Foundation on Apple TV

ctg

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First of all I like that they start from the galactic picture and go in depth to show the expanse of human imperium. And they're not afraid of showing alien worlds or even alien species, much in same way as Lucas Star Wars. We know for the fact George took inspiration from Asimov's Foundation but a lot of his stuff were too complicated to put on film.

There are so, so many similarities to Lucas project but also analogues to others, including dreaded Raised by Wolves. But unlike in his stuff, Asimov was a master on Ultra Tech. Stuff that's way beyond of our understanding, almost close to magic.

I have no way of explaining the vault technology the kids encountered at the beginning. And neither did the kids.

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So the real story behind the "Null Field" and "The Vault" starts in heart of the Imperium of Man, at Trantor, where grandious and monumental past joins the ultra modern. Yet, they have books and libraries, even though Asimov often went far beyond the printed stuff.

I think he was first one to propose something like an optical storage medium in the SF work, especially in regards of the timespan that the Foundation project was supposed to take. Books can last, but for all the information that the Foundation project is supposed the gather it's not going to be enough.

Although in design wise, when you are working with the ultra technology, going back to renaissance style opuses is an interesting choice. Maybe people like to hold onto things rather than adapt to industrialised cybernetics and those sort of things.

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Grandmaster Asimov never went to fantasy side, his superheroes were scientists, physicians, and mathematicians like Gaal. It is interesting to note that our superheroes like for example Dr Hawkins were a mathematician at heart. In similar tone to Einstein and Gall he were able to predict things and prove them mathematically, not just by a feeling or through a Force vision.

Another intriguing detail is that Gaal's background in the series is from an aquatic, kind of backwater planet, and in a similar tone to a Indian Mathematician trip to England. I'm sorry for forgetting the name, but his transition from rural India to urban England is symbolically similar to Gall's transition to be part of the Imperium.

It's intriguing that the Imperium has access to FTL technology, but its citizens doesn't really understand how it all works. Almost as if they've degenerated because the stuff is so far beyond the norm.

I loved that the jumpship created a wormhole and used it as a vessel to jump into the hyperspace. In similar tone, they showed that the space crew has to be augmented and that the cyber/bio technology is for the crew to survive. Thing is, it opens a door to the secrets, visions and all sorts of other things, especially when Gaal somehow wakes up in middle of the trip.

Seeing the jumpship docking to a space-elevator is something I've wanted to see all my life. So thank you AMZ for that. You can see an artistic vision to my of elevator at the cover of Book 2. Therefore it was not a surprise that Gaal reacted similarly.

I also accept that Trantor is one gigantic exopolis, where billions live thanks to the technology. And somehow, the nature isn't all messed up.

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"Dawn. Day and Dusk. The Genetic Dynasty..." The heart of the corruption, the ultimate vessels of transhuman species at the peak of the evolution. It irked me that they called Day as Empire and not Emperor.

But just like the emperor he's interest seemed to lay on the corruption gained through legal immunity. It was as if they chose to paint him dishonourable straight from the beginning and not as Emperor tipping into the darkness, just because it's fun and intriguing new thing.

Being able to brag about ability of sending people "down 50 levels" is pure terrorism and it seems that Day is drunk from power. It has gone in his head. Yet, his so called brothers aren't as ruthless as he is.

I didn't need to be Hari to be able to see the darkness or to understand what the ambassadors were grumbling about. I think they did a good job on showing how it all started to fold in 30 minutes. Especially how things are locked together and what is at the stage.

It was as if the Imperium of Man had taken a position where The Genetic Dynasty's word were the Bible and there could be no other truth. It speaks highly about the politics of terror, of stupidity and total ignorance when it comes to facts and proofs.

Most intriguing detail is that Emperor's court isn't made from idiots. There are a lot of people who asked very good questions in regards of Hari's prediction. All we know that the future isn't set in the stone. It has been said time and again. And even Hari himself claims that his "project can shorten the Fall to thousand years..."

Yet Gaal was unable to prove him wrong. Exciting.

