A year after YouTube and podcast host Allison Pregler revealed that she had found tangible evidence of a long-rumored alternate ending to the series finale of Quantum Leap, some footage of the ending has surfaced on Reddit, proving that the scene at least went in front of cameras, even if it was never intended to be the series' actual conclusion. For years, rumors of the scene had circulated in the fan community, but creator and executive producer Donald P. Bellisario rejected the idea outright, and a lack of anything concrete to prove it did exist led some fans to assume that it either didn't, or only did in script form.
In February of 2018, Pregler released a video in which she revealed that she had purchased the film negatives for a number of promotional photos taken during production on Quantum Leap and had, to her own shock, found still images suggesting that the long-rumored alternate ending had indeed been filmed or at least rehearsed. Given that the show was produced at a time when "behind-the-scenes" bonus features were relatively rare, Pregler had been excited to get her hands on any of the negatives that might have provided some insight into the show that was not widely available anywhere else -- but the alternate ending was a stunner.
The Quantum Leap finale was a controversial one: after five seasons leaping through the lives of strangers making things right and changing their tortured pasts, Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) finally got as close as he would ever come to returning home when he leapt into the past of Al (Dean Stockwell), his best friend and the project observer at Quantum Leap, who appears to Samuel Beckett as a hologram and serves as his invisible AI best friend throughout the show's run. Al had been taken as a prisoner of war and was eventually declared dead, causing his wife Beth, the love of his life, to remarry. Al regretted that loss forever, and in the finale, Sam was able to fix it by leaping into Beth's life to promise her that Al was alive and would come home.
A previous alternative ending had already been leaked some time ago, in which a photo of the young (presumed dead) Al in Beth's house was transformed by the show's "leaping" effect into a photo of the two of them with a family together. The series had ended on a title card declaring that Sam had never returned home, and in the leaked script -- disavowed by Bellisario but seemingly confirmed by Pregler's photo negatives -- that did not sit right with Al, who decides to leap himself to find Sam and bring him home. That ending -- with terrible audio, but the existence of a script is a big help -- is what popped up on Reddit recently:
In an interview with Pregler for a Quantum Leap podcast, actress Susan Diol, who played Beth in the series, confirmed that the ending existed but was not sure whether it had ever been filmed or whether they had just performed it in rehearsal. The footage here is in rough shape, with poor audio, and is clearly from the dailies, so it may be that no production-worthy version of the ending was shot.
Pregler's original video included her saying, "I really just want to see this footage; it has to exist somewhere." Turns out, she was right.