Quantum Con 1992:
"Creating an Episode"
Discussion Panel


From: (Sally Smith)
X-Original-Message-ID: <216@romana.Tymnet.COM>
Subject: Updated transcript
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 92 21:24:35 PDT
X-Original-Date: 13 Mar 92 21:41:18 GMT
Here's the corrected version, please update your files!
Subject: QUANTUM LEAP -- "Creating an Episode" panel transcript
At great personal sacrifice (staying up till 3 AM), here's the 
transcript from the "Creating an Episode" Panel at the QL convention.
All "um"'s and "y'know"'s and wrong episode titles are word for word
as they said them, no corrections or editing.
This transcript is copyright 1992 by Sally Smith. Any unauthorized
reprinting or retransmission of this _will_ result in you hearing from
my lawyer -- but if you *ask* nicely, I'll probably let you, as long as
it's not for commmercial use.
 audience laughs
 audience applauds
* audience hoots and screams
CHRIS RUPPENTHAL: (making introductions)... the lovely and talented Deborah 
Pratt.  Coming from our wing over here, Tommy Thompson,  producer, writer 
-- stand-up comedian par excellence, too. Also with us is Beverly Bridges, 
 another one of our writers. Hopefully, Paul Brown will be showing up 
any second now, he's supposed to be here. He's making his directorial 
debut right now, hopefully he's planning shots for Monday, also. 
Speaking of directors, Mr. Joe Napolitano, who's directed quite a few 
episodes of "Quantum Leap". And also an actor and technical advisor, 
and a former Navy SEAL, Mr. Rich Whiteside. And -- I don't know if we 
can put him on the spot or not, or if he's even in the audience, 
willing to come up, but Cameron Birnie, the man responsible for this 
beautiful set and design, should at _least_ stand up if not come on 
stage.  Wanna come up, Cam? C'mon! (he does). And also, from post-
production here, the genius -- it's easy to write this stuff, not so 
easy to put it together -- I wanna give a hand to Jimmy Giritlian, one 
of our unsung associate producers here, in post-production.  Jimmy, 
you're welcome to come on stage, too, we've got an extra chair (he 
declines). We'll field things and throw them to Jimmy, too. Why don't 
we all sit down and get this thing going here. I think we have 2 
I think one of the first things we'll do is -- I'll let Deborah, put 
her on the spot -- explain just sort of how we start the genesis of 
DEBORAH PRATT: The genesis of ideas? Um.
CR: ...And just how the whole process gets rolling.
DP: It's true. Everything starts from the idea. We have -- we're very 
lucky on our staff as writers to have very very creative people. As a 
staff writer, you pretty much come up with an idea in what's called an 
"arena". Sam leaps in to an exciting situation, and then the story 
begins. The hard part is, then the story begins.  If you came in kind 
of out of the blue and pitched to us as what's called a free-lance 
writer, we would find an arena that we like, and a leap-in that we 
like, and you would sit down with our writing staff and we would begin 
to talk about the story, and how it works, and who the characters are, 
the most important being the "heart story" and the relationship with 
Sam and Al and how Sam drives the story. We have a book, called the 
bible, of about -- it's about that thick (indicates)...?
CR: Yeah. It's really thick. _Too_ thick. About 50 pages of stuff on 
"Quantum Leap".
DP: And there are rules you have to adhere to, which makes the show
very -- it's what's called a layered show. Because Sam and Al 
leap into this entire new situation every week, and we introduce all 
new characters every week, we have to have guidelines to how much of 
Sam comes through the character, how it evolves in the course of the 
show, in what's called the arc, and because it's historical... 
Remember those wonderful kisses with history we used to try to do? 
They're _very_ hard to do. 'Cause there's a big rule. Kisses with 
history have to be immediately recognizable, they have to be funny, 
they have to come out of left field and kiss the story, and then you 
move on. They're very tough to do.
CR: And not only that, but if that person is still living, you 
oftentimes have to get their permission to do this. We tried to do one 
with Madonna, we had to, y'know, approach her agent; it was a great 
kiss with history, but she turned us down. On the other hand, Stephen 
King said yes, that's fine.   So you never know.
TOMMY THOMPSON: Some people we never even ask, though. In the 
wrestling show we did -- was it the wrestling, yeah? No, it was the 
priest show, we did Sylvester Stallone. (shrug) We figured if he was 
bothered by that... He must have bigger things to worry about. 
DP: You want to just talk about a couple of the other rules?
CR: Yeah.
TT: _Chris_ knows the rules.
