|Title:||Dr. Samuel Beckett|
|Born:||August 8, 1953|
|Scientist, a farm boy (in childhood)|
|Spouse(s):||Donna Elesee Beckett|
|Related to:||Samantha Josephine Fuller (daughter) |
Thelma Louise Beckett (mother)
John Samuel Beckett (father)
Tom Beckett (older brother)
Katie Beckett (little sister)
Chuck (brother in law, before changed timeline of a leap into himself as teen in 1969)
John Beckett (great-grandfather)
Olivia Covington-Beckett (great-grandmother)
|Hometown||Elk Ridge, Indiana, U.S.|
|Appeared on:||Quantum Leap|
|Character played by:||Scott Bakula|
Samuel "Sam" Beckett invented a theory about time travelling and led a group of scientists to the desert to develop a top secret project: Quantum Leap. In pressure to prove his theories or lose funding, he stepped into the unfinished project accelerator and vanished. He soon found himself leaping into other persons' bodies in the past, correcting things that once happened wrong to them.
Sam has a photographic memory, an IQ of 267, can cook, likes dry or light beer, and microwave popcorn. Sam also knows several kinds of martial arts such as Judo, Karate, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo, and has been afraid of heights since he was 9 years old. Sam also plays the piano and guitar, is a good dancer, sings baritone, and his favorite song is John Lennon's "Imagine".
Sam speaks 7 modern languages including English, Spanish, French, Russian, German, and Japanese, but not Italian or Hebrew. He knows four dead languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics. He has won a Nobel Prize in an unspecified field, but probably for physics. For this, Time magazine called him "the next Einstein".
Early Life EditSam was born at 12:30 pm EST on August 8, 1953 in Elk Ridge, Indiana. His mother was Thelma Louise Beckett and his father was John Samuel Beckett, a dairy farmer. He also had a little sister and a big brother, Katie and Tom. Sam was a child prodigy, as he learned to read at the age of 2, do advanced calculus in his head at the age of 5, and beat a computer at chess at the age of 10. As a child, he had two cats, named Donner and Blitzen, but never had a dog.
During Sam's teenager years, his brother Tom was killed in the Vietnam war on April 8, 1970. Katie also ran away with an alcoholic named Chuck and got married to him.
After Sam graduated from high school at the age of 16, he went to MIT as his brother had once advised him to do. There he developed the String Theory of time travel with his mentor, Professor LoNigro. He stayed in MIT for two years (finishing four year's worth of studies) and then went to different colleges. He obtained seven doctoral degrees: Music, Medicine, Quantum Physics, Archaeology, Ancient Languages, Chemistry, and Astronomy, but not psychiatry or law. Sam also played the piano in a concert at Carnegie Hall when he was 19.
While Sam was in college, his father, John Samuel Beckett, died of a heart attack in 1974, mostly because of his cigarette smoking. The guilt of his absence during his family's time of need would stay with Sam for years.
As a young adult, Sam was in the Starbright Project, where he met Al, Gooshie and Donna Elesee Beckett. Donna and Sam were engaged but he was left at the altar. He never saw Donna again but during one of his leaps, he changed history so that Donna actually became his wife.
Quantum Leap EditSam developed the Project Quantum Leap based on his String Theory with Al. He led a group of scientists into the New Mexico desert to develop a top secret project known as the Quantum Leap. After creating Ziggy and the Imaging Chamber, under pressure to prove his theories or lose funding, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Project Accelerator and vanished.
He awoke in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Luckily, Al, the project observer from his own time, appeared, in the form of a Hologram to Sam. Only Sam could see or hear Al, although later it appeared that also animals, small children, the "mentally absent", and people near death could see Al and Sam the way he is. There is an aura around Sam, which makes others, except for the ones listed earlier, see Sam as the one he has leaped into. Whomever he leaps into goes to the Waiting Room, in Sam's own time, where he or she is kept by the project staff until he or she gets back when Sam leaps into the next person. These people are called Leapees.
The series final episode reveals that Sam actually died the same time he used the time machine at the series start. Ever since, he leaps as a kind of "angel" to improve the lives of others. His previous leaps, which are restricted to his own life time, never went beyond the time he "died" and it is implied that certain other dead people like Stawpah (Al's dead uncle) are also leapers. This also explains the existence of evil leapers. Since Sam's last action had a seemingly huge influence on Al's life, it is left unclear whether Al still is or ever was part of the program to save Sam. This may sever Sam's last link to his old life, creating an endless odyssey through time for Sam.
- The character Samuel Beckett appeared in all 95 episodes of Quantum Leap.
- Beckett's birthday (8th August 1953) is also that of show creator, Donald P. Bellisario.