This stunning sci-fi series from The Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan Nolan reimagines the 1973 film Westworld as a futuristic fable. At the titular theme park, guests pay major money to have Wild, Wild West adventures with android “hosts” — and to some visitors, playing cowboy involves virtual rape and mechanical murder. On the premiere episode, head programmer Bernard Lowe (Jeff rey Wright) alerts park founder Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) that the recently recoded robot hosts are acting erratically as they become more lifelike. Our android heroine is rancher’s daughter Dolores ( Evan Rachel Wood), who encounters a gunslinger named Teddy (James Marsden), only to have their romantic reunion interrupted by the arrival of a violent visit from a menacing Man in Black ( Ed Harris), who’s been coming to the park for 30 years. To give away more would be to spoil it, but Westworld’s provocative premise, intriguing ideas and intense action make it HBO’S heir to Game of Thrones.
SUN. 10/ 2, 9 P. M., HBO ★★★★✩