EPISODE NOTES 210 – “Creation Myths”

With our final episode we bring back Gaal’s voice-over, which was absent for quite a few episodes. This voice-over is meant to harken back to Gaal’s voice-over in 110 and provide a deeper, more philosophical wrap-around to the whole epic. The title, as well, is meant to have multiple meanings. So the question the viewer should be asking is; what myths are being created here?

If you haven’t watched episode 210, you might want to stop reading this as we will be discussing major spoilers.

Me on “Terminus”, close to the wrap of Season 2.

Okay. Still here?

The episode begins with the reveal of how Hari survived – which is quite a bit more involved than some viewers had surmised. Essentially, it meant Gaal having to play her cards close to her chest from the end of 206 onward. So if people were wondering how/why Gaal was being so naïve – she wasn’t. She was acutely aware of the dire circumstances they were in and trying her best to manage it (in conjunction with Hari once he’d been rescued).

The montage sequence of Hari escaping, shuttling back and forth between Hari and Gaal’s shared experiences took a tremendous amount of effort to film – dozens of tiny pieces shot weeks apart, all layered together.

One of the interesting implications of Gaal having mind-melded with Hari is that she has now “lived” some of his memories. In a very real way, Gaal experience the flashback story between Hari, Yanna, and Doctor Tadj – and this connection they now have will bear more fruit in future seasons.

We return to Trantor and Demerzel’s prison and learn who hired the Blind Angels. Hopefully, Demerzel’s explanation makes sense in retrospect. She was trying to walk the tightrope between her programming and her conflicting impulses.

And to be clear; in my head cannon, Demerzel absolutely killed Dusk17 and Rue. And it gutted her to have to do so.

From Trantor, we move back to orbit around Terminus and reveal the true nature of Hober’s arrangement with the Spacers. His mission did not fail. We merely withheld information from the audience. We knew we were building to a cathartic break for Bel. Poor Ben Daniels actually broke a rib while filming this fight – but he championed on.

Hopefully, part of the fun of this final episode is seeing various plot elements finally pay off. So here, we have the little mark on Hober’s wrist, the castling bracelet return, the green “mark of betrayal”, Constant’s true name (or lack thereof). Even the Locris wine. Part of the delight in constructing a season is planting these little moments. You hope some of the audience will be expecting them to circle back around, but that some of them will have forgotten them.

We debated Constant revealing her true name and ultimately decided it would be more satisfying for the audience (and Hober) to never find out.

That said, I love the conclusion of Bel and Hober’s story. It is heartbreaking – and surprisingly downbeat for Hober, who was introduced as such a rascal. But I love his conversion from someone who doesn’t give a shit to someone who dies an honorable death. From the very beginning of the season, we knew Hober and Bel would die together and we knew they would drink the Locris wine while doing so. There’s a tiny moment, right near the end, where you see Hober start to get afraid – looking out the window at the wave of destruction coming towards him. And Bel, seeing this, distracts Hober by talking about Beki and getting him to drink a toast. I love what Ben Daniels did there – and this final moment the two actors shared. It broke my heart to film this – but I felt it was right for the show.

Which brings me to the deaths that happen this episode. There are a lot of them – Hober, Bel, Day, Dusk, Rue, and finally Salvor. It’s a complete bloodbath.

And yet, I hope, the season doesn’t necessarily end on a totally downbeat note. We wanted to balance those sacrifices with some victories – Dawn and Sareth getting away, Constant realizing that everyone on Terminus (including Glawen) was saved.

There’s poetry in the idea that Glawen lived, but Bel went down with his ship. I think it’s an unexpected inversion.

In terms of Dawn and Sareth’s escape, we felt that would also be a nice inversion of Dawn’s story in Season 1. And, assuming our show goes on long enough, we should expect their child (or at least a descendent of that child) to return to the story one day. And for the record, I do think Demerzel is genuinely happy that Dawn escaped. Her programming would have forced her to hunt him down (and may still do). But I think she’s relieved Dawn is beyond Trantor’s clutches.

This is Laura Birn/Demerzel with the Galactic Council, who will be playing a larger role in S3.

Salvor’s death was the hardest one for me to swallow. By the end of Season 2, I had become incredibly fond of the character. And I absolutely adore Leah Harvey as an actor and a person. That said, we felt it was important to show the audience that even regulars could well and truly die. And especially Salvor, who seemingly had plot armor because of Gaal’s futuristic vision. We also felt this would be double-unexpected after revealing she was alive in 208.

The great gift Salvor’s sacrifice leaves Gaal (and the audience with) is that our characters do not live in a deterministic universe. The future the prime radiant and Gaal see is a probable one – the most probable, in fact. But not immutable.