CR: Tommy doesn't know the rules, that's why his scripts are much 
better than mine.  One thing you should know is that it's never easy 
for us to come up with an idea, even within our own arenas, sitting 
around pitching. We sit around for hours banging our heads against the 
walls, pitching ideas for stories. And there are no automatic 
approvals. The best thing also that happens is, you get an idea. And 
you say, "Sam leaps in as a midget race car driver." And you go, 
"That's a _great_ idea! Like, 'Oh, boy!' and he goes out of control." 
And we do the whole story, you work it out, and we write outlines and 
treatments. And then somewhere down the line, you can almost count on 
this, which makes it a much better script, someone goes, "Well, what 
if he was a _woman_ driver?" and it changes. That's the golden monkey 
wrench.  That's a phrase we use around the office.
TT: It's usually _you_. 
CR: Yeah. (laughs)
TT: You've got this thing all worked out, you're ready to go write it, 
and Chris'll walk in and go, "What if he's _this_?" and it's _gone_. 
The whole thing is gone.
CR: But we try to get _past_ that moment anyway. And it makes it 
better. Like in the way, when we did the Halloween episode -- (knowing 
grin) Should I say the name or not?
CR: We were all sitting around and Tommy was one of the people who 
said, "Well -- what if _Al's_ the devil?" And he totally causes me to 
rewrite this entire outline. (Tommy smiles) One of the things you have 
to remember, and that we always beat on people from the outside 
writers to ourselves, and we always hear constantly, is that Sam has 
to drive the story. That's an internal rule that we always go through, 
whether we think he is pushing the action and advancing plots and 
overcoming things. It's way too easy -- it's a mistake we make 
ourselves, often -- is he just reacts and for three acts stands around 
and goes, "Oh, cool, oh, wow, why am I here?"  And so the toughest 
thing to do is to have him come in and to advance each act, advance 
each plot beat per se, occasionally with the help of others. And then, 
once you write this fabulous script, we have to pass it...
DP: Go back, one more step. And that is, because we are a time-travel 
show, there's a great deal of research that goes into the period, the 
look of what we want to set up as writers. You have to set -- we write 
little movies each week, and we really look at it that way and we have 
to set the scene and the characters so that people don't use credit 
cards in 1953, or they don't do things in 1953 that would be something 
that you would have in 1985, like a car phone.
TT: It varies, though, from writer to writer, how much research gets 
done. (other writers nod and laugh ). I do _very_ little research.  
Paul Brown -- Paul isn't here, but Paul flies to other _countries_  
to research things. He literally flew to Washington, at his own 
expense, for the chimp show and the show about the deaf girl. I wrote 
one about a wrestler and all I did was put a picture of a wrestler on 
my wall.  I was writing it and I would look at it occasionally and 
Paul would come in and go, "THIS is your research?!"  And I go, 
"Yeah!" It just reminds me what I'm writing, it's a wrestler. So, and 
Chris does a lot of research, everybody does a lot of research. Except me. 
DP: One of the people we call, which is why Rich Whiteside is here, 
is, Rich, because when Don was writing "MIA" and Sam leaped into a 
Navy SEAL, he wanted some authentic stuff, the real stuff. So, why 
don't you talk a little bit about what you do?
RICH WHITESIDE: What I do. Well, I had the luxury of time. When Don 
was preparing to do the Vietnam episode, the two-parter, "The Leap 
Back", he had about four months before they were actually going in to 
shoot that, which is probably unusual (writers nod). He had contacted 
me, given me the thumbnail sketch of what the show was going to be 
about and asked me to provide him background information. 
Unfortunately, he didn't know what he was asking for, 'cause I flooded 
him with stuff for about four months. I gave him pictures from guys on 
the teams in Vietnam. I didn't serve in Vietnam, so I traveled, like, 
down to Virginia and interviewed guys that were commanders in Vietnam, 
that did POW repatriation missions and brought that information back 
to him. At that time there was a SEAL Team Two twenty year picture 
album that came out, so I sent that back to him. I got hold of books 
that were written by members who served there that detailed missions, 
highlighted what it was like to be in a firefight on the recipients' 
standpoint. What was it like to be on a POW repatriation mission. What 
were the different basic character types that exist in the teams. And 
coming from an acting standpoint, I kinda knew what he was looking 
for, and I tried to feed him things he could digest and put into the 
story. Which also included locations, such as -- in SEAL teams in 
Vietnam, their activities centered around the bar in camp, their 
missions, and the bar in town,  and you saw where the story kind of 
evolved out of. And so he took, on top of that, he layered the story. 
And I have to give Don and everybody on the staff a lot of credit, 
because they took the time under an incredibly busy schedule to sit 
back and listen to what I had to say, and then they incorporated it. 
