Ever since Game of Thrones, every network seems to want something similar: an expensive genre epic that they can point to as our big thing. This is especially true in the world of streaming. Netflix has The Witcher, Amazon is spending an unseemly amount on Lord of the Rings, and Apple has Foundation, a sci-fi series based on the classic Isaac Asimov novels that kicks off with two episodes on September 24th. (New episodes will debut weekly on Apple TV Plus after that.)
In many ways, Foundation fits that tentpole epic formula quite well. It’s a story about the downfall of a galactic empire, with lots of political intrigue to follow. It’s also a lavish production, with incredible special effects and gorgeous production design. You can tell it’s expensive in every frame. Apple clearly has big plans for it; showrunner David S. Goyer recently said that he’s plotted out eight seasons already. But it’s also a pretty weird story, one where you’ll spend more time seeing people doing calculations than anything resembling action.
Ahead of the premiere, Verge editors Chaim Gartenberg and Andrew Webster were able to watch the first two episodes to determine just how interesting a space epic about math can really be.