Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
Lee Pace plays the Galactic Emperor in Foundation

Hasuwandil
Lorien


Jun 24, 10:38am

Post #1 of 16 (333 views)
Shortcut
Lee Pace plays the Galactic Emperor in Foundation Can't Post

Apple recently released a teaser trailer for Foundation, their new TV series based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of novels. Foundation is expected to be released on Apple TV Plus in 2021. Lee Pace will portray "Brother Day", the Galactic Emperor contemporary to (and antagonistic towards) Hari Seldon, the main protagonist, at least at the beginning of the series. It's been a long time since I've read the Foundation Trilogy, but I don't recall the name "Brother Day". Was it made up for the TV series?

The trailer can be found in various places. Here's one.

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 24, 2:14pm

Post #2 of 16 (277 views)
Shortcut
Brother Day? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the post! It's been too long since I've read the Foundation trilogy or any of its follow ups myself. According to Wikipedia, Cleon I was the name of the Galactic Emperor who ruled when Hari Selson first arrived on Trantor. He was succeeded by Cleon II, who "reigned during the time when Bel Riose, the last great Imperial general, was engaging in a successful campaign against the early Foundation."

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 24, 2:15pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 24, 3:33pm

Post #3 of 16 (272 views)
Shortcut
I just flipped through my copy [In reply to] Can't Post

and "Brother Day" wasn't a name that I saw among the many other names. Maybe he's a composite character? Anyway, exciting news that the Foundation will make it to the screen. As usual, I hope they don't screw it up. Smile


Hasuwandil
Lorien


Jun 25, 8:08am

Post #4 of 16 (251 views)
Shortcut
Big Brother Day [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the Galactic Emperor would be a composite character. Apparently his name was Cleon I, as Otaku-sempai noted, which seems a more likely name. Doing some more reading, there seems to be a theme to the names of (at least male members of) the royal family in the TV series: Brother Dusk, Brother Day, and Brother Dawn. They sound to me like names taken by members of a religious order, although I suppose political leaders can be religious leaders too. On the other hand, maybe they're trying to evoke Orwell's "Big Brother".

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 25, 2:34pm

Post #5 of 16 (233 views)
Shortcut
Maybe they're setting it up as a "religion vs science" show? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just speculating. I'm going to have to re-read the trilogy now. What I do remember is that the story was more about the Foundation vs. imperial functionaries and not Seldon vs. the Emperor. And then Seldon died, leaving behind time-locked recordings of himself making vague predictions that were essentially useless--I'm guessing that's been wiped since it would undermine his role as "prophet."

I also remember the books not really dwelling that much on the details as the empire collapsed and devoting more page length to the Mule and Second Foundation. Watching that trailer, it looks like they might expand the part about the empire dwindling, especially if they're lining up not only emperors but also imperial heirs. So I guess we need to prepared for lots of variations from the print material.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 26, 9:20pm

Post #6 of 16 (151 views)
Shortcut
"Foundation" was a warning to America. [In reply to] Can't Post

And the warning, way back in 1951, was one that seems evident in that trailer: empires fall.

It could also have been read as a warning to the U.S.S.R., and given the casting of Chernobyl's Jared Harris as Hari Selden, the filmmakers surely thought of that.

One of Asimov's models, as squire and Curious reminded us once in a discussion of The Hobbit, was the history of the Byzantine Empire. (It was easy to find that post because it's the only previous time that the name "Cleon" was mentioned on TORN.) I once was asked to comment on the draft version of a collection of essays about Tolkien's work. One of them compared Gondor's history (as described in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings) to that of the Byzantines. I strongly urged the editor to have the author consider some points made in that TORN discussion, but the project was too far along.

As one commenter says on Youtube about the Foundation trailer, it seems like a very challenging book to faithfully present onscreen, at least per the standards of Hollywood film epics, because so much crucial action happens inside characters' heads. Anyway, I hope the film acknowledges one of Asimov's main points, which is that sometimes, no matter how intrepid and clever the heroes are, events are out of their hands. That's particularly true in the situation that squire and Curious were discussing.

