Three figures on a small rowboat drift on an open sea. Filling the sky are bright streaks of light. Or are they Saturn-like rings on a planet we’ve never heard of?
So begins the exclusive video featurette you can watch above titled “Discovering Worlds: The Saga,” for Apple TV+’s 10-episode epic “Foundation.”
Based on the much-loved sci-fi novels by Isaac Asimov, this endeavor from executive producer David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight”) marks the first adaptation of Asimov’s saga, initially published as short stories in the 1940s. The entire story arc, which Asimov expanded in novels, plus sequels and prequels, spans a millennium. As such, a primer on the plot is greatly appreciated.
“Foundation is a thousand year chess game between Hari Seldon on one side and the Genetic Dynasty on the other side,” explains Goyer in the featurette. Seldon, played by Jared Harris (“Chernobyl,” “Mad Men”) is a mathematician born in the year 11,988. He invented a theorem called psychohistory, which can predict a population’s behavior.
Seldon determined, essentially, when would be the best time in future history for mankind to create the perfect society. This all depends, as it always has, on the collapse of the ruling party: The Empire, led by a series of tyrannical clones (including Lee Pace of “The Hobbit”). “The Empire is absolutely monstrous,” explains Goyer in the video. “They hold sway over 10,000 worlds with an iron fist.”
“Foundation” takes place in quite a few of those 10,000 worlds, as seen in the featurette, which includes massive outer space colonies, crowded cities, underwater environments, enormous desert dwellings, cavernous palaces, and vast libraries.
The series is now airing on AppleTV+ and the streamer has greenlit a second season. Goyer has stated his intention to adapt Asimov’s whole narrative, which the producer says could take 80 episodes. Best to get acquainted now.