Foundation (TV series)

Foundation (TV series).jpg
Created by
Based onFoundation
by Isaac Asimov
ComposerBear McCreary
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Executive producers
  • David S. Goyer
  • David Ellison
  • Dana Goldberg
  • Bill Bost
  • Robyn Asimov
  • Marcy Ross
  • Josh Friedman
  • Cameron Welsh
Running time49–69 minutes
Production companies
DistributorApple Inc.
Original networkApple TV+
Picture format
Audio formatDolby Atmos
Original releaseSeptember 24, 2021 (2021-09-24) –
External links

Foundation is an American science fiction drama television series created by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman for Apple TV+, based on the Foundation series of stories by Isaac Asimov. Foundation premiered on September 24, 2021.[1]


Foundation chronicles "...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."[2]

Cast and characters


  • Jared Harris as Hari Seldon, a mathematician and developer of psychohistory, an algorithmic science that allows him to predict the future in terms of probabilities
  • Lee Pace as Brother Day, a middle-aged genetic clone of Cleon I and the reigning Emperor of the 12,000-year old Galactic Empire[3]
  • Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick, Hari's protégé, a self-taught young woman from a planet where the pursuit of knowledge is considered heresy
  • Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin, the Warden of Terminus 35 years after Seldon's trial with a connection to the mysterious Vault
  • Laura Birn as Eto Demerzel, majordomo to the Emperors and one of the last surviving androids from the ancient Robot Wars
  • Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk, the eldest living genetic clone of Cleon I and retired previous Emperor[3]
  • Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn, a young genetic clone of Cleon I and the successor-in-training of Brother Day (episode 3 onward)[3]
  • Cooper Carter as the child Brother Dawn (episodes 1 and 2)[4]




On June 27, 2017, it was reported that Skydance Television was developing a television series adaptation of Isaac Asimov's science fiction book series Foundation with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman serving as the production's writers. At the time of the report, the production company was in the midst of closing a deal with Asimov's estate for the rights to the book series.[5] On April 10, 2018, it was announced that Apple, through their Worldwide Video Unit, had bought the series and put it into development with the potential for straight-to-series order. It was further announced that Goyer and Friedman were also expected to serve as executive producers and showrunners. Other executive producers announced included David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross.[6]

On August 23, 2018, it was announced that Apple had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. It was also announced that Asimov's daughter, Robyn Asimov, would serve as an executive producer.[2] On April 18, 2019, Josh Friedman left as co-writer and co-showrunner.[7] On July 28, 2019, it was revealed that Troy Studios in Limerick, Ireland, would host production of the show.[8] According to Screen Ireland the series would create more than 500 production jobs at the studio.[9] Asimov's daughter, Robyn Asimov, provides familial assistance to the series.[10] Goyer pitched the series in one sentence: "It’s a 1,000-year chess game between Hari Seldon and the Empire, and all the characters in between are the pawns, but some of the pawns over the course of this saga end up becoming kings and queens."[11]


In January 2021, Goyer stated "with Foundation we can tell the story, hopefully, over the course of eighty episodes; eighty hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film".[12] Goyer said that this format might not succeed, but if it did it would be unique.[11] David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman were set as the production's writers; however, Friedman left as co-writer in April 2019.[5][7] Goyer also noted that telling a story that took place over 1,000 years was something a film could not accomplish and would have been a harder story to tell in that format.[11]


On October 22, 2019, it was announced that Lee Pace and Jared Harris were cast as Brother Day and Hari Seldon, respectively.[13] On December 4, 2019, five additional cast members were announced: Lou Llobell stars as Gaal, a mathematical genius from a rural, repressed planet. Leah Harvey as Salvor, the protective and intuitive warden of a remote outer planet. Laura Birn stars as Eto Demerzel, the enigmatic aide to the Emperor of the Galaxy. Terrence Mann stars as Brother Dusk, the eldest living member of the ruling family. Cassian Bilton plays Brother Dawn, the youngest living member of the ruling family and next in line to be Brother Day.[14] In a June 2021 trailer, Alfred Enoch was revealed as part of the cast.[15] New characters Brother Day, Brother Dusk, and Brother Dawn are original characters created for the series. Each is a different-aged clone in the "genetic dynasty" of the Emperor Cleon I: the youngest clone is called Dawn, the middle clone and reigning emperor is called Day, and the emperor emeritus is called Dusk.[16]


