Barbarians at the Gate is the fourth episode of Foundation's first season on Apple TV+. It aired on October 8, 2021. The episode was written by Lauren Bello based on the novels by Isaac Asimov. Alex Graves directed the episode.
Brother Dawn jumps from his bedroom window in the Imperial Palace, seemingly intent on killing himself. He is saved from impact by the personal aura all Emperors wear. Dawn's actions are witnessed by a gardener, who runs off when she realises who Dawn is. Demerzel interrupts Brother Day's personal time with a matter of importance; Proxima Opal, leader of Luminism religion has died. While the Emperors expect Zephyr Gilat to take her place, Ambassador Thanwall informs them that another candidate, Zephyr Halima, is gaining in favor. She advocates for a return to the Primary Octavo, a heretical pre-Imperial script that holds that the soul cleaves to only one body. As such, the belief indirectly casts the Emperors as less than human since they are genetic clone of one individual. Brother Dusk, who had previously helped to install Proxima Opal, decides to travel to the funeral and address the conclave.
Salvor Hardin is captured by the Anacreons led by Phara. They claim to be scrappers looking for the slow ship's navigational module. When informed it was stripped out decades okay, Phara wants to be taken to the tower in the middle of the settlement. Phara forces Salvor to take her through the perimeter fencee, but instead of taking her to the tower, Salvor directs the vehicle they are in towards the Vault. Phara passes out under the null field's influence, allowing Salvor to take her prisoner and inform the colonists of the Anacreons' presence. Salvor begins to interrogate Phara, and figures out that she is the Grand Huntress of Anacreon.
Dawn engages the services of Shadowmaster Obrecht to find out the identity of the gardener. Day and Dusk become increasingly concerned about events throughout the Galactic Empire; religious fervor, insurgencies on Trantor, and the destruction of a comm buoy in the Arcturus Sector all seem to point to Hari Seldon's predictions coming to fruition.
With Phara a prisoner, her second, Rowan, directs his troops to encircle the settlement. On Trantor, Dawn is informed of the gardener's identity; Azura Odili. He visits her in the garden and starts to be enamoured by her. With problems rearing themselves throughout the Empire, Day lays the blame on Dusk's handling of the Seldon situation and the subsequent bombings of Anacreon and Thespis. He orders Dusk to remain on Trantor while he heads to Proxima Opal's funeral, something which goes against the protocol of having the primary Cleon remain on the throneworld.
On Terminus, the colonists face off against the Anacreons, protected by their shield. As Day departs Trantor, Dusk orders Dorwin to head for Terminus and remind the Foundation that they are still Imperial citizens.
- Jared Harris as Hari Seldon
- Lee Pace as Brother Day (Cleon XIII)
- Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick
- Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin
- Laura Birn as Demerzel
- Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk (Cleon XII)
- Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn (Cleon XIV)
- Elliot Cowan as Lewis Pirenne
- Daniel MacPherson as Hugo
- Sasha Behar as Mari Hardin
- Kubbra Sait as Phara Keaen
- Pravessh Rana as Rowan
- Amy Tyger as Azura Odili
- Buddy Skelton as Keir
- Joni Morris as Laylo Fulham
- Clarke Peters as Abbas
- Cooper Carter as Young Dawn
- Mark Lavery as Kalin
- Alicia Gerrard as Yate
- Brian Mulvey as Travik
- Nikhil Parmer as Freestone
- Lynsey Beauchamp as Garden Supervisor
- Mido Hamada as Obrecht
- Christian Contreras as Dorwin
- Orion Ben as Pistis
- Darrah O'Toole as Romus
- Geoffrey Cantor as Ambassador Thanwall
- Stuart McQuarrie as Lunden
- Rory Nolan as Muller Holk
- Helen Portelli as Proxima Opal
- Ian McNeice as Tivole
- Isaiah Chambers as Mystery Boy
- Catriona Loughlin as Vreede
- Clare Agius Sparling as White-Robed Woman