Foundation – The DVDfever Review – Jared Harris – Apple TV+

Foundation Foundation is yet another drama set in a post-apocalyptic-style world, everything’s dying, mankind is doomed, etc.

A female voiceover (yet to be revealed) tells us how she wants to know about the universe, then travels to the planet Terminus, as yet untouched by man… which looks like it’s time to travel to a quarry, like in ’70s Doctor Who episodes, albeit with CGI.

Then we’re introduced to The Vault – which looks like a spaceship having vertically parked up – projecting a field to keep people away, so no-one can get close to it, although kids frequently try, as a form of a dare. No-one knows exactly what it is, but the few inhabitants assume there’s a ghost keeping them away from it. They’re probably religious.

In fact, this opens like a Star Wars movie, bouncing around between locations, briefly introducing characters in scant detail, expecting us to keep up and remember what’s going on. It’s like the equivalent of Max Headroom’s blipverts from the ’80s.

Gaal Dornic (Lou Llobell) is a young woman who’s won a contest to travel to Trantor and meet Hari Seldon (Jared HarrisChernobyl), a great mathematician who’s known as “The Raven”, can predict the future, and is critical of the Imperium… yep, I’m getting a bit lost already. Basically, he doesn’t like those weirdos in charge, and thinks the world will end in darkness for the next 1,000 years, if not 30,000. However, he has a cunning plan…

On the plus side, I like that you can travel via Interstellar-style hyperspace jumps, so when the ship travels at such incredible speeds, it feels like they’re teleporting. However, I feel like I’m watching several different stories crammed into one, and it’s an effort just to keep up with the plot exposition. Then again, it’s written by Isaac Asimov, and given he was thought of in the same league as Arthur C Clarke – whose 2001: A Space Odyssey ended up becoming a film I watch rather than try to understand – I figured that after 20 minutes of Foundation, I’d just watch, and not try to understand.

In fact, I had to look up what the series of books is about, and Wikipedia states: “The premise of the stories is that, in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a Dark Age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises. Although the inertia of the Empire’s fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which “the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little” to eventually limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To implement his plan, Seldon creates the Foundations—two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy—to preserve the spirit of science and civilization, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire.

One key feature of Seldon’s theory, which has proved influential in real-world social science, is the uncertainty principle of sociology: if a population gains knowledge of its predicted behavior, its self-aware collective actions become unpredictable.”

Maybe that’ll make sense, or just make your brain bleed? Either way, after one episode, this is just utter gibberish. I’m out.

In addition, I didn’t realise Reece Shearsmith (Inside No.9) was in this, so it was quite amusing to see him with an American accent. Well, I think it’s meant to be American.

The preview I saw didn’t have any subtitles, so it was a bit difficult to grasp all of the terminology, throughout.

Foundation is on Apple TV+ from Friday September 24th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. Initially, two episodes are available, and additional episodes will stream weekly.

Check out the trailer below:

Foundation – Official Trailer – Apple TV+

Episode 1 Score: Huh?

Detailed specs:

Running time: 65 mins per episode approx
Release date: September 24th 2021 (first 2 episodes)
Studio: Apple TV+
Format: 2.00:1

Directors: Alex Graves, Roxann Dawson, Jennifer Phang, Rupert Sanders
Producers: Macdara Kelleher, David Kob, Michael J Malone
Novel: Isaac Asimov
Screenwriters: Josh Friedman, David S Goyer, Lauren Bello, Marcus Gardley, Leigh Dana Jackson, Victoria Morrow, Sarah Nolen, Caitlin Saunders, Saladin Ahmed
Music: Bear McCreary

Hari Seldon: Jared Harris
Gaal Dornick: Lou Llobell
Brother Day: Lee Pace
Salvor Hardin: Leah Harvey
Demerzel: Laura Birn
Brother Dawn: Cassian Bilton
Brother Dusk: Terrence Mann
Young Gaal Dornick: Teyarnie Galea
Hugo: Daniel MacPherson
Halima: T’Nia Miller
Rowan: Pravessh Rana
Phara: Kubbra Sait
Freestone: Nikhil Parmar