The Lazarus Project

UK 2023, 45 mins
Director: Carl Tibbetts

+ Q&A with cast Paapa Essiedu, Caroline Quentin, Anjli Mohindra, writer Joe Barton and director Carl Tibbetts.

When the world locks into a never-ending time loop that will ultimately end with the planet’s complete extinction, the Lazarus team must race against time to find a solution before humanity is wiped out forever. Among their number is resolute Lazarus agent, George (Paapa Essiedu), who’s been left in disgrace after betraying the organisation in the name of love.

George is determined to redeem himself and win back the trust of his friends, colleagues, and the love of his life. But when he discovers that the cause he’s fighting is more sinister than it appears, George begins to suspect that the only person he can really trust is himself.

The Lazarus Project is produced by the award-winning team at Urban Myth Films, in association with Sky Studios, and has been created and written by BAFTA nominated Joe Barton (Giri / Haji). Series one launched to critical acclaim in June 2022 going on to be Sky Max’s second biggest new scripted launch of the last two years, with a 28-day audience of 1.70m. The series was recently awarded the 2023 BAFTA Cymru for Television Series.

The epic, action packed second series is led by Emmy and BAFTA-nominated Pappa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), with Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), Charly Clive (Pure), Vinette Robinson (Boiling Point), Rudi Dharmalingam (Wakefield) and Tom Burke (Strike) all reprising their roles.

Paapa Essiedu is an acclaimed British actor with a diverse career spanning television, film, and theatre. The London born actor has garnered many award nominations including Emmy and BAFTA TV nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his breakout performance in Michaela Coel’s era defining show, I May Destroy You.

Paapa has just completed his run at the National Theatre in The Effect, written by Lucy Prebble. He starred opposite Taylor Russell in the critically acclaimed revival. In the spring Paapa starred in Charlie Brooker’s long-awaited season 6 of the cult anthology series, Black Mirror in Demon 79. Next up, Paapa will return to television screens in series 2 of the Sky Original thriller, The Lazarus Project, created and written by Joe Barton (Giri/Haji). This winter Paapa will star opposite Melissa McCarthy in Working Title/Universal’s Genie, directed by Sam Boyd and written by Richard Curtis. The film is a remake of Curtis’ beloved classic of the same name. 2024 will see Paapa star opposite Saoirse Ronan in The Outrun. Based on Amy Liptrot’s bestselling memoir, the feature is directed by Nora Fingscheidt.

In the last two years Paapa has fronted a primetime BBC One series, The Capture and had a key supporting role in Alex Garland’s feature, Men, which starred Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear. 2022 also saw Paapa return to the stage in Lyndsey Turner’s critically acclaimed staging of Caryl Churchill’s seminal play, A Number, starring opposite Lennie James. Short film Femme, in which Paapa starred opposite Harris Dickinson, was nominated in the Best British Short category in the 2022 BAFTAs and won the BIFA Award for Best Short Film.

Further screen credits include Gangs of London (HBO/Sky Atlantic); Anne Boleyn (Channel 5); Unsaid Stories (ITV); Press (Masterpiece/BBC One); Black Earth Rising (BBC Two); KIRI (Channel 4); The Miniaturist (BBC). Further theatre credits include playing ‘Hamlet’ in Simon Godwin’s lauded production Hamlet at the RSC; The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC, dir. Philip Breen); King Lear (National Theatre, dir. Sam Mendes); Pass Over (Kiln Theatre, dir. Indhu Rubasingham).

Anjli Mohindra grew up in Nottingham and trained at The Television Workshop – an East Midlands-based training centre for young acting talent.

Her first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures – a part she played for four series between 2008-2011.

She has since had roles in many high-profile television dramas including The Lazarus Project (Sky Max), Vigil (BBC One), The Suspect (ITV), Bodyguard (BBC One), Cucumber (Channel 4), The Boy with the Topknot (BBC Two), Dark Heart (ITV),and The Dead Room (BBC Four). She has recently wrapped as the lead in The Red King, a new drama for Alibi, written by Toby Whithouse.

Anjli recently secured a development deal with Urban Myth Films to create a TV series based on the life Princess Sophia Duleep Singh – the daughter of the last Maharajah of Punjab and a goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Joe Barton (Creator, Writer) is a BAFTA winning Writer and Executive Producer of television projects including the BAFTA Cymru awarded thriller, The Lazarus Project, Half Bad: The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself and three-time BAFTA nominated and winning Giri/Haji.

Barton has also penned several feature films including The Ritual, for which he was nominated for a British Screenwriters’ Award as well as Encounter starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer, and the upcoming Cloverfield sequel for JJ Abrams.

Next year will see the release of The Union, staring Mark Whalberg and Halle Berry as well as the Netflix series Black Doves starring Keira Knightley.

