Westworld Bits: The Secret Origins Of Westworld, A Super-Sized Finale, And A Strange, Secret Door

In this edition of Westworld Bits:

  • It looks like the Westworld season finale may run 90 minutes.
  • A new video explores the secret origins of Westworld.
  • Saturday Night Live manages to parody both CNN and Westworld simultaneously.
  • An interview with series cinematographer Paul Cameron.
  • An interview with series composer Ramin Djawadi.
  • Ptolemy Slocum addresses one of your chief Westworld story issue.
  • A new site compiles all kinds of Westworld statistics.
  • Did you notice the secret door in Ford's secret lab?
  • And more!
  • First things first: a site called Westworld Data has been collecting information of the important (who know about Arnold?) and the frivolous (who swears the most?), assembling everything into nifty charts and graphs. Hit that link and explore. Have fun. Put on a black hat.

    Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

    Are you ready for a 90-minute season finale? Because it looks like the final chapter of Westworld's first season, titled "The Bicameral Mind," may run much longer than the average episode.

    IGN has assembled a very cool video titled The Secret Origin of Westworld, which explores how the original 1973 film impacted popular culture and how the new series borrows from the language of video games to update the material for modern audiences.

    westworld painting

    Unlike most modern television shows (and unlike most modern movies), Westworld is shot on 35mm film rather than digital cameras. In a new interview with series cinematographer Paul Cameron, he reveals that he asked about shooting on film during his first meeting with co-creator and showrunner Jonathan Nolan:

    I was thinking about the sweeping Western landscapes. When I read the pilot, for me the references were to the films shot by John Ford in Monument Valley, Utah.

    And while we can argue all day and night about film versus digital, it's a decision that seems to have paid off – the show looks incredible, often imitating the look of classic western while looking just wrong enough to tip its hand to the science fiction at the core.

    westworld soundtrackPitchfork spoke with Westworld's composer, Ramin Djawadi, and he spoke about how the score keeps on incorporating saloon piano covers of rock and pop hits:

    What I love about that is it just comes out of nowhere and you don't expect it at all. You see the settings and the way people are dressed and even though you know it's robots and it's all made to be modern entertainment, you would think the people in control would make everything authentic, including whatever is played on that player piano. It would be from that time period. And when it's not, it's that subtle reminder that, 'Wait, there is something not right. This is not real.' It's just such a powerful tool that only music can do.

    Of course, this continued in the most recent episode, which featured covers of "House of the Rising Sun" and "Back to Black."

    Speaking of Ramin Djawadi, he appeared live on the official Westworld Facebook page to play the show's theme music live prior to Sunday night's episode. You can watch an archived version in the embed above.

    westworld wyatt storylineThrough the power of screen shots and squinting, you can see some broad strokes of the Wyatt narrative on the wall of head writer Lee Sizemore's office. It seems that the Man in Black has followed the storyline as intended, being lured into it by Teddy and eventually confronting Wyatt's imposing henchman.westworld episode 7 Maeve Millay Felix and Slyvester

    Ptolemy Slocum, who plays the in-over-his-head tech Sylvester on the series, recently conducted a Reddit AMA. Most of the questions are silly and most of his answers are fun, but someone does ask him about my personal issue with the show right now – why are Felix and Sylvester acquiescing to all of Maeve's demands so easily? Here's his response:

    In my experience, what we witnessed up to now is a series of small decisions that got way out of hand. For me I understood many of the small decisions in making them. I get the confusion but you have to realize that we're dealing with my character who believes he was always in control.

    When another Redditor notes that Sylvester is being blackmailed by Maeve over allowing other employees to take advantage of the Hosts, Slocum responded again, although even he notes that the show doesn't make a big deal out of it:

    I think thats a quick line, you have to hear a couple times and/or watch it again. But the situation is pretty laid out. In more general terms, its safe to say that Sylvester does not want unwanted attention to come into his department.

    You can read many more of his answers at the link above.

    What begins like a pretty familiar Saturday Night Live news parody soon takes an interesting, Westworld-inspired turn in this sketch. The satire is fairly obvious at first, but the final punchline makes the three-minute set-up worthwhile.

    Westworld Hidden Door

    Remember how it all slowly dawned on us that the room where Bernard was seen having secret conversations with Dolores was the same hidden room underneath Dr. Ford's unauthorized robot nostalgia family? A closer look reveals that there is a door in the corner...a door that has been suspiciously covered in later scenes. Hmm.

    westworld transformation

    Since one of the most popular Westworld theories suggests that the kind-hearted William eventually becomes the cruel park veteran known as the Man in Black, Reddit has gone and created a morphing gif where Jimmi Simpson transforms into Ed Harris. I don't know about you people, but it seems to me that Simpson could pass as a young Harris...

    View post on imgur.com

    Speaking of the ever-convoluted Westworld timeline, this chart attempts to sort everything into three separate time periods.

    westworld medieval world

    Will a second season of Westworld follow the path of the original film and introduce additional theme parks populated by robots? I'd put my money on "No," but Redditor DaUsed has created a new desktop wallpaper, just in case.