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Death of the Stalk. Man they did this well. It was terrifying and tensile at the same time. All after the proof had given, almost as if it had been planned. But by whom? Hari? My money is on Empire's corrupted politics.

Very well done. Superb catastrophe pr0n and good costume drama in the aftermath.

I liked the first episode, and I will post the second one tomorrow.
 

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I must admit, I thought the terrorist attack was a little tasteless in its execution - particularly when it focused in on the people in the capsules. There was something about it that was just a little off.
 

ctg

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I must admit, I thought the terrorist attack was a little tasteless in its execution - particularly when it focused in on the people in the capsules. There was something about it that was just a little off.

The whole act is cowardly act, but all that Day was doing wasn't any different. To me the highlight was in the destruction in a similar way I admire the whole construction. There has been a lot of speculation about what would happen if the stalk would fall, and their interpretation was one of the answers.
 
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ctg

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Imperium's Wrath, merciless and terrifying at the same time. Just like it is in our time, when it comes to striking so called terrorists. The biggest bully in the block is the Imperium of Man. And the Empire was driving the point in the last episode, when he uttered: "Now you have Peace," almost as if there was other side of the coin that would've say: "1984."

I assume that like many others G. Orwell also read Asimov, but what we see came after Orwell's piece and to me, it's hard to not think about that book when I watch the Imperium doing its thing.

What surprised me is that in privacy Day seem to think about the casualties through the image of Imperium. That to outside it seems spotless, while the reality is far from that.

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It troubles me that Hari's lot is moving in space at sublight speeds and somehow they are making the trip in timespan that can be counted in days, even though Terminus is located at galactic rim. How is that working in reality, because it's breaking the physics.

Then they showed a swimming pool and I almost lost it. We know that in space, in microgravity water creates blobs. A swimming pool in a Hard SF spaceship would be a sphere and not a pool.

It wasn't the last thing as next we learned that Gaal is advancing sexually and hide-the-sausage seems to be the only thing in her mind. To me it seemed to occupy her mind during the training and she broke the character, by not counting primes when the beast appeared.

I liked that the pregnant engineer told Gaal off for asking her to put the baby in the storage. It felt right, especially as Gaal in the series is still a teen.

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The Stalk Fall aftermath was well done. I liked that Day was riding on top his madness, while Dusk were seeking a refuge from art and then from a religion. I was thinking what would happen, if Dusk died and Day would have to take his place, while Dawn would advance to acquire the most important throne.

Old age is a difficult beast, and you have so many regrets. At some point everything seems to be faulty and nothing you ever is good enough, while the time is running out. Oh, how he must have wished that Hari would never had done his predictions, because it was really the thing that broke the camels back. Nothing was the same after Hari's testimony and as soon as he uttered it, it became a prophesy.

The most important fact is that Gaal saw Hari's work wasn't complete. It didn't had all the parameters, leaving open some of the conclusions. More over it leaned towards the fact that the Imperium said that Hari was causing the Fall.

Hari also admitted that he didn't expect to be in the space on his way to make the Foundation reality. I assume that he calculated his end and when it didn't happen, it surprised him, positively. All while the Fall advanced because of Day's madness on the revenge.

The old man tried to talk some sense into the Emperor, knowing very well that he might have done some things differently. His approach to talking to the ambassadors were far different than Day's one. And yet, he was doubting the words.

Because of that madness, there is no change in the future. No matter what Imperium does if I cannot even see that it is in the fault and the ways it goes to fix it, cannot provide a result. Not a positive one. No matter how much one could wish.

Everything has an end date. Nothing lasts forever.

Maybe it is the Imperium that is faulty and that model cannot never ever last forever, because it could be as well be a con job, a pyramid scheme that wrongly places power at the hands of very, very few.

The Foundation suggests another model, as we saw in the planning meeting, a committee instead of a gang of elitists.

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Execution of worlds. And ambassadors. It was very well done. But at the same time I paid into Hari's prediction, where trillions of human would be slaughtered in the death throes of the Imperium. "War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is slavery."

1984. It's so easy to see that hubris coming alive in the small screen and think what if the Emperor would have been wiser. Why is it that we keep repeating the mistakes time and again?

