Home » Quantum Leap Is Tearing This Blog Apart – The Autopian Podcast

Quantum Leap Is Tearing This Blog Apart – The Autopian Podcast

Podcast Bakula Top

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for another The Autopian Podcast and today’s podcast sees our resident designer Adrian Clarke discussing the 2024 Ford Mustang and his feelings about the design. But perhaps more importantly, we get to bring you into a debate that’s been weighing on all of us here: Do people know what Quantum Leap is?

NBC is relaunching Quantum Leap, the sci-fi show about a time-traveling scientist dude who tries to correct historical wrongs. It was a show from the 1980s and it was alright, I think? I’m not sure I’ve watched an entire episode all the way through but I do know what the show is.

The NBC reboot may be good or it may be bad, but the prop department royally screwed up when it designed the worst shifter imaginable. Jason wanted to write about it, but our own David Tracy took issue with the concept that people know what Quantum Leap is.

Here’s Slack:


This debate raged for some time with Jason and I trying to convince David that he’s a crazy person and his very limited perspective is less applicable than our perspective. To make this interesting, David, Jason, and I are almost each exactly ten years apart in age from one another.

David, who has 900 brothers, asked them if they knew. He assumed this was scientific somehow:

Screen Shot 2022 09 14 At 12.44.24 Am

I’m under 40, for the record, and I’m aware of what it is. I said: Let’s poll this. Let’s just do a Twitter poll. More than 600 of you answered and these were the results.

Is that good enough? Not for David. David then insisted that only people at a Walmart would be the right people to ask. We were a little busy with the Detroit Auto Show but our wonderful video crew and editor, Tiziano, went and did it for us. You can hear the results in the podcast or watch it in the video above (worth it to watch that part of it).

To listen to the podcasts episodes you can go to Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or you can use the RSS feed and point your favorite Podcast player at it.

I’m embedding the three most recent episodes below if you want to listen to it from your browser. Please like, subscribe, rate, et cetera.


Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

33 Responses

  1. Lovin’ the pod, keep it up! Good chemistry, perfect mix of banter and actual info. Would be cool if you could do that thing where the picture on the podcast art changes to reflect the car you’re talking about. NPR does it, and its pretty cool. I’m usually wrenching when I listen to podcasts, so I cant run to the Google.

    I just started watching Quantum Leap with my kids, they love it! I used to live in the same town as Scott Bakula and would run into him at the bank when I was 10-12, huge fan of the show at the time. You’ll be glad to know he’s not a dick to kids.

  2. Is that header picture of David with hair using Erik Estrada’s hair from CHiPs and some Hasselhoff chest hair?
    I remember Quantum Leap, I may have seen 5 episodes in their entirety; Oh Boy.

  3. While I have heard of “Quantum Leap”, until recently (reading about the new version) I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if it was a TV show or a movie. The internets tell me that it ran from 1989-1993, so a little before my time (I am old enough to want to avoid Twitter, so I missed the poll, but I would have been too young to enjoy the program when it originally aired.).

    It sounds like a cool concept; I may check out the reboot.

  4. I’m 45, my wife 41. She LOVES the original, and watched every episode. She has since rewatched them on Hulu? or whatever is airing them now. She seems excited for the new version. I don’t have Twitter, so consider this my answer to your POLL position.

    Yeah, that shifter was embarrassing, but my wife would likely have never noticed, and we ONLY own manual transmissions, which she loves.


  5. I might be the only person under 20 who knows the old show by more than just name. Mind you, I have seen less than 5 episodes, and never a full one, but they were interesting enough

  6. I’m under 40 and VERY aware of Quantum Leap. But I was unaware of a reboot, so I really appreciate this site bringing me the automotive AND pop culture news I need.

  7. I’m 40 and very much enjoyed watching Quantum Leap when it was originally on TV. Heck, I remember wanting to see Necessary Roughness because Sam Beckett was the main character.

  8. I remember it being very popular when I was a kid. I didn’t like it, but I must have watched a good bit, because Scott Bakula is forever Quantum Leap Guy to me no matter what else he ever does.

