I write this review as a hardcore Isaac Asimov reader; as a teenager I read all the books I could by him, I searched them everywhere, in all the libraries, in all the supermarkets. I still have all my copies. I consider Asimov, with Sagan and Cousteau, three of my best teachers ever.
So, what can we say about Apple TV Foundation?
That is garbage.
The Woke is Strong in you.
They ride the woke wave, gender-swapping Salvor Hardin, Gaal Dornick, and even Eto Demerzel.
You could let Dornick pass as a female, it could even add to the story, but Hardin? But Demerzel?
Daneel carried Foundation on his shoulders, why touch him without adding? Just for the fun of the insult to the fans? To subvert our expectations?
Dornick, of course, is a better mathematician than Harry (she keeps calling him that!). She’s quicker, she knows all the jobs in the colony, she’s a natural-born leader, she’s black, she’s female, she’s The One™! Not Seldon, not Daneel, no! Gender-swapped Mary Sue Dornick!
It’s soap opera.
With Dornick now a black minority female, they can pursue a love interest with Raych. If you’ve read Asimov’s science-fiction, you know exactly how he felt about love and personal relations, against his cerebral stories. This is merely to appraise to as broad a market as they can.
It’s filled with bad science.
Asimov was a scientist who praised himself in writing scientifically sound stories; he was utterly pedantic and insufferable about his knowledge. This is just your regular Marvel space magic. He kept himself away from nonsensical jargon and used plot devices as sparsely as posible (the “jump” was just part of the background, of the obvious and necessary future technology, no need to explain it, better actually think and invest time developing the Robotic Laws from which most stories derive).
Now instead, we have a space elevator that falls in five minutes and causes some minor damage; they need to go and read Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson to get an accurate description of a space elevator falling. It won’t fall in five minutes. The lower part won’t notice until hours later. The damage would be geological. Even the space elevator of Nueva Valparaiso in Revelation Space (in Chasm City, actually) by Alastair Reynolds, an action packed saga, manages to fall in a plausible manner.
Now we have idiocy like “the grav generators output a waveform that corrupts the jumpdrive’s ability to plot fourth-dimensional points at transdimensional speeds”. Now we have stupidity like “the most advanced math, is like a sixth sense.”. And the idiots pat themselves in their collective backs for being so ingenious. Do you see Asimov ever writing such laughable ridiculousness?
This is because writers, directors, producers and studios are illiterates. Because they haven’t read anything in their lives, they understand nothing, and think that just throwing sciency-sounding words is enough, just like modern Star Trek. In fact, they are not only scientifically illiterate, but broadly.
It doesn’t follow the spirit of Asimov’s writings.
Much can be said about the difficulties and imposibilites of adapting written word to the screens, but it can and has been done. Childhood’s End, the miniseries, is a joy to watch, precisely because in spite of the liberties taken, they captured and respected Clarke’s writings spirit, so fans of Clarke can watch it and be satisfied that it was worth it and not be terribly offended by it. Foundation is diametrically opposite to Asimov’s writings spirit. It’s not cerebral, it’s emotive; it’s not story-driven, it’s character driven; it’s not about thinking, it’s about the action and epicness. Truly, it’s so far away removed from Asimov that it easily passes for Generic Science Fiction or Superhero Movie number 765.
Zero stars. Zero.
Of course I knew it would be terrible beforehand, how could it not? In the last 20 years we’ve been regaled with endless adaptations, remakes, prequels, sequels, reimaginings, each worse than the previous, that there wasn’t any possibility. It was a mathematical certainty that they would fucking botch it with their idiocy and illiterateness!
And it was completely unnecessary, because contrary to say Star Wars and Star Trek, Foundation never needed such epicness, such grand special effects, it wasn’t about that at all! So it needed only a fraction of the fortune they spent; they chose to do a Marvel and failed because Foundation, as Star Trek, is no superhero lightly written, story for kids.
I’m sad, obviously, and angered against the modern cinema fashion that has managed tu ruin everything.
It’s so bad I could only watch two episodes. Terrible, isn’t it? That a life-long fan of the Foundation saga, the Robot stories and novels, and everything in between from Isaac Asimov (and everything else from the Golden Age of Science Fiction), couldn’t get past the first two chapters of the long-awaited, ever-dreaded adaptation to the screens. I certainly expected it: I can’t watch modern Star Wars nor Star Trek either; they’re meaningless crap, mediocrity for the lowest common denominator.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a much better Foundation than this sorry attempt could ever dream of being.
They won’t get a single penny from me.
“Now everyone, I’m going to leave you on a less depressing note, I’ll let these guys and gals do their thing:”