The Foundation Review


Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

“The Foundation” is a relatively unknown television series that premiered on Apple TV, produced and written by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman and based on a book series of the same name written by acclaimed sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov. All previous attempts to adapt the book into a film were not able to get past pre-production. This likely happened because the book series spans the thousand-year-long history of a Galactic Empire with next to no internal dialogue or monologues; all conversations took place between two or more characters in rooms, all causing the book to be thought of as “unfilmable.” 

For people expecting a faithful recreation of the original source material, this show may not satisfy you, due to the show having to take many creative liberties and adjustments. For instance, Emperor Cleon is replaced by child, adult and old versions of him called the “genetic dynasty.”

 Something neat about the show is that most actors are not considered “famous”; the only truly recognizable actor is Jared Haris who played crucial roles in shows like “Chernobyl” and “The Expanse.” Frankly, it is better when a movie does not have a lot of celebrity actors since it usually takes away from the immersion when suddenly the “guy who plays Thor” shows up. Instead, newer or less known actors are able to take the spotlight and shine themselves. The show shares some similarities with 2020; the predicted apocalypse and collapse of the Galactic Empire mirroring our “climate anxieties” that we hold paired with the Empire’s resistance to accepting the truth of the inevitable. 

In my opinion, the show is criminally underrated; it is a little tragic that it aired on Apple TV because the show deserves more recognition, and Apple TV is obscure compared to platforms like Netflix or Amazon. Despite its obscurity, the acting is great and one positive of being on Apple TV is that the show is able to utilize Apple’s budget to the fullest extent with stunning visuals of planets and large sets, like the planet city of “Trantor: the Seat of the Empire.” I was concerned that the show would not get a second season because it would not bring in enough views to justify another one but thankfully, as of recently, a second season has been announced. The intro of the show is especially great as the statues that flash on the screen are made of the same ‘moving paint’ murals that cover the imperial palace. All three Emperors are fully fleshed out and get much more attention and matter more in the storied collapse of the Galactic Empire. However, it sometimes strays from the more scientific seeming nature of the books and into more magical elements, which clashes with Hari Seldon’s scientific reasoning. The show deserves a rating of eight out of 10 since the familiar apocalyptic themes and sci-fi universe combined with the mysticism has already been done in Star Wars and more recently with Dune. I would hope that it would return to a more scientific approach but the premise will never not be interesting.