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Why?
 

ctg

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Well, I can see why some of the reviewers are talking about the analogue to the Game of Thrones, because it's the closest thing to explain some of scenes. But unlike in that series, Foundation's biggest problem is that time-scale.

I think they've done good enough of job on making the material their own and giving the audience an epic spectacle. It is a grand journey and I accept the choices they've done, even though some part of believes that I should stop here and put this one side.

What do you think, should we stop here, or carry on?
 

Vince W

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I've watched the first episode.

The good:
Cast is very good and it is well acted.
It is gorgeous to look at. Apple clearly expects everyone to have a 4K+ television.

The bad:
If you're expecting a faithful adaptation, forget it.
Very little of Asimov's story or style is included. Where Asimov got straight to the heart of the story this is ponderously slow-building. At some points it's downright boring.

The ugly:
I couldn't help but think of Game of Thrones while watching this. Not because of the story but rather there seems to be an underlying current of casual cruelty that feels completely out of place. It shows in the actions of the Emperor and by the inclusion of all too real acts of violence for the sake of modernising the story to capture the average viewer unfamiliar with the story, Asimov, or scifi.

If it was just the good and the bad I would say this could end up being very watchable in the end. However, the ugly, if it continues, may be too much for me to stomach and I'll end up abandoning this after the second or maybe third episode.
 

Vince W

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Asimov's Foundation is based on Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Apple is highlighting that with Game of Thrones style drama. This will undoubtedly appeal to a great many people but I was not a fan of GoT and never got through the first series. This may keep me from becoming a fan of this series which is unfortunate as Apple has clearly put a lot of effort into it.
 
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REBerg

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First of all I like that they start from the galactic picture and go in depth to show the expanse of human imperium. And they're not afraid of showing alien worlds or even alien species, much in same way as Lucas Star Wars. We know for the fact George took inspiration from Asimov's Foundation but a lot of his stuff were too complicated to put on film.

There are so, so many similarities to Lucas project but also analogues to others, including dreaded Raised by Wolves. But unlike in his stuff, Asimov was a master on Ultra Tech. Stuff that's way beyond of our understanding, almost close to magic.

The mind-boggling special effects grabbed me right from the get-go. I'd love to use the opening credits as a screen saver.
It will no doubt take a bit for the character development and plot to catch up, but I'm willing to be patient.
If you're expecting a faithful adaptation, forget it.
As always, I have no issues with series elements which are at odds with the source material. In this case, I read the original Foundation Trilogy in 1978 and the sequel Foundation's Edge in 1984, which means I have virtually zero recollection of their contents. I'm OK with that.
I couldn't help but think of Game of Thrones while watching this.

A rabid Game of Thrones fan, I am thrilled at the resemblance. I'll be disappointed if space dragons don't show up soon. ;)

But just like the emperor he's interest seemed to lay on the corruption gained through legal immunity. It was as if they chose to paint him dishonourable straight from the beginning and not as Emperor tipping into the darkness, just because it's fun and intriguing new thing.

I accept the fact that Brother Day is a real baddie, but I can't take him too seriously because I still remember him as dog-loving pie-maker, Ned on Pushing Daisies. Selective memory can be a bad thing.

I think they've done good enough of job on making the material their own and giving the audience an epic spectacle. It is a grand journey and I accept the choices they've done, even though some part of believes that I should stop here and put this one side.

What do you think, should we stop here, or carry on?
Carry on!

I can't even theorize the reason for this murder, other than making certain that viewers watch episode 3 for an explanation. It had better be a good one! :mad:
 
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Disclaimer: a rant. Fell free to return fire at any idea I got wrong while being emotional.

As my avatar can hardly hide my fondness for the setting, I think this series, at this point, is one of the worst experiences I've had in the genre - and I liked the Dune adaptations, so I am quite elastic in terms of artistic licence.

Noone will convince me that the authors (or rathher the billion producers listed in the credits, as nowadays everything is just producers) actually care about the broader topics and setting. That behind the mish-mush of Dune and Altered Carbon anyone even understands the original work.

