"Leap of Faith"

Leap Date:

August 19, 1963

Episode adopted by: MikeKraken
Additional info provided by: Mary Lea, Timothy Nohe, & Brian Greene


"I've been a priest."

These words by Sam in "Mirror Image" come to life as he leaps into the life of a priest who must prevent the murder of Father Mack, another priest at the church. Two young brothers may be involved as the older leads the younger down a dark road unless Sam can find a way for reform. Meanwhile, Al is having problems with faith as well ever since his father died.


Audio for this episode


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap 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
Cast members who have passed away
Personal Review
Best Lines
Best Scenes
Say what?
Quotable Quotes




Production # 66408

TV Guide Synopsis:
Sam takes a leap of faith into a young priest and prays he can keep a killer away from a fellow father, who's a witness to the man's sins. Father John McRoberts: Sandy McPeak. Tony Pronti: Danny Nucci. Joey Pronti: Davey Roberts. Sam: Scott Bakula.

Broadcast Date:
October 12, 1990 (Friday)

Leap Date:
August 19, 1963


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Name of the Person Leaped Into:

Father Francis “Frank” Guiseppi Pistano, a Catholic priest only two years out of the seminary. He is here for his first assignment at St. Dorothy's.


In the bar, we hear a song on the jukebox. It is "Mickey’s Monkey" by
The Miracles.

Project Trivia:

Handlink: second version, calulator type

Sam Trivia:

We see more of Sam's martial arts action, which must look quite humorous in the aura of an overweight, bald priest.

Al Trivia:

We find out that Al lost his faith in the church at the age of ten when his father died of cancer just after making lots of money and buying a house for him, Al, and his sister. Al prayed his heart out until his father died, taking seriously his father's words that if he prayed, everything would be fine.

Al's Women:
He mentions Tina.

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode:

First through third appearances: Cream-coloured suit (sports jacket and matching pants), brown belt, Hawaiian-patterened dress shirt, dark reddish-brown dress shoes, thin tie, black with white polka dots, smoking lit cigar on first appearance.

Fourth and fifth appearance: purple-patterened dress shirt, thin silver tie, unlit cigar, black suspenders, white pants, purple shoes, beige belt.

Sixth appearance: White dress shirt, black vest, thin metallic purple tie; navy-blue pants, black belt with silver buckle, unlit cigar.

Miscellaneous trivia:
This might be the only episode that mentions the country of Canada. Joey suggests that his brother flee there.

Kiss With History:
Sam suggests that a young Sylvester Stallone try using beef in the meat freezer as a punching bag, which is later seen in the movie "Rocky."

Regular Cast:

Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci

Guest Stars:

Sandy McPeak - Father "Mac" McRoberts
Danny Nucci - Tony Pronti
Davey Roberts - Joey Pronti
Erica Yohn - Monchelli sister (#1)
Penny Santon - Monchelli sister (#2)
Kane Picoy - Young Man
Todd Raderman - Young Boxer
Pat Crawford Brown - Woman
Robert Becher - Allen
Bo Sabato - Policeman
Dominic Oliver - Cabbie
Lisa Pasero - Mrs. Dellisio
Bud Sabatino - 
Father Francis “Frank” Guiseppi Pistano (Mirror)
Amy Tritico - Tony's Girl

Guest Cast Notes:

Sandy McPeak played recurring roles on various popular television series in the '70s and '80s, including "L.A. Law" and "Hill Street Blues".

Danny Nucci appeared on "Magnum, P.I." two years earlier.

Erica Yohn was in "The Godfather: Part II", played a recurring role on "Picket Fences", and also guest starred in "L.A. Law".

Penny Santon also appeared on "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law", as well as "Bonanza" (Dean Stockwell also guest starred in this show).

Kane Picoy appeared in the pilot for "JAG".

Pat Crawford Brown was a regular on "Coach" for the first five years.

Davey Roberts, Robert Becher, Lisa Pasero, Amy Tritico, and Todd Raderman are not in the IMDb.

Cast members who have passed away
Sandy McPeak died of a heart attack on Decmeber 31, 1997 in Nevada City at the age of 62 or 63.

Penny Santon died on May 12, 1999 at the age of 82.

Personal Review:

It's so easy to hate Tony Pronti, and feel sympathy for Father Mac. Sam's objective to prevent Father Mac's murder, and after changing that history, Father Mac from murdering Tony, seems more daunting than one would think. This episode is well written and well acted, and it's interesting how many small parts there are from people who have appeared in many other television seris and movies.

