Isaac Asimov was a visionary who anticipated the debates we have today about artificial intelligence and robotization, and who envisioned a future in which humanity colonizes galaxies. The master of science fiction, as well as a historical and scientific popularizer, published in 1951 Foundation, the pillar of a saga of 16 novels placed before and after. The author, rationalist and atheist, wanted the great prophet of his universe to be a scientist who develops psychohistory, a mathematical way of foreseeing the future. Neither magical forces nor mystical visions. Pure empiricism.
Neither cinema nor television dared with a work that is difficult to adapt, too intellectual, divided into stories, spanning centuries, where love is scarce and has little action. Its time has come: the series Foundation is the most ambitious that Apple TV + has produced. He takes liberties with the script to make it more exciting; that irritates purists. And it shows that resources were not lacking: technically it is impeccable. The scenarios, convincing: that overcrowded imperial capital, Trantor, that periphery of Terminus and other inhospitable planets. And the performances, remarkable: Jared Harris (what a magnetic voice) as the mathematician-prophet Hari Seldon; Lee Pace, an emperor like the Romans whose dynasty is perpetuated through cloning (there are always three of different ages; Caesar is the middle one). And the actresses who embody three feminized characters (Asimov did not anticipate the diversity in the cast): the young Lou Llobell, as the brilliant mathematician who will continue Seldon's mission; Lea Harvey, warrior and guardian of the knowledge contained in that total encyclopedia that is the Foundation, and Laura Birn, a robot in whom feelings arise that she is not supposed to have.
Silence the mobiles: this is a demanding series, which demands attention, which narrates different time lines in parallel. That it has visual beauty, that projects our past into tomorrow, that refers to the rise and fall of great empires, that reflects on tyranny and refugees, on identity, that extols reason over superstition. The fact that it premieres on a platform that is currently a minority such as Apple TV + may prevent it from becoming a phenomenon like that of the most popular galactic sagas. If anything, even when he moves away from the books, he has a bit of coldness left over and he lacks a bit of magic, but that is very Asimov.
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