The series premiere of Westworld raised a ton of questions. But a futuristic sci-fi western series about a robot cowboy rebellion in a debaucherous theme park will do that. I mean, I guess. This is the first futuristic sci-fi western series about a robot cowboy rebellion in a debaucherous theme park I’ve ever watched. If the first episode of Westworld is indicative of the sub-genre, though, it turns out I’m a fan. Who knew?
While many of the questions have to do with what is happening at the corporate level (examples include “What is the bigger picture that Theresa was discussing while dressing down a subordinate between drags off her cigarette?,” “What’s up with the puppetmaster played by Anthony Hopkins?,” and “Do they assign robot horses to the robots and real horses to the people, or is it all robot horses, or what?”), the biggest question for me related to Ed Harris’ character, The Man in Black. Specifically, my question is… What is his deal?
Some people who are familiar with the 1973 film the series is based on think that the character could be modeled after The Gunslinger (played by Yul Brynner), a robot that goes berserk and starts killing humans in the park. Through one episode (no, you’re jumping the gun), this appears to be reversed, with The Man in Black being a human who has been coming to the park for 30 years to live out his most violent fantasies against the park’s A.I. hosts. And that’s extremely interesting.