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Foundation: all the latest on Apple’s sci-fi epic

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Apple’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation is one of the more ambitious series streaming right now. It got off to a bit of a slow start, but the show is big and lavish and features an excellent cast led by Lee Pace, Jared Harris, and Lou Llobell. Showrunner David S. Goyer has big goals for the series — with plans for 80 episodes in total — but so far, it has only been confirmed for two seasons, the second of which premieres in July. If you want to keep up with all of the latest trailers and news, along with interviews and our analysis of the series, stay tuned right here.


    Foundation’s showrunner explains why big book adaptations start so dang slow

    A still photo of Lou Llobell in season 2 of Foundation.
    Lou Llobell in season 2 of Foundation.
    Image: Apple

    Adaptations of big, complex books tend to start slow — and that’s usually because there’s just so much to explain. It was true of Game of Thrones and The Rings of Power, and it was especially true of Foundation on Apple TV Plus, which took Isaac Asimov’s novels and turned them into prestige television. With unusual concepts like psychohistory (a kind of math that can predict the future) and a genetic dynasty (a never-ending line of clone emperors who rule the galaxy), the first few episodes of season 1 were bogged down by exposition.

    According to David S. Goyer, showrunner on Foundation, there really wasn’t a way to avoid that. “I felt like the first three episodes of season 1 were so exposition heavy, but — trust me — we tormented ourselves trying to figure out a way around it,” he explains. “We just decided, screw it, we have to explain this stuff and hope the audience is still around.” He believes that might just be a necessary evil of this kind of adaptation, though. “A lot of the really worthwhile shows that I ended up loving took a while to get going,” Goyer says. “Maybe that’s just what one has to do when you’re doing a big ambitious, novelistic show.”

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  • A quick recap ahead of Foundation season 2.

    A lot happened in the first season of Foundation, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting some of the major plot points. If you need to catch up fast, Apple has released this three-minute-long recap just a few days before the second season premieres on Apple TV Plus.

  • There’s a lot of sci-fi streaming this summer

    A photo of Cassian Bilton and Lee Pace in season 2 of Foundation.
    Cassian Bilton and Lee Pace in season 2 of Foundation.
    Image: Apple

    It’s already been a pretty eventful summer for science fiction fans. Last week saw the finale of Apple’s post-apocalyptic series Silo, Strange New Worlds season 2 is keeping Star Trek going through August, and Disney Plus is still in the midst of Secret Invasion, its alien conspiracy offshoot of the MCU. Oh, and there’s the return of Black Mirror. On top of all of that, there are also a number of series making their debut in the coming weeks and months — so many, in fact, that you might need a little help plotting out your precious free time. So here’s a handy list to make life a little easier.

    Apple’s attempt at adapting Foundation got off to a slow start, but by the end of season 1 the sci-fi epic showed plenty of promise. The second season takes place a century later, and with much of the exposition out of the way, will hopefully be a little more exciting. It premieres on July 14th, with new episodes dropping on Fridays.

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  • Foundation’s season 2 trailer is a battle 100 years in the making

    It’s going to be a sci-fi summer over on Apple TV Plus. The streaming service is getting a second season of the epic series Foundation in July, and a new trailer gives a good sense of what viewers can expect: namely, a much more action-packed experience compared to season 1.

    The new season takes place a century after the previous one and has the Empire, led by a menacing Lee Pace as Brother Day, preparing for an all-out conflict with the titular Foundation, a group led by Hari Seldon (Jared Harris).

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  • Foundation’s second season kicks off in July

    One of Apple TV Plus’ biggest series is coming back for a second season this summer. Today, the streamer announced that season 2 of Foundationthe sci-fi epic based on the stories of Isaac Asimov — will premiere on July 14th. The new season will be 10 episodes long, with new episodes dropping on Fridays, and you can get a brief taste in the debut teaser trailer above.

    Foundation debuted back in 2021 and was notable in particular for its complexity, with a story that spanned multiple centuries. The second season will continue that tradition by taking place quite a long time after the first. Here’s the description:

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  • Foundation’s first season loses itself in its century-spanning story

    Image: Apple

    Foundation’s first season has officially wrapped with its season finale, which saw the first chapter of Apple TV Plus’ most ambitious show come to a conclusion. 

    The epic sci-fi show, based on Isaac Asimov’s centuries-spanning series of novels, has grown far beyond its quasi-magic space math from the initial episodes, spinning out different storylines ranging from drama in the Foundation’s newfound home of Terminus to the byzantine imperial politics of Trantor. 

