The first season of robot cowboy drama Westworld was a massive hit for HBO, and arguably the first show to finally look like it might be the 'next Game of Thrones' that everybody's been waiting for. Unfortunately, it took the company a grand total of three years to make that first series - and while the wait for season 2 isn't quite as long, it's still not going to be a show that premieres once a year like clockwork.

So when is Westworld back on our TV screens for its second season, and where will you be able to watch it when it does return?

When is Westworld season 2?

For one thing, you can give up right now on heading back into the park before the end of the year: we're not getting anything until 2018.

Although HBO confirmed it has commissioned a second season while the first was still airing in November 2016, it made clear at the time that it would need more than a year to make the second series, and has so far only promised a launch of 'spring 2018'.

That was further confirmed by star Evan Rachel Wood on Twitter, who reiterated that the show is on track for a spring launch:

Where can you watch it?

Westworld is made by HBO, so if you're in the US, that's where you've got to watch it. For the UK, as with most big HBO shows, that means it airs on Sky Atlantic, and season 2 will be no exception.

If you don't have Sky already that means you'd have to sign up for one of its TV bundles to watch the show live, but there is another (cheaper) way: Now TV. This streaming service boasts Sky content - including Westworld - so you'll be able to watch Westworld season 2 episodes whenever you want as the show airs, and the Entertainment Pass costs just £7.99 a month, with a 14-day free trial.

Conveniently, Now TV also currently has the first season of Westworld available to stream, so it's also ideal if you missed it the first time around, or just want to refresh your memory of the labyrinthine plotting.

What can we expect from season 2?

We don't know a huge amount yet about the show's second season, but we have a few ideas. The official Comic-Con trailer (above) hints that the show's robots are going to get some rather violent revenge following the events of the finale, while the tiger suggests we might actually pay a visit to the Samurai World teased in that episode. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that trailer consists entirely of footage from the first WEEK of filming, so there's an awful lot left that we're yet to see.

How many episodes will there be?

As with the first season, there will be ten episodes in total.

Which characters will be back?

It looks like most of the first season's cast will be back in action - at least those whose characters survived.

Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris are all returning to the show - and are all seen in the Comic-Con trailer. 

Perhaps more surprisingly, Jimmi Simpson will also be returning. He (SPOILERS!) was revealed in the finale to be the younger version of Ed Harris' Man in Black, and has confirmed on Twitter that he'll be back to fill in more of the details of his character's evolution.

The biggest question mark right now is Anthony Hopkins, whose park creator Robert Ford was killed in the finale. That doesn't mean there's no way for the actor to return - as the same character or an android replacement - but so far both Hopkins and HBO have stayed silent.

Are there any new characters?

Unsurprisingly, yes, there will be a few new characters in the park this time. Probably the most important is a new regular, played by The Leftovers star Katja Herbers, described by Deadline as “a seasoned guest in Westworld whose latest visit comes at the park’s darkest hour”.

Meanwhile Variety reports that Gustaf Skarsgård (Vikings), Fares Fares, and Betty Gabriel will all join the show. Skarsgård will be playing Karl Strand, “a white-collar guy comfortable in the field”, Fares is a new tech called Antoine Costa, and Gabriel will play Maling, a new enforcer in the park.