Foundation season two
The second season of this adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series takes place 138 years after the first season. As such, many of the show’s previous cast members are dead, with the narrative now focusing on those that remain in this familiar-yet-unfamiliar world. The Galactic Empire, under the rule of Brother Day (Lee Pace) still remains, but cracks are beginning to form in its façade, cracks that the titular Foundation, led by Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) aims to use to bring it down once and for all, with the help of his protégé Gaal (Lou Llobel), her daughter Salvor (Leah Harvey) and missionaries of a church founded in Hari’s name. However, threats lurk on the horizon, from the Empire and beyond.
Foundation is a multi-faceted story with several interconnected themes and concepts, such as robotics, genetic modification, time travel, quantum physics, empires, persecution, faith, love and loss to name a few. It also follows a number of different plot threads, with many groups and factions across the galaxy being involved in the conflict between Empire and Foundation in ways that cause their tales to weave in and out of each other over the season. Thankfully, the show rises to the challenge of balancing its various components, focusing and uniting them through its effective use of strong central motifs, grounding the vast intergalactic plot with its various high-concept bells and whistles in simple, universal ideas.
The series also uses its multiple plotlines to keep itself visually and narratively engaging throughout, providing a constantly-shifting storytelling landscape that covers a lot of ground without overwhelming its audience or being too complex to follow, and doing so with a distinctive style. Foundation also benefits from an immensely talented cast, who do an excellent job facilitating key emotional beats and further tying the show’s sci-fi concepts to powerful feelings.
Overall, season two of Foundation is a thoroughly compelling experience, at once complicated and coherent, rooted in intellectual exploration but also in raw human emotion. Carefully paced and structured with an almost mathematical precision matching Hari Seldon’s own, the show feels snappy and exciting despite each episode clocking in at just under an hour – which is no mean feat considering the number of plates it needs to keep spinning throughout.
Foundation season two is released on Apple TV+ on 14th July 2023.
Watch the trailer for Foundation season two here: