TV Club: Westworld examines the ghost in the machines

Most of the time, we’re rooting for the robots. Oh, there are exceptions: your Terminators, your Brainiacs, your Eves of Destruction. But putting aside the obviously homicidal, most stories a featuring pre-fabricated humans encourage us to have at least a little sympathy for the machine. In the original Westworld, Michael Crichton’s daffy, grim, surprisingly endearing 1973 thriller, we were rooting for the guests; men and women who paid good money to indulge their role-playing fantasies in a park populated by supposedly automatons designed to gratify their every whim. As always with Crichton, there was some critique of man’s hubris (the scientists in charge of the park die when the automatic door for the control room seals them into an airless room), but by the time Richard Benjamin is running away from a seemingly unstoppable Yul Brenner (“Draw! Draw! Draw!”) it’s clear where one’s loyalties were …

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