The Lazarus Project: When is it released? Who is in the cast? The mind-bending time-loop plot explained

The Lazarus Project is a nail-biting thriller coming to Sky Max on NOW, which includes Paapa Essiedu and Caroline Quentin in the cast.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 16 June 2022 - 2.31pm
Paapa Essiedu as George in Sky Max series The Lazarus Project

Stream every episode of The Lazarus Project on Sky Max with NOW on 16 June

When George (Paapa Essiedu) wakes up one day and finds himself reliving a day from months ago, he thinks he’s lost his mind.

This is intriguing opening to the new mind-blowing thriller The Lazarus Project, a must-watch series coming on 16 June to Sky Max on NOW.

What at first appears to be a simple Groundhog Day-style drama quickly evolves into something much more complex. Part apocalyptic thriller, part love story, part mind-melting, time-loop, time travel, moral maze, The Lazarus Project is an ambitious series from the genius mind of Giri/Haji writer Joe Barton.

Watch The Lazarus Project trailer

The Lazarus Project is a prescient time-loop drama that takes viewers into some intriguing moral questions as the show's central character George is forced to choose between the love of his life and the fate of the world.

How far is one man willing to go and what will he sacrifice to rewrite his own story?

How to watch The Lazarus Project

Watch The Lazarus Project on Sky Max on NOW from Thursday, 16 June.

All 8 episodes are available to stream after launch.

What's new on NOW this month: The best new TV series to stream

The Lazarus Project plot explained

Paapa Essiedu as George in The Lazarus Project episode 1

A mix of Groundhog Day, mind-bending time loops and apocalyptic thrills, The Lazarus Project is a complicated beast. So who better to explain what’s happening in the series than the show’s writer and creator Joe Barton?

"It's a time-leap thiller essentially about George [Paapa Essiedu] who’s this normal, everyday guy who suddenly becomes aware that time keeps skipping backwards. It happens to him twice; he jumps back six months both times,” explains Barton.

"He's apparently the only person that’s aware that time has jumped backwards – and it happens during the middle of a global pandemic. It means that as the world gets worse and worse and everything seems really terrible, suddenly time jumps backwards.

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"It turns out there is a group called The Lazarus Project, who are a top-secret multinational organisation whose sole purpose is to prevent extinction level events, be they missile attacks or pandemics or chemical weapons. They use all the means at their disposal, but they also have access to a machine that can turn back time.

"What's happened is that George has mutated essentially: when the rest of us go back in time we just think it’s just a normal day, but he's suddenly become aware of it. So they bring him to their group because he's developed this ability. He joins their team and starts to go on missions and stuff with them.

"The way that the time loop works is that there’s this idea of checkpoints. There's a checkpoint day which is the first of July. Every time they use the their time machine, they always go back to the last checkpoint. So if they use it on the second of July, they go back one day; If they use it a week later, they go back a week; if they go a whole year and get to the next first if July, that takes over as the checkpoint, so they will always only ever go back to that date."

Paapa Essiedu as George in The Lazarus Project episode 1

George joins this team and then the day after the checkpoint happens, his partner is hit by a truck and killed. He’s desperate, obviously to turn back time to bring her back, but they won’t turn back the clock for one person, because it's such a huge undertaking that it would change billions of lives. So the only way he can bring his partner back is if he goes rogue and tries to set up an extinction level event himself to force their hand.

He has to do more and more morally complicated things as the series goes on, but it’s for the ultimate end of bringing back his partner.

The Lazarus Project cast

  • Paapa Essiedu plays George
  • Anjli Mohindra plays Archie
  • Charly Clive plays Sarah
  • Caroline Quentin plays Wes
  • Tom Burke plays Rebrov
  • Rudi Dharmalingam plays Shiv
  • Vinette Robinson plays Janet

Paapa Essiedu plays George

Paapa Essiedu and Charly Clive as George and Sarah in The Lazarus Project

George is quick-thinking and witty everyman who finds himself in an extraordinary situation when he starts to relive the same few weeks over and over again. When he is recruited by a secret orgnaisation that can turn back time he finds his moral code tested to the limit. Does he help to save humankind from a disaster, or does he use his newfound knowledge to turn events to his own advantage?

Anjli Mohindra plays Archie

Intelligent and straight-speaking with a razor-sharp wit, Archie is one of the Lazarus Project’s top agents as well as George’s mentor. She is resolutely devoted to working with Lazarus for the greater good, even when it may be at odds with her personal happiness.

Charly Clive plays Sarah

Sarah is a smart, independent and adventurous schoolteacher as well as George’s long-term girlfriend and the love of his life. She is blissfully unaware of the time loops, the Lazarus Project, and the fact that George is now a secret operative.

Caroline Quentin plays Wes

Caroline Quentin and Anjli Mohindra as Archie and Wes in The Lazarus Project

Wes is the Lazarus Project’s steadfast team leader and a veteran member of the organisation. While she makes it a priority to support her team, she is also capable of being unflinching, even ruthless, when Lazarus us under threat.

Tom Burke plays Rebrov

Charismatic and deadly, Dennis Rebrov was one of the Lazarus Project’s most trusted agents before he went rogue and made it his mission to take down the organisation. Now Rebrov is The Lazarus Project’s sworn enemy and one of the biggest threats to their work.

Rudi Dharmalingam plays Shiv

Intense, dour and incredibly moral, Shiv has been working at the Lazarus Project ever since he was a teenager. He is a firm believer in the Lazarus Project’s cause and is incredibly loyal to the organisation as a result.

Vinette Robinson plays Janet

With her quick wit and genius level IQ, Janet was an integral part of the Lazarus Project team – until a traumatic event turned her life upside down and made her decide to leave the organisation forever.

Where is The Lazarus Project filmed?

Produced by Urban Myth Films in association with Sky Studios, The Lazarus Project filmed in Bristol between January and June 2021.

Bedminster’s East Street was closed off for filming and dressed as a 1990s street with some shop exteriors dressed as '90s bookies and electronics stores.

Other Bristol locations where Bristol Film Office assisted with filming included Brandon Hill, Christmas Steps, King Street, Unity Street, Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge, The Engineers House in Clifton Down and Brunel House. Residential properties were used on Berkeley Square in Clifton, Brighton Street and Argyle Road in St Paul’s, Maywood Crescent in Fishponds and Barton Green in Barton Hill.

Talking about The Lazarus Project’s shoot, which took place in and around Wales, London and Bristol with some overseas filming, Line Producer Darren Green said: “Bristol centre and surrounding areas work well for doubling up as London streets and bars and clubs. Some of the larger buildings throughout the city centre replicate the look of London buildings and streets.”

Stream every episode of The Lazarus Project on Thursday, 16 June on Sky Max with NOW.