Quantum Leap and Tales Of The Gold Monkey

Quantum Leap (1989-1993)
Tales Of The Gold Monkey (1982-1983)
Type: Shared Reality

   Well this one is a little bit debatable but, quibbles be damned, I'm counting this sucker. It's solid enough for me.

   Tales Of The Gold Monkey was an adventure series in the mode of Indiana Jones. Actually, the success of the Indy Jones films is what helped get it on the air. The show was set in the 1938 South Pacific. Jake Cutter was the adventurous pilot of a Grummond Goose airplane named Cutter's Goose. The port of Boragora was the show's dangerous port, in keeping with other dangerous movie ports like Casablanca or Mos Isley from Star Wars. Really, you need a dangerous port of call. Have ta have it. Jake's partner's in adventure included his hard drinking mechanic Corky (you have to have a hard drinking mechanic), his love interest Sarah who was a torch singer and American spy (need a hot love interest who's a spy) and Jake's dog, a one eyed terrier named Jack (You have to have… okay, that a new one).

   Quantum Leap was a whole different kind of show. In the near future, scientist Sam Beckett invents a time machine that should be able to allow him to time travel within his own lifetime. His project is codenamed Quantum Leap, named for the way Sam would "leap" through time. The idea was that Sam would "leap". Helping him on the project was a mixed bag of characters. Ziggy was the project's computer. Programmed with attitude, Ziggy kept a massive database of historical info to help Sam when in need. Gooshi was one of the teams goofy looking, bad breathed tech. Most important was Al. Al was linked to Sam's mind. As Sam leaped through time, Al could maintain contact with Sam. Al would remain in the future in a holographic chamber that would place him in a simulation of wherever Sam was. In the past, Al would appear as a hologram that only Sam could see and hear. Oh yeah, I forgot an important point. The experiment, in Al's words, went a little kaka. While Sam did leap back through the years he had lived through, he ended up having no control over his leaps and could not leap home. He would randomly "leao" into complete strangers. Basically he would replace that person, who would in term be transported to the future. The audience would see Sam as Sam but everyone around Sam would see him as the person he leaped into. Looking at his own reflection, Sam would also see the person he had leaped into. The only way Sam could leap to a new person was for him to correct some problem where history had "gone wrong", That being the case, the question was always whether Sam's leaps were in fact random or guided by a higher force (NBC wouldn't let them say God was pulling the strings).

   So how, when, or where can these shows connect? Gold Monkey was set in 1938 and Sam is from the future. With his own life span as the limit for his time travels, 1938 was outside of his range. August 13, 1956 in the Bermuda Triangle is when and where. In Ghost Ship, a fourth season episode of Quantum Leap, Sam leaps into the body of pilot Eddie Brackett who is acting as an airborne limo driver for a couple of Newlyweds. He is actually the copilot to Captain Dan Cooper, a former war pilot. Their passengers are spoiled rich brat Grant Cutter Jr. and his bride Michelle (played by a young and still amazingly hot Carla Gugino). Far from land, Michelle's appendix bursts. Not only that, they are IN the Bermuda Triangle where planes and ships disappear, where instrumentation goes crazy. And in this case Sam starts seeing ships that should not be there and Captain Cooper starts hallucinating that he is back in the war and starts remembering disastrous dreams he had of this trip which begin to come true. AL even starts to lose contact with Sam! But, hey, it's Quantum Leap. Sam uses his medical knowledge of to save Michelle and the plane just manages to make land after one of it's engines goes out.

   Now, as to the connection. You may have noticed that a familiar name in that summary. The rich brat is named Grant CUTTER Jr. The plane the pilots are flying is a private plane owned by Eddie's father. It's a renovated Grummond Goose named Cutter's Goose. Yep. The same plane that Jake Cutter flew back in '38.

   Okay, first the boring, no fun explanation for this. Both Quantum Leap and Tales Of The Gold Monkey were created by producer Don Bellisario. It is possible that no connection between the shows was intended, that Cutter's Goose popping up on Quantum Leap was simply because the producers wanted to save money by recycling plane footage from Tales Of The Gold Monkey which clearly shows the name of the plane. Lending proof to this theory is the fact that the Cutter shown on Quantum Leap is rich kid Grant Cutter Jr. This doesn't seem to jive. Only eighteen years have passed between Gold Monkey and this episode of Quantum Leap. This would mean Grant Cutter Jr. would likely have to be Jake Cutter's son and that, within eighteen years Jake went from adventurous pilot to rich industrialist. Not only that, the "junior" suggests that Grant's father was also named Grant rather than Jake.

   And to all the doubters who buy into the above problems, go jump in the lake. What fun are ya! I say the connection can still be made and is still valid. All the problems can be explained. Try this scenario on for size. Jake Cutter is an Indy Jones type. You can't tell me he wasn't loving lots o' ladies. I would venture to say one of his conquests was a pretty young heiress with a rich and protective daddy. Around 1938 or slightly before, he not only wooed this young lady, he knocked her up. Cut to shortly after 1938 when this young lady shows up in Boragora, baby in hand. Whoops!

   At this point, somehow, Jake is convinced to settle down and marry this girl. Two reason come to mind either or both of which could be true. Reason one: Jake's adventures had taken him down a bad path. Things had gone wrong, he might have lost some of the people he cared about. Finding out he had a son and a woman willing to love him would have looked like an opportunity to start over. Reason two: the girl's overprotective daddy put the screws to Jake to do the right thing and make an honest woman of his daughter. He could have threatened to make Jake's life miserable unless he married his daughter. And if Jake did marry his daughter, he would make his life very comfortable, even bringing him into the family business.

   For whatever reason, Jake agrees to marry and settle down. But he can't abandon his past entirely. His one remaining outlet for adventure is his plane. He hold's onto Cutter's Goose. Forced to become a businessman he has his plane retrofitted into his own personal air transport. He also has one other demand. He insists that his son be named for his father Grant. Grant Cutter Senior is still alive, kicking and part of Jakes life requiring his son to be named Grant Cutter Junior.

   There is a line in the episode that to be subtly suggests Jake could be Grant's dad. When Sam leaps in he causes the plane to accidentally dive. Making up an excuse for what happened, Sam tells Grant they hit an air pocket. We know from Sam talking to the pilot that there are actually no such things as air pockets. Grant says snottily, "That's weird, we never hit air pockets when my dad is on board!" Okay, this could simply be Grant saying they seem to fly more carefully when they fly his dad around. But it could also be Grant calling Sam out on his lie, saying that when his dad - the super-pilot - is flying the plane they never hit these so-called "air pockets".

   Okay, I do admit to make this work as a crossover you do have to jump through some hoops and invent much drama in those missing eighteen years. But then again, watch any genre show and check out how much STUFF will happened to the characters on those shows in just a single year, let alone eighteen years! I call this one a legit connection via Cutter's Goose.

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Buy this show on DVD on Amazon.com (As well as the soundtrack!) and support this site at the same time! The epiosde discussed on this page is part of the Quantum Leap Season 4 DVD set.

Warning! The Quantum Leap Season 2 DVD set features unforgivably bad music replacement in crucial final scene to MIA, a scene that ties in to the very end of the series (Although for the scene in the final episode, for some reason, they were able to use the original music). If you follow this link to a page at the Quanum Leap - Al's Place website, you can see clips of the scene with the orignal music and the replacement music. The page also contains contact information about who to complain to.

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