“Westworld” returns on June 27th. Here’s a reminder of where the unique and challenging sci-fi series left us.

Who would have thought that the 1973 dystopian sci-fi flick Westworld would become one of the most ambitious series of all time? With the exception of the title and the bare premise, the HBO production now has very little in common with the original. Which, we remember, almost exactly 50 years ago, Yul Brynner, as a robot cowboy who had gone mad, unleashed on the visitors of an amusement park, the “Westworld”.

In the night of June 27th, the fourth season of “Westworld” will start parallel to the US release. From then on, the new episodes will be available in German or English via Wow (formerly Sky Ticket) and Sky Q or from 8:15 p.m. on Sky Atlantic. As with the previous editions, a huge secret is being made of the content of the new season. The only thing that seems certain, once again, is that nothing is certain – not even death. To make it easier to get started with the new episodes, here are the most important milestones from the previous episodes.

Always never the same

With the remarkable evolution from film to series, the creators Jonathan Nolan (46) and Lisa Joy (45) prove in principle exactly what they explore within their series plot: the almost infinite potential that lies dormant in supposedly inconspicuous things. From the story devised by Michael Crichton (1942-2008), they brought immense philosophical depth to light. And a humble farm girl named Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood, 34) became the decision-maker of the fate of all mankind.

A little reminder: Season one of “Westworld” largely took place in the eponymous amusement park, the mixture of western meets science fiction was unparalleled. Season two finally dealt with the revolution of the machines and the final break out of their artificial, heteronomous life – led by said Dolores. The boundary between the fictitious and the real world was increasingly broken down in it.

And finally in season three, after a few “hosts” managed to escape to the real world, there was nothing left of the Wild West. Instead of taking place in the steppe, the action took place in an apparently flawless future utopia that could have come straight from Steve Jobs with its stylish, smooth, glossy look. But as always in “Westworld” deceived this impression.

“Right from the start, Lisa and I wanted to create a show that was constantly reinventing itself, that could be something completely different each season,” Jonathan Nolan said in a recent interview with Variety. A project thanks to which the fans of the series can look forward to the great unknown again in the fourth season.

The connector

The enthroned theme of the series, no matter how differently it may be illuminated, is the existential question of self-determination. Are we really the creators of our own destiny? Or is our path to death inevitably mapped out?

In season one, it was primarily the “Westworld” attractions that had to come to terms with the fact that their life is a lie. By the third season at the latest, however, this Mindblow had also reached all of mankind in the real world. The idea of ​​the data octopus, which social media critics are already warning about today, was introduced in the second season and taken to extremes in the third. So much so that a man-made artificial intelligence, called Rehoboam, can even predict and influence the personal future of each individual based on secretly collected data.

The time of death of all citizens can be precisely calculated for the AI. And those who are not counted as part of the norm are sorted out before the calculated death. This harrowing truth revealed Dolores, bent on revenge on humanity, in Season 3 – throwing civilization into chaos. And it is precisely in this chaos that the new episodes will start. So does Westworld swap sci-fi dystopia for post-apocalypse?

The central figures and questions

Either way, the show’s central protagonist so far, Dolores, seems to have been dropped from the equation after the season three finale. Her memory and thus her personality were irrevocably erased by adversary Serac (Vincent Cassel). As is well known, hardly anyone is really dead in “Westworld” – even if another identity is hiding behind a well-known face.

The duo for the new episodes seems to consist of Maeve (Thandiwe Newton, 49) and Caleb (Aaron Paul, 42), at least at the beginning. After what happened in the finale of season three, they took the same side – but is that the right one?

Ed Harris’ (71) character William, meanwhile, seems to have found the most gruesome end for him: murdered by an artificial version of himself. What are Charlotte’s (Tessa Thompson, 38) intentions, in which a copy of Dolores’ mind has been stuck since the end of the second season , with her new “William” probably cherishes?

However, Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright, 56) fate in the season finale suggests that some time could have passed between seasons three and four. He had successfully entered the so-called “Valley Beyond”, the virtual afterlife for all “hosts” where they can live free from human oppression. But when he logs out, he wakes up covered in dust. Which raises the question: How long was he in the virtual world and what has happened in the real world since then?

So far, the series “Westworld” has raised twice as many questions per season as it has answered. Issue four will certainly challenge the viewer’s brain power once again. As a reward, there are again twists and show values ​​that hardly any other series has to offer. From June 27th, everyone should use their hopefully free will to make a pilgrimage to “Westworld” for the fourth time. And if you’re new to the “Westworld” cosmos: All previous episodes are available on the streaming service Wow and Sky Q on demand.