With clone emperors in haute couture and exotic wolf-lizards poised to attack, Foundation and For All Mankind herald a new era of ravishing spectaculars. Can they do for sci-fi what Game of Thrones did for fantasy?
Dynastic infighting, the decline and fall of a mighty empire, tyrannical rulers and fantastical beasts. You might be forgiven for thinking that Apple’s Foundation – starring Jared Harris and The Hobbit’s Lee Pace – is staking a claim as heir presumptive to the iron throne of Westeros. Or at least that the new adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s seminal series of books – a galactic saga that takes place over several centuries – might succeed in doing for science fiction what Game of Thrones did for fantasy.
Certainly, sci-fi TV has never looked so sumptuous, with court scenes resplendent with couture that wouldn’t look out of place at the Met Gala, and as many candles and torches as there are strip lights. But for David S Goyer, the showrunner charged with bringing the ambitious story to TV, the influence of the fantasy hit was more nuanced.