On March 12, 2020, Apple suspended production of the show in Ireland due to COVID-19.[17] On October 6, filming was resumed.[18] On January 27, 2021, Goyer announced that after quarantining and receiving special waivers from the government of Malta, cast and crew members were allowed to start filming on the island. Goyer noted, filming was always planned to be conducted in Malta; however, due to new restrictions imposed in London, they moved significant portions of production to Malta.[12] Filming in Malta concluded in February 2021.[19] Filming in Tuineje, Fuerteventura was already wrapped by March 2021.[20] The production team worked in volcanic landscapes such as the Caldera de los Arrabales and Granja de Pozo Negro.[21] The production team then moved to Tenerife, where filming resumed on March 22, 2021.[22] Filming concluded in April 2021 after 19 months.[23]


No.Title [24]Directed byWritten by [24]Original release date [25]
1"The Emperor's Peace"Rupert SandersDavid S. Goyer & Josh FriedmanSeptember 24, 2021 (2021-09-24)
The prodigy Gaal Dornick travels from her academically-repressive homeworld of Synnax to Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, to study under the famed Hari Seldon, the creator of the predictive mathematical subfield of psychohistory, as a reward for solving a centuries-old conjecture. They are both arrested on charges of treason; Seldon because his model predicts the imminent collapse of the Empire due in part to the stagnation caused by generations of rule by clones of Emperor Cleon I, and Dornick because the Empire wants her to discredit psychohistory. Dornick instead confirms Seldon's model during his trial and condemns them both, but they are spared by Brother Day (Emperor Cleon XII) after the Starbridge, Trantor's space elevator, is destroyed by apparent terrorists from the feuding Periphery kingdoms of Anacreon and Thespis. Brother Day exiles Seldon and Dornick to the Periphery world of Terminus, where they are to build the "Foundation", a repository of human knowledge that Seldon claims will shorten the dark age that will follow the Empire's demise.
2"Preparing to Live"Andrew BernsteinJosh Friedman & David S. GoyerSeptember 24, 2021 (2021-09-24)
Seldon and his followers proceed to Terminus aboard a slow starship and prepare for their new lives on the barren world. Dornick reveals to her lover, Seldon's adopted son Raych, that the psychohistory model is incomplete, alarming him. One night, Dornick finds Raych fatally stabbing Seldon in his quarters. Raych then ushers the incredulous Dornick into an escape pod and jettisons her from the ship. Meanwhile, the Empire investigates the Starbridge attack, but is unable to identify its mastermind, or conclusively attribute it to Seldon or the governments of Anacreon and Thespis. Despite Brother Dusk (Cleon XI) urging that the detained delegations from the two kingdoms should be granted clemency, Brother Day opts for a public execution of all delegates except the two ambassadors, simultaneous with orbital bombardments of their homeworlds.
3"The Mathematician's Ghost"Alex GravesOlivia PurnellOctober 1, 2021 (2021-10-01)
Nineteen years after the Starbridge attack, the genetic dynasty of Cleon I undertakes its traditional transfer of power: Cleon XIV is born as the new Brother Dawn, Cleon XIII is elevated as Brother Day, Cleon XII retires as Brother Dusk, and Cleon XI assumes the mantle of Brother Darkness before being euthanized. Seventeen years later, Seldon's followers arrive at Terminus and discover the Vault, an enigmatic artifact guarded by a "null field" that repels all life. In the present day, the Foundation is well-established and Salvor Hardin, a second-generation colonist, serves as Warden of Terminus. Hardin is troubled by the sudden expansion of the Vault's null field, but a larger crisis looms as three Anacreon warships appear in Terminus's skies without warning. In the hours before the ships' arrival, Hardin chases a child into the scuttled colony ship and finds herself surrounded by an Anacreon landing party.
4"Barbarians at the Gate"TBALauren BelloOctober 8, 2021 (2021-10-08)
5"Upon Awakening"TBALeigh Dana JacksonOctober 15, 2021 (2021-10-15)
6"Death and the Maiden"TBAMarcus GardleyOctober 22, 2021 (2021-10-22)
7"Mysteries and Martyrs"TBACaitlin SaundersOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)
8"The Missing Piece"TBASarah NolenNovember 5, 2021 (2021-11-05)
9"The First Crisis"TBAVictoria MorrowNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
10"The Leap"TBADavid S. GoyerNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)


