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-   -   Westworld - premieres Sunday (show spoilers as airs) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=806170)

Mahaloth 10-01-2016 04:12 PM

Westworld - premieres Sunday (show spoilers as airs)
 
I have zero thoughts regarding this show, but I know the buzz is pretty big. HBO is looking for their next Game of Thrones. Is this it?

I may actually choose to wait a few episodes to join in the fun.

Is anyone looking forward to it?

Fiveyearlurker 10-01-2016 04:41 PM

Looks very much up my alley. I think there were some development issues that have made me nervous, but the early reviews are quite good.

Banquet Bear 10-01-2016 04:53 PM

...I'm not going to be watching because its the "next game of thrones" as I don't like Game of Thrones. I'm in because its being co-created by Jonathan Nolan who was behind "Person of Interest": a TV programme that started out as a bog-standard crime procedural and turned into something else entirely. Spoilers for Person of Interest:

SPOILER:
Ultimately Person of Interest was a TV series about the birth of the worlds first artificial intelligence. Over the course of five years we watch the "machine" from birth, to death, and then to new life. It matures, it protects itself, it grow a conscious, it defy's and protects its creator. Its brilliant.


So I'm in. Watching a show by your favourite show-runner is like reading a book by your favourite author.

Mahaloth 10-01-2016 07:17 PM

I think by next Game of Thrones, they mean the next big thing on TV, not that it is similar.

Elendil's Heir 10-01-2016 08:08 PM

http://www.hbo.com/westworld

Saw the HBO trailers and it looks good. I barely remember the original movie with Yul Brynner as the gunslinger. Looks like they're going with cloning/genetic engineering rather than robotics this time. I'll definitely be tuning in.

cochrane 10-01-2016 08:09 PM

I love how the series is being produced by J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot productions. :D

Terminus Est 10-01-2016 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Banquet Bear (Post 19669070)
...I'm not going to be watching because its the "next game of thrones" as I don't like Game of Thrones. I'm in because its being co-created by Jonathan Nolan who was behind "Person of Interest": a TV programme that started out as a bog-standard crime procedural and turned into something else entirely. Spoilers for Person of Interest:

SPOILER:
Ultimately Person of Interest was a TV series about the birth of the worlds first artificial intelligence. Over the course of five years we watch the "machine" from birth, to death, and then to new life. It matures, it protects itself, it grow a conscious, it defy's and protects its creator. Its brilliant.


So I'm in. Watching a show by your favourite show-runner is like reading a book by your favourite author.

I had no idea Jonathan Nolan is behind this. I'm in.

BlackKnight 10-01-2016 10:22 PM

I'm on board the hype train. Choo choo!

I've never seen the movie and have only a vague idea of what it's all about. But given the people involved and the overall tone of the teasers I've got high hopes for this show.

Tamerlane 10-01-2016 10:34 PM

The early reviews have been pretty good. I'm kinda stoked about this one.

Qadgop the Mercotan 10-02-2016 08:53 AM

Having been fascinated by the original when it first came out, I'm in.

E-DUB 10-02-2016 11:26 AM

Strange as it may seem this SF fan has never seen the original. I might give this a try but I'm watching too much TV as it is.

Elendil's Heir 10-02-2016 02:53 PM

Here's the trailer to the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjyOfTEeNHA

CalMeacham 10-02-2016 04:28 PM

I was never a big fan of the original (before the LSC ran the film at MIT, they preceded it with a slide giving Asimov's Laws of Robotics, which sums up many of my objections. Even if you ain't got the Three Laws, you're an idiot if you don't have an "off" switch). Crichton later used the same basic plot for Jurassic Park, showing that he doesn't think engineers can properly build in safety factors. So I'm not over-excited about this. But I'll probably watch, out of curiosity.




One nice thing about Westworld (and its forgettable sequel, Futureworld) is that it gave us another look at Yul Brynner as a kick-ass gunfighter. Whenever Brynner played a western gunman, he wore a black shirt. He did it first in [I[The Magnificent Seven[/I] and then in Catlow before donning the Black Shirt in Westworld and Futureworld. I'll bet we don't get a blackshirted gunslinger robot (or clone or whatever) in this incarnation.

Qadgop the Mercotan 10-02-2016 09:30 PM

Well, I was intrigued by the first episode enough to plan on watching it next week.

Sam Lowry 10-02-2016 09:33 PM

Anyone else watch? I really liked it, but it looks like from the previews things get crazier as the season goes on and it could be really fun.

