Foundation season 2: cast, plot, trailer, new and returning characters, episode guide, air date and everything we know

Foundation season 2 hits Apple TV Plus for more of Isaac Asimov's famous sci-fi saga.
Foundation season 2 hits Apple TV Plus for more of Isaac Asimov's famous sci-fi saga. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Foundation season 2 arrives on Apple TV+ which is great news for all fans entranced and intrigued by Foundation season 1 which concluded in such spectacular fashion and has left us thirsting for much more. 

Based on Isaac Asimov’s award-winning stories, the cast for season 2 is led again by Jared Harris and Lee Pace, alongside rising stars Lou Llobell and Leah Harvey. There are also lots of new cast members joining the franchise to play a new set of season 2 characters (see our list below). The Apple Original drama also sees favorite returning stars Laura Birn, Terrence Mann and Cassian Bilton.

We were left wanting to know what happens on the planets of Terminus and Trantor next as Dr Hari Seldon's prediction of the fall of the Galactic Empire seems to be on the right track so far! His psychohistory mathematics might be baffling to us mere mortals but his predicted path for humanity has been spookily accurate. But, after the 'First Crisis' that hit Foundation season 1 what could happen in Foundation season 2 and what new characters and plot twists might be on their way?

Showrunner David S. Goyer says: “Since my childhood, I’ve dreamed of how Hari Seldon and Eto Demerzel would look and sound — what Terminus and Trantor would feel like. Now, with Foundation season 2, our audience will get to visit more of Asimov’s indelible characters and worlds, including Hober Mallow, General Bel Riose and all the Outer Suns. I'm thrilled that a whole new generation of fans are reading Asimov’s brilliant masterwork. We’re playing the long game with Foundation and I’m grateful to my partners at Apple and Skydance for entrusting me with this epic. Buckle up. We’re about to fold some serious space.”

So here's everything you need to know about Foundation season 2 on Apple TV Plus...

Lou Llobell, Jared Harris and Leah Harey in Apple TV Plus' Foundation season 2

Lou Llobell, Jared Harris and Leah Harvey are back together for Foundation season 2 (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Lee Pace and Jared Harris are back for 'Foundation' season 2.

First look! Lee Pace and Jared Harris are back for Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Lee Pace as Brother Day in Foundation season 2.

Lee Pace as Brother Day in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Foundation season 2 release date

Foundation season 2 launches worldwide on Apple TV Plus starting with the first episode on Friday July 14 2023. Subsequent episodes in the 10-part series will then launch weekly every Friday.

How to watch Foundation season 2: stream the epic sci-fi show online

Is there a trailer for Foundation season 2?

Yes Apple TV Plus has now released a few Foundation season 2 trailers to give us a sneak peek of what to expect when the series begins in Summer 2023...

Foundation season 2 — new characters and cast

The new cast for Foundation season 2 has been announced. The series showrunner, David S. Goyer (The Dark KnightMan of Steel) has told us the two pivotal characters characters of Hober Mallow and General Bel Riose are arriving, played by Dimitri Leonidas and Ben Daniels. 

So here's our quick guide to the 10 new characters and new cast below, starting with the main two additions...

Ben Daniels plays Bel Roise, the last great general of the Superliminal Fleet and would-be conqueror of the Foundation. Bel is noble to a fault, but his fealty to the Galactic Empire is waning. In Asimov's books, General Bel Roise is a general of the Galactic Empire, so in Foundation season 2 we can probably assume the arrival of this warrior means trouble between the Empire and Terminus and some major space battles.

Dimitri Leonidas is Hober Mallow, a master trader with a sarcastic personality and questionable morals, who is summoned against his will to serve a higher, selfless cause. In the books, Hober Mallow was a master trader who helped expand the Foundation beyond Terminus and clashed with the dictates of Terminus leader Salvor Hardin. He joins episode three of Foundation 3 and has a big clash with a planetary dictator called Commdor Argo (see below)

Ben Daniels as Bel Riose.

Ben Daniels as Bel Roise when he first appears in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Hober Mallow is played Dimitri Leonidas in Foundation series 2.

Dimitri Leonidas playing master trader Hober Mallow, who turns up from episode 3 of Foundation series 2.. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

The new cast in Foundation season 2 continued...

Isabella Laughland plays Brother Constant, a cheerfully confident cleric whose job is to evangelize the Church of the Galactic Spirit across the Outer Reach. Constant is a true believer, whose courage and passion make her hard not to love.

