Edit 7:40 MST: Carol here. I just wanna say how awesome this response has been so far! Dean says, "I'm pretty puffed up!" He's very overwhelmed and moved by the interest of this thread. It's getting a little late for us, and our responses may have to wait until the morrow! Thanks so much, Reddit!

Edit (2): Carol again. We are done answering questions for this evening, but as stated before we plan to continue answering more tomorrow. I am reading through your comments and again, the response is just so wonderful and touching! Thanks again, all of you. :)

Things I can answer right away: No, there's no QL film in the works as far as we know. We've never been approached about doing one, nor does it seem likely that this will happen. Sorry, everyone. I'm sad too.

No new projects in the works as of this writing, though this could very well change in the near future. Currently, we will be attending a couple conventions, chiefly this weekend's comic con in Albuquerque, NM - Jan 13 - 16.

1/11/2012: Good morning, Reddit. We're awake now and going to try to answer some more questions for you. Got a lot of them to catch up on! Thank you for your patience!

4:00pm (mst) Carol: So, I'm at work right now. Just thought I'd let you all know that, since we're obviously not answering questions again for a bit, at least until this evening. Thank you all for so many upvotes, that's amazing... but - why so many downvotes too? o.O . . . why you gotta hate? Can't we sleep!? :P

10pm: Well, as the day draws to a close, all I can say is thank you again. I think we're winding down here on questions and answers. We may answer a couple more tomorrow, but no promises. We apologize if yours didn't get answered. In many cases, some of you asked a question that had already been answered, so be sure to look for that. I tried to link to some of those questions too... I did relay as many of the comments to Dean as I could, in case you're wondering if yours got read or not.

Thank you so much again, to all of you, for your love and enormous support of this wonderful man.

Comments: 1735 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

Arconic760 karma

I loved your performance in Battlestar Galactica. your portrayal of the rage and anger that Cavil had at Humanity for having created him so flawed and fragile, not the perfect being he felt he should be, really stood out as a highlight of the whole show for me.

It seemed like this was the meat of the whole character, and the source of his hatred and cold personality. Did you feel you got to really do him justice and really explore the character by the end of the show?

As arguably the man who knew him best, how to you view Cavil's choice to kill himself rather than be taken as a prisoner or killed by anyone else?

Al_the_hologram585 karma

The choice was intuitive and instantaneous during a rehearsal of the scene. And so we kept it in.

MistuhHolly378 karma

What made you do an AMA?

Al_the_hologram1061 karma

My wife.

Hazephaelos439 karma

Best possible response.

WhyAmINotStudying424 karma

Best possible wife.


Best possible husband.

TrevX967 karma


Al_the_hologram102 karma

Carol: Al was my favorite character? ;)

urinal-cake72 karma

I'm confused as to who he is talking about. Dean divorced Joy Marchenko in 2004.

Al_the_hologram389 karma

Carol here: Can't always trust the mighty internets for infos. Long story, but yes, we're tied, and yes I'm a Redditor. He and I are both absolutely stoked about the response we've gotten so far. Thanks, reddit!

OneNineTwo166 karma

Quick! Someone update Wikipedia!

Al_the_hologram53 karma

Carol: For kicks, I checked. Geez, that didn't take long. o.O

SnapeWho41 karma

To Carol: I hereby apologize the thoughts I've had about your husband. No offense, but DAMN HE FINE.

Al_the_hologram48 karma

Carol: I know. He fine. You're definitely forgiven. Carry on. :)

slanghype33 karma

Can I ask a question directed at your wife, Carol?

Do you go to conventions and stuff like that with him? Do you like them?

To Carol/Dean: What do you think of the fandom atmosphere that can follow shows that aired quite a while ago, like Quantum Leap?

Al_the_hologram83 karma

Heh. Since I'm still awake and he's not, I can answer this question. .^

I always go to cons with him, and since I've been with him, I'm usually his "helper" person. I am a born SciFi/Fantasy nerd so yes, I love going to them! Dean enjoys them to some extent too, but admittedly its not a generation he completely understands. I have exposed him more to the wonderful (and sometimes frightening) world that is the internets, so I think he's gained more of an appreciation for us nerdy-types. He's more of an old school nerd - listening to Bach when other kids were listening to that Rock'n Roll music in the 50s and such.

TheRealStudette20 karma

Carol, I met you guys at Dragoncon 2010 and I was struck at the time that you were so helpful and tech savvy. I could tell Dean didn't really want to be there but after he lit the stogy he seemed happier. ;) So thrilled to see you both on Reddit!

Al_the_hologram26 karma

Carol: Thank you for that. I am always pleased to entertain him and put him at ease among the growing throngs of SciFi fans, usually distracting him with pretty lights from my iPad in-between cigar breaks. We meet a lot of really nice people at those cons, no doubt you were one of them. :)

12Treezy307 karma

Dear Mr. Stockwell,

I've been a lurker for a bazillion years, but your AMA just inspired me to create an account.

