Thursday, December 1, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 75: Leaping of the Shrew


Sam Leaps Into:
Nikos Stathatos, a crew member on a ship which has sunk.

Objective:
Get marooned at sea to allow for feelings to develop between himself and a wealthy, difficult woman.

Date:
9-27-56

Location:
An island in the Aegean Sea

Memorable Quote:
Don't you dare.  Grandmama's sterling silver!  ~Vanessa
Sunken treasure!  ~Sam

Highlight:
I'm a big fan of "the deserted island" as a setting for a story.  One of my favorite movies as a kid was Shipwrecked, a pirate adventure that took place on an island.

Lowlight:
This leads me to my lowlight, which is that if you have a story about a deserted island, you HAVE to have pirates involved.  This story was all right but a little slow and would have been much more exciting with pirates.  And don't tell me that there aren't any pirates in the 1950's or off the coast of Greece -- pirates exist in all places and times.

Look at the movie Castaway: all kinds of acclaim from "the critics," but all I see is Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball for an hour and not a pirate in sight.  Six Days, Seven Nights on the other hand? A much more interesting and exciting movie.  Why?  It had pirates!

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:

  • They saved their money on casting in this episode as it's just Sam, Al, Brooke Shields, and the guy in the mirror.  I don't think I've ever seen Shields in anything other than while flipping channels once and landing on a few minutes of The Blue Lagoon, another tale of shipwrecked island love.  I do recall frequently seeing her sit courtside while Andre Agassi played tennis (and I seem to remember her crying a lot -- I guess it would have been after he won matches).
  • You gotta give it to Bakula, I venture to say he's kissed more women on this show than probably any other lead actor on any other show.  I should go back and confirm but I'd venture to say his kiss count is probably up to at least 30 different women by this point.
  • In the opening narration when Deborah Pratt says, "His only guide on this journey is Al," we what looks like this episode, but it must have been a deleted scene because it doesn't appear in the episode.
  • The scene around the campfire is odd when it's sunny behind them but then they look up and see the night sky.
  • Whoa, they're going to have 6 kids on the island?  I guess Nikos will get pretty good at delivering babies.
                                                    
    Final Analysis:
    This one is pleasant and relaxing to watch but also slow and predictable.  Could've used some pirates.  Ranking it 45 out of 75.

    5 comments:

    1. Good analysis, Nick! I agree. Send in the pirates!

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    2. I liked this one. You're correct that there were slow spots, especially in the second half, but I thought the island paradise setting was fantastic, and I really liked Brooke Shields as well. There was no doubt it was gonna be a "spoiled brat socialite falls for the greasy ship crew member" story but it was still fun and I thought Sam and Brooke Shields had good chemistry. She was kind of a big deal in the early 90s so I'm surprised she was willing to do a random guest appearance on a TV show. Some of Sam's MacGyver tricks while marooned were great, especially the hair spray can flare, but others were absurd, including patching a hole in a raft with gum (a patch that holds for at least 12 hours!!!).

      They could have used something else in the final half to keep the narrative flowing but I don't agree with you that a random onslaught of "pirates" would have made sense here. The idea of Nikos delivering six babies on this deserted island over the course of eight years was quite absurd but the ending was still charming. Perhaps I'm grading on too much of a curve after that disastrous "Lee Harvey Oswald" premiere but I'm putting this one in the top half between "Roberto!" and "Piano Man". What they saved in casting they made up for with a nice tropical look that is giving me spring fever as I endure the below zero wind chills in the December Midwest.

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      1. Yeah I'm surprised as well they were able to land Brooke for this part. And I'll just pretend you were joking about not wanting to see a random onslaught of pirates.

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    3. By the way, you missed a "MacGyver" connection in this one. The co-writer of this episode and a new producer for season 5 is Robin Jill Bernheim, the same "Robin Bernheim" who wrote "The Human Factor", the second season premiere of "MacGyver". Bernheim was hired to be a new staff writer on "MacGyver" in season 2, one of a handful of writers lifted from the recently canceled "Remington Steele" in 1986. But my guess as to Bernheim's quick departure from "MacGyver" after only two episodes was that "Remington Steele" did so well in summer reruns in 1986, after Brosnan was being paraded as the frontrunner as the new James Bond, that NBC decided to hold the series to its' contract for a fifth season and un-canceled it. Adding insult to injury for Brosnan, they only did three TV-movies instead of a full fifth season of "Remington Steele". Writing one of the movies and serving as a crew member on all three was Robin Bernheim. She may well have been under contract to do "Remington Steele" herself and had no choice but to leave "MacGyver" after only two episodes. I know she was also a writer-producer on the mid-90s Lorenzo Lamas action show "Renegade", which I was always lukewarm about.

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      Replies
      1. Thanks for the heads up. I can't say that I remembered her name from The Human Factor but I probably tried to contact her at some point (I tried pretty much all the MacGyver writers).

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