QUANTUM LEAP Post-Mortem: Dean Georgaris and Martin Gero on Magic's Secrets - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

QUANTUM LEAP Post-Mortem: Dean Georgaris and Martin Gero on Magic’s Secrets

November 1, 2023 by  

Quantum Leap Magic Beth

QUANTUM LEAP — “One Night in Koreatown” Episode 205 — Pictured: Ernie Hudson as Magic — (Photo by: NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Wednesday, November 1 episode of QUANTUM LEAP.]

Magic (Ernie Hudson) joined Ben (Raymond Lee) on a leap to 1992—in time for the LA Riots—on the Wednesday, November 1 episode of QUANTUM LEAP…which also revealed that Magic was in a romance with Beth Calavicci (Susan Diol).

“In season 1, obviously, we had Janis Calavicci, and we had Beth Calavicci,” co-showrunner Dean Georgaris tells Give Me My Remote of the show’s homage to the OG QUANTUM LEAP. (Beth was the wife of Al; he appeared as a hologram to Sam, who was the original leaper.) “And as a result of the storytelling, Magic and Beth spent a decent amount of time on-screen together. The characters had a natural chemistry, the performers had a natural chemistry; I think we all liked it when we saw them on-screen together.”

The decision to pair them up romantically came after the writers decided to shift the non-leap storytelling ahead three years. “We started to fill in what each of our characters would have gone through, and we decided that Magic, who’s always been such a rock for us—and Ernie Hudson, who plays magic was such a warmth and unflappability that you almost think nothing could bother this man—he’s a human being,” Georgaris says. “And an incredibly sensitive human being, as an actor and a character. So we talked about, well, who might he reach out to or who might reach out to him? And Beth, as a character, was the first name we all thought of. And them as actors, it was very fortuitous that the story and the performers just gelled very naturally. It’s been a fun secret to be keeping and we’re very excited to see how the audience reacts to it.”

Quantum Leap Magic Beth

QUANTUM LEAP — “One Night in Koreatown” Episode 205 — Pictured: Susan Diol as Beth — (Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC)

Though Beth existed in the original series, the writers won’t be mining that too heavily for where she goes in the future. “For the most part, I think what we try to do is focus on the present story and the characters we have—and then with an eye to the history that’s been established for those characters and to the mythology, if you will, of the original show,” Georgaris says. “And as [co-showrunner] Martin [Gero] says really well, we always want to respect that mythology, but we never want to be so constricted by it as to limit where we might go.”

“What we’re learning about Beth, and what we learn about Magic, is much more about who they are now, as opposed to trying to fill in details or scan for clues in the past,” he continues. “That being said, we all know that Beth Calavicci had a front row seat to what it’s like to be in love with someone who is attached to this program. And she knows what it can do to you—you don’t always get the happy ending, necessarily, you’re expecting. And we want to respect that; we would never change that about Beth. It’s additive, frankly.”

Along with the romantic reveal came the revelation to the audience, and then Ben, that Magic is a recovering alcoholic—he fell apart when Ben went missing.

“Ernie’s one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, honestly,” Gero says of Hudson’s powerful scenes in “One Night in Koreatown.” (Magic also struggled with the leap assignment because it touched on his lingering trauma from his experience during The Riots of the Long, Hot Summer in 1967.) “He’s so incredible. We definitely talked about [the episode] and he had some questions, but he has such an innate sense of truth. I think if you watch this on your phone, it might feel almost underplayed, but there’s so much subtlety that he’s bringing to the role and these conversations.”

“We’ve seen scenes like these before of a character coming clean about their addiction and some legitimate trauma in the past that he experienced when he was younger,” he continues. “And in both times, it just feels so alive and fresh and new. Obviously, Ben[jamin Raab] and Deric [A. Hughes] wrote an amazing script, but it was so elevated by Ernie’s performance in such a seemingly effortless way; you can’t help but be in awe of the guy.”

And though Magic struggled a bit with temptation in the episode, the writers reiterated he is in a generally good spot. “He’s in active recovery and he’s doing okay,” Gero says. “It’s not a main focus for the rest of the season.”

QUANTUM LEAP, Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC


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