1.THE TITLE SEQUENCE IS A WORK OF ART
Much like many of my other addictions (see Carnivale, True Blood and Game of Thrones) the artistry does not stop and start with the call of action. The clinical edge to the opening imagery (including the cold-hard corporate logo) all adds to the scene setting, enabling total emersion.
2.AS MY HUSBAND EXCLAIMED: ‘IT HAS COWBOYS AND ROBOTS!’
A little boy’s dream come true. But more than that, in mixing science fiction androids with a fantasy-clad western it has fused two genres and become utterly unique. Well, howdy spaceman!
3. THE BROKEN FOURTH WALL.
The whole set is a construct; both as a TV set, and as the constructed set of an immersive themed world. The hosts (droids) think it is real. The guests know it isn’t real. We know that even the guests are not real, yet by this point reality is a questionable concept, so cease to care and remain hooked!
4. ACTING ‘A’ LIST
Anthony Hopkins as the man playing god, orchestrating an artificial race to serve their human masters, Evan Rachel Wood as the deceptive ingenue, who after seeing horrors past imagining is finally remembering her nightmares. And Thandie Newton, who stole episode 2 as the brothel madam starting to fray at the seams after years of debauched ‘hosting’.
5. IT’S NOT AS SIMPLE AS BLACK AND WHITE HATS
The line between good and evil disappears along with the customers inhibitions. I have to admit I sympathise more with the robots, treated like rag dolls, used and disposed of on a whim. Yet I find it hard to see their creators as evil. Some of their patrons? Perhaps. Ed Harris has certainly got me wondering…
6. THE QUESTIONS
What date is this futuristic truman show set in? Who is the man in black when outside of the game, and what is the deeper level of Westworld? Why does a Shakespeare quote infect the droids with awareness? What happens to the ‘decommissioned’.
7. THE DEEPER QUESTIONS
What makes a human? Is Dolores – a life-like droid who exhibits passions and will, less human than the men who pay to rape her or woo her? What happens when men play God? will the creations destroy their creators? Should they?