I’m a huge fan of both sex and robots, particularly when you combine the two. The philosophical and ethical implications are fascinating, and I’m also a bit partial to the voyeuristic potential too. Watching a human male have depressingly meaningless sex with something he has to hose down afterwards just happens to press a lot of my buttons. And so, with much excitement, I tuned in to the first two episodes of Westworld – a series about a theme park staffed by robots dressed like they’re in a Western, in which visitors can run rampant around the park, either fighting off ‘bad guys’ in the form of evil cowboy robots, or having sexy fun with robot sex workers who hang around in the local tavern. Presumably they can also just go for a nice walk in the lovely scenery, but by and large they pick either shooting or shagging.
If you haven’t watched it, then the following might make no sense. If you have watched it, you may have some questions of your own. Because while Westworld sets out to do some incredibly fun things, there are a number of bizarre choices that detract from an otherwise amazing concept. There are other things which I just want to know because, damn it, you can’t just imagine a robot Disneyland and not tell me all the details.
1. What if I live in the future and want to shag a robot, but I really really really hate cowboy films? Is there a Westworld competitor where I can shag a robot pirate?
2. In the Westworld universe, why are humans still uncomfortable being naked, yet TOTALLY UNCONCERNED about humanoid robots getting their nuts out in the office?
3. Guests can choose from dozens of different storylines, interact with hundreds of different robots, yet in the costume area they only get to pick from 5 very-similar-looking hats. Who the hell is in charge of their costume department?
4. It’s the future: why do people still smoke? (this question goes out to any sci-fi series set beyond roughly 2100, FYI)
5. Where are the male robot gigolos?
6. Robotic technology is clearly pretty advanced, so why have the guests not already encountered robots in their private lives? You’re rich, so you’d have a robot butler, at least – don’t be so mind-blown-excited by a robot cowboy.
7. Each Westworld office is roughly 200sq feet in size, yet contains only 2 uncomfortable-looking stools. You’ve clearly got cash – why not splash out on a swivel chair or two?
8. Come to think of it, why does the robot always get one of the stools so one of the humans has to stand? Robots don’t get tired legs.
9. Why do they let the lady robots’ hair down when they visit the office? They’d only have to do it up again.
10. For that matter, why do they remove all the robot clothes? There’s literally no need other than to gawk at their bums. Don’t tell me it’s to distinguish them – you could just give them a high-vis or something.
11. You’re advanced enough to roll out updates to hundreds of robots, yet your codebase is so messy that a tiny change in a physical command could turn them homicidal? This is spectacularly unlike… oh OK wait I spoke to a programmer about this and he says this is spot on. Ignore this one.
12. In the title sequence it shows them 3D printing a robot with things like tendons. Replicating every cell of a human has to be the least efficient way of building a humanoid. Who thought this was a good idea?
13. Why do the park controllers need a physical representation of the Westworld mountains in order to do their jobs? It’s like a TFL rail manager needing a tiny train set to get things running in rush hour.
14. Why have a million different stories all in one massive cowboy world, thus drastically reducing your target market to ‘people who give a shit about cowboys’, when instead you could have more themed worlds that broaden your appeal?
15. Why are they putting out of date robots in storage, at massive cost, rather than just saving their minds onto a drive somewhere then scrapping or recycling their bodies?
16. Why are the robots stored in warehouses a million times bigger than necessary anyway? I know it’s the future, but land still costs money.
17. COWBOYS, though?! You could have had ANYTHING.
18. Why do they physically pull robots out of the park for a naked interrogation rather than just remote accessing their code?
19. Even if they can’t remote in, they could Skype them, right?
20. At a push I can believe humans might shoot robots for fun. But this programme wants me to believe they’d also PAY TO HAVE THEIR PICTURE TAKEN WITH A ROBOT CORPSE. Question:really?!
21. Given 20, and the entire premise of the show: WHY ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED TO VISIT THE MURDEROUS FUCKTOWN?
22. When is Humans back on Channel 4?
Westworld is currently screening on Sky Atlantic but that will only lead to more questions