And that was from costumes, to props, to makeup, all the way down the 
line. And when we were shooting it, Michael Zinberg, who was directing 
it, before each scene, would call me up and he would say, "This is the 
way I see the scene developing." I would tell him where there were 
inconsistencies, just from a military standpoint. If he could make a 
correction and use it, then he did. If we could come to a compromise, 
he did. When it came down to artistic license, he made the decision.  
So that's what it was from my technical standpoint on that one episode.
DP: OK, now Chris is gonna talk a little bit about after the script is done...
CR: Yeah. After the script is done, and we turn it in to everyone 
else, we all get notes. In television, it's a lot more than just 
writing the first draft. It's the rewriting of it. And rewriting and 
rewriting and rewriting, all the way through production, quite often. 
And unfortunately, that will have the impact on two people here also 
that -- Cameron Birnie will tell you, who's our art director, set 
designer par excellence, and Joe Napolitano, our director is -- they 
tear their hairs out as at the last second you suddenly say, "Well, 
this scene no longer takes place in an alley, it's in a ballroom for 
1200 people."  And it sort of changes your life.
TT: It's usually the other way, though.
CR: Right. As Tommy said, it usually goes the other way. Usually, we 
start very big and go small, which is the role of actual money in the 
production here. It costs a lot of money to do these shows. I think 
that our post-production and our production staff do an _incredible_ 
job of putting every cent on the stage and screen. Because it's very 
cheap to write and sit in an office, but what they do every week I 
think you'll admit is fantastic. So I'm going to turn it over to 
Cameron and Joe a little bit to describe what they get when they get 
the script in their hands. Cameron probably should go first, but then 
he and Joe work along with other people very closely to try and bring 
a vision to life here.
CAMERON BIRNIE: I was hoping _Joe_ would go first, but... Joe and I 
read the script. I guess the first thing that we do is make a set 
list. And when we start to plan the show, we'll start to discuss what 
locations we're gonna look for that are gonna be practical, and which 
locations that we wanna make. I remember on one show that we did for 
Joe, we did "Pool Hall Blues", and that took place almost entirely 
inside that one set. And because we didn't want the company to move 
off the stages, there were alley scenes that we did. The most logical 
time to do an alley is to go out to the back lot out there and shoot 
New York Street. But sometimes the company is so expensive to move, 
that in that particular case, we built the alley right on the stage. 
We have problems like that all the time, where sometimes you have to 
build things you don't expect to build. This show that Joe and I are 
prepping right now takes place in an Egyptian tomb. There's only two 
major sets on that show. We're gonna build the tomb, both tombs, on 
stage, because there's a lot of effects that take place in 'em, 
mummies and things like that. And for Egypt, that's another one of our 
problems. Just like in the Vietnam show, sometimes we have to find 
locations that are almost impossible to find. We have something in the 
studio called the "30-mile zone". That means that we're allowed to 
find any location we can shoot within 30 miles, 'cause that's as far 
as we can ship the company. And within 30 miles of Los Angeles, we 
couldn't find Vietnam.  We thought about _making_ Vietnam; we think 
of all kinds of crazy ideas. We think we could plant a jungle and make 
a jungle in a couple days. We finally ended up going outside of the 
zone to the only place at _all_ that looked like Vietnam, and it did 
look quite authentically like Vietnam, which was out in the town of 
Norco, and we were lucky about that. This time we're looking for 
_Egypt_.  I don't know where you go to find Egypt in the middle of a 
drought in Southern California. And then it goes and rains, so every 
time we had a dry spot, now there's green weeds growing up everywhere. 
We're lucky enough to find a quarry this time. We found a quarry and 
we're gonna shoot in this quarry. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly 
level. We had about (looks at Joe) what would you say, about six 
bulldozers moving a room this size full of dirt out of the way over 
the weekend. It actually happened yesterday.
JOE NAPOLITANO: Just part of the fun.  Sort of like when you're a 
child and you play in the sandbox. Except this is a _very_ large 
CB: You notice that, though, the _directors_ say "that's part of the 
fun.  I like that part." That's part of the fun for the _writers_, too.
JN: I think on this one, we moved 18 feet high, if you can imagine 
this, and probably about a quarter of the size of this room in _dirt_.
CB: Yeah, I was amazed, we're standing on the location up there, and 
Joe says, "This place is _perfect_, but I want to be standing where 
they are down there, 18 feet below us." And everyone in our group just 
said, like we usually say, "...OK." 
