Series Updates Cult Classic Story

Aleksandra Markovic, staff writer

HBO’s release of the sci-fi TV series Westworld in 2016 has provided a new binge-watching opportunity for sci-fy and fantasy fans.

The first episode premiered on October 2 and began a 10-episode 1st season with viewership that topped even the 2.52 million of the Game of Thrones series. With more than 12 million viewers, according to the National Post website, Westworld holds the title of most-watched first season for an HBO original series.

Westworld is based on its namesake, the 1973 cult classic movie. The original movie was written and directed by American novelist Michael Crichton, famous for Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. The movie also had a sequel in 1976 called Futureworld.

Westworld is the second TV series made based on the movie. The first one was in 1980, called Beyond Westworld that continued the story line of the movie series.

The story of Westworld takes place in a futuristic wild west-themed amusement park populated by androids called hosts who are controlled by the employees from the Westworld company.

The park is intended for rich guests who are entertained by the robotic hosts. Guests are invincible once they enter Westworld, so they have complete liberty over hosts, who get their memories erased and bodies fixed when a day in the park ends.

Creators of Westworld, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, chose a cast full of talented actors, including Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins, known for his roles in The Silence of the Lambs and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Hopkins plays the founder and creative director of Westworld, Dr. Robert Ford.

The main characters are portrayed by Evan Rachel Wood as one of the oldest hosts Dolores Abernathy, actress Thandie Newton as a madam host Maeve Millay, actor James Marsden as a gunfighter host Teddy Flood, actor Ed Harris as a veteran guest and actor Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe, creator of hosts and head of programming.

Human psychology is brutally portrayed with sadistic guests who are ruthless towards hosts, seeking everything from murder to true love. The cruel destinies of hosts draw audiences in because the androids completely resemble humans and are unconscious that they are made using artificial intelligence. 

The dystopian theme of Westworld isn’t at all new, but remains intriguing. With new and upcoming advances in medicine and technology, an amusement park like Westworld isn’t as strange as it was back in the 70s.

People are interested in these scenarios because they might wonder what they would do if they were guests of Westworld. Would it be an innocent, fun filled vacation or a blood-soaked nightmare?  Watch this new series to find out.