Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

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Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by shevek »

Yeah, I know. Who the hell has Apple TV?

But if you can figure out how to watch Episode 1 & 2 (I did) and you're a fan of one of the most monumental sci-fi novel series of
all time, then all power to you.

For those who aren't familiar with this Isaac Asimov classic, it's about Hari Seldon, who can predict the macro-history of human galactic civilization (which for ten thousand years has been ruled by an 'Empire' with hereditary cloned emperors) with his practice of "psychohistory", which is a bunch of very fancy equations which are so precious they need to be stored in a glowing gold icosahedron.

Episode 1 is in general rather faithful to the beginning of the first book, "Foundation", except for making Hari's central assistant, Gaal Dornick, a black woman. Production echoes of shows like The Expanse, The 100, Raised By Wolves, and Dune in the visuals. Not much action - it's rather cerebral, as Asimov tends to be.

Episode 2 is totally different, as it follows both the machinations of the Empire and the members of the Foundation who are on a slowship towards their planet of exile, Terminus. Gaal has romantic moments with her lover, Raych, and there's a surprise which I don't actually think is in the book (I might be wrong). How the show reflects Asimov's world-building is remarkable, but Gaal is kind of a bland and not particularly appealing character.

The overall arc of this show spans 1,000 years and is supposed to last for 80 episodes. We'll see how far it actually goes.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by Visitor »

The only thing I hated about the Foundation series was Isaac Asimov got lazy in his last years. He decided to force as many of his old books into the series with books to tie them together. Some worked, but some just weren't worth it.

Don't have Apple TV so I'll have to see if it gets eventually released elsewhere.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by shevek »

Foundation S1 Episode 5:

After a whole bunch of exposition and character development (including even more in this episode),
things are starting to get more exciting and intense. There's a nice space battle, some murder and intrigue,
and a female-on-female combat scene between Salvor Hardin (Warden of Terminus) and Kaean (Grand Huntress of Anacreon).
Picking up the pace quite a bit!
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by NotUv2 »

I'm enjoying it. First of all, the production value is fucking gorgeous. So many striking visuals. Beyond that, I like the additions they've made, like the cloned Cleons: they're the personification of a civilization in decline by way of trying to just freeze a triumphant moment in amber, and the actors playing the Cleon clone trinity are uniformly amazing. I love the series' take on Salvor Hardin and Gaal Dornick (whose actress is gorram gorgeous, by the by), and I like the way it's developing. Excited to see more, though certain elements are going to drive Asimov purists crazy.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by tallyho »

Any pics of said gorram gorgeous actress?
I googled that as her name but got nothing... 😀 :giggle:
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by Imagineer »

I'm looking forward to Foundation, but Apple TV+ is going to have to wait another month or so. Glad to hear it's pretty -- you can't sell me a Galactic Empire without some grand architecture and spaceships.

I hope that the streaming services are finding data to support big productions of good material on a long-tail basis.
It seems they've at least learned that if they make a new sci-fi series, some people just won't invest until the second season is a sure thing.

I also hope they find that come-and-go audiences are still profitable, i.e. if I sign up and immediately binge Foundation, then watch Defending Jacob and Greyhound and a season of Ted Lasso, then cancel after four months, that means I'll be back when there's more stuff like that to watch.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by NotUv2 »

tallyho wrote: 1 month ago Any pics of said gorram gorgeous actress?
I googled that as her name but got nothing... 😀 :giggle:
That would be the lovely Lou Llobell. :love:

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Leah Harvey, who plays Salvor Hardin, is pretty darned striking in her own right, mind you.

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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by tallyho »

:w00t: Girls in sexy anoraks...

:giggle: :giggle:
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by NotUv2 »

tallyho wrote: 1 month ago :w00t: Girls in sexy anoraks...

:giggle: :giggle:
Hey, anoraks are HAWT.

...

Literally. :giggle:

Unfortunately, to date, we don't get to see Salvor in anything sexy. She's a warrior. Gaal Dornick, on the other hand, does get a little heartthrob time despite her main role as being a massive math genius.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by tallyho »

NotUv2 wrote: 1 month ago
tallyho wrote: 1 month ago :w00t: Girls in sexy anoraks...

