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Thread: Well, it's happening. Foundation has an adaptation

  1. #31
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    Ars Technica has an article about it, they mention that the release date is Sept. 24. They have a series of clone emperors. I read some of the sequels and don’t recall that, but it might have been in a sequel I didn’t read. Not in the original, of course. Human cloning as a concept didn’t really take off until the ‘70s, though there were ideas about duplication here and there.

    Anyway, there are other things they’ve changed, so no real surprises here.

    Article link:

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/...es-foundation/

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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    They have a series of clone emperors.
    Ah, uneasy lie the heads that wear the Crown. "Another regicide? All right, pop out the next one!"
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #33
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    Any visual adaptation was always going to be different from the books, because many aspects of Asimov's writing were designed specifically for the medium of the written word. It was not written like a screenplay. And many aspects of the story were already old-fashioned at the time of writing... which was kind of appropriate given the theme of recurring historical patterns, but it wouldn't pass muster to today's audiences. And the science was likewise outdated. So fresh concepts were needed to facilitate making it filmable.

    (But then, I didn't think Howard Stern's autobio was filmable, either, and somehow that happened. Not to otherwise compare the two writers.)

    In any case I look forward to the show, and will try not to directly contrast it to the Foundation books. It deserves to be judged on its own merits.
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  4. #34
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    The post-trilogy Foundation books have some more modern ideas too, though I have no idea how much they would be looking at those for ideas.

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  5. #35
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    Another trailer for Foundation. It looks interesting, at least. I may get a short subscription to watch this and For All Mankind.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X4QYV5GTz7c

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  6. #36
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    Huh. From the looks of things they're sticking to the prequels. At least for the first season. I have no idea what will happen when they finally get to book 1.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  7. #37
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    I haven't watched the adaptation of The Watch, either. But I'm re-reading Night Watch at the moment.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I haven't watched the adaptation of The Watch, either. But I'm re-reading Night Watch at the moment.
    Meant for the What Are You Watching thread?
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  9. #39
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    No, meaning I won't be watching the Foundation series and didn't watch The Watch, either!

    Films adapted from books I like are always a disappointment. The Harry Potter ones at least stuck fairly close to the source material.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    No, meaning I won't be watching the Foundation series and didn't watch The Watch, either!

    Films adapted from books I like are always a disappointment. The Harry Potter ones at least stuck fairly close to the source material.
    I try to think of such shows as "inspired by" books rather than adaptations. That way I'm less likely to directly compare different media.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I try to think of such shows as "inspired by" books rather than adaptations. That way I'm less likely to directly compare different media.
    I remember seeing an interview with an author whose book had suffered a film adaptation. (In my mind, he's French.)
    "Don't you think the film really made a mess of your novel?" asked the interviewer.
    The author gave a puzzled frown. "I don't think so." Then he swung around on his swivel chair and lifted a book off the shelf behind him. "No," he said, riffling through the pages. "It's still here."

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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    No, meaning I won't be watching the Foundation series and didn't watch The Watch, either!

    Films adapted from books I like are always a disappointment. The Harry Potter ones at least stuck fairly close to the source material.
    Forb me, it depends. Sometimes I get angry at what was done (for instance, Starship Troopers). Other times, Iím just disappointed. Sometimes, though, I really like what they come up with. For example, Lord of the Rings, especially the first movie. It did probably help that it had been decades since I read the books. Itís been quite some time since I read Foundation too (including two or three post-trilogy books). Iíd like to see it done visually if they did a half-decent job. Also, the trilogy at least could use some modernization. When I last read it, its age was showing.