Quantum Leap is my favorite show of all time and I think it saved my life. I was going through a really rough time when I was 16 years old, not actively thinking about killing myself, but I think entertaining the thought more and more. I had no idea what Quantum Leap was, but I turned on the SciFi channel one day and the episode "A Single Drop of Rain" was on, just as Sam was looking up at the sky and saying his prayer. This is going to sound crazy, but that scene in that episode made me feel a little bit of hope (I know, a TV show, right?). I started watching the next day, and the next, and by the time I finished the series, I felt...more normal? Definitely less depressed and no longer thinking about suicide. I felt like I went on this adventure with Sam and Al and if they could fight through time-traveling problems, then I could deal with mine. Ah, to be in high school again. I'm sure that's not how I would've responded if the same thing happened to me today, but back then, the show was like a Godsend. I've always wanted to tell this story to someone, and now I get to tell it to you! I feel like one of those cliches where a weight gets lifted inside you, except my hands are also nervously cold and clammy.

Reddit is awesome. You are awesome. Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

Al_the_hologram38 karma

Dean: How wonderful that a show like Quantum Leap could affect you that way. So wonderful and positive, I feel honored to be part of it. It gives real substantial meaning to my role in Quantum Leap. God bless you.

flippityfloppityfloo247 karma

Since no one has asked a question yet:

You have an extremely storied career in Hollywood. Out of all the roles you have, which one was your favorite?

Have there been any roles you turned down and regret not accepting?

What is your favorite personal story from Hollywood?

Thanks for doing this!

Al_the_hologram900 karma

I would say Edmund from Long Days Journey into Night.

2nd question: No.

Just a small portion of my life was spent in Hollywood proper. But I do recall when I was 13, I think, my mother and my school teacher - Mrs Andersen - were walking on either side of me into the vast sound stage of MGM, where the set for the movie Kim was being constructed. There was Errol Flynn and someone introduced him to me. Still with my mother and teacher at my sides, he shakes my hand, looks me in the eye, and says, "Hi, Dean. Have you had your first fuck yet?"

Needless to say, this was overheard by my mother and my teacher.

tyme236 karma

Since no one else has asked it...

Was the bartender God?

Edit: I'm both curious as to your opinion, and anything you may know about the writers intent (that's not seen in the episode).

For those who don't understand the question (SPOILERS): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Leap_\\(TV_series\\)#Conclusion

Al_the_hologram23 karma

I can't really answer that. It's all Bellisario and I can't answer for him.

cjbest215 karma

Did you keep any of the ridiculous blazers from Quantum Leap? I always looked forward to them as a kid.

Al_the_hologram366 karma

I did not, and I regret having not done it. I really really regret having not done it. My costume line was exclusively designed by Jean Pierre Dorleac, to whom I'm thankful.

GrooveCombo71 karma

They have to be out there somewhere in a hollywood warehouse. I want to nab one.

Al_the_hologram188 karma

Dean's wife here (Carol): I know they are stored and taken care of by some association of Television Costume archive, or some such thing. I saw them on display at FIDM's museum on Grand Ave one year. Dean curses how didn't keep any of them constantly, or at least whenever I ask about it myself. I did identify two pieces in his wardrobe that he DID manage to keep - but nothing really noteworthy ... like that purple and silver jacket I loved so much. :P

Hazephaelos42 karma

Just wondering, are you a redditor Carol?

WhyAmINotStudying56 karma

If she is, she knows better than to identify herself.

Al_the_hologram124 karma

Carol: :P

MistuhHolly184 karma

Did you do sci-fi on purpose or were you just taking roles offered to you?

Al_the_hologram261 karma

The latter.

bottom_dweller181 karma

Your wikipedia page contains the line:

In the early 1960s, Stockwell dropped out of show business, becoming active in the hippie subculture.

Could you expand on that a little? The veracity of that claim? How long did this period last? Did you join communes and suchlike? Were you an early acid adopter? Did you meet people like Kesey and Leary? Were you an activist? Were you an idealist, i.e. did you feel the world was going to change more profoundly than it did and that the old world order would disappear? And/or anything else you care to relate about this period.

Al_the_hologram16 karma

Right away, no communes. No no no, not ever, never. And I didn't drop out, I just didn't get any work. So I bopped around.

[deleted]169 karma

Wow Dean Stockwell!

Your portrayal of Al in Quantum Leap and Dr. Yueh in Dune are 2 enduring memories of my childhood and had a great influence on the sci-fi buff I have become today.

I don't have a question as such but just wanted to say thank you for being such an amazing actor and giving me such good memories from when I was a kid!

Monotone_Robot56 karma

This is exactly my sentiment. I definitely have a permanent imprint from the Quantum Leap series. My HP-48GX has a name: Ziggy.

Sometimes I'll have the opportunity to answer a technical feasibility question with said calculator and a pen (as the cigar) in-hand. I'll hold the pen in my teeth as I calculate, then point it at the calculator when I'm done and say, "Ziggy says ..." This happens less than once a year.

Al_the_hologram15 karma

My wife tells me her computer is also named Ziggy.

librarylady142 karma

Al the Hologram and Cylon #1 are very different characters. Do you prefer playing the good guy or the bad guy? How does it feel to be sci fi royalty? Have you had any really memorable (good or bad) interactions with fans?

