Yee-haw, it is robots vs. dragons as #HBO's #Westworld sets itself apart from #GameofThrones as our latest TV addiction. Dubbed at the new GoT, Westworld couldn't be more different from the ice and fire epic if it tried. Joining the network's diverse back-catalog, the show finds itself sitting pretty with the ratings, and now that is has been commissioned for a second season, it is a safe bet that we will get to see Dolores do a barn dance again.
However, with the season's finishing line a dusty memory, now comes that inevitable hiatus until next season. And, while some of us will spend our days rummaging through Reddit theories and casting calls, for those of you looking for another series to sink your spurs into, we have just the list.
From robots to rootin' tootin', here are 10 show like Westworld that you need to watch next.
Run: 2004-2006 (3 Seasons)
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif
Long before Westworld, HBO was tackling a very different version of the wild west with #Deadwood. Uncompromisingly good from start finish, and once lorded as the jewel in the network's crown, many felt that Deadwood was chopped down in its prime. Set in a South Dakota town riddled with crime and deception during the 1870s, Deadwood made a legend out of Ian McShane's real-life antihero Al Swearengen. Frequently topping lists of shows cancelled too soon, there is life in the old dog yet — as of early 2016 a script for a Deadwood feature film has been green-lit.
Arguably more of a western even than Westworld, the cast of Deadwood didn't have the luxury of being brought back to life in the medical bays. This meant that shock deaths, shootouts and saloons earned the show its R-rated moniker. Equally raunchy, gritty, and bloody — Westworld definitely looks like the great grandson of the town of Deadwood.
Run: 2014-2015 (2 Seasons)
Starring: Halle Berry, Jeffrey Dean Morgan,
Negan and Storm in the same show = mind blown. #Extant had quite the Hollywood cast when it bagged both Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Halle Berry, but even that couldn't take it past a two-season run. Berry starred as astronaut Molly Woods, returning from a 13-month mission to space and finding she is mysteriously pregnant. The show wasn't confined to space as you would expect, and it became a noir thriller as Berry teamed up with a corrupt cop/hitman to stop, you guessed it, an evil company.
Goran Visnjic starred as the Dr. Robert Ford of this piece, having created the couple's android son Ethan. Whereas Westworld calls their bots "hosts," Extant called theirs "humanichs," but I know which one sounds snappier. The show also featured the Yasumoto Corporation and several talking heads who were worried about the humanich project — it all sounds rather familiar to Tessa Thompson's role as Delos Board Executive Charlotte Hale.
8. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Run: 2008-2009 (2 Seasons)
Starring: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
Before she was the Queen of Sass on HBO's other epic, Game of Thrones, Lena Headey was taking on the Schwarzenegger legacy of Terminator. The spin-off from the film franchise pitted a young Sarah Connor and her son against the T-Series robots. Apparently the move to the silver screen wasn't great for the story, and TSCC never really took off. Cancelled after just two seasons, Headey went on to bigger (and bloodier) things.
It deals with multiple timelines, which if predictions are correct, is right up Westworld's street. Also, if you like seeing evil robots take on humanity, then I would stay tuned for the final episodes of Westworld, we are on the cusp of a full on robotic rebellion.
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation
Run: 1987-1994 (7 Seasons)
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden
An unprecedentedly long run makes The Next Generation one of the best Star Trek spin-offs out there. From the mind of Gene Roddenberry, TNG put Patrick Stewart's Capt. Picard at the helm of the Enterprise. The show was packed with robots and artificial life, but for a real taste of Westworld, turn to the seventh season's episode "A Fistful of Datas."
It doesn't take a genius to notice the homage to spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars as Lt. Worf and his son enter a wild west town called Deadwood. Inhabited by rogue robot versions of Brent Spiner's Data, the highlight of the episode is seeing Spiner dressed as a Maeve Millay saloon girl. The frequent use of TNG's holodeck adds it to the list of Westworld-esque entities, where the crew were able to live out your fantasies without getting hurt (normally).
6. Battlestar Galactica
Run: 2004-2009 (4 Seasons)
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Janine Helfer, Jamie Bamber
There have been several revivals of Battlestar Galactica after its original '80s series, but the Sci-Fi (now SyFy) series did it best. The show was set in the far future where human colonists live on the edges of the solar system. What is left of humanity is thrown into a war with the artificially-created cylons and forced to live out their days on the titular ship, Battlestar Galactica.
A large ensemble cast, sci-fi themes and #technology overtaking humanity steers Westworld on a Galactica path. Meanwhile the constant search for the cybernetic cylons hiding in the ranks of the Galactica crew mirrors Westworld's constant nagging of "who the hell is a robot?"
