom Stratton, an Air Force Pilot who happened to be flying the X-2 plane. In his travels in time Sam was able to save his Navy Seal older brother Tom from dying in Vietnam on April 8, 1970. Sam's other family members included his sister Katherine (“Katie”) [born during a flood in 1957] who left her abusive alcoholic first husband Chuck and now lives happily in Hawaii with Navy Lt. Jim Bonnick and his mother Thelma Louise Beckett. Unfortunately Sam's father died of a heart attack in 1974 and all the leaping in the world couldn't save him. Sam's wife was Dr. Donna Alessi.

TRIVIA NOTE: Scott Bakula played the role of Dr. Sam Beckett on the science fiction series QUANTUM LEAP/NBC/1989-93. Dean Stockwell costarred as Al Calavicci, "The Observer." On the final scene of the finale episode, aired May 5th, 1993, a printed message appeared on the TV screen. It read: DR. SAMUEL BECKETT NEVER RETURNED HOME. In the fall of 2001, Scott Bakula leaped into the role of Captain Jonathan Archer, the starship commander of the first Earth spacecraft to begin deep space exploration on the Star Trek science fiction series ENTERPRISE that aired on UPN television network

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