Jump to content

Foundation


BFCElvis
 Share

Recommended Posts

I haven't poked my head into the General Forum in a very very very long time. But I need to vent and this falls under the forum rules.

For months I looked forward to Apple TV's release of Asimov's Foundation as a series. I loved the book series, especially the first book. This Apple thing seems to have mostly ignored the source material. I haven't been this disappointed by anything in a very long time. 

Am I missing something here? Anyone else watching this, that read the book(s), digging it? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

I loved the book series, especially the first book. This Apple thing seems to have mostly ignored the source material.

Yes, also loved the series when I was a teenager (before I discovered the incomparable Philip K. Dick).  Glad you told us the TV series is not worth it.   (Couldn't read thru Dune and never understood the appeal.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read a word of Asimov since the 1980s, but my good friend (a longtime SF fan) tells me that there's just a basic mismatch between the goals of the books and the aims of a prestige post-GameOfThrones TV series.

(He tells me:) The books reflected an old GALAXY magazine sensibility. They were made up of nearly stand-alone episodes that just happened to be set in the same universe and timeline. Characters were pretty shallow, mostly just mouthpieces for the Big Ideas that Asimov wanted to keep playing with and ruminating upon. FOUNDATION is less of a character-driven story than it is an experiment in alternative/counterfactual sociology and (future) history. None of that works with the way big-budget SF is done now, so old-school Asimov fans will be disappointed with the series' focus on characters and (wholly invented) backstories, etc.

--

Villeneuve's DUNE, on the other hand, is easily one of the most faithful and compelling book-to-film adaptations I've ever seen, inside SF or out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, after that endorsement I guess I will have to see Dune. 

But, have had many bad experiences re adaptations of seminal groundbreaking books.  Look how they murdered Philip K. Dick's "The Man In The High Castle" and turned into a turgid series.  As you say, the developers are not interested in the "big concepts" contained in the books but in making a soap opera for the mass market that runs and runs...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Erwin said:

Well, after that endorsement I guess I will have to see Dune. 

I may join you, mate. I could never get through the book. I tried a couple of times. And the first movie was unwatchable. Enough people have said good things about the new one that  I think I'll check it out.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto, Elvis...

My buddy and I are huge Asimov nerds. He read all the books, and I read the Foundation and Robots series. We're watching this series together -- at episode 5 right now. We're puzzled by why they made so many unnecessary changes to the story and the characters.

The production value, acting and directing are all alright (not Star Trek: Discovery). But why did they add all these silly elements to the story? Clone emperors? Robot wars? Random terrorist attacks? ALIENS?!

Salvor Hardin was a suave Trader, and master manipulator, who said "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." In this show, she's essentially Commander Sheppard. Kicking ass and taking names. Demerzel was the real power keeping the Trantor Empire together. The Emperors were figureheads. In the show, she's essentially a glorified nanny? And lets the Emperors randomly destroy planets, in fits of erratic rage?

I have no problem with their gender swaps, and their actresses do a good job. However, these are not the characters from the books. The script over-wrote unique and cool characters into predictable clichés.

Without going into spoilers... you know when the most important character gets randomly assassinated, by a close friend? Felt like they purposefully tried to troll the fans of the novels. If you're making a show based on a popular book, why not attempt to follow the plot? I understand, you may have to streamline it for TV -- but they are actively adding silly nonsense, for no apparent reason.

I can recommend the Dune movie, however. Denis Villeneuve actually read Dune, and the movie treats the source material with respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

The new film only covers the first half of the first book, but it does so in great detail and it's very close to the book.....To set the tone, let's have some Sardaukar throat singing:

You have to admit, compared to these guys, Imperial Stormtroopers look like the Girlscouts!

+1.  The books and this movie are very good.  Looking forward to Part 2.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dune: I re-read the book recently in anticipation of the movie, having first read it when I was 21.  It was very good, worth the time for sure.  And I thought the movie was excellent, despite being edited too much to keep the time down.  Can't wait for the director's cut, which I am hoping will be available in not too long.  And can't wait for part 2, like mentioned above.  Dune movie was clearly a labor of love for the director & his team. 

Sounds like I'll be skipping Foundation, which I never read though did read some other Asimov back in the day. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Ditto, Elvis...

My buddy and I are huge Asimov nerds. He read all the books, and I read the Foundation and Robots series. We're watching this series together -- at episode 5 right now. We're puzzled by why they made so many unnecessary changes to the story and the characters.

The production value, acting and directing are all alright (not Star Trek: Discovery). But why did they add all these silly elements to the story? Clone emperors? Robot wars? Random terrorist attacks? ALIENS?!

Salvor Hardin was a suave Trader, and master manipulator, who said "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." In this show, she's essentially Commander Sheppard. Kicking ass and taking names. Demerzel was the real power keeping the Trantor Empire together. The Emperors were figureheads. In the show, she's essentially a glorified nanny? And lets the Emperors randomly destroy planets, in fits of erratic rage?

I have no problem with their gender swaps, and their actresses do a good job. However, these are not the characters from the books. The script over-wrote unique and cool characters into predictable clichés.

