‘Quantum Leap’ Star Ernie Hudson Provides Update on ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Alum Scott Bakula’s Potential Return

by Craig Garrett

Though modern audiences may know Scott Bakula for his NCIS: New Orleans role, nostalgic fans will remember his breakout part in Quantum Leap. Bakula starred as Dr. Sam Beckett in the sci-fi series. It aired for five seasons from 1989 to 1993. The show centers on a physicist who is accidentally sent through time after an experiment goes wrong. Sam temporarily assumes the identity of others to correct what he continually learns were historical errors. Though the show was never a rating powerhouse, it was a critical success. It has gained a cult following over the years thanks to reruns.

Of course, in an age of reboots and legacy sequels, Quantum Leap is getting a new series. The new version of Quantum Leap debuts on NBC Monday, Sept. 19, and is set 30 years after Dr. Sam Beckett entered the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. In hopes of understanding the machine and the man who created it, a new crew led by physicist Ben Song (Raymond Lee) has been assembled. This new crew includes fan favorite Ernie Hudson as Herbert “Magic” Williams.

Eagle-eyed fans of Quantum Leap might recall the character of Herbert “Magic” Williams. The character first appeared in the original series back in season 3. Sam Beckett actually leaped into Magic during the Vietnam War. Magic got his nickname because he narrowly escaped death twice before the events of the episode. The overall plot of the episode involves Sam saving the life of his older brother, who is in Magic’s platoon.

Will Dr. Sam Beckett return for the Quantum Leap reboot?

Quantum Leap fans will no doubt love that a legacy character is included in the main cast of the reboot. Especially since he’s played by veteran genre actor Ernie Hudson. Still, Bakula’s character, Dr. Sam Beckett is presumably still out there. After all, the original series finale said Sam is still leaping through time, never returning home.

Is it possible that Scott Bakula could pop back up on the new show as Sam? Ernie Hudson “would love” to see him return, according to a recent interview with TVLine.com. “I’ve always appreciated his work. He was wonderful in the [original] series and everything I’ve seen him do,” Hudson said. “Everybody that I know involved in [the Quantum Leap reboot] would love to see him return. I know the invitation is out there, but I don’t know what his response is.”

Dr. Ben Song makes an unauthorized leap into the past in this reboot, leaving his colleagues to figure out why he did it. Magic (Hudson), is now a no-nonsense career military official who must satisfy his superiors who won’t be pleased when they find out about the failure of procedure at the head of the highly sensitive operation.