Westworld appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. The episodes boasted fine visuals.
Sharpness worked well. While the occasional wide shot betrayed a sliver of softness, the majority of material appeared accurate and concise. No issues with moiré effects or jaggies occurred, and I saw neither edge haloes nor source flaws.
Despite the Western setting, the series favored a fairly teal and orange palette – though on the dusty brown side of things. Within the stylistic constraints, the Blu-rays reproduced them in a favorable manner.
Blacks came across as deep and dense, while shadows – important in such a dark series – appeared smooth and well-developed. The shows offered pleasing picture quality.
Though not as good, the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio also satisfied. Music showed nice stereo presence, while effects added immersive material. The series’ occasional action sequences boasted fine use of the side and rear speakers, all of which brought us into the episodes well.
Audio quality seemed strong. Music was full and rich, while dialogue seemed natural and distinctive. Effects offered clear elements with warm, tight lows. I liked the soundtrack across these episodes.
As we move to extras, we begin with the two-minute, 13-second About the Series. It involves creators/executive producers Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, executive producer JJ Abrams, and actors Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden. They give us vague thoughts about story/characters – it’s all promo fluff.
In a similar vein, An Invitation to the Set fills two minutes, 16 seconds with comments from Nolan, Abrams, Joy, Newton, Wood and actor Jeffrey Wright. It’s another general overview that exists to attract viewers to the series.
Across all three discs, we find seven featurettes under the banner of The Big Moment. These include “Teddy Versus the Man in Black” (1:55), “A Host Self-Sabotages” (1:55), “Maeve Gets an Answet” (1:38), “Bernard Faces an Unlikely Saboteur” (1:23), “Dr. Ford’s Blood Sacrifice” (1:38), “The Truth About Bernard” (2:23) and “Dr. Ford’s New Narrative” (3:53). Through these, we hear from Nolan, Marsden, Wood, Joy, Newton, Wright, Abrams, and actors Rodrigo Santoro and Sidse Babett Knudsen.
The “Big Moment” clips offer more thoughts about characters and story elements. They tend to be short and forgettable, though at least “Narrative” brings some hints about Season Two.
Welcome to Westworld runs seven minutes, 43 seconds and offers info from Nolan, Joy, Abrams, Marsden, Wood, Newton, and Santoro. “Welcome” looks at the original Westworld movie and its adaptation as well as story and character domains. It includes a little more substance than the prior clips, but it remains fairly fluffy.
Next comes Realizing the Dream: First Week on the Set, an 11-minute, 22-second piece with Nolan and Joy. They offer reflections about aspects of the production. This isn’t the meatiest reel, but it adds a few decent insights.
After this we get the 14-minute, eight-second Imagining the Main Title. It involves Nolan, Joy, composer Ramin Djawadi, Elastic managing director Jennifer Hall, Elastic designer Felix Soletic, and Elastic Head of CG Kirk Shintani.
As expected, this one looks at elements involved in the series’ opening credits sequences. It throws out some useful notes despite the usual fluffy tone.
Reality of AI takes up four minutes, 30 seconds and gives us material from Nolan, Joy, Abrams, Wright, Marsden, Wood, and Newton. They reflect on the nature of artificial intelligence in this lackluster promotional reel.
A Gag Reel lasts one minute, 40 seconds. It offers a little silliness – there’s nothing memorable but it’s too short to be a problem.
A view of music comes with the eight-minute, five-second A Key to the Chords. Here Joy, Dwajawdi, Nolan, discuss the player piano we see throughout the series. It’s a moderately interesting view of this topic.
The package’s longest bonus feature, Crafting the Narrative goes for 29 minutes, 16 seconds and gives us details from Nolan and Joy. They cover locations, effects, cast and performances, photography, story/characters, stunts, and connected topics. Once again, we find decent information but overall detail remains lacking, so expect another show without great depth.
The set also includes a booklet. This text offers a “Corporate Guidebook” for new employees of Westworld. It becomes a clever and fun addition.
A deft mix of science-fiction, Western and character drama, Westworld opens up its material well. The series boasts top-notch talent and production values to develop into a rich tale of humanity and morality. The Blu-rays offer positive picture and audio as well as a mediocre set of supplements. While I wish the set came with more substantial bonus materials, the series offers more than enough quality material to make this a worthwhile purchase.