ORBzine - Lazarus Project, The (2002) TV Review

Lazarus Project, The (2002)

Season 1


Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 1] Episode 1 (44 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

A black man finds himself in a time loop, like Taye Diggs ( House on Haunted Hill ) in Day Break . Then he gets recruited into a secret government organisation that uses time-travel to prevent world-ending events - like Seven Days .

George Addo (Paapa Essiedu) is an app developer whose special project is a data-cruncher that predicts uncertainty. By incredible coincidence, he is a mutant who has a natural ability to remember time loops. He gets recruited by the Lazarus Project, a team led by Elizabeth "Wes" Wesley ( Caroline Quentin ). Their mission is to prevent world-ending events such as pandemics and nuclear wars. To do this, they use a time machine that resets the world to the previous first of July.

Someone stole a nuclear warhead, code-named Big Boy. The chief suspect is Dennis Rebrov (Tom Burke - The Musketeers ), a former Lazarus operative who went rogue. He is now a violent anarchist.

The climax is an incredible motorbike chase, which is really outstanding by British TV standards. Of course, this was shot on location in the Czech Republic so the budget stretched further and the locals were proficient in practical effects.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 2] Episode 2 (45 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

George tries to cope with the climax of the previous episode. He has almost a year for a reboot to happen, but it will only happen if there is a world-ending crisis.

Dennis Rebrov (Tom Burke - The Musketeers ) is taken into custody, but the Big Boy bomb is still missing.

The flashbacks are to 2018, the year of Archie's mission. She and her work partner have a workplace romance. This mirrored George's life, as he kept re-living the night that he met his girlfriend.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 3] Episode 3 (44 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

Dennis Rebrov (Tom Burke - The Musketeers ) is in custody, and cooperates as long as it is to his advantage. He describes the Last Glory, the people he was working with, as pseudo-fascist libertarians, which implies he had such little respect for them that he did not even try to understand their philosophy. Instead, he gives George Addo (Paapa Essiedu) enough info to secretly contact Janet ( Vinette Robinson ).

The flashbacks are to 2017, a year before Archie's mission. Dennis and Janet were having a workplace romance, which was known about by everyone at HQ. The couple take the risk of getting pregnant with the baby timed to arrive close to the checkpoint date. This is bad enough, but the story pushes forward into 2018 ... the multiple resets would be enough to drive anyone to the brink of their sanity.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 4] Episode 4 (45 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

The flashbacks are of Shiv's life. His mutant ability manifested at a very young age, and when he was a toddler his mother suspected that he skipped six months of development overnight.

George goes looking for the bomb in Romania. Shiv is suspicious, and follows him. Neither want to draw attention from the boss. For some reason, George uses a contactless payment card instead of just drawing out Euros and spending them as cash.

This has a great chase sequence, much like in the first episode.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 5] Episode 5 (42 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

Archie has to sort out the mess left at the end of the previous episode. Dennis Rebrov (Tom Burke - The Musketeers ) tells her there is a mole in the Lazarus Project. She has flashbacks to her recruitment into MI-5, and then her first meeting with Shiv when he recruited her into the Lazarus project.

George tries to pass himself off as a member of the Last Glory. It turns out that one of their key beliefs is the creation of a White Aryan Ethno-state. This story certainly seems to have taken a lot of references from right-wing American politics.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 6] Episode 6 (43 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

George and the caretaker drive the bomb to a target location. The bad news is that a gang of hijackers are following them. The good news is that, despite being a desk jockey with only a few days training, George is easily a match for a team of heavily-armed career criminals.

Somehow, George does not get blinded when staring directly at a nuclear explosion. Archie gets him on a charter plane home, where he is stuck with a band of what can only be described as musicians.

One nuclear explosion, with a few hundred fatalities, is not enough to necessitate a reset. The boss demands a full-on nuclear war. This means George has to escalate things even further.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 7] Episode 7 (40 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

George talks his way out of everything. After all, he is just an app developer – it would be completely unthinkable for him to have actually defeated highly-trained secret agents and murderous hijackers.

The problem with George’s relationship is that he is now a different man from the one his fiance fell in love with. In the year she spent dead, he became obsessive. Now she finds him overly clingy. Yes, the relationship that destroyed the world is now itself doomed.

A year later, Shiv pops up again. Is he a friend or a foe? Not that it matters, because George is now trigger-happy.

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 1, Episode 8] Episode 8 (44 min)
Shown 16th June 2022

The world is caught in a time-loop, thanks to an artificial singularity that lasts three weeks before it implodes. Someone in Chinese Intelligence is behind it, and presumably they are the ones who took Janet.

George is stuck in a hell of his own making. He cannot think of a way to save Shiv, so he has to get away with murder. Not only does this mean avoiding his nosy neighbour, it also means dodging his ex-girlfriend. Yes, the woman he literally destroyed the world for.

Strangely, George never actually asks his neighbour what the man does for a living. If he had only been a bit more inquisitive, he might have found the answers he needed earlier. In all fairness, George is not a field agent. He is only as smart as the plot needs him to be at that moment.

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Lazarus Project, The (2002)

Lazarus Project, The (2002) Lazarus Project, The (2002) [Season 2 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2022

Reviewed in our special supplement Lazarus Project, The (2002)

Lazarus Project, The (2002)

Season 2