It's also nice to see an insight to the life of a priest, as well as the beliefs of Al. After a life of such hardship (the death of his father and sister, as well as five failed marriages) it's not surprising the amount of faith in God that he holds.

Best Line:

Father McRoberts: "At least you're Italian. They consider being Irish a birth defect."

Best Scene:

After Sam falls out of the confession booth, and we see Al pray for Sam. Also, Sam's asking for "Al", which happens to be the name one of the on-lookers as well. It's a great insight to Al's character and his beliefs.

Say What?
The date of the episode is August 19, 1963. A headline on the Philadelphia Guardian  reads "Bangladesh Calls for More Flood Aid for Its Homeless" Bangladesh did not exist as a country until 1971. In 1963 it would have been called East Pakistan. Even if the region had been known in some quarters as Bangladesh, an American newspaper in 1963 would not have used that term. Closest it may have come would be the defunct (as of 1955) East Bengal, though that would have been unlikely. 

There are no palm trees in Philadelphia, although some can be seen near the cemetary.

After Sam pulls the plug on the jukebox, some of the bar patrons are still dancing in the background.

The Irish priest seems to bless himself with his left hand when he and Sam turn to leave the altar. From behind you see his arm moving, and it's his left. This would be very unusual indeed in a Catholic church! 

The actors stay remarkably dry during the storm when going down the tracks.

Al has lost his faith for many years it seems, however in "The Right Hand of God", he doesn't seem to have any issues.

Quotable Quotes:

Moncelli sister (#1): "Good priest always introduces the newly-weds."
Sam: "I just figured that everybody knew 'em..."

Al: "We're running out of track here, Sam."

Sam: "One day at a time."

Where'd you learn to use your feet like that?
Old Chinese movies?
-- Father Mac and Sam, "Leap of Faith"

I wanted to talk to you but I could wait outside until you finished talking to yourself.
-- Joey, "Leap of Faith"

Just forgive everybody and don't talk too much.
-- Al, "Leap of Faith"

Isn't it a little past your bedtime?
Not if I can't find my bed.
-- Al and Sam, "Leap of Faith"

We all wonder sometimes if we're doing the right thing.  I guess all you can do is just believe that you'll make a difference in the long run.
Do you think you will?
Well, I wouldn't be here if I didn't.
-- Sam and Father Mac, "Leap of Faith"

Well, ladies, it was nice meeting you.
Meet us?
We come to Mass every day!
I mean meeting you again. It was nice to meet you both- again.
-- Sam and the Monticelli sisters, "Leap of Faith"



Nick Harding
Karen Hall
Tommy Thompson


James Whitemore, Jr.


Deborah Pratt
Michael Zinberg
Harker Wade
Robert Wolterstorff
Paul Brown
Jeff Gourson
Chris Ruppenthal

Theme by - Mike Post

Music by - Velton Ray Bunch

Co-executive Producers - Deborah Pratt, Michael Zinberg

Supervising Producers - Harker Wade, Robert Wolterstorff

Co-Producers - Paul Brown, Jeff Gourson

Produced by - Chris Ruppenthal

Teleplay by - Tommy Thompson

Story by - Nick Harding, Karen Hall, Tommy Thompson

Directed by - James Whitmore, Jr.

Executive Producer - Donald P. Bellisario

Associate Producer - James S. Giritlian

Executive Story Editor - Tommy Thompson

Director of Photography - Michael Watkins

Production Designer - Cameron Birnie

Edited by - Robert E. Pew, Jerry Temple

Unit Production Manager - Ron Grow

First Assistant Director - Ryan Gordon

Second Assistant Director - Rob Mendel

Casting by - Ellen Lubin Sanitsky

Set Decorator - Robert L. Zilliox

Costume Designer - Jean-Pierre Dorleac

Costume Supervisors - David Rawley, Donna Roberts-Orme

Sound Mixer - Jim La Rue

Stunt Co-ordinator - Diamond Farnsworth

Panaflex® Camera and Lenses by PANAVISION®

Supervising Sound Editor - Paul Clay

Music Editor - Donald Woods

This motion picture is protected under laws of the United States and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition may result in in civil liability and criminal prosocution

Copyright © 1989 by Universal City Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Country of first publication: United States of Amercia. Univeral City Studios, Inc. is the author of this motion picture for purposes of the Berne Convention and all national laws giving effect thereto.

The charcters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Back to top