Quantum Leap/Genesis (1)

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Genesis (1)
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate March 26, 1989
Written by Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by David Hemmings
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Genesis (2)
Quantum LeapSeason One

Genesis (1) is the first episode of the first season of Quantum Leap, and the first episode overall.

Guest Stars: W.K. Stratton (Dr. Berger), Dennis Wolfberg (Gooshie), Jennifer Runyon (Peggy Stratton), John Allen Nelson (Captain "Bird Dog" Birdell), Lee De Broux (Coach), Larry Poindexter (Captain Tony LaMotta), Bruce McGill (Weird Ernie), Hank Robinson (Umpire), Barbara Horan (Tina), David Trent (Capt. Doug Walker), James F. Dean (Dr. Blaustein), Lela Ivey (Lucy), Lydia Cornell (Sally), Christine Poor (Jeanie), Doug Cox (Sportscaster), Christian Van Dorn (Mikey Stratton), Patrick Cranshaw (Old Man), Brent Chalem (Bat Boy), Adam Affonso (Young Sam), Mike Greenwood (Matt), Dave Duensing (Clyde), David Dawson (Barnes), Kevin Johnson (Pepper), Layne Beamer (Tom Stratton / Mirror), Ken Martin (Tim Fox / Mirror), Newell Alexander (John Beckett), Dennis Wolfberg (Gooshie)


Plot Overview

Leap Date: September 13, 1956

Sam finds himself in the year 1956, except that everyone calls him Tom Stratton, not Sam. He doesn't know how he got there or why, and he can't remember his own last name. A guy named Al seems to know what's going on, but no one else beside Sam can see or hear Al, and Al can walk through walls and disappear. So Sam's beginning to wonder if he's going crazy.

As if all that weren't enough, Sam/Tom Stratton has to fly his plane and break Mach-2 within the next few days. The problem is, Sam's never flown before in his entire life.


Arc Advancement



  • Obviously, this episode sets up a lot, in terms of introducing Sam Beckett and the characters around him who are important to this episode, as well as Al, the only other main character. Gooshie, the head technician, also briefly appears at the beginning, and Al makes reference to him later on. Gooshie is frequently mentioned by Al, though Dennis Wolfberg would not return to the series until the fourth-season episode The Leap Back.
  • One of Al's primary character traits is mentioned for the first time here when Al tell Sam at one point, "Don't yell. I've got a hangover!" While Al's fondness for drinking is played for comedy in these episodes, his alcoholism is treated with much more seriousness in later episodes such as Play Ball.


Being the first episode, there's nothing to refer back to. However, there are two references that pay off in later episodes. Before Sam knows what's going on, he mistakes Al for "the boogieman." A Halloween episode in the third season is called The Boogieman. Also, there's a captain in this episode whom the pilots affectionately nickname "Weird Ernie." While the reason for the nickname is never given, Bruce McGill (who plays Weird Ernie) returns in the series finale, Mirror Image, playing the enigmatic Al the bartender.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • The premiere episode was originally known simply as a 2-hour TV-movie called "Quantum Leap." When the episode was rerun before the start of Season 2, NBC edited the episode down to 90 minutes and given the title "Genesis." When the reruns came to the USA Network in 1992 and the Sci-Fi Channel in 1993, the name "Genesis" was retained for the two installments. The VHS and DVD releases feature the original unedited opening, and are referred to simply as "The Pilot Episode."
  • David Hemmings directed this episode. He would only direct one more installment: the penultimate filmed episode of the series, The Leap Between the States.

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments



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