The thing about space, as you’ll learn from Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson and all the rest, is that it’s heckin’ big. Its infinite vastness makes the setting so fertile for storytelling, but also a bit daunting. Just how do you keep an audience engaged once you’ve blasted way beyond the final frontier of human knowledge?
One guy arguably got close to perfection—Isaac Asimov, one of the granddaddies of science fiction whose Foundation novels won a 1996 Hugo Award for ‘Best All-Time Series’.
That’s pretty huge praise, yet it’s taken until now for one brave streaming service to tackle an adaptation of this expansive, galaxy-hopping series. Apple TV+ is mounting a massive Foundation retelling for TV, with the first three episodes premiering on September 24.
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Jared Harris is ideally cast as psychohistorian Hari Seldon—you might remember the actor from similar brave and brainy roles in The Terror and Chernobyl. Other stars include my beautiful big boy Lee Pace as Emperor of the Galaxy Brother Day, Alfred Enoch as Hari’s adopted son Raych, and Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick, a male character in the original novels.
If you’re a long-time reader of classic sci-fi lit, those names may spark memories of a crumbling empire, a new plan for humanity’s future, and lots of flipping back a few pages to figure out whose ancestor is who. Adapted for the screen, Foundation looks glorious…and not just gloriously similar to its big-screen cousin Dune, headed to cinema screens later this year.
In fact, let’s stop the Dune comparisons right there: Frank Herbert’s own epic sci-fi novels were written as a counterpart to Asimov’s series, so although they’re similar it would be a bit mean to accuse Apple TV+ of stealing Villeneuve’s spice. We can enjoy two different galactic escapes this year, and Mahdi knows we could use both of them.
From September 24 to November 12, all ten episodes of Foundation‘s first season will be released week-by-week—your ticket off-world to see what humanity’s future in the depths of space looks like.