Kulvinder Ghir is Poly Verisof, High Claric of the Church of the Galactic Spirit. Whip-smart and sardonic, he’s also a terrible drunk. Intelligent enough to see the path he’s on, but he's far too cynical to change.

Ella-Rae Smith plays Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion. Used to being underestimated, Sareth employs this to her advantage, charming her way into the Imperial Palace with biting wit, all while on a secret quest for revenge. 

Sandra Yi Sencindiver is Enjoiner Rue, the beautiful, politically savvy consigliere to Queen Sareth. A former courtesan to Cleon The 16th, Rue transformed her status to become a royal counselor.

Holt McCallany is Warden Jaegger Fount, the current Warden of Terminus and guardian of its citizens against external threats. 

Mikael Persbrandt is The Warlord of Kalgan, a monster of a man, full of muscles and possessing powerful psychic abilities, and riven by hate in his quest to take over the galaxy. Not someone you'd want to wrestle with!

Rachel House plays the mysterious leader of the Mentallics called Tellem Bond. 

Nimrat Kaur is a Bollywood actress who plays Yanna Seldon, so we're presuming with that surname she's a relative of Hari.

Philip Glenister plays a dictatorial planet ruler Commdor Argo (first look picture below) who arrives in episode 3 and has some tense scenes with Hober Mallow.

Philip Glenister in Foundation season 2.

Philip Glenister as Commdor Argo in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

In Foundation season 2, Ella-Rae Smith plays Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion.

Ella-Rae Smith as Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Foundation season 2 — returning characters and cast

As well as the return of Leah Harvey as Salvor, Jared Harris to be back as Dr. Hari Seldon as well as Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick — she is after all our narrator and was crucial to the last moments of Foundation season 1 along with Salvor Hardin. The pair met and with the time-jump going on it looks like Gaal is Salvoir's mother. Gaal after all left frozen eggs in season 1 episode 2.

Leah Harvey recently explained to Newsweek: "I did know of the link between Gaal and Salvor. Before I actually got the part I was told that was the case.

"I wouldn't say it influenced my performance but I definitely did try to put in some slight similarities in the way they perhaps express things, tiny things. Sometimes they say things that echo each other, they have the same worries and things like that so that was easy to do, but every now and then I would try to copy Lou Llobell's crying face. Lou has a very particular crying face and Gaal has a particularly bad first season, she cries a lot so I was able to copy that a bit and put that in. It wasn't too hard to link the two characters but we also wanted to keep it as subtle as they could, but whether the audience knew when they were watching it's up to them really if they want to notice or not.

"With a show like this, because it's such a big, big universe if you single out one character that's hardly ever going to happen because there's so much going on."

As the clone leaders never change, Lee Pace should be back too as the middle Cleon clone Brother Day. Lee recently told Newsweek about his character at the end of season 1 and looks forward to season 2.

"One of the interesting, delicate shifts that happened inside the character is that he becomes aware of his sentience, of his sovereignty," he said.

"He has lived his life as this fantasy that he is another man, and I think at the moment during The Spiral at the end he realizes he's all alone and he's just human, he is not this idea of Empire.

"I think hearing that the clones haven't been genetically the same man anyway is just this almost macabre [irony]."

Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin, with daughter Gaal Dornick in Foundation season 2.

Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin, with daughter Gaal Dornick in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), aka Salvor's mother, must surely play a big part in Foundation season 2.

Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), aka Salvor's mother, plays a big part in Foundation season 2? (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Interview: Lee Pace on what happens in Foundation season 2

Lee Pace reveals what’s next for the Empire’s clone rulers and more as the galaxy-spanning sci-fi saga returns. There are visually stunning and epic action scenes again in Founation series 2 plus the playing out of a deadly crisis that will ultimately determine the fate of humanity. 

Based on the award-winning novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of space exiles under the guidance of the late Dr Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), a scientific prophet who appears to his followers every century or so as an all-knowing hologram. The settlers are on a mission to rebuild civilisation as the ‘Foundation’ on the planet Terminus at the far reaches of the galaxy during the predicted fall of the Galactic Empire on the planet Trantor under the rule of the three clone rulers — Brother Dawn, Brother Day and Brother Dusk. 

Now the story picks up over 100 years later with the Empire still ruled ruthlessly by the clone brothers, but there’s a bold assassination attempt on Brother Day at the start of this series which threatens stability as recriminations are let loose. Soon after, in a mysterious twist, Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion (Ella-Rae Smith) arrives on Trantor to become Brother’s Day’s potential new bride - even though clones have never married before! She however begins to plot from within to dismantle the Empire, putting the ruling clone dynasty in jeopardy.

