My most anticipated new show of this year is definitely Westworld, the HBO Sci-Fi Western based off of the novel by Michael Crichton. The story tells of a theme park where humans can escape to the Wild West since civilization has become a much easier place to live with cures for major diseases and reduced conflict. Hosts are created to populate this Western land and these automated humans are given an update in the premiere. This update starts to cause glitches that make the resident lash out violently and the creators of the hosts worry that the guests, and their profit, will be negatively affected.
Anthony Hopkins brings his gravitas to the role of the head creator Dr. Robert Ford who is introduced having a drink with one of the old robots down in the basement where they retired the faulty humanoids. Jeffrey Wright is the head data scientist Bernard Lowe who admires Dr. Ford's work but also identifies the glitch and begins to hunt it down. There are other maintenance workers and a plot about the story writer and business executives that look like they are heading towards trouble in the upcoming episodes.
In the Western world of animation, Evan Rachel Wood place a rancher's daughter Dolores Abernathy forced to play out the same scenario over and over again for the amusement of the guests. Her designed lover is Teddy Flood (James Marsden), a dashing young man that fails to protect his love. Dolores is repeatedly assaulted by The Man in Black (Ed Harris) who has a homicidal agenda that looks deeper into the strange world. Thandie Newton plays Maeve Millay, a prostitute, but it looks like her character will have some interactions in the real world.
There are deep messages about entertainment and the violence therein that I enjoy plus the mix of Western and Sci-Fi that is really appealing to a viewer like me. HBO looks to have created something that is both philosophical and entertaining and works well with the platform that promotes these kinds of scenes and themes. I am really looking forward to how this show plays out in the future and will be tuning in Sunday nights to catch each new episode.