In Review: Foundation (S1 – EPs 1 & 2) The Emperor’s Peace & Preparing To Live

Gaal Dornick leaves her life in Synnax behind when the galaxy's greatest mathematician, Hari Seldon, invites her to Trantor.
Peace

Synopsis: In The Emperor’s Peace. Gaal Dornick leaves her life in Synnax behind when the galaxy’s greatest mathematician, Hari Seldon, invites her to Trantor.

 

The Story

The Emperor’s Peace

Based on the Issac Asimov novels. Foundation tells a story of an empire in decline and the efforts to set the foundations to rebuild. When Gaal Dornick leaves her home on Synnax to work with Trantor’s legendary maths genius, Hari Seldon. She gets rather more than she bargained for when Hari’s maths predictions using a method called Psycho History gets both her and Harry arrested by the Empire.

Shortly after their arrests. They find themselves on trial and Gaal is asked to look at Hari’s figures to see if she can disprove his theory that the Empire and Trantor will crumble in a matter of 500 years. When she refuses to co-operate. Both Gaal and Hari along with his followers are exiled to the planet Terminus, which is a savage world. The court rules that Hari and Gaal will work on their plans for Foundation on this world.

As the sentence is passed. A terrorist attack happens, which takes out Trantor’s massive tower, which housed a massive population of its workers. Only the Royals and aristocracy live on the surface of the planet.

 

Preparing To Live

In this second episode. Brother Day and Brother Dusk along with the other ruling classes on Trantor are trying to get to the bottom of who attacked them and killed millions of Trantor’s people. They have narrowed things down to two outlying worlds that both have reasons to attack them. Indeed, the ruling classes on Trantor take their role in keeping the peace by any and all means quite seriously.

Meanwhile, Gaal and Raych grow close while adjusting to life on the colony ship, which is heading for Terminus. 

 

The Acting

Lou Llobell puts in a solid performance as Gaal and is quite convincing in the role as she starts off as slightly naive in her hero worship for Hari. Likewise, Jared Harris is pretty solid as the esteemed maths genius who could potentially be the trigger point for a revolution and Trantor’s decline. We also get a nice performance from Alfred Enoch as Raych who is Gaal’s first point of contact when she arrives on Trantor. 

Lee Pace comes over as both regal and cold as Brother Day. Our first sight of him sees his character having a restoration tech put to death for having a copy of Hari Seldon’s work. In the second episode, he rather coldly has several people put to death via a public execution.

 

Overall

Having not read the books. I have next to no idea how close the writers and producers are staying true to Asimov’s story. But I’ll be inclined to check the books out time permitting based on what I see here.

The world-building is sumptuous and the characters are intriguing and feel very true to both the light and darker sides of our own human nature. I particularly liked how Gaal was considered a heretic in her own world for having taken on the field of maths and science. It becomes fairly clear that her world of Synaxx is very much based in religious dogma.

Overall. I quite enjoyed these first two episodes and pretty much connected fairly quickly with the characters. I read somewhere that elements of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy borrowed from these stories. But I’d say that this show has a lot more nuanced than Star Wars.

9.3
Foundation (S1 - EPs 1 & 2) The Emperor's Peace & Preparing To Live
  • Story
    8.8
  • Acting
    9.6
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.8
  • Incidental Music
    9.0

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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