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One of the most beloved TV hits of the 1980s returns with an all-new reboot
Raymond Lee is having quite a year: Featured in what quickly has become one of the top-grossing movies ever (Top Gun: Maverick), he’s also starring in this revival of a classic television series.
Like his predecessor Scott Bakula, Lee gets to play many parts in one as leading, leaping man in the new version of beloved sci-fi drama Quantum Leap, premiering Monday.
Decades after Bakula’s character Dr. Sam Beckett began assuming other people’s lives while bouncing between different time periods, fellow physicist Ben Seong (Lee) follows in his general footsteps, guided by a hologram just as Beckett was.
In Ben’s case, though, the virtual companion is a representation of a former flame of his. Addison (played by Caitlin Bassett) succeeds Dean Stockwell’s A.l. from the original show, and the relationship she once had with Ben often complicates her efforts to help him. Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Mason Alexander Park and Nanrisa Lee play the other members of the team, camped out in a state-of-the-art lab, doing what they can to get our hero home before he’s forever lost to the ages.
Lee has come to the new iteration of Quantum Leap well familiar with the previous one. “When it first aired, I was a little young for it,” he allows. “The second time it came around, I had a friend who was really versed in sci-fi, and we’d go over to his house and turn on Quantum Leap. It was the show that opened my mind to the world of sci-fi.”
While there’s plenty of fresh creative blood behind the scenes of this new Quantum Leap, original executive producers (and former spouses) Donald P. Bellisario and Deborah Pratt remain very involved. “The fact that these guys trusted me to participate is just very flattering, on many levels,” Lee reflects. “I love their vision of approaching the show, and it’s turning out to be a really great journey.”
Also seen this year in big-screen comedy The Lost City, Lee furthermore appears in the second and final season of AMC’s Kevin Can F*** Himself. Pleased as he is for his recent career fortunes, the actor maintains that he’s even happier that “my family is very excited. They’ve seen me toil over many years of trying to stay employed, and the past few months have been validating. And it’s nice to be able to share it with my friends.”
The ultimate “leap” might be if Ben encountered Beckett, and Lee is hopeful that will happen: “We’d love to have Scott Bakula on. He’s iconic… and it would only benefit us and the show. We’re kind of just waiting for his phone call.”
Quantum Leap premieres Monday, September 19 on City & ABC