The Lazarus Project is a new 8-part series on Sky, and as it opens, it’s 7am on July 1st 2022, and George (Paapa Essiedu – Anne Boleyn 2021) has a business pitch at the bank to get some funding for a new wonderful mobile phone app he’s creating which monitors strange activity on business accounts, then he’s having a baby with his girlfriend, Sarah (Charly Clive – Pure), but interrupting proceedings is a new killer virus on the loose, MERS-22, resulting in everyone having to wear a mask… again.
However, amongst it all, he suddenly wakes up… and it’s July 1st 2022 again, and the past six months starts repeating itself, but only he seems to notice, which makes life difficult for other people when he starts acting like he can tell the future (because he can), yet they all think he’s a complete barmpot.
But it goes on and on, and feels very reminiscent of both Groundhog Day, 12:01 and Edge of Tomorrow, and I’m sure you can think of similar examples.
Without wanting to go into too much detail – partly because I didn’t really understand what was going on – only a select few have his ability, and what causes this is not a time machine, but a singularity in space – or a checkpoint, so you can go back to a previous point in time, and this will happen on July 1st every year. This “Code Black” can only be authories by Wes (Caroline Quentin – Father Christmas is Back), the big boss, and only ever in the event of potential mass-extinction events, and not to simply undo having a bad day, or anything else personal.
That said, it was early on into episode 2 when I started losing track of how the plot was meant to work – and I’m wondering if the writers also had the same thoughts – but it was still very enjoyable.
But for some basics, there’s a plot regarding a terrorist called General Kasan, but that all felt secondary to George and his life with Sarah, given the fact that he knows time is ever-changing, while she doesn’t, and thinks she’s only living the one life. What does make it confusing is that this series gives us a mix between the present day with George’s discovery about time manipulation, and the summer 2018 scenario of Archie and Ross dealing with Kasan.
And then episode 3 (which is as far as I’ve seen) goes back to 2017, so things are jumping about in time even more, indicating that while there’s a story arc across the whole series, each individual episode has its own self-contained story.
Despite all the twisty-turnyness, I really enjoyed the three episodes I saw so far, since it’s given me the answers to some questions that have been initially raised, and sets the scene nicely for what’s to come. Hence, I would say just watch it, and avoid the trailer, as that feels very spoilery.
Now, if someone can just explain: How come in 2018, they’re watching small 4:3 TVs?
The Lazarus Project begins on Sky Max on Thursday at 9pm, with all episodes being available on demand at the same time. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Series Directors: Marco Kreuzpaintner, Akaash Meeda, Laura Scrivano
Producer: Adam Knopf
Writer: Joe Barton
George: Paapa Essiedu
Archie: Anjli Mohindra
Ross: Brian Gleeson
Shiv: Rudi Dharmalingam
Wes: Caroline Quentin
The Dane: Lukas Loughran
Blake: Lorn Macdonald
Greta: Salóme Gunnarsdóttir
Sarah: Charly Clive
Karl: Chris Fulton
Sarah’s Doctor: Sarah Edwardson
Laurence: Enyu Okronkwo
Janet: Vinette Robinson
Rebrov: Tom Burke
General Kasan: Peter Silverleaf
Hayley: Madeleine Walker
Arun: Gavi Singh Chera
Jim: Bally Gill
Puhvel: Daniel Junas
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.