For five seasons and 97 episodes, Scott Bakula found himself ricocheting through time and space, inhabiting one body after another, as the hapless Dr. Sam Beckett on NBC’s 1989-93 science-fiction series Quantum Leap. The likewise-named protagonist of “Quantum Drunk,” a parody video from the Irish YouTube channel Danger Farm, experiences pretty much the same thing as his TV counterpart, except he doesn’t need any fancy “quantum leap accelerator” to get the job done. He just needs alcohol and plenty of it. Just like the hero of Quantum Leap, this Sam Beckett frequently wakes up in a total daze, staring quizzically at unfamiliar objects. Only here, there’s no respectable, quasi-scientific explanation for it. He just got blackout drunk the night before, and now he has a Scooby-Doo costume and what seems to be a leg taken from a mannequin. Funny as it is, the video points out how much Bakula’s character was like a binge drinker with a serious problem. Maybe that was the explanation for Quantum Leap all along. The sci-fi element was just added to make Sam Beckett’s story less sad. The character’s quest to return to his own body was really his quest to conquer his addiction and take charge of his life again.
A side-by-side comparison shows just how closely “Quantum Drunk” captures the look and feel of the late ’80s original, right down to the streaky-looking special effects and the plentiful synthesizer music. The explanatory narration really helps sell the concept, too: “Theorizing that one could drink a load of pints, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Pint-icle Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in a flat with items that were not his own and driven by an unknown guilt to be less of a prick when drinking.”
Just like the original Dr. Beckett, this one has a sidekick named Al to help him along in his disorienting adventures. Here, Al is described as “an observer from his own Facebook timeline.” Sadly, it doesn’t seem like these two are headed for a happy ending any time soon. Every time they fix what they screwed up the night before, they celebrate with a drink. Cue the Mike Post theme song again.