After the staggering events at the end of the episode “Preparing to Live” (1×02) of Foundation (David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman, from 2021), the Apple TV+ series that adapts Russian-American Isaac Asimov’s fascinating novels for readers at home and viewers abroad, made us both a convincing explanation was sorely lacking for such a terrible decision or violent impulse, as to whether there is a chance of survival and, if not, how they will preserve the intervention of the once walking mathematical myth of psychohistory.
There is no doubt that it was a most unexpected turn of events despite a sly comment from Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) that one of his calculated predictions had not come true. As in any decent script, the script by the creators of this TV fiction does not include sentences or hooks that lead nowhere. Nor to dead ends to troll us as in the Marvel miniseries WandaVision (Jac Schaeffer, 2021).
The two dramatic foci of ‘Foundation’.
But David S. Goyer (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) don’t seem to be in any hurry to clear up this disruptive question in the episode “The Mathematician’s Ghost” (1×03). What they do show without hesitation is that the dying Galactic Empire the history of its capital and the characters who pull its strings, with greater or lesser impotence in the face of what is to come, suppose one of the main focuses of the Foundation and not only the creature of the great analyst of the future.
For which they do not disdain the possibility of immersing the public in their inner dramas, which is always to be welcomed, because with the same the degree of complexity rises of the scripts and, thus, television series are elevated. An extreme that we have been able to see again recently thanks to the stupendous horror miniseries Midnight Mass (Mike Flanagan, 2021), which could not stand out as it does without those brilliant monologues that punctuate it about the pain of its protagonists and, well, the sermons; not so much for their content as for the eloquent enlightenment of those who pronounce them.
The most interesting decadence
The sequence on imperial decline is made with care both in the planning and in the score by Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead), with that catchy singing solo. Thus, the experience of American filmmaker Alex Graves at the helm of this chapter of Fundación is noticeable. Although he debuted in cinema with two forgettable feature films, Between Desire and Destiny (1993) and Chained (1997), almost his entire career has been in television, where he has directed episodes for thirty-nine series so far.
Specifically, three of Ally McBeal (David E. Kelley, 1997-2002), no less than thirty-four of The West Wing of the White House (Aaron Sorkin, 1999-2006), six of Game of Thrones (David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, 2011-2019), one from Fringe (J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, 2008-2013), The Newsroom (Sorkin, 2012-2014) and House of Cards (Beau Willimon, 2013-2018) or seven from Homeland (Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, 2011-2020). And this is his first work for Apple TV+.
The second part of “The Mathematician’s Ghost” uncovers the end of the long journey of the psychohistorical project and the particularities of Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey), it focuses on the great enigma of Términus and presents us with the first threat. Of course, we want to know what the hell is going on here, but you haven’t shown us the first threat. nothing to fascinate us… especially. The story about the imperial Brother Dusk by Terrence Mann (Sense8), whose performance in this episode is unmatched by any other, is more interesting as a dramatic and audiovisual proposition. We’ll see what’s in store for us in the future.