Al_the_hologram226 karma

There's no preference to being one or the other, that is to say good or bad. Doing one or the other presents its own challenge. Once mastered, you're an actor. I like both.

Sci if royalty: Oh, wow. That's a good one, but I have no idea how to answer something like that. This is the first I heard of it, I think. That I know of.

PainGod142 karma

Was it your idea to lip-synch to Roy Orbison in "Blue Velvet"? Or was that something David Lynch had in mind in the script? Also, You rule.

Al_the_hologram9 karma

No, it was David's idea, and a total surprise to me.

Blue_Train126 karma

Did you guys really shoot Paris, Texas without a shot list or anything? How much improvisation was involved? Thanks

Al_the_hologram213 karma

It was loose as a goose.

mjolnir114119 karma

Hi there! Your acting and character was one of my favorite parts of BSG. Thanks for working so hard and giving us such a great show! Do you remember any favorite scenes or parts that were especially awesome or fun? (Again, thanks for being a part of my favorite show!)

Al_the_hologram257 karma

Well, I particularly liked the scene where I played both Cavils together in the same scene and we went off into space holding hands at the end. I believe that was only at the end of The Plan.

Esepherence116 karma

This is something that friends and I have debated for a while. You, having portrayed Cavil, probably have the personal connection with the character 'Cavil' needed to really know.

Why do you feel that Cavil gave up so suddenly with the loss of Resurrection technology? On a certain level it makes sense, but it just seemed so flippant, I want to know what you felt was going through his head to just "give up" on his people.

The fear of mortality seems like an odd reason to commit suicide.

Edit, forgotten letters

Al_the_hologram168 karma

Cavil chose what he thought at that moment the best way out for him. He had suffered enough.

coinich101 karma

What was perhaps your favorite role, in any show?

Al_the_hologram245 karma

I quite liked The Twilight Zone, where I played a Japanese soldier. A Quality of Mercy.

[deleted]92 karma


Al_the_hologram159 karma

Playing football at a boys school, I'm pretty sure that was when i was in "The Happy Years".

To answer the second part of your question, nothing decided it for me. To answer the first part, one must go super deep into the vocation. Whence this is done, acceleration is to be demanded.

[deleted]128 karma


Al_the_hologram195 karma

"Bravo bravo bravo!" he says ecstatically, as his wife types up as accurate a response as possible. :)

griffin811686 karma

Are you working on any new projects? A classic question, I know, but thanks in advance. Love your work!

Al_the_hologram143 karma

No new projects, save a convention or two. We will be appearing in Albuquerque this weekend at the ABQ Comic Con on Jan. 13 - 16. Also, Monterrey, Mexico convention in March. And perhaps others in the future.

Kitanata57 karma


Al_the_hologram13 karma

Yeah, no shit!!

portentint74 karma

Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft?

Al_the_hologram139 karma

My wife tells me Dungeons and Dragons. I have no idea what that means.

stray1ight65 karma

Your wife, sir, is a woman of excellent taste. Also, you guys seriously rock for doing this! Thank you!

Al_the_hologram138 karma

Carol here: Thank you very much. :) Also, I wanted to update my reply. Since the release of the awful 4th Ed. of D&D, I have to say Pathfinder is better and keeps to the true spirit of pen and paper RPG, without the use of silly battle maps and figures.

Telsak64 karma

@carol I don't know you, but this answer lets me conclude that you most definately know where your towel is :)

Al_the_hologram91 karma

And also that the answer is 42. :)

pennNteller63 karma

OMG will you read my script????

Just kidding. You've had an an amazing career, I'm curious what movie, TV show or play you enjoyed working on the most.

Al_the_hologram81 karma

Thank you for asking! And it was the film/play Long Days Journey Into Night that I enjoyed the most.

Signe36 karma

What were your most memorable experiences working with David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan?

Al_the_hologram9 karma

Well, not any specific memories, but I noticed how David would never curse or express himself in any kind of gross way. He wouldn't even say out loud the expletives in his script. He's like an Eagle Scout.

PoopNoodle26 karma

Your have been on all of my all-time favorite shows. Your resume is every sci-fi geek's wet dream.

Twilight Zone

Star Trek:TNG Enterprise


Quantum Leap


The stories you must have of all the legends you have worked with must be incredible.

Care to share any cool anecdotes about your time on the sets of these awesome shows?

*EDIT: ST series goof

EmpressK26 karma

Dean: Ever consider/been offered a role on Dr. Who?

Al_the_hologram10 karma

Carol: My favorite show next to QL too! I would love it if he got a part in Dr. Who! omg!

Dean: What show?

Carol: -_-0

Verbicide13 karma

If I was you, I would have stolen the communicator you had in QL to talk to Ziggy.

Al_the_hologram27 karma

I did.

pop_my_cat_eyes_in10 karma

Did you ever get into a fight with Scott Bakulas eyebrows?

Al_the_hologram14 karma

What?! Nobody's are as big as mine! In fact, if I didn't trim them, no one would see my forehead.