We’re a few days behind with some of this, so lots to get through. HBO’s latest big-budget maybe-this-one-will-stick drama, Westworld, made its way to British screens last week: based on a 1973 novel by Michael Crichton, it’s set in a Western-themed amusement park where android Hosts service the clients. It has the sort of cast which I can’t really call “astonishing” any more, because it’s becoming standard in the Platinum Age: Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Luke Hemsworth, Ed Harris, and so on. Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, and (of course) J.J. Abrams are among the exec producers. The critical response has been generally positive, if not unanimously so (Sky Atlantic, Tuesdays, 9pm).
Also from HBO: the much-hyped Sharon Horgan/Sarah Jessica Parker collaboration, Divorce, a black comedy in which Parker plays a woman going through a marital breakup. The critics haven’t been quite as kind to this; which, together with the sour and hard-to-love second season of Catastrophe, makes me wonder whether Horgan, lavishly talented and Stakhanovite, is perhaps spreading herself a little too thinly (Sky Atlantic, tonight, 10.10pm).
Empire – which I gave up on some time ago – has returned for its third season (E4, Tuesdays, 10pm). And The Missing is back, with another missing-child drama for those who can bear to watch, which doesn’t include me. This time the action is set in Germany, David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes are the parents, and Tcheky Karyo returns as detective Julien Baptiste (BBC1, 12 October, 9pm).
And some streaming drama: season 5 of Ripper Street hits Amazon Prime tomorrow (Wednesday), and season 1 of The Ranch is already on Netflix.
Finally, Frequency, the CW’s reasonably-well-received adaptation of the 2000 movie, featuring a NYPD detective (Peyton List) who discovers that she is able to speak to her deceased father through an old ham radio, is also on Netflix.