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-DUB (Post 19670274)
Strange as it may seem this SF fan has never seen the original. I might give this a try but I'm watching too much TV as it is.

I've seen the original and it's fun but not essential. Yul Brynner is great as the killer unstoppable cowboy robot, there's definitely some Terminator shades in him, but other than that the movie doesn't have a whole lot. It looks like the TV show has nicely expanded both the rules of the theme park and doing a whole lot more about artificial intelligence and identity, just as you would expect from the creator of Person of Interest.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 19670836)
One nice thing about Westworld (and its forgettable sequel, Futureworld) is that it gave us another look at Yul Brynner as a kick-ass gunfighter. Whenever Brynner played a western gunman, he wore a black shirt. He did it first in [I[The Magnificent Seven[/I] and then in Catlow before donning the Black Shirt in Westworld and Futureworld. I'll bet we don't get a blackshirted gunslinger robot (or clone or whatever) in this incarnation.

Looks like there's not a straight match with the movie, because there was a blackshirted gunslinger robot in the Hector outlaw host, but it looks like the more main villainous type will be the Ed Harris character. I have a theory about him that I'll put in a spoiler box since it's partly from what I've read about the show and hasn't been in the show so far:

SPOILER:
I'm guessing Ed Harris is Anthony Hopkins old partner. I'd read something about how Hopkins started the theme park with someone else and the partner was pushed out. Maybe Hopkins was too compassionate to them and Harris enjoyed treating them like toys. It would explain why he's trying to find the game within the game.

John Mace 10-02-2016 10:34 PM

I'm on the west coast, so I'm still about half an hour away. Very much looking forward to this. The 9PM Sunday spot is pretty empty right now, so I'm hoping this is good. Still several weeks to go before The Waling Dead.

Elendil's Heir 10-02-2016 11:11 PM

Saw it and liked it a lot. Great cast and it looks like no expense was spared in filming it. I liked the different iterations of Dolores's day. The show was an interesting mix of suspense, terror and pathos - I'll keep watching.

Terminus Est 10-02-2016 11:40 PM

Did anyone catch what was playing on the player piano? It wasn't playing old-timey western saloon music but rather modern tunes. I didn't get clued in until the last song, when it was playing "Black Hole Sun". (The background music to the big gunfight was "Paint It Black", but that wasn't on the player piano.)

aldiboronti 10-03-2016 06:11 AM

Excellent show. I'm sure Michael Crichton would have been delighted if he could have seen the new version of his creation. The acting, especially the leads, is top-notch and ditto for the direction, camerawork, etc. Another fine show from HBO and I'll definitely be back for more.

Sam Lowry 10-03-2016 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terminus Est (Post 19671572)
Did anyone catch what was playing on the player piano? It wasn't playing old-timey western saloon music but rather modern tunes. I didn't get clued in until the last song, when it was playing "Black Hole Sun". (The background music to the big gunfight was "Paint It Black", but that wasn't on the player piano.)

I noticed Black Hole Sun and Paint it Black, I didn't notice the music before that. Black Hole Sun made me wonder how far in the future this is set. I didn't know if the expected response from visitors is "oh listen honey it's playing Black Hole Sun," or if this is far enough in the future that it's just some song that most people don't know. They obviously aren't going for total accuracy, the place is like Western movies and not actually like the real old west, but I didn't know if deliberate obvious anachronisms would be inserted like that.

Dewey Finn 10-03-2016 07:50 AM

Perhaps it's far enough in the future that they don't recognize the anachronism?

Tapiotar 10-03-2016 07:57 AM

I liked it a lot...the acting, the scenery, the horrors subtle and not, the various themes and subtext --what is the creator's responsibility towards it's creation? What happens when your creation starts to develop real sentience and free will? Questions considered in PofI, but this setting for considering these questions appeals to me more.

Skammer 10-03-2016 08:23 AM

Agree with the comments above; I thought it was excellent. Really looking forward to where this goes.

The only sour note for me was Ed Harris' character. I love Ed Harris, but I hope they develop him beyond violent sociopath.

Oh and I loved the scene of the guests laughing and posing for pictures in front of the outlaw-host they killed, while dozens of other hosts lie dead and dying in the street. Very chilling. Or was it, if the hosts are just machines who are only simulating distress?

Looking forward to more episodes.