5. Under The Dome
Run: 2013-2015 (3 Seasons)
Starring: Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris
Based of Stephen King's novel, Under the Dome had us feeling claustrophobic throughout its run, which followed the township of Chester's Mill after they find themselves trapped under a giant transparent dome. It may not have been the brightest show in the world, but Under the Dome's cheesiness kept us watching.
With increasingly outlandish plots and twists that wouldn't look out of place on Westworld, the show limped to its third and final season. Its similarities to Westworld come from being in a very large area, but actually confined without escape. We are yet to see the edge of Westworld, but you can just imagine it being in a giant Truman Show-style compound. Who knows though, if some theorists are to be believed, Westworld is either on Mars or deep underwater.
Run: 2004-2010 (6 Seasons)
Starring: Matthew Fox, Emilie de Ravin, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Emerson
Suitably head-scratching, for six years we tuned in to unravel the mysteries of Oceaninc Flight 815. Westworld plans to run for around as long, and with possibly more questions to answer, it could pip LOST to most confusing show out there. The show followed a plane crash and the intrepid group of survivors on an island with more than meets the eye.
In each season there were new threats from both on, and off the island, as well as the omnipresent Dharma Initiative — heading up the show as their version of Delos. If the shows weren't already similar enough, LOST's co-creator J.J. Abrams also serves as Westworld's Executive Producer. LOST had polar bears, eye-patched villains and smoke monsters, while Westworld has scalp mazes, forgetful robots, and a rogue Anthony Hopkins.
3. Person Of Interest
Run: 2011-2016 (5 Seasons)
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Amy Acker, Michael Emerson
Jonathan Nolan's very own creation, Person of Interest sadly flew under the radar for five years. Following a presumed-dead CIA agent (Caviezel) hired by an eccentric billionaire (Emerson), the two try to infiltrate a crime predicting computer called The Machine. Everything goes very Minority Report as the pair try to prevent murder while not attracting the attention of the authorities.
The show grew rapidly from the original premise, and as it got deeper, focussed a lot more on AI. The introduction of corrupt company Decima Technologies also echoes Westworld's Delos. It was Nolan and Abram's teaming up on Person of Interest that undoubtedly brought them together for Westworld in a match made in heaven of television.
2. Red Dwarf
Run: 1988- present (11 Seasons)
Starring: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn
It is not hard to spot the similarities between the two shows, especially considering that the crew of mining ship Red Dwarf even have their own mechanoid — played ridiculously well by Robert Llewellyn. Across the galaxy, and various realities, they meet many autonomous foes, but one episode in particular takes them to their very own Westworld. The third episode of the sixth season, "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" is heralded as probably Red Dwarf's greatest, and even went on to win an Emmy for its work.
After the ship is infected with a deadly virus, the crew have to enter virtual reality to battle four outlaws known as the Apocalypse Boys. Lister and co. suit up to take on Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death in a pistols-at-dawn showdown. It is '90s sci-fi at its very best, as it goes over the typical Western stereotypes with British wit.
1. Black Mirror
Run: 2011 - present (3 Seasons)
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Hayley Atwell, Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall
As well as predicting pig f*ckery, Charlie Brooker's dystopian take on tech offers a window into our own futures. #BlackMirror's third season episode "San Junipero" saw the frail and elderly living on after death in a sunny VR town — Westworld anyone? A robotic theme park doesn't seem too far out the reaches of the show's twisted mind, but we have already had a robotic tale of woe.
The second season episode "Be Right Back" featured Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson as a couple separated by death. Gleeson finds himself reanimated as an android after his memories are uploaded to the Cloud. It may not be your usual sci-fi horror of the show, but it is a sympathetic look at life as a robot taken from the pages of Dolores's diary.
BONUS - The Simpsons
You all know the episode: "We need more Bort licence plates in the gift shop." Season 6, Episode 4, "Itchy & Scratchy Land" is a direct parody of 1973's Westworld, and a not-so-subtle send up of Disney. Everyone's favorite yellow family find themselves trapped in a Walt nightmare of cat and mouse robots. It is isn't long until the robots break their source and turn on the humans. An unusually violent episode of the show, but one from the "Golden Era" of The Simpsons. Even better, it is just like watching an episode of Westworld.
With five or six seasons of Westworld planned, the show will undoubtedly grow from its humble roots in Sweetwater. The last-minute inclusion of Shogun World in the Season 1 finale, and with the original films tackling other parks like Roman World, Medieval World, and Futureworld, we will soon be breaking the confines of dusty desert dreams. Both Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have remained coy on which other lands we will be exploring, but for the meantime we are quite content watching Dolores pistol whipping bandits and riding side saddle. Talking of which, better saddle up, it looks like we are in for a bloody continuation of the story.