Thursday, September 15, 2016

Will “Westworld” Tide Us Over Until “Black Sails”?

I’ve written a lot about the TV wasteland we’ve lived in since the season finale of Game of Thrones. Seriously, an entire summer has gone by and what have we had? The Olympics? (Okay, we did have The Night Of, which was awesome, but not the right genre for this blog).

So, on October 2nd, HBO will finally give us Westworld. The drama is based on a 1973 movie written by Michael Crichton, the world-class author who gave us Jurassic Park, Sphere, The Andromeda Strain, and so many other great stories. I remember seeing the 1973 film on TV (sometime after 1973, but not too much after), and I loved it, even though I found it scary. Some of the scenes, such as Yul Brenner as the gunslinger stalking his prey, are still burned in my mind. (Maybe my parents shouldn’t have let me see it; I bet I was about 8 or 9.)

The premise is similar to Jurassic Park. In fact, I think this was Crichton’s warm up to his most famous novel. It involves an adult amusement park where customers can live out their fantasies in settings such as the Wild West or the Middle Ages. The park’s inhabitants are all androids that appear entirely human. But when something goes wrong – just like in Jurassic Park – the androids get lethal and all hell breaks loose.

My major criticism of the film adaptation of Jurassic Park is that Steven Spielberg turned the book's villain, John Hammond, into a kindly, doddering old man. This eliminated the story’s antagonist and really screwed it up, in my opinion. Based on HBO’s trailer for Westworld, however, it looks like Anthony Hopkins is well prepared to play the role Crichton intended. The trailer looks amazing, and I’m looking very forward to ending this TV drought.

Black Sails won’t return until January, and Game of Thrones is postponed until the summer of 2017. So let’s take what we’ve got and enjoy some Westworld!

* Image courtesy of HBO


Jason Cannava said...

Hey Joe, You should check out Stranger Things on Netflix which has been out for a while. It is a pretty fun 80's sci-fi throwback with some 80's actors (Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine)

Joseph Finley said...

Jason, thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I'll check it out. That will give me two shows to watch until Black Sails.

Benjamin Thomas said...

Hi Joseph,

I would also highly recommend "The Last Kingdom" if you haven't seen it already. Based on the Bernard Cornwell books of course. I just saw the final episode of Season 1 on Netflix today and it is an awesome historical fiction series!

Joseph Finley said...

Benjamin, thanks. I loved The Last Kingdom. I binge watched the entire series during my recovery from knee surgery. I did struggle with they way they short circuited the book in the first episode, but really enjoyed it after that. I'm looking forward to the next season, but I don't think it has a release date.