On June 22, 2020, as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released a teaser trailer for the series.[26] In February 2021, it was reported that the series would premiere in late 2021.[27] In June 2021, Apple announced that Foundation would premiere in September 2021.[28] Later that month, Apple released a second official trailer and confirmed the premiere date as September 24, 2021. The series premiered with a two-episode release,[1] with the remaining eight episodes scheduled to be released weekly.[29]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 75% approval rating with an average rating of 7.3/10, based on 63 reviews for the first season. The website's critical consensus reads, "Foundation's big-budget production and impressive performances are a sight to behold, but it struggles to wrangle the behemoth that is its source material into a fully satisfying series."[30] Metacritic gave the first season a weighted average score of 63 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[31]


  1. ^ a b Bricken, Rob (September 23, 2021). "They Said Foundation Couldn't Be Filmed, and It Still Hasn't Been". Gizmodo. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (August 23, 2018). "'Foundation': Apple Gives Series Order To Adaptation Of Isaac Asimov's Sci-Fi Classic From David Goyer & Josh Friedman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Pantozzi, Jill (September 22, 2021). "Foundation's Lee Pace: 'I Love Science Fiction'". io9. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  4. ^ Scott, Sheena (September 25, 2021). "'Foundation' On Apple TV: A Spectacular Adaption Of Isaac Asimov's Saga". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 27, 2017). "Skydance Trying Asimov's 'Foundation' As TV Series; David Goyer, Josh Friedman To Adapt". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr.; Andreeva, Nellie (April 10, 2018). "Apple Lands Isaac Asimov 'Foundation' TV Series From David Goyer & Josh Friedman". Deadline. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (April 18, 2019). "'Foundation' Co-Showrunner Josh Friedman Departs Apple Drama (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Hurley, David (July 28, 2019). "Limerick's Troy Studios agrees deal to host €45m Apple TV drama". Limerick Leader. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  9. ^ Grater, Tom (January 31, 2020). "Apple Series 'Foundation' Set To Be Ireland's Largest Ever Production, Employing 500+ People". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Semel, Paul (June 29, 2021). "Everything We Know About the Foundation Streaming Series". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Hibberd, James (July 22, 2021). "Apple TV Ordered Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' After Hearing This One-Sentence Pitch". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Lovin Malta interview with David Goyer". YouTube. January 27, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Ausiello, Michael (October 22, 2019). "Lee Pace and Jared Harris to Star in 10-Episode Adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Sci-Fi Classic Foundation at Apple TV+". TVLine. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 4, 2019). "Apple's Isaac Asimov Series 'Foundation' Adds Five to Cast". Variety. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  15. ^ West, Rachel (June 28, 2021). "Jared Harris And Lee Pace Star In First Look At Apple TV+'s 'Foundation' Sci-Fi Adaptation". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  16. ^ Britt, Ryan (June 28, 2021). "'Foundation' Apple TV trailer changes the books in one major way". Inverse. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 12, 2020). "'Foundation' TV Series Suspends Production In Ireland Amid Coronavirus Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  18. ^ Finn, Melanie (October 6, 2020). "€45m sci-fi series Foundation resumes filming in Limerick in huge boost for TV industry here". Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  19. ^ "Apple TV+ Series Foundation Wraps First Season Shoot in Malta". Film New Europe. February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  20. ^ "Apple TV planea el rodaje de la segunda temporada de 'Foundation' en Tuineje". La Provincia (in Spanish). March 16, 2021.
  21. ^ "¡Silencio! 'Foundation' se graba en el malpey de Los Arrabales". Canarias7 (in Spanish). February 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "Arranca en Tenerife el rodaje de la serie 'Foundation', nueva apuesta de Apple TV". El Día (in Spanish). March 23, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  23. ^ Power, Tom (August 19, 2021). "Foundation on Apple TV Plus: release date, plot, cast, trailer and what we know". TechRadar. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Foundation". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  25. ^ "Foundation – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  26. ^ Alexander, Julia (June 22, 2020). "Apple debuts first look at Foundation TV series, coming to Apple TV Plus". The Verge. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  27. ^ Domanski, Harry (February 14, 2021). "Apple's adaptation of Asimov's Foundation series gets a launch date". TechRadar. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  28. ^ Rossignol, Joe (June 23, 2021). "Apple TV+ Series 'Foundation' and 'The Problem With Jon Stewart' Premiering in September". MacRumors. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  29. ^ Kugel, Courtney (August 19, 2021). "Apple TV+ presents trailer for eagerly anticipated series "Foundation," set to premiere around the world on Friday, September 24, 2021". Apple. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  30. ^ "Foundation: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  31. ^ "Foundation: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved September 24, 2021.

External links


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