"Rebel Without a Clue"

Leap Date:

September 1, 1958

Episode Adopted by: R. Joy Helvie
Additional info provided by: Steve Adams & Brian Greene


Leaping into the "Gang Clown" of a biker gang on the road, Sam must prevent the stabbing of the gang leaders' girlfriend, who Sam  believes does not belong on the open road and must be set free. A visit to Jack Kerouac, a famous American writer, might help matters...


Audio from this episode


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into

Music Artists
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


Production # 66407

TV Guide Synopsis:
Sam's on the road with a '50s biker gang, which includes a chick who's hip to Jack Kerouac, but who's gonna get whacked unless Sam can help her. Becky: Josie Bissett. Dillon: Dietrich Bader. Jack Kerouac: Michael Bryan French. Ernie: Teddy Wilson. Sam: Scott Bakula.


Broadcast Date:
November 30, 1990 (Friday)

One hour south of Big Sur, California

Leap Date:
September 1, 1958

Shane "Funny Bone" Thomas

"Jailhouse Rock" -- Elvis Presley
"The Great Pretender" -- The Platters
"Be-Bop-A-Lu-La" -- Gene Vincent 

Kiss With History:
Sam meets and talks to Jack Kerouac; Kerouac in turn unwittingly helps Sam finish his Leap.

Sam Trivia:
Sam doesn't know how to ride a 'cycle.

Sam tells Ernie that he lost someone, but got him back; he is referring to saving Tom--which means he remembers during this Leap.

Al Trivia:
Al knows tons about bikes; his "first car" was a bike. It was a '48 Harley Knucklehead.

Al is so excited about the bikes that, before he can learn what the goal of the leap may be, rushes to see Sam in order to check out the vintage bikes!

Jack Kerouac's writings--especially "On The Road"--changed Al's life. Al talks about how during 1958--his Plebe year at Annapolis--Kerouac gave a reading at St. John's College. Al and some of his friends went to the reading, and afterward they all partied into the night with Kerouac.

Al's Outfits:
1) Red dress shirt with black triangular design along the button line, black slacks with sparkly, starrish white dot design, brown belt with silver buckle black bolo tie

2) Light purple dress shirt, dark navy blue slacks, black belt, silver clip on collar, maroon and navy blue mottled vest with white buttons, white shoes, silver wristwatch

Al's Women:
Al briefly mentions the girls he would ride with way back when.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
The episode title references the James Dean film, "Rebel Without A Cause."

Scott Bakula learned from Diamond Farnsworth how to ride the motorcycle in about 30 minutes.

Guest Cast:
Josie Bissett as Becky
Diedrich Bader as Dillon
Teddy Wilson as Ernie Tyler
Michael Bryan French as Jack Kerouac
Scott Kraft as Biker
Mark Boone Junior as Mad Dog
Joshua Cadman as Biker
Kristopher Logan as Shane “Funnybone” Thomas (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:
Diedrich Bader went on to become most famous for his role as Oswald on "The Drew Carey Show".

Josie Bissett was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996. She played Jane Mancini on the popular show "Melrose Place".

Guest Stars That Have Passed Away (as of the time of this synopsis):
Teddy Wilson, who played "Ernie Tyler", passed on in Los Angeles on July 21, 1991 from AIDS.

Guests Who Appeared In Other Episodes of Quantum Leap:
Teddy Wilson also played Jimmy Grady in "Pool Hall Blues"

Personal Review:
I like this episode because it has some great dialogue between Scott and Dean. Also, it deals a lot with Jack Kerouac, and knowing that Dean was a beatnik, I'm sure this episode held some nice meaning to him as well.

Sam's Best Line:
SAM: Don't tell me you were a biker, too?
AL: Uh, well, my first car was a bike. I had a '49 Harley Knucklehead.
SAM: Named after you?
AL: I'll pretend you didn't say that.

Al's Best Line:
SAM: Is there anything you *haven't* done, Al?
AL: Well, there's one thing that's impossible to do on a bike.

Best Scene:
I love it when Al is talking to Sam about "On The Road". It really feels that it was more of Dean talking rather than Al.

Say What?
In Sci-Fi Channel's syndicut of the episode, they showed the first two guest cast names at the beginning, then cut out all the other opening credits.

Diedrich Bader's first name is spelled "Dietrich" in the opening credits and in the TV Guide advertisement.

The Imaging Chamber door doesn't make the opening sound when Al first appears.

Quotable Quotes:

Don't tell me you were a biker, too.
My first car was a bike, I had a '48 Harley Knucklehead.
Named after you?
I'll pretend you didn't say that.
-- Sam and Al, "Rebel Without a Clue"

Is there anything you haven't done, Al?
Well there's one thing that's impossible to do on a bike.
-- Sam and Al, "Rebel Without a Clue"

Have you ever lost anybody?
Yeah, but I got him back.
-- Ernie Tyler and Sam, "Rebel Without a Clue"

Free love, I can see why he was *your* hero.
-- Sam to Al, "Rebel Without a Clue"

On the wheel of life we all go around we are many people at many times.
-- Jack Kerouac, "Rebel Without a Clue"

This was my first leap back as a dirtball.
-- Sam, "Rebel Without a Clue"

You never know what's around the next corner.
Probably a head-on with a semi.
-- Al and Sam, "Rebel Without a Clue"

I gotta sit down and slip into a coma.
-- Sam, "Rebel Without a Clue"

The fifties were conformist, materialistic, repressive, boring and stupid.
-- Al, "Rebel Without a Clue"


Executive Producer:
Donald P. Bellisario

Written By:
Teleplay: Randy Holland & Paul Brown
Story: Nick Harding & Paul Brown

Directed By:
James Whitmore, Jr.

Theme Music By:
Mike Post

Music By:
Velton Ray Bunch

Edited By:
Robert E. Pew

Director of Photography:
Bradley B. Sik A.S.C.

Associate Producer:
James S. Giritlian

Unit Production Manager:
Ron Grow

1st Assistant Director:
Ryan Gordon

2nd Assistant Director:
Rob Mendel

Executive Story Editor:
Tommy Thompson

Production Designer:
Cameron Birnie

Casting By:
Ellen Lubin Sanitsky

Set Director:
Robert L. Zilliox

Jean-Pierre Dorleac

Costume Supervisors:
David Rawley
Donna Roberts-Orme

Sound Mixer:
Mark Hopkins McNabb

Stunt Coordinator:
Diamond Farnsworth

Supervising Sound Editor:
Paul Clay

Music Editor:
Donald Woods

Panaflex camera and lenses by PANAVISION

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