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  • Chaim Gartenberg

    Oct 7, 2021

    Chaim Gartenberg

    Foundation is getting a second season on Apple TV Plus

    A photo of the Apple TV Plus series Foundation.
    Image: Apple

    Foundation has been renewed for a second season on Apple TV Plus, Apple announced today, ahead of the release of the fourth episode of the first season on Friday.

    The renewal is a vote of confidence from Apple, as one of the flagship shows on Apple TV Plus, meant to help bring in viewers as a prestige genre show in the same way that Game of Thrones does for HBO, The Mandalorian does for Disney Plus, or The Witcher for Netflix. That said, outside of today’s press release (where Apple calls the show “a global hit” that “quickly proved to resonate with audiences”), the company hasn’t even provided vague estimates of how popular the show has been so far.

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  • Apple’s Foundation starts out big, lavish, and a little boring

    Image: Apple

    Ever since Game of Thrones, every network seems to want something similar: an expensive genre epic that they can point to as our big thing. This is especially true in the world of streaming. Netflix has The Witcher, Amazon is spending an unseemly amount on Lord of the Rings, and Apple has Foundation, a sci-fi series based on the classic Isaac Asimov novels that kicks off with two episodes on September 24th. (New episodes will debut weekly on Apple TV Plus after that.)

    In many ways, Foundation fits that tentpole epic formula quite well. It’s a story about the downfall of a galactic empire, with lots of political intrigue to follow. It’s also a lavish production, with incredible special effects and gorgeous production design. You can tell it’s expensive in every frame. Apple clearly has big plans for it; showrunner David S. Goyer recently said that he’s plotted out eight seasons already. But it’s also a pretty weird story, one where you’ll spend more time seeing people doing calculations than anything resembling action.

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  • Jay Peters

    Aug 19, 2021

    Jay Peters

    Apple’s new Foundation trailer has some serious ‘Game of Thrones but in space’ energy

    Apple has released a new trailer for Foundation, its upcoming epic sci-fi show for Apple TV Plus based on Isaac Asimov’s series of novels, and I’m getting some serious “Game of Thrones but in space” energy from it. There are vast (space) vistas, a sweeping soundtrack, numerous shots of people making very serious faces, and dramatic proclamations that wouldn’t be out of place in an early episode of Game of Thrones:

    And you know what? That’s fine with me. For me, nothing has replicated the excellence of the first few seasons of Game of Thrones. Their gripping action, shocking twists, and captivating power struggles made every episode feel important, and I eagerly anticipated each one.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Jun 28, 2021

    Andrew Webster

    New Foundation trailer teases Apple TV Plus’ ambitious sci-fi epic

    Last week Apple revealed that Foundation, the upcoming sc-fi show based on a series of books by Isaac Asimov, would debut on Apple TV Plus in September. Now we have something even better: a proper trailer.

    It’s the first good look at the show since the debut teaser last year, and it reveals what looks to be an ambitious series that could give Apple’s streaming service its own must-watch epic along the lines of Game of Thrones or The Witcher. The trailer shows lavish sets, big-name stars, and, of course, a baby floating in a tank.

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  • Chaim Gartenberg

    Jun 23, 2021

    Chaim Gartenberg

    Foundation will debut on Apple TV Plus in September

    Foundation — Apple’s big-budget adaptation of the classic Isaac Asimov books — finally has a release date: it’ll debut on Apple TV Plus sometime this September, according to an email to subscribers obtained by MacRumors. An exact release date has yet to be announced, although, presumably, Apple will provide details on that in the coming weeks as the marketing blitz for the show picks up.

    The series has been a long time coming. Apple first announced Foundation back in 2018, as one of the marque series for the streaming service, and it debuted a trailer for it during its WWDC keynote presentation last year. But due to delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, the show was delayed to late 2021, and Apple hasn’t really shown off any more footage or information since.

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  • Jun 22, 2020

    Julia Alexander

    Apple debuts first look at Foundation TV series, coming to Apple TV Plus

    Apple used part of its Worldwide Developers Conference today to show a brief look at Foundation, its new sci-fi series coming to Apple TV Plus in 2021.

    Based on Isaac Asimov’s popular book series of the same name, Foundation follows a “band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it,” according to Deadline. The show was announced by Apple in 2018 and was forced to pause production earlier this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.

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  • Aug 23, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Apple has greenlit a TV show based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series

    Art: Chris Foss

    Apple has given a straight-to-series order for an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s acclaimed science fiction Foundation trilogy after picking up the show for development earlier this spring.

    In April, Deadline reported that Apple was developing an adaptation of the series, which adds to the company’s growing list of original content offerings as it seeks to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Disney. The initial order for the show is 10 episodes.

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