Westworld: Season One

Westworld: Season One

Rating: 5/5

Reviewed by Dave Lancaster

Summary: One of TV's most inventive and engaging newcomers, Westworld is a wondrous escape.

We really living in a golden era of television and Westworld is right up there at the top with the best of them. Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher) has taken Michael Crichton's classic film and turned it on its head, expanded its horizons and breathed new life into the theme park gone wrong narrative.

When Michael Crichton wrote and directed Westworld in 1973, it was his feature-film debut. Arriving decades before his novel Jurassic Park became a sensation, it told a compelling story about a holiday destination for the rich whereby they could be placed into a wild west setting populated by lifelike robots and left to live out their Clint Eastwood fantasies whether it meant rounding up posses, starting saloon fights, indulging in the town's brothel or riding off into the sunset for the fun of it all without any of the real danger of that era. But then one of the robots malfunctioned and became a real killing machine, chasing our hapless city slickers across the plains. As a low-budget sci-fi film, it was near perfect. This TV show takes it to another dimension.

What if it wasn't a soulless robot who was the antagonist? What if one of the guests wanted to rule and decipher the landscape for his own evil gains? What if the company behind it was getting high on their own games of playing God? What if some of the robots became self-aware? What if the modern west was just as brutal as the wild west?

Westworld the film was a picture of harsh answers; the TV series is much more of an enigma that plays on the science fiction element much more tellingly. We feel the influences of Philip K Dick and Isaac Asimov here - and for the better.

As the behind-the-scenes reality and fantasy world crumble into one catastrophic nightmare, Westworld both thrills and instigates nightmarish thought from its audience. The likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden and Anthony Hopkins are our elegant guides in this murky narrative with their considerable star wattage providing welcome glimmers of light amid the story's dark corners.

At its base, Westworld is riveting entertainment that is expertly crafted, brilliantly written and populated magnificently by a stellar cast. But it could well be a genuine prophecy too…

Episodes contained within the box set are:

1. Pilot 2. Chestnut 3. The Stray 4. Six Impossible Things 5. Contrapasso 6. Trace Decay 7. Trompe L'Oeil 8. The Adversary 9. Job's Root 10. The Bicameral Mind

Bonus features include:

  • About the Series
  • An Invitation to Set
  • The Big Moment
  • Welcome to Westworld
  • Realizing the Dream: First Week on the Set of Westworld
  • Imagining the Main Titles
  • Reality of A.I: Westworld
  • Gag Reel
  • The Key to the Chords
  • Crafting the Narrative

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