The opening episode begins on Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, with the meeting of Seldon and Dornick, their trial, and their exile to Terminus. The action then jumps forward 50 years, to the first Seldon Crisis, where the repercussions of the recent independence of the Four Kingdoms of the Periphery are being felt on Terminus, and are handled by the first Mayor, Salvor Hardin. The scene then moves forward a further 20 years, as Mayor Hardin faces down the domination of the nearby and most powerful Kingdom, Anacreon.
The Merchant Princes
One-hundred-fifty years after the Foundation was established, the now powerful trading nation faces its greatest threat to date, guided by master trader Hober Mallow.
Two hundred years after its creation, the Foundation battles Bel Riose, the last powerful General of the dying Galactic Empire.
A further hundred years have passed, and the Foundation is challenged by an unexpected threat named The Mule.
Flight from the Mule
During the war against The Mule, with things going badly for the Foundation, some key figures under the leadership of the Foundation's greatest scientist, Ebling Mis, flee Terminus in search of the Second Foundation, to warn it of the danger from The Mule.
The Mule Finds
The Mule attempts to find and overthrow the Second Foundation.
Sixty years later, and a teenage girl is at the center of the Foundation's renewed search for the Second Foundation.
Changes from the written Trilogy: The conflict between The Foundation and Anacreon takes place 70 years into the Foundation era; in the novels it occurs at 80 F.E. A small segment in Foundation titled "Traders" has been removed entirely. General editing for time has been done throughout. A large, rather comedic section on farming on Rossem has been added to "The Mule Finds".
©2011 ABN (P)2011 ABN
Well they found a way! This is so over produced with music effects and poor control of the sound volume, the book in unlistenable.
You get a couple of lines of dialogue then some weird loud music. It is also very hard to follow a conversation because they have one person talking so softly with a low volume and the other one set high. So if you set your volume so you can hear the lows you get blasted when the other guy talks or the music kicks in.
Someone took this in post production and ruined it!!!!! Luckily Audible has an excellent rendition of Foundation it will cost you quite a bit more but it is worth it; just click on Isaac Asimov’s name above.
James totally got it right, the post-production sound is awful. You have to crank up the volume to hear anybody, but then in between scenes or chapters in the book, they have awful '50's and 60's sci-fi electronica that is played at TOP VOLUME! The first time this happened it nearly blew my eardrums in.
I gave is two stars because it is Asimov, but this audiobook is one of the worst I've bought from Audible. There's a reason it's only $2.
I'm a big enough fan of fan of the books that the negative reviews of the sound quality didn't deter me from buying this item, especially given the low price. Yes, the sound quality is pretty lousy at times: on a few occasions the speech is garbled and/or muted to near-unintelligibility, and the interstitial music levels are way too high throughout. But rather than characterize the effect as being ear-bleedingly awful, I would say that it's a mildly irritating nuisance to the listening experience.
Apart from the lacklustre sound engineering, the adaptation and the performance are excellent. The amusingly futurismic musical effects are just as dated as the golden age SF motifs of the narrative, and so add subtext: the past imagining the future.
On the basis of great content with poor audio quality, I was going to rate it three stars out of five (three and a half, if I could). However, today I found out that the show is also available free of charge from another site, and judging from the reviews over there (and a cursory random listen on my part), that version does not suffer the audio quality problems that this one does.
Presumably somebody at ABN (the distributor) dropped the due diligence ball when acquiring the material from the BBC. If the series truly has been released to the public domain by the BBC (as claimed by the uploading party on archive), then it's ridiculous that a commercially distributed version should have inferior sound quality to the publically available one, $2 price-point or not. Even if the archive item is an illicit upload by a fan, the fact that a superior digital version exists at all should make Audible embarrassed to be hosting this one.
The good: The Foundation Trilogy is, itself, a great sci-fi epic. This is a very good abridgement...basically, an audio play focusing on the dialog and "action" bits, and with much of the internal narration and descriptions of technology and scenery that made the full version somewhat odd (and overly wordy) are gone. The full version is pretty dry, and this is an improvement....I think this is a great idea.
Also the voice actors are pretty good...many of them are very good actors overall and they do a good job with this material.
It's also nice and cheap.
The bad: The quality of the production is poor. Some of the voices are faint and hard to hear clearly. There is a bit of hiss in the recording as well.
The ugly: The sounds effect and music are awful. Bad 1970's "electro-music" transitions and sound effects are pretty hideous and much louder than the voices (I found this less annoying listening through speakers instead of earbuds, although I still had to keep adjusting the volume). The echo/reverb effect used for the quotations from the Encyclopedia Galactica and elsewhere are unpleasant.
The Summary: I'm giving this 4 stars for a great idea and a great job until post-production. If Audible (or the BBC) could go through it and clean up the post-production, it would be excellent. I disagree with the other reviewers that categorize it as "unlistenable," but years spent of watching "Blake's 7" and early "Doctor Who" may have partially immunized me against the more unpleasant aspects. :-)
Note: There are very good unabridged versions of the 3 books of the Foundation Trilogy, read by Scott Brick, on Audible. Of course, it's 30x the price and 3x the length of this one.
The reviews are by Mike.
Like the other reviewers, I found the sound effects (particularly the section end "music") extremely jarring. I looked it up, it was made in 1973 and sounds like it...
That said, everything else is exactly what you'd expect from a dramatization. The script is just fine, and the actors are just fine. The pacing is good, and it was (again, excepting the discordant sound effects) enjoyable.
I'd feel ripped off spending a whole credit on this one, but for 2 bucks it's perfectly acceptable. I'd recommend it to Asimov fans in particular, but perhaps not for a general SF audience. It's 3 starts to me, but it might be only 1 star for someone who loves Asimov just a little bit less.
This was horribly over dramatized and extremely disappointing. Did they even listen to what they created after it was in the can? The sound effects are 50s not 70s sounds. Star Trek in the 60s had better sound effects.
The voices are so uneven I can only hear some dialog in a quiet room. If I hadn’t already read the trilogy to the point of knowing what the dialog was supposed to be, I could not have followed the story. The vocalists for the Mule did not fit the part. Too strong a voice for what the character was in the book.
This was a free selection for joining and I still feel like I paid too much.
The other reviwers are correct. The production is awful ....BUT!! This is an Audible.com mess up not the original production. I have this production on cassette tape (I'm very old!!) and it is absoutely fine. I bought this Audible.com version as I could not be bothered to convert my cassettes to MP3, but this is just awful. I don't know what they did but I'll be going back to my tapes.
Better audio, clear audio. I realize it's an old BBC radio broadcast but it is very muffled and the volume swings were awful.
As an Asimov fan I was looking forward to this dramatization, but I was disappointed by the audio. The voices were muffled and often very low. When I turned the volume up to hear more clearly the transition audio would kick in and rock me out my seat or blow me out of my car. The tones were like fingernails on a chalkboard.
The recording is too muffled, too distorted, and the readers' voices aren't very good either. Do not get this reading of The Foundation.
What a horrible production of a great book. The sound control is non existant, you have to turn the volume way up to hear them wispering, then some terrible excuse for space music blast your eardrums. Like the sound track from Dr Who run amok. Audible should pay you to down load this, ever if they put it on the free for members list it is over priced. Wow, I never thought I would write a bad review of an Asimov book, but it is not the book I am panning, it is the worst production of one I have ever heard.
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