In Review: Quantum Leap (S1 – EP6) What a Disaster!

Ben and Addison find themselves in San Francisco during the historic 1989 earthquake.

Synopsis: In What a Disaster! Ben and Addison find themselves in San Francisco during the historic 1989 earthquake. As the city continues to crumble with aftershocks, Ben must try to mend a family in chaos. Jenn and Ian search for clues to an unsettling mystery.


The Story

Ben leaps into a man called John whose family is falling apart due to a pending divorce. However, when an Earthquake breaks out in San Francisco he gets an opportunity to mend some of the damage by saving the life of his son who died during the original timeline. While on this mission Ben thinks back to the day he lost his mother and opens up to Addison about the experience which brings them closer together.

Back in the present Day. Magic, Ian, and Jen begin an investigation into the mysterious Leaper who spoke to Ben in last week’s episode. They find out that he is part of a Quantum Leap project that was begun in the private sector, but are not sure about the time and date that this other Quantum Leap project started or who is behind it. They do learn the identity of the other Leaper, but when Magic and Jen speak to him. He is not aware of the project as it hasn’t taken place yet.


The Acting

Raymond Lee puts in a convincing performance in this week’s episode as Ben feels true desperation in wanting to save this family so that the man’s son does not experience the kind of relationship that he experiences with his own mother. The scenes where Ben shares what happens between him and his mum with Addison are truly heartbreaking.

Walter Perez puts in a solid performance as Richard Martinez who is the Leaper from last week’s show. The scene where Magic and Jenn pay him a visit is pretty strong and it’s obvious that Martinez is kind of in the dark as to why he is being visited. The honesty and integrity of a man wanting to serve his country is what comes across in Perez’s performance. This makes sense given that he has not done the deed yet of joining up with the private sector company that he will supposedly become involved with. 



What a Disaster! was a fairly solid episode. The plot of Ben looking to save a family from falling apart felt very much in line with the kind of thing that the original Quantum Leap would have done. However, there are still a few issues that I am having with this modern-day continuation.

Firstly when Ben is talking to Addison who is a Hologram it’s always very public. In the original. Part of the comedy was in the fact that Sam and Al would often need to find somewhere a little more private in order to communicate with each other. But when it was public there was always a reaction to it from someone or another in the background.

Another issue is we do not seem to get to know the characters that Ben Leaps into quite as well as we got to know the many people that Sam leaped into. So that lack of nuanced information kind of makes it a little harder for the viewer to care overly much.

Quantum Leap (S1 - EP6) What a Disaster!
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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