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Apple TV Takes on Asimov’s Foundation

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Apple isn’t known for making small splashes.  When they enter a market, they aim to change the world.  That’s the same philosophy Apple TV is bringing to the streaming wars as they take on Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi classic Foundation. Can they pull it off?

It won’t be easy. Here’s why

Foundation isn’t going to be an easy novel adaptation.  The series began in 1951 and has continued on in one form or another ever since.  It won the Hugo award for the best sci-fi series ever in 1961 and at that time, it wasn’t even done. 

What we know as The Foundation Series now spans over 70 years of writing, cementing it as the most iconic sci-fi work of all time.  You can see its influence in everyday life. 

Nobel Prize winners have drawn its lessons for real-world applications, Star Wars has obvious connections as we shall see, and Elon Musk has been influenced by Foundation.  That’s the project Apple TV is embarking on. It’s fan base spans generations. 

They’re going big. Money, that is

But with a budget of a reported 50 million dollars, they look to be doing it right.  Early shots of Foundation show epic landscapes that are the backdrop to a Game of Thorns-esque plot that is as complicated as the scenery. 

The story of Foundation follows the work of Hari Seldon played by Emmy award winner Jared Harris.  Hari Seldon creates a new science called psychohistory, which can predict the action of large masses.  The stakes of the universe are high as the power of the Galactic Empire (everyone see the influence here?  I’m looking at you Palpatine) begins to wane, and that’s just the beginning.  What comes next took another fifty years to tell. 

Apple TV’s version of Foundation is loosely based on the novels, which could delight an already committed fanbase that is hungry for new storylines.  Several characters get a gender swap, like Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) and Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey), plus the addition of other characters not seen in the books. 

New content set in a loved universe may be exactly what is needed to make Foundation take off.  The snips that have been released look absolutely amazing and the acting appears to pop right off the screen.  From viewing just a few of the released scenes, every episode looks like a blockbuster and pulls your right in, no small feat for a five-second clip. 

The power behind Foundation

Show-runner David Goyer certainly has the skills to make Foundation work.  With credits that include Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, he’s no stranger to complicated storylines and multi-faceted characters. 

He’ll need all his skills to make the Foundation the flagship show for Apple TV which is still battling for its market share after launch in November of 2019.  Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and many others are competing for an ever-changing demographic. 

Can Foundation bring that audience to their doorstep and help redefine streaming? 

Foundation is scheduled for a 10-episode run and comes out sometime in 2021, with no specific date being given as of yet.  Production picked back up on October 6th, and by all accounts, it’s full steam ahead, or in this case, full warp.  This show certainly has the power to change the world, which is right up Apple’s alley.