The first episodes of Westworld, the new series from HBO, are very promising. It's said that this show may become the new Game of thrones: spectacular locations, a great cast (including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden) and a good story where western meets sci-fi.
The plot is inspired on the 1973 film by Michael -Jurassic- Crichton of the same name, taking place in a near future where robotics has developed to the point of reaching the borders where life begins. In this context, a mysterious corporation offers holidays in an adult theme park where guests can be whoever they want, and take their darkest fantasies beyond limits.
Westworld has been primarily filmed in a movie ranch of Santa Clarita in California. The vast beautiful landscapes that give the feeling of the classic Westerns are located in Utah and Arizona:
Violent delights have violent ends. The Warner Bros Studios in Burbank have been used basically for shooting interior scenes. Image by courtesy of HBO
The town of Sweetwater has been set in the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio of Newhall in Santa Clarita. The show was also filmed on location in the Paramount Ranch in Agoura. Image by courtesy of HBO
Some scenes were filmed in the Mexican (pictured) and in the European Street of the Backlot of Universal Studios in California. Image by courtesy of HBO
Many panoramic shots of the great American outdoors, like this one with the Colorado River, are located in Castle Valley and Fisher Valley in Utah. Image by courtesy of HBO
This scene was filmed with the stunning Dead Horse Point as background. Also this landscape was merged in post-production with the Park Control Center exterior, a building inspired in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.
Image by courtesy of HBO and Jim Dollar
It is very peculiar the way that the team created the scenes of the train interior: The entire coach was mounted on the back of the trailer of a truck. Instead of using the old classic technique of filming moving vehicles by projecting the exterior in screens, the truck was driven back and forth the State Route 128 in Utah. Image by courtesy of HBO
Also some riding scenes have as a background the views of the world famous Monument Valley in Arizona.
Image by Fred Moore
We found out that there is already available plenty of clothing with the show's logo, from this crop top to... women underwear!
Also it is possible to acquire a quite expensive book from 1974, including the script and other extras about the original Westworld film.
Finally, if you feel inspired enough to go exploring yourself the magnificent landscapes of the Southwest, it's always very handy not to leave home without a guide like Lonely Planet or Moon Handbooks.