Home Television Drama Cold Lazarus

Cold Lazarus

1 9 9 6 (UK)
4 x 60 minute episodes

Cold Lazarus advances the story of Karaoke to the year 2368 when the cryogenically frozen head of television scriptwriter Daniel Feeld (Albert Finney) is thawed by unscrupulous entertainment moguls who plunder his memories of 20th-century life, an irony intended by writer Dennis Potter who wrote the two shows simultaneously while dying of pancreatic cancer in 1994.

Set in a dystopian future, a world without governments is run by a couple of comic, foul-mouthed monsters. Martina (Diane Ladd), renewed by youth pills and a string of young studs, makes the happy pills – and Dave Siltz (Henry Goodman), a multi-media mogul with a worldwide audience of 800 million, makes the pappy programmes.

Feeld is essentially Potter himself. His frozen eyelids move. He is dreaming.

Professor Emma Porlock (Frances de la Tour), Fyodor Glazunov (Ciarán Hinds) and the other research hers are amazed at what they see as they tap into Daniel’s brain.

Potter’s dying request was that the BBC and Channel 4 co-finance both Karaoke and Cold Lazarus and transmit them simultaneously. Almost two years to the day of his death – after an unprecedented collaboration – the two broadcasters honoured Potter’s dying wish, with the Beeb screening Karaoke first and Channel 4 repeating it the next night, with the pattern reversed for Cold Lazarus.

Daniel Feeld
Albert Finney
Fyodor Glazunov
Ciarán Hinds
Professor Emma Porlock
Frances de la Tour
Tony Watson
Grant Masters
Luanda
Ganiat Kasumu
Blinda
Carmen Ejogo
Dave Siltz
Henry Goodman
Sandra Sollars
Saffron Burrows
Martina Masdon
Diane Ladd
Chris
Joe Roberts
Beth
Tara Woodward
Karl
Rob Brydon
Anna Griffiths
Anna Chancellor
Kaya
Claudia Malkovich
Andrew Milton
David Foxxe
Student Daniel
John Light
Nat
Jonathan Cake
Daniel’s Father
Adam Bareham
Harry Schumpet
Harry Ditson
Dr Rawl
Donald Sumpter
Ben Baglin
Roy Hudd
Nick Balmer
Richard E. Grant
Angie
Natascha McElhone