If the brooding piano in the opening of credits of Westworld always makes you feel like you’re watching the sci-fi TV equivalent of a depressing Radiohead song, then season 3 might suddenly seem like a different show. Not that it won’t be depressing, but, basically, that the show is no longer secretive about who is a robot Host and who isn’t. If the previous seasons were Radiohead, the new season is full-on Daft Punk. The season 3 trailer for Westworld was revealed on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, and because the Hosts are out in the real world now, the show feels like what would happen if Blade Runner was a giant war.
Speaking at the Westworld panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Nolans said “When we started, Westworld was a dystopia. And now, three seasons in, it’s kind of a best-case scenario. The form of AI we have on the show is thoughtful. Murderous, but thoughtful.”
This isn’t to say the show won’t still be a violent meditation on what happens when artificial lifeforms — originally built for a theme park — decide to turn on their creators. In fact, because it seems like both Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) are in the real world, figuring out different ways of evading capture — or confronting humans — might be the most of the plot. Dolores is out there in the real world hanging out with a guy named, Caleb, played by Mr. Jesse Pinkman himself, Aaron Paul. Meanwhile, Maeve seems to be inhabiting some kind of WWII-era fantasy, probably inside one of the Delos parks.
But, the most arresting shots in the trailer, are the brief glimpses of traditional robots straight from the cover art of an Astounding Stories in the forties or, maybe even a reject robot from the movie Chappie. In one scene Tessa Thompson even sweetly pats one of these clunky robots on its side. Is Westworld trying to have fun with all of its robot stories? For once?
If you’ve stayed away from Westworld because you were worried about it being overly earnest or too confined to the cliches of a future amusement-park-run-amok, it looks like the third season might be a great place to jump back in, if only because the stakes are a little less contained and that we’re finally getting to see more of what this future world looks like.
Still, none of this explains why a Westworld piano-cover of “Old Town Road” wasn’t used in the new trailer. Come on!
Westworld season 3 will debut on HBO sometime in 2020.