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Scott Bakula Explains Why He Won’t Be in New Show

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell in promotional image for 1989's Quantum Leap.

Image: NBCUniversal

Next week, NBC’s reboot-revival of Quantum Leap will air. While it’s been up in the air for some time if the revival would ever happen, the question has since shifted to if Scott Bakula would return to reprise original hero Sam Beckett. And if you were hoping for some kind of legacy mantle story, you’re about to be disappointed.

On the acting side, we’ve known for some time that Bakula wouldn’t be appearing in the show, since he was already cast in NBC’s upcoming drama, Unbroken. But his Twitter thread from earlier in the week, he’s more explicit in saying he’s got no connection to the show, even behind the camera. However, he did receive a script for the pilot, but ultimately passed on getting involved with the series. “As the show has always been near and dear to my heart, it was a very difficult decision to pass on the project,” wrote Bakula. “As so many of you have been asking me the last several months, ‘How could you do QL without Sam (or Al, for that matter)?’ Well, I guess we’re about to find out.”

In the original 1990s series, Bakula played Sam Beckett, the man who traveled through various points in time while also helping people. In the aired ending for the show’s final episode, Sam learned that he would be leaping for the rest of his life. The new series stars Raymond Lee as Ben Seong, who finds himself with the same ability as Sam after he and his team try to uncover the secrets of the doctor’s time travel technology.

Even though he’s not involved, Bakula was more than happy to point out that the original show’s concept of living a life in other people’s shoes remains potent, and gave his hopes that the new show would find an audience, as his did decades ago. “I am crossing my fingers that this new cast and crew…tap into the magic that propelled the original Quantum Leap into the hearts and minds of generations past and present.”

Quantum Leap will premiere on NBC on Monday, September 19.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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