"Good Night, Dear Heart"

Leap Date:

November 9, 1957

Episode adopted by: MikeKraken
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


A young, orphaned woman from Germany named Hilla, who moved to the USA after her family was killed in the war from a firebombing, turns up on the mortician's table as an apparent suicide on her 19th birthday, However, Sam believes it may have been murder.


Audio from this episode

TV Guide Synopsis 
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into

Music Artists
Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode
Miscellaneous Trivia

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?
Quotable Quotes


Production # 65424

TV Guide Synopsis:
Sam leaps into a mortician who becomes obsessed with preserving the memory of a young woman by proving she didn't commit suicide. Roger: William Cain. Stephanie: Marcia Cross. Aggie: Deborah Strang. Sam: Scott Bakula.

Broadcast Date:

March 7, 1990 (Wednesday)


Riven Rock, Massachusetts, USA

Leap Date:
November 9, 1957

Name of the Person Leaped Into:

Melvin Spooner, a moritican/coroner for the small town


"Moonglow: Theme from Picnic" by
Morris Stoloff

"Love Theme from Picnic" by George Dunning
(1955) plays a little later in her room.

Sam plays the same song (Moonglow) in two different scenes on Hilla's phonograph. The second time, Al says it's a "beautiful melody; haunting, beautiful. I used to like to play that on rainy nights, sittin' in front of a roaring fire by the fireplace." This song also played in "Genesis".

Project Trivia:

Handlink: Second version

Sam Trivia:

We find out that Sam knows German, one of his seven modern languages, when he reads "Meine Leibe für evig“ from Hilla's mother's locket, which he translates to "My love for ever" (but it's actually "My love for eternity").

Al Trivia:

Al reinforces his fear of dead people by leaving when Sam performs the autopsy and when the beautician, Aggie, comes.

Cigars: He has a cigar in his hand for the first four visits with Sam, but never smokes them.

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode:
First appearance: Grey dress shirt, black and white vest with a swirled pattern, thin silver tie, white dress pants with a cream belt.

Second through fourth appearance: Burnt Sienna dress shirt, with puffy arms, black-and-brown patterned vest; thin tie that matches vest; black dress pants; black belt with silver buckle. 

Fifth appearance: White dress shirt with blue pinstripes, black dress pants, black belt with silver buckle, metal clip in place of a tie. 

Sixth appearnce: Blue shirt, dark pants, dark-blue vest, white overcoat, silver shoes, white fedora with a black band.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
The comic book "Up Against a Stone Wall" (#9 in the series) is a sequel to this episode!

This episode is the second of two episodes that have snow in it (the first being the one that precedes it, "Freedom."

When Al tells Sam this isn't Laura, he's talking about the film "Laura" from 1944 about a private detective who falls in love with a woman whose murder he is investigating.

This episode, despite winning an award, was overshadowed by negative press from parts of the gay community. Some felt that writing a gay character as the villan was the wrong thing to do.

Regular Cast:

Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci

Guest Stars:

William Cain as Roger Truesdale
Marcia Cross as Stephanie Haywood
Robert Duncan McNeill as Greg Truesdale
Deborah Strang as Aggie the beautician
W. K. Stratton as Sheriff Lyle Roundtree
Hal Bokar - Groundskeeper
Suzanne Tegman - Hilla Danner
Marvyn Byrkett - Melvin (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:

Robert Duncan McNeill, from the live-action "Masters of the Universe" movie appears here. A year later, he guest stared in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" called 'The First Duty' (episode # 5.19) on March 28, 1992, playing Cadet (First Class) Nicholas Locarno. Later, he stared in "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001) as Lt. Tom Paris.

Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes:

W. K. Stratton plays Larry Stanton III in the three 'Trilogy' episodes as well as Dr. Berger in 'Genesis'. He also voices two different radio dispatchers in "Hurricane" and "Black On White On Fire."

Cast members who have passed away (as of the date the synopsis was written):

Hal Bokar - April 17, 1990 (not too long after the episode aired)



Paul Brown


Christopher T. Welch


Harker Wade
Deborah Pratt
Paul Brown
Jeff Gourson
Chris Ruppenthal
David Bellisario

Music by - Mike Post

Supervising Producer - Deborah Pratt

Co-Producers - Paul Brown, Jeff Gourson, Chris Ruppenthal

Produced by - Harker Wade

Written by - Paul Brown

Directed by - Christopher T. Welch

Associate Producer - David Bellisario
Director of Photography - Michael Watkins
Production Designer - Cameron Birnie
Edited by - Alec Smight

Unit Production Manager - Ron Grow
First Assistant Director - Paul Sirmons
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 - Mark Hopkins McNabb
Stunt Co-ordinator - Diamond Farnsworth
Contributing Musical Composers - Velton Ray Bunch and Jerry Grant

Panaflex® Camera and Lenses by PANAVISION®

Supervising Sound Editor - Paul Clay
Music Editor - Tom gleason

Copyright © 1990 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.

Personal Review:

This is one of the most dramatic and touching episodes of "Quantum Leap" and sits highly on my own personal rankings. It plays out like a murder mystery, with Sam trying to discover if Hilla committed suicide or was murdered by any number of the people she knew the best. Scott and Dean, as usual, exhibit their excellent acting abilities in this episode.

Best Line:

Sam (after Hilla's burial, reading from a Mark Twain book): "Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear heart. Good night, good night."

Best Scene:

When Lyle and Sam are arguing over whether or not they should search for a gun in the icy water at the dock, at Melvin's office. There is great camera work with the conversation half taking place in front of a mirror while Lyle pretty much sums up the entire episode.

Say What?

How does Sam keep on seeing flashes of Hilla before he has seen her films or read her diary? There's no indication that Melvin knew Hilla or of any psycho-synergising. 

Hilla's passport number is missing from her passport.

Sam and his mirror image have a hard time staying in sync.

Was Hilla meant to die? Why didn't Sam leap in prior to the murder?

Quotable Quotes:
Sam: "She's dead."
Lyle: "Melvin, you should've been a detective instead of a mortician."

Sam (voiceover while driving a hearse): "Whenever I quantum leap, I get to see what it's like to walk in another man's shoes, and sometimes what it's like to drive in his car."

Sam: "I've got feelings."
Al: "'Feelings'? That's a song! You've got no evidence. You got no gun, you got no bullet. You got nothing."

Lyle: "Nobody owns me, Melvin... except maybe my wife."

You can come out now Al, it's over.
-- Sam

You would have made a great Dr. Watson Al.
-- Sam

Talking to the stiffs again, Melvin?
-- Aggie, catching Sam talking to Al


Paul Brown won the 1991 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe  Award for Best Television Episode Teleplay

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