1203 Freefall

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

QL Damsel

Al's Place / TVS & QR & Radio Files Administrator
Staff member
Aug 26, 2002
Near Austin Texas
July 10, 1979

In Earth Orbit; South Pacific Ocean; Vandenberg Airbase, California

Sam and astronaut Albert Calavicci try to save the Skylab space station before it falls into the hands of the Russians.

Written by: Douglas Laird

TVS Team
Last edited by a moderator:
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: 8.58

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

Seeker said:
Seeing Doug Laird?s name as the author of a story has come to assure me that I?m going to enjoy that story, and this week?s episode did not disappoint. I could feel the emotions of the astronauts in the taut situation, and Sam?s initial stunned uneasiness upon realizing where he was upon his initial leap in made me chuckle. Poor Sam! What a place to have to confront and deal with his fear of heights! Way to go Doug. Keep up the good work!



Morris J. Finkle said:
It's about time we finally saw an episode where Sam leaped into space, and I have to say I really enjoyed this one. With Doug's stories, I never quite know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised this time around. The story wasn't too short or too long... it was just the right length for a story of its caliber.

What I found interesting was the way Doug combined the subject of the Cold War attitudes between the U.S. and the Soviet Union with the issues of chauvinism towards women. I had suspected that Mata was going to end up betraying the team, although I assumed she was going to reveal herself to be a Russian spy working with Boris. I didn't expect the story to evolve into a plotline that involved an emotionally disturbed woman who was, in essence, trying to take over the world. Very unique spin on the traditional Cold War/space race story.

Although it was great seeing a younger Commander Al Calavicci (a.k.a. Bingo) physically interacting with Sam, I felt like there should have been "more." It felt like Sam was being pushed to the sidelines on this leap so that the younger Al could take the spotlight. Not necessarily a bad thing since it was Al, but still... Other than that, I couldn't really find anything wrong with the story at all. And having a younger Commander Tom Beckett back on Earth was a nice touch. Great story, Doug!



Sporty said:
I really liked this story. Any story that has Al and Sam in a leap where they can interact physically (even though it was a younger Al) is not half bad. I like the construction of the story. The psycho astronaut was a little jarring. And how she got into space would be an interesting story. I remember Skylab and when it crashed to earth. Also having Sam's brother Tom as a Commander overseeing the mission was a nice touch. A great story all around, nice touch!



Xanadu said:
I think that the story was well written. I enjoyed it! It's great to see authors going out on a limb to find places where Sam hasn't leaped before. Space, yep, that would be one of those. :p Thanks Doug! Nicely done!



Vince Beckett said:
This was a great story. I like how Sam runs into a younger version of Al. I also like how Sam's brother Tom is involved in the story. I've always wanted to see Sam leap into an astronaut and now he finally did. There were some good twists thrown in too. Very well written.



Gooshie said:
So, Sam finally leaps into space! I suppose the original series would have trouble with that as it would probably be expensive to send Scott Bakula up with a space shuttle. Doug has supplemented that with a great story. It was longer than many of Doug's other offerings, which was a huge plus.

I too felt like Sam was being pushed to the side in favour of the other characters. It seemed like he just nudged Al in the right direction from time to time, although it was neat to see Sam interact with an Al from the past again. Bringing Tom into the story was neat as well.

The word "hardily" showed up twice and I think you meant "heartily". There were a few other mistakes but that did not detract from my enjoying the story. Well done, Doug!



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
Last edited:
Thanks for this episode, I can tell a lot of time went into crafting the plot. I will admit I much preferred the first half of it. Great moments when Al the hologram was "reliving" his spaceflight. I thought the minor characters could have done with a tad more development, but the action scenes were adroitly handled.
I was going to write an episode with the same idea: Sam leaps into one of Al's missionmates in space. (Nobody ever answered my question, so I guess I never got around to writing it, and now Doug has done it. haha)

You did a great job here, Doug. Seeing Sam in space was so cool... it's about time he leaped somewhere not on Earth. <G> A clandestine space mission... very intruiging!

My rating: 4. (My mouse slipped on the stupid voting thingy. >_<)

... Mike. ^_^
(post #18 )
Full marks for an original idea, Doug. I often wondered about Al's contribution to the Space Program, and this idea satisfied that nicely. Though Sam's part was somewhat underplayed, there is always room for Al-centric stories too.

I have in the past been a little disappointed with your descriptive passages, but this one set the scene well. As with McDuck, I would have liked to see the minor characters a little better rounded, but then in the constraints of a single episode, something often has to give.

A valiant effort, Doug, well done.