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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Forb me, it depends. Sometimes I get angry at what was done (for instance, Starship Troopers). Other times, I’m just disappointed. Sometimes, though, I really like what they come up with. For example, Lord of the Rings, especially the first movie. It did probably help that it had been decades since I read the books. It’s been quite some time since I read Foundation too (including two or three post-trilogy books). I’d like to see it done visually if they did a half-decent job. Also, the trilogy at least could use some modernization. When I last read it, its age was showing.
    I should actually re-read LOTR one of these days. At one time, it was something I did once a year or so, but it's probably been 15 years now. As you say, it's showing it's age -- especially in the general absence of women, although there are some very strong females in it. The first of the Jackson films bugged me some because of the omission of some stuff, Bombadil for instance. But the second one bothered me more because they ADDED stuff that wasn't in the book. Which is why I haven't watched any of the Hobbit ones.
    The Rankin/Bass version of the third book was actually not too bad.
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  14. #44
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    Actually, I was thinking of the Foundation trilogy showing its age, but it applies to both. I think it made sense for Bombadil not to be in the movie. For one thing, he had nothing to do with the main plot, you just see him once and that’s it. Second, he is too powerful. In the book, Tolkein made a point of having characters explain why it wouldn’t be a good idea to give him the ring. You really don’t want to waste screen time for something like that and make viewers wonder why he was introduced just to dismiss him. Frankly, I’m not too sure why Tolkein put him in the book in the first place.

    The first movie really hit me on an emotional level and I’ve rewatched it so many times I’m almost sick of it. Second and third movies didn’t feel nearly as strong, although they were good enough. I didn’t remember enough to be too concerned about what they added.

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  15. #45
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    I donít have an Apple tv subscription (though Iím thinking about subscribing temporarily) but they show the first episode of their series free in their app, obviously hoping to gather interest and entice people into subscribing. I watched the first episode of Foundation. Itís fairly long - an hour and ten minutes without commercials.

    It was okay but not too exciting, in my opinion - it was largely setup of the story and introduction of characters. Itís been a long time since I read the trilogy, but I think a lot of the current plot items and characters were added in or heavily altered. A second episode is out if you have a subscription (I didnít see it, obviously) but following episodes will be shown on a weekly schedule.

    Iím curious if anyone else here has watched the first episode and what they think about it?

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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I don’t have an Apple tv subscription (though I’m thinking about subscribing temporarily) but they show the first episode of their series free in their app, obviously hoping to gather interest and entice people into subscribing. I watched the first episode of Foundation. It’s fairly long - an hour and ten minutes without commercials.

    It was okay but not too exciting, in my opinion - it was largely setup of the story and introduction of characters. It’s been a long time since I read the trilogy, but I think a lot of the current plot items and characters were added in or heavily altered. A second episode is out if you have a subscription (I didn’t see it, obviously) but following episodes will be shown on a weekly schedule.

    I’m curious if anyone else here has watched the first episode and what they think about it?
    I watched the first two episodes and was quite pleased. Seems very interesting so far. Thankfully they aren't using the novels as a rigid framework for the series and are using them as an inspiration for a loose adaptation instead to create something familiar to fans of the novels yet still appealing to those new to the franchise. The visual FX are amazing, better than many big budget movies by far. I found Lee Pace's portrayal of the 'Day' emperor to be the perfect example of a cliched character brought to life.

    BTW I saw earlier you also expressed interest in For all Mankind, I cannot recommend that series enough. A bit slow at times but one of the best alternate history series ever and it uses real science instead of hollywood's version of it in the space and lunar scenes.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronin View Post
    BTW I saw earlier you also expressed interest in For all Mankind, I cannot recommend that series enough. A bit slow at times but one of the best alternate history series ever and it uses real science instead of hollywood's version of it in the space and lunar scenes.

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I want to see For All Mankind too and I think I will get a subscription but I’m going to let Foundation run through the first season and then subscribe for a month. I already have enough streaming subscriptions and don’t want more long term.

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  18. #48
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    We've watched the first couple episodes of "Foundation", and are enjoying them so far. It's been so long since I've read the books, that I'm not always sure what's new/changed.

    Except for the major female characters, of course, whom I am fairly confident were either non-existent or male in the original novels.
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  19. #49
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    Women only started appearing in the Foundation universe once Asimov had crossed the "dirty old man" threshold.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Women only started appearing in the Foundation universe once Asimov had crossed the "dirty old man" threshold.
    In which direction?

