Lion of the Blogosphere

Westworld, the first seven episodes

with 11 comments

Don’t read this if you haven’t already watched the first seven episodes, unless you want to have the story with its huge plot twist, ruined for you.

The question in my mind is, why use these potentially useful robots for no purpose other than as actors in a western theme park that only the richest of the rich can afford to visit?

So far, Westworld has revealed very little about the universe outside of the theme park. I use the word “universe” instead of “world” because we don’t even know for sure that the theme park is on the planet Earth.

So let me make some guesses about the world, based on logical assumptions from what little we know, but of course I could be completely wrong because I don’t always expect the people writing the stories for TV series to be logical all of the time.

I imagine a future where automation has put untold people out of work. The people who own the assets, the intellectual property, and the factories, become even richer while the rest of humanity sinks into poverty because there are no jobs for anyone, except for those people who can do something that provides some sort of amusement for the super rich. And that explains why there’s this vast industry of humans* working behind the scenes restoring robots and doing whatever other labor is required to run this theme park that only a very small number of the richest of the rich could ever afford to visit.

Yes, I put an asterisk next to “humans” because in episode seven we learn that at least one of the characters we thought was human is actually not human. However, all evidence points to, at most, only a handful of robots masquerading as human employees.

Back in the real world, I imagine that when technology was on the verge of being able to create robots indistinguishable from humans, laws were passed to make that illegal. Maybe people were worried about the few last remaining jobs being taken over by robots, or maybe they were worried about the robots taking over everything and killing all of the humans. One company was given a charter to create the most advanced robots that are indistinguishable from humans, but under the restriction that the robots had to be sequestered in a theme park. That Westworld might be on another planet then makes perfect sense, because if the robots got loose and took over, at least they’d be stuck on whatever planet they are on and would be no threat to the rest of humanity.

And with that background, as imagined as it is, we now understand what the board of the corporation really wants, which is to be allowed to sell robots to anyone who wants to buy one, for use as personal servants, factory workers, sex slaves, or whatever. That surely has to be a hundred times more profitable than running a robot theme park, if not thousands of times more profitable.

Ford, on the other hand, appears to be only interested in running a theme park. And he’s a little bit flakey in that endeavor, as it’s more interesting to him for its own sake rather than the practicalities of selling the experience to super-rich guests for a profit. No wonder why the board wants him removed.

Flakey, but evil.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 13, 2016 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Television

11 Responses

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  1. Dr. Ford is one sick fuck

    Otis the Sweaty

    November 14, 2016 at 3:55 am

  2. The series is based on plot from a movie that’s more than 40 years old — i.e., a time when the idea of cheap robots and cheap automation was hard to imagine, unless set in the very far future, but it was set in the near future. The scenario of a robotic amusement park only open to the very rich makes sense from that early 1970s point of view, as does the idea of there bring an army of blue collar workers to do the routine maintenance.

    Changing all this while keeping the spirit of the original would be hard work.

    Peregrino Nuzkwamia

    November 14, 2016 at 5:13 am

  3. Have you seen the sequal to the original, Futureworld? Its worth a watch…

    Notmyname

    November 14, 2016 at 11:20 am

    • Actually, the original is also worth watching. It has a few parts that almost certainly influenced later sci-fi movies. But Futureworld not only has the workers-turn-out-to-be-robots subplot, but an even deeper twist at the end which I can’t help thinking about as I watch the HBO version.

      Notmyname

      November 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

  4. I imagine a future where automation has put untold people out of work.

    One of the biggest problems with the show is that the human world is so completely unconvincing, from the people that work there to the way the robots are made to the architecture. And it doesn’t say much about the world outside of the park but what it does seem to imply that this is the only park like this anywhere and the only place with this level of technology which is completely insane and unrealistic (times a million if the fan theory that the young blonde from it’s always sunny in Philadelphia and ed harris are the same person at different times in the park is true).

    Magnavox

    November 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm

  5. If Westworld takes place on another planet then it would be Mars. Either Mars is terraformed, which means the show takes place centuries in the future, or there is a giant dome surrounding the park which means a timeframe of a century in the future(just guessing).
    If Westworld takes place on another planet then humans have FTL and the overcrowding problem does not exist. Those people who could not survive on Earth could become colonists on another world. This theory is unlikely.
    Westworld probably takes place 50 years into the future on Earth. Ed Harris is probably the same person as the McPoyle brother(the timid blond man). Ford does not want his machines getting out into the real world because he knows people will use them to do what he does. Murder and control. Ford is content to exist in his fantasy world in total control doing his research.

    NotWesley

    November 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

  6. Ever get the feeling that nobody ever watches the original material for these remakes? Apparently, WESTWORLD isn’t a cool Old West Town for gunplay and being your favorite John Wayne or Clint Eastwood wannabe. Its just a robot sex theme park. Its like Jurassic Park for Robot Sex. Not that that is necessarily bad, per se. Only, would you want to have robot sex in a one horse cattle town with no utilities or modern conveniences? This sounds like the worst clubbing spot ever for pulling pussy. Having Anthony Hopkins playing the old grizzled theme park owner is sad too. What the Hell happened to his career?

    Joshua Sinistar

    November 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    • Hopkins may have a health problem. Every actor considered an irreplaceable part of a movie has to be covered by the production insurance. If Hopkins has an issue that could kill him suddenly then he couldn’t get insured and couldn’t take big roles.

      Or it could be much simpler. Maybe he’s decided that he’s sick of travel and will only take a role if they can pick him up at home and drive him to the set each day. Westworld does a lot of filming around LA.

      Thagomizer

      November 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    • Hopkins is just too old to have dominant roles any more. He can’t play a love interest and he’s too frail to play convincing murderers or villains. People talk about actresses hitting a career wall the closer they get to 40, but even male actors can’t ultimately escape the constraints of time and aging.

      Richard

      November 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

  7. I watched one or two episodes and quit. There was too much P.C. and feminism in it for me to stay. Also, I could tell they were going to take forever to spin out the “big reveal” whatever it was and nothing they came up with was going to be a big surprise to me.

    CamelCaseRob

    November 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

  8. it’s a really good show. i saw the bernard thing coming when ford had lunch with the danish executive. in the pilot i assumed at least one human worker was a robot. i’m now convinced felix, and the other “butchers” are robots.

    also, i don’t agree with the will is the man-in-black theory. it makes more sense if logan is the man-in-black (already rich, “evil,” and he is wearing black.


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