The new series of Quantum Leap has brought in many elements from the original show. The returns of Beth (Susan Diol) and one-time leapee Magic (Ernie Hudson), name-checking the Evil Leapers, addressing the question of whether Sam (Scott Bakula) ever made it home, and many more. But two seasons in a major part of Quantum Leap lore has failed to be even hinted at.

Sam’s daughter. Sammy Jo.

Introduced as part of the “Trilogy” series of episodes in 1992 in the original Quantum Leap’s fifth and final season, Sammy Jo’s origin is complicated. The three episodes follow Sam as he leaps into different people attempting to help a woman named Abigail Fuller, who in each leap is accused of murder. Sam first meets her as a young girl in “Trilogy Part 1” when he leaps into her father, saving her from being killed. 

In “Trilogy Part 2” Sam leaps forward in time into a Deputy Sheriff who’s having sex with a now 21-year-old Abigail. Throughout the leap Sam feels an overpowering attachment to Abigail, which seems to be more than just his sharing feelings with the man he leaped into. “Trilogy Part 3” has Sam leap even further ahead in time into a lawyer who’s defending Abigail and he’s introduced to her 11-year-old daughter, Sammy Jo Fuller. Al (Dean Stockwell) informs Sam that she’s his daughter, inheriting his high IQ and photographic memory. 

(How Sam, who leaps into other people, is able to biologically be Sammy Jo’s father is a topic that’s difficult to wrangle with Quantum Leap’s lore but simply put, most of the times when Sam leaps into a person it’s his own body that’s there despite what others see.)

San doesn’t have the chance to spend much time with Sammy Jo but the two connect, despite her not knowing the man she’s speaking to has been leapt into by her real father. Sam succeeds in his leap mission of preventing any further harm coming to Abigail and Sammy Jo which changes history. Al, instantly impacted by the timeline change, tells Sam that in the future Sammy Jo is working at Project Quantum Leap. She even has a theory on how to get Sam home. Al, regretfully, shares that Sammy Jo doesn’t know Sam is her father and that after he leaps, he won’t remember her. Sam vows that he’ll always know.

Sammy Jo was never referenced again in the original Quantum Leap but for years after the series ended, her name was often brought up in attempts to bring it back. According to “Beyond The Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap,” everything from a revival to an animated series and movie would have all featured Sammy Jo in some way. She even prominently featured in an original Quantum Leap novel (that’s now more than likely non-canon.) One of the attempts that got closest to being made was Quantum Leap: A Bold Leap Forward, which would have featured Sammy Jo as the new main character trying to locate her lost father. 

It’s no surprise that Sammy Jo formed such a core part of attempts to bring Quantum Leap back. The daughter of Sam, born on a leap, now working at the Project trying to get him back? The possibilities are endless! Even if Sam never recalled her on any leaps after “Trilogy,” that doesn’t mean he never got that memory back. Perhaps this would be the driving reason for Sam to try and find a way home. 

Sammy Jo, with an IQ on the level of Sam’s, also makes sense as one of the only people who could get him home. Not only does she have the smarts but, if she were to discover the truth about her heritage, would have a powerful incentive to find him. The reunion may be fraught, Sam was never around and his identity was kept from her even after apparently working at the Project for some time, which would lead to a compelling character arc. 

The inclusion of Sammy Jo in the new Quantum Leap would have been one of the obvious threads to pick up on from the original series. However, even with the introduction of Al’s daughter, Janis (Georgina Reilly), the show has stayed as far away from the topic of Sammy Jo as possible. This may simply have been a choice to avoid the overlong explanation that would be needed to even begin to describe how Sammy Jo even exists. With the new Quantum Leap courting old and especially new fans, it makes sense the topic would be avoided when the show began.

There’s hope that Sammy Jo won’t be forgotten, since her creator and biggest advocate, Deborah Pratt, is deeply involved with the new Quantum Leap. Pratt has never given up on Sammy Jo and, in reference to a question on Reddit, about the whereabouts of Sammy Jo, stated, “she’s coming in the Quantum Leap movie…” A Sammy Jo centered movie is one that Pratt has talked up as recently as earlier this year.

Sammy Jo can’t be avoided forever. She’s still out there, searching for her father. At some point she’ll have to cross paths with Ben and the new Project. If she doesn’t, the new Quantum Leap will have missed a huge opportunity.

(Special thanks to the “Als Place – A Quantum Leap Fansite” for their image archive of the series.)

The post The Character Quantum Leap Needs to Bring Back appeared first on Den of Geek.

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