Apple TV Plus’ sci-fi epic Foundation finished its second season with a bang, but it also still seems to have plenty of story left to tell. After all, we’ve still got a lot more years of psychohistory for the Prime Radiant to guide us through yet — and The Mule is waiting somewhere in that future, too.
Despite all the room the story’s huge flash-forwards leave for the series’ future, we still don’t know much about the possible third season. But series creator and showrunner David S. Goyer spoke with Polygon to shed some light on what we might expect. So here’s everything we know about Foundation season 3.
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for Foundation season 2.]
Is Foundation getting a season 3?
Foundation’s second season certainly ends with a great setup for season 3, but Apple hasn’t made it official just yet. The streaming service’s shows often take a long time to get renewed, however, so that isn’t a reason for fans to lose hope.
When is Foundation season 3 coming?
This question is a little more complicated. The first season aired in 2021, while the second aired in the back half of 2023. This could mean that breaks between Foundation seasons will be a little longer than the TV norm of just one year. On top of that, the ongoing Writer’s Guild and Screen Actors Guild strikes could mean the gap between seasons is even longer this time around.
With all that in mind, don’t expect to see another season of the show until at least 2025, and maybe even 2026.
What would Foundation season 3 be about?
That’s a good question, especially since the board seems to have gotten a mini-reset at the end of season 2. Goyer told Polygon he sees Foundation as both a serialized show and an anthology, telling complete stories during each season that still tell a larger tale over the course of the series — which is frankly very Prime Radiant of him.
“I thought it was really important to give some of the characters like Bel, Hober, and Constant lovely closure,” Goyer said. “I adore all those characters, I adore Bel and I adore Hober. But I also felt the fact that they have that fate together at the end felt like the right way to end the story.”
Based on that, it seems likely we’d get a whole new story in season 3 that would bring the Foundation forward into the future, perhaps even up to the third crisis or The Mule.
Would the cast be back for Foundation season 3?
As part of telling a mostly new story, it also seems like we’d be getting a new cast. Goyer told Polygon that creating new characters who fans love is an important part of every season to him, especially after the success of characters like Constant, Hober, and Bel. So we can expect new characters next season — if and when it arrives.
Goyer does warn fans not to get too comfortable. He says many new characters would probably just appear in one season, like in seasons 1 and 2, but there’s always the chance that some of the new characters could stick around for .
A few returning characters could still be around no matter when the third season is set, including Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) and Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), who are both in cryo-sleep; the robot Demerzel (Laura Birn); and brand new clones of the Empires: Dawn (Cassian Bilton), Day (Lee Pace), and Dusk (Terrence Mann).
How does Foundation relate to Isaac Asimov’s books?
Well, that’s where things get complicated. Technically, the Apple TV Plus series is based on the Isaac Asimov series of the same name. However, it’s taken quite a few liberties and turned this story into something else entirely — and not in a bad way.
The only real downside to this choice is that it makes the series pretty unpredictable. We’re almost certain to get some events involving The Mule in season 3, and that story mostly takes place in the second Foundation novel, Foundation and Empire. In other ways, though, the TV series has jumped ahead to book 3, and in some spots, it’s off-book entirely. So like Hari Seldon’s Plan, the books are probably still important in the big picture. It’s just hard to say how.