JN: (hangs his head, laughing) But, y'know, it's all part of telling 
the story. It's whatever is gonna make it work, that's what's 
important. And that's why the wonderful production staff and the 
people that support everything that _we_ do...we just sit there and we 
get our ideas and we have our whims about ideas and stuff... But 
there's a myriad of people that support us to help make this. Yeah, I 
think we perform magic. We have seven days of preparation and then we 
shoot the show in eight days. That's basically the way it goes each 
episode. Sometimes, like, uh, "B**g**m*n" was done in seven (audience 
GASPS, Joe grins). We shot it in seven days.
TT: Except at the end of the year, when we're out of money.
CR: Right.
JN: Yeah.
TT: Then you do it in seven days.
JN: I also wanna go public here with one thing. Chris Ruppenthal, who wrote
"B**g**m*n", as you all know (audience gasps again and applauds, Joe grins
again), you should all know this, OK, his nickname since then has been
"Ruppenboogie".  . (smiling) We needed to go public with that.  (Chris
laughs, pleased)
DP: In that prep time, some of the things that happen are the casting, 
set design, and any type of props that are needed. We had to look at 
camels and scorpions, y'know, because we're in the desert and that's 
what we're dealing with. Jean-Pierre Dorleac, who will be out in a 
little bit, designs all the wardrobes  We have to decide on lighting, 
any kind of special effects that we need, any type of cars that we 
need. It's a _lot_ of people doing a _lot_ of things to make this show 
work. And then we start shooting. And we have to deal with, for 
example (Chris and Tommy fight over a microphone,  Chris wins and Tommy 
frowns), we're supposed to be in the desert and it's hot and we've got 
rain coming. Which means cover sets.
CR: Yeah. It's amazing. Because they will... (Tommy tries to take back 
the mike) as Tommy disconnects this... at the last second, you will 
say, "Y'know, I need a 1957 gas lantern for this episode," and, like, 
George Tuers goes, "OK, I'll run out and get one." There are about a 
hundred people involved in the crew who make this happen. They are 
around. It is a miracle every week that it gets done, the episode gets 
done in eight days.
TT: The scariest thing is when you say to George, "We need a leather 
bra with big studs on it," and he gets it, like, right there in his 
car.  He gets it out of the back seat of his car. 
CR: He's always terrifying. 
TT: I don't know what he's got in his trunk, but whatever you need, 
he's got it in his trunk.
CR: And we shouldn't forget Beverly up here (she makes a face). 
Beverly has a unique path to "Quantum Leap", because she came in 
originally as a free-lancer to us, and then, because of the excellence 
of her scripts, was brought on staff.
BEVERLY BRIDGES: Ladies, I'm the woman you thank for taking Sam's 
clothes off. (  *, as Deborah says, "Me too!" and Beverly smiles and 
waves at the audience) Is that right?
DP: Yeah, y'know, it was really funny, 'cause she wrote the script...
BB: Oh, "The Play's the Thing". Sam does a nude Hamlet.  *
DP: Before that...
TT: You take 'em off in _every_ episode!
BB: Oh, the bounty hunter...
DP: The first time we did it actually goes back to "Her Charm". I said 
to him, "Women out there love you with your -- chest exposed."  * He 
said, "No, no, no, no way." I said, "Do me a favor..." "Her Charm", 
that's right, that's what it was (to Beverly) and then you proved it 
again in...
CR: "A Hunting We Will Go."
DP: That's the other one. I said, "If the ratings go up because you're 
out without a shirt, never ever hassle me about it again." And sure 
enough, we came up three share points. 
CR: So, thank Beverly for that. 
BB: It's funny, because originally when I wrote "A Hunting We Will 
Go", where Sam's a bounty hunter, in the third act, he has a bedroom 
scene where his shirt is off. And, as a writer...I just didn't put it 
back on (grins).  The whole fourth act. Deborah and I were sitting in 
a production meeting. In the production meeting, the costume people 
were there, everybody who has anything to do with production were 
there. We're the only two women in the room. All the guys said, "Wait. 
Wait a moment. He doesn't have his shirt back on in the fourth act." 
And Deborah and I go, (nodding eagerly) "Yeah."  (Deborah laughs) 
"Y'know, it's really cold up there in the Sierra highlands..." So we 
were overruled by a group full of very modest men, who put the shirt 
back on (Chris laughs, audience says "Awww..." and boos, Tommy 
attempts to look disgusted). I tried! I tried!
DP: But we had the opportunity in the deaf show for him to take _all_ 
of his clothes off, so it really makes up for it. When he was the 
Chippendale dancer.
CR: Right. And then we did "Hamlet" naked.
DP: You've done it a couple of times, that's right.
CR: There's _no_ stopping this woman. 
