The Best Show You’re Not Watching – The Lazarus Project

A few years ago I came up with an idea for a book. I’d always been a fan of time travel… of What If stories… of Groundhog Day shenanigans… and this idea combined them all in a way that just made sense to me. I sat down to write this story about a man who lives his life only to die and have everything restart sometime in his adulthood. The world would be different, an alternate timeline would have been created somewhere along the way, but most of the fundamentals would still hold the same. So while the Allies might have still won World War II, you might be married to someone else in this new world.

How unnerving would that be? How would you go about trying to find a way to center yourself within this new life? What about your friends? Your family? The woman you were once married to… do you have to leave all of that behind this time?

And what about next time things reset? Or the next life?

And then what if you found out you weren’t the only one experiencing this?

All of those thoughts and feelings about our actions in the world and how each of us are sometimes tied together in ways we would scarcly believe… all of that went into my novel: The Echo Effect (available here for purchase). I’d not see a version of all of this in anything I’d consumed until I started watching The Lazarus Project.

What I discovered was a show that I might have written in another lifetime. The basic plot is that George is a regular guy – he develops apps for a living (or he hopes for a living). He has a girlfriend who he is massively in love with. And in the background of this nice, pleasant story, the news is beginning to talk about a virus spreading. A few months pass and some very familiar images begin to show up in his life: masks, excess deaths, fear, paranoia… until the day that his now pregnant girlfriend gets sick and dies.

And then the world resets about 9 months.

Only George doesn’t forget what happened before. Yet he’s the only one. So he starts preparing for the worst, scaring his lady and friends, and basically acting like a crazy person. It isn’t until a woman shows up (Archie) who informs him he’s not the only one who can remember the previous timelines. That she works for a Lazarus Project who has been tasked with ensuring the big, world ending threats, don’t end up destroying the world. She tells them that the catch is they can only go back to July 1 of the current year, and if the clock strikes midnight on June 30, then that new July 1 becomes a new Save Point.

And she offers him a seat at the table to help them avert the civilization endings.

The thing I love about this show is that within the first episode I was all in on George and his plight. Maybe it was due to writing a book that felt somewhat like a twin to this story, but I could really sympathize with his struggle to try and retain his sanity at the beginning. And then later when he is forced to do some really, really, terrible things… I still found myself rooting for him to find a way out of the mess he’d made. Even if that meant falling short of his true goal.

Each episode trys to focus on various other characters who are apart of the Project. In this I’m reminded of the flashback sequences from Lost. Here, they look at some of the aborted timelines, where we see the issues each of them have stuggled with in the past while also doing a nice job of still connecting to George’s journey throughout. These are flawed humans dealing with some level of shit which can only wear and tear on your pysche.

These shows do a masterful job of making small connections mean nothing when they are introduced, but soon enough you begin to see how every little thing connects. Sometims you expect it and other times you will be completely caught off-guard by how a reveal in act 1 of an episode suddenly changes everything about something you previously thought you knew and understood.

The only bad thing I have to say about the show is that it is only 8 episodes so far, and the cliffhanger they left us on after season 1 had me completely in shock wishing my DVR had one more episode. However, from what I’ve read, they are in the process of filming right now, so the wait may not be quite as long.

If you like any of the shows or movies I referenced above… if you like really good science fiction with solid character work… if you like paying attention and having it pay off later – then this is the show for you.


John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at

Every Day is Exactly the Same

It has slowly but surely become Seattle South here in Atlanta over the last week or so. In fact, it wasn’t until yesterday that something from legend arose in the sky once again. People everywhere ran screaming from it, shielding their eyes and shedding layers at it attempted to cook them where they stood.

That beautiful sun, with us again.

It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not (mostly). However, this continuous week of the same thing made me temporarily wonder if I’d stepped into Groundhog Day. Had the radio begun playing Sonny and Cher (in between my bashing of the snooze button), I might have never gotten out of bed. I would have been frozen in an odd sense of fear at repeating the same day over and over and an odd sense of fear at having the opportunity to repeat the same day over an over.


Much like a play on the old What If games, how much of the way we live our lives would change if you could act any way you wanted to and no one would be the wiser when they woke up? The entire world having a weird amnesia about the events of the previous day.

That fight with your spouse – nope, never happened.

Showed up late to work again and got a talking to from the boss – no worries, they don’t remember.

Well, you know the plotline to the movie (whether you liked it or not).

But are we nice to people, do we follow the rules of polite (and sometimes not so polite society) because of believing it is the right thing to do? Or do we do it because we are afraid of the alternative?

Even worse, are we not doing the things we are supposed to do because we’re afraid of what the outcome will end up being? That freedom we might gain from not having the normal restraints on our actions… why are we letting that fear penetrate and control our decisions?


There’s the very cliche’ saying of living each day as if it were your last, but I’ve never liked that particular saying. Typically the people quoting it don’t live on the same planet you and I live on. They don’t have to worry about bills or the day to day BS the rest of us put up with. Yet, there is something in there. A small kernel of information, a proposal of sorts that does ring true enough.

What are you waiting on?

We all lay in bed at night, just before we drift off into that sweet relief, and wonder about IT. Lament IT. That thing you’re working on (novel, boat, plans to take over the world)… what’s stopping you? Time? Energy? Life?

Don’t you think its time to put aside the excuses and just get it done? I know you’re tired. I know you’ve only got 15 minutes tonight. But now’s the time. We’re not going to get stuck reliving the same day over and over.

Oh, wait. Maybe we already are. So what are you going to do about it?



John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.

His second novel, Hollow Empire, is now complete. The first episode is now FREE!

He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!

He can also be found at