After Salvor’s heartbreaking death, we wanted to balance that out with Constant’s salvation and the reveal that Dr. Seldon had saved everyone on Terminus. Here’s our producing director, Alex Graves, chatting with Izzy.

As a bonus, we also revealed that Glawen lived as well. What one hand taketh, the other giveth. (Or vice versa.) The question for the audience, I suppose – is does this make you feel any different about Dr. Seldon now? He’s still a manipulative bastard – and yet? Let the debate begin.

Back on Trantor, Demerzel decants three new clones. The first time she’s ever done this. It is also implied that she is editing their memories on the fly. She has the Prime Radiant now. She looks pleased. So the question the audience should be asking here is – why, in Seldon’s name, would the Doctor give Demerzel the Radiant? Surely not on a whim, right? We will be exploring this a great deal in Season 3.

Here’s a hairless, prosthetic bust of Terrence Mann, to be used in the clone tank scenes. It’s an odd experience walking into a room and seeing a life-like depiction of yourself (as Lee, Terry, and Cassian will attest to).

On Ignis, Gaal asks Hari to sleep his way into the future alongside her. And he accepts.

In terms of Gaal and Hari, their story arc this season was one of rupture and repair. By the end of the season, the become of family, of sorts. Gaal has seen into Hari’s mind and Hari has seen a glimpse into hers. When you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you build empathy for them. As an aside, I love Hari having a panic attack while the cryo-liquid is rising. And I love Gaal coaching him to count primes. The student has become the teacher and we have come full circle.

About 2 days before the wrap of Season 2 my Irish AD team departed back to the Emerald Isle. They were with me for the better part of 3 years and it was a bitter-sweet moment. Here is me with Orla King, Rob Kiernan and Dave Ivory.

And then, as a final moment, we pull back from Ignis and plunge through to the other side of the looking glass and get a true glimpse of the Mule.

In Gaal’s visions he was portrayed as something larger than life; a monster. I thought it would be interesting to show him in a different light here – vulnerable. As afraid of Gaal as she is of him. We’re really excited to finally be getting to the Mule’s story. Be prepared for a true roller-coaster ride from here on out.

This was a goodbye to Leah Harvey, whom I’ve had the honor of working with for the last 4 years. A fantastic actress, fantastic person, and just a really fabulous friend. I dug out this video from Season 1 where we were rehearsing Leah’s very first fight scene with Phara. It didn’t go as planned, but – the amount of incredible stunts Leah pulled off in the ensuing four years was truly mind-boggling.

Finally, I’m going to include the script pages for a scene we were forced to cut for budgetary reasons. This one was truly painful as I felt it really brought closure to Poly’s story arc. But the fact of the matter is, it would have taken about 3 days to film and it would have involved us finding an entirely new location for the Vault/planet. Believe it or not, cutting this scene saved about $1.6 million dollars. The audience doesn’t know what the audience doesn’t know. That said, now that you know how Poly’s arc should have ended, you can lament our budget battles alongside me.

That’s it for our Season 2 episode notes. I hope to have some official news about Season 3 as soon as these interminable strikes resolve. In the meantime, tell your friends and family to spread the word on Foundation. The bigger our audience, the longer runway we will have to complete this epic!


  • RN

    Did the crew of the Invictus get scooped up by the Vault too?

  • Teryn

    Honestly, I would have preferred if Salvor hadn't died. It made the entire season feel hollow. I don't care about Demerzel a blonde hair blue eyed woman being the center of the universe isn't revolutionary it's typical just ask Daenerys. Watching her relationship with Gaal build to never see them actually live in it sucks. It took the air out of the whole season. Im not invested in Constant so didn't care if she lived or died. Empire isn't really interesting to me as white men being colonizing tyrants isn't really revolutionary either. Gaal and Salvor is why I tune in. After losing her planet, parents, faith, man, and damn near her body I thought Gaal would be hell bent on saving her daughter, so this just sucked. It's like when The Walking Dead killed Glenn. I was never invested in Gaal's relationship with Hari to care that it be saved. Hari used her from the start and betrayed her as soon as she hit Trantor what was there to salvage? This ruined an otherwise great season. Now knowing that she's dead makes even rewatching it unenjoyable.

    • Trantor

      So you only care about the POC characters and their intertwined relationships. Gotcha. Yea, maybe go watch a different show.

    • Enlightenment

      The season is not hollow, but your comment certainly is. Maybe one day you'll understand the show and how vapid your comment comes across.

    • Roxy

      After so many comments reviewing this amazing show, it is the first one I read with a sense of racism. If you only watched the show for Salvor’s skin color, then you missed all the amazing talent she brought to the whole story. She saved everyone in the first season, lived longer than she ever thought, and found the person she was looking for. Like you said, everyone she knew died, but she finally stopped feeling like an outsider. If I were in her place, I would’ve died happy, just the way she did. You have the right to an opinion, but it is a sad one nonetheless. And just in case, I’m not a white woman; I’m just a person who can appreciate a well-told story.

