If you’re a reader of this site, you’ll remember how much I love and miss Quantum Leap. While a sequel movie/backdoor pilot for the SyFy Channel, where Sam’s daughter begins to leap with Al’s help to track down Sam, has been rumored for a long time; it’s very possible it’s a dream that’ll never happen. So all we can do is hope for a series that captures the spirit of Quantum Leap, and in the 2011 fall season; CBS has a show that does.
For science fiction fans the pickings this year are pretty slim. Fox has Terra Nova, which is tainted by the stench of Brannon Braga and JJ Abrams has Alcatraz coming soon. Aside from those two series, Person on Interest on CBS is one show that people who miss Quantum Leap should check out. It doesn’t have the time travel element, but the structure of the series is familiar in a way that doesn’t rip-off Quantum Leap, but carries on its spirit.
The show is about a mysterious billionaire named Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson of Lost) who after 9/11 developed a computer program for the government as part of the Patriot Act, which can predict the identity of people connected to crimes. The difference between this and Minority Report is all they get is a Social Security number, and nothing else. They don’t know if the person is the victim, perpetrator, or just a witness to it. Finch built a backdoor into this system that gives him access to the numbers so he could prevent the crimes from happening. Finch hires a former CIA operative named Reese (Jim Caviezel) to act on the information from the backdoor to the program.
Each episode features a new crime to prevent and Finch sort of takes on the Al role here with Resse being Sam. The show very much feels like Quantum Leap, but without time travel. Reese has a dark side and viciousness from his days in the CIA, but he has the same nobility of Sam. Finch isn’t a lecherous as Al, but he’s a similar companion of sorts to Reese.
Person of Interest is currently doing OK in the ratings, but it’s not a clear cut winner in the new fall season. If more sci-fi fans jump aboard a series that’s becoming increasingly entertaining; hopefully CBS will keep it around. It airs Thursday nights at 9:00pm.