Apple TV + is targeting the stars with two new sci-fi series and a movie this fall. Trailers for Foundation, Invasion and Bullfinch everything looks amazing. And dark. Descriptions for each of these include either “dystopian” or “apocalypse” or both.
Could we get some more upbeat sci-fi from Apple’s streaming service?
Apple TV + Sci-Fi: Improved Gloom
The first full trailer for the Apple TV + series Invasion dropped out on Wednesday. It’s an epic about an alien attack on Earth, starring Sam Neill.
You might be able to guess from the trailer that this is a very ambitious program. It was shot in New York, Manchester, Morocco and Japan. “Invasion is an extensive, character-driven sci-fi drama series that follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world, ”Apple’s press release states. We are talking about global destruction.
And Foundation greatly expands the apocalypse. It begins with the fall of a galaxy-wide civilization. Something the trailer highlights with explosion after explosion.
Bullfinch is a smaller story, starring a charming Tom Hanks, his dog, and his robot pal. And it starts with the death of literally everyone else on Earth. And the character of Hanks is dying too.
It’s entirely possible that all of this will change things by the end. Maybe Earth will fight the aliens in Invasion. Foundation is meant to be about rebuilding galactic civilization, though the trailer only shows its downfall. And maybe Bullfinch will end with some kind of happy ending.
But it would be nice if Apple TV + had a sci-fi movie or series that didn’t kill thousands, millions, or billions.
Maybe just a little more optimistic, please
While these sci-fi shows all look amazing, I’m not sure if apocalyptic or dystopian is what most people want right now. Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but we have all just lived more than 18 months of a global pandemic. And it still continues. I’m not going to stress the total cost… it’s too depressing.
This is one of the main reasons why the biggest success of Apple TV + is Ted lasso. It’s just about the most upbeat and positive show I’ve ever seen. i don’t suggest Ted Lasso in space, but Apple could certainly make a sci-fi series that isn’t about the end of the world.
Let’s not forget the three science fiction series already on the streaming service. See takes place in a post-apocalyptic world (there is still that word). Amazing stories could have been quietly canceled. And while For all mankind is definitely a good drama, it’s not optimistic.
There is nothing wrong with the old “guy, girl and couple of aliens zooming in space fighting a dark lord while making jokes”. Yes, that’s a formula, but wading characters through dark destruction scenes to make a movie look more dramatic is just as formulaic. And it’s less fun to watch.
But let me be clear: I am excited about Foundation. If there’s a science fiction story by Issac Asimov that I haven’t read at least once, it’s not for lack of trying. The Apple TV + series looks phenomenal. And Bullfinch and Invasion have real possibilities. My request here is that Apple too make light adventure sci-fi. Something I can relax by watching at the end of a long week at work. A show that will give me hope for the future.