Westworld can be described in a number of ways. It’s part-western, part-science fiction, part-psychological thriller, and altogether complex and surreal. But look closely enough and you will discover that the hit show’s premise, characters, and themes feel quite familiar. Mankind has created its own mistakes in countless works before Westworld; it’s ultimately the show’s performances, production values, and general chaos that still make for compelling TV.
Speaking of chaos, one famous character that strongly espoused the “chaos theory” is Dr. Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. In fact, one of the most succinct ways that you can describe Westworld is “Jurassic Park, but with robot cowboys.” Both stories have the same original author in Michael Crichton, after all. An amusing new video from College Humor aims to point out these striking similarities between the show and the classic movie, and does so with aplomb.
The above video debuted on College Humor’s YouTube page, identifying similarities both big and small between Westworld and Jurassic Park. Both stories involve futuristic theme parks with attractions created through “advanced but theoretically possible science.” Both parks are run by “an old, white British guy who loves his creations.” Both places are “obviously dangerous,” but boast “foolproof security systems able to withstand anything … except greed.” But perhaps the biggest similarity between the two stories is “the unpredictable changes in the park’s inhabitants,” in this case Jurassic Park’s genetically engineered, asexually reproducing dinosaurs and Westworld’s malfunctioning automaton “hosts.”
Of course, it can’t be stressed enough that both Westworld and Jurassic Park began as stories by Crichton; who wrote and directed the 1973 movie that the HBO version of Westworld is based on (and published the original novel Jurassic Park in 1990). Therefore, it would also make more sense to say that Jurassic Park is a lot like Westworld. Many YouTube commenters have been quick to point this out in the comments.
For any fan of Crichton’s work, this should come as no surprise. The Harvard-educated author had a deep background in medical science and his stories frequently tilted toward science fiction. The “advanced technology gone wrong” premise is nothing new for Crichton, who also explored that theme in novels like Sphere, The Andromeda Strain, and Airframe. In effect, HBO didn’t copy Crichton’s work so much as Crichton copied himself with these two stories.
Of course, College Humor pointing out the many similarities between Westworld and Jurassic Park is all in good fun and not meant to be taken as especially-meaningful criticism. Besides, Westworld makes up for its supposed lack of originality by vastly expanding the universe presented in Crichton’s 1973 original; as the TV format allows it to more deeply explore its mysterious characters and themes - and invite countless theories. Westworld’s uncompromising production values and sprawling complexity makes it one of television’s most compelling new shows... even if it is essentially just Jurassic Park with robots.
Westworld continues on Sunday night with ‘Trompe L'Oeil’ @9pm on HBO.
Source: College Humor