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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Tuesday (2/10/09) 11:04pm - ... wherein Peter writes a sketch for Friday Sketch War.

This time around on Sketch War, we decided to take on the Alamo's "Pimp My TV" topic, and we all scripted trailers for TV-to-film adaptations.  Here's my entry:


               Friday Sketch War
               Pimp My TV Edition
               "Quantum Leap Trailer"

               FADE IN:



               SERIES OF SHOTS (1995)

               Brief glimpses of shaky digi-cam footage:

               A) SAM BECKETT (30s, likeable) works in a high-tech science
               lab.

               B) He steps into a pillar of smoke.

               C) He vanishes in a flash of blue light.

               Meanwhile, the caption "1995" appears and fades, and a clear
               female voice narrates --

                                   ZIGGY (V.O.)
                         In 1995, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped
                         into the main accelerator of
                         Project Quantum Leap and vanished --



               OVER BLACK

                                   ZIGGY (V.O.)
                         -- until now.



               EXT. MILITARY OUTPOST (1976) - DAY

               A dusty, utilitarian building in the middle of nowhere.  A
               caption -- "1976" -- appears and fades.



               INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               A small, white, antiseptic room with minimal furniture.  A
               massive mirror takes up one of the walls.

               MILLINGTON (20s, intense, creepy) looms over OTIS (8, farm
               boy, scared).

                                   OTIS
                         I'm Otis Beaufoy.

                                   MILLINGTON
                         No.  You've temporarily taken
                         Otis's place. 
                         Otis is cooling his heels in a lab
                         in California, thirty years in the
                         future.

                                   OTIS
                         That's crazy!

                                   MILLINGTON
                         Is it --

               Millington GRABS Otis's arm (cree-py), and something odd
               happens --

               Otis morphs into Dr. Sam Beckett.

                                   MILLINGTON
                         -- Dr. Beckett?

               He nods to the mirror.

                                   MILLINGTON
                         Kill him.

               Sam dives for cover just as GUNSHOTS shatter the mirror.



               EXT. LAKESIDE (2010) - DAY

               AL (60s, cantankerous) walks and talks with an UNSEEN FIGURE
               in idyllic surroundings.

                                   AL
                         Sam randomly leaps from person to
                         person, and decade to decade.  Even
                         I can't find him any more.

               Most of this line is voiceover for a --



               SERIES OF SHOTS

               A) Sam looks into a smeary mirror in a gas-station bathroom. 
               His mirror image is an elderly black man.  (Caption: 
               "1958".)

               B) Sam drives a Cadillac through the desert.  He wears
               sunglasses and a hat, and he smokes a cigarette in a
               cigarette holder.  In the car's rearview, Hunter S. Thompson
               looks back.  (Caption:  "1971".)

               C) Sam clumsily applies lipstick in a ladies' restroom.  In
               the mirror:  an attractive blonde.  (Caption: "1985".)



               BACK TO SCENE

               Still walking and talking.

                                   UNSEEN FIGURE
                         Maybe we can help.

               New angle REVEALS that the figure is MILLINGTON, now in his
               50s, still intense, still creepy!

                                   OLD MILLINGTON
                         So.  What makes Sam tick?



               EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET (1993) - NIGHT

               Fire trucks flash their lights on a suburban street as a
               three-alarm fire dies down.  ONLOOKERS gape at the
               destruction.  (The caption:  "1993".)

               A three-alarm fire dies down.

               ONLOOKERS gape at the destruction.

               Sam, in full firefighter's gear, hands a bottle of water to
               RHEA (30s), holding a cat, still attractive despite the soot,
               grime, and singed clothing.

                                   SAM
                         I know what it's like to lose your
                         home.  You'd give anything to get
                         it back, and --

                                   RHEA
                         Wait, how did you even know we were
                         trapped in there?

                                   SAM
                         I'm a time-travelling scientist
                         from the future.

               Beat.

               Rhea laughs.

                                   RHEA
                         Whatever.



               INT./EXT. SURVEILLANCE VAN - CONTINUOUS

               Two scary-looking GOVERNMENT AGENT types watch Sam and Rhea
               with high-tech equipment.

                                   AGENT #1
                         We've acquired the target.

                                   RADIO VOICE (FILTERED)
                         Get him.

               The agents depart the van, weapons drawn.



               INT. SHABBY LIVING ROOM (2010) - DAY

               GUSHIE, a little technician with bad breath and odd clothes,
               shows Al a cryptic readout on a homebuilt computer.

                                   AL
                         What does any of this mean?

