Captivating sci-fi series don’t come that often.
That’s why when fans of the genre find something they like, they hang on like it’s the last of its kind. For every show that turns into “The Expanse,” a piece of genius that aired on Amazon Prime Video, there is apparently an endless stream of shows like “Inhumans.”
Quality has been one of Alfred Enoch’s draws in making “Foundation,” a series that debuts on Apple TV + on Friday.
Based on a series of novels by Isaac Asimov, the premise proves intriguing as renowned professor Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), the initiator of psychohistory, an area of study that predicts the future based on role models mathematics, predicts the end of the Galactic Empire, which is ruled by three cloned rulers at different stages of life – Brother Dawn, Brother Day and Brother Dusk.
Seldon’s prediction does not square with the self-proclaimed benevolent triumvirate, and they banish Seldon and his followers to a distant and barren planet and task them with saving the knowledge of humanity, so once the fall comes, society can start over. The series of novels reigns in the realm of science fiction.
Veteran of the films “Harry Potter“, where he played Dean Thomas, and “How to Get Away with Murder”, where he played a central role in the popular ABC series starring Viola Davis, Enoch enjoyed the designer’s tapestry. from the David series. Goyer created in the face of adaptation a story that spans a millennium considered unsuitable.
“I guess the first thing that struck me was this sort of vast, detailed universe that kind of popped up in front of me,” Enoch said on a recent teleconference. “I think it’s exciting to discover a world that is very well done and at this kind of scale there are so many different pockets, so much is happening.
“There’s a feeling of richness there, and that really turned me on, but on top of the kind of huge reach, there was a concern for the personal and the intimate and that kind of balance with those two. things was really attractive to me. “
“Foundation” explores society through science fiction
There is scope, then there is relevance and for Enoch, the universal themes of the series as well as the parallels to today’s society, as bizarre as it may sound, provided an attractive outlet for his talents.
“I wish it was weird, it would be nice to have a moment where a story about the tension between knowledge and power isn’t appropriate. Right? But I mean, I think these stories are timeless, stories that question how the individual fits into authority systems, “he said,” how we navigate our responsibilities, professional, ethical, political, with our responsibilities to those who are dear to us. and our personal hopes, aspirations and expectations for our lives. How does the individual fit into these larger issues? “
He understands their importance and the grand scheme of things.
“I mean, these are issues that will always be, I think, relevant,” he said. “But I think especially when we look at our relationship with the world around us, how we disseminate knowledge, how we challenge authority, these are things that will always be important to look at and consider, I think.”
Many see “Foundation” as a series that could elevate Apple TV +, a service that still lags significantly behind its competition (think Netflix, Disney). While he may not have the numbers (and is unwilling to release them, according to reports), he recently aired some trending shows with the winning comedy “Ted Lasso”. four Emmy Awards this week, in the lead; and other shows such as “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, have their share of fans.
“Game of Thrones” for science fiction?
Yet streamers in particular are looking for viewers who are willing to shell out their monthly fees and know they need shows that connect on an individual level, but also give audiences the will to sample other rates. Many are looking for this show with an epic quality that “Game of Thrones” brought to HBO. This is why Amazon is spending exorbitant sums on a television series “The Lord of the Rings”, which will be a prequel to “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien.
Enoch said he did not take this aspect of the series’ genesis into account, mainly because Asimov’s works, which have been adapted for the screen in films such as “Bicentennial Man” and ” I, Robot “, are autonomous.
“Rather, I was thinking of a story that has a huge known and loved fan base. I have a lot of friends who have read Asimov’s novels, ”he said. “I have a friend who told me the other day, she read all of Asimov. And I was like, my God, that’s a lot of reading. So people already have very strong feelings. I guess I would have rather thought of it in terms not of responsibility, but of the expectations that these people have around it.
Yet, like any actor appearing in a series of this pedigree, he wants it to find mainstream success. Judging from the episodes screened for critics, that possibility exists because it mixes philosophy with lots of action and compelling characters that draw the viewer in.
If this feat comes true, Enoch will have played a role. Like many actors whose backgrounds include William Shakespeare, it’s all about content and the ability to tell stories. Don’t ask him if he has a plan for his career.
“It seems like a very dangerous thing to have, especially in my job,” he joked. “My plan, my plan, I guess, is to keep doing work that I find interesting.”
However, he understands what it means.
“It’s a luxury. As an actor, you are lucky to be working. You are lucky to be out there in the world telling stories, ”he said. “And if somebody says, I want to listen to you, it’s, you know, if you make a living doing what you love to do, that’s a wonderful thing.”
George M. Thomas dabbles in film and television for the Beacon Journal. Contact him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ByGeorgeThomas