Watch: The Lazarus Project cast tease what's to come in season 2
The Lazarus Project takes the time travel genre to a whole new level in season 2, and the cast tell Yahoo UK that the narrative is "a bit of a brain scrambler" but it will have audiences on the edge of their seats.
Returning to Sky Max on 15 November, the series follows an elite group of people who are able to travel and help stop apocalyptic events from taking place.
Season 1 left things on a dramatic note, where George (Paapa Essiedu), Archie (Anjli Mohindra) and The Lazarus Project agents realise they are stuck in an infinite three-week loop where Earth is destroyed by two black holes converging and they are thrown back in time to the checkpoint on 1 July.
The second season opens moments after, with the team scrambling to find a way to stop the time loop and save humanity, while George has to contend with his past actions coming to light — killing multiple people and setting off a nuclear bomb to force a reset so that he could save girlfriend Sarah (Charly Clive).
Mohindra reveals the stakes are being raised to exponential levels in the new season, as she tells Yahoo UK: "Everything ratchets up a couple of notches in terms of the comedy, in terms of the thrilling aspect.
"The sci-fi gets a little more elaborate because we introduce true time-travel, which is the ability to travel not just to the last July checkpoint but beyond, which was a bit of a brain scrambler."Anjli Mohindra
Essiedu concurs with his co-stars sentiment, adding: "There's an expansion both in terms of the time that we can access and also in terms of the characters we get introduced to, a parallel group and other major characters who who weren't present in the first series, which was really exciting for us to be presented by."
The success of this complicated narrative, Clive explains, can be attributed to the writing of show creator Joe Barton, "who writes every beat of every episode."
"He's made this like mad labyrinth and dropped the audience right in the middle of it, and Series 2 is basically trying to find your way out of it," she says.
Caroline Quentin, who takes the role of The Lazarus Project leader Wes, adds that what makes Barton's writing so compelling is that he doesn't talk down to the audience when he does it.
"It's hard to understand. It certainly is when you first read in the scripts, but he never patronises you, and the joy actually is finding out how and why it works."Caroline Quentin
Bringing Sarah into the fold
The Lazarus Project may find new ways to repeat its time-loop, but one thing that is different this time around is that Sarah is now completely aware of the concept of time travel and remembers everything that happened after a time loop takes place.
By bringing her into the fold Sarah is able to become more than just a side character and love interest to George, and she begins to establish herself in her own right in The Lazarus Project when Wes gives her a spot on the team.
"It was so exciting," Clive says. "As soon as I read the last scene of the first series, I was like 'ohh God, I wonder what this means for season 2.'
"Either they're going to kill me off or I'm going to get to join the fold, and I was very glad that I got to join the fold."Charly Clive
This makes for an interesting change in the dynamic between Sarah and George, something that Essiedu "really enjoyed" diving into more deeply.
"I think we're we're all very happy to see Sarah's character take a more central role in the second series," he says.
"That really provides way more dimension for their relationship and Charlie, I admire her a lot as an actor, so to build that relationship together, stretch it, see where it can work [was great]."
"We'll see where they come back together and where they lose each other again. I'm really excited to see what people think of it," Essiedu goes on.
Be careful who you trust
The sci-fi series is also all about trust, with the characters constantly questioning who they can and can't trust in this game of time travel.
George, of course, is now a questionable figure after the events of season 1, which is something that impacts his relationship with Archie.
"I think the choices that George makes in season one unravels Archie's own feelings towards the organisation," Mohindra says.
"I think it makes her unpick what happened with Ross and wonder if she should have done things differently, if taking no for an answer from Wes and using The Lazarus Project for her own use to bring Ross back is something she should have fought.
"I think it's really hard for Archie to be angry at George cause it's a human thing to do."
But one person who appears more suspicious than others is Quentin's Wes, who appears to have more of a connection to the people responsible for the three-week time loop than she originally let on.
Quentin admits she was "gonna have to be a bit careful about" what she says regarding her character, adding: "I don't wanna blow the whole thing out of the water, but you're right to be suspicious of her.
"When I was first reading the scripts, I literally had my heart in my mouth to see where it was gonna go and it goes places that I think people will find very surprising, quite shocking, quite upsetting."Caroline Quentin
"I think the morality of the whole thing happens, and as an actor it's dreamy. It's just dreamy because you start off boxed up tight, not giving much away, and then during the series it just unravels and you get to see behind, which is really exciting. Get ready!"
The Lazarus Project season 2 is available on Sky Max and NOW from 15 November.
Watch the trailer for The Lazarus Project: