Sam (Scott Bakula) has more time-travelling adventures this week, when he leaps into a black man in the south in The Color of Truth. Written by Deborah Pratt, this award winning episode aired on 3 May, 1989.
It’s 8 August, 1955, and Sam has leapt into Jesse, the chauffer for Miz Melny Trafford (Susan French), an elderly Southern woman. Al (Dean Stockwell) provides him with the information that in the original timeline Miz Melny was killed when a train collided with her car. He’s there to stop it.
But things also develop around Jesse’s granddaughter, Nell (Kimberly Bailey) when she’s run off the road by a couple of good ole boys, and needs hospital treatment. But they won’t take her at a Whites Only Hospital.
Through it all he struggles to show Miz Melny that the prejudices of the Old South have never had any place in the world.
This ends upbeing a rather beautiful and important episode for the series, as it shows that, here we are, seven episodes into the first season, and the series is willing to take on important, and relevant issues.
It handles the material just right, not shying away from the subject matter, but still encapsulating it in an entertaining way.
We also learn that Al was at some of the first Civil Rights portests, and that despite Sam’s desire to be there to start the movement Al knows better, though respects that his friend believes that.
The two of them save Nell and Miz Melny. In fact that is is the first time that someone, other than Sam has been able to hear Al.
Camikazi Kid which aired 10 May, 1989, deals with another serious issue though hides a lot of it behind a healthy dose of nostalgia. Written by Paul Brown, Sam finds himself in the teenage body of Cam on 6 June, 1961.
There’s racing for pinks, lovelorn teenagers, the Peace Corps. and underneath it all, the tale of an abusive alcoholic.
Cam’s sister, Cheryl (Romy Windsor) is days away from her marriage to Bob Thompson (Kevin Spirtas). On the surface, everything looks wonderful, picture perfect, but underneath, Bob is a mean drunk, and Al informs Sam that Cheryl’s dreams of travelling the world with the Peace Corps. and her whole life will be ruined should she marry Bob.
Of course, it’s not easy to prove Bob is as bad as he seems, as he cruises around exuding charm and good looks, but if Sam can race him for pinks and beat him, he may get Bob to show his violent side publicly, and save Cheryl from a mistake she’ll always regret.
It’s a great episode, Sam is extra motivated as we learn his own sister married young, and her first husband was also an abusive alcoholic and he blames himself for not helping her. It’s also an episode of first kisses, and Cam’s friend, Jill (Holly Fields) has a crush on him, and they share a first kiss.
And finally, of special note, is the appearance of Jason Priestley as one of Bob’s friends, Pencil.
Strong writing, performances, and settings conitnue to make this show my favorite.
As the episode ends, Sam leaps into find himself standing over a dead body, and he’s holding the gun…