Good Morning, Peoria is the sixth episode of Season 2 of the Quantum Leap TV series, also the 15th overall series episode. Written by Chris Ruppenthal, the episode, which was directed by Michael Zinberg, originally aired on NBC-TV on November 8, 1989.
Sam leaps into the 1950s as a wild disc jockey who must prevent the radio station from going under by battling the station's critics who don't want the station to play rock and roll anymore.
Sam has leapt into a Disc Jockey by the name of "Howlin" Chick Howell (played by Douglas Ibold). He is still on the air, and after a long pause, and visual cues from Howell's producer and co-presenter Brian (played by Todd Merrill), reads out a commercial for a local ice-cream store and plays a Pat Boone record. His freezing on air angers his producer, the station owner, Rachel Porter (played by Patricia Richardson).
After a brief argument (as Rachel had rubbed Sam the wrong way), it looked like Rachel was going to fire him, but just told him to sign off, but warned him to not be late the next day or he would be fired. After signing off, his co-presenter, who has a shift immediately after Sam, comments on Howell having the hots for Rachel. Sam immediately dismisses the idea.
As Sam is leaving, he notices Rachel in the middle of another argument, this time with one of her advertisers, local businessman Fred Beaman (played by Richard McKenzie), who wants her to stop playing rock and roll music on her station, claiming that it promoted bad behavior in the teenagers of the neighborhood. Sam and Rachel both find this claim laughable. Sam tells Fred that it is the responsibility of the parents to promote wholesome family values and to control what their children listen to, but Fred states it is impossible to watch their children 24 hours a day and that the moment a parent's back is turned, the children do what they want.
Rachel refuses to stop playing rock and roll, so Fred pulls his advertising from the station, saying that other businesses will do the same, and states that she might still have to stop playing rock and roll, as a new bill is being proposed in local council to ban it being played on local airwaves. Sam leaves and discusses the situation with Al. Both thinking that such a law could never pass, but as they walk to Howell's car, it is covered in graffiti telling him to go home, showing that there is support of the proposed action.
The next day Sam arrives on time (to Rachel's shock), and with Al's help picking the rock and roll records (as Sam doesn't remember much music) and topics to discuss, gives an extremely entertaining broadcast, talking about the Russians going into Space (and that they should blast Khrushchev off with them) and an interview with a very perverted Invisible Man (Al). Meanwhile, Al recognizes a man walking past and speaking to Sam's co-presenter, as Chubby Checker, who has come to ask for his demo (The Twist) to be played. When Al tells Sam who it is, Sam is starstruck and starts dancing “The Twist”, which Chubby Checker loves and asks to use in his act. Al makes Sam tell Rachel to play the demo as it will send the station to number 1 in Peoria (which is Rachel's dream).
Later that day, he joins Rachel at the council meeting, and both are shocked to find that the law has passed, effective immediately. Rachel is devastated, as by playing rock and roll she was actually making money. She worries that without it she could lose her station and her livelihood, and Al tells Sam that this is why he leapt here, as that is exactly what happened. A comment by Rachel, saying that she needed to “raise the drawbridge and prepare for the dark ages” sparks an idea in Sam.
Sam and Rachel return to the radio station, barricade the entryways, and on the air make a public show of protest against the new law. After reading a speech of Fred Beaman's which defamed rock and roll music as “half-articulate speech of long-haired radicals”, they say that all speech is protected by the First Amendment and so they have every right to continue playing rock and roll, and that they intend to do so, immediately playing a rock and roll song. Beaman rings the station and Rachel confirms that they are perfectly serious. Beaman wants Sam and Rachel arrested, but his friend, Councilman Frank Stewart, convinces him otherwise as it could cause bad publicity for him (there is an upcoming election).
A vandal throws a brick through the window, which hits the radio unit, temporarily causing them to go off the air, but Sam is able to repair it. Beaman then has the power to the station cut. Sam is able to start a generator in the basement to restore the power, but there is only enough power generated to be able to run the radio unit, so they have to make do without any air conditioning. Beaman calls the station again, claiming that he might not return his advertising even if they do stop and that the bad publicity from the protest could drive away other business. Rachel calls the bluff, knowing that Beaman and Stewart don't want any bad publicity either, and states that when she hangs up she would call every news outlet in the state, which she does. Soon the station is surrounded by news reporters. The protest also gathers supporters who start chanting.
Rachel and Sam start to bond, and Sam puts on a favorite song of his (The Glory of Love by the Five Keys) and dances with Rachel. With things getting hot and heavy, they start to make out, but at the same time the transmission cables to the radio station are cut, stopping their airplay. Rachel thinks this was all a trick of Sam's to be alone with her, but is convinced otherwise when Sam is able to use the station's copper drainpipes to create a circuit and get back on the air once again.
A furious Beaman decides enough is enough, grabs an ax and starts chopping away at their front door. At the same time, Al tells Sam that Ziggy has found something, a newspaper article written by Beaman himself at the end of World War 2. Sam reads it out on the air, it is a touching article which thanked the fallen soldiers and stated that it was all for freedom. When Sam says “all we want is a little freedom too”, Beaman is stunned, and realizing he now doesn't have a hope, walks off in defeat. Rachel and Sam exit the station to thunderous applause, and Al tells Sam that the station goes to number 1 and that Rachel and Howell get married. Rachel tells Sam to buy her breakfast (after he finishes his shift), and with a final howl, Sam leaps.
The Science of Leaping
Al starts to glow when he stands too close to the radio antenna. A similar thing happened in "Star-Crossed" when Al stood under psychedelic lights. This seems strange, though, as Al isn't actually standing in the room at all. Sam's image of Al should not be affected if it's going directly to Sam's brain. (Both effects are fun visually, though.)
Kiss with History
Sam meets Chubby Checker and teaches him how to do "The Twist." (Checker cameos as himself.)
Behind the Scenes
Guest star Patricia Richardson would go on to star in ABC's Home Improvement. She and Scott Bakula had previously co-starred together in the short-lived 1988 sitcom Eisenhower & Lutz (along with DeLane Matthews, who later guest-starred in the fourth season Quantum Leap episode, "Roberto!").
- Tutti Frutti (performed by Little Richard)
- April Love (performed by Pat Boone)
- All Shook Up (performed by Elvis Presley)
- Maybe Baby (performed by The Crickets)
- Sleepwalk (performed by Santo & Johnny)
- Great Balls Of Fire (performed by Jerry Lee Lewis)
- Yakety Yak (performed by The Coasters)
- The Twist (performed by Chubby Checker)
- Jailhouse Rock (performed by Elvis Presley)
- Rock Around The Clock (performed by Bill Haley and his Comets)
- Sea Cruise (performed by Frankie Ford)
- The Glory Of Love (Performed by The Five Keys)
- Shout (performed by The Isley Brothers)
|Quantum Leap Season Two|
|● Honeymoon Express ● Disco Inferno ● The Americanization of Machiko ● What Price Gloria? ● Blind Faith ● Good Morning, Peoria ● Thou Shalt Not... ● Jimmy ● So Help Me God ● Catch A Falling Star ● A Portrait For Troian ● Animal Frat ● Another Mother ● All Americans ● Her Charm ● Freedom ● Good Night, Dear Heart ● Pool Hall Blues ● Leaping In Without A Net ● Maybe Baby ● Sea Bride ● M.I.A. ●.|