Dr. Emma Porlock and her colleagues, attempting to unlock the secrets of human memory for the Masdon drug empire, get a cryogenically stored 400-year-old human head to project its memories ... See full summary »
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1  
1996  
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Albert Finney ...  Daniel Feeld 4 episodes, 1996
Ciarán Hinds ...  Fyodor 4 episodes, 1996
Frances de la Tour ...  Emma Porlock 4 episodes, 1996
Grant Masters ...  Tony Watson 4 episodes, 1996
Ganiat Kasumu Ganiat Kasumu ...  Luanda 4 episodes, 1996
Carmen Ejogo ...  Blinda 4 episodes, 1996
Henry Goodman ...  David Siltz 4 episodes, 1996
Saffron Burrows ...  Sandra Sollars 4 episodes, 1996
Diane Ladd ...  Martina Masdon 3 episodes, 1996
Joe Roberts Joe Roberts ...  Chris / ... 3 episodes, 1996
Tara Woodward Tara Woodward ...  Beth 3 episodes, 1996
Rob Brydon ...  Karl 3 episodes, 1996
Anna Chancellor ...  Anna Griffiths 3 episodes, 1996
Claudia Malkovich Claudia Malkovich ...  Kaya 2 episodes, 1996
David Foxxe David Foxxe ...  Andrew Milton 2 episodes, 1996
James Peck James Peck ...  Fyodor's Apartment Guard 2 episodes, 1996
John Light ...  Student Daniel 2 episodes, 1996
Terence Maynard ...  1st MSC Guard 2 episodes, 1996
Guy Masterson Guy Masterson ...  Police Chief 2 episodes, 1996
Jonathan Cake ...  Nat 2 episodes, 1996
Adam Bareham Adam Bareham ...  Daniel's Father 2 episodes, 1996
Rupert Penry-Jones ...  Militiaman / ... 2 episodes, 1996
Malcolm Rogers Malcolm Rogers ...  Preacher 2 episodes, 1996
Harry Ditson ...  Harry Schumpet 2 episodes, 1996
Silas Carson ...  1st Sentry / ... 2 episodes, 1996
Jason Salkey ...  2nd Sentry / ... 2 episodes, 1996
Donald Sumpter ...  Dr. Rawl 2 episodes, 1996
Roy Hudd ...  Ben Baglin 2 episodes, 1996
Richard E. Grant ...  Nick Balmer 2 episodes, 1996
Natascha McElhone ...  Angie 2 episodes, 1996
Katy Carmichael ...  2nd Hostess 2 episodes, 1996
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Storyline

Dr. Emma Porlock and her colleagues, attempting to unlock the secrets of human memory for the Masdon drug empire, get a cryogenically stored 400-year-old human head to project its memories through virtual reality displays. But Porlock and her team are chronically under-funded, and she may have to go around Masdon to a media sleaze merchant to get the money she needs to maintain the project. But an even more complex world of secret police, RON (Reality-Or-Nothing) riots, and murder is going on outside the lab. And the deeper Porlock goes into the frozen memories of the writer Daniel Feeld, the more twisted the labyrinth of intrigue becomes. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cold Lazarus See more »

Filming Locations:

Gloucestershire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This series was parodied later the same year in the dream sequence at the start of the "Only Fools and Horses" episode "Heroes and Villains". See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Glazunov destroys Daniel Feeld's frozen head at the end, the wall screen still displays his voyage through the tunnel of light to heaven, despite not being plugged into anything any more. See more »

Quotes

David Siltz: Harry, do you have to be so fucking vulgar all the time?
See more »

Connections

Edited from Karaoke (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
Written by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston
Sung by Bing Crosby
See more »

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User Reviews

No biography!
1 July 2003 | by McGonigleSee all my reviews

This miniseries is a fitting capstone to a brilliant and unique career. In Karaoke, Dennis Potter gave us a heartbreakingly personal look at the end of Daniel Feeld's life; A writer of surreal musical miniseries for TV feels like he is losing control over his written work, both literally (as his words break free and get spoken by real people surrounding him) and metaphorically, as the director of his latest screenplay tries to refashion it in his own image.

In Cold Lazarus, the situation is somewhat reversed. The setting and basic storyline are, by comparison to Karaoke, quite impersonal. The sci-fi "dystopia" is well done and entertainingly campy, with some real strokes of brilliance (the "Reality or Nothing" terrorists who fight the media's dominance), but it's hardly as personal or unique as a typical Potter drama's set-up.

But ironically, the struggle that Daniel Feeld (now only a head, frozen for four hundred years) faces in Cold Lazarus is far more personal, as he literally loses control of his own life and is forced to re-live his own painful memories, without the ability to edit them or filter them through his own creative processes.

The metaphor is set up for us by Feeld's dying words, which we hear in the first segment: "No biography". While Dennis Potter always drew from his own life to a large degree in his writing, he apparently did not relish the idea of other writers attempting to pick through his real life.

Fortunately for us, though, he was (as always) not nearly as reticent about interpreting or re-casting his own life for us. As a contrast to the sci-fi sequences, he presents us with our final glimpse of childhood in his beloved Forest of Dean, in a series of flashbacks that may even as personal as any of the similar scenes in The Singing Detective.

The first time I saw Cold Lazarus, it didn't really grab me, but since seeing it a second time, its story and ideas have stuck in my brain to a huge degree. As I say, it is truly a fitting "final opus" for one of the most distinctive and creative writers of the 20th century; hopefully one day soon, this work (and many more of Potter's creations) will be available on DVD.


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