Cold Lazarus Summary

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In this sequel to Dennis Potter's "Karaoke," the cryogenically frozen head of Daniel Feeld is revived by scientists hoping to tap into his memory and learn about the past.

In the year 2368, a team of cryobiologists under the leadership of Professor Emma Porlock and two laboratory technicians succeed in reaching into the memory or Daniel Feeld, who died 374 years ago. The huge expense of the project incurs the wrath of American tycoon Martina Masdon, owner of the Science Center, who threatens to suspend or abandon the "Lazarus Operation." Entertainment mogul David Siltz, however, is fascinated by it. Emma, Tony and Luanda become caught up in a horrific battle between the terrorist group R.O.N. (Reality or Nothing) and armed police. The scientists believe that as long as Daniel Feeld only "remembers" under chemical stimulation, he cannot be aware or alive in any conventional sense. But in the deserted cryogenic lab, Daniel's severed, partly thawed head continues to transmit memories of his own tormented volition.

Emma and her team of scientists are distressed when they observe Daniel's memory of a disturbing incident from his chilhood. They are further shaken by the thought that he might be aware of what they are doing to him. Kaya is killed after Fyodor and the Director of Public Affairs, Andrew Milton, fail to recruit her as a R.O.N. At a meeting with Siltz, Emma realizes that he has been spying on the lab and has recorded Daniel's transmitted memories.

Enraged by Andrew Milton's murder of Kaya, Fyodor kills him. Emma accepts Siltz's offer of unlimited funding and a laboratory in return for the right to broadcast Daniel's memories on his global entertainment network. As more of Daniel's past life is revealed, a plan develops to steal his head from the Madson Science Center.

Following the theft of Daniel's head, Blinda is shot dead by Fyodor, and Tony is arrested. Installed in Siltz's laboratory, the scientists are horrified to realize that Daniel has been transmitting his own memories and thus in some sense must know what state he is in. Unable to continue, and with his cover as a R.O.N. in jeopardy, Fyodor finally decides to destroy Daniel's head.