New book unveils the art and making of Foundation seasons 1 and 2

Review by C.J. Bunce

Fans of Isaac Asimov and the Skydance and Apple TV series adapting his Foundation novels have the opportunity to go behind the scenes this week with the release of Foundation: The Art and Making of Seasons 1 & 2.  Full of concept art, never-before-published set photos, effects models, and interviews with cast and crew, the book by Mike Avila unveils how a celebrated work of science fiction made it to a series in the realm of The Expanse, Dune, and Battlestar Galactica.  Scheduled to land in bookstores this Tuesday, you can pre-order it now here at Amazon.  The series has an impressive cast, including genre stars Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Man from U.N.C.L.E) and Lee Pace (The Hobbit, Captain Marvel).

Get an early peek at several double-page layouts from Foundation: The Art and Making of Seasons 1 & 2 below, courtesy of the publisher.

The author includes interviews with showrunner David S. Goyer, stars Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, and Laura Birn, as well as producers, episode directors, production designer Rory Cheyne, and VFX supervisor Chris MacLean.  Goyer explains how the production was challenged by the series being the last to the table–arguably Star Wars and Dune borrowed concepts from Asimov’s novels, but those saw major, now-beloved films more than 40 years ago with visuals now fixed in the public consciousness.  Putting those concepts on the screen now could look like Foundation was copying them.  So the crew had to make things that were original feel original again.

Keep an eye out for discussions of the series’ reinvention of the hologram, the updated tech on the wall murals, and a feel that echoes the 1940s, when Asimov published the first Foundation story in Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

Another challenge of the show was the galactic scope of the story, requiring elaborate sets and features.  You’ll find breakdowns of the key characters, including the borg-like Demerzel, a humanoid robot central to the story.

But fans will really key in on this book for the photographs.  You won’t find many series requiring the creation of so much concept art.  Just take a look at these pages:

The art nouveau-infused mural endpaper artwork is something you’ll wish you had as a wall poster.  A must for every fan of the series, pre-order Foundation: The Art and Making of Seasons 1 & 2 now here at Amazon.  And 80 years later, don’t miss the original novels, still in print, also available here at Amazon.

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