"I play a completely different man than I did in the first season," explains Lee Pace, who plays middle clone, Brother Day. "He feels the pressure of the fraying Empire, as it has contracted. The politics are more complicated. He’s full of bravura, however, and probably has the biggest ego the galaxy. He doesn’t stress about any threats, as he's got this absurd confidence in himself. He think he’s is the hero of the galaxy. In reality, Day is fighting for his survival, defending his life and rule in every way that he can, and watching constantly for danger."

The android Dermerzal (Laura Birn), who has served Day and the clone rulers for centuries, has already shown she will kill to protect the Galactic Empire from falling. So can she now discover who was behind the assassination plot as she manipulates events on Trantor even more this time around?

"When Day is with Demerzel, he wants to be seen as a man not a clone,’ says Pace ‘She is everything to him — his confidante, lover and she helps him manage the Empire. She’s the only person he trusts, even though she’s a robot. He now fiercely believes in his independence and individuality. His response to all the new dangers is to engage in a marriage with a queen and produce children which of course becomes a threat to his own genetic clone dynasty.’

Meanwhile, in the same galaxy but far away, the prophetic hologram of Dr Hari Seldon warns of another major crisis for the rebel settlers on Terminus. Foundation hero and former Terminus warden Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) is still getting to know her biological mother Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) and the pair are soon forced into interplanetary adventures together, stumbling upon a colony of ‘Mentalics’ possessing powerful abilities that pose a threat to the very fabric of humanity itself. The Foundation also enters a phase of religious fervour, which ends up inciting a full-scale war against the Empire. Look out for a cast of major new characters to shake things up, including former military fleet general Bel Riose (Ben Daniels) offered a bold mission by the Empire. Then there’s the Han Solo-like interplanetary trader Hober Mallow (Dimitri Leonidas), who becomes crucial to the survival of the Foundation, plus Philip Glenister plays a dictatorial planet ruler Commdor Argo.

"Time has jumped by huge amounts during this series," Pace explains. "In that time power and obsessions change in drastic ways. There are potential threats in many places. Dr Hari Seldon has this idea that humans can use rationality, logic and maths to find a path through to hope and salvation But Seldon might be wrong, as Brother Day believes. Force of will and luck could be more crucial."

There's animosity between Brothers Dawn, Day and Dusk in Foundation season 2.

There's animosity between Brothers Dawn, Day and Dusk in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Interview: Laura Birn on playing the android Dermerzal again

Laura Birn, who plays android Dermerzal once more in Foundaation seris 2, told us: "I find her relationship with the clone rulers so interesting, because you know, every time she raises them all from babies so there's a kind of love there for every new baby, and innocent child after innocent child, but then they achieve power.

"Then there's always a big struggle between for who's actually in control. Season One ended up as kind of fighting for who's going to make the final decision, who's the one who actually gets to command the other, and it changes and it varies. The clones don't have a very small ego so it's always about their show of strength but it's who silently has the power in the dynasty.

"Demerzal is an interesting character in this story. Time has jumped huge amounts, things change in that time in drastic, drastic ways. But she is there for generations."

Laura Birn as the android Demerzal.

Laura Birn as the android Demerzal. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Foundation series 2 — filming and locations

According to The Prague Reporter, the second season began filming in Prague in April 2022. As per the first series other filming locations will include Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the deserts of Malta, the snow fields of Iceland, studios in Ireland, and even Berlin.

In the summer of 2022, Leah Harvey revealed through an Instagram post (see below) that she's been filming Foundation season 2 on the island of Fuerteventura, which is mostly volcanic so the perfect spot to become a hostile alien planet.

Foundation season 2 plot

Foundation season 2 is set more than a century after the season one finale, when tension mounts throughout the galaxy. As the Cleons unravel, a vengeful queen plots to destroy Empire from within. Hari, Gaal, and Salvor discover a colony of Mentalics with psionic abilities that threaten to alter psychohistory itself. The Foundation has entered its religious phase, promulgating the Church of Seldon throughout the Outer Reach and inciting the Second Crisis: war with Empire. The monumental adaptation of “Foundation” chronicles the stories of four crucial individuals transcending space and time as they overcome deadly crises, shifting loyalties and complicated relationships that will ultimately determine the fate of humanity. 

As we've already seen in Foundation season 1, this sci-fi epic is only loosely based on the Foundation series of novels which were published from the 1950s onwards by prolific American author Isaac Asimov. So the books don't really give viewers much to go on. Even main characters, such as Salvor Hardin and Gaal Dornick, were male in Asimov's original books but have been updated to become female in this TV saga —to reflect our more modern thinking. 