Without going into spoilers... you know when the most important character gets randomly assassinated, by a close friend? Felt like they purposefully tried to troll the fans of the novels. If you're making a show based on a popular book, why not attempt to follow the plot? I understand, you may have to streamline it for TV -- but they are actively adding silly nonsense, for no apparent reason.

I can recommend the Dune movie, however. Denis Villeneuve actually read Dune, and the movie treats the source material with respect.

The first time I read Foundation there was a sense of awe when they encountered the first crisis. To skip over that is a waste of great story telling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I braved the pandemic and broke from hermitage to go see Dune in an IMAX theater after reading rave reviews and recommendations on how the IMAX experience elevates the movie and that it is such a unique experience to view it in IMAX. The visual, aural and mental experience was sublime. I couldn't get the movie out of my mind for days.

Dune is such a topical evergreen with it's themes of consciousness, AI, superdetermism, free will, the concept of randomness and time, resilience etc. list goes on.

Edited by ZPB II
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked the 1984 dune movie. There. Take that.

I read foundation around that time. The new series just shares the title I think. Ho, hum. I´m not sure that you can make a foundation movie, too abstract. The other day somebody told me they were thinking of making a Iain banks "culture" movie or series. I don´t think that will work either.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This part from the Dune 1984 soundtrack is possibly the greatest single part of the movie. That, or Sting.

I just watched a trailer for the Foundation series. It could be the trailer for a new Marvel movie. Same looks, same sounds, same frenetic tempo.

Some irony if they messed up a book about self-awareness and perpetuation by dumbing it down. There's some deep universal metajoke in there.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ZPB II said:

This part from the Dune 1984 soundtrack is possibly the greatest single part of the movie. That, or Sting.

Lynch is one of the greatest directors ever lived, but he really made a flop out of Dune. Maybe there is a reason why he officially de-owned this movie and his name is absent in the titles.

My favorite Dune adaptation so far:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I vaguely remember something about production nightmares regarding Lynch's Dune. Something about the producer hyping it as a Star Wars killer and a money printer to execs and this compromising the artistic vision. 

Emperor: Battle for Dune was a lovely game, better than the lukewarm critical reception it received at the time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/8/2021 at 3:09 PM, ZPB II said:

Dune is such a topical evergreen with it's themes of consciousness, AI, superdetermism, free will, the concept of randomness and time, resilience etc. list goes on.

It remains a pretty interesting book. The world building always seemed to me quite amazing. Wasn't a very highly regarded book at the time, quite a few 1965 reviews found it was a cheap rip-off from... Asimov's Foundation themes. 

I guess that with that rule then The Wheel of Time (soon to be an Amazon TV series) is a cheap rip-off from The Lord of the Rings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...and Foundation topic was hijacked to become Dune topic

Speaking of Asimov. I tried to approach Foundation several times back in my youth, because I liked Asimov's short stories and this saga was present in all must read sci-fi lists, but every time I found it too boring to read through more than 100 pages.

Dune success - as every literary success - remains some sort of mystery, especially after the novel was declined by publishers dozens of times (reminds of Harry Potter:). Usually it explained as the effect of mixing sci-fi and fantasy themes, which had never been done before. 

It's kind of prince returning home tale in a weird science fiction setting. I thought it was based on Soviet invasion in Afghanistan before I found out it was written in 60s. 

 

 

Edited by dbsapp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

Dune success - as every literary success - remains some sort of mystery, especially after the novel was declined by publishers dozens of times (reminds of Harry Potter:). Usually it explained as the effect of mixing sci-fi and fantasy themes, which had never been done before. 

It's kind of prince returning home tale in a weird science fiction setting. I thought it was based on Soviet invasion in Afghanistan before I found out it was written in 60s. 

Good points there, but I would say that sci fi and fantasy kind of meet when the fictional science grants powers which are not quite distinguishable from magic. Quite a few books/stories dwell on this theme, not sure how many before Dune. There's a good essay here by J. D. Nicols:

 "Science Fiction vs. Fantasy: The Choice Is Clear | Tor.com" https://www.tor.com/2019/11/06/science-fiction-vs-fantasy-the-choice-is-clear/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, dbsapp said:

...and Foundation topic was hijacked to become Dune topic

 Dune > Foundation.  ;)

Films based on Asimov stories usually disappoint:

MV5BNmE1OWI2ZGItMDUyOS00MmU5LWE0MzUtYTQ0

On 11/8/2021 at 10:26 PM, MOS:96B2P said:

:o  :unsure: :o :unsure: :o :unsure:  The horror ................ B) 

I liked the 1984 film too, the special effects were staggering (especially the battle scenes) for their time.

"Dune required 80 sets built on 16 sound stages, and had a total crew of 1,700, with over 20,000 extras."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_(1984_film)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have neither read the books or watched the show, but David Goyer appeared on a podcast I listen to and spoke at length about Foundation and why the show differs so much from the books.

https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2021/11/08/172-david-goyer-on-televising-the-fall-of-the-galactic-empire/

 

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...