Published: Wednesday, 15 November 2023 13:32 | Written by Jamie Ruby
In tonight’s all-new episode of Quantum Leap, Ben leaps to Princeton University in 1955 where he must work to find a secret formula before the Nazis do that was hidden by Albert Einstein that is supposed to hold the key to nuclear energy. During his leap, he is surprised to run into a familiar face, that of Hannah Carson (Eliza Taylor), who he ran into earlier in the season when he leaped to 1949.
Recently, SciFi Vision spoke with Lee and Taylor about working together in the series, including where the characters’ relationship is going, how Hannah adapts to meeting a character like Ben, traveling to different time periods and locations, including Egypt, what it’s like for Taylor working with an American accent, and more.
Watch the interview or read the full transcript below, and be sure to tune into the episode tonight on NBC.
SCIFI VISION:To start off, can you talk about working with each other? What's it been like for both of you?
RAYMOND LEE:It’s awful.
RAYMOND LEE: I think we made a huge mistake. We'd love to take it back. No, Eliza is amazing. As everyone knows, Eliza has been the leader of her show for six seasons, and that sort of like self owning leadership is something that it can only be really earned through experience, and I really felt that with Eliza. Not to say that I'm responsible for the show in any way, but [it] sometimes feels like there's a bit of responsibility that falls on me to represent the show in some way and to carry it in such a way, especially on set, but to feel that ownership from Eliza as an individual herself also felt very liberating, in a way, to just kind of let go of the reins a little bit. It's great to share that responsibility together with her.
ELIZA TAYLOR:Yeah, I mean, I feel the same way about Ray. I feel really lucky to have joined a show that everybody is so well looked after, and Ray does play a huge part in that. He sets the tone so beautifully. Everybody feels safe; everybody feels motivated. I'm just really lucky to be a part of that.
SCIFI VISION:Can the two of you sort of tease, I mean, is this going to be a sort of a romance type of thing? I mean, people haven't really seen the episode yet, or what's coming, but I know you're obviously in a few episodes. So, is there anything you're allowed to say sort of about where it's headed in that sense?
RAYMOND LEE:There's definitely a connection, and we seem to continue to run into each other. But yeah, we don't know.
SCIFI VISION:All right, fair enough. So, Eliza can you sort of talk about, for Hannah, her having to kind of adapt to seeing someone with a different face and accepting that. How is she sort of able to reconcile that and adapt with that?
ELIZA TAYLOR:I think the fact that she hasn't seen the real Ben really adds an interesting layer. I think it it's really cool that she can have this amazing connection with someone, this instant familiarity with someone, that she's never actually seen. I think it's a really clever plot tool, actually; it makes it really fun to watch.
SCIFI VISION:Let me ask you, Raymond, there's quite a bit of action. I mean, there is obviously the whole show, but even this episode has a couple of fight scenes in there. Actually, you're both kind of in on it, but but more so your character. Can you talk a bit about what that was like for this episode?
RAYMOND LEE:I love action. I love fighting. I don't consider myself an action person, so when I get to do it, it's really exciting. We have an incredible stunt crew that just, you know, the moment they see that on a script, they're like, “Oh, yeah, this is going to be amazing.” And Thomas Foo, who is my stunt double, we actually went to college together. So, we have a great shorthand. When it comes to fighting, he knows what I'm capable of doing, and he knows how to make me look good. I mean, I think our our writers and our producers have gotten keen on seeing that, you know, that I can pull off some action. And they've been continuing to add more, and I certainly love doing it. I love every part of it: the choreography, the execution, the angles on what's going to look good, how how to really sell this. And now we're starting to layer in the stories within the fight sequences, which is really exciting, because, you know, you watch any great action star like Jackie Chan or anybody, and they're able to actually tell a story through fighting. I think that's one of the great tools of cinema, is to be able to tell stories in so many different ways other than just words. So, yeah, more of that keeps me happy.
SCIFI VISION:What about you Eliza? I mean, you're sort of in that stunt scene as well, maybe not quite as much. But do you enjoy that kind of thing?
ELIZA TAYLOR:I was thankful that I didn't have to learn too many moves, because I'm a little rusty. It's been a long time since I since I was kicking ass in fight scenes, but I do I think it's fascinating. I prefer to watch it more than I like to do it, if I'm honest. Like I loved watching Ray do that scene. He was so in it. He picks up choreography so quickly. I'm jealous.
SCIFI VISION:Now let me ask you, and I don't know if you can even tell me or not, but I have to assume that each episode is going to be still a different time period. So, are you doing some kind of age makeup or anything like that as time moves on?
ELIZA TAYLOR:They haven't told me yet. I really don't know how that's gonna work, or how that's gonna play out, but I'm excited to find out.
SCIFI VISION:You do get to, especially you Raymond, to go to some different time periods. You get a lot, and she at least gets a couple of different time periods, different settings, that kind of thing. What's that been like, and do you have a favorite one that you've been able to visit through the magic of television?
RAYMOND LEE:You know, I used to have favorites, but now, having been through so many periods in time, they've all just sort of become all of my favorites for different reasons. One really cool thing that happens in the second season is that we go beyond the timeline of Ben's existence, and we go beyond the country actually. That is really neat, because now we're exploring historical moments. We go back to ancient history. We can now start to sort of geopolitically address issues that have happened overseas, you know, with our soft take on it. And so far, it's been a lot of American centric historical moments in time, but now we get to venture further beyond that. So, now I'm starting to - you know, I was never a real big history buff, but every time period that we go to, I gain a little more knowledge and gain some perspective, and that's one of the major points of our show, too, is to understand history and to rewrite history. So, it's really neat that we get to do that.
SCIFI VISION:I was going to say, and I don't know whether Eliza if you were in this episode or not, but you got to travel to Egypt. What was that like filming there?
RAYMOND LEE:Oh, it's just, it's bonkers. Even now that it's been months, I still can't – you know, there's a there's a picture of Ben song in front of the Giza Pyramids, and it looks superimposed; it doesn't look like a real picture. And I suppose that's how it's supposed to feel. I still haven't been really able to articulate it in such a way, but to be a foot away from the front of the Sphinx, I mean, that's a bucket list magnified 100,000 times. So yeah, still articulating it, still trying to find the words.
SCIFI VISION:Did you get to go to Egypt, or were you not in that one?
ELIZA TAYLOR: I cannot say.
SCIFI VISION: You cannot say [laughs] okay. Let me ask you this, then. I didn't realize you had an accent until you started talking. Is that something that's difficult for you on the show? Because you obviously do a good job, because I sure didn't know that even from your other shows that I've seen.
ELIZA TAYLOR:Oh, well, thank you. That means I'm doing my job properly. Yeah, I think I grew up with a lot of American television, which I can attribute a lot of that to, but I will tell you, coming into Quantum Leap, and especially my first episode in 1949, there was sort of a - I had to put a little bit of a spin on my accent that I haven't before, which was to have her accent reflect the time period. But yeah, it's really fun, and it does trip me up sometimes, but I do love playing with accent[s]. It's good.