The Lazarus Man (1996– )
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Awakening: Part 1 

A former bodyguard of President Lincoln digs his way out of a grave but has amnesia. He gets involved with a group of Civil War veterans who want to assassinate Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.


Johnny E. Jensen


Dick Beebe (teleplay), Dick Beebe (creator) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Urich ... Lazarus (James Cathcart)
Elizabeth Dennehy ... Elizabeth Pratchett
David Marshall Grant ... General Philip Sheridan
John Diehl ... Nat Pratchett
John Christian Graas John Christian Graas ... Davey Pratchett
Wayne Grace ... General Ulysses S. Grant
Walter Addison
Isabelle Townsend Isabelle Townsend ... Dark-Haired Woman
Natalija Nogulich ... Joie
Brion James ... Tom Halloran
John Furlong John Furlong ... Barkeep
Jerry Gardner Jerry Gardner ... Big Yankee
Forrie J. Smith ... Blonde Knight (as Forrie Smith)
Jake Walker Jake Walker ... Broussard
Bill Pearlman Bill Pearlman ... Doctor


A former bodyguard of President Lincoln digs his way out of a grave but has amnesia. He gets involved with a group of Civil War veterans who want to assassinate Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

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Release Date:

20 January 1996 (USA) See more »

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[first lines]
Lazarus (James Cathcart): [narrating] Something has happened to me that I do not understand which frightens me greatly, for there are only a handful of things that I know to be fact at this moment - that this place is called San Sebastian, Texas; that it is autumn of the year 1865; and for all intents and purposes, I was born on All Hallows Eve. That was five days ago.
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User Reviews

Great start to a great series
21 June 2019 | by RalphoSee all my reviews

Watching this pilot episode - which isn't called "The Awakening" on the DVD, or split into parts - it's obvious why it was green lighted for production.

The premise is intriguing. One of President Lincoln's bodyguards (James Cathcart) tries to stop the assassination but is thwarted by his boss, Major Gaffney, then tortured, dragged behind a horse and buried alive near San Sebastian, Texas.

Digging himself out of the grave on Oct. 31, 1865, Cathcart has amnesia and remembers nothing of his past, though flashbacks come frequently.

These are the central conceits that you must accept if you are to enjoy this series. In reality, it makes no sense that Cathcart would be taken from Washington, D.C. to Nowhere, Texas to be buried alive six months after Lincoln's assassination. And it makes no sense that he would be able to breath long enough underground to dig his way out.

That said... Befriended by a nearby family, the Pratchetts, Cathcart is dubbed Lazarus by Davey Pratchett, the boy who was in the graveyard when Cathcart emerged.

Beating up two Army men who came to take the Pratchetts' only cow, Lazarus make them leave on foot and takes one of their horses for his own use. This is the horse we see Lazarus ride throughout the series.

The plot of this episode involves a group of bitter Texans who fought for the Confederacy. They seek a sharpshooter named Jack Broussard, wishing to hire him to assassinate Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who is to give a speech in San Sebastian.

Lazarus is mistaken for Broussard and plays along with the Blood Knights, but eventually the real Broussard shows up, and Lazarus is in trouble.

At the end he rides out of town, headed for New Orleans to follow a lead on a San Sebastian who seemed to know something about his past.

There is a lot of good action in this one, particularly where Lazarus beats up two Yankee soldiers who came to take the Patchetts' cow and when the Blood Knights attempt to hang him. He is obviously a capable and resourceful man, despite not knowing who he is.

I also like the scene early on where Lazarus wakes up the morning after his "resurrection" and braces himself on a chair in order to stand. Lazarus is shirtless save for a bandage on his chest in this scene, and the sight of his powerful left arm and hairy armpit does a great job of showing how strong he is.

Of the guest stars, I liked Brian James as Tom Halloran the best. He did a great job of communicating malevolence.

Elizabeth Dennehy works well as Mrs. Pratchett, although she's a bit too made up and well dressed to be a woman from rural Texas in 1865, seeming to wear a different dress in every scene she's in.

Watch for Wayne Grace playing two parts, those of Gen. Grant and Major Gaffney, the latter being Cathcart's boss who appears in flashbacks. I know his name is Major Gaffney because he returns in the episode "Dance with Shadows."

Jake Walker is quietly menacing as Jack Broussard and reminds me of Clint Eastwood. He doesn't have much dialogue though.

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