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Author's Preface

The concept of OUTATIME (the vanity plate on Doc Brown's DeLorean) came about as the result of a conversation the three of us had after watching an episode of Quantum Leap sometime in 1990. The question of how to have Sam Leap outside his own lifetime came up, and I (MJ) suggested that the best and most amusing way to do it would be by having him Leap into another time traveler just before s/he was about to depart for times unknown. Having that time traveler be Doc Brown seemed like a natural (especially given that both BTTF and QL were products of Universal), and thus, OUTATIME was born. As a collaboration, it was concocted by having all three of us discuss the basic premise. Mary Wood wrote part one; JR did the first draft for much of parts two through sixteen, and I did the remainder, as well as all the editing and rewrites. The less savory things that happen to Sam/Doc about midway through the story, however, were entirely JR's idea, although they did fit very nicely into the concept as a whole. Was it for the sake of mere vanity, after all, that Doc decided to have an overhaul?

Insofar as the QL portion is concerned, this story is based on the premise that time travel via Quantum Leap is a psychic experience, that Sam's psyche and not his material body is what actually Leaps (as was strongly implied -- if not downright stated -- by early episodes such as "What Price Gloria?").  We began writing this story in the summer of 1990, before episodes directly contradicting this premise were aired (and before we'd really seen anything about the project itself and the people in it, other than Al). Thus, regardless of whether or not physical Leaping ultimately became the Way of Things According to Bellisario, we politely ask that you accept the original premise for the duration of this story (it still makes the most sense to us. After all, even if everyone else sees Sam as the Leapee, he couldn't possibly fit all their clothes).

A minor note: I did not choose the date for Doc's birthday; J.R. did, and has been roundly scolded for it by me, since the date he picked (if not the year) happens to be my birthday. I let it stand simply because it seemed vaguely appropriate, as July 20th is Space Exploration Day, the date on which Man first walked on the Moon, and also the date when one of the Mars probes (I forget which) landed on Mars. In a strange and backhanded way, I guess it's also appropriate to have one of our birthdates dragged into the genre, since we just happen to have been married on November 12th.

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