British sci-fi hit The Lazarus Project It comes across the pond as a complex thriller with family themes. A top-secret organization continually resets time to a specific date to thwart apocalyptic events. Your agents face personal loss and emotional turmoil while reliving devastating trauma. A new recruit with a unique gift questions his tactics as benders of fate when an unthinkable tragedy strikes. The series combines existential crises, pandemics and nuclear explosions like a morning coffee. It’s a lot to take in initially, but it finds a firm narrative footing once the overarching plot takes shape.
George (Paapa Essiedu) wakes up in bed with his beloved girlfriend. Life with Sarah (Charly Clive) has been domestic bliss. She cheers him on for an important day ahead. George is applying for a loan to expand his business development application. Sarah, a teacher with a fawning co-worker (Chris Fulton), sees a bright future together. They ignore the headlines of a new virus emerging in different parts of the world.
Months pass and their relationship grows as MERS-22 erupts into a deadly contagion. Everything George and Sarah have built together is threatened. Her happiness is shattered by illness when something really strange happens. George jumps out of bed the same morning he went for the loan.
Paapa Essiedu as George
A stunned George has no idea what is going on. Somehow he has been transported back to July 1st. He terrifies Sarah with predictions of the next plague. She thinks that she has lost her mind and needs psychological help. Their bond falls apart when George becomes a doomsday preparer. His anxiety and paranoia reach a fever pitch… until it all starts all over again. A mysterious woman approaches George as he wanders and questions his sanity. Archie (Anjli Mohindra) gives her a card with an address on it. Come here when you’re ready for the answers.
The premiere downloads a torrent of exposure at full speed. george’s groundhog day the experience is a whirlwind of montages that signify the passage of time. The screen blurs, reality resets, and he goes back to bed with Sarah. It’s déjà vu all over again. This methodology is similarly played out in the next episode, but documents another catastrophe involving Archie and his former partner in 2018. Archie’s inability to stop World War 3 forces numerous reboots. We then see the toll the time change exacts on those tasked with repeatedly saving humanity from extinction.
The Lazarus Project it doesn’t get granular with scientific details. Time travel technology is not a main focus. You get a simple explanation, George joins the gang, and the mission continues. Let’s just say they’re not piling into a DeLorean and going 88 mph. This is a smart tactic that keeps rapidly evolving stories on a specific path. The protagonists try to develop new possibilities to meet the terrible results.
George soon learns that understanding time displacements is a curse. The titular Lazarus Project uses its godlike power on a macro scale with no concern for the individual. They literally make life and death decisions for everyone. An inherent conflict is brewing when that authority is challenged. What right do they have to dictate the future?
A rushed opening turns into a thoughtful exploration of thorny possibilities. There is enough action, but it is far from a fast-paced title like The Age of Tomorrow. The Lazarus Project it requires commitment and appreciation for the abstract. It is not for the casual viewer.
The Lazarus Project is an Urban Myth Films production in association with Sky Studios. It will have a US television premiere on June 4 on TNT and has already been renewed for a second season.