I made a small typo in my predictions for this show, as I thought it was called “The” Foundation, but it is simply “Foundation”. For my prediction, here is what I said:
The Foundation starts on Apple TV+, a sci-fi series ruled by a clone not happy about a mathematician predicting darker times ahead. I am in like Flynn, and if it was on regular TV, I’d say cancellation; on Apple, I’m predicting renewal to Season 2.
Now that I’ve seen the first episode, I’d be tempted to predict possible renewal anyway. It’s hard to say. The show IS pretty hard-core sci-fi, and likely too dense for most casual viewers.
Here’s the skinny…a young woman has won a galactic math competition set up by a professor. She is from a conservative planet that shuns science and math, yet she has embraced it. She travels across the galaxy to the main planet to meet the professor and to take up a job with him, but upon her arrival, he tells her that she will be arrested the next day as one of his followers. The contest was really bait to find someone who could understand his mathematics well enough to verify that his predictive analytics are correct: the current civilization will fall within five centuries and may be followed by 300 centuries of dark conflict. He has a plan to limit the duration of the darkness — libraries to help people rebuild — but the current ruling dynasty is not happy to hear that his predictions have them dying off. The professor’s simple prediction comes true, they ARE arrested, and the trial basically accuses them of treason.
The professor, Hari Seldon, is played by Jared Harris, and I almost didn’t recognize him. Normally, he plays a bit of an oddball, emphasizing some issues with his eye alignment to make him seem a bit deranged and always a bit sketchy. Here, he’s very formal, sincere, respected, and speaks slowly and persuasively. In short, he is awesome. But he almost always is. Hodge from Mortal Instruments, Jones from Fringe, or Moriarty from Game of Shadows, he always delights.
Relative newcomer Lou Llobell plays the girl who won the competition, Gaal Dornick. She is generally solid, although in EP1, there are a few places where she seems a bit inconsistent i.e., either too light or too serious, although it could be the intent of the script for the scenes. Just seemed off a bit, pulling me out of the story.
There are a host of other characters…three leaders (clones), various people who represent the government (including Alexander Siddig aka Dr. Bashir as the government’s advocate), religious groups, and other supporters. It’s not clear yet who will make it through the series, and the direction of the series itself is unclear. The story has two time periods (present and 35y later), and both seem potentially compelling, although once you know it’s been 35y, I’m not sure the urgency of the interim period is as exciting.
Overall, it was a great Episode, really well done for production values, seemed more like a mini-movie than an episode. As I said in my prediction, I’m in like Flynn. Looking forward to the rest of the series.