BB: It's funny, I met a fan this week. And my very first script that I 
wrote was "The Great Spontini" and handcuffs played a big part in "The 
Great Spontini". My second script was "A Hunting We Will Go" and in 
most of it, he's handcuffed. And somebody wrote me asking if I was 
really into _bondage_.  (rolls her eyes)
TT: Is there a script that you've written that you haven't mentioned 
by name yet?
BB: Um... "Raped" (smiles).
TT: She's got 'em all in _twice_, I think (pats Beverly on the back, 
BB: Jealousy. Professional jealousy (pats Tommy on the back).
DP: Let's take some questions. Editing happens after that, and then 
post-production, where we put in sound effects and visual effects, 
like you saw. It's a lot of work, and there's a whole post-production 
team that works _very_ very very hard...Julie and David Bellisario...
CR: Jimmy Giritlian, Jeff Gourson, and two of our editors I want to 
mention right now who have been lurking out there, Jon Koslowsky, 
Michael Stern, who've been doing a great job.  (indistinct) And all 
their assistants.
DP: They do what's called the music and effects, where we talk about 
where we want special effects, lightning and thunder, and where we 
want music cues to come in, and Ray Bunch comes in and scores for us. 
And then Julie and the troops put it together and that's how we get it 
to you.
CR: I'd also like to...Ernesto, over there  our sound man, for 
looping, who makes sure you can understand all the dialogue. If we can 
bring up the house lights now, why don't we spend a few minutes doing 
(surprised at the number of people wanting to ask questions) -- wow! --
questions and answers.
Q: Has Dean or Scott ever said they won't do anything that you've ever 
CR: Has Dean or Scott ever said they won't _do_ anything?
JN: _Yes._ 
DP: They are the darlings of television. They are the best people to 
work with and for. They each give 200 percent every time. But there 
are things that even _they_...
TT: They've gotten angry about things before. Not angry, but, um...I 
remember in the beauty pageant show, I walked down  and I saw Scott 
in that bathing suit with the high heels. And he just looked at me and 
he goes, "I don't know where or when, but I'll get you for this."   
He hasn't gotten me yet.
Q: (Sam always been an American, any plans to be a foreign national?)
DP: We're shooting him in Egypt.
JN: Wednesday, we start filming him in Egypt. The question was, does he 
go overseas or has he ever gone into other than American situations? 
Well, Vietnam was one.
CR: Also, will he be a foreign national? We've talked about it several 
times. There's nothing right in the immediate future for him being a 
foreign...We've talked about him being like an Arab sheik, like the 
wealthiest guy in the known universe , with y'know, a harem of women, 
he leaps in, "Oh, boy!"  "Master, we're here to serve you!" "Oh, 
boy." But nothing right currently.
Q: Are you ever gonna give Sam a vacation and put Al in his place?  
CR: Are we ever gonna give Sam a vacation or put Al in his place, and 
will he ever see his wife again? (to Deborah) Should we, uh...? Some 
of those are trade secrets right now.  Let me just say those areas 
are all under consideration right now. And you'll have to stay tuned, 
some of that may be answered in the season finale  just to whet your 
appetite. ( and groans)
TT: Or ask Don when he gets here. Yeah.
DP: (nodding, smiling) Ask Don.
CR: Put _Don_ on the spot when he gets here at 4:00.
Q: Will Sam ever meet himself?
CR: Will Sam ever meet himself? Um...
TT: We tried to do that once. Paul, Paul Brown actually wrote that 
into a script, and it got pulled out for some reason. It just seemed 
strange. I don't think we wanted to use it unless we had a really big 
story to build it around.
CR: Yeah, actually, it was part of the chimp show, where when he was a 
chimpanzee, there was a scene written where the young Sam Beckett came 
in and met this attractive woman scientist who tried to sort of pick 
him up and was sort of unnerved about it and failed. And the chimp 
kept trying to coax him along, really.  "No, you idiot! She _wants_ 
to go out with you!"  It was like a (chimp noises) "Ooo aah," "Excuse 
me, sorry."  So that got pulled.
Q: (indistinct)
CR: She'd like each of us to say is there a scene that we've loved 
that has been cut. I would assume that either a produced scene or we 
could even say a written scene. (looks around) We'll start with Joe,  
put him on the spot.
