An innocent viewer of the new Apple TV+ series “Foundation”—a lavish production complete with clone emperors, a haunted starship, and a killer android who tears off her own face—might be surprised to learn that the novels it’s based on inspired Paul Krugman to become an economist.
Isaac Asimov’s classic saga revolves around the dismal science of “psychohistory,” a hybrid of math and psychology that can predict the future. Its inventor, Hari Seldon, lives in a twelve-thousand-year-old galactic empire, which, his equations reveal, is about to collapse.
“Interstellar wars will be endless,” he warns. “The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now.” His followers establish a Foundation on the frontier world of Terminus—a colony tasked with conserving all human knowledge—where they spend the next millennium fulfilling “Seldon’s plan” to reunite the galaxy.
Left ignorant of its details (such knowledge would play havoc with prediction), each generation must solve its own crises. The Foundation confronts barbarian kingdoms, imperial revanchists, and shadowy telepaths who elude psychohistory’s grasp.
We are living in a great time for Star Trek documentaries. Earlier this week we reported on the new Voyager doc breaking crowdfunding records. And today brings news that the History Channel is doing a full series all about the 55-year history of the franchise.
The “ultimate” history of Trek The Nacelle Company, producers of popular documentary series like The Toys that Made Us and The Movies That Made Us, is taking on the final frontier. Today they revealed they are working on an 8-part series titled The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek for the History Channel. The series promises to do the deepest of dives into the world of the Star Trek franchise. According to the announcement, The Center Seat will be “the ultimate Star Trek documentary that everyone has always wanted, and now they’re getting.”
Each episode of the series will focus on a different chapter in Star Trek history, starting with the inception of the original Star Trek series at Desilu. The doc series will feature interviews with people who worked on the show in front and behind the camera, as well as experts. The Nacelle Company promises The Center Seat will “reveal never-before-seen backstage stories and offer fresh insights” with “no stone is left unturned, including lesser known aspects of the franchise like The Animated Series and Phase II.”
Wherever you come down on this continuum about one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, PBS will challenge or confirm your beliefs with “Hemingway,” a three-part, six-hour Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary series airing April 5-7. … The all-star cast of voice actors includes musician and playwright Jeff Daniels as Hemingway and Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson as his wives.