  9. I was so excited to see Adrian was a punk artist like me! (Don’t judge by my profile pic.) He did my Jeep hypercar, and the story was awesome! He’s doing something I would have loved to go back to school for, but I’m still paying off the student loans I have (*cough *cough we need free college *cough *cough). Keep up the good work.

  10. I am very old, so well remember that there was a show called Quantum Leap. I don’t recall watching it. But I saw commercials advertising what a great show it was.

    There was also a show called Knight Rider. Never watched that one either. Talking car. Hah. Seemed like a silly premise.

    Also, there were TV shows about a bunch of dumbasses who had a big Dodge with a Confederate flag on the roof; an A-Team of mercenaries who had a big van with a stripe on it; other detectives who had a Ford Gran Torino with a stripe on it and Miami Vice. I didn’t watch any of those shows, except for Miami Vice, because they were bad. Miami Vice and the Ferrari Daytona they drove, that I liked. The Testarossa not so much, but that was more because the story lines were getting a little confusing at the end. If Miami Vice ever comes back with a bogus looking Ferrari Daytona shift lever and Jason writes about it, I’ll read it. I’ll probably re-read it.

    But I digress. It is safe to say that it really doesn’t matter to me and maybe to other readers, and certainly not to David if an old TV show had a car in it because we either never heard of it or it was unwatchable..

    Now, if you ask me what old TV shows were great, well sir I’ve become a big fan of Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel. Now those are great old TV shows and they are still on the TV in re-runs, though I don’t really like all the advertisements for hearing aids. However, I suppose they aren’t really suited for Autopian commentary either, because, well, cars hadn’t been invented when the West was wild.

    But those TV shows had horse and carriages. And so do the modern Amish. In fact, the Amish have electric turn signals and brake lights on their horses and carriages. (Maybe not on the horses.) So, if Jason needs a great TV show or turn signals to write about, he should write about Gunsmoke. And Amish carriages. Because no one watched those other shows and David Tracy never heard of them.

  11. Note: Family Guy has had multiple Quantum Leap-based cutaway gags. Whatever you think of that show, it does show that plenty of people understand it enough for it to be an easy reference.

  12. I was too at sea, overseas, or just damn busy wrenching on my cars on what little time I had off when Quantum Leap was on. And it seemed stupid. So maybe I’m too old for it?

  13. I’m 37 and am very familiar with the show – was never a fan, but caught some episodes now and then over the years, since it’s been in reruns forever. The premise is interesting, but, for whatever reason, the show just never hooked me enough to want to really watch it

    Even if you’ve never seen it, it still feels like something you should just acquire some knowledge of through cultural osmosis, the show was on for 5 seasons and got pretty high ratings

  14. Finally created an account. Just to say keep these pods coming everyone is even better then the last. I drive for work and you guys are awesome for the drive!.

  15. I was aware of the show before, but the more important question for David is: why is it even important for anyone to know the plot of the show to understand the post? The whole post is just about a network TV show that included a terrible representation of a manual shifter. David – how the ever-loving flip is your objection based on the idea that not enough people will know what Quantum Leap is about? This is the website that recently featured, among other things: a 114-year-old magazine cover, a Soviet car ad, and your running report from the other side of the world where you try to rescue a car that was never sold here, to run in a festival celebrating a type of vehicle that was never popular here… and your problem with Jason’s manual shifter article is that “regular people” like those who “shop at Walmart” might not get a pop culture reference from the ’90s??

  16. I missed the survey but was a big fan of the show. This reboot while only 1 episode in SUX. I don’t know how Hollywood thinks. Hey let’s make a show call it the same name as a prior successful show even if nothing is alike.
    It would be like Ford making an EV and calling it the Mustang just because people like the Mustang.

    1. Haven’t watched the reboot but from what I’ve read it’s picking up where the last show ended, so while it’s not a remake in nature it does have the same exact time-traveling into someone else’s body to premise.

    2. I saw a Mach-E earlier today. I noticed the rear turn signals come on all at once, then sequentially turn off rather than a proper Mustang’s sequential on, off all at once. Ford getting that detail wrong just made me dislike it even more.

      Anyway, on topic, 36, I enjoy the original Quantum Leap. Probably won’t see the new one though.

Leave a Reply