Director Carl Tibbetts made his move into directing when he co-wrote his first feature film Retreat, starring Thandie Newton, Jamie Bell and Cillian Murphy, which he directed in 2011. It was selected to play as part of the Fantasia film festival in Austin, Montreal and Paris, and went on to an international cinema release.

After several feature film writing commissions, he made his drama directing debut in 2013 with the Black Mirror episode, ‘White Bear’, and followed that up in 2014 directing the ninety-minute Black Mirror Christmas special, ‘White Christmas’, which starred Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall. The episode was nominated for an RTS and Broadcast award for Best Single Drama and Rafe Spall was nominated for an International Emmy in the category Best Actor, for his role as Potter.

He went to the States in 2015 to direct an episode of Hemlock Grove for Netflix. In the same year he directed two episodes of Channel 4’s Humans. In 2017 he directed all five episodes of BBC One’s mini-series, The Woman in White, starring Jessie Buckley, Dougray Scott, and Charles Dance. Jessie Buckley was nominated in the best leading actress category at the Irish Film and Television BAFTA awards for her role as Marion Halcombe.

In 2018, he kicked off The Feed, a brand new sci-fi series for Amazon Prime starring David Thewlis and Michelle Fairly, directing the first two episodes.

In 2020 Carl kicked off the dark crime noir series We Hunt Together for BBC Studios and Showtime before finishing off supernatural thriller The Rising for Sky. After The Lazarus Project finished this year he directed mini-series, True Love for Clerkenwell films and Channel 4, starring Lynsey Duncan and Clarke Peters, which will be out in January. He has cast his film Sweet Dream which is with Stigma Film and plans to shoot in the new year.

Caroline Quentin is an acclaimed English actress, broadcaster and television presenter best known for her famed roles in cult television series Jonathan Creek and Men Behaving Badly, for which she was awarded the British Comedy Award for Top TV Comedy Actress, an award she won a second time with her role as Maggie Mee in Life Begins.

Caroline has an extensive list of high-profile credits, spanning across TV, cinema, and theatre. Some of which include the Sky Original thriller,
The Lazarus Project, The Other One, Dickensian, Life of Riley (BBC), Kiss Me Kate and the Netflix smash hit, Bridgerton.

Caroline’s extraordinary theatre credits include: Mrs Warren’s Profession, Jack Absolute Flies Again (National Theatre); The Provoked Wife (RSC), Me and My Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Hypocrite (The Hull Truck/RSC); The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (Bristol Old Vic) Relative Values (Theatre Royal Bath), Oh What a Lovely War! (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Terrible Advice (Menier Chocolate Factory), Life after Scandal (Hampstead Theatre) and The London Cuckolds (National Theatre).

A triple threat, Caroline has also starred in the films Love Me Tinder, opposite Tom Lorcan, Miss Willoughby and The Haunted Bookshop.

Boyd Hilton (chair) is a journalist, author, TV critic and broadcaster. As well as his two day jobs of Entertainment Director of Heat magazine, where he has worked since its launch in 1999, and Contributing Editor of Empire magazine, Boyd also wrote the book Inside Little Britain with Matt Lucas and David Walliams. He has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 4, reviewing television, books and films for over two decades. He is also Features Editor and contributor to sport/style/culture magazine Circle Zero Eight, and has written for GQ, Man About Town, The Guardian and Observer. Boyd also co-hosts the weekly Pilot TV podcast, covering cinematic television, and the Footballistically Arsenal podcast, covering… Arsenal. He also frequently hosts live on-stage TV and film events, panels and Q&As for BAFTA, the RTS and the BFI, ITV, BBC, Sky and many others.

Director: Carl Tibbetts
©: Sky Studios Limited
Created and Written by: Joe Barton
A Sky Original programme
An Urban Myth Films production
In association with: Sky Studios
In association with: Motion Content Group
Producer: Benjamin Greenacre
Executive Producer: Johnny Capps
Executive Producer for Sky Studios: Paul Gilbert
Line Producer: Rhys Perkins
Script Supervisor: Chiara Carbonara
Casting Director: Jill Trevellick
1st Assistant Director: Dan Mumford
Director of Photography: Susanne Salavati
Editor: Vicky Tooms
Production Designer: Hayden Matthews
Costume Designer: Jo Slater
Hair & Make-up Designer: Stephanie Lynne Smith
Music by: Ben Lukas Boysen, Paul Emmerich
Production Sound Mixer: Jen Annor
Action Unit Director and Supervising Stunt Coordinator: Jason Oettle

Paapa Essiedu (George)
Anjli Mohindra (Archie)
Rudi Dharmalingam (Shiv)
Charly Clive (Sarah)
Elaine Tan (Zhang)
Sam Troughton (Dr Samson)
Vinette Robinson (Janet)
Colin Salmon (Robin Lerner)
Zoë Telford (Dr Kitty Gray)
Caroline Quentin (Wes)
Tom Burke (Rebrov)

UK 2023
Episode 1 45 mins

Courtesy of Sky Max/Now

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
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