My Celebrity Life

Foundation review: Epic sci-fi series channels Dune as Lee Pace flourishes as arrogant galactic ruler

My Celebrity Life –
The Empire has no mercy (Picture: Apple TV Plus)

Trying to describe Foundation, Apple TV Plus’ new Dune-esque sci-fi fantasy series, is no easy feat.

The ambition of this TV show is off the charts, depicting a galactic empire ruled by three clones of the same ruler, a role that Lee Pace relishes with every snarl at his inferiors.

Based on the book series of the same name by American author Isaac Asimov, the history of Foundation spans all the way back to the 1940s, when it was published as a series of short stories.

Almost 80 years later, the late writer’s vision has been adapted for TV in a manner that we would expect would have made his jaw drop with astonishment.

To put it simply, if that’s even possible, Foundation follows the ‘thousand year saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it’.

This so-called Foundation is the brainchild of Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), a mathematician who develops an algorithmic science called psychohistory, which enables him to predict what’s going to happen in the future in probabilistic terms.

My Celebrity Life –
The Empire doesn’t want to believe that Hari Seldon is correct (Picture: Apple TV Plus)

Using this method, Hari draws the conclusion that the Galactic Empire is going to fall, an eventuality that he believes he may be able to slow down, if not avoid completely.

This prediction places a target on his back, as the empire’s rulers Brother Dawn, Brother Day, and Brother Dusk, clones of the original emperor Cleon at different stages of his life, view Hari and his extreme views as a threat.

Hari ropes Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) into his world, a young girl who is a newly discovered maths prodigy, recruiting her with the help of his adopted son, Raych Seldon (Alfred Enoch).

As Gaal leaves her homeworld behind for a bright academic future, she soon realises that joining forces with Hari means that she has now also been placed under the watchful gaze of the Empire.

My Celebrity Life –
Gaal quickly realises that she is now at risk (Picture: Apple TV Plus)

The minute viewers start watching Foundation, they will undoubtedly be left in awe by the sheer scale of this show.

The detailed production design makes you feel as though you’ve literally been transported to another world, the wonder almost overwhelming as you take it all in through Gaal’s eyes.

If you thought the look of Foundation with its vast interconnected worlds across space reminded you of Dune, you most likely wouldn’t be the only one.

Dune, which was published in 1965 with a new film based on the novel out this year with Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, is said to have been a commentary on the Foundation trilogy, exploring the destruction of a galactic empire in a different way.

My Celebrity Life –
Gaal and Hari’s minds are both unparalleled in this universe (Picture: Apple TV Plus)

Lee makes every menacing moment count on screen as the Empire’s ruler, although it is quite jarring to see him barking orders just days after the actor’s cheerful turn on the Met Gala red carpet dressed in a suave Thom Browne ensemble.

In Foundation, Lee is a power-hungry dictator who won’t let anyone or anything get in his way, a role that in some ways resembles Ronan the Accuser, the role he played in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Another day, another space-based villain out for blood.

My Celebrity Life –
Three minds are better than one (Picture: Apple TV Plus)

Lou is captivating as Gaal, with viewers able to see the cogs turning in her mind as she absorbs her new, staggering environment.

As the narrator of the TV series, it will be intriguing to see how her first encounter with Hari sets off the series of events that result in the thousand-year saga depicted on screen.

Verdict on Foundation

There’s a lot to unravel in Foundation, and the first two episodes – while utterly enthralling – may be quite confusing for some.

If you don’t mind scratching your head at every turn, Foundation is a fantastic watch in every respect, from the visuals to the score, the performances and the action.

While there is a lot of information to absorb in the opening episodes, you get the feeling that throughout the 10-episode arc, everything will – hopefully – start to come together and make a lot more sense.

Nonetheless, no matter how perplexing some parts may be, we are definitely along for the complex and thrilling ride.

Foundation is available to watch on Apple TV Plus with new episodes released on Fridays.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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