By Ashley Hoffman
September 30, 2016

Westworld, HBO’s new drama about an authentic Western theme park filled with lifelike androids who exist only to play a part in the fantasies of guests, is here. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright, it’s a modern take on the 1973 Michael Crichton film that posed a simple question: “could robots take us all out if we take advantage of them lots?”

The original movie told the story of a very adult getaway through the eyes of the rich tourists having a rollicking good time, but the HBO series (now with technology to match the forward-thinking vision) has one key difference. Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, it flips the focus by orchestrating sympathy for the machines. For $40,000 a day, Westworld-goers have a “these androids aren’t real people” cover under which to behave like mass murderers on a sex-cation and call it a detox. Obviously, mostly everyone is indulgent about it, and it’s enough to make you root for a robot takeover.

The cinematic series has already introduced a vast world for the first season — from several major characters to the majestic grounds. With that in mind, here’s a primer on everything you need to know about the show.

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