Sept. 19 (UPI): NEW YORK On NBC's Quantum Leap sequel series, Raymond Lee believes variety is the best part of playing a time-traveling physicist who inhabits other people's bodies in various decades and locations.
In a recent virtual press conference, Lee told reporters, "I'm crossing things off a bucket list with every episode. "It's a dream come true for an actor to not just work on a variety of projects throughout time, but to do it all at once. These are lifelong roles. I'm having a great time.
Scott Bakula played Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist whose experiments enable him to assist people solve issues and fix mistakes, in the original sci-fi drama, which aired for five seasons from 1989 to 1993.
Al, Sam's sidekick, appeared to him as a hologram that only he could see and hear. Dean Stockwell, who played Al, passed away in 2021 at the age of 85. Sam needed the important knowledge Al brought with him to finish his tasks.
Sam was stranded in the past and unable to come home as the performance came to a close.
The updated version, which debuted on Monday, stars Caitlin Bassett as Ben's fiancée Addison and Lee as Dr. Ben Song, the scientist who revives Sam's work. When Sam travels through time, Addison also appears to Sam as a hologram. Ian Wright, Jenn Chou, and Ernie Hudson also appear.
Dr. Sam Beckett will never be replaced. But what we've produced is an entirely new programme with entirely new characters, and we're very eager to present it to you," Lee said.
The core principles of their conviction in doing good and what it means to be sympathetic are what bind Ben Song and Sam Beckett together.
Lee described how his best friend had become fixated on the original Quantum Leap while they were in the sixth grade and it was still on in syndication reruns.
It was also my first exposure to science fiction and the first serious show I can recall seeing. Therefore, I have many happy memories of just playing before we watched it together as home," added Lee.
One of the franchise's inventors, Deborah Pratt, is an executive producer on the follow-up and frequently visits the set to remind the crew and cast of what makes Quantum Leap unique.
Martin Gero, Pratt's fellow executive producer, remarked that "she actually thinks that the four tenets of Quantum Leap are hope, heart, humour, and history, and Ben really lives the first three of those."
He has a really upbeat personality. He has a great heart, Gero continued. "At its foundation, the programme is about empathy, and he has a tonne of it to offer. The humour is the most crucial component because we want to create a show that is both entertaining and enjoyable. The original Quantum Leap had a lot of humour. It's a crucial component of this one.
Bassett is a real-life military veteran who served in Afghanistan and joins the project.
She joked about her new job, "Still astonished I'm not fired." "No, I'm enjoying myself a lot. Since I was little, it had been a dream of mine. Additionally, I believe that many people enlist in the military for a variety of reasons.
However, the majority of it is because that's essentially one of their greatest options. I joined in, and it was a fantastic experience that helped me improve. And you do dream all the time, right?
Bassett enrolled in law school after quitting the National Security Agency and the U.S. Army Intelligence.
I've made some good decisions, she claimed. I was going to law school, and after receiving my degree, I planned to start living a normal adult life. And after I arrived in New York, I simply thought, "You know what? I've previously overcome challenges. Let's try it out. And, by God's goodness, Martin, Bryan [Wynbrandt], and Steven [Lilien] discovered me.
According to Bassett, she believes viewers will be able to relate to the characters and have positive feelings about the series' stories.
It's a programme that visits people's homes and families. It's a dream come true and it's about hope. I am unable to make it appear to be anything else, she replied.
One of the "hidden weapons" of the programme, according to Gero, is Bassett.
He declared, "She's simply never been seen before." She provides such strong, great performances in these episodes, yet she never comes off as inexperienced. We're thrilled to be a part of this truly incredible narrative.
Playing a hologram, according to Bassett, is fascinating since she is in the unusual position of feeling emotionally concerned in Ben's situation while simultaneously being aware of what is happening at Quantum Leap headquarters.
However, I am unable to physically influence anything, so there is a hint of, say, me with my popcorn. And it's a tonne of fun. Every week, you get to see something, she added.
The character Magic Williams, who oversees the Quantum Leap programme and is played by Hudson, is the same one who made a brief appearance in the show's earlier iteration, according to Gero.
According to Gero, "We were all looking for as much continuity with the old programme as possible without making it impossible to overcome for new viewers."
"We don't want to spoil too much, but one of my favourite scenes in the entire series so far is the exchange between Mason [Wright] and Ernie where we learn Magic's background. I find it to be extremely beautiful and powerful, and once again, it just offers a new perspective on the classic programme in a manner that, in my opinion, only our show can.
When Hudson saw the original series with his kids, he recalled the role (played by Christopher Kirby).
I found that character to be fascinating, Hudson remarked.
So, Hudson continued, "it's incredibly fascinating to step into those shoes and answer a lot of questions about what's happened to him and all that stuff." 'You couldn't have been in Vietnam,' others remark. In 1964, I enlisted in the military. It's sort of a compliment, I suppose. However, being a Magician is fantastic.