Personal 10-03-2016 08:33 AM

The trailer that I saw contained one or two sex scenes that looked somewhat explicit. Does the sex fit in add to the show? I saw the movie a long time ago but don't remember much.

Dewey Finn 10-03-2016 08:38 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the orgy scene was in this first episode. But what was suggested was that the creators of this world developed various scenarios the guests could go through, including more innocuous ones (perhaps something like a cattle drive) but people gravitated towards the violent or sexual stuff.

Sam Lowry 10-03-2016 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skammer (Post 19672000)
Oh and I loved the scene of the guests laughing and posing for pictures in front of the outlaw-host they killed, while dozens of other hosts lie dead and dying in the street. Very chilling. Or was it, if the hosts are just machines who are only simulating distress?

I thought it was interesting when the British script guy and the more senior woman (I don't remember what her role is other than something of importance) were out on the balcony discussing on how the hosts should be upgraded and how lifelike they should be. Should they be perfectly real and indistinguishable from humans, or very close but still obviously not human so it makes it easier and more fun to use them as needed. I'd guess that different visitors have different opinions, with some wanting it as close to real as possible, including the cries of distress. I'm guessing the show will go a lot more into that as it goes along, especially since none of the visitors so far have been major characters.

Also, I have tons of questions on how the park works, including the costs, how big the place is, what else the technology is used for, how do they ensure that guests don't mistakenly kill other guests, what they do for programming so that the hosts don't even hear the visitors talk about them being robots, and plenty of other questions. None of these are plotholes, just things I'm curious about and I'm sure that at least some of them will be answered in the episodes coming up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 19672030)
Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the orgy scene was in this first episode. But what was suggested was that the creators of this world developed various scenarios the guests could go through, including more innocuous ones (perhaps something like a cattle drive) but people gravitated towards the violent or sexual stuff.

Right, there was nudity but no explicit sex scenes so far, just some guys partying with girls at a cabin, or other guys taking prostitutes out of the frame. There's obviously some innocent scenarios, since there was a couple with a kid who met Dolores. I think in the next episode we see a visitor come to the park and I'm guessing we'll hear more about how it works and what he can do and will be told about the different scenarios. I'm imaging that the explicit sex scenes will fit in the show because it does fit thematically, but can't be sure since they haven't shown that yet.

Dewey Finn 10-03-2016 08:51 AM

I'm kind of curious what other "worlds" these people have created. Perhaps there is one where you're a swordsman in a medieval city or another set in Ancient Rome?

John Mace 10-03-2016 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Lowry (Post 19671931)
...They obviously aren't going for total accuracy, the place is like Western movies and not actually like the real old west...

isn't that on purpose?

ISiddiqui 10-03-2016 09:06 AM

Fantastic pilot! Just drew me right in. There were some amazing visuals and the world they've created (no pun intended) is just fascinating to me. I can't wait to see where they take this. And I'm so glad to see good big budget sci-fi on a major channel like HBO.

Sam Lowry 10-03-2016 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 19672058)
I'm kind of curious what other "worlds" these people have created. Perhaps there is one where you're a swordsman in a medieval city or another set in Ancient Rome?

The movie had Medieval World and Roman World, I could see the show also having those. Or maybe even go more extreme, with a Warzone world where you can actually go kill some terrorists or something like that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Mace (Post 19672059)
isn't that on purpose?

Obviously, since no one would want to visit an actual accurate Westworld, other than some history nerds who likely wouldn't have the money to visit. But even if they're not going for total accuracy, I was wondering if the anachronism of Black Hole Sun was something that would be obvious to the visitors or is just obvious to us. I'm guessing there will be more discussions in the staff on how accurate to make things. Like where do the visitors go to use the restroom? Do they have to use outhouses and chamber pots, or are there modern restrooms that the hosts just don't see? Not the point of the show and I'm sure there won't be huge amounts of time devoted to all the details like that, it just makes me curious.

ISiddiqui 10-03-2016 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skammer (Post 19672000)
The only sour note for me was Ed Harris' character. I love Ed Harris, but I hope they develop him beyond violent sociopath.

I'm pretty sure they will. He's obviously looking for something. And there is apparently lot of speculation as to whether he's guest or host (the best theory for him being a host I've heard is that Ford programmed him as a super-host to aid in robot evolution; the best theory for him I've read in general is that he's a former employee, maybe even an early partner of Ford's, who is pissed at the company).

