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Dr. Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Beckett

Personal Information
Title: Dr. Samuel Beckett
Gender: Male
Nickname Sam
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.
Character information
Appeared on: Quantum Leap
Character played by: Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett is the main scientist behind the "Project: Quantum Leap" on the TV series Quantum Leap. The part of Sam is played by actor Scott Bakula.


Samuel "Sam" Beckett invented a theory about time traveling 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 Edit

Young Sam

Sam as a kid

Sam 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, Katie, and a big brother named 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 married 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 Edit

Sam 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.

Sam leaping for the first time in the Project Accelerator

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 final episode has Sam leaping back to the date of his birth and he is himself. He learns he can control his leaps and goes back to Beth, Al's first wife. He tells her to wait for him that he will come home. Al stays married to Beth and have children and Sam never returns home.

Appearances Edit

  • The character Samuel Beckett appeared in all 95 episodes of Quantum Leap.

Trivia Edit

  • Beckett's birthday (8th August 1953) is also that of show creator, Donald P. Bellisario. Mr. Bellisario switched the last two digits of his own birth year (1935) for the character that he created.
  • His New Mexico drivers license (#5738457, expiring in 1998) lists his name as only 'Sam Beckett' (not Samuel) with an address of P.O. Box 555 Stallions Springs, NM 87501-4893, height 6-00, weight 175.

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