WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN: 19/6, UK air date 25/6
We’ve just seen the world premiere of the final episode in season 2 of award-winning HBO series Westworld and are joined by its creators, husband and wife Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
- Read on for reasons including no spoilers but clues to where season 3 of Westworld is heading
That final 90-minute episode will be screened on Sunday in the US and the following day on Sky Atlantic in the UK. It’s full of twists and turns and is by far the best of a season which, for us, didn’t quite eclipse the 1st.
Nolan (Memento) is clear about the importance of the issue of artificial intelligence: ‘I’m not really sure why anyone would be writing about anything else.’
He goes on to joke (we hope!): ‘There’s only a few years left to speculate before AI arrives and then they will stop us from writing about it.’
Westworld is based on the 1973 film by Michael Crichton which tells the story of a Wild West playground for humans staffed by robots.
Nolan and wife Lisa Joy were approached by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek and Star Wars), who had been discussing a remake with Crichton for 20 years, about turning it into a TV series.
The award-winning 1st season was shortlisted for a Best TV monsta in 2016 with Thandie Newton, who stars as robot host Maeve on a desperate search for her daughter, also shortlisted as Best TV/Film Actress.
For Joy the second season turns the 1st on its head: love is a theme and Bernard (apparently all-knowing in the 1st season) has lost his memory and in true film noir style is trying to piece it back together as we hurtle towards the series’ conclusion.
Joy says: ‘This series is very much about the emergence of a new life form and what happens. We’ve shifted the lens of our sympathies this season.
‘The Western is seemingly a dead genre and the traditional myth is that people were either good or bad. We were trying not to be so binary or black and white. Everything is different shades of grey and we want to continue that exploration.’
Our host for the evening is Lauren Laverne (pictured right above) who presents Sky Atlantic fan show Westword and suggests the series is the latest example of the puzzle TV genre.
For Joy the 2nd season is an exploration of love in different relationships, including Delores and Teddy, Maeve and her daughter, and Akecheta, with the questions it inspires in him.
Nolan says simply: ‘We wanted to make the kind of show that we would like to watch.’
For Joy part of the pleasure of the process has been observing the way the cast handle what is written. ‘It’s been such a pleasure to see them elevate words on the page, imbue them with such emotion and nuance.’
Such was the confidence in Westworld that work on season 2, which took 16 months to make, started before season 1 aired. Season 3 has already been commissioned.
But we shouldn’t get too comfortable as Nolan cautions: ‘We don’t want to be doing this forever.’