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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I want to see For All Mankind too and I think I will get a subscription but I’m going to let Foundation run through the first season and then subscribe for a month. I already have enough streaming subscriptions and don’t want more long term.
    By weird synchronicity, Apple TV popped up as an option on our TV today after a software upgrade. I can't comment on Foundation, beyond saying that the trailer destroyed any faint desire I might have had to watch it. But I watched the free first episode of For All Mankind. It looked promising. A lot of nits for an Apollo buff to pick, but I guess they'll get less intrusive as the story diverges from "our" history.

    I've now waded through the weepy process of deleting my shiny new AppleID--perhaps I'm the world's shortest-lived Applyte. But if FaM ever turns up on physical media, it'll definitely be on my "to purchase" list.

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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    By weird synchronicity, Apple TV popped up as an option on our TV today after a software upgrade. I can't comment on Foundation, beyond saying that the trailer destroyed any faint desire I might have had to watch it. But I watched the free first episode of For All Mankind. It looked promising. A lot of nits for an Apollo buff to pick, but I guess they'll get less intrusive as the story diverges from "our" history.

    I've now waded through the weepy process of deleting my shiny new AppleID--perhaps I'm the world's shortest-lived Applyte. But if FaM ever turns up on physical media, it'll definitely be on my "to purchase" list.

    Grant Hutchison
    Mine was less than 16 hours. But I still get annoying emails concerning their programming. These last few posts seemed a bit off topic?

  23. #53
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    Two hours, here. On topic: for me, the Foundation trailer that Apple kept showing me had a prohibitively high "PSPSBSES coefficient", to quote a measure used by the Boon Companion. "People Striding, People Staring, Big Stuff Exploding Slowly."

    Grant Hutchison
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  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Except for the major female characters, of course, whom I am fairly confident were either non-existent or male in the original novels.
    Spoiler: (Highlight this box to see the hidden message.)
    One such 'female' character in this version isn't really female at all.

    Maybe one day they'll make a space opera where the citizens of the future have no fixed sex, like the characters in the Culture novels.
    Hell, why not just do the Culture.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Two hours, here. On topic: for me, the Foundation trailer that Apple kept showing me had a prohibitively high "PSPSBSES coefficient", to quote a measure used by the Boon Companion. "People Striding, People Staring, Big Stuff Exploding Slowly."
    Heh, I was wondering what you disliked so strongly in the trailer. They have to have some excitement to get people interested in the show. Most people arenít going to watch a show where people talk and nothing else.

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  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Heh, I was wondering what you disliked so strongly in the trailer. They have to have some excitement to get people interested in the show. Most people aren’t going to watch a show where people talk and nothing else.
    Yes, that's my problem, right enough.

    But the trailer really just confirmed what I'd already figured out for myself. The Foundation books weren't exactly crying out for a screen adaptation. I thought something interesting involving people talking to each other could come out of it, if someone went down the "galactopolitics" route--I, Claudius in space, in other words. I'd pay to see that. But given that this was to be a flagship series intended to help Apple hook people into their streaming service, I thought it was much more likely to be a bombastic high-budget CGI effort, hung lightly on the framework of Foundation to borrow a little gravitas and interest because of the reputation of Asimov's novels.

    Anyway, the people who produce and test trailers aim to put in key stuff that will draw in their target audience. That makes trailers very useful for judging whether I'm part of the target audience.

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  27. #57
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    Well, I subscribed (probably temporarily) to Apple TV. Iíve been watching the Foundation series, which has been surprising - it has very little to do with the trilogy other than general concept. There is a reasonably recognizable Trantor (though it had a space elevator), Hari Seldon, psychohistory and Terminus, and general plot about a galactic empire fated to collapse, but pretty much every episode has an unfamiliar plot and eight episodes in the empire is still going strong. There are hints the collapse might go in a very different direction from the books. Iím feeling a bit lost watching it, and I have to say, not my favorite so far. Iím getting tired of the clone emperors and an ongoing multi-episode plot about antagonists seeking revenge against the empire. I was really expecting something different, ideally with the story moving forward into the future faster, not getting stuck early on.

    Next Iíll try For All Mankind and will eventually give my thoughts in the other thread.

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