JN: (hangs his head) Not really whole scenes. Sometimes as a director, 
you fall in love with certain shots within a scene, a piece of the 
scene and (leans his head on Deborah's shoulder) the _producers_ take 
it out  (she laughs as he pretends to hit her with the mike). But, 
y'know, they usually have good reasons and you just go along with 
that. It's all for the better, I mean, we're not trying to ruin the 
show. But sometimes, y'know, it's hard to let go of something. Writers 
have the same problem, I'm sure (Chris nods). They'll write a scene 
and in the final edit, maybe only half of that scene will be in there 
and you'll lose some stuff--but you've gotta do that, y'know, because 
sometimes some things get in the way of telling the story, and what 
it's about is telling the story. So we all just kind of live through 
it, y'know. But it's OK. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying it has 
to go sometimes.
DP: By the time a show gets shot, from a writer's standpoint of view, 
it pretty much is what it is. There was a scene in "Shock Theater", 
there was a conversation between Verbena Beeks and Sam (Joe nods). And 
we ended up losing the audio, because of Ziggy, what Ziggy could and 
couldn't do. The original ending of "So Help Me God" was a very 
different ending and for a variety of reasons, it was changed. So, 
yeah, there are scenes that change. But I think in the long run -- and 
you're here in support of the fact -- that it makes the best show. You 
just keep growing. 
CR: Yeah, I think it's amazing. I can remember one specific time where 
-- you get into debates over how Sam's character would behave. In the 
motorcycle show, where they run into Jack Kerouac,  we had a scene 
where he went to confront Kerouac at his cabin. I know Deborah and I 
had a, y'know, we sort of got head-to-head on this one for one brief 
moment (Deborah smiles), where I had Sam coming in -- 'cause I took a 
pass at that one scene -- and being more angry at him, and sort of...I 
wrote this scene with Sam coming in with a lot of anger and saying, 
y'know, "You're too passive, you've got to get off the sidelines and 
get with the program here and try to help these kids out. You talk 
about being involved and you're not." And then he left. It was a very 
angry moment, and we seldom see Sam be _that_ angry. And we went 
around and around about whether he should be or shouldn't be. We 
ultimately wound up toning it down, that scene. For me _personally_, I 
think that's one of the times where I would have liked to have seen 
him gone in that direction. It's a choice. I think the other scene 
played very well, also. It's just an interesting debate that goes on, 
that sometimes _rages_ on around the office behind where, y'know, 
people discuss things, and then you finally have to just make the 
decision, you only have one shot to film it, you can't film it both 
ways. 99 percent of the time, things come out for the best. But we 
have this, definitely, this dialectical system going on, where it's 
thesis, antithesis, and then synthesis, and hopefully you're not _too_ 
bloody to stand up afterwards.
TT: (frowning) _What_ did he just say?  (grins, shakes his head) He 
went to Harvard, that's why he talks like that (Chris smiles). I had a 
scene changed in a script that we just finished shooting that Joe 
directed. (Joe reacts)  No, it wasn't because of Joe, I don't even 
think Joe ever saw that, _Don_ made me change it. It was at the end 
and it was very disturbing and very sort of violent and Don said he'd 
promised NBC a comedy, and so we changed it to something that was even 
_more_ bizarre in my mind, so you'll have to see it. It's called 
"Moments To Live", but _that_ one I would like to have had back the 
way it was. 
BB: Well, usually, my scenes that are cut have to do with undressing 
him.  * (she shrugs, rest of panel laughs) I had... Where Sam's the 
bounty hunter, I had in one of the drafts, I had Sam asking Diane as 
she was about to go off to jail, "Was this for real?" And she goes, 
"Yeah, this is for real," back and forth, back and forth, and had a -- 
great big kiss, and then they leapt out on the kiss. And we decided, 
"Wait, wait, wait, she's not in love with Sam, she's left with this 
bad-breath bounty hunter," and so we had to say, "Well, I'm going off 
to be a bounty hunter." So that was the one that I thought, hmmm... 
(to Rich, handing him the microphone) Yes?
TT: They always the original draft of "Future Boy", I, uh, 
I _killed_ Captain Galaxy at the end. (he laughs, audience boos, he 
gives audience a disgusted look)
DP: (smug smile) Guess Don was right...  (panel laughs)
TT: And uh, _no_, I mean, I thought it was a good death! (smiling) He 
died of a heart attack, but right before he died, he saw Sam as who he 
really was, and he knew that time travel was possible (audience says 
"Awww"). So he went out on kind of an up note, y'know -- but he still 
went out, y'know.  I'm sure Richard Herd is very happy that I didn't 
do that.
RW: In the Vietnam episode, there was one scene that wasn't able to 
make it time-wise that I really personally liked. When we shot it, 
those who had served in Vietnam were very affected by it. It was a 
scene after Maggie was killed and Sam had scooped her up and was 
running back with the rest of the platoon, which had now linked 
together. And the camera's shooting down this path, with the platoon 
fighting off the bad guys, and the helicopter lands right in front of 
the camera, and you're now looking through the cockpit and they piled 
in carrying her, and the whole platoon, and the helicopter lifted off. 
