HBO sci-fi series Westworld continues to baffle and bamboozle us week after week, so it’s nice to spot one secret in the latest episode that ISN’T the key to a complex interpretation of bicameral mind theory or a meta-commentary on narrative forms as represented by a maze of the self.
We are of course talking about the scene in episode six where Jeffrey Lowe’s Bernard goes into an older section of the Westworld facility with a futuristic triple flashlight to dig out some old files, only to spot a familiar face…
Well, a familiar blur anyway – because that old robot cowboy left in cold storage is undoubtedly a version of Yul Brynner’s deadly robot Gunslinger from the original 1973 Westworld film, right down to his trademark pose.
Now, we probably shouldn’t read too much into this, as showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have previously said that the TV series isn’t a continuation of the original film, and added this week that this cameo was just supposed to be a bit of fun.
“It was a little tip of the hat,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. “We didn’t want to feature it too heavily, we don’t want you reading too much into that.”
HOWEVER, our geeky sci-fi theorising minds are now merrily constructing a parallel universe plotline for the original Westworld film that incorporates the Gunslinger still existing decades later, so we’re still very happy with this development. “Draw” from that what you will.
Westworld airs on Sky Atlantic on Tuesdays at 9:00pm