The first episodes of Foundation saw the Empire threatened like never before – but was Hari Seldon really the orchestrator of the chaos?
Hari Seldon may well have engineered the beginning of the Empire’s fall in Foundation season 1. Inspired by the famous novels of Isaac Asimov, Apple TV+’s Foundation series has transformed them into a powerful drama in which one man battles to save the future of all civilization. Asimov’s books and short stories are relatively concept-driven, but showrunner David Goyer has heavily adapted them to suit the television format. He’s transformed Foundation into a chess game between two grandmasters.
On the one side of the board, there is the Emperor Cleon. The Cleons have established what Goyer has described as a “genetic dynasty,” where there is only one emperor, cloned and brought up by his predecessors. The Emperor embodies the Imperial philosophy that it will last forever, for he considers himself constant and unchanging, and he will go to any lengths to maintain his rule. The other player is Hari Seldon, who has mastered a mathematical science called psychohistory that allows him to predict the future. Seldon has realized even the Empire cannot endure, and it will ultimately fall to be followed by a galactic dark age. He has dedicated himself to adjusting events so the dark age that falls across the galaxy lasts only one thousand years, and he is willing to sacrifice even his own life in the cause of this pursuit.