Available on Apple TV +, Foundation is the most anticipated sci-fi series of the year. Is this adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s major literary saga worth the detour?
WHAT DOES IT TALK ABOUT ?
Exiles discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to challenge it. Series adaptation of the short story collection by Isaac Asimov.
The first two episodes of Foundation are available on Apple TV +, the sequel will be available one episode per week. Episodes seen: 4/10.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
While Denis Villeneuve has taken the adaptation of Dune, classic of Frank Herbert’s SF literature, to the big screen, another major masterpiece of the same genre has landed on the small screen: Foundation , series adapted from the cycle of novels by Isaac Asimov. The eagerly awaited 10-episode series carries with it many hopes of being the revolutionary new television work that will mark a turning point.
No one had yet really risked adapting the work of the visionary Isaac Asimov and, after several failed projects, it is now the writers and producers David S. Goyer (the Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman ) and Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, Snowpiercer series, Avatar 2) who took on the crazy challenge of directing Foundation, with the blessing of Robyn Asimov, the author’s daughter.
It’s very clear that Apple has gone all out to give the ambitious series an imperial place in the vastness of the television galaxy and that ambition pays off as Foundation is breathtakingly beautiful. All the plans deserve our attention, for its majestic structures, its sharp decorations, its refined backgrounds touching the firmament.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Foundation’s breathtaking visual effects that will definitely mark a turning point in sci-fi series imagery. With such splendor in its form, this adaptation could have quickly fallen into the contemplative stagnation but avoids this facility by chaining with force and rhythm the actions of its characters invested with an almost divine mission.
But like the Galactic Empire, threatened with an inevitable collapse, Foundation suffers from chains that are sometimes too rapid, with intrigues carried out off-screen that could destabilize more than one. We imagine that the creators did not want to lose or annoy the viewer or leave the neophytes of Asimov’s universe aside, but this narrative construction prevents certain outbursts of emotion in a world that is already very austere and cold.
It is a shame that some characters are less in-depth or developed as the cast, from confirmed actors (Lee Pace, Jared Harris) to young talents (Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey), give themselves body and soul in this crazy project, as crazy as that of attenuating the fatal and inevitable fate of humanity, the fall of which is predicted by a scientist specializing in psychohistory.
The purists will perhaps be reluctant in the face of certain script changes compared to Asimov’s work, but David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman justify these necessary differences by invoking in the viewer themes of our present, between dictatorship of religions and beliefs , power wars and political games, climate emergency, transhumanism and anticipatory sciences, in order to make this fictitious future more convincing and meaningful.
Despite the few flaws, Foundation is an incredible visual feat and a timeless experience that deserves to obtain other seasons to deepen its reflection, take the time to gather our souls and establish its authority conferred by its material of origin which inspired the greatest works of science fiction in our collective imagination.