Westworld 2016 Review

What an outstanding television production. In my opinion this is the stand out show of the year. Westworld is one of those unusual programmes that actually surpasses the original in every possible way. I actually rewatched the ‘90s feature film several days ago and the two could not be further apart. While a great original story, there is little sophistication to the original, with most of the screen time spend giving nods to earlier films, especially westerns. I suspect much of this will be wasted on a modern audience.

Anyway, back to the series. Like much of sci-fi, this one is concerned with Artificial Intelligence, specifically the androids, or hosts as they are none in this programme. They are perfect recreations of humans, that are evolving throughout the series. In many ways, the true villains of this show appear to be the humans themselves, who seek to exploit their creations for all manner of narcissistic reasons.

Michael Crichton wrote the original story, and the TV series takes a simple concept and ramps it up to something closer to Caprica in complexity. Where Caprica failed, Westworld takes great leaps. The acting is perfect, from the hosts through to the outstanding work by Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins. At ten episodes long, this feels more like the quality of work we’d expect to find in a trilogy of Hollywood feature films, rather than a TV show.

One last point. The music. Whoever came up with the idea for the score should get award just for that one idea alone. The soundtrack is the equal of the show, and actually is responsible for what I think is the definitive version of Paint it Black.

This, along with Stranger Things gets a firm 5 out of 5 for me. This is the kind of television that puts me off going to the cinema!

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Michael G. Thomas

Michael is a science fiction and horror novelist from Monmouthshire, situated right on the border between England and Wales, and has a substantial background in both advanced computing and ancient history, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence, machine learning and Greek military history. His best-selling space opera Star Crusades series has sold in excess of a quarter of a million copies. This growing saga continues to draw in new fans every month as the Star Crusades universe itself expands. Black Legion is a pseudo historical tale but with a strong science-fiction twist. As well as a writing science fiction, Michael also writes horror and action fiction, including the popular Zombie Dawn trilogy, co-written with his brother, Nick S. Thomas.

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