Ain't gonna lie - I am a fan of the classic 1973 sci-fi flick Westworld
For those who don't know, it's basically Jurassic Park with robots - which is not surprising since it was written and directed by Michael Crichton.
It features an amusement park with robots where you can do anything you like in complete safety, including gun fights, power fantasies and sexual escapades. Of course there is a glitch which causes the robots to run wild and killing guests all over the place.
The main character is chased by a gunslinger-robot played by Yul Brynner, who portrays a Terminator with a screen presence to rival Ahnuld. So yeah - a great classic
There is also a sequel featuring Peter Fonda - not quite as good, but still worth watching. It's more mystery and paranoia and less action, but it continues and expands upon the story from Westworld in a competent fashion.
So I was very excited to see where HBO was going with their new show. We're talking J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan's brother.... it can't be all bad...
And I gotta say - so far it's looking good
The original Westworld is a very simple movie - MC get chased by killer robot and does his best to survive. That's all there is. So obviously they would have add a lot to the story in order to fill out a full series.
So guess what direction they are going?
Ghost in the friggin Shell!
Seriously! That's totally where they are going in the pilot, as far as I can tell.
In this version of Westworld they recycle the robots in order to create variation, so that repeat visitors won't see the same robot in the same role every time they come by. But then super-genius scientist Anthony Hopkins decides to mess with the programming in order to make the robots more life-like...
... which results in the them starting to "remember" their previous programmings and become self-aware.
Of course they have a gunslinger in black... gotta have one of those or it's not Westword...
... and hot prostitutes...
The main character seems to be a robot-girl rather than a human guest - that's also new, and a great idea. We could use a badass terminatrix...
So yeah - it looks like they are playing the existentialism angle like GitS and question what it mean to be alive, whether an artificial consciousness has rights and so on. That can either be awesome or go down in flames as total melodrama. But I guess we shall see.
So far it's definitely recommended for the advanced geek... I'll keep watching.