DeFlip Side #91: The Leap Back


Welcome everyone. I’m Christopher DeFilippis, and DeFlip Side is honored to help ring in the 26th anniversary of Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction.

This celebration of Destinies’ 26th year caps off a weird conjunction of anniversaries for me, commemorating events either directly or indirectly responsible for my nabbing a monthly gig on Destinies in the first place.

First, March was the 11th anniversary of the publication of my Quantum Leap novel, Foreknowledge, which landed me the initial Destinies interview that has brought us to this point, ninety-something DeFlip Sides later. But foremost, March also happened to mark the 20th anniversary of Quantum Leap itself, which first hit the air on March 26, 1989, when Destinies was already almost six years old.

It’s hard to believe that a single TV show that ran for five seasons twenty years ago could have such a profound and ongoing influence on my life; but here I am with my life’s ambition accomplished—to be a published novelist—and I have Quantum Leap to thank for it.

So imagine my thrill when I was asked to help celebrate 20 years of Quantum Leap by being a guest at The Leap Back 2009 convention, recently held in California. The convention was put together by Brian Greene, who runs the website Al’s Place, the most comprehensive Quantum Leap resource in existence. I had joined in a live chat on Al’s Place a while back and posted an essay and some short fiction on the site as well, so I knew that there were still active Leapers out there. But to be honest, I was skeptical when Brian told me of his plans for a twenty year reunion. Because, in all candor, the show was already largely forgotten by the time my novel came out a decade ago. The party was clearly over then. So what kind of crowd could you realistically hope to draw for a twenty year celebration? And what kind of guests would you be able to get?

That was a clip from Access Hollywood, and you heard right, the guest of honor was Sam Beckett himself, Mr. Scott Bakula. But he wasn’t all. The Leap Back Con drew what I consider the holy quadrumvirate of Quantum Leap. Joining the festivities in addition to Scott were also series creator Don Bellisario, co-executive producer and head writer Debra Pratt, and, via telephone, Dean Stockwell, who played Al—in short, the four people most responsible for making Quantum Leap so uniquely special. And they were among 51 total guests who made appearances over the course of the weekend, including other show writers and producers, tons of memorable guest actors, and yours truly, who spoke on a panel with other Quantum Leap novel authors.

But as fun and ego-boosting as it was to fly to California to meet fans and sign my book, I really only went for one main reason: ever since I had first held Foreknowledge in my hands, it had been my dream to get a copy signed by Scott, Dean, Don and Debra. And thanks to Brain Greene and the Leap Back Con, I have fulfilled that wish—well, for the most part. I’ll waylay Dean Stockwell, somewhere, some day.

And I never would have been able to get that intensely special, personal memento if it wasn’t for Destinies. My regular appearances on The Voice of Science Fiction made it easy for Brian Greene to find me, and set these events into motion. And so I’m thankful, to say the least, to be a part of the Destinies family and it’s with heartfelt sincerity that I wish The Voice of Science Fiction a happy 26th anniversary.