[WATCH] ‘Westworld’ recap of ‘The Original’: Evan Rachel Wood is stand-out in series premiere

With awards juggernaut “Game of Thrones” taken a prolonged hiatus, HBO has a strong replacement in “Westworld.” Based on the 1973 film of the same name,  this combination of sci-fi and Western premiered to rave reviews on Oct. 2. Every week I will be chatting with contributors Tony Ruiz and Amanda Spears about the newest episode and its awards prospects. In our first video (watch above), we analyze the performances, direction and show overall.

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Anthony Hopkins
Spears is confident that Hopkins represents the show’s best chance for awards recognition. “Let’s face it, he’s Anthony Hopkins and he’s on a HBO series. Something is coming. If he has one great episode that people will talk about: there’s your Emmy winner. Sorry Kevin Spacey. This will be a done deal.”

Evan Rachel Wood
I contend Wood stands a better shot. “As much as I love the concept of ‘Westworld,’ I would not be into the show if her performance did not ground it. She made me invest in the ‘Westworld’ world. She has all the ingredients here of a winning performance. She’s a strong female lead with emotion and amazing scenes.” Ruiz says “she was absolutely spectacular. The pilot really is her episode.”

Thandie Newton
Despite her small role in ‘The Original,’ Spears states, “Newton may be the one to watch.” Ruiz backs her up: “I’m looking forward to Newton the most. From what I hear she has some really stellar stuff coming up. I think she could get into the race because there is a lot of space.”

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Ed Harris
Ruiz also has high hopes for Harris. “He is really doing some interesting stuff as horrifying as he is. He has the respectability in Hollywood. He’s playing what seems to be the big bad and gives these menacing speeches.”

Directing: Jonathan Nolan
For me, “this is your strong frontrunner to win directing at the Emmys this year. Pilots do very well in directing races; it has a director of significance in Jonathan Nolan; and it’s an epic, grand, HBO episode.”

Drama Series
Finally, Amanda declares “to other shows, this is the announcement: you have to raise your game.” So who do you think is in the best position to take home an Emmy for “Westworld?” Vote below in the poll or join the discussion going on in GoldDerby’s notorious forums.

Do you think it’s likely to contend at upcoming awards? Let us know in the comments! Will “Westworld” be the next major Emmy player for HBO? Vote in our poll below, and then discuss all things TV in our forums.

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