Westworld has been one of the most anticipated shows of the year which, in normal circumstances, would be a remarkable achievement. Certainly, you would never expect a TV show based of a sci-fi film which was released in 1973 to garner the amount of anticipation it had prior to its release on HBO. However, the cast, the people behind the shows inception along with the fantastic trailers which have been released have got fellow nerds like myself super excited to see what Westworld has to offer.
Indeed, when you have a show created by Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher, executive produced by J. J. Abrams and Jerry Weintraub which stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris, it deserves attention. Moreover, it also gives the show a very high level of expectation which has to be delivered upon, especially as HBO probably hopes that Westworld will have enough quality to lessen the blow which will eventually come once Game of Thrones ends.
My Thoughts on Episodes 1-3 of Westworld
I have to say, from the three episodes released so far, the signs are very promising. Westworld has captivated me from the very beginning. Visually, the show is stunning and the acting is absolutely superb, especially from Hopkins and Wright who are brilliant in their roles. The characters in this show are wonderfully introduced in the pilot and, in the following episodes, we delve deeper into their back-stories (even though some never existed in the first place!) and their motives. Yet we still don’t know the whole picture which is fantastic as it hooks us in and builds anticipation for future episodes.
The main reason why the cast give such commanding performances is because the way this show is written gives us an indication that these characters and world have depth. While the pacing will be slow for some, the themes present in Westworld are interwoven in such a way that, for me personally, I never find myself to be bored or not invested in the story and the characters. Indeed, Westworld is an immersive, layered show which draws inspiration from a variety of genres and it touches on very important themes.
These themes range from free will, control, technological progress, the nature of humanity and artificial intelligence. There is so much in play at this stage of the show and it leaves me excited for more. Nevertheless, the one thing which leads to be cautious is that another show, similar in nature to Westworld, left the same impression on me at the start but, in the end, it left me bitterly disappointed.
What was this show?
That show was Battlestar Galactica. This was a show that touched on many of the same themes as Westworld does and, like Westworld, it started brilliantly. Undoubtedly, the mini-series which kicked off Battlestar Galactica and the first episode of its first season was some of the best and most captivating television I had ever seen. However, it never recaptured that level of brilliance, at least on a consistent basis. For me personally, the direction Battlestar Galactica went in became scattered, confused and it ended on so many loose ends that I couldn’t help but feel it was a show which was wasted potential.
I hope Westworld does not go down the same path. There is so much potential which they can build upon as the series progresses. I hope it maintains the standard set by these first three episodes and becomes HBO’s next flagship show for years to come. For now, the show has started off on a very strong note and I highly recommend that you check it out.