One thing that confuses me about the trailer is that the first novel starts on Trantor, a planet that is completely built over, something which is not apparent in the video.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 26, 9:44pm

Post #7 of 16 (147 views)
Shortcut
There are priests in the first book. [In reply to] Can't Post

As the Foundation becomes more advanced than its decaying neighbors in the fringes of the Empire, their technology takes on a religious cast.

It's possible that there are also monastic figures on Trantor in the prequels that Asimov wrote in his later years, but I don't remember those books very well.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


squire
Half-elven


Jun 26, 10:22pm

Post #8 of 16 (148 views)
Shortcut
Well, that was disappointing [In reply to] Can't Post

It looks just like the latest Star Wars flicks.

I suppose that can't be helped - all the people in the Sci-Fantasy design and effects departments talk to each other and borrow the latest tricks and shots. A big space-opera epic in 2021 is going to look and feel a lot like all the other space-opera epics unless someone makes a major effort to be really different.

That's what I would have hoped for with a Foundation series. More specifically, I would have loved to see a production and effects design that riffed off of Asimov's actual period and style: the pulp space-opera comics and short story mags of the 1930s-50s. Not Steam-punk, but the next generation, you might say: Fission-punk.

Primary colors, silly streamlining, ray guns, and a lot of circular forms. Absurd dialog, and a general feeling that Ozzie and Harriet's oldest boy, Flash Gordon, has just graduated the space academy and is off to Saturn in his personal flying car to discover a new energy source that will ... free mankind from labor forever! Da da da.

Oh, well. I guess not.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 26, 10:39pm

Post #9 of 16 (148 views)
Shortcut
I remember a reviewer complaining about the book's production design. [In reply to] Can't Post

My high school library, as I recollect some thirty years later, had a multi-volume collection of book summaries and commentary, in a series titled "Master Plots" or something like that, with entries on hundreds or maybe thousands of well known or significant books. I looked up the articles on those of my favorites that were deemed worthy to be covered, and one of the only specific details I can recall is a critic grumbling that the book's scenic descriptions were little more than 1940s settings dressed up with a few futuristic sounding elements, like an atomic-powered waste unit for the disposal of cigar ash. My own impression of the books, which coincidentally I was thinking about just yesterday, not knowing that a film version was in the works, was that they were so spare in detail that production designers would have a lot of imaginative work to do.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Lissuin
Valinor


Jun 26, 11:14pm

Post #10 of 16 (143 views)
Shortcut
Yes, quite beautiful but more of the same dark, dark, dark. [In reply to] Can't Post

All interior science fiction shots now seem to affirm that humanity will have evolved into a hybrid species of mole-rat.

And Jared Harris will have been cloned throughout the galaxy. (btw, I enjoy watching Jared Harris.)


squire
Half-elven


Jun 27, 12:58am

Post #11 of 16 (141 views)
Shortcut
You mean those jazzy covers in the 60s Avon paperback edition? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or are you, in a kind of shorthand, using 'production design', a film term, for 'setting', the book term? Yes, I know.

As I remember the Science Fiction of that era, the authors rarely put any time into describing the visual look of the worlds they were imagining. Most of the writing was plot, the exotic science that underlay the plot, and the characters. The result, as your critic noticed, is that the date of the writing often seems to be the date of the physical culture of the future world except for ostentatious updates involving technology (and to a lesser degree, women's clothing).

My impression is that the next generation of writers (say, late 70s and on) tried to make up for this, putting a lot more effort into visualizing a future world with actual new cultures, mannerisms, and ways of life even while acknowledging the eternal prime dictum of speculative fiction, which is that human nature is unchangeable.

Anyway, I don't fault Asimov for his Time-magazine style of world-building in Foundation - I found it kind of charming at whatever tender teen age I was reading the books, while I spent most of my time trying to guess which part of the 'Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire' and Toynbee's 'A Study of History' he was parodying at any given point in the story.

Here, just for reference, are the Avon covers I mentioned - the ones I associate with the story. They are by Don Ivan Punchatz, a noted commercial illustrator of the era. I loved these covers because I didn't understand them until I got a little older and acquired a bit more visual fluency.



Returning to my original topic, the design of the film seen in the trailer vs. my wish for a pulpier retro-50s style, I'd like to say that the original Star Wars (1977) made an effort to go in that direction, certainly compared to the NASA-centric space films of the previous decade like '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'Silent Running'. Star Wars made explicit references to earlier pop culture in films, from Flash Gordon to WW 2 war films as well as referring to some comic book themes from Marvel and others. Not that I want Foundation to look like George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic in its prime - my point is more that science fiction films simply do NOT have to have a certain look just because the most recent big budget films have had that look.

