Developed by Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, NBC’s ‘Quantum Leap’ is a science fiction series that serves as a revival of the eponymous show that aired from 1989 to 1993. Thirty years after Dr. Sam Beckett vanished into the Quantum Leap Accelerator, Dr. Ben Song now leads a team of physicists to revive the project and unravel the mystery of the scientist’s disappearance. However, he secretly uses a new program code and upgraded accelerator to travel back in time. As Ben gets trapped in the past like Sam, he struggles to return to the present with help from his fiancée, Addison, who guides him as a hologram.
The creator of the series has reimagined the original ‘Quantum Leap’ into a new and innovative narrative for the present time. The original series and its reboot work on the same premise where experiments go wrong. Now, if you want to binge more shows ahead of their times and seeped in time travel adventures, then you will love the following recommendations. You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘Quantum Leap’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Tales From the Loop (2020)
Co-written and created by Nathaniel Halpern, ‘Tales from the Loop’ is a science fiction series based on the eponymous art book by Simon Stålenhag. It takes place in a small town in Ohio, where the lives of the residents are impacted by a mysterious research facility known as the Loop. Each episode tells a standalone story that explores the themes of love, loss, and the search for connection in a world where the boundaries of science and the supernatural are blurred. Consequently, time travel plays a huge role in ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘Tales from the Loop.’ Science fiction and its resulting aspects also find depiction in the shows.
9. Outlander (2014- )
Created by Ronald D. Moore, ‘Outlander’ is a historical drama series based on the eponymous novel series by Diana Gabaldon. The show follows the story of Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who is mysteriously transported back to 1743. While in the past, Claire is thrown into the midst of the Jacobite risings and meets Jamie Fraser, a young Scottish warrior.
Despite being from different periods, Claire and Jamie fall in love and become embroiled in the political and historical events of the time. Additionally, they try to find a way to return to their own time and reunite with their loved ones. Like all the other shows on the list, time travel drives the series’ events and furthers the plot. Moreover, ‘Outlander’ is driven by the love of the protagonist couple, similar to Ben and Addison in ‘Quantum Leap.’
8. Russian Doll (2019- )
‘Russian Doll’ is a comedy-drama series created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, and Amy Poehler. The protagonist, Nadia Vulvokov, is a young woman trapped in a mysterious and surreal time loop, reliving the same day repeatedly. As she tries to unravel the mystery of the time loop and find a way out, she encounters various characters struggling with their own issues, including addiction, mental health, and relationship problems.
Along the way, Nadia learns to confront her past and come to terms with the events that led her to become stuck in the time loop. Besides, ‘Russian Doll’ and ‘Quantum Leap’ may differ in genre or an overall plot basis, yet the primary concepts that consolidate both stories are time travel and multiple characters the protagonist encounters in their respective time loops.
7. Travelers (2016-2018)
‘Travelers’ is a science fiction series created by Brad Wright, in which a group of people from the future called “travelers” are sent back in time to the 21st century to prevent a global disaster from occurring. Each traveler is assigned a specific mission, and they must carry out their tasks while trying to fit in and maintain their cover in the present day.
The travelers work to complete their missions and encounter challenges and conflicts that are hard to navigate. The show explores themes of time travel, fate, and the consequences of one’s actions. Similar themes are portrayed in ‘Quantum Leap’ as well. Not just that, the shows depict how the lead characters need to make things right to survive.
6. Tru Calling (2003-2005)
‘Tru Calling’ is created by Jon Harmon Feldman and stars Eliza Dushku as Tru Davies, a medical school student who discovers that she can relive the day of a person’s death to try and prevent it from happening. Each episode of the sci-fi mystery show follows her as she receives a call from a “dead person of the day” and is transported back in time to the day of their death.
Tru then has to figure out how to prevent the death from occurring and try to change the course of events. Along the way, she grapples with the complications of traveling through time and making out alive. ‘Quantum Leap’ similarly sheds light on how time travel is complex and demands intricate knowledge of the subject.
5. Timeless (2016-2018)
‘Timeless’ is a science fiction series created by Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan. A team of travelers must chase a mysterious criminal through time to prevent him from altering the course of history. The show follows them as they travel to different periods and encounter historical figures and events while trying to stay one step ahead of the criminal and his organization.
Along the way, the travelers must deal with the personal and moral issues that arise from their time-traveling missions and the potential consequences of changing the past. ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘Timeless’ handle the intricacies of people making their way through different timelines. Moreover, the shows witness protagonists who gradually learn to master their abilities.
4. Paper Girls (2022)
‘Paper Girls’ is a science fiction drama series based on the eponymous graphic book by Brian K. Vaughan. Created by Stephany Folsom, it explores the lives of four paper girls. As they begin their paper route on Halloween in 1988, they get stuck between time travelers and their disputes. Unexpectedly, this changes the course of their lives completely.
The young friends travel ahead of time and encounter their adult counterparts. Consequently, they unite to figure out how to get the world out of danger. Like Ben in ‘Quantum Leap,’ the four protagonists in ‘Paper Girls’ travel in time unknowingly. All these characters navigate the strange situations that arise in their respective stories.
3. Journeyman (2007)
Created by Kevin Falls, the science fiction series ‘Journeyman’ features Kevin McKidd as Dan Vasser, a San Francisco newspaper reporter who discovers that he can time travel. He involuntarily travels through time and appears in different locations and periods. As Dan tries to understand and control his ability, he uses his travels to try and help the people he encounters and fix the problems he faces along the way.
However, Dan’s time-traveling also causes complications in his personal life, including his relationships with his wife, son, and brother. Additionally, this show, like ‘Quantum Leap,’ explores themes of fate, destiny, and the consequences of one’s actions, as well as the impact of time travel on personal relationships.
2. 12 Monkeys (2015-2018)
‘12 Monkeys’ follows James Cole, a time traveler from 2043 who is sent back to the present day. He is tasked with stopping the spread of a deadly virus that will eventually wipe out most of humanity. As James works to track down the source of the virus and prevent its release, he encounters a scientist named Dr. Cassandra Railly and a group known as the Army of the 12 Monkeys. They are connected to the virus and the events leading up to it.
The science fiction series is a reimagining of the eponymous 1995 film, which in turn is inspired by the 1962 French short film ‘La Jetée.’ Both ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘12 Monkeys’ are known for their complex and multi-layered storytelling, strong performances, and exploration of themes such as time and destiny.
1. Dark (2017-2020)
The science fiction show ‘Dark’ is created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, taking the audience to the town of Winden, Germany. The disappearance of a young boy sparks a series of events that uncover the town’s dark past and the interconnected lives of its residents. The show follows multiple characters across different timelines.
From the 1980s to the present day and the future, Winden’s residents try to unravel the mystery of the disappearance and its connection to a series of strange occurrences in the town. As the characters investigate, they discover a web of secrets and lies linking their families and pasts. Now, they must confront the sinister truth about themselves and their relationships. Additionally, the German show shares the complexity of time travel and its complicated repercussions with the show ‘Quantum Leap.’