"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Friday, October 1, 2021

Foundation 1.3: Clonal Science Fiction, Hari Seldon as V. I. Lenin

I said in my review of the first two episodes of the Foundation series on Apple TV+ last week that the relationship among the Cleon clone triumvirate -- Brothers Dawn, Day, and Dusk -- was fascinating, and "one of the best parts of the TV series not in the Asimov stories".  Tonight in episode 1.3 that relationship took up at least the first third of the narrative, and it was easily the best part of the episode.

It began at the beginning, with a revealing conversation between Cleon the First and Demerzel.  But it quickly pivoted to the day before Brother Dusk's death, or the day when he would become Brother Darkness and turned to dust by some kind of futuristic ray.  We see Brother Dawn from the previous episodes grown into a vibrant young Day, played of course Lee Pace. The former Day is now Brother Dusk, but more youthful than he was in the first two episodes.  And the clone baby Brother Dawn is held in Demerzel's arms.  All in all, a quite impressive and effective set piece of clonal science fiction.

The rest of the episode takes place on Terminus, and suffers from not being enough of the story.  It ended too quickly, and could have benefitted from the Vault being opened and Hari giving his holographic advice/appraisal of the situation.  Salvor Hardin's story seemed to stop in the middle.  Now, that might have worked if the 4th episode had been viewable, but it wasn't.

In fact, my favorite scene in the Terminus part of episode was the statue of Hari Seldon (left), which I noticed in one of the trailers for Foundation last month.  It's somehow reminiscent of the famous statue of V. I. Lenin (right), isn't it?  Which makes sense, given that Hari Seldon is to the Galactic Empire as Lenin was to the Russian empire.

Anyway, I'll be back with my audio podcast review of episode 3 later today, and of course a review of episode 4 next week.

See also Foundation 1.1-2: Mathematician, Man of the People, and Cleon's Clones ... Foundation 1.4: Slow Hand, Long Half-Life, Flipped Coin


Unknown said...

Dear Professor Levinson,

I agree with your review, I was actually disappointed by the new terminus characters which did not appear interesting to me, will see how things develop, but I'm a little afraid.

All the best from Switzerland

Walter Carlucci

Paul Levinson said...

Thanks for the comment, Walter. I'm hopeful/confident that David Goyer will come through with a satisfying series.