    • Jambe

      I feel the opposite. Salvor is enough like me that I don't even need to restyle my hair to portray a wonderful character this Halloween. Representation means being a normal part of the tapestry fabric.

    • Roz Roulette

      Salvor was my favourite character and I was bummed she was killed off too. But your race bias is showing. Demerzel isn't a blond-haired blue-eyed woman. Demerzel is a robot. These guys went out of their way to increase the amount of female characters in the show. In the books Salvor was a man. So there you go.

  • Alex

    David, I have to admit - I'm really sorry you have not filmed that scene. I think, now that I read it, that it would have given a lot of closure to the story that is currently missing, and it would have voiced a lot of what fans are thinking of "left Hand Harry" in an important way. If you wanted, you could have even shown that Seldon only created an Illusion of Jaegger dying, and that he is actually alive and well in the Prime Radiant, if you wanted to make it a kind-of-redeeming story for Hari instead. As it stands now, while the end of S2 was a spectacle, it left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth...

  • Sophie

    Thank you so much for all the notes you share with us! The second season was AMAZING. Every detail. I've grown attached to all the characters and I must admit I now prefer the tv series to the books. Fingers crossed we know more about the third instalment soon! What a great finale.

  • James

    Foundation is one of the best shows in recent times... Keep it up David Goyer and talented cast and crew. When I read the Foundation years ago and discovered these books were linked to the universe of the Robot stories, and his other works, I did try to imagine what this massive world would all look like on screen, and laughed to think how all of the characters' internal thinking would be represented, chapter after chapter of Asimovian internal monologues and arguments, but I find you have fleshed out the story better than I could have imagined. The show version of the Empire was is a nice touch, one has never been concieved like that before. I am always impressed with the acting in the Empire stories. I guess episode ten I was thinking wouldn't vampire group-mind-controlling Tellem have noticed that one of her followers is a little too quiet (tied up underwater), but a minor thing, I guess I have to imagine that Gale was just stronger than her at times especially if she was not expecting a guard to be missing. It was fun and captivating to try to rewatch episodes and solve the detective puzzles laid out for us, and I was surprised with how close it is to the spirit of the source work, filling in parts of the story that were left to the imagination. I am so looking forward to seeing the next crises/stories represented, and am hoping you get creative clearance all the way to your final ending, maybe get the expanded universe there and then some (I am excited about the implications of the graphic scene left on the abandoned Invictus and wonder if you would be able to get to that part of the storyline). I am wondering about a few other things, like how will the writers keep the excitement going when characters later have to go searching for the Second Foundation when we the audience already know how it was started by Salvor, Hari, and Gale; I am curious how powerful will the Mule's powers be in the show, because I still remembering nearly falling off my chair a couple times at Asimov's reveals in this crisis. Brilliant interpretation, casting, and I am sure you will somehow write your way out of these and many more crises. Maybe the writers guild just need a real life Hober Mallow to negotiate their way out of the writers strike so we can get more stories like this.

  • David

    I continue to love this show. I think it's a master work and easily the best, most thoughtful scifi on tv since the Battlestar Galactica reboot 20 years ago. It seems to me that Hari's worldview continues to be as shakespeare laid out in "All the worlds's a stage....". He's seen the play, understands the parts and is constantly casting for who will play the necessary part in order to ensure Foundations success. He views it a special honour to have a part in the "play" and is genuinely confused when is chosen "actors" rebel. I also love the symmetry where we see Dermerzel, the robot, product of a production line, literally now producing humans on a production line, albeit a genetic one. but to what end? - at this point it seems that Empire exists so that Empire can exist. Demerzel and the Cleon's seem bound together in a mutually self-perpetuating spiral. It's almost like seeing the relationship we have in society for 100's of years now with the workers (robots) and the elites where both see the other as their reason for existence and are frightened of the void if either were not to be there anymore. At the end of this season, I felt that if Dawn is Dawn, Day is Day, and Dusk is Dusk - then surely Demerzel is the night. Amazing work David - please keep it up and I can't wait for Season 3.

