Exclusive Video Interview: Martin Gero on Quantum Leap’s High-Stakes Season Finale

Martin GeroTonight, on the season finale of Quantum Leap, Ben (Raymond Lee) leaps to a dark future to get some words of wisdom from Ian (Mason Alexander Park) before the next leap takes him close to home. As the team faces off with Leaper X (Walter Perez), can Ben save the love of his life (Caitlin Bassett) without jeopardizing everyone’s present and future? 

Last week, the showrunner of the series, Martin Gero, spoke with SciFi Vision about some of the choices made this season, as well as the upcoming season finale and what fans can expect.

Watch the video and read the full transcript below!

SCIFI VISION:   I very much enjoyed it, but before we talk specifically about the finale, the other writers on the site keep telling me to ask this, and finally, it's appropriate, because you're the right person to ask. Having seen the original, they want to know…if you could talk about changing the idea of the waiting room, and why that is different? 

MARTIN GERO:   It's a great question. I think the waiting room in the original version of the show made a lot more sense, because it was easier to manage in that there wasn't a lot of present day story retelling, whereas in our show, there's an enormous amount of present day storytelling. So, the idea of trying to serve as that waiting room as well would be tricky. 

Now, a lot of the stuff that happens, especially going to the future, seems like something you would expect maybe to happen maybe season two, season three down the road. So, can you talk about the decision to move so fast? I mean, obviously, I'm sure you have more story coming, but can you sort of talk about that a bit? 

Well, I really think the key to these kind of network television shows is the danger becomes, if you're not careful, the show becomes all middle. We hope to go for a very long run, as long as the original, hopefully. So, if we're telling a serialized story, it's hard to really thin it out and only give morsels the whole way through. So, for us, we're looking at every season like a book in a series of novels you really love to read. So for us, each season needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. So, most of the questions that get asked in the first episode of the season, in our minds, needed to be answered this season, so it could be its own self contained thing. We have an amazing idea for what to do with season two and season three and beyond that have their own internal arcs that I think are really special and dynamic and cool. But yeah, that was one of the things we wanted to do. 

…I would think that it'd be safe to say, since we know that Ben’s trying to stop Addison from being shot, that he's going to be in her timeline. Can you sort of talk about some of the dangers of them kind of messing [around with that timeline], sort of some of how that might change the way they have to be careful about certain things? 

Well, sure, I mean, I'll just say very briefly, it's dangerous to mess with time, like, even when it's got nothing to do with us, we sometimes ripple the events in the wrong way. So, when Ben is dealing with a timeline that potentially touches on the characters we know so directly, the implications if something goes wrong there are pretty elevated. So, he might save Addison, but if he does something else wrong, it could wreck the program; it could end the program. It could make it the…present that he remembers unknowable, etc, etc. 

So, this episode, one of the things I really liked is that it takes everybody and not just Ben. Can you sort of talk about that and why it was important to you to kind of make it more of a group effort. I mean, the whole season is to some extent, especially because we keep seeing other people in the imaging chamber and all that. 

Yeah, I mean, for us, if we're going to have a present day story, it's important that that present day story play a pivotal role in the storytelling. So, we didn't want them to just be like Ben's helpers, and we wanted the two stories, especially in the finale, to feel organic and tied together and kind of dovetail into a really satisfying ending for all of our characters, not just Ben. So, yeah, it just it just felt right to finally earn the time that we spend with those present day characters in this episode. 

We see other characters in the imaging chamber. Is there a possibility, and I don't know if you can really answer this or not, but is there a possibility we could see some other characters leaping? I mean, we know that obviously Ian leaps at some point. Maybe we could have, I don't know, a flashforward or something. 

Yeah, I mean, that's getting pretty deep into the mythology of the show. So, I mean, there's no immediate plans to have anyone else leap. Ben is the leaper. 

All right, fair enough. Can you talk about this future world, how you went about creating that? 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, we have an incredible art department, like truly one of the best art departments working in television right now. This show is unlike any show on television in that we're basically doing a pilot every episode. Every episode, we're starting from scratch. We have our quantum leap HQ, but everything else, there are no other standing sets like every every other show; it's brand new. So, the amount that they had to [do], whether it's the old west or the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, the 50, it's just that what they've been able to do on a very rushed schedule is truly unbelievable. So, the ability to jump into the future, honestly, it was just about constraining what their incredible vision was for it and making it. I don't want to give too much away. It's hard to talk about the future without without giving too much away, but, obviously, what you see in the the teaser for the episode is a kind of like bombed out hollowed out Quantum Leap. So, it was very fun to take our homestead and really, really mess with it. 

Can you talk a bit about what fans will see in the finale, something that you're allowed to give away? 

I mean, this is the conclusion of this season story. Ben leaped to save Addison's life and I think realizes quickly it's not as simple as that. This is the final showdown between him and Leaper X. The fate of the program is in their hands. There're a lot of ways for it to go wrong. So, it's incredibly fun. I think this is our best episode, truly. I think it was spectacularly written and directed. Margarita Matthews wrote this episode and Chris Grismer directed it, who's our producing director. Just, it's nonstop it moves so fast. It's so emotional. It's so fun. It's it gave me the chills a couple times. I'm just incredibly proud of the whole team for for pulling together a really magical finale. 

Yeah, I really liked it. I think it was my favorite too. Now I have to ask you a question, and I don't know if this is just that I saw what I wanted to see, I guess, but I just wanted to ask you, because you would be the person to ask. The episode with the nuclear reactor very much to me looked like the Stargate set. Is that just in my min, or was that done on purpose, [laughs] because it drove me crazy after I watched that. It was tweeting about it. 

It wasn't done on purpose, honestly. But I think when you put you know, Woolsey in there - 

Well, that too. 

It's very hard for it not to look like the the Stargate set, but no, that was not the intention. But it's so funny that you say that, because when I walked down on that set, I got the same vibe. I mean, there're only so many ways you can do like underground military bunker, I guess. [laughs] 

True. It might be too because I've been on the set, that probably makes a big difference too. 

There you go. 

The other thing I want to ask you is, assuming you have some idea, do you know who's going to be guest stars during next season? Is there anything you can say? 

I can't announce anything yet. I will say that we have started shooting. We're already shooting episode four of season two, so we're well into it, and we have some incredible guest stars, like truly, truly, really exciting, especially for our NBC family. We're really thrilled at who we've been able to get for season two. 

Do you have like a dream guest star that you didn't get that you can maybe say, “this is who I would love someday to get on the show in the far future?” 

I don't want to say. 

You don't want to say. Okay, I figured you might not. 

It’s small list of people. 

All right. Well, thank you. I appreciate your time. I very much enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to next season. 

Thank you so much for your support this season and it's always great talking to you.

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