"The Beast Within"

Leap Date:

November 6, 1972

Episode Adopted by: Brinsley


Mistaken for the creature Bigfoot, Sam leaps into a Vietnam veteran named Henry Adams who lives with another vet, Roy Brown, in the mountains away from civilization. Roy has seizures and hallucinations and needs medication to prevent them. But the town sheriff, who has an old war secret to hide, is preventing Sam and Roy from coming into town to get the medicine.


Audio from this episode


Leap Date

Project Date
Name of the Person Leaped Into

Music Artists
Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Kiss with History

Broadcast Date
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Cast members who have passed away
Personal Review
Best Lines
Best Scenes
Say what? (things in the episode that make no sense)
Quotable Quotes




Leap Date: November 6th, 1972.

Place: Washington State. 

Name of the Person Leaped Into: Henry Adams.



Leaping in to find himself sitting on a windowsill outside a dark room at night, wearing a furry long coat and holding a bottle of pills in his hand, Sam is startled into falling off the ledge by a teenage kid who mistakes him for Bigfoot. Stumbling away into the forest to avoid being captured by the house's owner who comes after him, Sam soon runs into a scrawny, wild-haired young man who is revealed to be his host's friend, coming to meet Sam - or Henry, as he learns his host is named – on the way home. Home, as it turns out, is a secluded campsite in the forested mountains, away from the town where Sam found himself when he leaped in.

When Al finally arrives to give him some answers, Sam learns that he is Henry Adams, a Vietnam vet living with his friend Roy alone in the mountains of Washington State. Roy and Henry went to Vietnam, a few years back, along with their two best friends from high school, John and Luke, but an incident on the battlefield, in which a moment of moral disagreement led to John's sudden death, caused Luke to end his friendship with Henry and Roy, who were the only witnesses of that tragic death and its cause, and who have nevertheless remained silent about it.

In Vietnam, Roy was a "tunnel rat", a burrower who is assigned the duty to flush out enemies out of tunnels and cracks. During one later mission he was shot in the head and has since been suffering from nervous spasmodic fits. Coming back home to live with Henry in the wild, Roy has been supplied the medicine he needs for free by the town doctor. However, the man has very recently died, leaving Roy doomed to eventually die of his nervous disease, as there is no other way of getting the pills he needs – Luke is now the town's sheriff, and threatens Roy and Henry with arrest on the charge of a petty theft Roy has recently committed, if they even show their faces around town. The only way to get the pills was to have Henry rob the local pharmacy, at which point Sam has leaped into the scene.

However, now that Roy asks Sam for the pills he was supposed to bring, Sam discovers he had dropped the bottle after having been surprised by the boy on the windowsill. Sam is now forced to come up with a way to delay Roy's worsening seizures by using the means available in nature; He must go into town and try to persuade Luke not to turn his back on his two old friends, and also not to arrest Sam himself on the spot; and finally, he must save the life of Daniel, the boy who had startled him upon his arrival – who is none other than the teenage son of the late John, now raised by Luke, who had married John's wife after returning from the war. Having once been shown a glimpse of the mythical Bigfoot by his late father (and having recently mistaken Sam in his furry coat for the monster), Daniel is angry with his stepfather Luke for refusing to believe in the creature's existence, and runs away from home to get his own photographic proof of it. But before he gets the chance, his life may be in danger in the wild terrain of the mountains.


Songs / Music:
Quantum Leap Theme by Mike Post
Musical Score by Velton Ray Bunch


Project Trivia:
No info on any activities going on in the project during this leap. No info on the real Henry's feelings in the Waiting Room, though Al does mention that Henry told him the story of Roy's tragic injury in Vietnam.


Sam Trivia:
Sam recalls one bit of info out of his knowledge of medicinal herbs, in remembering the medicinal qualities of the lobelia plant, allowing him to identify the plant and to make a broth out of it to temporarily repress Roy's seizures.


Al Trivia:
No info on Al's activities outside the IC in this episode. However, even though Al doesn't comment on it in relation to himself, Sam's inquiry into the four friends' stories of Vietnam (Roy's injury, and Luke's disobedience that led to John's death) clearly brings up in Al's mind the memories of his own life in Vietnam and his years-long POW ordeal.



Misc. Trivia:

This episode was written by John D'Aquino, who has appeared in a guest role in the show as Frank LaMotta, brother of Sam's leapee Jimmy in the episodes "Jimmy" and "Deliver Us from Evil", as well as in the role of young miner Tonchi Palermo in the series finale "Mirror Image".

Sam leaps into Henry Adams, a Vietnam vet who lives in a secluded campsite in the mountains along with his friend and fellow vet Roy Brown.

