Since launching AppleTV plus, the streamer has been careful to put out expensive and ambitious original series. Unlike other new streamers, AppleTV focused on quality over quantity. Like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Servant, and Schmigadoon, Foundation – Apple’s new sci-fi series based on the award-winning series by Isaac Asimov – isn’t an indie made series.
Starring Lee Pace, Jared Harris, and Alfred Enoch, “Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire.” While that might sound like your average sci-fi series, Foundation is quite expansive and complex. So much so that the first episode requires a couple viewings to fully comprehend who everyone is and what is actually happening.
Foundation is a dense series, both on the page and on the screen, which attempts to shed light on broad concepts while engaging the audience with gorgeous thought provoking questions and space-scapes. While the series is set in a universe feeling vastly different than our own, the themes addressed are universal.
The first episode introduces audiences to Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) – a brilliant young woman who has won a math contest resulting in traveling across the universe to study with the equally brilliant professor, Dr. Hari Seldon (Harris). Seldon’s groundbreaking works in a science that can predict the future threatens the empire running the universe: a set of clones, the young Brother Dawn, the elder Brother Dusk, and the one-who-seems-to-be-in-charge, Brother Day (Pace).
Harris, often best remembered for his manipulative characters, continues his streak of “can we trust him” performances. By the end of episode two his portrayal gaslights viewers to question whether he’s actually a protagonist or just another villain for Gaal to deal with. And the story only gets more intricate from there.
If you prefer your sci-fi to be slow and complex, this is definitely the series for you.
Foundation streams on AppleTV+. The first 2 episodes are out now; new episodes drop Fridays.
— Yael Tygiel