At last, an adaption of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation has made it to the screen with a series adaptation at Apple TV+.
Based on his book series, the television series follows “stories of four crucial individuals transcending space and time as they overcome deadly crises, shifting loyalties and complicated relationships that will ultimately determine the fate of humanity.”
When revolutionary Dr. Hari Seldon 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 — 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.
It features an international cast led by Jared Harris and Lee Pace, alongside rising stars Lou Llobell and Leah Harvey. s Laura Birn, Terrence Mann, Cassian Bilton and Alfred Enoch also star.
S&A recently spoke with Pace and Enoch about the series and they dished about their characters and more.
“I am a huge sci-fi fan, and specifically, I’m a big fan of this kind of science fiction that kind of speculates what happens to humans when they get off-planet and they spread out through the galaxy,” said Pace of wanting to be a part of the project. “I find it a way to think about human nature without the triggers that we have on earth. So we can investigate what it means to be a human without thinking about American politics or the limitations that this planet gives us. And it kind of abstracts the experience of being a human in a way that we can have a discussion and an investigation of our values in a way. I don’t want to sound pedantic, and as I listen to myself right now, it does [laughs] but that’s the nerd in me kind of creeping out because I love this stuff. I love the kind of cerebral pleasure of a story like this.”
The idea of the three emperor clones (he portrays Brother Day, the middle, middle-aged one) was also intriguing to him.
“When I think about Cleon, he’s not a man, he is a sequence,” he continued. “It’s a sequence of men that I will play, who are filling a very specific role for a period of time in their life. At any time, there are three living Cleons, because we’re a cloned dynasty. There’s the outgoing emperor, Dusk. There’s Day, the sitting emperor. And then there’s Dawn, the emperor that we’re raising, the one that we’re teaching the lines and the blocking and the different competing priorities of [the] empire so that when they inherit the throne, they will keep the galaxy safe.”
Enoch, who is a part of the incredibly diverse cast that has two Black women near the forefront, says its important to have representation at this scale.
“To be able to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like you is a massive thing,” he said. “The impact of that culturally, societally, is huge. And I think Foundation is going to be a really positive contribution to that change, because we’ve told many stories over many years with not enough people of color in them. Not enough Black people, not enough people from other ethnicities. I think Foundation is doing something different in that respect, by having, as you say, a really diverse cast, by having a cast with top, top actors, and a lot of excellent actors of color as well, who are part of this world. And as you say, it’s sci-fi. We’re talking about a distant future. It could be anyone.”
He continued, “Why should we create a world which is monochromatic? You want to see all the texture of it. You want to see the scope, you want to see people that look different. You want to believe in a huge, expansive, multicultural, vibrant world where people look different, that sound different. And that representation, I think, is something that serves the show, but hopefully also the show can serve us as viewers by reflecting us back to ourselves. It was massively gratifying to be part of it in that respect as well.”
New episodes of Foundation drop weekly on Apple TV+. The show has also been renewed for season 2.
Watch the interviews below: