Foundation S01E05 is the fifth instalment of the first season of an American science fiction epic streaming drama based on the classic novel series written by Isaac Asimov. Asimov developed high concepts regarding the decline and fall of empires and civilisations in his Foundation series of novels (number seven in total).
Entitled “Upon Awakening”, Foundation S01E05 demonstrates once more the fundamental problem with this series. The narrative jumps all over the place – in time and location – and it’s very difficult for the audience of keep track of what exactly is happening. In addition, the series loves to keep the audience hanging, without good reason.
The first two episodes introduced the intriguing character of Gaal Dornick but then disappeared her in the following two instalments, after having been placed in suspended animation. The opening 18 minutes of Foundation S01E05 wastes valuable storytelling time to provide us with a pointless flashback of Gaal’s Synnax experience. No new information is provided and that whole segment is superfluous – everything depicted could have been gleaned from the first two episodes. Awful.
Then the episode finds Gaal waking up from hibernation to encounter a frustrating puzzle that once more appears to be a waste of time. Have they run out of ideas already. C’mon, there are seven books in Asimov’s Foundation series, surely that cannot be the case?!?!
The only other sub-plot involves the continuing Anacreonian siege on Terminus, Salvor Hardin’s helplessness in the face of her superior’s incompetence and the comical failure of imperial forces. Presumably, this sub-plot is meant to give us some action, some violence but it’s all rather pedestrian. Yes, in the book, it is political intrigue that occupies the situation on Terminus but that probably would not engage anyone in a modern streaming TV series.
Foundation S01E05 sadly, does not correct the flawed course that the series has taken in the last two episodes. Is there any hope that things can all work out in the end?
Streaming now on AppleTV+.
… still there’s more …