HBO bought Westworld to our TV screens this year and Sky Atlantic took this to UK audiences. Hopefully after reading this you might find the box set and see the drama unfold. I’m going to try this without spoilers.
You might have some recollection of the original 1973 film of the same name. Starring Yul Brynner as the gunfighter. This gave us the idea of a futuristic theme park, one where you could ride out into the wild west, battle great Teutonic knights or bask in the glory of the Roman empire. The robots went mad and started killing guests, Yul Brynner chased our two visitors through the old West. Even for the day, the sci-fi was quite good. Well worth a watch. Watch out for the scene where Brynner’s face comes off. This film reeks of the 70’s.
Fast forward to 2016. Westworld returns.
The park has been overseen by Dr Robert Ford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who, as co-creator of the park is building stories,for the guests to become involved in. We got introduced to stone of the hosts,namely Delores, Maeve and Ted. Maeve is the brothel madam, who has vivid flashbacks of being murdered along with her daughter. Delores also seems to be suffering with her mind and Ted keeps waking up on the train clutching at wounds he’s previously suffered.
Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) seems to be a dutiful employee trying to deal with the issues faced by Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) a set of updates called the reveries have been planted into the hosts, and some are struggling with this current patch. But why? That is what Bernard is trying to find out. Maeve (Thadine Newton) is haunted by her flashbacks and a man in black.Delores is also seeing visions of the man in black, and every time he’s a bad bad man. Theodore (James Marsden) seems linked to Delores, he’s her knight in shining armour. Delores visits the town for supplies and to pull characters into her story.
Delos are a corporation trying to take over the running of the park, they don’t trust Robert Ford. They have someone on the inside in the form of Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who is conducting an affair with Bernard. But will they overthrow Ford?
Delores father is really struggling with updates and is replaced, and sent to a graveyard of machinery to stand in silence for all time. Talk of a maze and finding its centre by the man in black become his only focus. Expect bloodthirsty deeds. Expect nudity and the occasional pop song plinked out of the automatic piano. A slow version of paint it black features in the first episode.
Into the rabbit hole we shall go, uncovering the mysteries of the park, and deeper into the bowels of the park, where repairs are actioned and all manner of things could and often do happen.
Again expect nudity.
Maeve spends a great deal of her time below ground time being repaired and sent back up for service. Watch her, she is important to the story. At this point Teddy isn’t really important.
Delores meets with a nice young man called William (Jimmi Simpson). He is drawn to her, he wants to keep her safe, as it transpires he is part of a bigger picture, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. He meets up with his friend to explore the park more, with Delores in tow.
Teddy meets the man in black (Ed Harris) who is searching for the maze, he’s got a scalp taken from a host and he wants to find the centre of the maze, as you’ll see that has a great bearing on the storyline.
Expect more flashbacks and part memories come to light through our characters. Do not expect this to be rose tinted spectacles, looking back to the old West. Expect mystery and intrigue and just a few twists. This is basically game of thrones set in the wild west, just with a really sinister undertone.
The cast really shine. Did not see the ending coming in the manner it did. You’ll be gripped until the final scene, and will leave you wanting more. On the subject of more, good news season two has been commissioned, so expect more of the same, with some new twists and developments. If you spot a nod to the film then bravo, have ten points and go to the head of the class.