:giggle: :giggle:
Hey, anoraks are HAWT.
Do you ring the phone sex lines and ask the girl what she's wearing and if she says a cagoule you just cream your knickers, there and then? :giggle: :giggle:

(Or. Kagool if you prefer)
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by NotUv2 »

tallyho wrote: 1 month ago
NotUv2 wrote: 1 month ago
tallyho wrote: 1 month ago :w00t: Girls in sexy anoraks...

:giggle: :giggle:
Hey, anoraks are HAWT.
Do you ring the phone sex lines and ask the girl what she's wearing and if she says a cagoule you just cream your knickers, there and then? :giggle: :giggle:

(Or. Kagool if you prefer)
I have never ringed a phone sex line, but I'm bookmarking this idea just in case. "What are you wearing? Are you wearing a cagoule? A nice... fluffy... cagoule? Ohhh, you filthy, nasty little slut... buh.. buhhh... BUHHHH! GAAAHHHHHH!"

It will not provoke that reaction, to be clear. But I would 100% fake it for the sheer humor factor. :fun:
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by shevek »

NotUv2 wrote: 1 month ago Unfortunately, to date, we don't get to see Salvor in anything sexy. She's a warrior. Gaal Dornick, on the other hand, does get a little heartthrob time despite her main role as being a massive math genius.
Unless you count the sex scene that Salvor had with her star-hopping hunky boyfriend in the episode where her character was first introduced. He's like the Han Solo of the series.

"Asimov purists" might indeed have something to say about the "woke" casting of two important male Foundation characters (Dornick and Hardin) as two black females (Salvor even has the de rigeur progressive haircut you see in every Big 2 comic book) but the casting actually works well because the characters are played very forcefully. Plus, both Dornick and Hardin are straight, which I was not expecting.

The classically-acted roles (including, as NotUV2 said, the Cleons at their different ages, and their ageless android governess
Demerzel, who seems to be a nod to the "I, Robot" universe) are top-notch, and the spacefaring visuals absolutely stunning (equal to that of The Expanse). All of that makes this worth watching (so far), kind of a blend of the aspects of Star Wars and Dune with (of course) Asimov's core story as a guide.

P.S. And the Anacreons speak a constructed language which has some harsh-sounding tones and syllables, like Russian or Persian.
It seems to be constructed, and I literally could only make out one word, 'gubernaya', which the Huntress says to mean 'navigation'. I wonder if it's gibberish or whether they took the time to hire someone like Marc Okrand (inventor of Klingon and Dothraki) to creae a viable tongue for the barbarian-like enemies of the Foundation.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by NotUv2 »

shevek wrote: 1 month agoIt seems to be constructed, and I literally could only make out one word, 'gubernaya', which the Huntress says to mean 'navigation'. I wonder if it's gibberish or whether they took the time to hire someone like Marc Okrand (inventor of Klingon and Dothraki) to creae a viable tongue for the barbarian-like enemies of the Foundation.
I get the sense that it's an actual conlang. I'm not sure, but the actors seem pretty fluent with it, which is usually a sign that there's something of substance there.
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by Visitor »

shevek wrote: 1 month ago Demerzel, who seems to be a nod to the "I, Robot" universe) are top-notch, and the spacefaring visuals absolutely stunning (equal to that of The Expanse).
The later Foundation books linked that with the I,Robot universe. Somewhere Asimov wrote a timeline that linked all the books and short stories that made up the Foundation universe wirh his earlier works.

This is based on that:
https://asimov.fandom.com/wiki/Asimov_Timeline
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Re: Foundation (Apple TV, 2021)

Post by shevek »

Just finished Season 1 finale (10 episodes total), and I'm of two minds about this thing.

On the one hand, there's much to recommend it as a series. It is exceptionally well put together.

On the other hand, this isn't Foundation. Or at least, it's not the books as written or cast.

So appreciate just for what it is, and not for what it isn't. Especially since the producer (Goyer) plans to have it around for 8 seasons to tell a few millennia worth of stories.

P.S. For NotUv2: the actor Leah Harvey is actually non-binary (despite being a hetero woman in the show who falls hard for the Han Solo analogue) and uses "they". Don't worry - I didn't know that until I checked just now, and I've already watched 'them' for 10 episodes.
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