Raymond Lee has had quite a year: in addition to appearing in what has quickly become one of the highest-grossing films of all time, he also starred in a revival of a television series that has garnered a huge following.
Like his predecessor Scott Bakula, the actor – who stars alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick – will play many roles in one in NBC’s new take on fantasy drama Quantum Leap, which premieres Monday. Decades after Bakula’s character Dr. Sam Beckett began taking over other people’s lives, while bouncing between different time periods, fellow physicist Ben Seong (Lee) follows in his general footsteps, guided by a hologram like Beckett.
In Ben’s case, however, his virtual companion is a representation of a former flame of his. Addison (played by Caitlin Bassett) succeeds Dean Stockwell’s Al from the original series, and the relationship she once had with Ben often complicates her efforts to help him. Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters”), Mason Alexander Park and Nanrisa Lee play the other members of the team behind the jumps.
Actor Lee has come to the new iteration of Quantum Leap and knows the previous one (which Syfy runs in Monday Marathons).
“When it first aired, I was a bit young for it,” he said. “The second time I had a friend who was really into sci-fi and we went to his house and tuned in to Quantum Leap. It was the show that opened my mind to the world of science fiction.”
While others are also directly responsible for the new “quantum leap,” original executive producers (and former spouses) Donald P. Bellisario and Deborah Pratt remain deeply involved in the update.
“The fact that these guys trusted me to participate is just very flattering on many levels,” Lee said. “I love her vision of approaching the show and it’s turning out to be a really great journey.”
Lee, who also starred in the movie The Lost City earlier this year, is also currently starring in the second and final season of AMC’s Kevin Can (Expletive) Himself.
Excited as he is about his future career, he claims he is even happier that “my family is very excited. You’ve seen how I’ve struggled to stay employed for many years, and the last few months have validated me. And it’s nice to be able to share it with my friends.”
The ultimate “quantum leap” could be when Ben meets Beckett, and Lee hopes that will happen: “We’d love to have Scott Bakula with us. He’s an icon (in that premise), and it would only benefit us and the show. We’re kind of just waiting for his call.”