There are new characters  (see above) and plot twists galore in the upcoming season and the story has a whole galaxy in which to play out. Towards the end of the first series, we saw Dr Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) appearing to the Foundation community on Terminus in his digitized/hologram form after the major 'first crisis' to advise on the next stages. We believe another crisis is likely to befall Terminus during Ioundation season 2 so we'll expect to see digital Hari and Jared Harris playing a prominent part in the story again.

Those dictatorial Cleon clone kings of Trantor and rulers of the Galactic Empire — Brothers Dawn, Day and Dusk — had sorted their troubles with the defective Brother Dawn by episode 10 of Season 1, but they'd definitely been shaken, and angered, by the complex plot against them, which was eventually foiled. The Foundation, however, has now led the Empire to believe their project was destroyed by a huge solar flare in the outer galaxy via a clever move using the Invictus spaceship. This cunning plan was of course suggested by super-genius Hari Seldon. So will the Clone kings now leave that area of the universe alone so the humans there can just get on with developing into the Foundation of Hari's dreams in season 2? Somehow we doubt it will be quite that simple...

The final scenes of Foundation season 1 happen 138 years later than most of the previous series (beware there are big spoilers here!), which is the time it's taken Hari's math prodigy Gaal Dornick to travel in a cryo-pod to arrive at her home planet of Synnax. She finds the world in utter ruins, except for an underwater flashing beacon. She then swims down to find another cryo-pod with Salvor Hardin inside. Salvor had discovered, in the final episode, that she was the daughter of Gaal and Rayh Foss (Alfred Enoch), from the embryo they created together which was planted inside surrogate mum Mari (Sasha Behar). Salvor then gives Gaal the cube she used to open Hari's Vault on Terminus. 

So what did all that mean? We really do expect to see more of the Gaal and Salvor's story play out in Foundation season 2, to discover their mysterious connection and also the plans Hari Seldon has for the mother and daughter in the future of the Foundation on Terminus and beyond.

* How Foundation season 2's galaxy was made from Spanish churches and waffle eggs. An interview with with Visual Effects Supervisor Chris MacLean

Jared Harris as Dr Hari Seldon in Foundation.

Jared Harris will appear again as a digitized Dr Hari Seldon throughout Foundation season 2. (Image credit: AppleTV+)

Leah Harvey in Foundation.

Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) will be returning for Foundation series 2, having met her mother Gaal at the end of season 1. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Foundation season 2 episode guide

Here's our episode guide for Foundation season 2 which we'll be updating recaps weekly so do check back...

Foundation season 2 episode 1 recap: one hundred years later, the next crisis arrives

Foundation season 2 episode 2 recap: Hober Mallow mystery

Foundation season 2 episode 3 recap: the empire prepares for war

Foundation season 2 episode 4 recap: Seldon issues a message to his followers

Foundation season 2 episode 5 recap: empire's secrets and galactic psychics

Foundation season 2 episode 6 recap: Hari gets a little taste of humanity

Foundation season 2 episode 7 recap: some big victories for the Empire

Foundation season 2 episode 8 recap: the real ruler of Empire is revealed 

Foundation season 2 episode 9 recap: the war for the Foundation begins

Foundation season 2 ending explained and episode 10 recap

Lee Pace and Ella-Rae Smith in Foundation season 2 episode 7.

Brother Day and Queen Sareth in Foundation season 2 episode 7. (Image credit: Apple)

A promotional still from Foundation season 2

Brothers Dawn and Day in Foundation season 2. (Image credit: Apple)

Laura Birn in Foundation season 2 episode 9.

Laura Birn as Demerzal in Foundation season 2 episode 9. (Image credit: Apple)

What happened in Foundation season 1 - episode guide?

Lee Pace in 'Foundation'.

Lee Pace as Brother Day in Foundation season 1. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Before you start on Foundation season 2, If you want a more detailed explanation of what happened in Foundation season 1, take a look through our full episode guide (with spoilers) which is below...

Foundation season 1 episode 1 and 2 review

Foundation season 1 episode 3: The Mathematician's Ghost

Foundation season 1 episode 4: Barbarians at the Gates

Foundation season 1 episode 5 review: Upon Awakening

Foundation season 1 episode 6 review: Death and the Maiden

Foundation season 1 episode 7 Review: Mysteries and Martyrs

Foundation season 1 episode 8 Review: The Missing Piece

Foundation season 1 episode 9 Review: The First Crisis

Foundation season 1 episode 10 Review: The Leap

More guides for top shows on Apple TV Plus below..

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.