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Since joining the blogging community six years ago, I have had the pleasure of reading many of the blogs out there, either directly or indirectly. One such blog and the subject behind this post, I came across indirectly via the blog Opinionated Man. OM often features guest bloggers and I have had the pleasure of being one in the past. In this particular case, it was a blog called Soren and Sons, who wrote a post about the new and very popular TV series Westworld.

For those who haven’t watched it, “Westworld” is about a rich person’s vacation resort where guests can go and live out fantasies of being in the Wild West. The hosts, as they are called, are robots who the guests can interact , kill and even have sex with. The series is a follow on from the 1973 film of the same name and based on many of the principals of the film. Links between the two are many. In the post, Soren and Sons puts forward many theories about the series, one of which turned out to be correct in last week’s episode. We found out that the Bernard character truly is a robot created by the character played by Anthony Hopkins, I can’t remember his name. Well done on that one! At the post’s invitation, I put forward my own theory about the show and the film and the host liked my idea to the point I was invited to expand on it in a blog post, which I’m going to do now.

“Westworld” had many story lines, which does keep you on your toes. My theory involves the infamous ‘man in black,’ played by Ed Harris. On the programme, we see this man in black roaming the fringes of Westworld looking for a maze. During his travels, we see him committing several grievous murders in the Wild West style. In the opening episode where he kills one man and takes a young woman named Dolores, who becomes a big player in a couple of the story lines, into the barn and it is heavily implied that he rapes her. Soren and sons’ post puts forward an interesting theory on that but I digress. The man in black seems to be letting nothing get in his way of achieving his goal of finding the maze. However, in the latest episode, we learn that in the past, he shot a young mother and daughter, (both robots), in cold blood to see if he was capable of inhumanity. He says, he felt nothing when he did that.

Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

Now let’s go to the 1973 movie, “Westworld,” which I first saw when I was twelve, but I watched it again the other day. The movie is about a man named Peter, played by Richard Benjamin, who vacations in the resort of Westworld with his friend Bob who is played by a young James Brolin. Bob has been there before so he promises Peter the vacation of a lifetime. Almost as soon as they get there, Peter is confronted by a man in black, only this is a robot played by Yul Bryner. Peter kills the man in black in a saloon gunfight. After being repaired, the robot seems bent on revenge. Peter shoots him again in his hotel room. The big climax happens after that. Not only the robot in black but all the robots go off programming and begin killing all the guests. Not just in Westworld but also in Romanworld and Medievalworld as well. Bryner kills Bob and then tries to kill Peter who flees with the robot chasing him. To make a long story short, Peter eventually kills his antagonist by setting him on fire. in the final scene, we see Peter sitting on the steps while the film fades out with the park’s advertising slogan, “Boy do we have a vacation for you, vacation for you, you, you.”

Richard Benjamin and James Brolin from the film Westworld.

Richard Benjamin and James Brolin from the film Westworld.

The man in black, played by Yul Bryner

The man in black, played by Yul Bryner

My theory is simply this: Ed Harris’s man in black character is actually Peter thirty years on! His trauma from that vacation thirty years ago has effected Peter so much that he now has become so obsessed with the discovering that maze in the hopes it may have the answers to his experiences. Since his nemesis was dressed in all black, Peter now dresses in black as a result. Having experienced extreme violence first hand from one robot, he now dishes out similar violence on the robots he comes into contact with. That would explain his murdering the mother and daughter. However, he won’t be at peace with himself until he achieves his goal and woe betide those who stand in his way.

One possible plot complication to this is the fact that Ed Harris has revealed that in the real world, he is a titan of industry. In the film, Peter says he’s a lawyer. However, this does not need to be contradictory. We never know what kind of lawyer he is so he could be a corporate lawyer and in the thirty years, has risen to the top rungs of the corporation. Another possibility is that because the Dellos Corporation is so afraid of a lawsuit and in the real world there would have been many filed by the relatives of all the slain guests, they offer Peter a very cushy job within the corporation. Problem solved.

This is my theory behind the man in black in the TV series. I’m probably wrong but we will have to wait and see. There are further developments in line as it was revealed that the mother he shot was reprogrammed and now runs a brothel. She is now remembering here past. Before I go, there is one question about the movie that is never answered. We never know what becomes of the guest played by Dick Van Patten who becomes the sheriff of Westworld before the critical failure.

Dick Van Patten in Westworld

Dick Van Patten in Westworld

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