Foundation, the science fiction streaming television series created by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman, has got mixed reviews since its premiere on September 24th, 2021. The show, which is loosely based on the Foundation series of stories by Isaac Asimov, follows the tale of a group of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it. In October 2021, it was renewed for a second season.
The show features an ensemble cast led by Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, and Leah Harvey, and follows the story of prodigy Gaal Dornick as she travels from her academically-repressive homeworld to Trantor, the capital of the Galactic Empire, to study under the famed Hari Seldon. Seldon, the creator of the predictive mathematical subfield of psychohistory, is arrested on charges of treason, along with Dornick, for his model which predicts the imminent collapse of the Empire. However, Dornick confirms Seldon’s model during his trial and they are spared by Brother Day, the Emperor. They are instead exiled to the Periphery world of Terminus, where they are tasked with building the “Foundation”, a repository of human knowledge that will shorten the dark age after the Empire’s demise.
The show was produced by Skydance Television and bought by Apple’s Worldwide Video Unit, with Goyer and Friedman serving as executive producers and showrunners. The series was filmed at Troy Studios in Limerick, Ireland, and created over 500 production jobs. Isaac Asimov’s daughter, Robyn Asimov, also served as an executive producer.
Let’s take a dive into the show and the writing and examine where it failed and where it succeeded.