The Lazarus Project Season 2’s Time Travel Rules Explored

While not hand holding the audience there are however some useful reminders of the rules within the three week loop. George manages to learn German and recall the moves in a fight in order to defeat an opponent, but he doesn’t get any physically fitter, so he’s still out of breath every time he runs up multiple flights of stairs. Similarly when the Dane is limbering up before the reset he’s told that stretching today won’t help him three weeks ago.

“They are cognitively fit,” says Barton. “There’s lots of instances in the show of a character exclaiming that they are frustrated or confused by time travel, which is very much the writer talking to the audience through their characters.”

Though the show doesn’t reference any other media it does unsurprising encourage comparisons.

“The whole idea of checkpoints from the first series was kind of taken from Sonic,” says Barton. “Then obviously, Looper, Groundhog Day and The Terminator and all of these things. I think it’s more that they’ve sort of entered my brain by osmosis over the years rather than I sat down and though ‘oh, okay, this is this and this is that.’” 

There are added conflicts – George has killed a bunch of people and is condemned to shoot Shiv at the very start of the time loop (since he’d already pulled the trigger). Sarah has taken the serum and is aware of the time loops. And Wes is mad as hell at George for betraying them. And then there’s the Time Break Initiative. 

“The Time Break Initiative is like a rival Lazarus project and their big aim is to invent a true time machine, like a proper go wherever you want, go back in time machine,” says Barton.  “They are the ones who have caused the three week loop by essentially creating the second black hole, which keeps destroying the world. The plot is all about undoing the mess they’ve done, but having to use the machine that they’ve created to do that. It’s about who’s right and who’s wrong. Like, are they the baddies? Or are the Lazarus Project? Are there any goodies? They’re just a fun, opposite for the Lazarus gang.


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