For me, personally, it was just a scene that looked authentic. That 
was one that I _hated_ to see go, but there just wasn't enough time to 
put it in.
CB: Me? I've had _many_ sets kicked...  (indistinct) ... many, many sets 
messed up. My biggest disappointment, I guess, is some sets that I've 
done have been very big, _beautiful_ sets that the only thing that's 
ended up on TV is just this little square around a head. Which I 
_guess_ is why actors get their credits up front... 
CR: I want to make one last thank you to Universal City Tours, who has 
contributed a lot here, so before we forget, big hand to the tours. 
Q: (write story lines or get really intricate?)
CR: First you come up with the arena, whatever it may be. In my case, 
in the upcoming episode that Joe's directing, it's an archaeologist in 
Egypt, discovering a tomb. Then, I wrote an outline that was about 
eight pages long, single-spaced, broken down into four acts, two pages 
per act, roughly. And going through the major action of all the events 
there, and the character development. The biggest thing that they 
really look for is, what is the heart story? They figure out, and 
we'll get the plot down, it's a murder mystery or whatever else.
And then, when you write the script, _boy_, you'd better put it in the 
script. And if you put it in by accident and you think it's just a 
joke (Tommy nods), you'll be sitting there in a production meeting 
with fifty people around you going, (seriously) "Where do you want 
this dwarf llama?"  And they did that in one case, where we had the 
goat in the Halloween episode (Joe laughs), we had a big goat that was 
black, or we could get a pygmy goat that we could paint white that 
looked good. (to Joe) So you said, "I want a white goat," (Joe nods), 
and so they paint the goat white, y'know?  You have to be very 
specific or it's just not gonna show up. You can't assume that even, 
as well and as good as these professionals are, that they will, 
y'know, read your mind.
TT: It's also -- sometimes you don't know _what_ you want. You know 
you want something there. Like, in "Future Boy", again, when I wrote 
the time machine, I had a _vague_ idea what I wanted it to look like, 
but _Cameron_ really built it. I mean, Cam came to me  and gave it to 
me. Y'know, I walked down and I saw it and it was just like, "_Hey_, 
that's it. That's the thing I wanted." So it's give and take.
Q: (way in the back and very indistinct)
CR: Could we see Sam as a surfer in the early 80's? That was the 
JN: Deborah just whispered in my ear, "So would Paul." 
CR: We've actually talked about doing that. Sometimes, it's just a 
matter of production. Is it too cold to put them in the water, during 
this time of year, filming? We'll make that decision. The other thing 
really is, we've come up with a lot of interesting arenas, like 
surfing, is can we film it for the budget, and what is the story going 
on in there? We have a lot -- he's a bullfighter. Great. But what is 
the heart story going on? That's the big thing. 
Way, way, way in the back. Can you come forward and say this?
TT: (smiling) Come forward.
CR: Come forward. The Great and Powerful Oz. 
Q: When the people are waiting in the Waiting Room (indistinct, but 
what do they remember?)
DP: We have a standing joke around the office that that's where all 
the UFO experience stories come from.   And what we say is that they 
are as Swiss-cheesed as Sam. So, as they pass through Sam in the 
quantum leap, they pick up pieces of his experience, and take with 
them whole sections that they forgot. So, as that stands --I mean, 
most of them come back and they're in a white room with people in 
white clothes and they think they've been picked up by aliens -- so 
they don't talk about it a lot.  If you notice, most of the alien 
sighting stories came about 1953.  Last question.
Q: I have a three-part question.   In the episode where Sam leapt 
into a gay college cadet, the first part of the question is, can I get 
a copy of the original script, the second part of the question is, 
what was altered in the original script, and the final part is, what 
made the advertisers pull out, and I know you can't really say this, 
but I'd like to know who the advertisers were so I don't buy their 
TT: Yeah. I did one of the rewrites on that script. It was written by 
Bobby Duncan, who is a free-lance writer. I'm trying to remember what 
the arguments were about the first draft of it... (comments to him 
from others) that's right. The problem NBC had with it, the big 
problem, was it was a teenage suicide story. It was set in a prep 
school, it was a much younger kid, and he was going to kill himself. 
_That_ was their biggest problem with it. I did a rewrite on it. I 
sort of did more of the attitude of Sam defending him and Al having a 
problem with it, being from an old school. We aged 'em a little bit, 
we made the kids older, and it seemed to calm them down a lot. It was 
funny, I couldn't understand the controversy on the script. I just 
kept reading and hearing things about it, and these people I don't 
think had ever _seen_ the script or heard about it. It offended _me_. 
