Westworld S1 now streaming

6 July 2017

Westworld S1 now streaming

They might look human, talk like humans and act like humans. But the robots (aka hosts) in Western sci-fi series Westworld are lacking the one thing that will make them human: self-awareness. They want to think for themselves without computer programming dictating their every move and thought. Watch now »

Westworld is set in a Wild West world – hence the name. It features bandits, sheriffs, saloons and the local General Store where you can buy everything from soap to bullets. But there is a difference. Some of the residents are more used to cellphones and flat-screen TVs than rustling cattle. Westworld is a theme park – a very adult one where rich people “take the ride of a lifetime”.

They mingle with courtesans and take part in duels to the death – except they always win because their opponents are cyborgs programmed to not hurt humans. These “hosts” are programmed to fulfil specific jobs and they do so without question. That is until a software glitch and a little outside interference from the park’s control team see a handful of robo hosts realise that everything is a lie and that they actually have the power to become more than just a chunk of metal.

Achieving self-awareness is a whole new ball game and throughout the series there are little hints, symbols and Easter eggs that guide viewers through the robots’ goal. If you’ve blinked and missed them, here are a couple in slow-mo that’ll make you think again…

Da Vinci’s touch 

“The opening sequence holds the key to the Westworld story,” explains series creator Jonathan Nolan. “It’s all about being human.” The first big give-away is a robot emerging from a milky glue-like bath – it’s based on The Vitruvian Man by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. The anatomical drawing and now sci-fi series scene gives the story an epic take on the formation of human beings,” explains Patrick Clair, who directed the opening sequence, “In contrast, this image shows the human-like robots as alienating, cold and mechanical.”

Eye see

The construction of the human eye in the opening sequence also has a deeper meaning. “The human eye is an incredible, soulful thing,” says Patrick. “A giant portion of our brains is dedicated to figuring out the emotional connections that we feel when we look in someone’s eye, the truism that they are the windows to the soul,” explains Patrick. And that is something the robots are after: a soul.


From the word go, The Man In Black (Ed Harris) is on a mission to find a map. But it’s not just any map – it will lead him to the secret of Westworld. In episode 2, The Man In Black scalps a degenerate gambler and finds the map under the scalped skin. It’s an image of a maze with a man in the middle. Solving the maze and finding that man holds the key for self-awareness and finding humanity inside a machine.

Coming to life

Dr Robert Ford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is the creator of Westworld and he’s flat-out against allowing the hosts to evolve. He’s aware that one or two hosts have “awoken” and started to question their existence and actively hides these “troublemakers” so that they’re not discovered and destroyed. Ford is particularly interested in Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood): she’s the oldest robot in Westworld and has a backlog of program memories, however there’s a mistake in episode 1 where she reboots and has memories of a previous life. By episode 3, Delores commits murder, which is strictly against robot programing laws.

In episode 4, Ford’s right-hand-man Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) gives Dolores hints for finding her humanity: “There’s a game I would like you to play. It’s a maze. The goal is to find the centre of it. If you can do that, then maybe you can be free.” With this info, Dolores starts to unravel, have feelings and show signs of self-awareness, but she still needs to find the man at the centre of the maze to become truly alive – the host-turned-human that she was always destined to be.

Get hooked on Westworld. Watch now »

Original African stories by local talent

Original Sin: My Son The Killer on Showmax

Original Sin: My Son The Killer

Original Sin: My Son The Killer follows the murder of Andrea Venter by Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who then went on the run from South Africa to Brazil.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Tracking Thabo Bester on Showmax

Tracking Thabo Bester

From the makers of Devilsdorp and the director of Convict Conman comes the true-crime documentary South Africa has been waiting for. Two episodes now streaming, and the remaining two episodes land on 22 March 2024 on Showmax.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
The Illuminated S1 on Showmax

The Illuminated

The Showmax Original docuseries The Illuminated explores different religious movements in South Africa. Stream now, with new episodes every Wednesday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Koek S1 on Showmax

Koek S1

The crime comedy Koek, starring Cindy Swanepoel, now streaming on Showmax, with new episodes every Thursday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Ekhaya Backpackers is on Showmax

Ekhaya Backpackers S1

Stream the Showmax Original comedy series Ekhaya Backpackers, with new episodes every Thursday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Cheta M on Showmax

Cheta M

Cheta M explores the love story between Adanna and Nnanna, young lovers who battle the spiritual and political forces in their way. Stream now, with new episodes Wednesday to Friday.

/images/ng.svgMade in Nigeria
Youngins on Showmax

Youngins S1

Stream Tshedza Pictures’s first teen drama, Showmax Original Youngins, with three new episodes every week. 

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Sadau Sisters is on Showmax

Sadau Sisters S1

Rahma, Zainab, Aisha, and Fatima Sadau pull back the curtain on their family, fame, and lifestyle. Stream now on Showmax.

/images/ng.svgMade in Nigeria
The Winning Ticket, a Showmax Original
Youngins S1 episodes 1-20 recap