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A Theme Park of Indulgence

By Yian Lu  /  03 Oct 2016 (Monday)
If you have all the money in the world, would you visit this theme park where you can satisfy all your desires and fantasies? As co-creator Jonathan Nolan puts it, “Would you discover things about yourself that you didn’t want to know?” Based on the 1973 science fiction thriller film of the same name, HBO’s new TV series Westworld is bound to give you a memorable, thought-provoking vacation.

A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin, Westworld explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. The brand-new one-hour drama stars an ensemble cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden.

Dr. Robert Ford, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins

Dr. Robert Ford is the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and founder of Westworld, who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park. In this theme park, ‘hosts’ or the lifelike artificial intelligence characters are planted, each with a role to play according to a script.

Man in Black, portrayed by Ed Harris

The Man in Black is the distillation of pure villainy into one man. In a particular scene in the first episode, it is made clear that the visitors of the park can “kill” the hosts, but the latter cannot harm the former. More specifically, the visitors will not die in Westworld.

Dolores Abernathy, portrayed by Evan Rachel Wood

Also the longest-serving host in Westworld, Dolores Abernathy is a provincial, beautiful and kind rancher’s daughter, who begins to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie. While it seems that she understands the world is a cruel place, she chooses to see the beauty in it. But as she uncovers the fact that she is “not real”, will she still go about every day greeting her dad in the morning, running errands in the town and promising to be home before dark?

Teddy Flood, portrayed by James Marsden

Scripted to cross paths with Dolores, Teddy Flood is a new arrival to a small frontier town, who quickly proves both his charm and talent with a revolver.

Using techniques almost like 3D printing, hosts are born.

“We also wanted to explore what it means to be human from the outside in – through the eyes of the ‘hosts’: the lifelike AI characters that are the main attractions of the park. It’s a meditation on consciousness – the blessing and the burden of it – beautifully portrayed by our remarkable cast.”
- Co-creator Lisa Joy

With its premiere today, Oct 3, at 9am, exclusively on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601), and same day primetime encore at 9pm, ten-episode Westworld is also available on HBO on Demand (StarHub Ch 602 / StarHub Go).
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