Scott Bakula, star of the original Quantum Leap, has issued a statement this week clarifying that, not only does he have “no connection” to NBC’s revival of the sci-fi series—which debuts next Monday, September 19—but that he actively passed on an opportunity to do so.
In a post on his sparsely updated Instagram—the two previous entries being memorials to his friends Bob Saget and Quantum Leap co-star Dean Stockwell at the times of their deaths—Bakula wrote “the simple version of what’s going on with the Quantum Leap reboot and me: I have no connection with the new show, either in front of the camera or behind it.”
Bakula adds that he was sent a script for the revival series, which stars Raymond Lee as incoming time traveler Dr. Benjamin Song, back in January. Bakula added that said script contained an appearance by his character, Dr. Sam Beckett, who disappeared into time at the end of the original show’s 1993 finale. (The new series is expected to deal, at least in part, with the show’s final declaration that “Dr. Sam Becket [sic] never returned home.”)
Bakula—who’s still fresh off a 7-season run on NCIS: New Orleans, a spin-off of Quantum Leap creator Donald P. Bellisario’s latter-day mega-hit crime franchise—said that “it was a very difficult decision to pass on the project,” “as the show has always been near and dear to my heart.” He notably didn’t state his reasons for declining to sign on, instead simply noting that the series’ premise—scientist bounces into people’s bodies throughout time, getting into scrapes with a hologram friend—is pretty much evergreen, and wished the makers of the new show all the best.
Quantum Leap debuts on NBC on Monday with an episode titled “July 13, 1985" which, we’re just going to go ahead and assume, is either about the Live Aid concert, or an attempt to prevent the birth of British equestrian Charlotte Dujardin. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) As to how the series—which co-stars Caitlin Bassett and Ernie Hudson—can operate without at least a cameo from Sam, we’ll go with what Bakula wrote: “Well, I guess we’re about to find out.”