Oh, and the Imperial capital planet in the second Star Wars trilogy is a blatant homage to Foundation's completely built-over imperial capital planet Trantor. So what goes around, comes around, I guess!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29, 4:54pm

Post #12 of 16 (99 views)
Shortcut
I'm 100 pages into "Foundation", and plastic abounds [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
a critic grumbling that the book's scenic descriptions were little more than 1940s settings dressed up with a few futuristic sounding elements

Plastic was still cool when Asimov was writing, so he says people wear plastic clothes to make things sound futuristic. Seriously. That critic was spot-on; anything making Foundation's galactic society "futuristic" is pretty superficial and sparse. I think that gives the TV series plenty of room to be creative on their own.

Foundation takes time jumps of decades at a time and refreshes its main characters for each new phase of history, so I'm not sure how that translates to a TV series where the cast keeps turning over every few episodes. But then Seldon dies in his 80s, and sci-fi audiences today would readily accept life-extending technologies in the future, so maybe the characters last for centuries on TV?

Another thing I'm struck by is that I've read about 100 pages of dialogue: that's how the story goes. It's enjoyable, but I can see the challenge of turning a couple sentences about a coup or reversing a planetary invasion into time on the screen--and I certainly don't think audiences want to see people in the future just talking to each other in every scene like they do in the book.

Asimov really hits on the idea of historical stages of recovery from decline that are driven by mass socioeconomic forces where individuals matter very little, since individual choices get narrowed down to a single, "inevitable" course of action. Now that's a challenge to do in a TV series. "Why are we doing this?" "Because it's our only choice." How many times would an audience be willing to hear that?


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 30, 5:01am

Post #13 of 16 (85 views)
Shortcut
My Dinner With Ebling. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Another thing I'm struck by is that I've read about 100 pages of dialogue: that's how the story goes. It's enjoyable, but I can see the challenge of turning a couple sentences about a coup or reversing a planetary invasion into time on the screen--and I certainly don't think audiences want to see people in the future just talking to each other in every scene like they do in the book.


It doesn't lend itself to action figures?


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 30, 12:43pm

Post #14 of 16 (55 views)
Shortcut
"Inaction Figures"! [In reply to] Can't Post

Love it.

Reminds me of when the very first Star Trek movie - "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" - was widely derided as "Star Trek: The Motionless Picture". (Not a bad description of it, actually.)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 30, 1:51pm

Post #15 of 16 (55 views)
Shortcut
Twin Peaks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Love it.

Reminds me of when the very first Star Trek movie - "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" - was widely derided as "Star Trek: The Motionless Picture". (Not a bad description of it, actually.)


Then there's the gag about the Twin Peaks Laura Palmer Inaction Figure.

#FidelityToTolkien


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Wed, 8:52am

Post #16 of 16 (14 views)
Shortcut
How are you getting on with the Foundation? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've re-read it recently and have been eager to say a few words about it. I've even been tempted to start a thread up north even if it isn't Tolkien it is similair in many ways. One thing i do like about the tales is the scope. We are talking about Trillions of people here and all human. You don 't get much sci-fi which is so vast in scope. Which is possibly why Asimov liked to talk about trends and socialogy as opposed to individual acts.
Although it is a theme of the tales that some of the characters do wonder that if everything has been ordained then what is the point of individual actions? This issue is partly addressed. and as anyone might not be surprised to read later on individual actions do make a difference whatever Seldon might well say!
One thing I do notice though is that this tale is however hard Asimov might try not to be a product of its time. I mean Asimov seems to think that the most advanced form of power is nuclear power. Well, I can't help but think that in millions of years time, mankind might well discover some form of power that we haven't a clue about. Some kind of star power of galactic black hole space dust or such? They might just go back to atomatic power if the civilizations go backwards!
Oh and about female characters, I often thought that the pacifist leader, Hober Mallow could be a woman. Or even maybe Hari Seldon himself. Or herself! I can imaqine the howls of protests from the purists if the later was done, but I can see that working!

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.