The series reminds, to a great extent, Notre Dame de Paris. A book - concerned with the immortal building in which shadows people commit untold depravities, but which will outlast them all, and the broadly known musical adaptation and Disney story, in which the toxic womanizer from the book literally becomes a prince charming, and the Cathedral, the central point of the book, is relegated to nice aesthetics.

In Asimovs work the Plan outshines the people. Seldon, or rather his Dead Hand, uncaringly guides humanity through it's needed journey, only in time showing the cracks. In the series, the plan is shown to be flawed from the very start. In the books, the Empires starts as fairly secular and materialist, if prone to burocratic overload, slowly descending into superstition and barbarism. In the series, it's magitech feudalism from the very start. It very much tries to show the viewer it is in dialogue with the original, pretentiously so, shoving around such beatiful phrases as "math is not about the numbers" or "Art is just politics", vocalises things that naturaly come from even a brief analysis of the text, but only to show how the writers are big brained and smart, without proper consequence.

I understand the enthusiasm of people that like GoT, and got (huh) GoT in space. Great for you, it is great (no irony intended) you got something that makes you happier in this dank world. I, unfortunately, came to see the Foundation.

Rant over, I'm open to all the flak I deserve :D
 

ctg

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I can't even theorize the reason for this murder, other than making certain that viewers watch episode 3 for an explanation. It had better be a good one!

I can and it's not because Hari was going to tip a sausage in wrong pie, but because he had hired his executioner and the table talk in the mess hall was the last tipping point. It was all the past errors and mistakes, plus maybe the Empire offered something that boy couldn't refuse.

Then there is the numbers, the unfinished business and pushing the event to begin. I think boy knows more about Hari's business and he decided to make a move, because there was too many lies and following the old man would have doomed the Foundation project.

It's just I keep remembering Hari's line and his shock on still being alive at the beginning of the Foundation Project. I assume that he had calculated his death to be part of the equation and it was time for his executioner to do the deed.

Rant over, I'm open to all the flak I deserve

You won't receive any unless we have gone totally bonkers. All views are welcomed.
 
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ctg

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Learned something new, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) has a Finnish accent, but strange thing is, I didn't recognise it. I thought she looked so familiar, but I never bothered doing the research in imdb as it turns that she was born in Helsinki.

So I have to ask, as I've battled with this, trying to lose my own Finnish accent for over eighteen years, does hers bother you guys?
 

ctg

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Unfortunately, it is exactly what you’d expect from an adaptation done by a committee of hollywood producer types and vetted by the diversity and inclusion board.

I've read and thought about your line at least a hundred times. So I have to ask a clarification, what do you mean, exactly?

A lot of people didn't expect to ever been able to see the grand spectacle that is Foundation or Clark's Rendezvous with Rama. A lot of it was down to the fact that the technology wasn't there, but now we can produce these spectacles and expect them to be a quality product.

I get that purists hate the changes, but they have adapted central parts that Asimov's family blessed, while they've also brought in elements from other grand spectacles instead of going down 110 percent what a writer presents on the paper.

So, can you please clarify about what you mean with all of it?
 

Elckerlyc

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So I have to ask, as I've battled with this, trying to lose my own Finnish accent for over eighteen years, does hers bother you guys?

Yeah, interesting question, which connects with the question I have.
I see complaints every now and then in reviews about Australian, American or British accents. So, what would be the correct accent (if there is any)? I suspect it is all in the Ear of the Beholder.
 

ctg

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So, what would be the correct accent (if there is any)? I suspect it is all in the Ear of the Beholder.

It's just sometimes I get back a comment, "Can't understand you," even though they do. There is also no equivalent for word "please" in Finnish language. So I struggle with using it and I have to think about using it instead of going with normal yes, no, maybe sort of answers.
 

Elckerlyc

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Well, I suspect comments like these says more about the people who make them than about your accent. (risky remark as I have never heard you speak! :D ) Dialects are more of a problem, I think. To me anyway, but I'm not a native English speaker.
Finns never say please? :eek: I'm shocked. But I recognize that kind of difficulty when speaking a foreign tongue. I hardly speak English anymore these days, opposed to writing obviously which allows you (theoretically!) to catch and correct errors, but 'Dutchisms' tended to creep in. Still do, even in writing.
 
