Foundation: Mysteries and Martyrs   Books Included 
October 29, 2021 6:25 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The Anacreons and their hostages board the fabled Invictus warship. The bond between Brother Dawn and Azura intensifies.
posted by rodlymight (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
i got nothing intelligent, all i have is, "ha ha, psychics have arrived."

this week's remix element is Aliens or any abandoned spaceship horror, y/n?
posted by cendawanita at 7:16 PM on October 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Well, are we discounting Salvor's visions earlier in the season? We've always been having the psychics, it seems like.

It does seem like they lost too many people to make a serious attempt at stealing the Invictus, though. And seriously, killing the Imperial soldier the second they got through the door? Great planning. I'm sure there will be no further nanotech-sensing systems onboard.

*sigh* I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying it for what it is, but I can also sort of understand the blowhards who complain that it isn't _Foundation_, too. I'm still on board, but if Phara gets an all black outfit with a noisy breathing apparatus while Salvor gets a laser sword...
posted by Kyol at 7:27 PM on October 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I'm still on board, but like, if the front door and a random forcefield that can be disabled from an access panel on the wrong side is the only security on the imperial weapon of mega destruction, my inconsequential emails at work are far more secure. Of course, we haven't got to the bridge yet, but my expectations are descending.

Will Empire Junior run away and have a new life in the slums? Probably not, I'm guessing. Are the writers cruel enough to have Azura turn out to be a sort of Emmanuel Goldstein, an agent of the establishment and an elaborate trap for wavering Brothers Dawn? I'm guessing… maybe.

The nature of the psychic phenomenon is going in a different direction from anything in the books. I'm not a book purist by any stretch, but If there are people who can straight up see the future, then what use psychohistory?

It is nice to see a more lively Jared Harris, though! I could watch that guy read the phone book.
posted by rodlymight at 7:56 PM on October 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

killing the Imperial soldier the second they got through the door? Great planning.

My thoughts exactly. I've worked in office buildings that need two pass card swipes to get from my desk to the lunch room.

Hugo's "death" seems like it must be a ruse. But it was such a weirdly acted and out of place scene I did look to see if the actor got himself fired like (spoiler) on The Expanse.

Getting Brother Day off planet and having Brother Dawn planning an escape do make me wonder if the Anacreon plan is going to succeed despite all the foolishness on the Invictus.
posted by Gary at 8:57 PM on October 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

this is all speculation:

1. the Chekov's gun of the waiting-to-be-decanted clones seems to read in-episode as to why Day is confident the Empire can survive the spiral (which, c'mon, for me and per my previous ep's comment, totally recalls to me of the Hajj - not just the circumbulation around the Ka'aba but also the run between the hills of Safa and Marwa in the daytime sun), but it seems to me there's a possibility of another 'terrorist' bombing that takes out the clone repository. Dawn might not be running away after all.

2. With Hugo's lines ostentatiously pointing out the palladium mines, I do wonder if he's setting up a fakeout to land himself there. If there's anything to describe Hugo, he's the big loyal boyfriend and will help Salvor at any cost. This does make Salvor's beat (I'm personally calling it the Katniss Everdeen, but she got the YA hero remix element basically) even more comically (to me) apparent.

3. Psychics - oh sure, Salvor was definitely in that group, but earlier there's still plausible deniability that she's a savant with calculating probabilities.

4. I was racking my head for its long-forgotten series lore to wonder if the Invictus malfunction might be related to another surviving robot. Anyway, waiting for the David derivative, personally.

5. I'm still not quite seeing the how of the Gaal-Hari-Vault-Salvor connection, but I'm convinced that's the thread.

Yes, I'm absolutely enjoying my time so far, because it's a crackup. Sorry to anyone else hoping for a more faithful adaptation tho.
posted by cendawanita at 9:12 PM on October 29, 2021 [4 favorites]

With Hugo's lines ostentatiously pointing out the palladium mines, I do wonder if he's setting up a fakeout to land himself there.
This was my immediate assumption - he atent dead.
posted by coriolisdave at 11:47 PM on October 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

To be fair, there were psychics in the books... They were kinda mathy, but it was totally handwaved. And there were characters who were so intuitive at psychohistory that they could make limited predictions without doing the math, Salvor being one of them.

I was wondering why would anyone put an invisible, unmarked lethal forcefield on a warship, particularly one so easily disabled (as mentioned upthread)? If it's to keep people out of a restricted area, shouldn't there be a sign? Some paint on the floor? I think the Invictus was designed by the same people who made the ship in Galaxy Quest.
posted by surlyben at 12:44 AM on October 30, 2021 [9 favorites]

Somewhere out there, economists and political scientists who got into their careers in some way influenced by reading Asimov, might roll their eyes and go, "oh of course, she's a psychic." (But don't mind me, I've been waiting for psychohistory to be better known to a new generation so i can resume poking fun at econometrics in poli sci).

On that note, I enjoyed the combativeness of Gaal and Hari now. I do hope that continues. There's not enough letting-out-the-hot-air with Hari Seldon in the original books, in my recollection. Rebooting the Hari recordings into this holographic AI construct definitely helps, storytelling-wise.
posted by cendawanita at 1:08 AM on October 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Are Gaal/Seldon headed for wherever it is the Invictus ends up next?
posted by Grangousier at 4:22 AM on October 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Somewhere out there, economists and political scientists who got into their careers in some way influenced by reading Asimov, might roll their eyes

This comes pretty close:
posted by NormieP at 6:23 AM on October 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

My introduction to the Foundation series came when I was 10 or 11 years old (either late 1988 or 1989). I took "Prelude to Foundation" out of the library and started with that since it was both new and chronologically first. (This was probably a mistake, but hey I was 10.).