In Vietnam, Henry was a grunt while Roy was a "tunnel rat" – the term for a soldier whose size makes him ideal for fitting into enemy tunnels and holes and flushing the enemy out to the open, one of the most dangerous jobs soldiers were assigned in the war. During a scouting mission in a series of enemy tunnels, Roy was detected and shot in the head. Roy has survived, but the trauma of the wound seems to have affected the areas in the brain controlling the nervous system, causing him to suffer frequent fits of violent spasms, as well as snakelike pains or vibrations within his head. Doc Kramer, the local doctor, was freely supplying Roy with frequent doses of Phenetolin, the medicine that counteracts the effects of the head trauma and represses the seizures. However, the doctor has very recently died, leaving Henry with no choice but to rob the local pharmacy for the medicine to save Roy's life. Sam later uses the medicinal properties of the lobelia plant, similar to those of the Phenetolin, to temporarily repress Roy's severe seizure.

Henry and Roy went to Vietnam with two other friends of their town – John Burke and Luke Marlet. The four were best friends in high school. John was married to Karen and father of Daniel. In Vietnam, he was in command of the unit comprised of himself and his three friends. On a sweep-and-destroy mission the four were conducting, John told Luke to secure an enemy hooch by killing an old man who was the sole remaining person in the area. Luke refused, saying that he will not see another person murdered in that manner. His friend having disobeyed his order, John announced he will dispose of the old man himself, but when he entered the hooch, it blew up, killing him. Luke has remained feeling guilty of his best friend's death, but his refusal to obey John's order, for which he could have been court-martialed, was never revealed, the only witnesses being Luke's two other best friends, Henry and Roy.

After returning to their hometown, Henry and Roy went off to live in a secluded campsite in the mountains, away from society and the possible threat of having to fight in other wars. Luke, meanwhile, soon became the town's sheriff, and eventually married Karen, John's widow, who was devastated by John's death and found comfort in Luke's shared grief. Karen apparently runs the local pharmacy in her and Luke's home – Henry was breaking into their house to get the pills for Roy when Sam leaped in. Karen also later exhibits her knowledge of basic medical training, when she checks Daniel's vital signs.


Al's Outfits:

1. White long overcoat with gold pin in the lapel, dark shirt with pin buttoning the neck. (in the campsite at night)

2. Dark yellow long overcoat with gold pin in the lapel, dark yellow scarf, black shirt, black pants, black shoes. (in the campsite the next morning, town jail, the riverbank)


Writer: John D'Aquino


Director – Gus Trikonis
First Assistant Director – R. John Slosser
Second Assistant Director – Brian Faul



Executive Producer – Donald P. Bellisario
Co-Executive Producer – Deborah Pratt
Co-Executive Producer – Chas. Floyd Johnson
Supervising Producer – Richard C. Okie
Supervising Producer – Harker Wade
Supervising Producer – Tommy Thompson
Associate Producer – Scott Ejercito
Associate Producer – Julie Bellisario
Producer – Robin Jill Bernheim
Coordinating Producer – David Bellisario


Broadcast Date: March 16th, 1993.


Regular Cast:
Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci


Guest Stars:

Sean Gregory Sullivan as Roy Brown
Pat Skipper as Lucas "Luke" Marlet
David Tom as Daniel Burke
Eileen Seeley as Karen
John Worful as John Burke
David Denney as Deputy Curtis
Mike Jolly as Henry Adams / Mirror


Guest Cast Notes:

Sean Gregory Sullivan (Roy) has appeared in such movies as "Back to the Future 3", "Who's that Girl?" and "Wayne's World". He has also appeared in the TV-movies "Melanie Darrow" and "RFK". His TV credentials include a recurring role in "Roomies", as well as guest appearances in "The Bronx Zoo", "Caroline in the City", "Babylon 5" and "Fame".

Pat Skipper (Luke) appeared in such movies as "Wall Street", "Lethal Weapon 2", "Predator 2", "Femme Fatale", "Independence Day" and "Erin Brockovich". He has also appeared in such TV-movies as "Dancing with Danger", "Trade Off" and "Dying to Live". Among his TV guest credentials are such shows as "Paradise", "The X-Files", "Frasier", "That 70's Show" and "NYPD Blue".

David Tom (Daniel) appeared in such movies as "Stay Tuned", "Swing Kids", "Roommates" and "Pleasantville". He has also appeared in such TV-movies as "A Place to be Loved", "Summertime Switch", "The 60's" and "Holy Joe". Among his TV credentials are a recurring guest role in "The Young and the Restless", as well as guest appearances in such shows as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and "Party of Five".

Eileen Seeley (Karen) appeared in such movies as "Creature", "Molly and Gina", "The Killers Within", "Batman Forever" and more recently in "Jack Frost" and the sequel "Jack Frost 2". She has also appeared in such TV-movies as "A Dangerous Affair", "In the Shadows, Someone's Watching" and "Ruby Jean and Joe". Her TV guest credentials include appearances in "Who's the Boss?", "Family Ties", "The Facts of Life", "Murder She Wrote" and "ER".

David Denney (Deputy Curtis) appeared in such movies as "Under Cover", "Rush Week" and "Shadow Force", as well as in such TV-movies as "Pointman", "A Mother's Gift" and "A Promise to Carolyn". His TV guest appearances include "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "Coach".

