Foundation series trailer (Apple TV+)

Just saw that Apple released a trailer for their upcoming (2021) series based on the Foundation series (Asimov).

I’m not sure whether it will work. Although the series has several scenes which would lend themselves well to cinematographic treatment, I’m worried that the focus would be too much on action and too little about the machinations and thoughts which form the core of the plot.

I share your concerns, but the trailer didn’t look terrible. I’m approaching this with cautious optimism, and planning to watch until it gives me a reason not to.

And I’m thinking it’s time I went back and read the trilogy, as it’s probably been more than 20 years since I’ve done so.

Looks good, and Legasov as Hari Seldon is good casting.
I assume they are going to change the story a lot, since the books as written consist mostly of people in a room talking and I doubt that would fly with a tv audience, but I’m good with it if they at least try to remember that “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” and thus smart solutions should be prefered to violent ones.

The problem with adapting Asimov is that you have to add a plot, characters and dialog.

There is a film called The Man From Earth, by Jerome Bixby, who created the Star Trek Mirror Universe. It really shows how good a film can be when it doesn’t have anything more than people sitting around talking.

Although I suspect The End of Eternity would have been easier to faithfully adapt.

I think the problem is that the only thing the typical Asimov story has is plot, with sometimes a bit of dialog. So they need to bolster the characters.

I’ll check it out, thanks :slight_smile:

The difficulty with building up characters is that the story spans centuries, and so each Crisis has a completely different cast (other than the recordings of Hari Seldon).

What I remember most from the Foundation trilogy is that Asimov was able to create a story spanning hundreds of years with faster-than-light travel and still had his crew using slide rules to calculate their course.

In Foundation and Earth Hari Seldon reappears, as R Daneel Olivaw. I don’t suppose this series will make it that far, though.

My bet? When Hari Seldon gets around to explaining the concept of predictive Psychohistory, the word “quantum” will be used more than once.

It may be a blessing in disguise that Asimov didn’t provide well-developed characters and dialog, as that means the writers can use their creativity to flesh these out. Then they may be more inclined to keep the outline of the plot.

If it is well done there are some great scenes, such as Seldon’s appearance when the Foundation is under attack. I’m hoping they resist the temptation to add lots of drawn out fight scenes. There are a few fights, but that is not the attraction of the story.

I re-read the trilogy earlier this year, agree with much of what’s been said here, and like what the Apple trailer showed. I look forward to seeing the show.

Incidentally, I presume the young woman is Gaal Dornick, Hari Seldon’s protege (and a dude in the books), or the equivalent.

Here’s more:

I thought the trailer looked good. It’s been decades since I read the trilogy; I’ll have to get it out and make it next in line.

Note that there are actually seven books in the Foundation series. Nothing is said in any of the announcements about the TV series which books will be used for it. Possibly the people making it will use just the first three books. Then if it turns out to be very popular they will use the other four books for a follow-up series.

Are you sure? Hari Seldon had an electronic calculator on his belt. You may be thinking of Robert Heinlein’s books, like The Rolling Stones, where they definitely used slide rules to calculate courses.

Oh, it is quite possible that I combined and confused several stories in my mind.

That trailer (or teaser, or whatever you call it) actually does look pretty good.

I appreciated this video about the Foundation series: Isaac Asimov, Game of Thrones: How to Write Sociological Stories