                                   GUSHIE
                         Sam has a trackable signature.  We
                         can find him.

                                   AL
                         Tell me where.



               INT. MOD NIGHTCLUB (1966) - NIGHT

               An over-the-top nightclub full of garish colors (caption: 
               "1966").

               A rectangle of light appears in the air; HOLOGRAM AL enters
               through it.

               A PASSERBY walks straight through Al like he's a ghost.

               Al crosses to --



               A NEARBY TABLE

               -- where *three* Sams sit, all scribbling equations.

                                   AL
                         Sam.  I'm back.

                                   SAM #1
                         Al?

                                   SAM #2
                         Al?

                                   SAM #3
                         Al!

               Sam #3 leaps up and tries to give Al a big hug.

               He sweeps right through the hologram.

               Al rolls his eyes.



               EXT. WHEAT FIELD (1959) - DAY

               In the middle of nowhere, a small airplane bears down on Sam,
               North by Northwest-style.  Sam hits the ground.  Holo-Al
               stands nearby, the wheat sweeping through him.  (Caption: 
               "1959".)



               EXT. WHEAT FIELD - LATER

               Sam and Al hide out from the plane.

                                   SAM
                         Why would someone be after me?

                                   AL
                         You've had this hero gig, going
                         from place to place, setting things
                         right that once went wrong.

               This serves as voiceover for another quick --



               SERIES OF SHOTS

               A) In Yankee Stadium, Sam hits a fly ball into deep center
               field.  (Caption:  "1967".)

               B) Sam pilots a Medivac helicopter through a sandstorm. 
               (Caption:  "1992".)

               C) Sam kisses a movie starlet in a Douglas-Sirk-looking scene
               on a film set.  (Caption:  "1957.")



               BACK TO SCENE

               Right back where we were.

                                   SAM
                         What, was somebody setting them
                         wrong in the first place?

               Al doesn't answer, but he looks worried.

               The plane makes another pass.



               INT. UNIVERSITY LAB (1958) - NIGHT

               Al follows Sam through a lab full of boxy old-style lab
               equipment (caption:  "1958"), and he's mad as hell.

                                   SAM
                         I have to stop these people.

                                   AL
                         I made you a promise.  I promised
                         you I was gonna bring you home.

               Sam approaches a big red button.

                                   SAM
                         Not yet, Al.

               Sam hits the button.

               Suddenly, the room dissolves into --



               INT. HOLO-ROOM - NIGHT

               Now Al is all alone in a plain room similar to the
               Enterprise's holo-deck.

                                   AL
                         Dammit!



               EXT. KHE SAHN, VIETNAM (1968) - DAY

               Sam, now in military fatigues, drags a WOUNDED SOLDIER to
               shelter while bombs EXPLODE nearby and airplanes lay down
               STRAFING FIRE.  (Caption:  "1968".)

                                   WOUNDED SOLDIER
                         Leave me!  That's an order!

                                   SAM
                         We just have to go a little
                         further!



               INT. PROJECT QUANTUM LEAP (2010) - DAY

               Al, bruised and bleeding, picks his way through the lab we
               saw at the beginning. 

               Except now it looks like a bomb has hit it.

               Smoke and sparks everywhere.

               The same voice from the opening -- 

                                   ZIGGY (O.S.)
                         Initiating auto-destruct sequence. 
                         Good-bye Al.

                                   AL
                         What?  No!



               INT. CONTROL ROOM (2010) - NIGHT

               A high-tech center that puts everything at Project Quantum
               Leap to shame.  Three-dimensional holo-projections float
               about the desks and big e-ink maps cover the walls.

               Al, still looking beat-up, sits handcuffed to a chair.

               Millington stands by a control pad and lectures him.

                                   MILLINGTON
                         You lost, Al.  We won.  And now,
                         *we* decide what happens to Sam!

               He turns a key on the control pad and pulls a lever.



               EXT. FREE-FALL - DAY

               A BLINDING FLASH OF BLUE as Sam leaps into a body that's in
               free-fall, 10,000 feet up, plummeting towards earth.

                                   SAM
                         Oh boy.

                                                          SMASH CUT TO:



               QUANTUM LEAP LOGO

               The first few notes of the original theme song play faintly.

               A jumble of different years fade in and out in the
               background.

               "2010" fades in beneath the main logo, and sticks.

                                                              FADE OUT.



So, um, yeah.  Apart from a couple of small jokes, I kind of didn't write comedy this time around.  Oop-la.

(Owing to weird scheduling this week, this sketch won't show up on the sketchwar site 'til tomorrow.)

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