Monday, November 14, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 67: Ghost Ship

Sam Leaps Into:
Eddie Brackett, a co-pilot transporting some honeymooners to Bermuda.

Save the woman on board who's stricken with appendicitis by helping the pilot overcome his PTSD to land the plane in Bermuda.


A plane in the Bermuda Triangle.

Memorable Quote:
Whenever you fly, they tell you in emergencies to put your head between your legs.  I guess that makes it easier to kiss your butt goodbye.  ~Sam

Amazing production value, arguably the most impressive from the series to date.  The entire episode felt extremely real -- from the interior of the plane that was shaking back and forth during the turbulence, to the exterior shots of the sunny sky and clouds which give way to stormy weather as the plane enters the Triangle.  Kudos to the production team for an outstanding job.

Even though I'm not big on magical phenomenon in shows like this, I think the missing Liberty Ship was a compelling plot point and I would have been interested to see it play a bigger role instead of less than a minute of screen time.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This episode takes place exactly one month before Genesis where Sam was also a pilot.
  • This is the second Quantum Leap episode (along with Blind Faith) to share a name with a MacGyver episode.  There's even a few similarities between the two "Ghost Ships" including a mysterious vessel, a legendary myth (Bermuda Triangle / Sasquatch) and an ambiguous ending. 
  • Great opening as Sam leaps in and immediately pushes the plane into a nose dive.
  • The actress who plays Michelle, Carla Gugino, was in an episode of The Wonder Years where she played Wayne's girlfriend who secretly had the hots for Kevin (Fred Savage).  I don't remember all the details since it was a long time ago but the episode stands out in my memory for the awkward scene where she and Kevin passionately make out in several locations throughout the empty school while "I Got You Babe" plays in the background.  It was especially awkward since Fred Savage looked like he was 9 years old at the time. I checked the dates and this episode of Quantum Leap aired just 4 months after that Wonder Years episode, so Gugino moved quite quickly from 9 year-old Savage to playing a married woman.
  • 24:47 mark -- Cooper asks Sam to fly the plane.  "Me?" Sam asks. "No, the Gremlin behind you," Eddie responds, followed by a Hall of Fame facial expression by Al.

  • The USS Cyclops was actually a real navy ship that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1918.

Final Analysis:
Another excellent episode.  Fun setting, an A++ production value, and a memorable performance by Scott Hoxby as Cooper -- he does a tremendous job of portraying a confident and cocky yet vulnerable and likable 50's era flyboy.  Of course it's hard to compare to MacGyver's Ghost Ship, one of the greatest hours of tv in the history of the medium, but it's still good enough for 14 out of 67 on my list.


  1. I enjoyed this one as well. Interesting storyline and fairly unpredictable in which direction it was gonna go. I figured Sam might get stuck playing doctor himself, but it was a little confusing why it was so desperate for Michelle to get medical attention in Bermuda if Sam was able to do the surgery himself. I generally liked the Bermuda Triangle angle, although Al was a little over-the-top in his responses to it. Cooper's PTSD issues were well-played and there was a definite rising tide of suspense as the hour progressed. The rain storm before the landing was convincingly done although I did pick up on the complete lack of wind inside the plane when Sam opened the cargo door to toss heavy cargo outside.

    Carla Gugino has been in many, many shows over the years but I'd forgotten her appearance in "The Wonder Years", which is interesting since I watched just about every episode of that show and rewatched it in syndication about a decade ago. This one was entertaining but perhaps not as compelling for me as it was for you. I'll rate it between "Camikazi Kid" and "Piano Man".

    1. I probably have this one a hair too high -- I've been redoing quite a bit of these QL rankings lately when I look at the list and think, "What was I thinking?"