  • Linda

    I absolutely loved this season !!! I’ve rewatched 210 at least 5 times in 1 day. I enjoy the story and characters and every episode has kept me wanting more. Im secretly wishing that Hober and Bel to be alive and waiting in the Vault when Constant got there or in the very least, we find out that she’s pregnant and has Hobers baby in season 3. At the end when they show all the people lined up at each level in the Vault I couldn’t help but think that it seemed like there were more people there than I thought were living on Terminus. Could it be that all the people from the Invictus made it to the Vault as well ?? Maybe there could be hope for Hober and Bel after all. I was excited to see that Dawn and Sareth got away at the end, hopefully Demersel won’t come after them and kill them and their baby. I just can’t imagine that Dr Seldon would give Demerzel the Radiant. What is he planning with that move ??!! Could it be that he altered it to not show actual events but ones that Hari wants her to follow ?? Of course I can’t leave this post without saying how sad it is that Salvor is dead. I know in shows we sometimes have to say goodbye to some of our favs but I was loving the relationship between Salvor, Gaal and Hari. It just seemed to all work. Can’t wait for season 3 and hoping that there will be 8 seasons as mentioned.

  • Joseph Lo

    Thanks for sharing that last scene! It is beautifully written and provides a much needed closure to Poly's arc. I love the distinction of "being sacrificed" versus choosing to sacrifice. I love how Poly was able to say those words to Dr. Seldon. Thanks for the show.

  • Alex

    Can we get concept art of the space ships from season 2.

  • BelsHonor

    This started as a reply to Teryn, but quicky spiraled out of control so I'll just post it here. Teryn, I think I understand your feelings about how the season ended, and I partially agree? But for what it's worth, almost all, if not all of the main characters are white males in the books. Salvor and Gaal are both white males. Nor are they related (as far as I know). So I'm very thankful for this interpretation overall. All of the white male-ishness is probably why I haven't made it very far along in reading the books, so I may be speaking too soon on this. However, considering that Demerzel is neither white nor does she have a gender, but is an autonomous artificial intelligence with a disguise on, not by choice but due to being manipulated, I empathize with the character. Losing Salvor broke my heart. I was beyond shocked, angry, sad, so many things. Similar to how I felt in season 1 with Raych. I'm going to be sad all over again remembering that she died by the time season 3 drops. Anyway, I say all of this to say that there is a substantial amount of inclusion and representation and amazing talent in this series. PoC, LGBTQ+, etc. More than I realistically expected, but it is a story. A damn good one at that. My only complaints are: All of the non-white characters as per industry-usual, are sacrificed so easily while the white characters are basically immortal, with very few exceptions. Another social parallel perhaps? Second, some of the plot devices feel overly deus ex machina and pushed the limits of my suspension of belief. Example: I was a little disappointed by the S2E10 explanation for how Hari survived but I'm not sure if anything at all would have been sufficient so maybe it's just me. Still happy he survived though. I'm sure there are many things that would have been done different if there were no limit to the shows budget and based on the cut scene that you posted. Speaking of, I would have loved to see that scene since I was 100% team Poly in that regard. All-in-all, thank you for this amazing series. I'm excited and looking forward to season 3. If you read this to the end, I apologize for how long winded it was and for the number of commas, but I thank you for hearing me out.

  • The Spaceshipper

    Hi David, I took the liberty of making a video around this unproduced scene. Because Poly deserves this ending. https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipper/status/1705221347243184378 Thanks for this great show!

  • The Spaceshipper

    Now on YouTube too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c0yeV-MJHg

  • Kyle

    Thanks for writing these BTS, a gift!

  • Leandrino

    I just wanted to comment here and tell you that this is (to me) the best show out there on any streaming service right now. Since science fiction is expensive to produce and too many shows have been axed early in the last few years, I'm getting a little nervous without official word on this show being renewed! I hope it's gonna happen soon!!! And I love the making of book on the first two seasons. Please keep doing books for further seasons as well! Thank you for an absolutely amazing show! Fridays just don't come fast enough while it's on, and it's incredible how enjoyable this show is even on repeated viewing! I really hope Apple TV still is invested in this gem!

  • Laura

    Foundation is my favorite tv show!! The quality is amazing and the actors are doing a great job at portraying emotions. I’m amazed by the amount of work the whole crew and production are putting in. I can’t count how many times, I watched season 1 and 2. I introduced my mother to Foundation and she loves it. On the first few minutes of season 1, she was blown away by the visuals of the show. Hopefully we will have more seasons. I enjoy all the different stories that intertwined. My only complain is that I want 20 eps per season. I send all my support, all the way from France!

  • Dan C

    Foundation (2021) is by far the best Sci-Fi series I've ever seen on TV, with its broad scope - both physical & philosophical - and great characters and plot (I'd never read the books so don't have any conflict there), and superb scripts, production design, acting, wardrobe, locations, cinematography/VFX, sound design, and music. Running a series is so much better than a few stand-alone films, as there is much more opportunity to develop the interweaving stories, all the relationships, and the galaxy-wide vision of our possible future - once mankind explores & colonizes space. Thank-you to David S. Goyer and Apple TV+ - this will greatly add to Apple's reputation for first-class streaming - and hoping I can look forward to many future seasons !

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