Mike Jolly (Henry / Mirror) appeared in minor roles in such movies as "Creator", "Bad Guys", "Sister Act", "Clean Slate" and "Forrest Gump". He also appeared in recurring roles on the TV series "Fresno" and "Dirty Dozen". Among his TV guest appearances are Bellisario's "JAG", as well as "Murder She Wrote", "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Facts of Life".


Guests Who Appeared in Other QL Episodes:
Pat Skipper (Luke) also appeared as "Tequila" in the second-season finale "MIA".


Personal Review:

A nice and at times touching thematic episode, dealing with the ravages of war over not only people's lives, their rights or their way of life (issues dealt with in previous QL episodes such as "Nuclear Family" or "The Leap Home, Part II"), but also over relationships, and most importantly, friendships, here represented in the four classmates' long friendship that is broken between the three of them that have survived, due to an incident they are keeping a secret among themselves, in which one of them directly caused his friend's death by disobeying that friend's order to him to kill an old man. As Sam so precisely states it, this is an irony of human morality: how can Luke, having refused to kill, now be forced to spend the rest of his life feeling guilty for causing his friend's death by that very refusal? In the present, Luke initially seems to us to be quite worthy of the title of "nozzle" applied by Al to many of the villains Sam encounters. He hounds Henry and Roy for petty crimes and has made it impossible for them to come into town in broad daylight to seek help for Roy's critical condition. However, when Henry's diary takes Sam, and us, to the past of four years before that time, we have to come to terms with the fact that Luke was the good and moral guy back then, and can still be seen to be so in the present as well. He is ridden by guilt for having caused John's death by his disobedience, and that is clearly the reason behind many of his actions – on the one hand, his preventing of Henry and Roy from coming to town, but on the other hand, his decision to marry Karen and become a father for Daniel, replacing his late friend and providing for his family as a way of compensating for his deed and easing his secret guilt. All in all, Luke certainly turns out to be the victim of a strange twist of fate, and thanks to Sam's presence and his wise words, a better man for it.


Best Line:

Sam: You know, it's, it's… it's really crazy, Al. A man refuses to kill, and then… spends the rest of his life feeling guilty.


Best Scene:

The scene that was a critical turning point in the four friends' lives and relationship, it represents a moral crossroads and is the cause for most of the episode's events.

(The four young soldiers' sweep-and-destroy mission in Vietnam - August 6th, 1968)

John: I'm gonna level this place. (Luke returns from having surveyed the hooch) What've you got?

Luke: Nothing. Just an old man, let's go.

John: Wait a second. Hey, we got orders to secure this village, that's what we're gonna do.

Luke: John, it's just an old man.

John: There's no young or old anymore. There's just us and them.

Luke (determinedly, half-challenging): Can't do it.

John (quiet, disbelieving): What did you say?!

Luke: You heard me. I can't kill any more people like that.

Roy: Look, John, maybe he's right. I mean, maybe we oughtta move it on outta here and let them flyboys just scorch the joint.

Henry: Yeah… I'm all for that. I got a bad feeling about this place.

(A moment of silence)

John: No. Command says this is a VC supply point, and we're to secure it.

Luke (bursts out): You still don't get it, man --

John: That's an order, sergeant!

Luke (shrugs it off dismissively): That doesn't matter.

John: It *does* matter!! (Silence. desperately) it has to matter!

Luke: Then you do it. (John stares at him. Luke stares back)

(Without a word, John shoulders his rifle and moves out towards the hooch. Luke, Henry and Roy step back to wait for him some distance away. The moment John passes through the doorway, the hooch explodes. Flames rise up to the night sky)

Luke (maddened by grief, makes to run towards the flaming hooch but is restrained by Henry and Roy): John!! John!!

(The remains of the hooch collapse into the flames)


Worst Thing about the Episode:

Nothing really bad about the episode… except perhaps having Sam and Al spot Bigfoot at the very end, which constitutes another one of Sam's somewhat frequent "kisses with the paranormal" (such as his respective encounters with the devil, angels, vampires, curses, ghostly people, ghostly ships and other unexplained phenomena). It seems quite a few episodes end with Sam and Al confronted with decisive "proof" – that of their eyesight, or other senses - of the actual existence of these phenomena. In my opinion, after having been used even once or twice, this resolution seems to have become quite predictable and tiresome.


Quotable Quotes:

(Sam awakens to find a wandering deer standing in the opening of the tent)

Sam: 'Morning. (the deer looks up, startled at the sound of his voice) Can I get you anything? (the deer turns its head and saunters away. Sam smiles) Guess not.


(Roy and Daniel have settled on the rocky ledge above the riverbank. Al pops in to watch over them until Sam arrives)

Daniel: My mom would probably be mad at me now.

Al (to Roy): Why don't you tell him to go home?

Roy (to Daniel): Sometimes a boy gotta break away from his mama.

Al (irritably): On second thought, don’t say anything!


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