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After Raych learns from Gaal that Hari’s endtimes theory might have some key pieces missing, he stabs his father figure, then puts Gaal in a cryosleep-enabled escape pod before sending her off to parts unknown. It’s a startling turn for a character whose loyalties had, seemingly, only just begun to waver. “In a sense, we’ve outlined a lot of the dynamics at play, and there he is trying to navigate those opposing forces,” Enoch said of Raych’s drastic action. “Speaking of that episode, it’s brilliant. I remember [starting the script for] episode two and I went, ‘Wait, what’s going on here? ‘And I got to the end, and I was shocked. It was shock, after shock, after shock. But there was something really satisfying in finding the story twisting and turning in that way, but it feeling very well-motivated and not feeling gratuitous.”

Despite the surprising parts of the show—the stabbing is by no means the only act of violence we see in the early episodes—Enoch thinks Foundation is still a hopeful story. “I hope it’s something that, yes, entertains people, but encourages people to reflect on the way our society is or where we fit within our relationships with authority and learning and the importance of it. I [hope] it causes people to reflect, because I think that’s something exciting that can happen when we’re presented with a world that is different from our own, that can shed light. It gives us a perspective—maybe at a bit more of a distance we can start seeing things we might not have noticed otherwise. If it provokes a little bit of thought as well as entertaining people, I’ll be very happy with that.”
 

DrStrangelove

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Learned something new, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) has a Finnish accent, but strange thing is, I didn't recognise it. I thought she looked so familiar, but I never bothered doing the research in imdb as it turns that she was born in Helsinki.

So I have to ask, as I've battled with this, trying to lose my own Finnish accent for over eighteen years, does hers bother you guys?

I would not have guessed, but no, I actually enjoy *most* accents (the ones that tend to trigger me a little are South/Central Asian, but only as long as it is English, not native languages)
 
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Elckerlyc

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"But there was something really satisfying in finding the story twisting and turning in that way, but it feeling very well-motivated and not feeling gratuitous.”

Well, I suppose you can characterize a twist in which a simple, stupid, unmotivated crime of passion ruins the execution and realization of The Plan as satisfying, plotwise, but I won't. Alfred Enoch might think it "very well-motivated and not feeling gratuitous,” but I suspect he is alone in the universe on this point.
No matter how you look at it, the murder, spacing Gaal (albeit in a pod) into a dense asteroid field, executed all without encountering someone else, none of it makes sense. What could he possibly think to achieve by that?
It also leaves open the question what Hari's intentions where by insulting Raych at the dinner table. Not in a way though that you would provoke someone to have him kill you, really? Because that was my initial explanation of this absurd end of episode 2. Somehow Hari Seldon, who hadn't expected to live and be part of the exile to Terminus, discovered that his continuing presence would influence the outcome of The Plan in a negative way. This is also why he requested Gaal to preside the meetings. And then looked for a far-fetched way to have himself murdered.
Not in pschycohistory, because that can't predict actions by individuals. But by bad manners?
 

ctg

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No matter how you look at it, the murder, spacing Gaal (albeit in a pod) into a dense asteroid field, executed all without encountering someone else, none of it makes sense. What could he possibly think to achieve by that?
It also leaves open the question what Hari's intentions where by insulting Raych at the dinner table. Not in a way though that you would provoke someone to have him kill you, really? Because that was my initial explanation of this absurd end of episode 2. Somehow Hari Seldon, who hadn't expected to live and be part of the exile to Terminus, discovered that his continuing presence would influence the outcome of The Plan in a negative way. This is also why he requested Gaal to preside the meetings. And then looked for a far-fetched way to have himself murdered.
Not in pschycohistory, because that can't predict actions by individuals. But by bad manners?

It was not just bad manners. It was the whole revelation,. but we don't know much about it until Gaal meets the team again. To my eyes, it definitely looked as if Hari pushed the buttons to get him off the equation. But why didn't he wanted to finish it and see the whole thing, when he already could figure out that his future was not set on stone?
 

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