1201 Close Encounters

What is your opinion of this story?

  • 5 ? This is an excellent episode! One of my personal favorites!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 ? This episode was like the neutral zone ? I am indifferent.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 ? Bellisario would be rolling in his grave if he had one.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Nicely plotted and well-written with nice touches throughout. I really enjoyed reading it!
Our rating system this season consists of six raters and three back-up raters! We took the average of six raters and came up with an average for that episode. Based on ratings of 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, the average of this episode was: 8.08

Please be aware that some reviews may contain spoilers! Some of the comments given were:

Seeker said:
This was a fun story to read and, except for an ?oops? (we don?t need a passport to go to Hawaii), well thought out and well written. Well done, Martin.



Morris J. Finkle said:
First off, I'd like to give a warm welcome to the two new raters this season, in addition to all of the long-time raters. I'm looking forward to seeing what the 12th Virtual Season has in store for the Quantum Leap saga.

Now, on to the story: "Close Encounters." Overall, I thought this was a very interesting story, even though we've sort of dealt with this type of thing before. At first, I wasn't really sure if this was season opener material, until it got into Al being the "ghost" that haunted Linda and Shelly Adams and affecting the course of history. Almost as much as I'm a huge fan of the Back to the Future movies, I'm also a huge fan of the original Ghostbusters film as well. It was great reading all the subtle references to that and The Addams Family, like "Venkman's Verona" and "creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky." There were a few mistakes like the other raters pointed out; one that comes to mind is also the use of the word "fourth" instead of "forth" every time it was used, but all mistakes aside, this was a good first outing from Martin. I can forgive the mistakes as they did not take away very much from the enjoyment of the story.

Well done, Martin!



Sporty said:
I liked the way that Sam played a bogus "ghostbuster." I like when Al can be seen by a child, and the way the "exorcism" was conducted. Sam was having a great time, and I liked Ronnie too. Great job!



Allie Cat said:
A good story, lots of fun to read. I LOVE all the references: Ghostbusters, The X-Files, the Addams Family, Columbo, ... Can't help but chuckle at Al's impersonation of Peter Falk, especially considering Dean Stockwell appeared in two Columbo movies.

Still, there are some annoying little points - annoying to me anyway. In one part of the story, it mentions that Linda's husband won't let her drive and that is why he wasn't home - he took the car out. But in another part of the story, it kind of indicates that her husband ran off on them or is dead. Also, if Sam got Leonard's mean 'toys' out of Linda's house, where did the noises that drove her insane come from? Just a couple of plot points that needed to be explained away.

But this is the one thing that really annoys me: Leonard is going to Hawaii but Al mentions that he is leaving the country to get away from creditors. Hawaii isn't out of the country; it's one of the 50 United States. People tend not to think of Hawaii or Alaska as being in the country but they are. Doesn't matter that they aren't part of the 48 Continental states, aka from California to Maine. You DO NOT need a passport to go to either Hawaii or Alaska.

I think it would have helped if the author explained that perhaps Leonard didn't think his creditors would find him in Hawaii or, better yet, Leonard could have escaped to Tahiti, which IS out of the country (Tahiti is part of the French Polynesian Islands).

I give a 7 for the story in general. It's a good story and was a good read. And a .5 for all the neat television and movie references. I'd give the story a full 8 if it weren't for the Hawaii error and that one inconsistency with Linda's husband. As it is, though, I'm sticking with a 7.5



Vince Beckett said:
I thought this was a good story. There were some colorful descriptions of the action. It also makes references to Ghostbusters and to some of Sam's previous leaps. The themes were kind of repeated. Sam has already been a paranormal investigator before and he's seen UFO's before. However, this takes place in Area 51 and goes into more of the conspiracy theories, so it's an interesting read.



Gooshie said:
It's always nice to see new authors for The Virtual Seasons. Martin, you are off to a nice start. I enjoyed this story mostly for its original-series feeling, but there were a few mistakes that the other raters mentioned that kind of took away from the "flow" of the plot. The major issue there was the passport for Hawaii... he would only need that if he was leaving the USA. I also enjoyed the television references and the mentions of previous leaps.

Regardless, it was a good read. I hope to see more from you in the future.



Now, it's your opportunity to rate this particular story. Let the author(s) know how you rate this story. If you'd like to give feedback, please go ahead and leave a reply!

The Virtual Seasons Team
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I read the husband/car thing as meaning she was now more or less permanently stranded at home since her husband's departure.
The Hawaii thing did make me wonder, being a Brit I wasn't entirely sure about the passport thing, but I assumed it should be like me going up to Scotland.

My favorite bit was the line about the Beckett's farm having less bugs in the crops than there are in Ziggy. Good one, Martin!

I haven't come across this writer before, and while he may not have leaped into my list of favorite authors yet, I shall certainly look for him again with interest.
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Creepy and kooky...

Welcome to the Virtual Seasons, Martin! I enjoyed your story... you had some great interaction with Sam and Al, although I'm guessing since you're new you don't know that Gooshie is no longer with the Project or that there's a new handlink. Regardless, the references to Gooshie were still great. :b

I was half-expecting a "real" ghost to pop up at some point, and it's too bad that Leonard wasn't found out to be the fraud he really was... but at least there was a happy ending for everyone else.

... Mike. ^_^
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I too enjoyed this story, however, I did notice another inconsistency of sorts concerning the grafitti markings for "In Guns N' Roses We Trust"; I'm not sure if Martin was aware of it or not, but to my knowledge, Guns N' Roses should not have been well-known in the mainstream in late 1985, if even at all yet. Just to be sure, I looked them up on the Wilkepedia online encyclopedia; it says that the band was first founded in Los Angeles in June of 1985. Being somewhat of a music buff myself, I can tell you that their first actual release was a self-produced EP entitled Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide in 1986, followed by their debut album Appetite for Destruction sometime in 1987.

However, that minor inconsistency could always be brushed off as a "side-effect" of bigger things yet to come... (The timeline is always in a constant state of flux after all...) ;)