Teaser for Foundation TV series

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/23/teaser-for-foundation-tv-serie.html


The most hopeful thing I say about this is that it can’t be any awfuller than the I, Robot movie.

“It was the greatest science fiction work of all time.”

It wasn’t even the greatest Asimov work of all time. I’m not even sure it was the most influential given how many people went into robotics and machine intelligence due to the Robot Chronicles. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the Foundation series for what it is, but its the Hugo for best all-time series in '66 was, well…

No - Scooby Doo


Asimov had many and compelling ideas, but his worldbuilding (even when building an entire universe) never approached the likes of a Dune much less a LOTR, and his characters were always pitifully two dimensional. This could be rough.


“. . .managed to evade screen adaptation for fifty years.” I’ve read The Foundation books, they are good, but definitely sweeping and scope and detail. Not sure my attention span could take it today. I like to think of that work of Asimov’s as the result of Star Wars and a phone book having a one night stand.


So thankful I was drinking ice coffee when I read that.


Ah, well. It’s like Game of Thrones: I might want to watch it someday, but I certainly don’t need yet another streaming service in my life.


I think the Foundation books suffer from the same problems of scale to which the Dune series eventually succumbs. The first book establishes a world scaled up from our experience 1000x and is able to weave a compelling story in that scale. Then the story ramps up that scale by another 1000x. Then another 1000x. And quite quickly it has rendered the beginning of the story puny by comparison while also making the stakes of the latter portion incomprehensible.

Looks like it has a lot of good actors in it, though?


AppleTV+ Execs: " So there is a lot of dialogue in this series?"
Producers: “Yes”
AppleTV+Execs: "how much dialogue?"
Producers: “about 1000 years worth”
AppleTV+Execs: “We’ll take it!”


A key difference though, IMHO, is that Dune was written as a novel, whereas Foundation was a fix-up of multiple novellas, and shorter fiction was always Asimov’s greater strength from a purely literary stand-point.


Promising casting so far. Makes me wonder who’ll be playing The Mule.


No relation?


Seems like there’s not enough fast-action for a modern audience.


Taylor Swift.

(said jokingly…then I realized that might be actually kind of cool and weird in the right way)


Here’s hoping that the central tenet of the series won’t get lost in the elaborate character development: that psychohistory (sufficiently large populations permit statistical prediction of their behavior) can only make (sequential) predictions for the short term, and if this failing is not kept secret it cannot even do as much as that.

A key feature of Seldon’s theory, (which has proved influential in real-world social science), is an uncertainty or incompleteness principle: if a population gains knowledge of its predicted behavior, its self-aware collective actions become unpredictable.


“If ever there was a company that want to better people’s lives through technology it’s apple.”

When I heard the guy seriously say that I had some problems concentrating on the actual stuff coming after.

Also foundation is kind of meh. It’s ok, but didn’t really age well imho.


Yeah, having the Mule be a gawky scrawny woman might actually work pretty well…

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Gave up on the Foundation series after about 50 pages. For me the prose was like chewing cardboard, and I could identify no characters or story worth following through the hundreds of pages to come. It was the opposite of immersive - lots of telling, little showing. Unless this series is a VERY loose adaptation, I can’t imagine watching it. Heresy for a sci-fi fan, I’m told.


Yeah, that guy gives new meaning to the phrase “Apple Polisher”.


The casting of the Mule could be very tricky, as its not a character that has aged well into the present, as he could justifiably be viewed as discriminatory in nature. They’ll have to pick a white person with “extreme” facial features (i.e. naturally or via makeup) who is a bit on the skinny side, and also give them weirdly coloured eyes and a bad haircut.

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Ah yes, as Salvor Hardin always said, “AppleTV is the last refuge of the incompetent”