Westworld scores top reviews, but critics aren't certain it's the new Game Of Thrones

TV-Ed Harris-Westworld

Critics are raving about HBO's new big series Westworld - but is it really the new Game Of Thrones?

The show is based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film and is about a theme park populated with human-like robots.

Starring the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Rodrigo Santoro, it is expected to be huge.

Sir Anthony Hopkins in Westworld (John P. Johnson/HBO)
Sir Anthony Hopkins in Westworld (John P Johnson/HBO)

Viewing figures so far are impressive - Variety reported that it drew 3.3 million viewers when it premiered in the US at the weekend, beating the figures for the first instalment of Thrones by around a million.

But while reviewers love it, they aren't certain it's a replacement for HBO's fantasy series.

Writing in Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson said the show was "rich and captivating".

However, he concluded: "I don't think this is going to set the globe aflame like Game Of Thrones did.

"But Westworld could at least assert itself as a rare kind of truly transporting television -- what we might have once called must-see."

In The Telegraph, Catherine Gee said while Westworld is "beautiful to watch" it isn't really comparable to Game Of Thrones.

She explained: "There's little to connect the two - aside from ample evidence of HBO's ongoing obsession with murder, nudity and sexual violence (where would high-quality drama be without those?)"

Mark Braxton, writing in the Radio Times, suggested Westworld has marked itself out as "its own beast".

"A true TV original: intelligent, perplexing, flinch-worthy (this is HBO, don't forget) and sometimes quite moving," he concluded.

The review on Forbes.com also suggested that the programmes are quite different, with Game Of Thrones being a fantasy and Westworld, which counts JJ Abrams among the producers, showing us a world we can better relate to.

Thandie Newton as Maeve and Rodrigo Santoro as Hector Escaton
Thandie Newton as Maeve and Rodrigo Santoro as Hector Escaton (John P Johnson/HBO)

Writer Erik Kain said: "There is almost nothing about these two shows that is similar, let alone the same, other than their top-notch quality and a penchant for nudity and violence that we've come to expect from HBO.

"Game Of Thrones is a straightforward fantasy epic. It's a wonderful drama with great, complex characters and a compelling story, but it's nothing like Westworld. It's brutal and sadistic, but also detached, a fantasy world with dragons and White Walkers.

"Westworld is more our world. A future world, but one that we can relate to. One that we can imagine living in, or our children living in."

JJ Abrams (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
JJ Abrams (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Some critics have also questioned the level of violence towards women in the sci-fi Western.

Empire's James White said: "There are worrying elements -- it's quick on the trigger finger when it comes to narrative tropes such as violence against women and casual nudity, but it remains to be seen how the show tackles those themes going forward."

Viewers have also been weighing in on Twitter, where the general consensus seems to be that Westworld might be a worthy replacement for Game Of Thrones, but that it certainly isn't better than the ratings winner.