The first episode is often the dealbreaker for many show viewers, and thus, it is critical to make good first impressions. Needless to say, this episode did just that. The pilot introduced us to the wild West that is Westworld, enthralled us with a complex musical score, and left aspects shrouded in mystery so that we would be compelled for answers. I was intrigued.
Creating a TV show is no easy matter, however. It requires creative minds and effective writers. In this case, those two minds were Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Lisa Joy is credited with being a writer for the shows Burn Notice and Pushing Daisies. Jonathan Nolan, brother of the well-known Christopher Nolan, has writing for The Dark Knight trilogy, Memento, and more under his belt.
We hear a dialogue only in the beginning of the episode. This voiceover is later revealed to be that of one of the creators of these droids, talking to a droid in a sort of interrogation. We have yet to discover if this will be a permanent feature of this show, or if it was just for effect in the first episode. Nevertheless, it was an addition which granted mystery and then revelation to the viewers.
The writing incorporates many strategies to keep us intrigued and wanting more. Most of the time, music, dialogue, or background noise covers up silence in this show. However, instances where silence is used are often for dramatic effect, including after a death or dramatic dialogue. We see the writers reference Shakespeare and common idioms throughout the episode, and while we never see the world outside of Westworld, references to it are made. It keeps us shrouded in mystery and compelled to watch more of the show to gain closure.
This series will clearly be complex to write. The writers have to incorporate the lives of robots, humans, and a western world which is otherwise long gone into one show. The script does this well, all the while still leaving the origins of this place, its characters, and the outside world a mystery. Many times, it’s hard to know who’s real and who’s fake. And it can’t help but leave me thinking who the bad guy really is.
“Full Cast & Crew – Westworld.” IMDb, IMDb, www.imdb.com/title/tt0475784/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ql_1.