Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost – TV Review

TL;DR – We start to see the main story unfurl, but some of the more frustrating elements are still there.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Mathematician’s Ghost. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

‘Non-linear storytelling’ is a method of creating a narrative that does not follow the usual A->B->C->D pattern but can jump all over the place C->D->B->A. Sometimes this comes in the form of a narrative hook where they show something shocking and jump back in a week to show how they got there. Sometimes it can be used to keep an audience off-balance. Sometimes it can be a complete surprise, like in Westworld. But if you are going to employ a non-linear story, you need to make sure it improves your narrative and that you are not losing your audience in the process.

So to set the scene, at the end of Preparing to Live, we had a moment of horror as Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) is apparently murdered at the hands of his own son Raych (Alfred Enoch) while Gaal (Lou Llobell) was jettisoned out of an escape pod. This episode we open 400-years earlier when Cleon the First (Terrence Mann) is looking over the construction of the Starbridge and preparing to create the legacy of his clones. We then jump 19 years after the bombing in The Emperor’s Peace, as Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann) has started his final day before becoming Brother Darkness. While 36 years after the bombing, the colonists have landed on Terminus and have been spending their time founding a colony and starting the task of softening the fall of the galactic empire.   

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Foundation: Preparing to Live – TV Review

TL;DR – While still showing promise, the follow-up does not hit as hard as the first.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: Preparing to Live. Image Credit Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

Adapting a work from one medium to another is a complex process. Indeed, the media landscape is lifted with the failed attempts and aborted projects. This danger is amplified further when you adapt a work that is older and does not play within modern narrative frameworks. Today we continue to explore a show that is charging through this dangerous terrain by adapting a pillar of Science Fiction’s canon.

So to set the scene, Trantor is a planet still reeling from the terrorist attack in The Emperor’s Peace that destroyed the Starbridge sending the space elevator plummeting towards the planet, killing hundreds of millions on the ground. In the opening, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) leads a task force to Dwarf Planet Aethra to hunt down whoever financed the attack, but no clues could be found. But while the Empire reals, the Foundation is making the slow 5-year journey to the outer rim, but for all their training, projections still show that 30% of the colonists will still die in the first year. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a good foundation for a series that moves everything into place and hints at much more.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this episode.

Foundation: The Emperor’s Peace. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Foundation Review

For a while now, I have been wondering just what would make me up and give Apple TV+ a go. Sure, I’ll probably watch Ted Lasso at some point and cry a lot, but I needed something to grab me. Well, I have made my position about Sci-Fi quite clear, and if you are going to hook me with something, adapting a series from one of the greats, well, that will do it. Isaac Asimov is up there with Arthur C Clarke, Ursula K Le Guin, Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert, Mary Shelly, and HG Wells and to see his masterwork brought to the screen, well count me in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the planet of Terminus, where on a promenade looking over the small colony is ‘the Vault’. It is a floating repository with a null field forcing you to turn away from it if you dare approach, as some local kids find out the hard way. 35-years earlier, we land on the planet of Synnax, a water world surrounded by rings. Here a young Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) is making a final trip from her planet. She is going to the centre of the galaxy, the home of Emperor Cleon (Lee Pace, Cassian Bilton & Terrence Mann), and where she will meet Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), the great man of mathematics and the founder of psychohistory. But little does Gaal know that the Empire’s peace is being tested and that she might just be arriving for her trial and execution. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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