The Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo for spreading scientific knowledge. Because humans like to live in myths. They fear change, especially those in power. And those who resist change often end up in ruins. Based on the fall of the Roman Empire, American author Isaac Asimov published his galactic science fiction novel, Foundation.
Creators David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman adapted Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series to create a visually enchanting space drama series set in a future Galactic Empire. Foundation Season 1 sets up the fundamental premise that follows a psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, who predicts the imminent fall of the 12000-year-old Galactic Empire. And like always, men in power defy Seldon’s predictions and try to put an end to it.
‘Foundation’ Episode 1: Recap
A math prodigy, Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), lives on an orthodox planet, Synnax. Her community is inhabited by religious seers who refuse to accept the values of science. Gaal wins a maths contest by solving Abraxas Conjecture and catches the attention of a prominent mathematician, Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) from the Steerling University. Hari invites Gaal to become his apprentice on the Imperial planet, Trantor. Gaal leaves behind her family forever and travels to Trantor through an imperial jump ship.
The Genetic Dynasty rules the Imperial Galactic Empire, and the planet Trantor is their capital. The throne is held by three clones of Emperor Cleon I, who are descended at different ages. The oldest clone is Brother Dusk (Cleon XI), who awaits his natural death. The middle brother, Brother Day (Cleon XII), manages the Empire and often makes critical decisions. While the youngest clone, Brother Dawn (Cleon XIII), learns to control the Empire from a female humanoid robot, Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn).
Gaal arrives at the planet’s surface, and Seldon’s accomplice, Raych (Alfred Enoch), accompanies her to the Imperial library. At the library, Hari Seldon welcomes Gaal and quickly shocks her with the news of their future arrest. The following day, Gaal and Hari are charged with high treason and conspiracy to destabilize the Imperium.
Hari Seldon’s Theory – Proposing the Idea of ‘Foundation’
Hari Seldon was a professor of probability theory at Steerling University. He had excelled in the area of psychohistory, which is a predictive model designed to forecast the behavior of large populations. Seldon’s research obtained through psychohistory predicted that Trantor and the Galactic Empire would lie in ruins within five centuries. In simple words, he explained that the Empire would fall and order would vanish. The interstellar wars would be endless, and there would be nothing they could do to prevent it.
The age of barbarism and darkness would last for thirty thousand years. Seldon proposed that they couldn’t prevent the fall but could soften its impact by shortening the dark ages. If the Imperium followed his theory, they could reduce the dark age to a thousand years. Seldon requested the Imperium to build a repository for the world’s wisdom, the Encyclopedia Galactica. After the Empire’s fall, civilizations would rise from the ashes, but they wouldn’t need to start from scratch by inventing wheels or fire. Encyclopedia Galactica or the Foundation would help the coming generations to re-establish their civilizations.
A Conversant Ally
After Gaal Dornick solved Abraxas, Hari Seldon brought her to Trantor as bait. On the planet, the Emperor’s spy, Jerril, handed her Seldon’s Prime Radiant that contained all of his predictions concerning the Empire. Jerril requested Gaal to examine Seldon’s mathematical equation and expose him if his equations were flawed. However, Jerril subtly threatened to disavow the equation if she found it viable.
Gaal studied Seldon’s Prime Radiant radiant at night and appeared in front of the tribunal Cleon XII. When the advocate questioned Gaal about the credibility of Seldon’s calculations, Gaal concluded that they were correct. She expressed that the Empire was dying.
Gaal’s confirmation of the fall of the Empire sent a shock wave through the public. To stop the wildfire, the Imperium decided to execute the traitors.
‘Foundation’ Episode 1: Ending
The two terrorists from the Outer Reach bombed the Star Bridge. The explosion led to deadly destruction, causing the deaths of a hundred million people. Cleon XII accused Hari Seldon and his followers of the rebellion. However, both Hari and Gaal denied any involvement in the bombings.
Brother Day decided to kill Gaal and Hari when Gaal suddenly scared Brother Day by predicting his death. Gaal claimed that if the Imperium killed Hari, the fall would accelerate, leading to the end of the Emperor within a year. She explained that only Hari could shorten the darkness, and he was their only hope.
Hari suggested that Brother Day end the imperial cloning if he wanted to slow down the fall. On the other hand, the Imperium refused any such measure because their genetic dynasty had reigned for nearly four centuries solely through genetic cloning.
In the end, the Emperor allowed Gaal and Hari to refine their work on psychohistory and build their Foundation. But not within the Empire’s limits. They exiled the foundation assembly to Terminus, an uninhabited planet 50,000 light-years away, in the periphery along the galaxy’s outer reach. Anacreon and Thespis, the barbarian kingdom, would be their neighbors. Additionally, the Empire forbade them to use jump drive technology. Without it, the journey to Terminus would take almost 878 days, but it wasn’t the Foundation’s first crisis.
Other crises will follow as their journey to save the galaxy unfolds.
‘Foundation’ Episode 2: Recap
While the foundation team was on their way to Terminus, the Empire investigated the terror attack on Trantor. When the Imperium failed to find any tangible link or evidence against the rebellion, Brother Day blamed his barbarian neighbors for the attack.
In Episode 1, delegates from outer reach, Ambassador Xandem from Planet Anacreon and Honored Diplomat Shae un Shae from Planet Thespis, arrived on Trantor. The Imperium proposed that the barbarian rivals sign a peace treaty and end their legendary war. However, the recordings from the Star Bridge bombings revealed that one of the terrorists chanted an old Anacreon hunting song while the other murmured a revolutionary slogan in Thespin.
The two ambassadors denied their involvement, but Brother Day held them responsible. He executed the Anacreon and Thespis soldiers while releasing Xandem and Shae so that they could travel back and inform their government about the Emperor’s power. But probably, the Imperium’s tyrannous act would spark a fire of revenge and rebellion that might become the cause of the Empire’s fall. The revolutionaries of the Outer Reach would combine their powers to fight the Imperium.
Inside the ship to Terminus, Gaal Dornick got romantically involved with Sheldon’s accomplice, Raych. The episode suggested that Gaal was pregnant, and Sheldon probably didn’t like Gaal’s keen attention towards Raych. In the diner room, Sheldon sarcastically insulted Raych and reminded him of his alcoholic father. The argument created a rift between the two, and in the closing sequence, Raych stabbed Sheldon. As the authorities announced the death of Sheldon, Raych sent Gaal away from the ship in a pod. The pod was probably bound for Terminus. However, the upcoming events would translate better.
Read More – ‘Foundation’ Episode 3 & 4: Recap & Ending
Foundation is a 2021 space science fiction series created by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman. It is based on the sci-fi novel series of the same name written by Isaac Asimov.