The Emperor's Peace is the first episode of Foundation's first season on Apple TV+. It aired on September 24, 2021 alongside the second episode, "Preparing to Live." The episode was written by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman based on the novels by Isaac Asimov. Rupert Sanders directed the episode.
On the planet Terminus, a group of children dare each other to see who can get closest to the Vault, a floating structure that projects a field that discourages people from approaching. Poly tries to get as close to the Vault as he can, but is rendered unconscious. While his friends go for help, Poly is rescued by the Warden of Terminus, Salvor Hardin.
Thirty-five years earlier, Gaal Dornick travels to the planet Trantor from her homeworld of Synnax at the invitation of the famed mathematician, Hari Seldon. On the trip, she meets Jerril, who helps her adjust to being off-planet for the first time. Arriving at Trantor, Gaal is met by Raych Foss and taken to Hari. He congratulates her on solving the Abraxas Conjecture using Kalle’s Ninth Proof of Folding and then tells her they will both be arrested by the Galactic Empire the next day.
The ruling Cleons, Brother Day and Brother Dusk, educate their younger clone, Brother Dawn, on the subtleties of ruling the Galactic Empire along with their aide, Demerzel. As part of their duties, the Cleons meet with delegates from the planets Thespis and Anacreon, two worlds embroiled in a mining dispute. Imperial appraisers were caught in the crossfire, forcing the Empire to act to maintain the peace.
At a tribunal, Hari reveals that through psychohistory, he predicts the Empire will fall within five hundred years and enter a period of barbarism that will endure for thirty thousand years. However, Seldon proposes the creation of a Foundation to create an Encyclopedia Galactica to safeguard science, civilisation, and the story of the human race. With these in place, Seldon hopes to soften the blow and reduce the dark ages to merely a thousand years. Gaal is asked to debunk Hari’s predictions but she cannot and confirms his theory.
As the tribunal concludes, a terrorist attack on the Star Bridge decimates Trantor and leaves millions dead. In the wake of the terrorist attack, Brother Day seeks out Hari and Gaal. Instead of killing them, Day exiles them to Terminus to establish their Foundation. Hari sees Day's intent; if the predictions are wrong, then the Foundation will be forgotten at the edge of the galaxy. If they are right, then the Empire will be able to take credit for assisting the Foundation.
On Terminus, thirty-five years later, Salvor Hardin approaches the Vault and reaches out to touch the artifact. She is completely unaffected by the null field.
- Jared Harris as Hari Seldon
- Lee Pace as Brother Day (Cleon XII)
- Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick
- Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin
- Laura Birn as Demerzel
- Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk (Cleon XI)
- Alfred Enoch as Raych Foss
- Jairaj Varsani as Poly Verisof
- Buddy Skelton as Keir
- Chloe Lea as Gia
- Joni Morris as Laylo Fulham
- Jade Harrison as Bayla
- Chris Jarman as Jarko
- Reece Shearsmith as Jerril
- Carolina Main as Ambassador Shae Un Shae
- Antony Bunsee as Ambassador Xandem
- Joyce Grey-Carter as Synnaxian Stone Remover
- Brian Bovell as Trantorian Seer Priest
- Nikhil Dubey as Bomber #1
- Connor Dudley-Fergus as Bomber #2
- Proschat Madani as Lors Avakim
- Vanessa Ifediora as Imperial Herald
- Kirsten Block as Chamberlain
- Samir Fuchs as Prime Magistrate
- Jerry Kwarteng as Imperial Guardian Suit
- Anne Gill as Teacher
- Thomas Lappin as Customs Officer
- Barry McGovern as Orlio
- Abby Dunlavy as Spacer
- Rachel Lynch as Little Girl
- Cooper Carter as Dawn (Cleon XIII)
- Alexander Siddig as Advocate Xylas
- Mido Hamada as Shadowmaster Obrecht