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The Lazarus Project Recap: Series One’s Time Loops & Resets Explained for Anyone Whose Head is Hurting

Shiv came back a year later on the eve of the July 1 2024 checkpoint with a clue to the whereabouts of kidnapped ex-Lazarus agent Janet, but George shot him dead at midnight before he could read it.

Three weeks later, a black hole created by Janet’s kidnappers destroyed the world, which triggered the Lazarus machine’s dead man’s switch, resetting time back to the 2024 checkpoint. Everyone is currently stuck in an automatically repeating loop of the same three weeks, starting at the midnight when George shoots Shiv. The only person who might be able to fix the loop is Janet, who’s somehow been sent back to 2012 by her kidnappers. And finally, Sarah took the serum that means she can remember time resets and now knows about everything.

The Slightly Longer Version: George, Sarah, Rebrov & Shiv

The world of The Lazarus Project has ended many, many times before (due to nuclear war, global pandemics, chemical and biological weapons, you name it…) but whenever the world has ended, top secret organisation Lazarus has used black hole-related technology to reset time back to the checkpoint day on the previous July 1. They then do whatever’s required to stop that particular apocalypse from happening and try to keep the world going until the next July 1, which then becomes the new checkpoint day (think of it as a videogame save point – until you reach it, you’re in danger of losing everything).

Series one saw app developer everyman George (Paapa Essiedu) recruited to the organisation. George has a rare genetic mutation that means he naturally remembers the period of time rewound that everybody else forgets – a gift/curse that most Lazarus agents get by injecting a special serum.

When George’s girlfriend Sarah (Charly Clive) is hit by a truck and dies, George secretly betrays Lazarus and conspires with rogue agent Rebrov (Tom Burke) to engineer a global war so that the clock will be reset to when she was still alive. George kills fellow agent and genetic mutant Shiv (Rudi Dharmalingam), and frames Shiv as the traitor. When the clock resets to July 1 2023, and Shiv comes to confront him, George says that killing him will only make Shiv look guiltier to Lazarus, and so Shiv goes to ground.

George gets Sarah back alive, but in this 2023, with a vague sense (but no real memory) of her previous timeline, she finds herself dissatisfied, turns down his proposal and breaks up with him. (Months later, Sarah tells George that she’s getting married to somebody else, and it’s only when she then stumbles on his exciting time-travel secret agent life that she starts things up with him again.)

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