How the Apple TV+ adaptation of ‘Foundation’ differs from Asimov’s classic trilogy

The highly-anticipated Apple TV+ series “Foundation” is an epic saga based on Isaac Asimov’s timeless trilogy of the same name. Of course, as with every adaptation, there are points where the Apple TV+ adaptation of “Foundation” differs from the original classic.

Helmed by visionary showrunner and executive producer David S. Goyer, the first season of “Foundation” will exclusively hit Apple TV+ worldwide on September 24, 2021 with the first two episodes available, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday.

“Foundation” will debut globally September 24, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+.
“Foundation” will debut globally September 24, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+.

Cheryl Eddy for Goxmodo:

“Whenever I’m adapting something, I read it again or watch it again, and I try to write down what I think the core ideas are, the essential ingredients,” [Goyer] told io9 over video chat. “In this case, because Asimov wasn’t alive, I was talking to his estate, to his daughter, and I said, I want to make sure that I’ve identified the core ingredients that make Foundation, Foundation. Fortunately, they said, yeah, we feel like you’ve zeroed in on the most important elements. And because we’re adapting it now, over 70 years after Asimov first wrote it—you know, it was a metaphorical story back in the post-World War II environment—some of the events, some of the things that we’re interrogating, we’re going to have to change because we’re speaking to an audience of today and not an audience post-World War II.”

The first big, important change: diversifying the characters. “Because there are virtually no female characters in the first book, I said to the Asimov estate, ‘How would you how would you feel if we gender-flipped a couple of the characters?’ And they said, ‘We love it. We think Asimov himself would have completely embraced that,’” Goyer said…

“The book series itself makes these massive leaps forward in time, and particularly the first book is very ontological,” Goyer said. “Very few characters continue from one story to the next. My very first meeting at Apple, I said to them, ‘Guys, time is a character. You’re just going to have to embrace that.’ We do time jumps. We’re going to jump forward. We’re going to jump backwards. Sometimes we’re going to tell two parallel storylines that are operating at different times. We just have to embrace it. It would be insanity not to embrace it. And fortunately, everyone embraced it.”

MacDailyNews Take: We cannot wait to see “Foundation” on Apple TV+!


  1. Both nervous and excited about this, we who have read it all have our own interpretations, thankfully mine are from way back so no longer at the forefront of my mind so expecting a lot but open minded too. Hope it lives up to expectations whatever route it takes to make it all work.

    1. The most obvious difference is the amount of Black main characters who weren’t in Asimov’s story, this is Tim Cook’s way of “fighting racism”. Black characters are fine, but if they are put there just for ideological reasons then it ruins the experience, if you’re not brainwashed already.

      1. I’m so sorry that seeing people of color on a television series set in the far future bothers you so much. Besides, the decision to have a cast representative of Earth’s actual population is almost certainly the showrunner’s, and not Apple’s CEO.

      2. You should be more concerned about today’s flashback style of storytelling which is lazy. Show the audience the end of story at the beginning then expect you to sit thru the show.

    1. Dmitri, I’m with you on this one. I just hope it’s not another Riverworld (miniseries) which butchered the original book series. There there was the Dune (1984) which was a borefest.

      The bottom line is that it’s one thing to write a cracking science fiction series and it’s another thing altogether to translate that series onto the screen. And as a Foundation fan I really hope it works.

      For the unenlightened on this site you are obviously time travellers as this is the only way you make a prediction without having seen the production in our time.

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