Friday, September 30, 2016

Waiting for ....WESTWORLD

Every so often a series comes along that sucks in the air around it, depriving other shows of oxygen. I can still recall all those simple black and white massive posters saying ‘Who killed Laura Palmer’ to showcase a new series. Damn weird the series was too - didn't get great early reviews – but boy did I, and many others adore it. It was called ‘Twin Peaks’.

Westworld (and let's admit ..what a cool title) is a much-anticipated HBO series, coming to SoHo on SKY, and also streaming on NEON. It is set at the advent of artificial consciousness. A theme park where you play out whatever fantasies you like. Think of an ecosystem where every, and any human appetite may be indulged. That fantasy might be noble, it might be depraved.

Westworld is based on the original 1973 movie of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton (the man who brought us the sci-fi classic ‘The Andromeda Strain’) but it is sure going to be exciting to see where Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Westworld takes us (Nolan co-wrote Interstellar and helped his brother out on Memento and the Batman films), and Joy is working on the big screen Battlestar Galactica). And did I mention that it is exec produced by J.J. Abrams?

Throw a fab cast into to the 10 EP series like Anthony Hopkins (he plays Dr Robert Ford, the park mastermind with an eye on everything) Ed Harris (The Gunslinger and long-term resident of the theme park, Thandie Newton (The brothel’s Madame Maeve Millay). and Evan Rachel Wood (playing a "host" called Dolores Abernathy working in Westworld,) and you have something serious going on here. The question is whether it has the script and plot power to be another Game of Thrones.

When futurism and science fiction meet on the visual screen the results can be terrifyingly stunning (Lost, Humans, Blade Runner). Of course they can also be terrifyingly shit (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century). But from the rumours, it seems there is little doubt that Westworld is set to impress. And it is set to ask questions that to be sure are pertinent to the future; to what capacity will robots interact in our lives, and to what degree will they be imbued with intelligence. Already deep concerns for the public - in the military arena developing robot systems for warfare are already underway (If a robot kills a human, is anyone at fault, is one thorny area)  

I’ll be seeing the first episode mighty soon, so I will let you know. See the trailer on the SoHo site.

Oh yes, and the first episode of Westworld premieres on SoHo on SKY at 2pm Monday October 3rd and again at 8.30 pm. It will be available to stream on NEON once it has aired on SoHo. 

 Thandie Newton

 Ed Harris 

 Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Wright 

 Original poster from the 1973 Westworld

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