Apr
11
2018

Apple to take a stab at Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

Good luck with that: “In a competitive situation, Apple has nabbed a TV series adaptation of Foundation, the seminal Isaac Asimov science fiction novel trilogy. The project, from Skydance Television, has been put in development for straight-to-series consideration” (Via @danwallace70).  They’ve been trying to make something out of that IP for decades, and nobody’s every figured out how to make it gel.  Then again, Apple can afford to throw money at the problem in ways that most production companies can’t.

This is one of those interesting projects to run.  Come, I will conceal nothing from you: the Spengleran/cybernetic worldview that informs Foundation is increasingly alien to us. We still have the lingering relics who assure us that a true science of history and society can be derived from a set of equations and principles, but they’ve taken a beating from chaos theory and quantum mechanics*. I don’t know that you can really sell the idea today that a perfect plan set up by a reclusive genius and administered by a hereditary elite of advanced thinkers and savants can effortlessly manipulate the entire galaxy into a pre-determined form without turning the whole thing into satire.  But, as my wife notes: if anybody’s got the hubris to think that they can get away with that, it’s Apple.

Honestly, I expect Apple to fail.  But I expect Apple to fail in an interesting fashion.  And in the process, tell us something useful about how Apple perceives itself as a corporate institution.

Moe Lane

*I know, I know: many of them still have power. Or they’re at least loud. But that’s a different post, written by somebody who isn’t me.

5 Comments

  • JustDave says:

    That’s one of the problems that occurred to me on a recent re-read through these stories – as soon as the Second Foundation becomes corrupt, the entire galaxy is well and truly screwed.

    .

    On the other hand, reading it that way can be interesting. Sort of, we have met they eldritch horror, and they are us.

  • Luke says:

    Because nothing says “good television” like a sequence of committees meeting in nondescript rooms, talking about things that were happening elsewhere.
    .
    That’s if you buy into the premise in the first place. Which, as noted, is a hard sell.

  • acat says:

    All that’s really needed is for someone to write the bits of Second Foundation that take place on Trantor immediately prior to and concurrent with Gaal Dornick’s arrest so the Second Foundation is set up with .. some sort of MacGuffin .. an AI, perhaps? governing its’ actions, keeping its’ much smaller cast on mission..
    .
    Mew

    • acat says:

      That is .. a Foundation in which Hari Seldon knows bloody well that “psychohistory” is a fraud ..
      .
      Mew

  • Belcatar says:

    They’re wasting precious time and money that could better be spend doing a new Redwall series. (Yes, I know they made an animated version, but there’s so much more they could have done.)

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