Blank Slate 10-03-2016 09:20 AM

According to IMDB, in the film, Yul Brenner's character was called The Gunslinger. In the new show, Ed Harris plays The Man in Black. I guess all things really do serve the Beam.

ISiddiqui 10-03-2016 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Lowry (Post 19672112)
Obviously, since no one would want to visit an actual accurate Westworld, other than some history nerds who likely wouldn't have the money to visit. But even if they're not going for total accuracy, I was wondering if the anachronism of Black Hole Sun was something that would be obvious to the visitors or is just obvious to us.

Yeah, I guess it depends on how far into the future the world is set. If it's 500 years in the future, the folks in that world likely wouldn't realize that Black Hole Sun was 200 years after the events they are portraying. If it's supposed to be 50 years from now, it may be a purposeful anachronism to remind guests that this is a fake world (remembering the conversation held by the two employees on the top of the HQ).

Yodalicious 10-03-2016 09:38 AM

I loved it, and can't wait for the rest of the season. It looked great. It sounded great. The Ed Harris/James Marsden twist 15 minutes in totally got me. Loved the old-timey western versions of Black Hole Sun and Painted Black. I'll have to watch it again to see if there were any other popular tunes I missed.

Early on, Jeffrey Wright's character says something like, "There hasn't been a glitch this bad in over 30 years." I wonder if he's referring to the events of the movie? I think Ed Harris said he's been coming to the park for 30 years.

My guess is that we'll find out Delos deactivated Roman World and Medieval World, and rebuilt a bigger, better, safer(?) Westworld.

Just Asking Questions 10-03-2016 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ISiddiqui (Post 19672129)
.... Black Hole Sun was 200 years after the events they are portraying.

Not sure I agree with you math there, Lou. :) ~1880s to 1994 is 110 years.

I haven't seen the show, but the original movie makes it clear that the robots are for sexin' and killin'. The two primal instincts.

Watching the original with 21st century sensibilities makes me wonder how society should be different that it was shown in the movie. if you have robots that can simulate sex well enough that people would prefer it, that is very advanced tech. The skin, the temperature, the movement all have to be right. (I mean yes they are guys who will fuck a hole in a tree, but they aren't paying Westworld prices!). If you can make believable sexbots, the same tech can be used to make artificial limbs and organs. And a computer sophisticated enough to pass for human responses and fit inside a robot body would revolutionize every facet of life, from self-driving cars to Star Trek-like pdas.

Dewey Finn 10-03-2016 10:17 AM

First of all it's not 1994 in the show but sometime in the future. Second, someone in the show said that all disease had been cured. Westworld basically represents a release for rich, bored people who have nothing to worry about.

Boyo Jim 10-03-2016 11:25 AM

Can anyone tell me how this is supposed to work as a weekly series?

I mean, I saw and really liked the original movie, but eventually the larger world notices all the ... dying of actual people. Do they bring in another bunch of tourists and have them killed weekly? Is there one group of tourists that are followed for multiple episodes whose numbers are thinned down by attrition? Do they have to join in some defensive coalition to stay alive?

Just wondering about the general plot development over time.

Sam Lowry 10-03-2016 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boyo Jim (Post 19672481)
Can anyone tell me how this is supposed to work as a weekly series?

I mean, I saw and really liked the original movie, but eventually the larger world notices all the ... dying of actual people. Do they bring in another bunch of tourists and have them killed weekly? Is there one group of tourists that are followed for multiple episodes whose numbers are thinned down by attrition? Do they have to join in some defensive coalition to stay alive?

Just wondering about the general plot development over time.

No tourists have died in the series. There were plenty of deaths, but only of the robots who can be brought back. The only permanent death was of a fly. Some robots were acting glitchy, but more like they were having a stroke or acting erratic, none of them turned on the tourists. Eventually as more problems develop with the robots there might be a tourist who dies, but it's not like the movie where there was a huge massacre. The series has taken the idea of the theme park and greatly expanded on it and the ideas inherent in it, it's not just a killer robot after the rich visitors.

troub 10-03-2016 11:35 AM

Black Hole Sun, etc., hard as it is to believe, is firmly "classic rock" now. Literally the same temporal distance (~20ish years) from teenagers today as the classic Led Zep and Pink Floyd albums were when I was a teenager. Even though their technology looks like magic, so would our current tech to people 40 years ago. I would say there's no reason to believe this needs to be 500 years in the future. Probably more like 50. Could even be 30 or 40. The middle-aged rich folks visiting that park would be teenagers now; a lot of them would certainly have some recognition of the classic rock tunes on the piano. It would probably at least sound somewhat familiar even to those who couldn't name the tune.

I liked it, but some of the dialog seemed a bit clunky and too obvious, either explanations of things that were just a little too clear and deliberate to feel like a real conversation between two people familiar with the tech already, or attempts at "foreshadowing" like "you don't have kids, do you? Then you would know they always rebel" that rather than flow by as a natural part of the dialog that plants a seed about future danger, instead just hung in the air and fell flat on the pavement with a dull thud. Yeah, we know, it's a show about a robot theme park. Anyone who's ever read anything, watched anything, or visited Itchy & Scratchy Land knows rebellion's part of the deal.

Anyway, I usually chalk up clunky exposition aimed at idiots to being just something that commonly afflicts pilot episodes. Hopefully if the show has points to make about what it means to be human and the nature of consciousness or the soul, we don't have to listen to the scientists converse explicitly about what it means to be human and the nature of consciousness.

troub 10-03-2016 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Lowry (Post 19672503)
The only permanent death was of a fly.

Oh, and I did like that. Though the guy talking about the glitchy sherriff (?) saying "he didn't/wouldn't/couldn't hurt a guest, he literally couldn't hurt a fly" almost ruins it.

DrDeth 10-03-2016 12:06 PM

Looks interesting but not enuf to spend extra $$ on. I havent done HBO in about a year.

Just Asking Questions 10-03-2016 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 19672305)
First of all it's not 1994 in the show but sometime in the future.

No, "Black Hole Sun" was 100 years "after the events they are portraying", not 200.

Who knows what year it is in the show. Could be 200, 500 years after the 1880s.

Tangent 10-03-2016 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daddypants (Post 19672191)
Early on, Jeffrey Wright's character says something like, "There hasn't been a glitch this bad in over 30 years." I wonder if he's referring to the events of the movie? I think Ed Harris said he's been coming to the park for 30 years.

My guess is that we'll find out Delos deactivated Roman World and Medieval World, and rebuilt a bigger, better, safer(?) Westworld.

When the security team goes to the basement and walk out into that big room, isn't that one of the places from the movie?

Dewey Finn 10-03-2016 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions (Post 19672645)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 19672305)
First of all it's not 1994 in the show but sometime in the future.

No, "Black Hole Sun" was 100 years "after the events they are portraying", not 200.

Who knows what year it is in the show. Could be 200, 500 years after the 1880s.

Sorry. Yes, you're right. I misinterpreted the post I replied to.

McDeath_the_Mad 10-03-2016 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tangent (Post 19672736)
When the security team goes to the basement and walk out into that big room, isn't that one of the places from the movie?

I'm not sure (I never saw the movie), but that place reminded me of a empty shopping mall. I just watched an episode of "Abandoned" on Vice where they went to a bunch of closed down malls in Ohio and that's what the "basement" reminded me of.

MtM

Elendil's Heir 10-03-2016 03:40 PM

There's a similar abandoned mall in the book and movie Gone Girl - an American consumer playground gone dark and creepy.

The security team goes to the lower levels armed and ready - sounds like the hosts have turned violent before.

As to purposeful anachronisms, the Anthony Hopkins character says he included some Gertrude Stein in one host's speech program, even though he knew it was wrong for the 1880s Wild West.

Bryan Ekers 10-03-2016 03:58 PM

The lack of piles of horse manure in the streets is a major giveaway, I reckon.

troub 10-03-2016 04:00 PM

Well, that's just corroboration that most people don't really want a completely accurate simulation.

Ellis Dee 10-03-2016 04:25 PM

I thought it was good and interesting, and I'll watch anything with Evan Rachel Wood, but it wasn't an immediate "Holy shit this is awesome!" experience like the first episode of Game of Thrones. Perhaps that's too high a bar, but all the hype had me hoping for something on that level.

Tapiotar 10-03-2016 04:29 PM

[QUOTE=Elendil's Heir;19673219
As to purposeful anachronisms, the Anthony Hopkins character says he included some Gertrude Stein in one host's speech program, even though he knew it was wrong for the 1880s Wild West.[/QUOTE]

That was not for the Wild West use of the android -- those were fragments retained from its previous use in other settings. The only one I remember right now was in some horror show (when it ranted about vengeance.)


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