Parents' Guide to

Quantum Leap

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Classic sci-fi series hops and skips through time.

Quantum Leap Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

Great series.

This was an excellent series for all ages I have nothing bad to say about it even the ending was excellently done with brilliant acting and great story lines with well done camera work & good special effects that still look good today.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 11+

Good Opportunity to Discuss Difficult Topics

This show follows the adventures of a time-traveling scientist (Sam) as he "leaps" through different events during the 1950s through 1980s. These leaps give him the opportunity to rectify events that went wrong, and typically change history for the better. Sam often finds himself leaping into a situation as the love interest, so there are quite a few kissing/sensual scenes, but nothing very explicit. The show often deals with difficult topics such as racism, divorce, war, sexism, death, etc. Some parents may find these themes too uncomfortable for young children, but they provide a good opportunity to discuss difficult issues with preteens/teens in a safe setting. The main character, Sam, is a kind-hearted, smart role model who has the best of intentions. His "sidekick," Al, is a good friend, but the show frequently references Al's many marriages, he's often seen smoking a cigar, and he's a bit of a womanizer. However, Sam consistently calls Al out on his inappropriate comments/actions, so the show does not paint Al's actions as acceptable. Al's character also gives parents a good way to discuss human flaws with their children; Al is a good friend to Sam, and has many redeeming qualities, but still makes mistakes like all of us, and Sam finds ways to lovingly hold his friend accountable while not encouraging poor behavior. Overall, a quality show that encourages viewers to think about history and examine the ethics of difficult situations.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

The writing on this series remains fresh and funny as it takes on new characters and plotlines in different episodes. And the acting is first-rate; Bakula in particular provides memorable performances as (among many others) a blind concert pianist, a pregnant teenage girl, and a Vietnam veteran amputee. He even appears as real-life characters like Elvis Presley and Lee Harvey Oswald. Viewers will love watching him adjust to the nuances of each new role and the gender-based (or species-based, in the case of one chimpanzee character) challenges each presents.

Since Quantum Leap tends to tackle some pretty mature topics (from murder to unplanned pregnancy), it isn't really suited for young kids. But it will have definite appeal for tweens and teens who can look past its now-dated look and feel.

TV Details

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