Foundation, a new Apple TV series, portrays the story of a bunch of scientists trying to herald the galaxy through a dark age that traversed centuries. Anthony Ha, a famous science fiction author, stated that the series went a bit too far from its source material, a highly intellectual series of classic novels by Isaac Asimov. In Episode 503 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Ha states that in the stories, individual action that is fundamental doesn’t really matter to that extent- what matters are the clashing sociohistorical forces. And the show, unfortunately, focuses on the former than the latter.
Apple TV’s Foundation Doesn’t Hit The Right Notes
David Birr Kirtley, the host of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, does agree that the Apple TV showcase Foundation does substitute the Hollywood formula for the more cerebral approach that Asimov is famous for. He states that the whole appeal of Asimov is to see smart people behaving rationally. The only reason one would watch Asimovian science fiction is simply that they would get to see nerds saving the universe through science- not hot people doing hot things.
This Apple TV version of Foundation seemingly takes place in a universe that is filled with supernatural events, special destinies, as well as superhuman abilities. Since Abby Goldsmith, a science fiction author, felt that a more rooted approach was probably the way to go, the story went off track to what Asimov wrote. She mentioned that the story felt quite anti-Asimov. While it was nevertheless interesting, the entire world-building felt pretty shaky.
While John Kessel, yet another author of science fiction, does seem to have mixed feelings about this Apple TV show, he does state that this is much better production of Asimov’s works. Much better than I. Robot and Nightfall.