Apple’s Foundation Adaptation Looks to Be Equal Parts Explosions and Exposition

Our third look at Foundation—after a first teaser in which showrunner David S. Goyer explained why the source material is so important and a moody second look that set the stage and the players—we’re into the meat of the series: People doing a lot of talking.

I kid, I kid. Or do I?

The talking is set against a lot of drama and action—explosions, a constantly frowning Lee Pace, some gorgeous locations—but the overall vibe of this trailer is that there are a lot of things the show wants to say, no matter what’s exploding in the background. In that way, it may be more true to the books than previous trailers suggested.

Apple’s summary of the show gets quickly to the key points:

When revolutionary Dr. Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) predicts the impending fall of the Empire, he and a band of loyal followers venture to the far reaches of the galaxy to establish The Foundation in an attempt to rebuild and preserve the future of civilization. Enraged by Hari’s claims, the ruling Cleons (led by Lee Pace) — a long line of emperor clones — fear their unrivaled reign may be weakening as they’re forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their powerful legacy forever

Foundation is based on the books by Isaac Asimov, a series of collected stories and novels that have been hugely influential in the decades since their publication. They are quite difficult to sum up, though Goyer apparently pitched the series to Apple by saying, “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.”

This trailer shows a clearly troubled empire that probably needs to crumble, but also raises questions about Seldon’s Foundation, which is meant to preserve knowledge for future generations. “We must preserve only the most essential pieces of civilization,” a character says, but who decides what’s essential? And on what basis?

Foundation premieres on Apple TV+ on September 24th.

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