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It’s a widely known secret that the history of adapting video games for the small or big screen has had a very inconsistent past over the years. Resident Evil is one that struggled (and yet, they keep churning films and TV shows out regardless); the less said about those Mortal Kombat films the better, and the recent Five Nights at Freddy’s was a complete bust as well. But it’s not all bad (honestly, it isn’t) because there have been some great successes, the most recent of those being the TV adaptation of The Last of Us.

The latest major video game to get a TV series is Fallout though, the hugely popular post-apocalyptic title with a die-hard group of fans expecting the worst from the series when it drops on Amazon Prime. But fear not though because this adaptation is a lot closer in stature to The Last of Us than any of those Resident Evil or Mortal Kombat titles, that’s a certainty.


In a future, post-apocalyptic Los Angeles brought about by nuclear decimation, citizens must live in underground bunkers to protect themselves from radiation, mutants and bandits.


The Fallout series is one of the most beloved gaming franchises of the past 25 years, and a television series has long been in the pipeline. Since 2008, the release year of Fallout 3, would-be producers had been attempting to create a live-action version of the game, but Bethesda (the game's developer), worried that it would fail to emulate the magic of the games. Step forward Jonathon Nolan though (brother of Christopher) who was given the green light for the project, and it is safe to say, delivered a wonderful adaptation that is jam-packed full of quirky humour, ghastly violence, and wonderfully depth characters while staying loyal to the lore of the game and managing to build on that truly immersive world that fans hold in such high esteem.

Amazon’s Fallout series (just like the game’s premise) showcases the aftermath of a nuclear bomb being detonated in an alternate version of Earth. After WWII, nuclear technology quickly advanced and led to a retro-futuristic society but also led to a war over resources. For survivors, the only option was to retreat into fallout bunkers known as Vaults, which were built to preserve humanity in the event of nuclear destruction.


This story takes place 219 years after the bomb and follows a young woman called Lucy MacLean (Ella Purnell) who leaves behind her comfortable home in Vault 33 to take part in an apparent suicide mission where she must come face to face with the brutalities of the surface and the hostile population that currently resides there.

With a series like this, there needs to be a lot of world-building and some context to certain characters as well, and episode one does all these things fantastically. It begins with an emotional flashback to when the bomb dropped while introducing us to Cooper Howard (Walton Goggins) the second of the three protagonists. In the years since the bomb, and due to mass amounts of radiation exposure, Howard has lived (barely) and is now known as The Ghoul (one of the many memorable creatures from the franchise) and wanders the earth as a gunslinger and a bounty hunter trying to find out what happened to his family all those years ago. Meanwhile, back in Vault 33, Lucy is readying for an arranged marriage to a stranger from the neighbouring Vault 32, but when things start to go south, she must embark on a mission to the surface in search of answers. The third protagonist of the series is Maximus (Aaron Moten) who is a member of The Brotherhood of Steel, a would-be army on the surface that uses pre-war technology to search for more pre-war technology (it sounds weird when you say it out loud). Maximus is promoted to the rank of squire and tasked with following Knight Titus in his infamous power suit and one of the game's most iconic features.

The second episode expands on everything that the first laid out brilliantly. The surface world is stretched out as the characters move from town to town, eventually walking across each other’s paths seemingly searching for the same thing. Each episode switches focus to a different protagonist and explores their characters and history in more depth, whether it’s The Ghoul's previous life as a famous Hollywood actor, or the origins of Lucy’s Vault (a subplot emerges around this that allows Lucy’s brother Norm – played by Moisés Arias – to do some serious digging of his own) or even the aim of Maximus and his allegiance to The Brotherhood. In a world, as decimated as this is, it doesn’t take long to realise that each story is connected to a greater overriding one that hopes to answer the question: who set the bomb off all those years ago?


The world setting is fantastic and always feels connected to the one that the games spent so long creating, but it’s the characters in this series that take the greatest prize. Each character brings an added flare to the story: Lucy’s lack of surface world awareness often develops into a source of great surprise and humour, while Maximus and his naiveties about human emotions often result in some rather awkward moments. However, it’s not too long before you understand who the MVP is, and that is The Ghoul, with Walton Goggins offering another staggering performance as a weird wildcard-like character. Nolan and fellow creator Lisa Joy made the perfect decision when it came to rounding out this character, giving him a backstory and carrying emotions from his former life with him - rarely were the ghouls ever expanded on in the games, so it makes a welcome change to have such a multifaceted one.

If you’ve played the games, then you might be fiercely loyal to them and sceptical about how this series would work out. But you have nothing to worry about because it’s an incredibly faithful adaptation that also explores different avenues by creating fresh new adventures. If you’re worried about struggling to feel engaged because you haven’t played any of the games, then you can put your mind at ease as this is one series that can be enjoyed by the masses.

The storytelling within Fallout is so enjoyable and attentive to the detail that you don’t need any previous knowledge to appreciate it. Each episode possesses great humour, well-structured dialogue, and tonnes of creative and graphic violence, and who knows, it might not take very long for you to become so hooked that you find yourself buying the back catalogue of games so that you can become well-versed in knowledge before season two inevitably comes out.


Rating Fallout



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