In many ways, Apple TV+ has been slower off the mark in the streaming wars when it comes to delivering a major big-budget blockbuster series. If Ted Lasso and The Morning Show have got everyone talking, they’re distinctly human affairs. But with its epic adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, Apple is going big. Like, really, ridiculously big. But as much as the show will involve bringing a massive galactic empire to the screen, it’s not about building that world – it’s about watching it collapse, as ‘psychohistorian’ Hari Seldon’s mathematical prediction of the future sees that everything humanity has built among the stars is about to crumble. Yikes. And safe to say, the rulers of said empire aren’t thrilled about what Seldon’s foretelling. Watch the trailer here.
Looks suitably epic, doesn’t it? Jared Harris is playing Hari Seldon in the show – but the way into the story, in this trailer at least, seems to be Lou Llobell’s gender-swapped Gaal Dornick, a disciple of Seldon. But Apple is playing its cards close to its chest with this series, it seems – there’s plenty of mystery around how it’s tackling Asimov’s millennia-spanning saga, so the exact approach taken by showrunner David S. Goyer remains to be seen. For now, here’s the official synopsis: “When revolutionary Dr. Hari Seldon predicts the impending fall of the Empire, he and a band of loyal followers venture to the far reaches of the galaxy to establish The Foundation in an attempt to rebuild and preserve the future of civilisation. Enraged by Hari’s claims, the ruling Cleons — a long line of emperor clones — fear their unrivalled reign may be weakening as they’re forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their powerful legacy forever.”
Either way, it looks like it’ll be a battle between Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Foundation when it comes to the great ‘Game Of Thrones-but-in-space’ duel of 2021. (Both, notably, come from novels written long before George RR Martin started penning A Song Of Ice And Fire – but hey, the epic storytelling, collapsing empires, and sci-fi/fantasy politicking certainly lends itself to a Thrones comparison.)
The first season of Foundation consists of ten episodes – the first two are due to start streaming on 24 September, and the rest will drop weekly on Fridays. Let the galactic chaos begin.