Prelude to Foundation is quite different from the original trilogy. It followed a younger Hari Seldon as he fled through various sectors on Trantor. If I'm remembering it correctly, it almost had a cyberpunk feel to it. (Which could just have been how I personally imagined the setting, since that was the genre I was at the time - and still am - very fond of.)

So my introduction to Foundation was pretty much a tour of Trantor and I've been waiting over 30 years to actually see it extensively on screen. I'm really hoping that maybe this brother Dawn line will actually get us close to something like that and let us just exist there for a while. It would be a shame if the sack happens (or it gets Death Starred/Invictused) before we get a chance.
posted by NormieP at 7:14 AM on October 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

My suspicion that brother Dawn will become the Mule keeps increasing.
posted by joeyh at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2021 [7 favorites]

It was fun to hear Seldon say that Gaal was meant to lead “the first Foundation” on Terminus but then nothing more came of it.

Interesting that all of the characters we are following are off Terminus before there has been any explanation of the Vault.
posted by jimw at 8:55 AM on October 30, 2021 [6 favorites]

My suspicion that brother Dawn will become the Mule keeps increasing.

In this episode's official podcast, Goyer went into more extra-canon stuff, like the clones being sterile (which i missed, if it's been mentioned), so that's a definite point in favour of that view.
posted by cendawanita at 12:35 PM on October 30, 2021

That suit crossing was a bit silly, especially since all the soldier had to do was miss on purpose and then the capital planet of billions (trillions) is that much safer.
posted by Marticus at 3:33 PM on October 31, 2021

I said last week that that I thought Gaal and Harden were psychics; so I’m not surprised by the reveal this week. They writers seem to have absorbed all the books and stories Asimov wrote and all his retcons and built the TV series on top of that; rather than just taking book 1 and trying to film it.
posted by interogative mood at 9:23 PM on October 31, 2021

The podcast also goes into how hot the spacesuits were for the actors and other reasons the gear was difficult to work with during filming. They didn't say it outright, but I assume that's why the characters immediately take off their protective gear when the lights are still flickering and there are dead bodies all over the floor.
posted by Gary at 10:51 AM on November 1, 2021

Yeah, I was thinking "mmm, smell that? That's desiccated Imperial you're inhaling" when they just rushed to take off their helmets like that.

I kindasorta rolled my eyes at the railguns that were happy to frag the ship itself if there were intruders (too close? too big a signature on the hull?), but they didn't show the shots doing all that much damage to the hull so I mean I guess.
posted by Kyol at 11:42 AM on November 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Did they bring any food or water to the Invictus?

I think that's an amazing backstory for a ship. Hari's hologram needs to get on board and make it a proper ghost ship.

Also: are those clones aging in real time? Just sort of dreaming of the life they won't have unless their 'living' counterpart dies? That's unsettling.
To the ghost ship with them!

So we could have a dead man hologram, not-decanted clones of the most powerful man in history, and (from upthread) maybe a robot. All going to destinations unknowable in a ship that has random invisible deadly security and can blow up a planet.
I want that show, too!
posted by Acari at 7:34 AM on November 3, 2021

That's the next, edgier, version of Lost in Space. Danger, Brother Dawn indeed.
posted by Kyol at 9:15 AM on November 3, 2021

Ooph. The Invictus plot was just not well plotted at all... To add to the other points above:

Scrappy heroes need to figure out how to fix this ancient ship with weird archaic systems in four hours, which apparently the actual crew was unable to handle before getting Space Madness and eating each other.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:18 PM on November 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

i'm pretty sure in the exposition about the broken spacejumping engine, they speculated the ship took the crew at least once, if not multiple times, to locations that are too far away from the imperial comms network, a colony, and possibly even the galaxy altogether. So supplies running out weren't something that happened in under half a day. ETA: as for the Anacreons, I am legitimately sure their characterisation is just high-key suicidal (but hopeful).
posted by cendawanita at 2:25 AM on November 4, 2021

On the other hand - I wonder if maybe an unexpected jump left the crew exposed to the mind bending hypermath of FTL travel and they all got the brain worms and died shortly after the first jump? I mean, you could handwave it away as less of a "the experienced and trained crew couldn't solve the problem before they ran out of supplies" and more of a "the experienced and trained crew died within days of the first unplanned jump" sort of situation?

I don't know if we got enough clarification in-show there. Still, I mean as cool as the Imperial Mary Celeste is as a concept, it might just be a bit much for this season? But maybe that's how they will tie seasons together, with a barely controlled Invictus jumping forward? buhhhhh......
posted by Kyol at 7:05 AM on November 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm hoping that Vault Hari and Spaceship Hari were brain-recorded at significantly different points in time and have fundamental disagreements on the nature and future of Foundation.

It would also be hilarious (and probably completely unworkable from a storytelling viewpoint) if the brain-recorded Hari had very limited capacity for learning/incorporating new info, leading to escalating arguments with the Old Out-of-Touch ghost as the plan diverges more significantly from the rails.

Some such fundamental shortcoming would also help explain why we don't just have a brain-recorded holographic Emperor... Who needs clones if you can rule forever as a brain recording?
posted by kaibutsu at 12:26 PM on November 4, 2021

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