I, uh -- I've been disabled since I was 15, and I _don't_ lump myself 
in with _every_ disabled -- y'know what I mean? I mean, _every_ story 
about a disabled person is _not_ about me. And I didn't see how that 
story was so universal, and indicted everybody on the planet with this 
one story line. So it really _bothered_ me, a lot. I don't know what 
the products were, to tell you the truth.
CR: Yeah, two of the main concerns that NBC had, when you deal with a 
division of standards and practices, which is basically sort of a 
censorship-type deal. But one was that they have done studies, the 
networks, that whenever teenage suicide is portrayed, even if you go 
through the entire episode saying. "it's bad, don't do it, kids, 
there's another way out," there is a rise in attempted and successful 
teenage suicides. So we were only too happy to not contribute to that 
by making it a college-age situation, where we made a specific point 
of saying, "I'm 21, I'm old enough to make up my own mind," to make 
them older. The other point they wanted to do was not to have the gay 
character seem flagrantly, stereotypically, caricatured as a gay 
DP: (shaking head) It _never_ was.
CR: It _never_ was. We went through and our whole point was, the whole 
point of the episode was, "What's the difference? What's the point?" 
TT: The last line in the script, the last scene that I wrote was, Al 
saying, "I still can't remember, I can't figure it out, was he gay?" 
and Sam says, "Does it matter?" And that was the point of the whole 
script.  And I don't think that the people that were arguing about it 
got to that point in the script before they went _nuts_, y'know what I 
mean? So, hey (shrugs), y'know, people have problems with things like 
that, so you have to deal with them. (grins) So that's why you write 
wrestling shows, where nobody cares... 
CR: Another question. The woman waving her arms frantically! A 
microphone is hurrying its way back to you.  A big hand for the 
microphone lady! 
Q: How does one submit a story line to you guys?
CR: As a free-lancer, from the outside?
Q: Yeah. (audience says, "Oooo" ominously, panel shakes their heads)
CR: Hey, that's a good question. That's a terrifying question.  Quite 
frankly, stories are submitted _only_ through agents accredited with 
the Writer's Guild of America, East or West. We cannot -- even if you 
call up on the phone, and say, "Hey, I don't want any money for this," 
which a lot of people do, "I just think it would be a cool idea for 
Sam to do that," but we can't listen to it. It's unfortunate, but the 
way the legal system is today, and what has happened to us in the 
past, we have to be very strict and very certain. If you submit a 
manuscript, a "Quantum Leap" spec script, it will be returned unread 
by our legal department. We just can't -- what we don't want to do to 
aspiring writers, or writers who've already done some work, is 
consciously or unconsciously co-opt an idea and beat you out of the 
money. Because it's only fair that your ideas get the recognition they 
deserve, if they're good ideas, and the payment they deserve, and 
that's why they _have_ to go through an agent. And _not_ an attorney, 
but an agent, a literary agent, who can represent you.
TT: I got a balloon-o-gram one day in my office.  And my secretary 
brought it in and it was this _beautiful_ thing and it said, "It's a 
boy, congratulations." And I said, "My wife isn't pregnant, this 
_can't_ be for me." And it was the right address and everything, and 
it had this gift attached to it, and I opened it, and it was a script. 
 About Sam being pregnant. And Deborah had already written the 
episode. And I just, it was like that thing was on _fire_ when I 
touched it. I just like, I threw it on the floor and I yelled for 
somebody to come in and take it away. Because if they found out that 
I'd read that script, as a producer -- we're _dead_, y'know. It's a 
real touchy situation.
CR: Could you stand up and sort of -- scream? 
Q: (indistinct, will the show be renewed?) 
CR: Are we gonna be renewed? Well, what do you think?  *
Q: It's just that we'd hate to see NBC do another cancellation "Star 
Trek" type thing and then find out a few years down the road that, 
boy, they blew it again.
CR: Yeah, so would we.  Just one note of reality there, the big 
change that's sweeping television right now is _money_. And that's 
what we're up against, isn't it?
DP: That's what we're up against. As a matter of fact, they're having 
meetings now, as we speak. Because "Quantum Leap" is such a unique 
show, its uniqueness makes it expensive in today's market. They have 
to question and look at their participation in it. And I hope that the 
powers that be at Universal and NBC say quality programming is 
CR: Thank you everybody, thank you for Joe, Deborah, Tommy, Beverly, 
Rich, Cameron, and myself!     

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